The waiting room for Heaven

Journal

The waiting room for Heaven

Fliss and I are currently away in Malta for a winter break. I would have said “Winter–Sun Break” but then I’d be lying. So far, after five days, we’ve had about half a day where it was actually sunny. The rest of the time it’s been wet, windy, and only slightly warmer than being back home.

That’s during the day time – at night time the rooms are bloody freezing, and we had to ask for extra blankets after the first night.

Still, it’s been cheap so far, as Fliss‘ dad paid for the room and we only had to splash on the flights. With hindsight, though, I’d much rather have spent another £500 and gone somewhere that was really warm and sunny, rather than this place which is neither.

In a way it’s quite forewarning, actually. The hotel is full of elderly folk, some of whom are single and spend a lot of the time sitting by themselves. The first couple of days we kept wondering why they would come here just to sit there, seemingly waiting to die. But I’m beginning to realise that they’re here for the company, whether they actively join in with the others or not, it must be nice for these lonely pensioners to see other faces and feel less isolated for a few weeks of a long winter.

As much as we’ve sworn we’ll never end up doing the same thing, it’s quite worrying to think that it’ll turn out like that anyway. After all, if you’re stuck in britain of a winter and you’re hardly flush with cash, a cheap holiday somewhere only slightly warmer than home must seem much more tempting than soldiering through the cold part of the year by yourself.

There’s not a lot to do here for us, to be honest. We’ve already made our minds up that when we’re pushing 70 we’re not going to settle for fucking dominoes or singing the hokey–cokey. So we’ve taken refuge in the only other option – Scrabble.

Now, I quite like Scrabble. It’s fun enough if you get some good words, and has helped to while away a couple of evenings and afternoons to date. I had the word Dolphin the other night and I was quite pleased, although Fliss topped it with the slightly suspicious looking Coalfish. In the end we were getting so tired of coming up with words that I let her have Gaydar at one point, although I haven’t stooped to that kind of play myself, yet.

Last nights’ entertainment was comparitively awesome, with the sensational guitar play of a man named Denis. We don’t know if that’s just a stage name, but it’s hard to think that anyone would have a world of choice and settle on Denis. He was rather good, though, and made easy work of the more difficult numbers. His finale of Wonderful tonight fell upon very appreciative ears/hearing aids, and I couldn’t help but thinking his talent was a bit wasted on the venue. He also had a good sense of comedic timing, as, after playing Peggy Sue, he announced when the applause had died that he was “going to take us back in time with the next song”. I was expecting some medievil chanting at that point, as even for the assembled pensioners, it’s hard to go much further back than Buddy Holly and still feel the need to announce that we were travelling into the past.

Denis, according to Mirza the bar man, is the highlight of the week – the cream of the crop, and all that. So that’s us, we’ve peaked and there are still a few nights to go. Looks like we’ll be fucking masters of Scrabble by the time we’re back home.