C H R O N I C L E
28 Oct. 2004 Day 3
Rented a Car. Ordered a Peugeot, but got a Clio. Could not work out reverse gear due to secret button. Much frustration.
Trip to Monastery in Valderosa, where famous Majorcans Michael and Catherine Zita Jones have a home. I am quite sure that if they did not live there, Mrs Monk would not have taken me there, (or made me take her there). Mrs. Monk speculated from the turrets of the Monastery that a certain house was certainly where the Jones's resided.
Monastery was in fact the home of Chopin and George Sand, where they apparently had an awful time and were hostile to the Majorcans. Chopin died in the monastery in his 30s. TB.
Rotten Lunch at a restaurant in the shade of monastery. Felt like we were ripped off by descendants of Majorcans who tormented poor old Mr. Chopin.
Discovered that Chopin was in fact Polish. I had him down is as a Frenchman. (I am not afraid to show my ignorance on these pages.)
Back to hotel for another lunch.
Mrs. Monk revised her view of the hotel room and insisted we move to an identical room on the 4th Floor. Now we can't get CNN on TV
The omnipresent storm was starting to rage. We were hardly aware of the palm trees on the first floor. But since the move to the fourth floor, we are now amongst the huge palms which occupy much of our balcony. The foliage is swaying and oscillating in the wind, in a weird way.
Mrs. Monk is now complaining about the sun being blocked from our balcony. I fear we may have to move again. In Portugal 2000, we changed rooms 4 times. Another story.
I tried to point out the advantage of the palm trees.
"Now ," I said optimistically, "We cannot possibly be seen, sitting on the toilet seat, by the overlooking adjoining Hotel Guests".
This is something we speculated about on the first floor.
Retired early in new bed. Slept like babies.
29 Oct. 2004 Day 4
Museum Modern Palma in the Morning
Trip to the East of the Island in the Afternoon, visiting Cala Pi which had a beautiful view of craggy coastline and a hotel where we had coffee, and on to largest town in the east, Santanyi
Returned to Hotel where Mrs Monk got a little drunk.
30 Oct. 2004 Day 5 "famously scary",
North to Alcudia and to peninsula leading to Formentor, where there is 5 star hotel frequented by the rich and famous, which is why I was directed to drive there by Mrs Monk.
However, journey involved drive up narrow bendy mountain road, described in guide book as "famously scary", something Mrs Monk read out loud for the first time, when we were half way up, and unable to turn back. Mrs Monk is not one for heights. Something she communicating to me by screaming and yelling and praying, with a violent vocabulary at full volume.
We return to hotel which we discover is evacuating fast.
We learn that they are about to close for the season and that in fact our last night is to be their last night.
The dining room was strangely empty and Mrs. Monk speculated that it would soon be like The Shining.
We ordered our last bottle of wine.
"John Peel" I said.
31 Oct. 2004 Day 6 Not So Easyjet
Mrs Monk likes to be the last to board. Easyjet does not assign seats, so consequently we were the last to be seated and separated. Mrs Monk got seated all right at the back of the plane, but having lugged more than my share of the walk-on-luggage to the back of the plane, I realised there were no more seats available. I eyeballed a couple of Easyjet stewards beyond, who seemed to make no attempt to resolve the obvious problem. It seemed like 300 pairs of eyes were looking at me, the only standing passenger.
I called out to the two unmoved stewards in orange in my best Meldrew manner, "I'll just stand here then."
They called back and told me to walk back in the other direction.
"Why?" I called back.
In fact, I stood beside a family group, Mum Dad and Child who occupied three seats but only had two tickets. Child was supposed to sit on lap of mother. They clearly saw my dilemma since I was standing right there but were hoping that the plane was not full, and that I would go elsewhere.
I was therefore obliged to sit with these two selfish people and a screaming child for the 2 hour. flight. 4 Restless people. 3 Uncomfortable seats.
Stanstead Airport. Where's My Car
The bus from the Terminal to the Long Term Car Park was stuffed to ceiling with luggage and swaying standing passengers. Everyone was in good humour but it occur to me that we were all being treated like cattle.
Now I know you are supposed to make a note of which car park you parked in, but as we approached the car park it started to dawn on me that Mrs Monk had no idea where we parked and I only had a vague idea; I new exactly where we parked in relation to the Bus Stop, but which bus stop?
It was impossible to get a good perspective of the Car Park since it was dark and unilluminated and the bus was so crowded.
We took a chance and got off at bus stop "C"
I took charge even though Mrs Monk was giving me the contemptuous eye.
I left Mrs Monk at the bus stop, with all the bags, and went off in pursuit of Big Wheels.
I retraced my route from bus stop to car, but all the time doubted that I had the right bus stop.
I failed to find the car. I made my way to each bus stop and repeated the process.
I covered acres of car park before I finally gave up and made my way back to Mrs Monk.
"We are going to have to walk to the office and you are going to help me aren't you? I said.
"I need to eat" said Mrs Monk.
"I need to pee" said Mrs Monk.
We hauled all bags, two suitcases, two back packs, and laptop.
As we made our way, various objects were falling from the bags. Pens, glasses, socks.
Mrs monk had spent her time at the bus stop riffling the bags for food. She had unzipped every zipper. That is twenty five zippers in the dark.
We were glad to have wheels on our bags, but then we were faced with a freshly dug flower bed to traverse. I picked up the heaviest bags and carried them over the dirt. Mrs Monk decided that she would drag her bag across the dirt.
One hour later we had found our car and were on our way.
I had been driven around the car park by a large lady in a land rover.
"It happens all the time", she said, "It happens all the time".
As we unloaded the car and hauled the bags once more into the house, 5 tiny goblins and witches with black pointed hats came by. We were hardly prepared for trick or treat. But the ever resourceful Mrs Monk managed to find some chocolate, and sent them on their way.
2 hours later Mrs Monk was ready for bed and we had another knock on the door.
I went to the door with the same bag of chocolates.
At the door was a young man, taller than my 6 Ft 1 inch. standing there alone in a dark suit, with his hands in his pockets.
After a long pause he said, "Trick or Treat"
"Where are all the little kids?"
He shrugged his soldiers.
"Where is your costume?"
"I'm James Bond" he explained.
"Have a chocolate" I said
31 November 2004 John Peel and Our Fridge
Mrs Monk is back in school.
Angie is our cleaning lady and arrived at 8.30 this morning, as usual, but the house was in ship shape shape, because we haven't been there to mess it up. She decided to use the spare time cleaning out our fridge. She had the entire contents of the fridge on the kitchen table and asked me for some whitening toothpaste for the job in hand. I didn't ask why?
I usual exchange a few words of small talk to Angie for 5 minutes when she first arrives, but this morning, I probably went on to much.
About the Germans, and the scary drive up the mountain, about James Bond, and of course about ... John Peel.
As Angie applied toothpaste to our Fridge, I watched her and reminisced about John Peel's mighty life, and then remembered Mrs. Monk's letter to John Peel, which he read out on BBC Radio 4 programme Hometruths. The letter was about the oldest and mangiest contents of fridges in general.
No..., let's face it, it was about the oldest and mangiest contents of our fridge.
Now, we have a fridge that John Peel, and our Dentist, would be proud of.
Read negative comments about JP written by Tony Parsons. What an arsehole?