Had I only come for one week, I would have been flying home this morning. But wise beyond my years, there is another week to come. So first off, the weather. Not great, I'm afraid (as if either of you two care, but still). Today is as should be for a holiday in late September in the Med: cloudless sky, bright sun, tho' not too hot, a breeze and a moderate temperature. This is as the weather forecasters predicted. Tomorrow, Saturday, they promise us more of the same, tho' with more cloud. Now for the rub. From Sunday until next Thursday - according to the forecasters - it is thunder, lightening and rain all the way. The next promised bright day is Friday, which is, unfortunately the day I am due to fly back to Blighty. In view of all that, I did consider ending my stay here in glorious non-sunny Ibiza early and spent several minutes looking up easyjet, Ryanair and other flights departing for London (I have to pick up my car from Earls Court). There are, as you would imagine, several, but all cost at least 270 euro which, at the present rate of exchange, is about £269. And that, dear friends is simply not worth it. So I am here for the duration.
Today, however, and I have already told you about the improvement in the weather, has been, so far, quite enjoyable. A Thomson Gold operative called Margaret, does walks in the countryside, and there was one today, which I joined. It was good to get the exercise. We all - about ten of us - including a guy who warned us at the outset that he had bad hips but who completed the trek - set off at 9.35 and arrived back in Cala Llonga at 12.55. We walked, according to Patrick (another Patrick, not me) who had one of those gizmos which measure distance travelled, about five miles there and back. I enjoyed it a great deal. It was rather like being let out of one's cell. Can't quite tell you where we walked to (though here is a piccy) but the exercise was very welcome. On the way back fell into conversation with Jean, a one-time Liverpudlian and Patrick's wife - Jean - who was quite entertaining. We agreed, for example, that liver-lilied southerners do not have a sense of humour. She and her husband live in Basingstoke and are now both retired. He, surprisingly, is 80 on his next birthday. She is in her late 60s (I think). At the end of the walk, we stopped off for a drink in the bar owned and run by Margaret's son, and we three stayed for lunch. (All of us had a cheese and ham toastie, info for those of you - two - who might be interested in such trivialities.) Being the nosy sort and being the type of guy that can, apparently, get others talking: Patrick and Jean have a son, Guy, who is 42 and who two years ago left his wife of 12 years and who he had known for 20 years, for Becky. Becky was in an unhappy marriage, works with Guy and left her husband to set up home with Guy. Becky already had two children and she and Guy are expecting their first child together in November. He is much happier. Now divorced, he and his former wife, Pam, have no children, tho' Pam had a miscarriage a few years ago. She sound like a handful. The couple, Patrick and Jean, Guy's parents were not at all judgmental, but I gather she, an only child, was rather spoilt and personally unsettled. She now works in HR ('human resources' for those unacquainted with the jargon of modern business) and is four years older than Guy. Her father was very old when she was born, and died early in her life. Her mother is rather wealthy and spoilt Pam, the upshot being that Pam paid a great deal of attention to herself and her appearance, but gave rather less attention to her household. Anyhow, Guy, according to Patrick, his father, is now much happier. Jean, who despite everything apparently got on well with Pam, is not quite reconciled to the situation and worries, but also agrees that her son is happier. I pointed out that it is inevitably the children (in this case Becky's) who lose out in such situations, and Jean agreed, but it seems Becky is a good mother. Her ex-husband, tho' I can't say whether or not she had now divorced him, did not quite take his visitation duties as seriously as he might, so, for example, when he wife left him, he had to take in a lodger, and because the second bedroom was taken when he had the children to stay, his young son had to sleep on the sofa. Becky, understandably, took exception to this, and now will not let her children stay with their father. Right? Wrong? You decide.
All that over a pint of lager and a toastie and asking questions.
Having ruled out an early escape back home, because of cost, an early escape back home to spend the remainder of my holiday with my family, I must now plan what to do on the 'rainy days'. I think a little exploring of the island is due. Ibiza Town, Evissa, to the Spanish, is drug heaven to those who come for that kind of thing, but also has an ancient old town which is worth a visit. Then there is Santa Eularia (which is how it should be spelled, not as I have spelled it so far) which is said to be the culinary capital of Ibiza with several very good Spanish restaurants. I shall also go there, tho' the rain will put paid to my plans to walk there (it's only about five kilometres away a good distance to work up an appetite) and I shall go by bus. There is an hourly boat service, but if it is raining, that would seem to be a little pointless.
Note for techies: this is being written in the bar with a lager and my cigars at my side. The idea is to save it in some format on my memory stick which will allow me to cut and past it into an email.
Kate, congratulations. I know you are old enough to make your own wise decisions, so if you have settled on Dr Jim, you obviously have and please accept my very best wishes. Tell me when the wedding is due. I note you have also changed your address. Does that mean you have moved in? Bought a house together? Is your daughter still living in the old house? You might have read that I am reading Howard Zinn's A People's History Of The United States which, it has to be said, is an unashamedly socialist left-wing book, tho' none the worse for that. Mention is made several times of Pensacola where you used to live and where Gina still lives.
Barry, you might already have read my email wishing you a pleasant night out with at the OS AGM, so by the time you read this, you will have been, so I hope you enjoyed yourself. Bombarding you in this blog with my impressions, bilious views and other comments on vacationing in Ibiza with the dregs of Saga, I seem to have forgotten to ask you about your situation. Are you still looking for work or have you reconciled yourself to a life of retirement. Even for someone like me, a little bit Tory, a little bit lefty, it is so easy to preoccupy oneself with one's own life and, if the truth be told, to ignore the circumstance of others, and as I do know a bit about your situation - living in your mother's old flat which your brother wants to have sold, surviving a heart bypass and being ignored by all and sundry employers despite your very respectable professional background, it seems I have given rather too scant attention to your difficulties. Please accept my apologies. I remember, with a little shame your phone call to me when, you not knowing, I had gone to bed very early indeed, and my less than gracious response. Sorry for that, too.
Anyway, that is enough for now. Lager and my last cigar of this packet calls. The cigars, by the way, although being inexpensive, are very nice indeed, and with every drag is dedicated to the two of you.
Christ do I miss Elsie and Wesley.