Month: November 2020

A week in November

It’s been a fabulous week weather wise, but that is all about to change. Lanzarote held its breath for a couple of days, week before last, as it was forecast we might face the wrath of a hurricane as it blew across towards us from the other side of the Atlantic. In any event it did not hit us, at least as far as I am aware. It missed us but drew the hot air of the Sahara over us so we enjoyed temperatures in the 30s. As I walked down to the Monday coffee morning in La Gran Via, it was a mere 32 degrees at 10.30 am and I mean Celsius and not Fahrenheit.

So it was throughout the rest of the week and we basked in baking temperatures totally unseasonal but really enjoyable. How quickly I have become acclimatised and am now finding a drop to 22 degrees quite chilly and looking for a cardigan.

Monday 16th was a busy day, coffee morning and there was a nice turn out with a lovely young girl who arrived looking for company. We oldies tried to do the best we could and hopefully we have pointed her in the direction where she might make some friends. It didn’t help that she looked 22 but was in fact 32 or is this me becoming so old that I look at all youngish people as I do these days at doctors or policemen?

Afternoon tea at Las Casitas was followed by a couple of games of bingo. The afternoon tea is worth a mention as it is a very English afternoon tea with tiny sandwiches, smoked salmon on brown bread and best of all, wonderful sausage rolls which were served piping hot. The many cakes were delicious and everything was fattening but completely enjoyable.

Third outing of the day was a 60th birthday celebration to taste home distilled rhubarb gin, which I am told was extremely palatable and went down a treat. Nibbles were plentiful and chocolates seemed the right thing to follow the gin and the fizz. It turned into a “girls” and ”boys” session, the boys sitting round a table and we girls enjoying the comfort of the plush garden furniture and there we sat in the warm night air enjoying the chat, laughing as we shared experiences and tall tales.

Unsurprisingly I was wrecked on Tuesday. I need to remind myself of the age I am and that I am here to recover after the complications of recent surgery. I think I have been recovering from one thing or another the past eight years or so. You have to have fun sometimes!

Wednesday was Image consultation day and the lambs gamely arrived to the slaughter. Even me as tea girl was told I had the wrong lipstick on. I replied, “You told me to wear this colour of lipstick!” “But not when you are tanned. You need a darker lipstick.” Was the retort as I was firmly put in my place!

I didn’t do much Wednesday but I did walk from the bus stop to the villa where the workshop was and I made the teas and coffees but I was wrecked by the time I got back to the hotel.

The lambs were great fun and were variously told they had the wrong colour hair, make up, glasses, sandals, and the wrong shorts, dresses, either shape, colour or fabric. They stripped to their bra and knickers and were advised if they were apple, pear, or hourglass, whether they were short or long waisted, narrow or broad shoulders, long or short legged. The corrections were greeted with laughter and the questions flew as although everyone was laughing this was serious business and each lamb really did want to know how to make the best of their assets.

On Thursday good friends called for a coffee in my hotel. They also wanted a look around my new hotel as it was refurbished a couple of years ago. Thursday night I played hotel bingo and won a line, for which I was given a cocktail. My young friend who I gave it too would rather I hadn’t bothered as she said it was pretty awful. It was a very nice blue colour at the bottom half of the glass but that’s the only positive thing she would say about it. Then I went on to win the house and a bottle of Cava. (I should have bought a lottery ticket!)

On Friday, dear friends collected me and we drove in convoy with other friends through the National Park to San Bartolome where we had a coffee in the square near the church. We headed further north and parked in Teguise which is a beautiful town. It’s best seen on a day when the market is not on so you can enjoy the beautiful buildings. One building had similar doors, the height and carving, to one I had seen in the city of Salisburg many years ago.

So we girls did some shopping in the small winding streets. Every shop welcomed us as these people really need our custom. The current lockdown in the UK and France has affected the traffic to this island to a huge extent. The first lockdown was bad enough but this one has knocked the hope out of many. But we tried as best we could to spend where we could. We didn’t need much encouragement.

We returned to a tapas bar which was a favourite of my friends on a previous visit. We were the only foreigners as the rest of the customers were all Spanish – a great recommendation. The tapas were excellent as was the wine I am told. One friend asked for a glass of rose and then changed her mind saying if she got the bottle it would be cheaper and she could get a cork and take the rest home. My other friend had ordered a glass of white wine and not to be outdone said she would do the same. The food was delicious and plentiful and if we had stuck at the tapas it would have been fine, but as the wine flowed and the beer arrived chilled we decided cake was a necessity. One order was apple cake and the other a piece of carrot cake, but two of us were invited to try “the most delicious cake” and we did.

