The end of the holiday

Typical view of Spain

Mon 3 – Wed 5 Oct

The final days of my holiday with my former work colleague (Philip) in Torrox have deliberately been very quiet. The sun has been out and I could have been rushing to the beach but my skin needed a break after the weekend. Instead I spent lots of time chilling. And my main activities were reading and doing stuff on the pooter particularly to catch up with personal and work emails and reading.

So nice not to set the alarm for the morning

Mon, Tues and Wed I was up around 9am (8am in the UK). Mon into town to find everything shut up as it was a local holiday. Apparently you get a day off to recover from the five day long feria. Ended up spending the morning at Philip’s house before slipping out to treat myself from the (open) cake shop which I ate sitting on the quiet street.

The disrespect of not learning a language

Off Mon afternoon to Philip’s free local authority Spanish class in Torrox Costa. I agreed to meet him at a coffee shop on the seafront about an hour later once his class had finished. I phoned mum then off to find a coffee shop. But what do I find? Only Philip and three English people from his class. Turns out the class was cancelled due to the holiday but no-one had informed them. We had a drink and tapas. Nice enough people though I am amazed that they have lived here full-time for five and eleven years but were still taking lessons to learn basic Spanish. It strikes me as disrespectful to live in someone else’s country and refuse to learn their language. Same does apply to some communities in the UK.

The sisters’ restaurant and hotel

Evening we ate in town at the only open restaurant which is run by some English sisters. We had to book as it was very busy and was turning away loads of people. Meal itself was OK though Philip’s ‘super veggie salad’ was very pedestrian. Just about warm enough to sit outside as the night time temperatures are starting to drop. Turns out the sisters also own a hotel in the town that has had a makeover by Alex Polizzi.

Every day is like Monday

Tues was quite like Mon. Up 9ish. Dossed around the plaza drinking cafe con leche and reading. Then back to the house to do stuff on the pooter. Me and Philip went for lunch in the plaza (bocadillos – rolls) before he went off to his private Spanish lesson. Afternoon we popped to Torrox Costa for Philip to go to his bank and get some shopping from the ubiquitous Aldi. And we had a look around the big Chinese bazaar, it was massive and piled high with just about every good you can imagine bar perishable food. In the evening out to our favourite restaurant in the plaza. Philip eating salad and tortilla (omlette) so no carbs and I had Russian Salad and solomillo (pork).

Holiday is over and bad news from mum

Wed morning up and out for coffee before coming back to do stuff on the pooter and pack my bags. Philip drove me to Malaga airport. He finds driving in Spain hard but he’s a good driver. Check-in was fine if a little drawn out. They insisted on giving me a boarding pass even though I had downloaded it to my phone. Packed plane and full of wealthy older people. Perfectly decent flight mainly spent reading. Train went well back to Victoria from Gatwick. I was back at Dave’s by 5.30 and he was there waiting for me. We ate out at our fun little Portuguese Cafe Tezo where I deliberately avoided having chips with my chicken escalope. Some sad news when I phone mum. Her friend Mari had died as had her aunt (my great aunt) Maud who was 96.

The aftermath of Brexit

Theresa May Conservative Party Conference has been happening and the messages coming out of it are awful. It does feel like we have an unelected UKIP govt. Ghastly people like David Davis and Liam Fox in charge. Looks like we are heading out of the single market. Pointed attacks on people who have migrated to the UK including those with top skills. Lists of ‘foreigners’ working for companies. What has happened to my country? It’s become narrow-minded and racist. And then May comes out with crap about liberal elites and citizens of the world being citizens of nowhere. Ghastly, just like Thatcher.

Reflections on my holiday

It was an unusual holiday with no Dave, being in a place I had never been to before, and being inland rather than on the coast. There was also lots of unstructured time and limited time on the beach.┬áBut I was able to practice my Spanish and I had the blessing of a good internet connection. Torrox itself is a fun little traditional Spanish town though I wish the people would pick you their dogs’ shit. Unfortunately there is no tradition of scooping it up and throwing it away. And I did get annoyed with the small doorways and low ceilings which meant I kept banging my head.

Holiday take-aways

It’s silly to always try and find something to take-away from a holiday. Sometimes they are just to be enjoyed and used as a recharge. Two big take-aways for me.

Eat better, lose weight

First, I was inspired by Philip’s ability to keep weight off although he eats a lot. This is because he eats the ‘right’ stuff especially cutting down on carbohydrates and consuming lots of vegetables and beans plus sugar-free and dairy-free food. I will try to do the same plus spend some time being hungry. I know I can lose weight by creating this sort of time. Though this will be difficult because my body and brain thinks it needs food when it clearly doesn’t because I am fat. In particular I think I can skip breakfast more often if I’m not hungry despite that age old mantra of it being the most important meal of the day.

Taking advantage of my extra half day

Second, on my return to work I will be down to just 2.5 days p.w. I gain an extra half day and I must make sure I do something useful and challenging with it. I though about this on holiday. And I think I can do more than just one thing. So the things I plan to do are add another language to my French, German and Spanish sessions on DuoLingo. Portuguese could be interesting as I would like to visit Porto and Lisbon. I’m also thinking of going swimming once a week which will be challenging. And I might well do a yoga class perhaps from Jan as I’ve missed the Sept starts. Finally I’ve got to do a free internet course or at least get back to regularly doing Code Academy.

 

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