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Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Break In The Weather

After what feels like an awful lot of work and not a lot of anything else, we find ourselves at a natural break in proceedings. Greatly helped with the knowledge that I've actually booked a week off to go and play golf with the lads in somewhere that the weather really has had a break and instead is mostly sunshine.... Portugal.

Never been before, so I was very much looking forward to finding out how it compares to the likes of Spain. And the verdict? What a pleasant surprise this gem of a country sewn in between the Atlantic Ocean and Mainland Spain. A special place I think and more than worthy of a second visit.

Saturday saw three of us make a very early departure to BHX and hop aboard an Airbus (A321 for the spotters among you) for the 2 and half hour journey. BHX was a speedy pleasure and the flight was comfortable and without incident. The other seven members of the group travelled over from BRS and had little or no fun at all battling weather en route TO the airport, followed by and overcrowded mass of holiday makes IN the airport. However, we all arrived safely and not an item of luggage got lost on the way.

Having had this years tour organised by our good friend Bwi, naturally we expected disaster upon disaster to be visited upon us, and for the most part he proved us wrong - but that's not to say he perfected the process, and in fact the first problem was "Where the hell is the Taxi driver Bwi?". Turns out he was a little way up the road and not holding up a little sign in the arrivals hall. 40 minutes of my life I'll never get back, but the excitement of being in a new country combined with the warm sun on your face helps to forgive all, as long as we have a nice comfortable place to sleep...

The second problem was where the hell are the bedrooms Bwi? It seems that our "organiser" is quite comfortable with the idea that a couple of breeze block walls thrown up in the corner of the basement parking garage, constitute a bedroom.... Hmmm... There's no doubt he hasn't heard the end of this. But for the time being - we're here and there's beer to be drunk and sunshine to soak up, and golf to play and sights to see, etc etc etc...

The hardest part of the whole trip is really the ability to drink until 4am have 4 hours sleep and the get up and play golf in the sweltering heat. It's a challenge and one that you really have to be in peak physical condition for - so you can imagine how well that works out for a bunch of middle aged buffoons such as we. Regardless, we battled on, facing the challenge and laughing it off at every turn. In fact laughing was the order of the week. I'm not sure how much laughing we did, but I know it was a lot, and often. Might even have been more than the drinking....

I managed to loose my voice by about the 4th day - no idea where it got to, but it was almost nowhere to be found. The birthday shenanigans were great fun and a crowd of mostly well dressed men took the town by storm - suits are remarkably unusual in such informal circumstances nowadays it seems. Kids have no taste, is the shorthand version.

It's fair to say we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves far too much and from my perspective it was just what the doctor ordered. I'd been feeling particularly crap in the week before the trip, so sunshine and giggles really proved to be the best medicine, for even though, sat here on the plane I'm tired to a level that I'm not sure I've experienced before, I'm also rejuvenated and happy to be in the world, no matter what it might throw at me. I've washed that job right out of my hair - so to speak.

Sadly, as a pessimistic realist (especially when I'm being such an optimistic fantasist) I know that none of this will last and I'll have to be back at work on Monday.

Ah well - let me bask in the glory of the whole damn trip for just a while longer....

Ta. Until next time.

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