A Tale of Two Shopping Trips

Long gone are the days of spending hours in Selfridges agonising over Prada or Mulberry. The last 2 days have been shopping events to be remembered and both equally enjoyable.

Shopping Experience 1

When we left the UK I had our reliable M&S pillows laundered and thought nothing more of it until several changes of pillowcases later I realised that changing the bed entailed hoovering up masses of feathers. I tried to ignore it but this week realised that our precious pillows were dead. We ceremoniously binned them and cycled into town to El Corte Ingles, my favourite shop of all time. We went up to the home furnishing section and mooched about for a while. No sooner had we picked up the perfect bathmat for our bedroom ‘apres shower’ than a very efficient assistant (who I will refer to as Señora) offered very kindly to carry the mat to the till for us. We then asked where the pillows were. ‘Sorry’, she didn’t understand us. We mimed going to sleep and putting our heads on pillows. ‘Ah, si!’  Señora lead us to the opposite corner of the floor where the bedding was. We didn’t want the cheap pillows on display and asked where the duck down pillows were. Clive got out his iphone to translate while I wondered if I could do a duck impression that couldn’t be confused with a chicken. Fortunately the iphone translator came up trumps. ‘Ah, si!’  She headed to the keeper of the expensive pillows who lead the way to the beds. We were worried that things had been lost in translation and they were offering us a bed but then they stopped at the bottom of a double bed and the keeper of the expensive pillows lifted the base to reveal a choice selection. Señora then took our selection back to the till for us and we said we’d wander around. We found a couple of towels I wanted to protect the cushions on deck and no sooner had we picked them up and there she was, our Señora to carry them to the till. I wanted to kiss her!. Back at the till she scanned everything and we crammed them into our rucsacs. I went to pay using my Caxton card and the purchase was declined. (I forgot to top up after a large supermarket shop.) Señor was beside herself. ‘Sorry! Sorry!’ Clive stepped in to pay and we unloaded the rucsacs so that she could rescan everything again. Señora insisted on getting on her knees to repack my rucsac saying ‘sorry’ over and over.

We left with overstuffed but very light rucsacs and only had one more purchase to make. A bag of lettuce for tea. Another light item but difficult to pack in overstuffed bags without bruising. Clive volunteered and we gingerly made it back to the boat.

The pillows are to die for. I now look forward to getting to bed and don’t want to get up in the morning. OK, nothing new there, but they are truly the best pillows we’ve ever had.


Shopping Experience 2

Clive arranged a surprise excursion one day which involved getting a bus and heading for the hills and I had no idea where we were going. It was the longest single decker bus I’ve ever been on and the driver was overly confident. How we managed to squeeze down some of the side streets in Las Palmas I really don’t know and as we left the town I thought we’d be safe. Then we started going up hill. The driver was by now totally crazy and threw the bus around blind corners on single track roads with a precipice on one side. He blasted his horn as if this would magically vaporise anything coming in the opposite direction. Luckily we were going to visit a rum distillery and I certainly felt like a rum when we got off the bus.

We were in Arucas and walking to the Arehucas distillery was like going to Mecca for me. We went along roads with no pavements, crossed a roundabout and diced with traffic but when we walked through the gates I felt like we'd arrived somewhere very special. (Everyone else arrived by coach. Losers.) We ended up on a Spanish tour so didn’t understand a word of what was said but I didn’t care as I was in the land of rum. There was a section full of barrels signed by famous people. Opera singers of the world, politicians and our Tom Jones.

The tour finished with a rum tasting. About 15 bottles of rum, rum liqueur and you just helped yourself.  Needless to say I wormed my way for a photo behind the bar. We then bought 6 bottles of their finest 7 year old rum which was by far the nicest. We had a photoshoot outside and then I found my dream car. I want one when we get back to Chester as it would be perfect for the school run. 'There's Granny in her rum car again. How embarrassing!'