Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ibiza - an early account

It might only be my third day (and my second full day), but an overcast sky, no sun and a wind which promises a storm of some kind later today persuade me to make an entry here. Also I now know that although only one follower is officially registered, I do, in fact, have two (take a bow, Barry, and thanks for the email and the link to Mark Sparrow’s blog).

After drinking rather too much at the Michael Wharton book launch, I reined myself in for the reception which followed Keith Waterhouse’s funeral and was rather modest in my intake, which meant I was able to have a good night’s rest before getting up at 3.10 on Friday morning, to be driven to Victoria station by my very obliging brother (hardly any public transport at that time of the morning and I’m buggered if I’m going to pay £12 for a taxi ride of less than two miles.

Got to Gatwick for 4.45, just in time to witness the utter dismay of an American family who arrived at the airport, only to realise they should have gone to Heathrow instead. The plane left on time at 6.25 and just over two hours later we touched down in Ibiza, two hours being the ideal flying time and a damn sight better than the 13 hours I spent flying to Hong Kong several years ago.

The one principle I have on this holiday is: don’t rush anything and make no plans whatsoever. Yesterday, my first full day here was spent lying next to the pool reading a very good book I found in the hotel ‘library’. It is A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn. The rest of the books, about 70 of them, are garbage, or at least nothing which would interest me: Danielle Steele, Maeve Binchy, Maeve Steele and Danielle Binchy. How on earth Zinn’s substantial work found its way here I really do not know, but I'm glad it did.

I also stripped to my swimming trunks for a spot of sunbathing, reminding myself not to overdo it, and, of course as these things always go, overdid it. The sun anywhere south of Bournemouth is very deceptive, so I am now burnt all over my torso and from halfway down my thighs to my feet, although only on the front as I didn’t turn over. So today’s overcast conditions are rather welcome. Went to bed early at about 8pm, fell asleep, only to be woken by a call on my mobile from my brother asking ‘what I was doing now’. Sleeping, I told him, and then couldn’t get off for another four hours.
Today I have spent the past few hours reading outside, but it is getting extraordinarily windy. This afternoon it is into Cala Llonga to find one of the bars which show Sky Sports to watch Manchester United beat the crap out of Manchester City.
 
The hotel is very nice and although the food is inclined to satisfy the unadventurous tastes of the mainly lower middle-class guests (that’s gratuitously snobbish. So what are you? Ed) there are sufficient Spanish and other Continental dishes to satisfy me. The average age is 60, so I fit in well, although I am having trouble reconciling myself to no longer even being middle-aged.

Generally, the ethos is determinedly the 2000s version of Kiss Me Quick as far as the Brits are concerned. There has so far been no nobbly knees contest, but yesterday there was a ‘quiz by the pool’ which I didn’t take part in because, as I suspected, the questions were all about TV programmes and characters from the various soaps, of which I, to me eternal credit, know absolutely nothing.

But it is just what I was looking for: somewhere, very clean, quiet with mild weather, where I can bloody chill out, sleep and read. I do not yet feel relaxed - I wouldn’t be blogging her if I were in that state - but it is early days yet.

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