When Richard, aka D.H, said he wanted to move to Tenerife, you could have knocked me down with a feather. He’s never liked hot weather, always complained that hot countries are too barren (generalising), and that he much preferred England because of its lush, green countryside. And that’s just the start of a list that could fill both sides of a toilet roll! Whenever we went on holiday he got homesick and was bored before the week ended, complaining that he wanted to get back to work. God Forbid we should ever book for ten days, he’d be like a caged lion after only five.
Anyway it would seem that was the way the old Richard would think, the new (and I have to say, very much improved) Tenerife Richard, has a whole new slant on the world. He loves the sunny climate and can’t pass through the volcanic landscape without commenting on its majestic, rugged beauty.
So, when last year we found ourselves on a jet2 flight to Tenerife south, with all our worldly goods stuffed into two 30 kg suitcases, I have to say, I was in shock! For me, it was like living life in slow motion, for Richard, it was a dream come true.
We had to make sure that the house sale had completed before we could book the flights. Plus, because it was so perilously close to Christmas, we didn’t have a lot of choice seat wise and we ended up sat in opposite window-seats across the isle from each other. We both had mature couples sat in the seats beside us.
It wasn’t long before the couple sat next to me struck up a conversation. You know how it goes on chartered flights, “Where are you from, where are you going, have you been before, how long are you going for?”, etc.
Well, how long are we going for, who knows? But, as I told the couple about our plans, their mouths opened wider and wider, and once or twice I thought I saw a look of unbelief on their faces; or was that the reflection of my face in their eyes. Because, I have to be honest, although I was saying that we had sold/given away everything we owned, and left our children and grandchildren to move to another country, I didn’t really believe it was happening myself. I had to keep looking over at Richard, hoping that he’d give me some sort of reassurance that everything was going to be ok, but he was too absorbed in something on his iPad to notice that his wife, who was sat an airplane width away from him, was having kittens.
I sat back and tried to relax, thinking that we had covered all the small talk in our arsenal, and that I could try to get some clarity in my thinking.
“We should do that,” I heard the lady at my side say to her husband. “Tell him dear, tell him that we should sell up and spend the money enjoying ourselves. Our children don’t need it when we’re gone, and anyway, we’ve worked hard for it and could do with a little excitement in our lives. Go on tell him!”
I can’t remember what I said, but the gentleman never spoke to me for the rest of the journey, and the lady spent the best part of the flight whispering into her husband’s ear, and by the tone and body language of them both, I can’t imagine that she was whispering sweet nothings.
We landed in Tenerife around 3.30pm; it was warm and 30 kg doesn’t sound like much, but when you’ve to lug it from the airport to the car hire, it seems like an awful lot more. The car we’d hired was a little Fiat 500, and there wasn’t one panel on that car that hadn’t been keyed, bumped or dented! Not a good start to the adventure. I don’t remember the journey from the airport to the apartment, other than my throat was sore from constantly calling out “MY SIDE! MY SIDE!” to Richard as he veered over to the wrong side of the road, and being unable to unclench my fingers and toes for quite some time after we arrived at our destination. The apartment wasn’t the best we’d ever stayed in, again it had been booked last minute, but it would do until we found our new home in the sun!
But, I’ll tell you all about the house hunt next time, see you soon.