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Corfu Day 1 - 07-06-24: Where’s a Dermatologist when you need one!

We were in bed by 10:30 pm after a very long day of travelling which surprised even us as we’re not used to late nights on holiday. It had been an eventful travel day, nay, it had been an eventful week but then isn’t it always when we’re off on our holidays.

They say things come in ‘3’s, and in our case the ‘3’s were…..pets, packing and ailments. So let’s start with our  pets….Sir Winston, Maice’s pampered pooch and Milly, The Millymeister, my one-eyed, quirky cat. From past experiences, the one thing we can’t let on to them is that we’re going on holiday because as soon as they get a wee hint that this may be the case they go into panic mode.  So this time we decided on a cunning plan. A ‘why didn’t we think of it before’ cunning plan. The plan was to secretly pack, not actually pack, pack, you know by putting things in the suitcase days before but hanging things up and making piles here and there ready to place into our suitcases when said pets had been dispatched to their respective holiday homes.

Of course, as we all know too well, the best laid plans never go to plan. So, acting nonchalantly as always, the time came to put Milly in her carrier which I had secretly taken out of the cupboard and placed on the bed, with a blanket over the top for disguise. She didn’t suspect a thing. However, when I went to pick her up she’d disappeared and was nowhere to be seen.  I scoured the house , and eventually found her under the bed, hiding behind the storage boxes. I had no choice but to fetch the long handled-duster and try to shoo her out which was effective to one extent, she shot out and raced to the second bedroom with me in hot pursuit, then raced back under the bed again. Some fifteen minutes later she was eventually coaxed out by the giant tickling stick and some cheddar cheese!!  Both of us by now were totally stressed and the journey to the cattery was just as stressful because a) I was hoping there’d be a parking space in front of the cattery which is always an issue and b) Milly kept getting her claw caught in the wire door of her carrier and I thought she was going to rip her claw out. Then she wee’d in her carrier, something she’s never done before, poor love. We eventually arrived at Purrfect Cattery where they cleaned her up and settled her in.  We said our goodbyes and I popped round to see Maice for an update on Sir Winston and the packing situation!

Both pets had recently been to the vets to get their annual holiday jabs with an extra special ‘treat’ thrown in for Winston. Yes,  unfortunately for him he was having his anal glands cleared……… by manual evacuation!! Poor love. It’s not his favourite procedure that’s for sure! But needs must and it does save him from scooting across the carpet on his bum. Unfortunately for Winston he had a reaction to his visit to the vets and subsequently had a bout of the ‘runs’ for almost a week.  He was put on a diet of chicken and rice, much to Maice’s disgust who is a vegetarian and doesn’t like to handle meat.  Ah, that’s love for you!  On the Bristol stool scale he was a 7, which is not the best thing to try and scoop into a poo bag on your daily walk that’s for sure but after a week he’d moved up the scale until he was back to his normal scale 4, which was a relief for Maice as she didn’t have to go through that public embarrassment again.

As usual Winston was off to Wool to stay with his mate Geordie and his humans Jane and Mike. Incapable of packing his own bags which was left for maice to do, no sooner had she packed his case he was in there taking it all out again. This Hokey Cokey packing went on for an hour until Jane came to pick him up and was soon distracted by having his armpits tickled.

Since my visit to Germany at Easter I’ve  encountered the puffy face syndrome, which was not a pleasant look…..waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror only to see this puffy faced, red eyed, patchy skinned Claudia Schiffer doppelgänger looking back at you.  Having given myself the wtf look I perused the internet for treatment options.  Honestly where’s a Dermatologist when you need one!  I eventually presented myself to the Doctor two days ago, looking quite normal I must say who diagnosed hay fever!  I’m not convinced but hopefully sitting in the sun may help……..other than that antihistamines will have to do.

