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Saturday, 29 October 2016

Oh, Samantha!

This month's Derby Telegraph article rounds off my 1970s holiday in Majorca in typically chaotic style.

I'll post the link to the Derby Telegraph as and when (and if) the article appears there, but for the time being (and to stop you having to squint at the photo) here's the content:

Ten days is a weird duration for a holiday, it’s neither one thing, nor the other!  Before this return to Majorca in the early 1970s, I don’t think I had been on a holiday that lasted more than a week, and I’ve avoided ten days ever since, for reasons which will become obvious.

I suppose that the end of our holiday must have been in our minds because we had begun to think about what we might take back with us.  In my case, I had bought a pair of Clackers for my sister.  Do you remember Clackers?  They were a one summer craze back in the 1970s and were very much in evidence on this holiday.  Clackers were two ceramic coloured balls on a piece of rope.  You held them by the centre of the rope and the idea was to cause the two spheres to bounce against each other repeatedly, with such force that kinetic energy eventually caused them to fly upward and clash again at the top of the stroke and so on.  Sounds fun, eh? 

They made a horrific noise.  You could hear them all over the resort.  The problem was, if you messed up the rhythm, you stood a good chance of striking your wrist a painful blow with one or both balls, which resulted in a good many broken wrists and probably explains the short-lived nature of the craze.  On the whole, it was probably an ill-advised present, but it seemed a good idea at the time.
Another clue to the duration of our holiday should have been when our next door neighbours went home.  We had been somewhat wary of these lads in the next room.  They seemed to keep pretty irregular hours and when they did appear on their balcony, they invariably bellowed “Oh, Samantha!  Let me kiss your…” well, we won’t go into what they wanted to kiss but this phrase echoed around the holiday complex countless times. 

On their last day, we happened to be on our balcony and got chatting.  Apparently they had met the hapless Samantha and her mother on their first day, had discovered that they were staying in a hotel opposite ours, and embarked on their campaign thereafter.  I should imagine it was a holiday to forget for Samantha’s mother.

Our last day was like any other.  In fact, too much like any other.  We were sitting outside a little bar near our hotel.  Kev and Den were sipping cokes, I was on my first Bacardi and Coke of the day (it had been that sort of holiday).  We were musing about how long we had been away and started to work it out, when panic set in.  Today was our last day and we should have checked out of our room by 10.00!  It was now well past that hour.  We ran back to the hotel, only to find a clutch of very annoyed Spanish cleaners gathered outside our room.  After a good deal of begging and pleading, we were allowed 20 minutes to pack and clear out. 

Our flight home was not until late that night, so we stored our luggage and whiled away the day.  Kev and Den sunbathed, I propped up a table at El Leon Dorado.  Before our coach came to take us back to Palma, Kev and Den decided they would like to shower and change and somehow managed to persuade a couple of lads from the BBC to let them have the use of their room.  Being a scruffy urchin, I declined but was left as a sort of surety with these blokes.  As time ticked by and Kev and Den failed to appear, my persistent bleats of “I’m sure they’ll be here soon” came to seem increasingly desperate and they began to get more than somewhat anxious and angry.  Eventually I had to go up and tell Kev and Den that we stood a good chance of the police turning up if they didn’t come down soon.

So our holiday ended, and I headed back to my solitary office at Harold Wesley Ltd.  But things were about to change, as I'll tell you next time.