Having received an e-mail from my ‘conscience’ in Abingdon pointing out that it has been four weeks since my last report I thought I had better make the effort. My apologies to those regular readers that may have wondered what had happened.
This will be our final post from the Canary Islands before starting the run back home.
In fact I have been enjoying a very entertaining time. First, my very good neighbour came visiting for a week bringing all the local news for the past eight months. We spent six of the seven days she was here walking in the mountains and were fortunate with mainly warm and cloudless weather, important if you are to be able to appreciate the breath-taking views.
The next week I got back into some serious training in the gym and obviously overdid the whole thing because I pulled a muscle in my groin and had to rest it for most of the following two weeks. It now appears to have healed and I am back onto an almost full training schedule.
This past weekend will be remembered for an incident on Saturday evening that started whilst I was preparing dinner. There sounded to be raised voices outside and I looked up from my preparations to see through the patio doors a man outside the front gate waving what appeared to be a long bladed kitchen knife. Initially thinking it was some sort of bad joke I moved over to the door where I could see one of my neighbours standing and waving an equally long bladed knife.
Realising this was a serious conflict of opinion and without thinking I pulled open the door and ran outside shouting “Oi, oi, oi. I’m not having this”. Why do Englishmen come out with such daft statements in these situations? I turned to my neighbour and screamed at him “Alec, get in the house and get rid of the knife” He was clearly inebriated, an all too common a situation, and it took a moment for him to react, but then he went into his bungalow.
I turned to the other man, who I now recognised as a member of a particular “problem” family that had been brought to my attention before. A major part of the family’s problem is that, the males at least, spend most of their weekends out of their heads on a variety of drugs. They speak and understand even less English than I do Spanish. The only thing I know they understand is the phrase “No problem” which they take to mean “I/We want no trouble”. I repeated this several times trying to keep my voice at a normal pitch so he would not consider me to be aggressive. I then pointed to the knife which he was still waving and said “Prohibido” which I understand to mean “Not allowed”. After what seemed ages he stepped over to a low wall where a sweatshirt was laying and picked this up and wrapped the knife in it. After shouting some final abuse at Alec, who was now sitting with his partner at a table on their patio, he stormed off in the direction of his residence.
For the rest of the evening I jumped at the least noise outside, but everything remained calm. The following day a couple of ‘locals’ did a diplomacy shuttle to smooth things over and ensure that the event did not re-ignite. Quite what had started it is still not clear to me.
I have received a new king pin assembly for Bridget’s left side front wheel however the garage I was going to use to fit it has closed! So I have decided we will attempt the run home with things the way they are and hope the wheel doesn’t come off. With that in mind, we leave here on 15th March on the ferry to Cadiz which should deposit us there on the 17th March. I expect to arrive back in the UK around the 24/25th March after a steady run up through Spain and France. I just hope someone fixes the weather in time.