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Just Wandering

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There are times this week when I would have preferred major dental surgery to my intensive ski course in Verbier. Not least of all on the first morning of the course. 28 ‘Super Skiers,’ plus me, lined up at the top of a steep run and we had to ski down, one by one, to be assessed by the 6 instructors standing at the bottom. This was probably one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. 28 skiers descended with perfect parallel turns, then it was my go… I zig zagged and slid down the slope like Bambi on skis and decided to make up for my ineptitude with a perfect stop in front of the line of instructors. Sadly I misjudged the timing of the critical last turn and collided with 2 unamused members of staff. This was not a great start to my week and, unsurprisingly, I was put…

As a further consolation for having to curtail my ‘Big Central American’ adventure this year, I booked onto an intensive ski course in Switzerland. Considering the amount of times I have been skiing in the past, I should be a contender for the British Ski Team, but, sadly, I am still absolutely terrible. Whilst skiing in March, Husband got infuriated with me whimpering at the top of a blue run, so I decided to ‘Go for it’ as instructed. This resulted in me sustaining two broken ribs. I continued skiing (badly) for the rest of the week, but was unable to cough or laugh for a further six weeks. I see this ski course as my last attempt to improve, before I hang up my ski poles and just concentrate on drinking cappuccinos in Alpine cafes, whilst everyone else hurls themselves off mountains. My journey here yesterday was pretty challenging.…

So, I survived my intense Spanish course and intensive it was. I am now pretty confident at ordering an Uber and a Cappuccino in Spanish, but not much else. I did, however, make  some lovely friends. I tagged along with a group of ladies from Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany. They very kindly spoke in perfect English to me for the whole two weeks. Unfortunately, they all moaned at the end that their English had improved a lot more than their Spanish. Well, at least I provided a language service and helped post Brexit international relations. The one thing I really don’t understand is the Spanish obsession with tapas. To me, it is a very poor excuse for a meal. One evening  a crowd of us went to a tapas restaurant and were presented with plate after plate of miniature appetisers. I realised quickly that if you don’t like cheese…

Well, I must say Malaga has way exceeded my very low expectations of this city. I always thought it was a tatty place where Brits landed before heading off along the Costa del Sol to drink pints whilst wearing overly tight shorts with their bellies hanging out, and that was just the women… It is actually a beautiful ancient city of culture. It was the birthplace of Picasso and Flamenco dancing. The cathedral is a stunning vision of stained glass and carved masonry, with an interior so awe inspiring that I nearly converted to Catholicism for a few seconds. There is no wonder so many British people retire here. Even in November it is a glorious 25 degrees and the narrow streets are filled with al fresco dining and trendy cafes. I must not forget though that the reason I came here was to learn Spanish, which I do for…

You may recall that my autumnal adventure to Central America was abruptly curtailed in Guatemala by illness. On my return, I spent a very long morning at the The School for Tropical Diseases in London where they took more blood from me than an overly generous blood donor. The verdict was that I hadn’t got malaria or COVID but I may have caught some random disease that will take 5 weeks to get results for. Having spent 3 weeks recuperating and moping, I got bored. Much as I love life in Lingfield, I kept thinking that I really shouldn’t be here. Husband was very unenthusiastic about me heading off again but when I announced I was going to Malaga, not Mongolia, he breathed a (short) sigh of relief. As far as we are aware Zika, Ebola and Dengue Fever have not made it to the Costa del Sol. Why Malaga?…