Holidays in the Sun

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Eff my old boots but haven’t I had fun! That has to be the best holiday ever had anywhere by anyone, ever, ever, ever. My only lament is that I didn’t book it with a travel agency that went bust while I was away. One did only last week, and quite a lot of holidaymakers got stranded here for a few extra days.

Stranded in paradise! I should be so lucky!!

Lucky, lucky, lucky!!

There again, I really have been lucky for once. I used to claim if I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any at all. But this last fortnight has been nothing short of miraculous.

Talk about a major change in the roll of the dice.

As it is my plane boards in forty-five minutes and that’s the one bit of bad news I have had since I got here. I left the UK under the darkest of storm clouds and I’m going home floating on air.

The fact that bitch Cayla, in a roundabout sort of way, caused my vacation only adds to the big sense of delicious self-satisfaction. Two years I was with her . . . two effing years. We first set eyes on each other at a party at a mutual girlfriend’s, magically clicked . . . the black variety of magic, of course . . . agreed to have an immediate one-nighter . . .

And two years later we were still bonking like bunny rabbits.

Then, not yet a month and ago, Cayla got head-hunted. And get this; she accepted it straightaway without a passing thought for me. By the time I was filled in on the situation (it was over drinks that evening, in her local wine bar) she had already given her notice and applied for a US work visa.

‘New York,’ I echoed. ‘That’s three thousand miles away.’

Cayla laughed at my protest and told me the opportunity was once in a lifetime. She also assured me The Big Apple was the place to be; that once she got her feet under the table (or, rather, desk) there’d be no stopping her.

‘Give me six months and I’ll be indispensable,’ she bragged. ‘After that the sky’s the limit.’

And then, as if as an afterthought, she said I could go with her, if I liked.

‘My job’s much too important to leave,’ I declared adamantly.

She shrugged and said I could do my work anywhere, callously overlooking all of my treasured clients and the (sometimes hard-earned) bonds between us.

At this point I must admit panic came into play. I was already furious with her but I was also aware of how much I hated cities. I’d studied in Bristol and that was way too enormous for me. New York must be twenty times the size. Come to that, I’d briefly lived in the original York, back in God’s Own County; quaint and smaller than Bristol as York was, it was still far too cosmopolitan.

Roman walls, baths, castles, Clifford’s Tower and all, it was way too suffocating.

Now I’m not a physically violent person. I’m not even into sporty, physical contact games. But I have a relatively violent mouth on me. It started to let rip, accusing Cayla of being thoughtless, as insensitive as a brick and capable of expecting way too much from people who loved her.

She responded by saying she was about to become seriously wealthy; that if I liked I didn’t need work ever again. She even said we could marry and I could be the homemaker.

Over-reacting, I exited stage right, pouring half a glass of Sauvignon blanc over her head as I went.

(I did that in a very non-violent way, naturally.)

She called after me but I ignored her. I ignored her phone messages, texts and e-mails as well. When she knocked on my apartment door I turned up the volume on the TV and waited for her to go away.

And, when she finally was gone . . .

Eff me! I write an “INTRODUCTION” and haven’t yet introduced myself!! You’re probably wondering who this crazy woman is, going on hell for leather, sharing her woes with the world.

Give me a moment to collect myself. Then I will rectify the glaring omission. And please excuse me for my rudeness. It looks like my brain is wired up to that stupid mouth of mine after all.

Chapter One

Hello everybody. It says “Charlotte” on my birth certificate but I’ve been “Charley” ever since I was six years old. Somehow I’ve now become a “thirty-something” but, I hasten to add, I’m one of the younger ones in that category.

That is to say I’m only just turned thirty-one, not a mere year shy of that terrifying benchmark of forty.

Physically I’m five foot seven with a body I can’t complain about: nice firm tits, curvy hips, one slender waist and two very shapely legs. Although I’m by no means a training jock I regularly work out to keep in trim but, thanks to good old Mother Nature, I don’t need to exercise too fiercely.

Looks-wise I’m reasonably happy. I’ve never lacked for attention, both male and female, and I’ve had my fair share of “experiences”. Leastways I had until I hooked up with Cayla; having endless sex with her for two years stopped me from having adventures elsewhere.

Rats; I secretly vowed never to mention that bitch again. Forget her and move on.

Where was I? Oh yes, I was saying that if not a classic beauty, I’ve always done all right. giresun escort Perhaps my ever-changing hair has something to do with it. Generally . . . but not always . . . I’ve kept it shoulder-length and layered, sometimes with bangs. Colour-wise, however . . .

