Monday – When I awoke this morning I felt like a professional holidaymaker. This is not meant to be a boast, it’s just that we haven’t been at home for a full week for sometime; this is the third holiday in a row and I am beginning to suffer from travel fatigue. Before we left I took the key out of the back door as a safety precaution, then Florie found the door was not locked, then without knowing I dropped my wallet on the floor and Florie found that just before we left, I am dreading what else might go wrong. Later when got into town, we were stood around on a cold damp morning twenty-five minutes before the coach was due, I suggested we went for a coffee in a nice warm cafe, so five minutes later we sat in the warm, enjoying a caffeine fix. Then Florie, who is of a nervous disposition and enjoys a good worry now and then, suggests we leave the coffee and get to the bus station early; so once again we were standing in the cold in case the coach goes without us. The coach pulled in five minutes later, as soon as it came to a stop and the door opened; twenty people filed off after the driver and then ran across the Bus Station to the loos. I figured we are joining a coach that had started picking up very early this morning or we had a coach load of public toilet enthusiasts! As we progressed towards Torquay we stopped to take on and discharge drink, I watched my fellow passengers troop off the coach and form ill tempered queues outside the inadequate facilities, noting in particular, we appear to have an old thin, retired hooker, six old moaners and a football enthusiast. At dinner the hooker, about 60 years of age, turned up in a bright green mini dress with white polka dots and loose grey tights, talked at full volume, as did four of the six moaners. Already we could sense the undercurrents of ill feeling surfacing in the group between different parties, some have come as part of smaller groups, families or friends.
Our room turned out to be really good, a suite in fact; with a raised bed area, a separate eating area next to the patio doors. These opened out on to a round patio, which overlooks the bay. The bathroom has a shower in one corner that could take six large people all at once and in another cornera large hipbath sits. The room itself was lovely and the bed was comfortable, but being so close to the ceiling it was hot, and in the night I kept waking with the heat and I thought I could hear the cackle of a witch, that didn’t help. Plus some of our group above us were banging about from 4am and that was no fun either. The next morning at breakfast the hooker was in a bright purple mini dress with pink tights and a bright red hat, she was laughing out loud, which turned out to be the cackle I heard in the night.
Tuesday – Today is one of those wonderful days, warm sunshine and beautiful places. We visited Looe first, bathed in sunshine with just a light breeze; this picturesque fishing village sits each side of the River Dart with white houses dotted up the side of the hill rising from its banks. Like us, others on holiday strolled around the town finding shops, cafes and restaurants to inhabit in the lunch period.
After two hours of tourist exercise we got back on the coach to go along the coast to Polperro, as before, we had two hours to explore this small picturesque fishing hamlet set on each side of a steep valley going down to a protected harbour. This small community mixed catering and souvenir shops together for the tourists and a photographic shop and an art gallery. No one really expected the weather to be so sunny and warm, so the whole coach was feeling really good about the day. I thought the day had been magical seeing such a wealth of beauty.
It seems that I may have maligned some of our fellow travellers. I am told none of our group were in the room above us. It turned out they were last year’s winners of the Manchester Clog Dancing Formation Team Championships, they are called “Eight Shades of Gray.” Their manager Paddy Grayling was telling me next morning that he has the girls up at 4am every morning dancing naked in a line except for their practice clogs. He uses an elongated ping-pong bat to tap them as he walks up and down behind them to keep them in step. Each morning Florie and I are awoken with the rhythmical banging on the floor until a bad step and someone says “Oh,” then we hear a slap and a cry. I believe this chap, as eight tall, slim, beautiful girls about nineteen or twenty have their breakfast stood up in the corner of the breakfast room. A short while later I was talking to one of the Clog Dancers in the hotel bar, a tall buxom beauty called Eloise. She was telling me about her manager’s free use of the discipline paddle any time of day, and pulling down the back of her trainer bottoms she revealed bright two pink globes framed by a green G string. I felt moved to help, I sympathised and offered some cooling body lotion for the shapely globes but she said she was busy and I heard Florie approaching and I had to go quickly.
