Naranja’s y Limons

…. Cont’d from Green gills and a body bag …

Sóller Railway Station

The Orange Express arrives, believe me it was like a scene from an Indian railway station crossing, the majority of passengers are un-nimble and aged, me included, my legs have now swollen up like tree trunks and the pain is unbearable, however, we have a border to cross. Now that’s over the platform, after a drop down of eighteen inches, quick-run-dash-across-rock-rail-tracks and then clamber back up another two feet into the train carriage like an old Sumatran Orangutan seeking and pleading for diplomatic immunity in Borneo. We nonchalantly cling to our seats tightly, with one arm out of the open window pretending we had been there for ages, meanwhile the other primates pulled face and offered sugar lollie pops as rewards attempting to beckon their other relatives further down the carriage to come and join them.

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This was going to be a tricky ride, the train meandered through the abundant amount of orange and limon groves and olive tree estates as we continued to look down into the beautiful Fornalutx valley and Sóller further below.

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Slowly at 15kph we wound our way upwards and through a series of tunnels, we reached our highest peak and then, just like the run-away train that started running down the track, she blew and she blew! This was to include the longest tunnel, blinded by the darkness we began the descent, all five miles of it … Now, this meant that we were all at the disposal to the mysterious Orange Express pervert of his, OR her wandering hands. Obviously it was not sat near to me, (sighs) …. “yet another bitter disappointment”.

Sadly, for those of us who had done our maths, that meant for eight minutes I held onto my own knees tightly for affect, I certainly wasnt going to waste a once in a lifetime experience called the ‘tunnel of love’ for nothing, not even on my own. (GRrrrr)

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Trundling down parallel to the main highway into Palma, we could see civilisation on the morning side of the Serra de Tramuntanas and farmland became more arable, but if you call seventeen million hazelnut trees and almost as many almonds, then you had to realise this tiny island sure has some export produce, fortunately the Carob tree wasnt ready for harvesting, as im sure Dina, our guide would have got us out there shaking the trees lose of its ripe fruit.

Finally our terminus was in sight, we didn’t head straight into Palma as it was now rush hour, hard to imagine, all those sleepy siesta heads going back to work until the early evening …

Sad to say my legs were now numb, and being quite concerned I just wanted to get back to the resort, an hour later we were, laid up on bed with a bottle of San Miguel in one hand and TV remote in the other … nothing quite like “are you saying yes to the dress in Spanish”

Perhaps I was being a little obsessive and concerned about the smell of paint cellulose and disinfectant permeating the rooms and corridors, however, seems like the cyclists have been allowed back on level 5, all that fuss and nonsense, after all, it couldn’t have been all that serious …. no sign of those two cyclists though.

“Early dinner Daddy C?”  ….. Sounds like a plan to me, Daddy P.

After shower and spruce up we headed down to the dining room, one woman asked if we had been anywhere nice as we had not been noticed, and also that there had been a suspicious death on level 5, and they were concerned it might even have been one of us … Nosy old trout …

Now im not one really to gossip, and, to be quite honest, If I said I didn’t, then maybe, I might just probably be lying, but as its never ever stopped me before ….. I had to go and find out exactly who.

…… Obviously sworn to secrecy the lot of them !

 

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…. When Doves Cry …

…. Cont’d from invisible Man …

Martes, el 6 September 2016. That certainly was one hell of a disturbed night, what with the unusual heat and all, one could not but hear the constant sound of siren and loud conversation, at one point I stuck my head outside of the room and shouted down the corridor “pel bé folla tancar l’agafada uo” . . . all went silent for a while, but my offensive message was not taken to heed.

This morning brings a strong breeze and dark cloud to the eastern end of the Serra de Tramuntanas. This mountain range shelters our port, but shrouds Cala de San Vincenç, a busy mini Ibizan styled town which has that oh-not-so-bo-ho appeal, sedately she sits behind the mountain range including the beautiful butterfly Boquer valley and the drive to the Cap de Formentor lighthouse.