Trust me; I’ve been every colour under the sun, jumping from blonde to red, auburn to green. At this moment I’m jet black with electric blue highlights, said highlights much more prominent on the lower left-hand side.

(Rather like that gorgeous BBC presenter. The one I’d as good as die to sleep with.)

What else can I tell you? That important job I mentioned! Yes, I’m a vet: a five year university degree, two years of “continuing professional development” as a veterinary assistant in York, then I moved on to a junior partnership in my home town of Keighley. Take it from me, I love my work.

Would I give everything up for New-effing-York?

Would I drop everything I valued to become a kept woman?

My ass I would.

Okay, there are downsides to being a vet, which I guess you can all figure out for yourselves. But for every single negative I can always see a thousand positives. And I really do treasure my clients, pets and owners alike. Yes, ideally I’d only see every case once, read all the symptoms, cure the problem and so on. But real life isn’t like that. I see some clients quite regularly, particularly those with multiple and aging dependents.

Like I said a moment ago, I value the people and creatures I meet. And despite my varying hair tones, those people and creatures seem to value me. By all reports nearly everyone wants to see me ahead of my senior partner.

Perhaps they think I’m quirky but hey, their pet’s welfare is at stake and they want me to be the carer.

Abandon those lovely clients to be with an insensitive, heartless bitch?

Not me; never, ever, ever.


I suppose it’s now time to talk sex, so here goes.

Somehow I made it through school with my virginity intact. That is to say when I left the Upper Sixth I hadn’t gone beyond kissing and heavy petting. I’m flushing brightly as I write this, but I have to admit that I’d been penetrated by fingers numerous times, most often my own, but by several sets of other people’s as well.

Initially I’d been brainwashed into believing I was straight . . . as if “straight” actually exists; as if the vast majority of my schoolmates were right. Back then I supposed that I’d meet some guy after road-testing a dozen or so. Yes, I would meet “The One” and it would be happy ever after in a cottage with roses around the door. In other words my earliest petting sessions involved my male classmates (but not all of them, I hasten to add, only a few).

And I hate to admit it but if I was not alone I didn’t just lie back and take it. If a guy used his fingers on me I invariably returned the favour. I invariably made whoever I was with orgasm as well, usually quite quickly and very volcanically.

Yes, for a goodly while I was definitely on the pre-determined, mindless path.

Yet something odd began to happen during that last year before university. When attending all those birthday parties, discos and youth clubs, I started to get approaches from girls. To begin with the girls weren’t schoolmates; they were always someone’s friend or distant relative: girls who happened to be there on a one-off basis. And to begin with I reacted with a blend of shock and horror.

This girl fancies me! Argh!! What have I done to deserve it!!

The seed was soon planted, though, not least when a blonde I’d just turned down, a blonde maybe in her early twenties, grinned back at me.

‘You know you want to,’ she said, unperturbed. ‘It’s written all over your face. And oh my, aren’t you going to have lots of fun at uni? I hope you’ll let me know when the time’s more right.’

For three weeks, perhaps even a month, I was on the horns of a dilemma. Guys didn’t get a look in as I weighed pros and cons, subconsciously wanting to progress a little more, day by day.

Needless to report I finally took the plunge. And I kid you not, it was with the blonde who had turned up once more at the sixth form disco. Heart in mouth I approached her and announced that the time was now right. Grinning ever-so-sexily, she asked if I wanted to go for a drive in her new car.

(In reality it was a second-hand Ford Focus, but I never complained about the semantics.)

“You get wonderful views up at Keighley Gate on clear evenings like this,” she assured me.

Well aware that Keighley Gate was the most notorious lovers’ lane for miles around . . . and knowing it was already pitch-black outside, not in the least “clear” . . . I returned her grin best I could.

‘I love wonderful views,’ I replied. ‘Let’s go for it without further delay.’

Chapter Two

I’m going to skip over the history because I want to get down to the chase . . . or, more accurately, the last fortnight. Let’s just say the blonde swayed me big-time. After that evening in her back seat I yalova escort rarely bothered with any of my male schoolmates again.

Let’s also just say that my virginity (if I really was still a virgin) only lasted to Freshers’ Week in Bristol. In my defence I’d have you know I held out three whole days before succumbing to Wendy from West Bromwich.

Yes, three whole days!

And please believe me; Wendy did not restrict sex to kisses and fingers. Wendy took me to heights I’d never dreamed possible.

