Wednesday, January 19, 2011
My wife and I seldom spend much on self-indulgence, but after fifty years of marriage we felt we could celebrate by having time together entirely to ourselves. We could relax in a pleasant environment without having to worry about other people and attend to their needs. Our children, their children, our great grandchildren, friends and acquaintances would manage for a fortnight without us being around, and such was the case. They survived in our absence.
The adage that comes to mind is that no one is indispensable, but we were pleased on our arrival home to be told that we had been missed.
Our holiday had indeed been a relaxing experience, and for this we owed much to the personnel of the hotel for their genuine interest in us as individuals. Waiters in particular took great care to please and to serve with real concern for our wellbeing. They were not in it for tips; they really wanted to have a relationship based on service, and several of them were keen to learn about the UK. Some opened up by telling of their own circumstances, where they lived and how they became waiters. Even the valeting staff had that personal touch. Each morning our bed would be made up, and there would be displayed on it an example of towel art.
On our second day, I thoroughly checked out the aquatic activities consisting of sailing catamarans, paddling sit-on-top kayaks, sail boarding, snorkelling, scuba diving, jet skiing and parasailing. The surprising thing was that I didn’t feel like doing any of them. To use an Americanism, I wanted nothing more than to ‘chill out’. That is what I resolved to do and what I did.
It was not a time to be lazy, just lying on a sun lounger all day. I was into getting exercise by walking and exploring the neighbourhood on foot. Together, my wife and I went on three day trips, two of them organised by specialist tour operators and one devised by us – more about them later. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with photos of some of the towel art that had been placed on our bed, morning by morning.