Saturday, 25 October 2014

We’re Home

We’ve actually been back since the early hours of Thursday morning but it’s taken me until now to get over the ridiculous flight times… and the shock of spending so much money in a single week.
Cyprus is a beautiful country, plenty to see, and we had a wonderful hotel, but as usual when Flatcap is in town, things didn’t always go the way they should. For a start off the hotel tried to bill me for two beers we hadn’t had from the minibar.
“No offence lad,” I told the reception clerk, “but I wouldn’t wash your feet in this muck, never mind mine, and the missus never drinks anything but expensive cocktails.”
They scrubbed the eight euros (eight bleeding euros for two small bottles of fizzy lager. I can get four cans for a pound at Asda) on the assumption that the people who were in the room before us nicked them as they were leaving.
We went shopping to one of the local malls. It’s not a lot different to going to the Trafford Centre, and I never go to the Trafford Centre. Aside from costing me fifty nicker for a bottle of scent, Her Indoors kept looking in jewellers’ windows.
“How come they never put the prices on in the window?” she asked.
“They need you to go inside,” I replied.
“So they can try to high-pressure you into buying?”
“No. It’s because they keep the defibrillator under the counter.”
We were in the Adonis Wing. Logical enough. Where else would you put a man like me? Anyway, as you entered this wing of the hotel. They had a statue of Adonis and I commented on how tiny his todger was. 

Her Indoors said, “He’s still bigger than you.” I was so incensed, I rushed back to our room, threw off all my duds and took a picture through the bathroom mirrors. I dumped that picture but I’m concerned that Her Ladyship may have taken a copy, so if it turns up somewhere online, I’ll have to protest to the Sunday papers.
We had just one manky day weather wise. It rained for about 5-10 minutes. That’s not bad. In Manchester it rains for 5-10 days.
The final shock of the holiday came as we were checking out. I’d been signing for odd drinks during the week and I needed to settle the bill. A hundred and fifteen euros. Taxing the car didn’t cost that much.
Note to self: next time, pay for your booze as you go.

Monday, 13 October 2014


It’s half past eight here on a grey and chilly, October morning in Manchester, and I’m up to my neck in it, as usual.
A little over 48 hours from now, we shoot off down to Manchester Airport, hop on a Boeing 7-something-7 for a five-hour flight to Cyprus and some much needed sunshine and downtime.

(The picture, by the way, is not Manchester airport. It’s one I took at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, but it’s only clear photograph of an aeroplane I have, so you’ll have to make do.)
For most people, the thought of getting away for a week fills them with heady excitement. But most people don’t live in our house. Most people don’t have to contend with Her Indoors packing suitcases.
We all know that airlines have weight limits for your baggage. When The Empress has done packing we need a low-loader to shift the casers to the airport and a 747 cargo plane to carry them. Inevitably, then, we need to pack and repack and double repack until we get somewhere near the 20-kilo limit.
And it annoys the hell out of me. I went to Filey for a holiday with an Asda carrier bag which held a pair of clean socks, a pair of clean Y-fronts, and the latest James Bond. What more did I need, aside from open pubs?
And I’m the same when I go abroad. We have a tiny case, one which would pass muster as cabin baggage. It’s big enough for me. When it comes to the missus, a pantechnicon (that’s a posh word for a furniture van) isn’t big enough.
Why does she need a dozen dresses? We’re only going for seven days, and the kind of bars willing to serve me don’t care how you’re dressed as long as you are actually dressed. And some of them don’t stop to worry about that, provided you can still get to your wallet.
What is the point of carrying three swimming costumes and a bikini only to cover everything up with a knee-length wrap because she’s worried everyone will think she’s too old to be showing all that flesh.
Why does anyone need three pairs of sunglasses? You can only wear one at a time. She carries more T-shirts than Primark on sale week, and I daren’t go into the number of pairs of knickers she takes with her. (I daren’t go into them metaphorically or physically. I have a bad enough reputation as it is.)
Still and all, we’ve managed to get the job done and it only remains for me to get the dog to the boarding kennels, ensure all the electrical gubbins are fully charged, then clear off to the Mediterranean sun for a week.
Naturally, it doesn’t end there. Just as I’m coming to terms with the outrageous cost of this jaunt, Her Indoors comes up with fresh demands, as a result of which we’re going to Whitby for a few days after Christmas.

In terms of understatement, describing Whitby in December as cold is like describing the Canary Islands in August as a bit warm. But will that stop Her Indoors packing the swimming cozzies, the bikini and the sunshades? Will it hell as like. And this time, there’ll be countless thermal undies and a full range of overcoats. And even though we’re only going for a few days, the bus driver will get a hernia lifting the case into the luggage compartment.

There won’t be a Monday blog next week. I shall be sitting on a beach thinking about how we’re gonna get the cases under weight for the return journey. So while I’m gone, be good. If you can’t be good, be careful. If you can’t be careful, try undersealing the car instead.