Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm back

Back from Spanish holiday. Hope to blog about some of the more fascinating aspects of this trip, rather than the "went to beach, went to pool, siesta'd, went out for dinner" ....but first - a picture of some young ruffians by the pool.....

Major achievements of this holiday -
Numero 1.
Got 3/4 of the way through THREE books (plus one Heat, one Cosmo and one Reveal; that doesn't count; it was left behind by someone else on the 'plane)
The books are a major achievement; due to the children sleeping every afternoon for a couple of hours because we emulated the Spanish way of doing things and went out to eat very late.
Books were: Crow Road by Iain Banks (It has been discussed while I was away on another blog! I'm "of the moment" for once!!!)
Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell (hmmmm)
Captivating by John and Stacey Eldridge (double hmmm)

Major achievement number 2:
Managed to get into a medical emergency. Was snorkelling and got spiked by either an urchin or a fish with a prong - cue loads of blood and crying with pain as my foot went purple and throbbed with intense pain. (i.e. Something Was Toxic). The creu roja (lifeguards) looked and said "get thee to a hospital". Have you ever tried not to whimper in pain while your two children look aghast and determine the sea must be nasty and dangerous. Had to be tinnily upbeat about the wonders of the waves whilst wanting to sob like!

There ensued a rapid drive by hubby to hospital with me kind of going: "hurry up, hurry up, its so sore; labour wasn't this bad" in a town we didn't know where people didn't speak English, for which of course, I hold no malice. We chose Spain. We stopped to ask three pedestrians the way to the hospital and managed to make out from gesticulations that it was "along there, up there, then turn there".

Arrived at the hospital to be refused treatment (I presume, as I wasn't greeted with tender loving care) because ...well, I don't know why. A group of white coated individuals with pursed lips talked quickly in Spanish with many head tosses and cusses directed towards the Creu Roja who sent us there (could understand that bit). Maybe cos I didn't have a credit card with me? Drove back to beachside, found a lifeguard who spoke English, got directions to nearest "clinica" who then wouldn't treat me till I paid them, saw a doctor who couldn't speak English and - you'll love this - I'm having to charade what happened i.e. it wasn't a crab or lobster but something with a spine that pierced me and it must be poisonous - had to grab her pen and draw a bottle with a skull and crossbones on it....!!

I had private travel insurance but that was not acceptable and they wouldn't accept E111 card either.

GOD BLESS OUR NHS I really mean that. I gained a real appreciation of the service, care and free availability that we have in the UK.

Here's the best bit: after two hours from biting/spiking/poisoning; the pain disappeared completely and I was left with a tiny puncture wound. I had to grit my teeth and get straight back in the sea to show the kids there was nothing to be afraid of.

Major achievement number 3: We got into an altrecation (first ever on holiday!) with "El Presidente" - a retired English bloke who lived in the small community of houses and who took it upon himself to police the pool and the gated entrance. He told us and another "renter" family that armbands and rubber rings were not allowed as the Rules Said: No Inflatables.
Yet the Spanish families (the majority) seemed to swim with inflatable paraphanalia unhindered. I can't abide inequality and double standards like that so I kept out his way (just as well I wasn't there when he first spoke to Mr HIWWC about it; I'd have lost it probably) but Mr HIWWC did take exception to his unreasonable and intimidating request - and El Presidente replied: "I'll call the police and you can explain your law-breaking use of small plastic swimming aids down the local nick. Oh and translation will cost you 75 Euros an hour". This is seriously what he said. I struggled all fortnight with putting him high up on the plonker scale (can I say that?....just checked with, yes I can: person with Little or No Knowledge (of small children and swimming pools)As you can see I am walking in complete forgiveness in this area ::::grimace:::: .....I was daily reminding myself of what I try to teach and practise: forgiveness is releasing the other person into God's hands for him to deal with. Doesn't mean it's alright; doesn't mean you have to be best friends; just means you relinquish your desire for revenge.....

Major Achievement Number 4:
had more searches and belongings scrutinised than ever before. Hand luggage unpacked, searched and tested four times out of four (we would carry drinks for the children and electronic games for two flights lasting all day ::::::::sigh::::::::) Was also patted down twice. Can't help but concur with news report today that the tight regulations are not the best use of resources as thousands of innocent people are inconvenienced but I do not grudge any checks that are fairly applied across all ethnic groups.

Had a great time though.

And have you spent the last two weeks?


  1. I would need a holiday after all that...what did you think of Velvet Elvis...I don't know what hmmmmmmm means... is that Spanish!!! that that 'I am not sure' - did you hear him speak - cause you were getting your hair done to go if I remember properly...thanks for the reference to HEAT - I now have a line in a sermon to be 'performed' on Sunday that says that the Samaritan woman had a reputation more colourful than an edition of HEAT magazine!!! I look forward to all your answers....hmmmmmmm

  2. Velevet Elvis...
    * loved the cover
    * liked the inside design/subheadings etc
    (I'm the kind of person who buys wine according to how pretty the label is on the outside)
    * found it hard to read the very conversational style of writing. I lost the drift quite a lot when I was interrupted (easily done)whereas The Crow Road I couldn't put down.
    HOWEVER I haven't finished Velvet Elvis and I love the honesty in it and I love gleaning all the nuggets about life as a Jew in Jesus time.

    Rob Bell's talk was GREAT. I have a few notes which I will put in my blog some time as I felt a lot of what he said SO encouraged us in doing Still Small Voices. I liked him a lot.

    I can keep you some of my old copies of Heat to your place of work if you want, for your research and preparation for your talks to 10-16 year olds this week ::::::guffaw:::::::

  3. The Heat reference got a few sniggers when I said it in the sermon...


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