HOW was your weekend? We had rain! Wonderful, life-giving, crop-saving rain after a year of drought. I did spare a thought for the visitors who thought they were escaping bad weather, but then it didn’t rain everywhere, or constantly, and it was warm rain.
HAVE you ever wondered what item is most often left at HOME by HOLIDAY-MAKERS? Passport? Essential medicines? HAIR-DRYER? Nope – what they usually forget to bring along is HALF AN OUNCE of common-sense.
I HAVE waited for my own visitors in Airport Arrivals often enough to be able to distinguish between the two-week-tourist and the returning resident – the tourists are HAULING the biggest suitcases. When you see them going home a fortnight later, burnt a painful red and peeling like gum-trees in autumn, you can tell that the women spent their entire holiday in bikinis or strappy dresses, and the men never wore shirts. So why did they HUMP along 20 kilos of luggage each?
HEALTH INSURANCE is something else they don’t think about. Accidents do HAPPEN, and even if they’re not fit to fly home, they can’t stay in their HOTEL room – it’s been let to someone else. HOW will they pay for their extended stay? And who pays the HOSPITAL bills?
HAZARDOUS sports are another thing. People who wouldn’t dream of HANG-GLIDING over the gently rolling HILLS of Sussex leap HEEDLESSLY off the precipitous cliff-faces of Tenerife. I have watched, HEART in mouth, from a roof-top in Arona while a HELICOPTER searched for a glider who had misjudged the wind.
Then there were the two young men who HIRED a HARLEY and rode off on this powerful motorbike to explore while their girl-friends shopped. When the boys failed to appear that night a search was started, but it took two days to find them. The bike had left the road and fallen into a barranco. It ploughed a path through some shrubs which closed behind it, HIDING the young men. Two days, lying badly injured and without water, in this climate – they didn’t stand a chance.
And to add to this warning – the local papers are reporting that such foolhardiness is going to be costly – anyone who undertakes a dangerous sport without due precautions is going to have to pay for being rescued.
My daughter and son-in-law both work in the tourist industry. HE is a resort manager, and has so many HAIR-RAISING tales that they deserve their own book – maybe he’ll write it after he’s retired! She is a sun-care advisor and visits hotels on a rota, giving a brief chat by the pools and selling Aloe Vera products. One day the pool guy brought her a screaming toddler and she used her microphone to ask for its parents. No response, so Reception checked passports and located the room. The door was wide open, Security found the child’s dummy which quietened it down, but no-one was there. TWO HOURS LATER the parents came back. They’d left their baby asleep in the hotel room and GONE SHOPPING. Beggars belief, doesn’t it?
HURSTPIERPOINT is the village in West Sussex where we used to live, and where many of my family still do. When I win the lottery I am going back there to be a round-the-corner Nan!