Wednesday 26 April 2017

From 26 degrees to 8

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As I left the runway at Tenerife airport and hobbled up the stairs to the plane it was a very warm 26 degrees, four hours later when I went slowly down the steps at Norwich airport it was a very chilly 8 degrees. I was soon ruffling in my hand luggage for my light jacket to put on as we queued for the door to the terminal building.  

It's always been traditional since the wife and I first met that we leave behind our phones when we travel abroad, and as electronic devices are very quickly taking over our lives that now means other things like note pads etc. We go off-grid as they say.  So as we locked our suitcases ready to take to reception early on the morning of our return flight we had no idea what weather to expect when we returned to the U.K. No one normally wants their holiday to end so I returned home in a pair of deck shoes, shorts, and T-Shirt; not the sort of clothing that keeps you warm on dull grey windy cold day.

The wife was more pragmatic on her return so dressed appropriately to cover most weather options, and as I shivered outside the entrance to passport control the wife gave me a look that only women seem to be able to give. I desperately tried to act as if the cold had no effect on me, but it was not going to fool the wife. She kept giving me that look while staying completely silent, knowing full well that no words were needed. If only I had listened to her back in the hotel room then I would not now be shivering. I knew she was right and she knew it too.

There’s only one thing worse than your partner being right and yourself wrong, and that is when they are proved to be right as well, and this was one such occasion. The problem though was that this was not the first time she was right during our family 2017 holiday to the Canary islands during the Easter half-term. In fact on the third night into our eleven days on Tenerife, I had an accident that nearly ruined the whole event. A year and a half of saving and planning nearly ended in disaster, and I nearly ended in the hospital!

It was a simple thing. The family went out for a walk after our evening meal and we stopped off at the pharmacy to purchase some more aftersun cream. There were two sets of steps to walk down. The wife and children went one way where the path was better lit by the street lights and I decided to take the other path. The wife did say it would be better to take the path she suggested, but did I listen? No, I did not listen and I had to pay for it. As I stepped off the last step and went forward my right foot slipped off a black rubber pipe that had been placed across the path and I went crashing to the ground, badly twisting my ankle. I heard the crack first before I felt the pain and as I cried out in agony and rolled about the floor, I thought I had broken my foot. 

Some stranger came to my rescue, quickly followed by my concerned family who heard my cries of pain. I was helped to get up and sat on a low wall so I could check the damage. I decided that although it was not looking good I did not want to go to the hospital yet as I knew I would end up with my foot, ankle, and lower leg in plaster. I thought I would give it twenty-four hours to see how bad things got. The wife shot back into the pharmacy to get some Ibuprofen gel, and the strongest paracetamol she could purchase. I limped back as she and the children held me up, and once back in our room a towel full of ice was placed over my already swelling ankle.

I knocked back some pain relief with a large shot of locally produced Canarian Honey Rum with ice dripping over my ankle as I lay on my bed. The overhead fan was whirling away keeping the room cool and I wondered what I would wake up too in the morning. Just before the wife turned off the bedside lamp, she gave me that silent look. Yes, that look that said, "I told you so, I was right again!"

As the light went out I was left with my throbbing ankle and my regrets.



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