After being back for a grand total of two weeks and having barely recovered from my Indian adventure, I found myself off to catch some sun in Majorca with my dad and sisters. This spontaneous trip was brought about by my dad’s ability to find any excuse to go on holiday (he’s now been on three in the space of 6 months!). However, I wasn’t complaining as my pasty body had been starved of a decent dose of UV since our last family holiday abroad just before the start of my degree (now almost 4 years ago!) and I think my body had forgotten how to tan (this was proven when in the first few days I went the colour of a lobster … not exactly the look I was going for!). Although India was a fantastic, unforgettable experience and I can’t wait until my travels take me there again, it was an assault on the senses and was anything but relaxing and I couldn’t wait (as awful and stereotypically Western as this sounds) to get my bikini on!
The hotel was a knock out; a fantastically clean, light, airy room greeted us with a breath-taking view from the balcony of the bay below. The hotel staff were incredibly friendly, there was lots of activities to keep us entertained and all the guests were light-hearted and willing to join in and have fun. Though by the end of the first day I did wonder if we’d unwittingly booked onto a fitness retreat as my entire body ached after the many activities we’d volunteered for / got roped into. In a single day I did more exercise than I did in a week at home with yoga, aqua gym, shooting, swimming, energetic poolside games and lots of very vigorous dancing. We took to hiding the next few days as the entertainment staff quickly learnt our names and would make a bee-line for us when recruiting for activities. I was worried about gaining weight on this holiday…. well there was no worry about that, in fact my beach body is on point if I do say so myself! We did all get the opportunity to try our hand at shooting, and I discovered, quite bizarrely that I am a lefty when it comes to holding a rifle?! Now I am not an ambidextrous person, I can’t even use scissors with my left hand but I could not for love nor money hit the target shooting right handed, on the left however my score quickly turned from 4 to 34 and once I got the hang of it there was no stopping me!
The beach was beautiful; a white sandy cove with bright turquoise waves curling gently up against the rock pools framing the bay. The sand was decorated with brightly coloured towels and parasols and littered with the bodies of happy sunbathers ranging from pasty white and gorgeous mochaccino brown to alarming fire engine red. At the grand old age of twenty-two the rock pools still fascinated me as they did when I was a child and the temptation to buy a bucket and a net to see what I could find was almost too great! Me and my sisters decided to go on a pedalo which was a bit of a disaster as the dammed contraption wasn’t cooperating which resulted in us getting ourselves in a bit of a tangle with a few wind surfers and holding up the banana boat when we wandered into the “boat section” of the sea. Neither me or sophie could get the pedalo to go where we wanted it to and whenever Charlotte got involved the situation always got markedly worse! We also nearly ran over several innocent bystanders who incorrectly assumed we had control over our vessel, so basically the whole hour was spent apologising and bickering with each other over why the boat wasn’t going the right way.
On the first night there was a flamenco show, I can’t help but be mesmerised by the beautiful Spanish women who are able to be so captivating and sexy with how they move but equally incredibly demure, the kind of women I always hoped I would be but unfortunately I lack the poise and grace for that! What was particularly amusing about the performance was the man, who was a fabulous dancer and clearly giving it his all got incredibly sweaty during the performance. This resulted in him showering a spray of sweat at the children sat in the front row in the style of Shamu in the splash zone at SeaWorld. The children did not seem at all phased by this but a few of the adults near the front shuffled back a few paces to safety.
The children’s disco while very sweet and funny at times did get a little monotonous, especially due to the same 5 songs being played every night to the point where I could have done the dances in my sleep. So we ventured out onto the strip of bars and restaurants lining the beach. We found one bar which served giant cocktails and had live entertainment, Karaoke and dancing each night. We were drawn in by the sweet and unmistakable sound of Freddie Mercury and on this particular night sophie downed cocktails at an alarming rate and was absolutely ‘fuckyduckied’ when we got back to the apartment to the point where she asked me how to spell ‘here’s’ whilst chortling to herself on the bathroom floor. The next day the merriness had well and truly left her when she spent the majority of the morning vomiting or trying not to vomit while being sat around the pool, much to my amusement. She then vowed she wasn’t drinking for the rest of the holiday … which lasted all of a day! One of the nights Sophie (2 cocktails, a jager bomb and a vodka redbull down) decided to try her hand at karaoke. She sang ‘hit me with your best shot’ with incredible vigour and I have to say although a little uncoordinated, she definitely had the best stage presence of the night strutting, around like a popstar on stage in her high heels and wiggling her hips. The next day sober rather sick Sophie was feeling slightly less ‘vigorous’ and spent the morning nursing a hangover while trying to keep her breakfast down.