Oh yes, yes, yes, a happy memory or what!

Although it was always intended to be a one-off sort of thing Wendy opened my eyes wider than wide. She also got me wondering. Was that the best or was there even better out there, somewhere?

Perhaps because I’m silly enough to be honest, I’d have you know I lost my “with guys” virginity two or maybe three days later. I then alternated girl/guy for most of the first semester. Then, with the majority of my wonderings answered, I as good as unilaterally gave up on guys and focused on gals.

I won’t bore you with my logic. I won’t bore you with the (supposedly rational) reasons why I screwed so many guys, either, not least because I don’t really know what those reasons were. Maybe it was all that juvenile brainwashing. Or maybe I did get something out of doing the deed with a man.

But I never got nearly enough.

At this very moment I have been guy-free for over a decade. Thinking back (with the help of Google), the last time I slipped up Spain had just won the World Cup and Georgia was at war with Russia.

And here I am, worrying about Brexit!

As if swarms of Russian tanks could possibly be even half as mind-numbingly scary as bloody Brexit!!

Let’s swiftly get back on track before my flight gets called.

Where was I?

Oh yes; I remember. I was breaking up with the bitch who tried to ruin my life.

For maybe a week I did my best to “carry on as normal”. Fat chance! After a Tuesday evening surgery I was waylaid by Dianne, my senior partner, as soon as everyone else had vacated the building.

(Elvis like?)

‘Tell me,’ she began.

I shrugged defensively. ‘Tell you what?’

‘Tell me why you’re behaving like a bear with a sore head. Everyone’s noticed, even Carole.’

I laughed despite myself. Carole was with us on the modern-day “youth opportunities” and not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer.

‘No I’m not,’ my rebellious gob countered.

Dianne squeezed my arm, her eyes boring into mine. ‘It’s that cow isn’t it; that cow who uses glasses with clear lenses as a prop.’

I know I said I wasn’t going to mention Cayla again but now there’s a need for an exception. Prim and proper best describes my ex. Given images of the world’s greatest office workers ninety-nine per cent of judges would have automatically ranked her in the top three.

By that I mean on pure sight, without one iota of evidence to back her totally unfounded claim.

Glasses with clear lenses had been created for Cayla. Or maybe she’d created them herself.

‘Looks matter,’ she’d told me a dozen times. ‘Brainpower is all, but looks always swing the balance.’

Effing bitch was right, obviously.

Fighting back unexpected tears, I gave Dianne a potted version of my current situation.

‘So you don’t fancy being a homemaker?’ she replied softly, understandingly.

‘I’d rather walk over hot coals,’ said I. ‘Barefoot and bare-assed.’

‘New York really is the place to be.’

‘Stuff New York, I’m a Yorkshire lass, aren’t I?’ Then I laughed again, ruefully this time. ‘I don’t want to go live back in the real York, though. I’m happy here, where I am.’

‘Do you sincerely mean that?’ Dianne suddenly sounded dubious.

‘I do,’ I assured her. ‘I love the day-to-day traffic of domestic pets and I adore the farm work. The Big Apple can go whistle as far as I’m concerned. So can you-know-who.’

‘Are you really still in it here for the long run?’

‘I’m in until death or retirement,’ I said, ‘hopefully it’ll be relatively early retirement and a belated death, at least fifty years later.’

Dianne nodded before putting on her most solemn face. ‘I’ve never ordered you about, have I?’

‘No,’ I admitted cautiously.

‘Well here’s a first. Go get a holiday. Get away for two weeks at least. Drown yourself in sunshine and sangria. And get away as soon as possible.’

‘I can’t leave . . .’

‘Yes you can.’

‘What about the farm work?’

‘Roger can cover that.’

‘Er, Roger retired five years ago.’

‘I know he did. I saw him only yesterday. He told he missed the practice but couldn’t come back even part-time, because of his “constitution”. But he said he’d love to cover the odd week or two, especially for farm work. Was that a gift from God or what?’

Roger was now in his seventies and had retired at sixty-nine. He could have played a part in those old films: “All Creatures Great and Small” and “It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet”, without seeming at all yozgat escort out of place, if not adding to the experience.

Here’s my one and only aside: those James Herriot novels, films and TV shows shaped my life. I was an avid fan as a young girl and my course was irrevocably set. Ten years old and I was always going to be a “veterinary”.

Which I now am . . . Yes, yes, yes!

‘Will Roger really cover for me?’ I enquired, fingers crossed behind my back.

