It’s not often I’m glad to be back after a holiday, but I am this time. Lanzarote was warm and sunny during the day, but an inhospitable north-ish wind, made it bloody cold of an evening. There was entertainment of sorts in a few of the bars, and the holiday apartment was fine.
Prior to setting off, we’d had two days of stress, stress, stress, and it wasn’t helped by airport procedures. I managed to wind down a bit during the flight, but it all blew up again when we got to the holiday complex and I couldn’t hear the directions and instructions the reception clerk gave for reaching our apartment, and Her Indoors didn’t even listen. We wandered up the street to the annexe where we were staying and found the gates locked. Neither of us knew the code for the lock, so we couldn’t get in. I couldn’t find the receptionist again, and I couldn’t find any other way in. Her Indoors was moaning and whining, I’d already hauled two suitcases and backpack a hundred and fifty yards up a short but steep hill, my temper snapped, and I lost the plot completely in the middle of street.
Fortunately one of the attendants inside the place heard the noise, and let us in. She also gave us the code for the gate, and when I had calmed down, I gave the reception a quieter piece of my mind.
After such a bad start, the only way was up. Right? Wrong.
Two months ago, my calves got badly burned and bitten in Benidorm. My own fault. I should have use sunblock and insect repellent. I never thought about it this time, and again, I didn’t use sun lotion or insect repellent, and the damage hadn’t had time to properly heal.
By Wednesday, my calves were badly burned again and I’d been bitten so often, the local mozzies had me on their list as a gourmet eatery.
The pharmacies were shut by the time we got on the sea front, but some rip-off bastard sold me a tub of aloe vera ointment, which mentioned mosqueta on the label, which he said would repel mosquitoes and other insects. In fact, it does nothing of the kind, and he was going to get a full, thermonuclear blast the following morning. Luckily for him, the missus can use this kind of moisturiser, so he got off with nothing worse than an abrupt ‘piss off’ when he collared me on the seafront the next day.
Eventually, the local pharmacy sold me some antihistamine ointment which helped, but even using that, supplemented with lashings of after-sun lotion to cool my skin, and generous helpings of Germolene to heal the bites, the pain and itching drove me mad, and made it impossible for me to sleep.
By Thursday, while Her Indoors was enjoying the break, I was ready for home and we still had three days to go.
And now we are home. The bites are healing, the skin has cooled, but it looks irreparably damaged, and I’m glad of the cold, miserable, British weather, even if it is only because it keeps the irritation under control.
One last thing. The lack of sleep was good for my creativity. I must have written half a novel in those seven sleepless nights, and now I’m gonna start shifting the files over.
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