Sunshinebob goes to Barbados… Part I
As the alarm went off for the second time I peeped out from under my Duvet. I remember thinking that it cant be time to get up but as I looked through bloodshot eyes at the alarm I realised that the holiday adventure I had been looking forward to for the last eight months was about to start.. I felt like death.. This was not the ideal start I had planned.. It was not the eight hours relaxing pre-holiday sleep that myself and Mrs sunshinebob had intended and the taxi would be here within the hour..
As I shaved the face of the grey looking man in the mirror I made a solemn promise to myself never to drink that much the night before I fly.. It’s a promise I broke less than 24 hours later….
So , taxi to the airport.. I live in southern Spain so the airport in question was Malaga.. It was mobbed , loads of sombrero wearing eurochavs with a wicker donkey tucked under their sunburnt arms and 2000 fags and a bottle of cheap whiskey in a yellow plastic bag at their feet.. Snotty kids in fake Burberry caps were running riot and the headache pills I took only 90 minutes before were already wearing off. BA flight number whatever to Gatwick was on time and I had managed to bag two wing exit extra legroom seats in row 11.. On the plane I looked around and noticed that there were no kids.. In fact I think that mrs SB and I were the youngest passengers by some way bar the odd so-and-so. I guess that the internet aware younger type were on the cheaper “no frills” airlines and all the “greyer” saga-louts who bought their tickets from the travel agent travel on the worlds favourite airline.. Not that they are our favourites (especially mrs SB ) as the buggers lost our bags on route to JFK in December.. But I digress… Good flight, horrid wobbly sandwiches, and got in on time.. The bags appeared (yippee!!) and we wandered the 400 meters to The Gatwick Sofitel located slap bang in the North Terminal.. We were staying there overnight as our connecting BA flight to Bridgetown was not until the next morning at 11am.. I had booked the hotel online through holidayextras.com and saved a pretty penny. I tried (and failed) to get a free upgrade and settled for some small, slightly smelly room on the third floor with a wonderful view overlooking the car park.. We dumped the bags and headed back to get a train into London. The Gatwick Express sped us into Victoria in no time. I bought the tickets online and got a 50% discount with some special code I managed to google. Then onto the underground and into Covent Garden. I wanted a lightweight jacket from one of my favourite shops, Rohan.. They sell some great travelling clothes and I have been buying them for years.. It’s the kind of stuff that wont stain or crease is easy to wash and dry and wears really well.. I had seen a couple of options I liked online ( rohan.co.uk ) and was looking forward to my new purchase. BUT , as with most things in life , events did not go as planned. They were closed for stocktaking.. It was a Saturday afternoon and Covent Gagden was buzzing. The whole of London was mobbed but they were closed.. When I spoke to the spotty assistant having a fag at the door he said “ its coz na-one wantz to cumm in Monday morning and doo it den “… This is a perfect example of why this great country of ours is going to the dogs and why I moved to Spain in the first place. Mrs SB and I uttered a few choice words and we left them to their paperwork.. Three hours later and laden down with a new jacket for me from a open shop , M&S knickers , some junk jewellery and two new dresses for mrs SB we re-entered our hotel and sat down at the bar for a quick drink before retiring to our small , smelly broom cupboard. You can guess what happened next…Well we had (more than ) a few cocktails and some very nice tapas and a few short hours later woke up a 7.30 with what can only be described as the worse hangover I have ever had..Long island iced teas must be made with Napam. All those promises I made not 24 hours before were in tatters on the floor.. I wanted to shoot myself and put and end to it all there and then.. As I had no gun (over zealous hand luggage restrictions) I reluctantly settled on a cup of tea , a bar of very expensive chocolate from the mini bar , a litre of (tap) water and four headache tablets..
Nine-ish we wandered back into the airport and looked to check in.. The club line snaked back and forth like a Disney ride queue and the fast (slow) bag drop system was groaning under the shear weight of traffic. .Lucky a very nice young BA assistant directed us to the virtually empty economy queue round the corner. Through security via the empty fast track queue and airside within moments.. Mrs SB and I were travelling with another couple and rang their mobile to arrange a meet and a big of breakfast.. The other couple are buddies of ours from our previous lives living in Essex. He is a mid forty ex-British gymnast and she is a super looking blondish lady half his age.. As a side note I would like to mention Mrs SB and I are more “terry and june” than our friends “posh and becks”. The wife and I had already made a promise to each other to sit as far away from their perfectly shaped bodies on each and every beach we all visited.. It makes you sick , all they did was eat cake and biscuits the whole time we were away , if I even look at a cake I gain weight , but I digress again. For the purpose of this story and to save them any blushes I will refer to them as Ken and Barbie. We met them in one of the many restaurants and ordered some breakfast.. Coffee and extra strength Panadol for me and mrs SB and a full English and double cake for Ken and Barbie..
Our flight got called and off we trudged off looking for our gate. Mrs SB and I were seated in seats 12 E and F in business whilst Ken and Barbie (who booked after us) had to make do with World Traveller plus as club was full. We sat in the middle two rear facing seats and quickly availed ourselves of the champagne. It’s quite weird facing the other way but the two seats were very comfortable and quite private. We could see Ken and Barbie back in WT+ and waved to them at every opportunity until the magic curtain was slammed in their faces. One glass of poo followed another and we settled down with our new books.. I had the new John Grisham (The Innocent Man – very readable ) and Mrs SB had some chick book or another. Lunch was nice with the usual chicken or beef. Its nice to have proper cutlery to eat with and real glass glasses to drink the rather good wine out off.. The lady next to us spilt her châteaux neuf de pap all down herself and had to get changed which cheered us both up immensely. I followed it all with the excellent cheese board and a couple of glasses of aged port. The lady next to us then spilled her wine again , had to change again and made us giggle like naughty school kids for hours.. I dozed to chill out Ibiza 2 and awoke as the twenty minutes from landing announcement was made. I was going to watch the telly but never found the time. It was a lovely flight and the time passed with effortless ease.
To be continued……….