While I can, I love rubbing the noses of my English and overseas friends in the beautiful weather we are experiencing while they shiver under the threats of snowstorms and cold, cold rain. If you are currently suffering from deep snow and frozen extremities then I want to reassure you that I’m certainly not.
Although weather in our home town doesn’t look too great, I’m focusing particularly on a Welsh friend of mine (he knows who I’m talking about) who enjoys endlessly broadcasting the good weather he experiences on his travels on the continent. I feel it’s only fair to return the favour.
So we decided to have a quiet day today by the side of the pool. I was sent off early on to reserve a couple of sunbeds. The germanic races have historically earned a not altogether unfair reputation for being first on the sunbeds and from our lofty view we look down and can see as they hurl their towels at a number of beds before queuing noisily to get into the restaurant for breakfast. What I find particularly annoying is that a good number then go out for the day only to pick up their unused towels as the sun goes down. Management has made a decree in the past that towels on sunbeds before 09:00 would be removed and I once saw this happen many years ago. Usually the offenders ignore the diktat in the assumption that Management doesn’t do confrontation.
This year it seems different somehow. Even at 10:00 there are a number of prime locations where the sunbeds are still vacant. I begin to wonder if Management hasn’t taken a few example hostages round the back and clubbed them to death with a stale baguette ‘pour encourager les autres’. Suffice to say, MBH directs me to a handy pair of vacant beds and I lay towels on them so that they might be there when we have finished breakfast.
We are only just settled when I notice some kerfuffle occurring at the other side of the pool. I’m nose down in a Dan Brown type book about ancient skullduggery, ‘The Rule of Four’ by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. The kerfuffle continues. As I watch, I realise it’s ‘Fashion Show’ day.
Once a week the hotel hosts a fashion show where a couple of nubile ladies parade backwards and forwards by the side of the pool for an hour or more stripping to revealing swimming costumes and then modelling a series of beachwear and cocktail dresses in the hope that some wealthy punters will empty their purses in the hope of looking like these slim young beauties at some point in their foreseeable future.
I suggest a drink, and we head round the pool bringing us into the pool bar area, right next to where these ladies perform. We order a couple of barraquitos (a Tenerife concoction which when prepared properly is a magnificent drink). What arrives are two tiny glasses virtually devoid of the alcoholic Liquor 43 which is the essential ingredient. We drink these quickly and order a çervesa replacement: jarra for me and çana for MBH.
The show begins and for the next hour I sit mesmerised nursing my beer as these two stunning ladies offer me glimpses of most of my erotic fantasies. In truth the whole process is clinical and the teasing, flouncing and swirling is all in the best possible taste. My fantasies remain unfulfilled but at the end MBH drifts off with purse in hand and my hopes are renewed.
We spend a further half hour by the pool but clouds are forming and the breeze makes my body freckled with goosebumps. We decide to head back to the apartment for a simple tuna salad. As I throw open the windows to our balcony the sun hits me full in the face and searching for the dense mass of cloud I saw earlier is fruitless. Should I go back down to the pool and put in a determined swim after lunch? Read on dear reader.
No, the post lunch swim did not take place. I spent the afternoon writing this, drinking wine and arguing over where we should eat tonight. One recommendation that surfaced was a bar restaurant we had been going to on and off for twenty years, the Blue Cactus above Playa Torviscas. The restaurant side used to serve an extremely limited but excellent food and live entertainment. In this case the recommendation had been for the pizzas. When we arrived and checked out the menu we realised why. The standard serving was an 18″ pizza. We demured and went for the chicken fajitas. We were not disappointed and stuffed ourself full of spicy chicken and peppers wrapped in tortillas. We though we couldn’t eat more when the dessert menu dropped on our table.
Now I have a ‘thing’ about desserts. I’m always going to go for the unusual. Today as Shrove Tuesday in the UK. We celebrate it as Pancake Day, using all the foods from which we had abstained during Lent. When I saw ‘Crêpes Suzette’ on the menu it was an irresistible choice.
For those of you who have never experienced a Crêpes Suzette let me explain. The dish is prepared flambée (on fire) at the table. The description is here. Caramelise sugar in a frying pan using half a lemon stuck on a fork to stir. Add orange juice and Curaçao liquor, flaming the alcohol. Add folded crépes and more Curaçao liquor and flame again. Serve on a plate with cream and/or ice cream, pouring the remaining liquor on top.
The problem was that these guys were trying to do the whole thing using a camping stove with a gas cylinder almost empty in a stiff breeze. After ten minutes the sugar was beginning to show faint signs of caramelisation. Three waiters joined to act as a windbreak while watching Ajax beating Real Madrid on the television above our heads. One waiter produced a fresh gas bottle and threw on some more Curaçao. Between them they produced the best Crépes Suzette I have tasted in a long time.
When the bill came it was accompanied by shot glasses of honey rum. These were refilled again and again as we went through the process of paying the pitifully small amount for the meals, wine and that wonderful dessert. We walked the mile or so back on alcohol fumes. My blood sugar tomorrow may well hit triple figures!