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Today Pollença bay appears to have an extremely despondent atmosphere with a broken-hearted calm, which is rather unusual considering the direction of todays wind.

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Preguntas. Consists of a small hybrid, fried and continental, neither of us consumed much due to lack of sleep and a noisy bed partner, or perhaps I should in fact state my room-mate. Another quick visit to the Farmacia was in order, on the other side of the street walking in the shade is the man in the linen suit, I nod to him, he doesn’t acknowledge me, he appears to be in his own world.                                                                                                      

We enter the clinical establishment with our usual cheery and confident ‘Bon Dia’  which   sadly quickly turned into a laughing mime game.                                                                                 What is sign for ear plugs? I think to myself. “Ear plugs” in sign I ask, not your actual British Sign Language, but lazy English man pointing his fingers and making snoring noises. It worked though, I was able to also obtain some cotton buds, yes, I bet you can all see me gesticulating that particular request can’t you?                                                                  My ears haven’t been the same since yesterdays dive to the bottom of the pool to check to see that the plug was still firmly in place.

We turn the corner into the Calle de Formentor, I see him, and ensuring he hears me this time I raise my voice to an audible ¡hola! …. he intrigued me yesterday … I turn to Chris and mention “its the man in the linen suit yet again, , why didn’t you say hello? …”

What, where? he replies.

That man, the one in the linen suit, look, over there …

Where?

… and suddenly he has gone.

We beat a hasty retreat back down toward the tiny supermercado, a six-pack of agua sits on the dusty floor, its plastic carry strap sweating almost as much as ourselves, next stop our hotel and our own private intimate mini bar, as we place a litre bottle inside to cool, I can hear ‘spanglasation’ from the cream de leche purchased from the same establishment the evening before …. ¡hola! Qué casualidad verge aqui?

(Fancy seeing you here!)

Martes, mig matí. The Zona Militar is situated on the opposite side of the bay at the end of the Pine Walk. It has just received an amphibious fire-fighting aircraft. The plane circled high once around the bay area before landing sharply onto the water and taxi’d noisily toward its onshore berth. They are often on exercise, but thinking about it now, they have probably completed a service run to the Spanish mainland where the Costa Blanca is bearing the brunt of the terrible fire-bursts inland.                                                                      

We take a few spare moments of our time in hoping that this devastation has started to disipate.

Observations and conversation from around the pool from both of us consist of bitching about the northern woman who continuously whines on about how its far too hot. The young couple slathering each other in Factor 500 and then he disappearing whilst she sleeps under the noonday sun. Not forgetting to mention that the homosexuals are in residence around the pool, we have labeled them Mabel & Daisy, D sits tapping away at her airbook, sipping at one of the biggest Mo-fu of all Mojito’s through a red straw, I write “A M I N A G D” in my book, I sampled a ‘bigger’ one yesterday, fuck me, it split my head apart like a blow from a tomahawk. His significant other, yes, he with the badly Grecian’d 2000 temples is draped over the bar sucking up to the pool attendant, the only thing he is likely to end up with is a pocket empty of tips, there is no way on gods earth that Mabel will cop a feel. Daisy glances, sadly for him, that shop was shut many years ago. And NO, before we go any further, Mabel & Daisy are NOT a euphemism for the two of us. Although we are often referred to,  as the duke and duchess, mostly behind our backs, fucking nerve, i can tell you.

Martes, lunch. Another routine of book reading, Esther Williams impressions and a perfectly ordered lunch, Luiza converses with me, “bon dia, puedo tener  Sepia y patatas fritas (Squid), para mi amigo, hamburguesa ‘Daina’ con patatas fritas tambien pan y aioli, se bebidas y, gin y limon, vino blanco, ambos con hielo, grcias” … “da na da! …. NO PLASTICO”  

