You’ve heard of the band that kept playing while the Titanic went down, an island girl’s holiday was my version after an iceberg took the arse out of my marriage.
I hadn’t expected to be single again at 50 but recent events had taught me a lot of things can happen you don’t expect. Least of all was I prepared for the particular kind of hell it is to live in quarantine with your ex. The same one who tore my still beating heart from my chest, stomped on it repeatedly all the while still professing to love me – just not in the “same way”. What the actual fu@k right!
The whole year had been a tsunami of devastating revelations that crashed into me one after the other, it had me crawling into the new year on all fours.
My dear friend, Sadie had been experiencing similar devastation so for the new year we booked ourselves a luxury resort, complete with a castle, in Tenerife – the largest Spanish canary island off the coast of West Africa.
Everything but a plague of locusts
We stepped off the plane and couldn’t see a thing, the landscape was desert-like and the sky completely obscured – I guess we should have known then this wasn’t going to be the fabulous new year we were banking on. The year that would take us out of relationship psychological horror film territory and into a fabulous and single-again musical.
Nevertheless, undeterred, we were on our holidays and for one week I didn’t need to deal with the man-child at home fixing to leave me and Sadie didn’t need to fear her ex turning up on the doorstep with a fresh batch of narcissistic manure. Happy Days!
Grinning from ear-to-ear we rushed into the arrival hall to meet our driver – let’s get this holiday started! Scanning the signs none appeared to have “Josephine” or any other misspelling of it. Excellent! We have time for a quick drink and duty-free cigarette outside.
Returning, still no driver, we called him and were surprised to hear he was surprised we were there. Rushing in and apologising he explained many planes hadn’t made it to Tenerife that day. Sadie and I shrugged at each other, none the wiser and undeterred – we were on our holidays and we planned to milk it for every ounce of fun we could! A few little issues were not going to get in-between us and a good time. Which mainly meant in-between us and the cocktail bar.
On arrival the glittering white marble expanse of the foyer and the sleek-looking lounge bar made our grins broaden. Sidling up to reception we lucked out with getting the only grumpy and sarcastic queen on staff – David.
We liked him immediately, his sarcasm, even when aimed at us “dumb tourists” was still highly amusing. He warmed a little when we laughed at ourselves, which set us up for a firm “friendship” with David. Well, it was more we amused ourselves annoying David daily with dumb tourist questions and delighted at just how bitchy he could get, about us, about other guests, about the rest of the staff – his distain was endless. We checked in with David, choosing the prefix “Your Excellency” instead of the boring Miss, Ms or Mrs. I highly recommend it, being greeted by the breakfast maître d with “Good Morning Your Excellencies” got our days off to a really great start.
We got to our suite, hurried into cocktail dresses and ordered four margaritas back at the lounge bar. All hands suitably holding a margarita we headed onto the huge balcony to flop into one of the comfy sofas and enjoy the views – except there wasn’t any, view that is – there were plenty of sofas, all otherwise empty.
“Happy holidays”! we cheers’d. We could just make out the top of the Disney style castle that took centre stage in the middle of the pool area below. The sky, even now at night was still incredibly hazy, our selfies were coming out great though, the haze might have been view-destroying, but it did offer very flattering lighting.
On our second margarita, Antonio the waiter burst through the doors and rushed towards us with a furrowed brow looking incredibly concerned. “Fantastic service here,” Sadie said, “he doesn’t need to panic quite this much though, we’ve still got half a glass left”. Reaching us Antonio made wild flapping motions with his arms, “please, Your Excellencies, the sandstorm is very bad for your health, please come back inside – nobody in Tenerife is outside tonight!”
Sandstorm?! No wonder other planes weren’t able to land!
Later in the week we heard a nearby resort was in total lockdown due to an Italian doctor checking in with a highly contagious virus.
And let the music play on…