So I haven’t been around much recently. But I do have some good reasons for this.
1. My best friend Z came to visit from Australia!
As you may remember, Z wasn’t able to make our wedding last year because she was kinda busy, what with getting married herself and then the small matter of having a baby. Well, good things come to those who wait, and I’ve now had the chance to meet her husband and little boy, and I can report back that both of them are truly lovely. They came over for a whirlwind three week tour to introduce the baby to their families, but luckily for us they could squeeze in a two day trip to Bristol. The first night gave S and me the chance to meet Z’s husband properly over several bottles of red wine, as well as meeting the baby, and then the next night saw a group of us, old friends from university, all get together for a pot luck Indian meal. We spent hours eating and drinking and chatting and laughing and catching up on the last few months and years. And realising that, with true friends, it doesn’t matter whether it’s been six months or eighteen months or three years since you last saw each other: it only ever feels like five minutes.
2. We went to La Gomera!
S and I took two weeks off work and spent the middle part of it on a holiday to La Gomera. Before we booked it (a totally last minute decision where we just put our dates and airport into a search engine to see what came up), neither of us had heard of this tiny little island in the Canaries, but after spending a week there I can highly recommend it.
Our time there was a perfect mix of lazing, reading vast quantities and eating lots of anchovy stuffed olives, alongside more active pursuits such as climbing Mount Garajonay and other hikes. Most of the island is a national park so there are lots of fantastic walks with beautiful viewpoints, looking out towards the other Canary Islands of La Palma and El Hierro. At times it was hard to distinguish between the sea and the sky.
La Gomera has a whistling language unique to the island: developed to deliver messages across the valleys, el silbo nearly died out in the 20th century but since its compulsory teaching in Gomeran schools it has now flourished again. Sadly we only heard it once, during an announcement on the ferry, but I kept an ear out for it throughout the week.
We got addicted to the local delicacy of mojo, a spicy sauce that is red or green depending on what herbs are added and which came served with every meal we had out. On our last night I ordered another Gomerian speciality, fried cheese with palm honey, which was so delicious that I then cursed myself for not discovering it earlier. We smuggled back a jar of palm honey (contraband as it was larger than our hand luggage only liquid allowance allowed) and intend to recreate this heavenly dish with some manchego.
Today was our first day back at work which is always hard after a fortnight off, but the post-holiday blues have been sweetened by the mini heat wave the UK has been enjoying for the last few days, which gave us chance to continue the lazing out in the garden when we came home on Wednesday. My sunglasses haven’t seen this much action for years.