‘I think he very well might,’ Dianne smirked. ‘He was asking me about Gaunt’s and Chew’s cows. Not to forget Hector’s sheep and Harry’s goats.’

Hearing that made me giggle out loud; Harry’s goats were kept for milk and cheese. While not entirely unknown in our bit of the Aire Valley, that wasn’t the usual way to farm, was it?

Goats were for mountains and musicals, weren’t they?

What did the wonderful kingdom of Yorkshire need with Alps and lonely goatherds?

Not a lot, I concluded.

Well . . . maybe it did a bit, just a little.

It hurt when those buggers butted you, though. And they were good at butting, all of them.

‘Okay,’ I hedged, ‘Roger can cover, but I don’t want to go away. I want to carry on as usual.’

‘And I want you back to your normal self,’ said Dianne, reasonableness personified. ‘You need a big break and right now’s the time.’

‘I do not need a big break.’

‘Yes you do. You haven’t had more than three days off in a row for three years. Book something and book it right now.’

‘But . . .’

‘Stop wriggling and do as you’re told. Book it right now or else.’

‘Dianne, forgive me for asking, but or else what?’

‘Or else I’ll get angry, and you won’t like me when I’m angry.’

There honestly isn’t anyone on the planet less like the Incredible Hulk than Dianne. But right then she was chillingly persuasive.

Call me a coward but I went home and got straight online.

Chapter Three

Doubtful as I was, I quickly found a zillion cancelations, all almost instantly available for relatively one handful of pennies. I had expected them to be all for couples or families (indeed I had intended to use that as my excuse for not going) but that wasn’t the case.

Before I knew it I had booked a two week deal in Puerto del Carmen.

‘Flying out of Manchester early Thursday,’ Dianne said next morning, ‘the day after tomorrow. That’s so brilliant. I’ll give you a lift to the airport and pick you up on your way home.’

I didn’t argue because nobody in her right mind argued with Dianne when she had put her determined head on (Worzel Gummidge-like). Instead I offered to pay for her petrol.

As if!

‘I need to see our friends in Deansgate,’ she replied instantly. ‘I’ll co-ordinate a meeting with them and write the petrol off as a legitimate business expense.’

‘What about the practice?’ I asked limply, knowing she’d have an infallible answer.

‘I rang Roger last night. He’s already fully geared up and ready to cover all eventualities. Forget about this place and focus on having fun. That’s another order, by the way.’

She surprised me with a quick, but all-too-brief cuddle. I cuddled back big-time. As well as being drop-dead gorgeous Dianne is the nicest person I’ve ever met.

If only she wasn’t a contented mother of three . . .


Emerging from Arrecife airport shortly after midday, Thursday, I had to laugh out loud. The good old Yorkshire weather had been great all year. It had been T-shirts in February with not a snowflake to be seen. Early September had been sunshine all the way . . .

But this was Canary Island weather. This was baking heat without even a wisp of a cloud in the sky.

Tiles beneath bare feet physically burnt unprotected flesh.

Already sweating profusely, I bagged a taxi and named my hotel.

‘Very swish,’ the driver observed, smoothly pulling out of his rank, his English perfect, his accent only slight. ‘I am Manuel. Here’s my card. Whenever you need a cab, I’m your man.’

‘Aren’t you based out of the airport?’

‘Yes, but only during the day. By night I’m in Puerto del, where all the action is.’ He wagged a chiding finger at me. ‘And whatever you do, do not confuse me with that waiter out of Fawlty Towers.’

I chuckled guiltily. My dad has the DVDs of all twelve episodes of Fawlty Towers. I’d literally grown up watching them. I regularly exchanged quotes with some of my older clients.

(“Don’t mention the war. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.”)

I guess that’s more of my quirkiness. And I’d immediately add that Manuel the cabbie was a different breed to the immaculate Andrew Sachs. Man-free for aeons as I’d been, I almost fancied him.

But it was no more than “almost”. If Dianne rated as ninety-five per cent wow, my cabbie was perhaps ten per cent.

Okay, make that fifteen, but not a fraction more.


We reached the hotel after perhaps twenty minutes.

‘Don’t throw my card away,’ Manuel said in parting. ‘If I hear you’ve been using other taxis I will not be happy.’

I waved him off, checked in and checked out my room. It was bog-standard Spanish hotel, meaning it had marble floors, a separate shower and absolutely nothing to complain about. And then, because it was still early afternoon and it would have been rude not to, I checked out the poolside bar.

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