Wednesday – As we took the one hour coach journey to Plymouth, I realised the rear wheel bearing in the coach did not need changing; the intermittent noises I kept hearing were a whistler doing bird impressions every now and again, we couldn’t figure out who it was, but they couldn’t have been far away. We knew it wasn’t the couple immediately behind us because as we talked to them we could still hear a robin somewhere in the coach.
Another plus day; Plymouth was sunny all day it was wonderful, which was more than I could say for the lady guide who we picked up to tell us about Plymouth, she was awful. I couldn’t understand quite a lot of her talk and she sounded bored, which is exactly how we felt listening to her! Despite the guide we had a good time in Plymouth and contributed to their economy. Our journey out of Plymouth was quick, as our driver used the empty bus lane and passed four miles of almost stationary traffic in no time at all.
Since talking to the clog dancer this morning, all during the day I had been troubled by visions of buxom girls in clogs and everywhere I looked in Plymouth there were young women wearing crocs, running for buses. After dinner Florie was sat reading a kindle book and I was idly flipping through the TV channels and came across Monday Night American Football. I watched a great game where a team came back from 24-0 down to win 35-24, a really exciting match and the winners were playing away.
Did I tell you about our football fan? He was a tall well built man in his seventies he had a barrel shaped body and he covered it in assorted football shirts, nothing but football shirts he had a different one on everyday, complete with a fresh baseball cap, each one a size too small. The orange shirt he appeared in with a bright blue “Macey’s” cap gave everyone a sickly feeling the whole day, he sat next to his wife in the coach but turned away from her into the centre of the coach the whole time, when she turned to speak to him he just nodded or shook his head, but she was alright, she had got a good rapport going with the lady behind, who didn’t get on with her husband either.
Our old hooker may cackle like a witch but she was at least happy and a good sport, unlike the majority of flotsam and jetsam we were travelling with. She was a tall painfully thin woman, who had plainly had a hard life, she was very much in love with the chap she was with, acting like a teenager, with a similar dress sense and colour blind too. Last night she wore a multicoloured mob cap (popular in the 60’s) with a black and white crossover dress and very high-heeled shoes with pink glitter all over them. Her dress kept falling off of her shoulder revealing her naked chest down to her heart, mercifully her nipples were at waist level so were not visible to those of us enjoying our after dinner coffee and mint chocolates.
One chap on the coach, a nice enough fellow, who is very well spoken, sounds like he is on the wrong holiday; he and his wife have latched onto Florie and I. He is a golfer and a horseracing enthusiast. On the first night at dinner he sounded me out on golf, but after my comment “a good walk spoilt,” he hasn’t mentioned golf since, but he keeps slipping in interesting facts about horse breeding and how attractive horses are.
Thursday – So far, we have missed the rain the weather people promised all week. But Florie and I have taken brollies with us today just in case, as we are having a day away from the rest of the coach party seeing some friends. Reg and Jean picked us up at 11am and took us on a tour of Torquay then we went to see their beach hut before it is put away for winter. We had a walk along the front, a long walk, a very long walk. We saw their new apartment they are due to move into on the 29th. It’s a lovely apartment from the outside, with uninterrupted views of the sea. We drove to Cockington for a tasty lunch and exploration of the village afterwards. They took us back to their bungalow, which was a wonderful place and looked great given they are nearly all packed up ready for the move. The views from the bungalow are stunning with an attractive panorama over a valley. After a cup of tea they took us back to the hotel mid afternoon. They picked us up again at 7.45pm this time taking us to a seafront hotel where they go ballroom dancing every Thursday. We danced the night away and had a good time. They dropped us back at the Hotel at 10.30pm bidding each other tearful farewells, then we had to pack before going to bed, ready for putting the cases out 7am the next morning.
Friday – It has been a nice holiday, but we were glad to get home, we had been away for almost six weeks and after a while you long for your own comfortable armchair and a nice cuppa tea, the way you like it and the prospect of getting up next day and doing nothing; just a good old moan over breakfast.
Good-bye. Until the next time…