Not really. Our digs were great – comfy and well-dressed – and the staff were fantastic but, let’s face it, the point of any holiday in the sun is, well, the sun. There’s a bit of a clue in the title. And there was precious little sun in Tenerife.
“The sun’ll come out tomorrow,”
And it did for a couple of afternoons only to disappear once again behind a thick blanket of cloud. Talking of blankets, we put extra layers on our bed to keep warm.
There were no sunny coffee mornings on the terrace, no quick dips in the pool to cool down or sultry evenings on the sauce. We tried to make the best of a bad lot – drinking through it at various watering holes in buzzy Puerto de la Cruz with its trendy old town.
We were rather taken with the Fanny Bar
…and the murals
…and then there was the graffiti.
We even managed a day trip to La Orotava, a pretty inland Canarian town.
But in the end, when rain was forecast, we thought sod this for a game of soldiers and came home a week early. Still, as disappointing as it was, we try to keep a sense of proportion. After all, there are real soldier games going on in the world.
And there’s always Greece in July to look forward to, assuming our flight isn’t cancelled again.
This spells out TUI (get it?) and is the not so catchy slogan from probably Europe’s largest travel company. Sadly there wasn’t much crossing and dotting going on at Norwich Airport as we waited to board our TUI flight to Tenerife. But we were in the middle – the middle of a scrum of mostly pissed-off pensioners. The normally docile grey herd, who usually do little more than tut, had turned into saga louts frothing at the mouth. The drink hadn’t helped.
Why? Because after hanging around for hours, TUI cancelled our flight – adding to the huge number of recent flights scrapped at the last minute as millions of Brits try to migrate to the sun after a couple of turbulent years due to COVID.
‘Operational issues’, is all we were told. We didn’t know if this meant a wing had dropped off the plane or some trolley dolly had broken a nail. Nor did the harassed staff at the departure gate. They valiantly did their best to calm the crowd while being drip-fed (mis)information from TUI HQ. There wasn’t much to smile about.
Eventually, TUI put us up at the Holiday Inn where we were fed and watered – because they had to. Then in the early hours of the next day, we were bussed all the way to Gatwick – yes, Gatwick, London’s second airport – a distance of around 150 miles as the crow flies.
To banish our winter blues, we’d booked a welcome pre-Christmas perk to Tenerife for a much-needed shot of vitamin D. But instead of a restorative pick-me-up around a cool pool, we got scuppered by Omicron – the latest incarnation of COVID-19. So rather than take a risk, we put off those lazy days in the sun. What goes around has finally come around. Perking the Pansies will be off-air for a while, and we can’t wait.
Since we became village people, hardly a day has passed when it hasn’t rained – drizzle one day, deluge the next and endless dreary skies. Even the ducks have had enough. So at this time of year a young (and not so young) man’s fancy turns to a bit of cheap fun in the sun. Unlike the ducks, we’re flying south to Gran Canaria.
Whereas in 2019 we lodged in a bijou men-only bungalow complex for wrinkly friends of Dorothy, this time we’ve going large and going upmarket. While it would be rude not to venture to the bars at least once for our annual no nonsense in-yer-face, up-for-anything fix, I suspect the main event will be chick-lit under a parasol by day and cocoa laced with a medicinal nightcap by bedtime.
It’s funny how things turn out. At the start of 2019 we were loft-living city-style, happy as pigs in the proverbial. By the end, we’d escaped to the country surrounded by the stuff, all quite by chance. Our best laid plans for a move to God’s own county were consigned to the recycling bin. And, my old girl reached her own milestone – turning 90 and still on the fags.
These twin themes were writ large in Perking the Pansies this year. There’s a lesson there somewhere. Also featuring in the top ten were a couple of fairy films, a fine but imperfect city and steely celebrations by the pansies still perking after all this time. Ladies and gents, please give it up for…
As usual, popular classics were of the more salacious kind. For the third year running, Gran Canaria, Sex Emporium from 2012 was the most read blast from the past. And the most clicked image was those naughty but nice boys with their big oars from Catching Crabs.
Shame on you.
Happy New Year to one and all. All we hope for in 2020 is some sunshine. It’s been pissing down virtually every day since we moved.