Martes, dinar tardà. There is a large melee of Lycra clad cyclists sat under the canopied shade around a large finca styled dining table outside the restaurant adjacent to our hotel. Such a rumpus, I believe they are possibly German, striding about in their footwear as if they were jack boots, their spikes match their black and green ensemble bearing corporate design ‘gear’ logos, they appear to be split into two teams, one fat the other thin, each of these an uneven number, both showing their allegiance to either the Roundheads or the Cavaliers, whatever, they remain absolute friends.roundheads-cavaliers

Suspiciously they wear Bluetooth ear pieces, but, there appears only to be a few bikes, certainly not enough for all of them, unless they are riding on the cross bars. Their behaviour is of extreme confusion, yet they remain vigilant and totally aware of their surroundings. Perhaps those of them who bear the gorgeous chunks on their hunks are part of the security posse on the fifth floor residencia?

Puerto Pollença could probably be labelled as the epicentre of the cyclists world and most of mallorca is famed for its great winding roads and of course the added attraction of playing the game of Toxic Narcissism with others at the same time.

To the left of me, under the shade of the building is a very mature woman, her hair grey, yet yellowing and slightly bleached from the ray of the sun. Wearing a flowing summer dress with a bold green and black floral print, not dissimilar to that of a maternity robe, probably sold to her as a misrepresented item, it covers her ample bodice.

She appears to be built not for speed, but ballast or quite possibly even as an obstruction. Her green brogues with gentle ladies low heels might possibly give her traction, it would also seem that this verdant colour was definitely her accesorio del día.

I can only state that she displays what might be described as “a big fuck off ring”, an enormous single white diamond that what would appeared could only be on a platinum mount, wedged tightly on the third finger of her left hand.

Through her tortoise-shell rimmed glasses I notice that her eyes are almost hidden by puffs of swollen skin, it tells me a suffering of endless tear letting from a recent bereavement. Obviously the memory is still sour, her guilty tortured mind holds tight many delicate truths. She fans herself with a preformed masterpiece by Duvelloroy, her mourning accentuated by the colour cerise, bright as a coloured marker pen.

Occasionally she lifts and wafts the fan toward her moist face, could this in fact be secret code whilst she constantly scans the plaça, is she guarding the cafe entrance into the hotel or is she on the lookout for someone, a friend maybe, an old companion or possibly even a lover.

Martes, capvespre. When something or somewhere becomes familiar, you tend to take to a favoured seat or if possible same viewing position. If you are anything like myself I prefer to get the best vantage point in any busy environment. I’m also the same in an enclosed area, always looking out for the fire exit or quick route out, part of my training in the past when I was in the security business. So, I sit and observe, scrutinise and scrawl notes in my small gifted pocket pad. A freebie which was attached to an offer I purchased online from Superdrug, it’s not very flattering, infant if anything it’s outrageously feminine.

I acknowledge her presence with a nod, she obliges with a smile and says “did you know that alcohol numbs the brain, no good if you are a writer, and you should consider that young man, especially if you are to be famous”.

Seems strange that Puerto Pollensa has had literary links with the Grand Dame of Mystery, and she lived not 3 miles away from me in her beloved Greenway House perched high above the river Dart, in 1929, she wrote “Problem in Pollença Bay” and a few other short stories whilst staying at the ‘illa D’or’ situated further along the famous Pine walk. It is quite a classy establishment, such as the place is, you dont have to mention the word hotel after it, everyone is aware that the words  ‘illa D’or’ is just that. Once visited by Grace Kelly and often Winston Churchill and the Welsh woman from Darling buds apparently, amongst others, too many far to list or mention.

Martes, nit. Dinner beckons, and after the feeding of the ‘five thousand’ a quick promenade along the beach pathway to walk off our intake of godliness, we decide to call it a day and retire to the cool of our room. Just before we enter the hotel I look up and notice that all the shutters are down on the fifth floor, but all are lights are shining like a beacon in the penthouse on the sixth.

