Back home to Gran Canaria

Mon 31 Dec 2018 – Sun 6 Jan 2019

Dave said it and it’s true, Gran Canaria for us feels like going home. We love this island. And we have gotten into a familiar routine when we visit. Is that wrong? Well it is always nice to try new things and new places. But when there is somewhere you just feel at home and slot into place for a holiday like Gran Canaria, why not just enjoy that? The joy of familiarity and lack of ambition. 🙂

Our daily routine

It’s winter here so sunny weather is not guaranteed neither is it scorchio! The sun is low in the sky and the best you can hope for is early/mid 20s. Generally light cloud and sun, sufficient to get a bit of suntanning done. Though, assuming there is no heavy cloud or even rain, then there is only a small window to lie on the lounger. Roughly from 10am through to about 4pm.

There’s the inevitable getting up early to claim the best sun loungers around the pool. Set your alarm for about 8am latest if you want one of the best ones. Then breakfast. We find that sets us up for the rest of the day until dinner in the evening. There is a real danger of over eating here combined with empty alcohol calories. In between, it’s on the lounger for me with a good book while Dave prefers to go for walks.

And I have found 2 good Italian cafes where I am happy to chill, drink very nice coffee, and read my books. This can be a pleasant break from the sun. Similarly we have identified bars we like for drinking and people watching particularly Ritz in the afternoon and the Eiffel Bar during the evening, both in the Yumbo Centre. And I am discovering clubs to go to later at night.

Beware of the alcohol

I do need to be careful here in my second home Gran Canaria as my liking of alcohol could get a bit out of hand. Wine is cheap, easy and decent (bit like me 🙂 ! ) Little glasses during the day and then more with dinner followed by the spirits when we are out in the Yumbo and clubbing after that – it can all add up. It’s important not to wake up too dehydrated and there are people who look totally pickled.

We love the Yumbo centre

Yes it’s a nasty 60s/70s built open-air shopping centre. But all life is there. During the day it’s mainly shops. Then at night it’s full of restaurants, bars, and clubs. The sort of place you can’t avoid having fun. The easiest thing is just to sit with a glass of wine and watch all manner of people go past.

Quieter than normal especially with Brits – the Brexit effect?

One thing slightly different to our normal sojourn here, it feels a bit quieter. Our hotel definitely feels slightly less frenetic and the same can be said generally around the resort where we stay – Maspalomas / Playa del Ingles. Less Brits for sure whereas there is still a good sprinkling of Germans, Scandinavians and Italians.

Is the fear of Brexit and the devalued pound putting them off? Also I wonder if places like Tunisia and Egypt now feel safer to go back to? Could also simply be the time of year. Straight after New Year is probably too early for holiday time for most people. A few weeks back at work before we are begging for some time away.

Health and Efficiency

Back to the gym

I have been taking advantage of the hotel gym. It’s pretty small and unloved. Totally different to the gym I used to go to at home in London. But that has been closed for redevelopment for 4 months. 🙁 So it has been nice to explore some of the machines and start to remember some of the exercises I did. My brain and muscle memory are sort of coming back. 🙂

Dumbells
Definitely not the hotel gym

And the nice thing is that it is usually me on my own – who else really wants to exercise on holiday? My appetite for the gym is still there and I really do hope my London gym reopens soon otherwise I am going to have to find another one to go to. 🙁

2019

The other big thing about last week beyond ‘going home’ to Gran Canaria was that it was the New Year. I prefer Christmas to New Year simply because the former feels more chilled and natural whereas New Year seems a wee bit false to me. New starts can happen at any time and should do.

New Year’s Eve

In itself was quite relaxed. Pottering around grey London drinking coffee, reading, people watching, and play on the pooter. Pretty much my idea of heaven (apart from the weather). The evening came and I tried my best to stay awake until midnight but crashed out in bed around 11. Copious amounts of alcohol probably didn’t help. Watched lots of Jane McDonald on her cruises – love those Channel 5 programmes.

New Year’s Day

Perfectly fine, more of the same as NYE. Highlight was the grand final of World’s Strongest Man (swoon) and Dr Who. The latter was OK though felt more like a kid’s programme with a few holes in the story. I’m really not sure with all the companions that we are getting to see the character of the new Doctor beyond her being a bit gormless. Plus all my wonderful soaps particularly Emmerdale and Coronation St. 🙂

World's Strongest Man

My one work day 🙂

Only at work for one, single day last Wed. The day became all about tidying up and sorting out before I went away. Such as getting minutes typed, one of my least favourite things – minutes are always so bloody pointless. Good to see my wonderful colleagues and everybody seemed to have been blessed with a good holiday period.

Left around 4.30 and travelled with Dave to Gatwick to stay in an airport hotel so we were ready for our 7.25am flight the next day. A modern pod type room, alright for one night but you would not want a holiday there. 🙁

Books and Reading

‘Vernon Subutex’ by Virginie Despentes

This is a French book translated into English that has been much lauded – shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2018. I picked it up at Victoria library, definitely one of my favourite places to visit these days.

It’s a story of a middle-age man having his mid-life crisis but this is more serious in that he ends up on the streets. It is a very ‘punk’ mid-life crisis book with inter-connected characters reflecting on how their lives didn’t go the way they expected. And with clear burdens to be carried such as death, addiction, failure, and resentment. It’s as subtle as a brick sometimes but I found myself enjoying it and thinking that the message is to enjoy life and its chaos while you can.

My week ahead:

It’s all about continuing to enjoy my home time here in Gran Canaria. The wonderful daily routine will hopefully continue: breakfast, sun lounger, coffee, books, gym, evening meal, alcohol, bars and clubs. I think it’s all I want out of life. The UK is a crazy place at the moment with Brexit and I am really not sure how much I want to be there these days. 🙁

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