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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Never rains but..

This is the jolly bit: Granny and Beloved's version of a Christmas tree, consisting of an agave - cactus - spike, which sits in their sitting-room all the year around and gets hung with coloured balls and Ikea lights (the environmentally kind, of course, you know Granny) over Christmas. Very nice it looks too, though Granny does wish Beloved had removed the grotty dog basket before taking the picture. Nothing to be done about the books of course - why should she mind those anyway - she has no objections to showing how literate she/they are. Another use for agave is making tequilla, she hears. Now there's a thought - though you have to be careful of tequilla: Granny got very drunk on her Californian host's lethal margarita a little while back - she only had one of them too. Ah well.

Now for less desirable wetness. That old cliche - it never rains but it pours - could have been invented on this island.

The skies broke here last night and are scheduled to go on breaking through tomorrow. Wouldn't you know it... these are the days Beloved's Beloved Family are all due to arrive to celebrate his 70th birthday (Beloved is one of those unfortunates whose birthday is on New Year's Eve: could be Christmas Day of course, still worse.) Not the best time to have water pouring through the roof: some of the repairs to the roof done in the summer seem to have held up, but new leaks have appeared elsewhere, and the leaks in the sitting-room are unavoidable. This room was once the courtyard - all old Lanzarote houses have courtyards at the centre - it is roofed over making a wonderful room, but the centre of the roof is a large glass dome and though Granny and Beloved have done much to strengthen it, when the rain really pours there's not much can be done to keep some of the rain out: the worst leak this time is stationed directly above one of the sofas, naturally. Expensive electricity is now blasting out heat from radiators, the stove in the sitting-room is lit, cushions and throws from the sofas stood and draped all round them. Normally Granny would be happy to have all that forbidden heat- but with the rain and wind coming from the south, it's not so cold as sometimes and she could quite happily live without it. Sods law that is...

It could be worse. A roof down in the main town Arrecife not only leaked, it blew in. Things were flooded down east, and still more in the centre of the island. Beloved is down there at this very moment trying to buy fish for the birthday feast, and he just rang up to report.

Otherwise the Christmas holidays wend their way on. Very different here - much less commercial and the day after Christmas is a normal working day - locals have their big meal booze-up on New Year's Eve so are able to stand up by then. (Though trying to get anyone to come and fix anything here between Christmas Eve and 7th January can be difficult... does drink flow in the water/electricity/postal/telephone utilities for the whole period? If so, why not? And everything chez Granny does appear to be working at the moment.) Fireworks have been let off as always here at any fiesta - there'll be many more at the new year - drinks and nibbles offered at the entrance by all the local shops, all the towns' Christmas cribs are well set up and much viewed - they get more elaborate every year, all the municipios now competing - oh and the lights on the big roundabout in Granny's town features two large twirling local dancers, serenaded by not so local cherubs. The depression - this island is very depressed indeed - doesn't seem to have affected things like this yet. It will be interesting to see what happens next year.

Granny and Beloved's B&B now features on the Alastair Sawday website. Only one enquiry so far. Wouldn't you know it, this is the year the great British public - of the sort can still afford holidays - are looking outside Europe because of the ever-continuing slide of the pound against the euro. Sods law again. Feel like a holiday anyone? Here we are...


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