After our brilliant trains, planes and automobiles holiday touring USA last year, the original plan (in as much as anything gets planned in this house) was to return to Portugal this summer with our rather extended family. However, my beloved is too busy with work commitments to factor in any kind of holiday at all, so, holiday-wise things were not looking too promising a few weeks ago.
Then number 4 child decided to go on her coming-of-age holiday with two of her girlfriends to Majorca. Swallowing hard and trying to put all my motherly anxieties to one side, we agreed and currently she is larging it in Alcudia but in receipt of a whole list of instructions from moi: no piercings, no tattoos, no sex, no returning to your drink, no balconies, no jetskis and so on. Or, as one friend put it, I have just provided her with the complete bucket list!
That left number 3 with no holiday on the cards until fabulous friends, the singing dancing doctors and Skip and Mrs Broccoli asked us to join them in Majorca. These two families holiday together in almost adjacent villas in the hills above Puerto Pollensa and their three sons are amongst number 3's best mates and, despite the lack of comedic presence of my beloved and the gorgeousness of number 4, they still wanted us to come. And well, it would have been rude not to. Or that's my excuse!
So we have just returned from five fantastic days of lying by the pool, eating and drinking (the latter almost to excess but it wouldn't be a holiday otherwise), swimming, cycling and, unfortunately, singing. The cycling was delightfully downhill from the villas which stand a few hundred feet above the resort and made freewheeling down pleasurable but potholey! Of course, the return trip was always a hard slog uphill with extensive use of the lower gears and was, in my case, pitifully slow.
The big night out (and there is always a big night out, isn't there?) was spent in Puerto Pollensa starting with cocktails at the Lemon Bar. I know it's girly but I like a pina colada and I generally manage not to sing the utterly terrible lyrics of what must be one of the cheesiest songs ever written. Then on to Stay, a really lovely quayside restaurant where fourteen of us enjoyed the all-inclusive menu, working our way through starters, amuse-bouches (no idea how you make that plural but that's my best attempt), main courses, puddings, wine and liqueurs. Now it's an interesting thing but I used to think that it was cointreau that gave me a terrible hangover but actually, older and wiser now, I know if I have had so much to drink that I order a cointreau, the damage is already done!
Then off for beers (sensible head on at this point) before being dragged into the karaoke bar. How did this happen? I can't sing but somehow I appear to be reprising a rendition of 9-5 which I swore I would never sing again (fortunately not alone on either occasion). And then somebody (you know who you are but I would hate to blight a promising career in accountancy by naming names...!) insisted we had jagerbombs. Where is my self-control at this point? Anyway, then Skip decided that we would sing Friday I'm in Love by The Cure which I only ever think I know the words to when I am properly sloshed.
Back at the villa, having refused to race a fellow resident up the hill (with high heels, handbag etc - not a good plan) I went to bed thinking a very bad hangover was heading my way. But I am older (a lot) and wiser (a bit) so in the middle of the night I went down to the kitchen and consumed the entire non-alcoholic liquid contents of the fridge door and consequently felt unreasonably and undeservedly well the next day.
Then there were cycle visits to old Alcudia (lovely, narrow streets with pretty bars) and Pollensa - ditto but with a big hill and a church on the top to which, yes, we climbed. And a boat trip to Formentor to the beach which was lovely. And then sadly it was time to return to Yorkshire.
But the other thing about our holidays, apart from the big night out, is that there is always a slightly competitive element. So not managing the famous beach pyramid of Portugal trips, we did attempt to get twelve in a dinghy and here is the picture to prove it.
Big thank you to Skip and Mrs Broccoli for feeding and nurturing number 3 who says that I am no longer his mother (Mrs Broccoli is apparently) and merely a random woman and especially to the singing dancing doctors, and their boys who gamely shared a bathroom with me and never left the towels on the floor once! Thank you so, so much.
The boys - who managed to stay out way later than their parents!
Finally: My beloved is currently driving the support vehicle for Run2London, the 250+ mile run from Leeds to London by Neil Jones, Chris Lawrence and Alan Copp for Cancer Research UK. This is an amazingly brave and no doubt painful challenge for these three guys and they are hoping to raise a fantastic £50,000. If you would like to help them, here's the link:http://www.justgiving.com/run2london