I woke up aware of the soft scent of blossom. I could smell
it before I opened my eyes. We arrived back from holiday late at night
and my waking sensation, in that drowsy interlude before full consciousness,
was suspended and drifting somewhere between here and there. I opened
the curtains to a mist of wisteria; smokey, dove-grey and soft lavender
clusters cascaded from the vividly contrasting citrus-sharp, lime green
foliage entwined around the trellis, dispersing a diffused, voluptuous
purple haze against the sapphire sky.
We had taken the opportunity for a spur-of-the-moment break to Spain.
We flew on the twice a week flight from Newquay to Alicante, courtesy
of Ryanair. The upside of this, and anyone not living in Cornwall will
not appreciate this fact, that to travel by plane, we have a journey
before the journey just to reach an airport. The downside is, well, Ryanair!
OK, the flight arrived on time and the cabin attendant doubling as a
Cristiano Ronaldo look-alike, was something to look at as the airline
doesn't provide in-flight magazines, but the rules and restrictions on
baggage are simply ludicrous, considering each bag, weighing 15Kg. is
charged at £15 each way.
We arrived back at Alicante, checked in and the first bag weighed 10.2
Kg, it trundled down the conveyor belt to wherever baggage goes; the
second weighed 15.5Kg! Surprise, surprise! The senorita with the tart-red
talons, who must have been Franco's grand-daughter, dictated, " 'ees
too 'eavy, you take out, you go to back of queue". I tried reason,
as my very limited Spanish couldn't articulate 'silly cow', succinctly.
I explained, "Together they only weigh 25.7Kg and we've paid for
30Kg and we can't get the first one back". "No, no", shrilled
Senorita Franco, "You go to the back of the queue, itsa the rules".
Rules! Rules my aunt! John and I simultaneously said, "No, we are
NOT going to the back of anywhere, you can wait". We undid the case
in front of the line of around two hundred, sunburnt, baggy-shorted,
hot holidaymakers, pulled out an armfull of clothes and put on several
t-shirts each, stuffed a pair of pants in my pocket and a wet swimsuit
in my handbag: re-weighed and 'mirad' - 15Kg exactly!
We went through custom control still simmering to be greeted by a hoard
of beer- swilling football fans singing , 'I'm forever blowing bubbles'!
Now, how's this for a conspiracy theory? They were Bayern Munich fans
on their way to the Bernabeau to be given a kicking by Jose's boys in
the Champions League final.... German fans singing the West Ham's anthem...
was this a tribute to Bobby Moore or was there a cunning plan in that
passengers would assume the noise could be blamed on English fans?
I apologise if this sounds like a xenophobic rant; it's not, as we had
a lovely holiday. While we were away, summer has happened in Cornwall.
Out on the moor, I was amazed at the palpable effect a week's sunshine
has had on nature. The trees are in full leaf, yellow irises and marsh
marigolds border the pond harbouring a family of young moorhen, gorse
and hawthorn flowers perfumed the warmed air; most perceivable is the
return of bird song, blackbirds and chaffinch singing so sweetly, swallows
twittered, a melancholic cuckoo called and a green woodpecker hammered
in the trees. This may read like a twitcher's tick list, but I spotted
tufted ducks, a heron, a kestrel and a jay.
As ever, 'summer's lease hath to short a date' and maybe the promises
of May will be fulfilled this June...
I think we'll stay home for a while!
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