Winter Quarters

Winter Quarters

I have been inactive for some time now and am once again in Gran Canaria for the duration of the British winter. This is the third winter, out of four, that I have spent here even though after each period I have decided not to return! The climate here on the southern coast of Gran Canaria is really as good as I have found anywhere in the northern hemisphere.

I am considering another ‘walk-about’ when I return to the UK. Currently the thinking is to leave the UK in late June 2017 and to make my way into the Crimea and specifically, Balaclava. A relative on my father’s side of the family fell in Balaclava and I want to visit the battle site. I need to sort out the pleasantries of which country issues visa’s for visitors, etc. ie Russia or Ukraine or both!

Following Balaclava I would also like to visit Azerbaijan and┬áBaku in particular, but I am not sure it is very practicable. It appears that it is difficult to leave Azerbaijan and drive into Russia which is what I want to do, however it is currently only a wish-list. Over the winter here I will try to sort out a plan, if not we will just go where the heart and available visa’s allow.

I have new neighbours here in Maspalomas. I think they are Italian, but that is a guess. He appears ready to be friendly but she is clearly horrified to discover they have an English vagrant turning the property next door into a squat! I think it is totally unreasonable, of course, as I don’t have a car with me there are no gearboxes, engines, differentials or anything similar on the patio. Perhaps it’s just my personal appearance!

I have fallen into my usual lifestyle visiting the gym several times a week, walking in the mountains once a week, and lazing in the sun most of the remaining time.

During this visit to the island I shall be turning seventy years of age (shock, horror). This is causing me considerable angst because although I have normally subscribed to the idea that you are only as old as you feel, seventy was always the measure of true old age. I remember as a five/six year old, nobody survived much over seventy and when the Grim Reaper finally called their number everybody said “they had a good innings”.

Anyway I have reached a number of decisions. Many acquaintance’s will say I have already started a second childhood. I reserve the right to continue in that vain, and indeed, accelerate this most desirable condition. I also reserve the right to continuously recollect my version of history. As an old man I demand the right to be childishly emotional. I will also freely advise those close to me of how they should conduct themselves even if it conflicts with my own past behaviour. I now know better. Finally, but I may change my mind and add a few more things, I may become cantancerous. This will be attributed to having had a difficult childhood, which seems to be today’s ‘get out of jail’ card.