Okay, lets get one thing straight, right off the bat. I know there are people out there who would kill for a holiday during February. So, with that in mind, I don’t want to come across as an ungrateful whinger who went on a cheap winter break and found it to be, in the main, shit.
However, if I didn’t moan and have a rant about things then a vast majority of the content on this site would end up the same as the holiday – dull.
So, not wanting to dwell on how much of a let down the whole thing was for us, I’ll try to convey the disappointment of the whole week by way of a promising subplot that had been gaining momentum before we arrived.
The early part of the week contained the potentially explosive love triangle involving Fliss‘ dad, Ted, and an older, irish man called Billy, vying for the affections of a lady named Beryl. These are, I think, fantastic old peoples names that anyone who’s ever played with Sensible Soccer’s Old Folks XI team will remember with mirth. None of your Kylie’s and Tyler’s to be found here – just old fashioned monikers that conjure up images of rationing and seaside resorts in their heyday.
Anyhow, Ted is a sharp old chap, who, despite being into his mid 60’s, isn’t what I’d call a proper old codger. He has the occasional stubborn old codger moment, I’ll admit, but for the most part Ted is young at heart, far from being on the scrap heap, and only his poor hearing lets him down. Due to the slight deafness, he seldom initiates conversation with people to avoid embarrassment, and this was the case with Beryl. Billy, on the other hand, was a wittering old budgie who sprinkled the words “you know?” into every bumbling sentence that left his mouth. You only had to make the mistake of asking Billy the time and you were fucking stuck there for twenty minutes while he struggled to recall some example of how he’d once used a watch in some way. Beryl obviously had the patience of a saint, because Billy seemed to be quite welcome at her table and, as far as Ted could see, the old irishman’s persistance was paying off.
Then Fliss came up with the idea of getting a valentines card for Beryl on behalf of Ted, a masterstroke that would put the ball firmly in Ted’s court, we thought. While fuelled up on a few beers and swept along by the magical performance of Denis, this sounded like a brilliant idea. I suggested the following rhyme to go in the card;
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
I’m a bit deaf,
so I cant hear you.
Genius, I thought.
With a couple of other ditties and a suitable card we would be golden. This also would give the holiday some purpose. If we couldn’t sunbathe to any great extent, then finding true love for Ted seemed to be a fitting pursuit, seeing as he had paid for our room for the week.
Sadly, the great plan was scuppered the very next day with the surprise revelation that Beryl had gone home that morning without so much as a goodbye, and both Billy and Ted’s excellent adventure had come to an end before we could interfere. In a word – Bogus.
I don’t know if it was being robbed of this holiday subplot, but from this point on the heart wasn’t really in it. Even the sudden arrival of some blazing weather on the Sunday couldn’t rescue it for us now, we decided. I managed to finish the book I had started reading on the plane on that Sunday, simply by sitting there reading it on the balcony for the want of something else to do. There was simply nothing on offer, no beach that would lend itself to going for walks or playing frisbee, for instance, just the dirty smelly streets the constantly gusting wind.
For the final few days we simply went through the motions, sleeping late, getting drunk in the all inclusive bar in the evening, and, for the most part, yearning to be back in the comforts of home. And now we are, thankfully.
The journey back was fairly straightforward, too, even though we’d been warned that “the weather might be a bit lumpy” by the pilot of the plane, it turned out to be pretty uneventful. Which kind of sums up the holiday as a whole, really.
To close; don’t go to Malta unless you’re ready to die. Really ready. As in might-not-make-it-off-the-plane ready. You have been warned.