Tucked up in bed, well, laid on top of it actually, we can hear downstairs, which, separated by two floors, featuring in the cafe is a live act, there plays a guitarist with a limited chord repertoire who accompanies a young girl, she shrills and warbles like a strangled dove, after about twenty minutes it would appear that the dove is now in fact dead. At last, everything is quiet apart from the last few revellers having nightcaps, and of course in tomorrows distance the promise of the club banging out those once popular now ridiculous sounds.

In a sleepy stupor . . .  “Chris …. you know the friend you asked about?”, what friend?  … the one with the drink? ….. mmmm ! “… Well, im sure it was, you know. ….

“Oh fuck off you daft twat, you and your imagination, what were you writing in that book at that time anyway? … how many sleeping pills have you had? have you double dosed? too much sun more like, get to sleep, we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.

I sleep soundly.

Casa los dos elephantos situated out on the peninsula is bearing a single solitary lantern, or could this be the reflection of an electronic iDevise?                                                                                       Whatever is going on, i’l be damned if I don’t find out and I have less than four days remaining to do so.

All things THV Patricia ….

20th August 2106

Out here this late Saturday afternoon on the isthmus we are shrouded in mizzle, its dire as a matter of fact, although temperature is at a stable 20 Celsius. My front door is open and im busy doing all sorts of PR stuff for one of the committees I attend.

Music du-jour at the moment is the incredible Will Young which is ‘gently’ blasting through my speaker system. Its been a great afternoon, even managed to pop down to a neighbour who was having a garden party where I was able to self administer a couple of Jam and clotted cream scones.

Suddenly the mist and rain has lifted, as quick as the last paragraph and my storyline twists a different turn. Out in the bay, is moored the Trinity House Vessel THV ‘Patricia’P1010866.jpg

Although she is an operations ship, she also has a slight spin to her maritime tasks, that being having the option to provide passenger voyages. Quite an exclusive club to perhaps inform others that you are a member, and with the ability to carry only twelve fare paying passengers at a max it makes it quite special. It’s a bit like a mystery tour that you would once have taken on a coach on a Sunday evening, except this is all at sea. “She” is on call around the British Isles 24/7/365

The THV Patricia is a fully working ship and those who voyage on board her observe first-hand the day-to-day activities she undertakes, whether planned lighthouse visits, helicopter operations, lightvessel towing or buoy maintenance, including the marking of wrecks and sometimes even unplanned emergency response situations everything is unscripted and without agenda.

I quite fancy a week on-board, just to say I have been would be nice. Especially with my past relationship with boats and the importance of being that perfect sailor and understanding the rules of seamanship. The accommodation is very luxurious, in fact, I have heard that when its Cowes week it sometimes doubles up as temporary use for the Royals now that Britannia is out of commission.

Six beautifully appointed en-suite cabins, the availability of a steward on call twenty-four hours with private lounge, beautifully appointed shared dining and a personal chef are there for the use of if you wish to go that bit further cash wise. Goodness knows how I would cope on one of those ‘Celebration’ type cruises, a bit like being at ‘Butlins’ on the water  …. but this undoubtedly is something totally different.

view.jpegview-1.jpeg800.jpegAs you can see, it is fit for a Queen. It certainly looks amazing.

Imagine being out on the observation deck watching these men going about their tasks and duties in all kinds of weather. Anchors up and away. As Captain and crew remain tight-lipped as she heads at ‘All Full Ahead’. One could possibly pretend one was an MI5 Spy, a superhero, on a mission for the British Government ….. off to save the world. ….. Imagine that as an amateur writer what kind of story you could come up with. One would, or I certainly would, fancy that the weather be tempesty and the sea state quite rough as we battle toward our secret destination. Apparently visits to the bridge are unlimites and being able to get into the routines of help chart maps and plot routes. Now, that really would be something rather unique indeed. view-2.jpeg

By the way, every time “Patricia” comes into Torbay I imagine that its my dear old Mum checking up on us, for her name was Patricia too.

Safe travels THV Patricia

*whoooop*-*whoooop*-*whoooop*  “Attention passenger Stamp, Attention passenger Stamp, Please report to the Captains mess ……IMMEDIATELY!”