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After a longish period, with not much happening at all, the last week has been a particularly good time for reviews of my 'nostalgedy&#...

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Back to the Balearics!

Last month's Derby Telegraph article rather slipped under the radar! Not only did it appear on the wrong day (even I missed it) but it never made the DT website either.  For those who missed this particular journalistic jaunt, it's reproduced below with the text in full.  Next instalment will be (abw) in the Bygones section of the Derby Telegraph on Friday, 26th August.



Last month you left me in the not-so-splendid isolation of my 'office' at Harold Wesley Ltd., in Victoria Crescent, Burton.  I think it says something about my career choice, back in 1972, that the highlight of my week was calculating lengthy long-division sums by hand.  As I said, last time, spending at least two days per week with nothing to do, whilst trapped in an office on your own, with no excuse to go out of it, nor any need for anyone to come and see you, is enough to drive anyone to the edges of their sanity, and I probably didn't have as far to go as most.

Fortunately, there was one small light on the horizon.  Something to look forward to even when I was sure I was losing the plot.  For this, we need to take a quick trip back to my former job at the DIY Plastics warehouse. 

Regular readers, and there must be at least one of you, may remember the week's holiday I spent in Arenal, Majorca with my mate Kev during the summer holidays when we were both at Burton Technical College?  In conversation with the gang at the warehouse, I waxed lyrical about this holiday, the sun, sea and sangria, and how ridiculously cheap it all was.  One of the gang, who had been a good friend to me as I was learning the job and, for the sake of protecting the innocent, I'll call Den, was particularly interested.

The end result was that Kev, Den and I decided that it would be fun to repeat the experience.  The difference this time was that, because we had more funds to splash about (previously it had been just what we could earn in the few weeks of holiday) we could afford to have ten days instead of just a week, and we elected to go to a more exclusive (well, it was in 1972) part of Majorca.  Accordingly, we booked ourselves in to the Pollensa Park Hotel in Puerto de Pollensa.  This was largely because it looked as if it was right on to the beach from the picture in the brochure (it wasn't) and because it was within our budget.

Three is a difficult number for any group.  The potential for two to align themselves against the other one, is always quite high.  Our group was inevitably going to be a tricky one because we had very little in common.  I only knew Den as a work colleague, and I now no longer worked there, whereas I had known Kev for a couple of years by now and quite a bit of water (and beer) had flown under the bridge.  Kev, of course, only knew Den through me and so they had no common ground at all.  To try to overcome this, we met up on a relatively regular basis in the months preceding our holiday.  Thankfully, we all liked a drink and a game of darts, which was a good starting point, and we seemed to get on.  As it turned out, the main irritant in the group, once we were on holiday, was me!

My memories of this holiday are a bit fragmented, for reasons that will become obvious later.  I'm not even certain which airport we flew from.  At that time, I was panic-stricken by the thought of flying and took my then usual precaution of trying to anaesthetise myself to the whole experience by consuming quite a large quantity of alcohol before the flight.  It must have worked, because I don't remember anything about it. 

What I do recall is that we nearly missed our transfer bus from Palma airport because we were held up at Customs (I think there was some sort of strike in progress).  This could have been potentially very serious as we had no concept of just how far away our hotel was from the airport (56 kms apparently).  Finally, jammed on to a coach full of people, mostly of our own age, we set off, as night fell, for the long trip across the island of Majorca.


You can find the full shameful story of Philip's first holiday to Majorca in 'Crutches for Ducks' available from Amazon.

Passport Photo - don't have nightmares!