So I arrived home from four days away to be greeted by 342 unopened emails. I had, of course, replied to the most important things while I was lazing by pool, and checked to see if anyone had emailed interesting stories to keep me amused while I assaulted my fair skin with ultraviolet rays that, it turned out, offered considerably more burn factor than vitamin D. Lots of news from my LinkedIn groups, new networked friends, invitations to meet for lunch (yaay!) and pampering (double yaay!!). Also, Facebook tags, WordPress comments for moderation, offers for better, cheaper insurance, free bottles of wine with any meal, Twitter retweets and mentions, videos the senders are convinced I’ll want to see, jokes, deals, job offers, soon to be overdue library books, various offers from Ann Summers and finally, nestled in amongst the pile, a couple of orders (triple yaayyy!!!).
What exactly is it that compels us to constantly pick up the iPhone, even when we’ve travelled far far away to get a break from cyberspace? Which synaptic nerve trembles in fear whenever we’re out of Tweeting range? How did we cope before? I really can’t remember. I didn’t spend the whole trip checking for email. Couldn’t quite get to grips with the data roaming.
Stef and I fitted more into a long weekend than some people cover in a fortnight. Way too much to tell you here. The fiesta in Torrevieja was just fabulous. About forty cardboard and canvas restaurants had been erected along the seafront where garlicky meats and seafood – some live! – sizzled on huge charcoal grills beneath a canopy of colourful paper lanterns. Dishes of paella the size of a small swimming pool tempted us wherever we looked, and sangria bars mixed with raspberry sorbet at every turn. Flamenco dancers were everywhere, performing their passionate moves on a stage, in the restaurants, impromptu wandering around the marina. The atmosphere was electric. I was desperate to waste money on a black and red polka dot flamenco dress with swishy layered skirt and fabric roses – would have happily danced around the salt lakes until morning… It was hard to drag ourselves away from the celebrations. Fiestas continue through to breakfast, but we decided not to sleep the next day away and headed back to the villa in the small hours. Another evening worth mentioning was an amazing dinner in a cave, far from the tourists and known only to a handful of locals. (No, not the Batcave, Deedub!) The seabass was smothered in a creamy white sauce, unidentifiable but delicious. Helen was with us that night – and she lives in a cave! While we were marvelling at the architectural skill, it was really home from home for her. So if you fancy a holiday in the summer sun but with a cool mountain breeze, staying in a beautifully furnished house literally carved from the earth itself, check out Helen’s Facebook page – cavehouseholidays.
We returned to London at midnight to be greeted with an airport strike! Some people had already been queuing to get through passport control for a couple of hours. Thank heavens for my magic queue-jump ticket. Although, think how many tweets I could have sent while I was standing there, squashed between people smelling of seasalt and coconut. Incidentally, this morning I’ve found some gorgeous Spanish senorita flamenco dresses on eBay – might just have to buy one to add to my dressing up collection… But first, tackling those emails!
Thank you Stef, for a great break away. Coasting down the highway in our little rental bumper car, it may not have been west coast California this time, but as Katy says, ‘Sun kissed skin so hot we’ll melt your popsicle…’ (Sure did!!) Follow me along the coastline, across the mountains, over the sea and back… @WeekendWitch (Or stop to cool off and write me a comment below 🙂 )