In order to save £160 on taking suitcases on our RyanAir flight to the Canary Islands, I bought us some funky, cabin -sized cases from GroupOn & we rammed a weeks worth of clothing & shoes, books and laptops into each,deciding to buy toiletries etc from the supermarket when we arrived. Simples!
Yes, our trip over was heaps easier & less hassled but the worries of lost luggage was magnified since the overhead lockers were a complete catalogue of GroupOn’s finest. Obviously, everyone else resented paying outrageous suitcase fees too. Bummer!
We arrived to cloudy skies, having brought the Welsh weather with us, so we decided to buy the sunscreen in the morning. Rookie mistake you are thinking but No, we were all still lilly white the next day. We bought a recognised brand that cost double the Euros of Spanish branded products, then trotted back to our hotel pool.
Now here is what I wish I’d known pre-flight...sun lotions from abroad are PANTS! Water-proof? Factor 50? Recommended by skin cancer specialists? My Backside! Naked, I looked like a lobster in a white bikini. By the end of our first full day in Tenerife, we were unable to hug each other without a serenade of “oww” “Ohhh” and “arghhh”
Ok, I admit it. I started to feel a bit insecure. Ten years ago, I’d have looked just as glamorous and been just as fearless but truthfully, I sat sulking, I felt Middle Aged. Yes, I know that at 36 I’m supposed to be past all that insecurity crap, appreciate that my body has created life, accept the coming of age gracefully yatter yatter yatter. Well I am not that evolved I’m afraid. My thoughts were as shallow as the nearby toddler pool.
Deep in my sulk, gingerly slathering the Spanish branded after-sun lotion which I'd brought in the coolbox, I indulged in my 'are my face-cheeks as wide & wobbly as my ass-cheeks' self-defeatist mood. A bunch of British lads were acting rowdy on the river nearby, drunken banter so loud it was impossible to keep a full frump sentence coherent in my head. Basically, they were pissing me off! I looked across and could see they were making the universal gestures of 'head between the boobies snufflling' and I looked around for a nearby Dolly Parton on a pogo stick. Nope. It was either me or moob-man across the way.
Annoyed, I looked back and they boys grinned and blew me kisses; pity kisses I assumed. Well, they could shove em where...."Wow Mum, working the beach look, you look gorgeous" I eyed my daughter as she bounded over to me, dripping wet from some scary-assed slide. Her frazzled skin looked painful but she still somehow managed to smile without making her sun-blisters weep. The rain, drizzling onto her face, made the after-sun I was applying, drip into her eyes yet she still grinned and said "Come on Mum. It's not as much fun without you".
Damn. Slapped with the mum-guilts, this kid knew how to work me. She suddenly burst into a fit of giggles ad pointed across the river to a woman who had slipped through her rubber-ring and got her bum wedged, feet and arms flailing in an attempt to gain some control. I laughed too and hoped that I karma would not deliver me the same fate in retribution. "Ok angelcakes, Lets do it"
One hour later. Curse the crap sunscreen. I left half my poor, red skin stuck to my inflatable rubber-ring. That's when I decided. Next hols, I'm taking the Ambre Solaire with me, in a special GroupOn of its own. Owww...