Up early, as always at the start of a holiday. At breakfast tiny local birds hopped around the tables looking for an excuse to steal food from our plates. "To think," I said to them, "that your ancestors were dinosaurs. And now look at you. You should be ashamed.” They were not ashamed though. And nor were they very good at stealing food. But they were cute, even if they had let down the former emperors of the earth by becoming midget scavengers.
We planned to sit by the pool and read all day, maybe have a swim (and I wanted to go to the gym), but after an hour in rather blissful peace one of the hotel employees fired up a petrol engine and started blasting the nearby pathways with water. It was rather grating, an assault on both hearing and smell and though we endured it for half an hour it finally became too aggravating to cope with. It was like a sitcom hotel, although the other people by the pool seemed to be enduring it better than we were. We decided we’d get the bus down to the beach and try our luck there.
We’re in a smallish adult-only hotel on the hillside, but they have a bigger, sister, family hotel on the beach, where we are able to eat and drink as part of our all inclusive deal. It wasn’t quite the haven of peace and quiet that we’d hoped for, but we had our lunch and then lay reading on the beach (I have now finished “The Disaster Artist” and returned to the mammoth, repetitive, but somehow hypnotically fascinating “Red or Dead”). Then we got out of the sun for a bit and went to the bar where I drank pina colada and beer and we played pool (though as it was me versus my wife, rather than me versus myself it was a bit perverse - especially given she beat me). After abstaining from drinking for much of the year it was fun to get pissed in the afternoon. Given everything is included and paid for already there is a part of me that thinks I have to get as much of my money’s worth as possible, but then I am also aware that drinking pina coladas all day might affect my diet (even if I did manage 45 minutes in the gym) and I don’t want to slide back into my old ways (though not sure I’d be able to anyway, given the negative effects that a skinful has on me these days).
We headed back to our hotel where path cleaning had thankfully finished and I sat on our balcony and watched the sun setting. This is always one of my favourite things to do on holiday. To have the time to just do nothing but watch the majesty of nature and consider the passing of time and our insignificant place in the Universe. My 17,217 sunset. I doubt I have another 17,217 to go, but will let you know. Come back here in 47.15 years.