Quite surprisingly, the only real subject of contention between me and my dad (we have a fairly up and down relationship due to him not really understanding or attempting to understand the female brain and peculiarities) was sand…… I love sand, I love the feel of it between my toes and the warmth and softness of it on my skin when I’m lying on the beach…. However in my opinion the beach is where it should stay and I can’t stand the gritty feeling on chairs, in beds, on the floor, on towels, in my clothes …. you get the point. So I meticulously try and get rid of as much of it as possible shaking clothes, towels, rinsing feet, showering to get as sand free as possible. My dad is one of those heathens (in my opinion) who gets covered in sand from head to toe then seems to make it his mission to sit on everyone’s beds, use everyone’s towels and basically trail it everywhere. So for this reason we have a major personality clash and as I go around snatching things from under his sandy arse and chuntering savagely under my breath he’s going around like the sand pixie coating everything.
On this holiday I managed to tick off one of the things on my bucket list; to go parasailing. I managed to drag my sisters with me (largely because having three people up there at once dramatically reduced the cost!). I was pleasantly surprised that Charlotte, family scaredy cat and wimp who in comparison to the rest of us adrenaline junkies hates rides and doing things that make your heart beat faster, gave it a go without too much persuasion and actually really enjoyed it! It was quite a calming experience floating around above everyone on the beach, taking in the beautiful scenery, it was a surprisingly smooth ascent and descent, which probably helped Charlotte swallow her fear of being suspended in the air. However even more to my surprise, she then volunteered to go on the banana boat which had us all hanging on for dear life, getting our faces washed with sprays of cold sea water while we bounced along at quite a pace at the back of a speed boat whose mission was to throw us off like an ocean bucking bronco. Charlotte came off this giggling too, maybe she isn’t such a scaredy cat after all!
On one of our last nights there was an acrobatic show on at the hotel and as one of their final acts they asked for volunteers. Sophie pulled the short straw and was sat at the end of the table of “lovely ladies” and was dragged up by one of the performers. The task was for her to run full pelt towards this man who was going to catch her and flip her around impressively. This was the theory anyway, the reality was quite different as she ran towards him, booted him in the balls at which point he nearly dropped her and she let out a terrified squeal (we have it all on video it was hilarious). Once the man composed himself after his beating, she tried again and was this time more successful but I have to say it was not the most graceful of displays with Sophie’s tight long skirt hitched up quite revealingly while she clung to him for dear life as he spun her around.
The French family seemed to be incredibly up for participating on this holiday; aside from Sophie’s acrobatics, our nightly dancing on stage and the numerous activities we got involved in daily, my dad volunteered to represent Britain in the ‘Mr Paleo’ pageant. This involved him wearing a daft hat on stage, stripping down to his boxers (beer belly proudly on display) to ‘hot stuff’, drinking beer through a straw, singing, collecting various clothing items from members of the audience and hilariously humping a poor woman from the animation team in numerous positions until a balloon popped between them. For a forty something year old man up against a number of twenty year olds, the old boy came second and narrowly missed the title and by the end of it we were all crying with laughter (and a bit of embarrassment that our father was on stage without trousers).
I have to say though, this was not the holiday for lying in, bright and early at 8AM we had to take part in the obligatory sunbed sprint to throw towels down and claim a spot at the side of the pool. If you miss the 8AM start you had no hope of getting a sunbed, there was a lot of childish pushing and shoving and stealing parasols and swapping broken sunbeds, it was very much like being back in the playground at school. I was always, of course nominated to be dragged out of bed early throw some clothes on and go on a mission with an armful of towels while everyone else stayed happily tucked up in bed!
During our stay there was a fabulous firework display, we gathered together around the bay and looked out across the sea to see a frenzy of huge coloured rockets exploding patterns into the sky with the noise echoing around the beach like huge claps of thunder. It was a fantastic display and somehow being sat on the beach looking up at the sky and sea being set alight with colour made it even more magical than your average bonfire or new year display back home.
On one of the last days we had to go on the obligatory shopping mission to bring back presents for family. Our mum wanted a loose, colourful, floaty dress made out of nice material that would be comfy for her to work in (not specific at all mum, thanks!) so this is what we set off to find. It took a long time sifting through shops filled with rave tops and various phallic objects to find something we thought she’d like (we did consider getting her some peppers that grow in the shape of penises for the garden) and quickly preceded to get her a little ornament for her bedroom. My dad’s shopping was completed in all of five minutes, in typical man fashion he went into one shop picked up matching dresses for his girlfriend and her daughter then whipped around to the toy section to get something for her son. He promptly departed from the shopping mission at this point.
Overall it was a relaxing holiday which did exactly what it said on the tin, allow me to lounge around at the pool or on the beach, have a swim, get a bit of a suntan (I am still by no means beautifully mocha brown but the tan line is definitely there!) and read my book. I haven’t had time or felt like reading for a long time so it was nice to occupy my time with something which was such a big part of my life during my years before the stress and business of uni and A levels. I was however glad to get home to my mum who I feel I have neglected this summer what with this spontaneous holiday, EMS obligations and me gadding off to India, my mum is in need of some long awaited love from her eldest child! I have also missed Fred and a proper cup of tea but then that’s a given really…