It was a sponge base, then what seemed like a layer of sliced peaches, then a layer of cream, cake, then caramel and so it went on to the top which was again sponge cake topped with meringue. I couldn’t finish it but I ate all the meringue off the top and the remnants were demolished by the others.

Off we went again, this time heading towards Famara, where the surfers play. We took a wrong turning which was beneficial because as we turned we faced the full majesty of the mountains which are the backdrop to the surfers’ beach. In the late afternoon the mountains were as stunning as Ayers Rock in the shadow of the waning sun.

So on we travelled to stop for a coffee before heading south. Surfers, all totally mad in my opinion, were bobbing about in very high seas off La Santa. Somebody commented, “They are rocks over there.” But they were not – they were a row of black clad surfers lined up to ride the next high wave.

It’s worth mentioning that we had set out in the morning under cover of bright blue skies which had followed us throughout the day. But at La Santa the sky had changed to a grey/sandy colour and we were experiencing a Calima.

It was one of those magical days on this island. The company of good friends made it all the more so special.

Saturday I was wrecked so I went for a pedicure down the Marine Rubicon and fell sound asleep in the chair, much to the amusement of Angela, the best podiatrist ever.

Sunday I went to church and it was just wonderful to be back amongst these lovely people so caring and so deep is their faith. Lunch at Geckos’s with other friends was the usual high standard. Dave is an excellent chef and he is going to try the chocolate fudge cake recipe I gave him during this week.

Now there is a circus act in the hotel tonight. I am told they are excellent. It would take a lot to beat the magician who was here during the week. He did the usual boxing up his wife, sawing her in half and then magically putting her together again. But the white doves appeared from nowhere as did a huge white rabbit but it was the dog, the double of my Sophie, who suddenly appeared out of a box which really threw me. Then the bottle and the glass jumping over and back again. We were within ten feet of him and how he did this, we just couldn’t work out at all. But that’s what all the magic is about.

So we are back to the coffee morning tomorrow and another week has gone by on this paradise island.

Where were you?

It was one of those momentous weeks. Will you remember where you were when US news stations finally declared Joe Biden, President-elect? Will you remember where you were when you heard there was a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus? Or will you remember where you were when you heard the UK deaths from the virus had topped the 50,000 mark? (The death toll is probably much higher than that because for the last while only those who have been diagnosed with the Corona virus and have died within 28 days of the diagnosis are counted as dying from the virus, i.e., if you were diagnosed 29 days ago or earlier you don’t count as dying from the virus!)

I was at Lesley and Michele’s at a barbecue on Saturday 7th when their daughter Emma checked her mobile phone and announced Joe Biden had made the necessary number 270. I had watched the counts during the previous nights when the numbers seemed stuck for over 24 hours. Great relief that the Trump dynasty may be at an end but you can understand quite clearly why he rushed to put his own lady in the Supreme Court.

I was at a Swallows’ lunch overlooking the harbour when I received a phone call from an excited Christine N. She is planning to travel out to Lanzarote early 2021, but not until there is a vaccine. A vaccine has been announced as being 90% successful. Tuesday’s news was exciting and positive, and a GM reporter even managed to doorstep the cautiously optimistic Minister for Health between a Sky news and BBC interview. Government ministers have been boycotting Good Morning Britain for around 200 days.

And I was in bed with the headphones on listening to Ben and Susannah this morning -12th November – when the deaths for the UK topped the 50,000 mark, the highest death toll in Europe. Meanwhile Johnston’s buddies were jostling for position in a power struggle. Carrie is said to have blocked the appointment of Lee Cain as the PM’s chief of staff. Said Lee Cain has resigned and Dominic Cummins, (he who tested his eyesight by driving a thirty mile round trip) is also said to be considering his position.

Was this a diversionary tactic to block the top story of the day i.e., 50,000 plus Virus – related deaths in the UK? One wonders but thankfully common sense prevailed and Susannah and Ben continued with the deaths as their lead story.

Johnston’s ex-wife, Marina Wheeler, was also interviewed by Ben and Susannah this morning. Launching her new book, “The Last Homestead,” Ms Wheeler explained the last two years had been very traumatic and difficult. Battling cervical cancer, but in remission following three operations, as well as coping with divorce and the death of her mother to cancer, Ms Wheeler was the epitome of dignity as she refused to be drawn into answering questions regarding her ex-husband and what may be happening in No 10 at the moment. The book covers the end of British rule in India and the partition into India and Pakistan. I truly hope it is very successful for her and that she finds peace and fulfilment as she returns to her legal work.