JWG's Done and Not Begun February 12-15, 2011

Wherein JWG and René spend their final days in The Canary Islands reading (Ford Madox Ford and Roald Dahl) and chatting.

Maspalomas  February 12, 2011  6:36 a.m. GMT

Once again, René and I outdid ourselves when we went on a walk yesterday. We walked to the Faro de Maspalomas, then, followed the shore to Playa de las Meloneras. This was an ideal stroll. The weather was perfect. We were vacationing. Having lunch at a Café on the ocean which was sparkling and had rolling waves certainly had us mesmerized. Why do waves have that power?

Needless to say, we were exhausted and went to bed early. I was even too tired to read!

Dad Meyer was scheduled to be released from the hospital yesterday. We are keeping our thumbs pressed, as the Swiss say, that all will go well, and that he will have learned a lesson and behave himself, and treat himself with caution when he is home.

I’m told that my father, in New Hampshire, is doing well. The clock ticks.

The refrigerator in this bungalow makes the funniest noise. It sounds like a bird. A canary?

Outside, the dense darkness with its sounds of real birds waking up is rather eery in its solitude. I like it. I like it here. René and I did a great deal of chatting yesterday. After all these decades, we still enjoy chatting about everything under the Sun. We remarked how comfortable this past month has been. I, myself, can’t believe that a month has practically gone by. I am ready to begin old-fashioned vacationing!


Maspalomas  February 13, 2011  9:49 a.m. GMT

Another four-hour walk brought us through the streets of Playa del Inglés and to the beach where we walked to Plays del Corralillo el Cochino. What strikes us is that there are no shells on the beaches. Even the rocky beaches seem bereft of shells. Needless to say, we see few seagulls. We did see a tern diving for fish. Other than land birds, and lizards in the dunes, oh, and that one hedgehog, we have seen little wildlife on this corner of Gran Canaria.

What we do see is tourists from around Europe. We are not aware of any, except for us, from The States. Where we are, we have not seen one church or school which tells us that this is an area exclusively for tourism. The funny thing, for René and I, is that this does not matter. We are in a strange, for us, land where everyone is kind and happy. Animosity does not exist. Is that a lofty statement? Probably. But, today, it seems apt. If all tourist destinations could assure this comfort, people would travel freely without fear.

Maspalomas has been a relaxing vacation. Villas Blancas is tenderly taken care of by women who care for the place and the guests. Today, when I went to say thank you, I don’t know how many kisses I received. I shall miss their smiling faces. Life has been good here. And, productive.

In these final days in The Canary Islands, René and I chat about our future and present. We realize we are lucky. We have no problem saying that every day is a Happy Day!


Maspalomas  February 14, 2011  6:02 a.m. GMT

In reading the last few blogs in Clayton Littlefield’s Dirty White Boy-Tales of Soho, I can see why Henry and Wilber found it to be a poignant tale. In the end of his book, Clay relates the story of Leslie and Charlie who are two men who did connect, but, didn’t — until the end. We assume there was a happy end. Unfortunately, life happens. The last scene, a hospital scene, was good to bring a tear to the eye. However, a tear did not come to my eye. I was glad that the book ended.

Also yesterday, I finished Ford Madox Ford’s intriguing novel The Good Soldier. I shan’t place this book in the Villas Blancas library; it will go back to Zwerglipatch Cottage in Hauppauge. Every once in a while, one reads a book that entices one to pick it up again, at any page, and read. The Good Soldier, for both René and me, is such a book.

It is obvious I am a reader to the residents at Villas Blancas. One man was headed with a few books in his hand to place in the “library” here. He saw me and offered me a book. “An easy book; it only took me six hours to read it,” he said. I thanked him and took Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. And such is the way new authors are discovered. Right away, René remarked, “That couldn’t happen if we all had Kindles.” I had to laugh at his honest observation. The way this World reads is changing. Must we all change our reading habits with it?


Maspalomas  February 14, 2011  7:07 a.m. GMT

I just finished reading another book. Roald Dahl’s Boy - Tales of Childhood. What a fun read. Mr. Dahl’s simplicity and humor is always welcome.

I recall reading reviews of this book when it first came out — in 1984! Goodness, I would have thought it was first published in 1994. My inner calendar is definitely askew. I have now read this delightful autobiography which is what counts. Ironically, I do believe that the last novel I read by Mr. Dahl was when we were on vacation in Malaga, Spain. Roald Dahl has become my Spanish vacation reading, so it seems. My Uncle Oswald was read during those final, stormy, Malaga days. It, too, was a delightful read. I shan’t state what year we were in Malaga for, at this moment, I’m in a muddle about when we were there. I think, and stress “think”, that it was the year I forgot, 2005, which, of course makes sense that I cannot recall the date when we were in Malaga because it coincides, I think, with that year, as I do remember, I forgot. Not that any of this matters, does it? No. Heavens. I do babble which is absolutely silly of me to dwell on as it is of no consequence to anything I have read, and wish to say, which I feel is nothing, about Roald Dahl’s book of memories, Boy, which I do recommend for its truth of being a boy in Britain. It was, and is, an excellent read.


Maspalomas  February 15, 2011  9:05 a.m. GMT

As we trekked to the Dunes, yesterday, to gather some sand, for Peter [our nephew], from a camel’s footprint, we were old-timers on an outing. There are days we do feel like seasoned travellers.

It was actually fun to see the camels, then, going to find a footprint. A souvenir for souvenir seekers. Have we started something new?

As for my collection of Lost Money Found [coins I find on the street], I did find a few Euro coins. Other than that, I don’t yearn for souvenirs as I once did. Is this a sign of age? Or, as I said, being a seasoned traveller? I would say that the latter explains my lack of souvenir gathering.

This trip to Gran Canaria, as you can see on these pages, was, for us, docile. We have never done so “little” while vacationing. We enjoyed this atmosphere. Today is a day of warm sunshine. For Northeasterners, in February, on the last day of a vacation, this is a day to be thankful for we know what the weather is in New York.

It is easy living a simple life. I like it. Can I keep it up for a few more months until we go to New Mexico? I don’t see why not. When we get back home to Hauppauge, at Zwerglipatch Cottage, I shall have to take a breath, close my eyes, and remember these past days — these happy, Maspalomas Days. The Canary Islands are, indeed, perpetual Spring with all the accompanying growth and colorful joy.

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