Now Maice, like Winston has FOMO………and obviously not wanting to ‘miss out’ I turned up to her place after dropping Milly off only to find her out in the garden wearing an oversized pair of sunglasses. As soon as she took them off, well, OMG, she’d only gone and got herself the puffy face syndrome as well.  Her eyes were red, puffy and swollen and the skin on her face and neck was blotchy. Honestly, whats’ going on……and where’s a Dermatologist when you need one!

We were leaving for the airport in eight hours time so all we had left to do was to pack. Maice managed to pack her new suitcase in record time and even had time to get some three hours sleep. I on the other hand faffed around as usual and couldn’t decide what to take so it all went in the case.  Will I wear everything?  I doubt it but at least I’ve got choices when I’m away.  With just one hours sleep under my belt I set off to collect Maice. I don’t think Maice’s neighbours were too enamoured when I drove into their car park at 2am and set Leila, the dog from number 1 off on a barking spree,  thereby heralding my arrival to all and sundry!  Apologies to Nicky and Helen!!  We took the mandatory pre-holiday selfie, with Maice’s red puffy face glowing in the dark and set off to Bristol airport.

We arrived at Silver Zone parking two hours later having feasted on Baileys Chocolate balls that Jane had given is for the journey, which where were absolutely delicious by the way and were confronted by hundreds of people. We have never seen so many people here before. So, we joined the queue to drop off the car keys, we joined the massive queue to get on the shuttle bus, we joined the even bigger queue at the bag-drop and we joined the even bigger, bigger queue to go through security. Talk about being herded! Honestly, everyone looked like worker ants as we all snaked our way up and down the queue management system and all its ‘lanes’.  Thankfully new security scanners were in place so we didn’t need to take things out of our bags however Maice’s bag got stopped and searched.  Apparently the offending article was the pack of ‘big cards’, which were duly swabbed!!

Finally inside the departure lounge we thought a spot of breakfast would be order however the restaurant we usually go to had a large queue so we wandered around and decided on a take-away. Maice went in search of somewhere to sit and I stood for 20 mins in the queue and returned with a mushroom and egg bap and two cappuccino’s.  It wasn’t the best breakfast we’d had but under the circumstances it would do.

OMG…..the airport was literally packed to the  hilt and there were Hen parties and Stage parties  everywhere…..mainly in the bars.  We prayed they weren’t on our flight and thankfully they weren’t. Must have been the rainbow we’d seen earlier that brought us this good fortune.

The flight was on time and according to the pilot we’d be in Corfu in 2 hours and 50 minutes which was great news. We were looking forward to drinking a bottle of crisp white Greek wine and eating our Greek salad in a bar overlooking the beach, in our sundresses and enjoying the 30 degree temperatures bur firstly we needed to celebrate being on holiday with our usual (small) bottle of Prosecco on the plane. Of course Maice’s bottle fizzed up and went everywhere…..on her shoes, on her trousers and all over the stewards shoes!!  Mine did the same although it only went all over my hands but what luck…..the steward only went and gave us a free bottle due to precious Prosecco being lost on opening. We flew to Corfu in azure blue skies giving us the impression that it must be at least 3pm but it was only 8am.  It was going to be a long day!

We arrived on time at noon and stepped off the plane into a wall of heat!  Right, rule of the day…..don’t complain about the heat!  We thought we were getting a coach transfer but we were pleasantly surprised to be given a private taxi which was fine by us, I mean, who are we to complain. Maria, the driver, didn’t know exactly where she was going but with the aid of SatNav she made it with only one u-turn and actually drove up the very narrow road, up the hill and dropped us off right outside.  Gabriella the owner met us and showed us to our room.  Oh dear, it was a double bed!  Despite specifically requesting twins beds on booking, TUI failed to inform the hotel of this detail and apparently the hotel no longer accommodate twin beds anymore!! ‘Don’t worry’ said Gabriella, ‘we have a solution. When Cristos, my husband, comes home from work he is going to change the beds’.  Great, one issue resolved. We also didn’t have a safety deposit box as they don’t have any on the premises although the brochure said they had them, so that will be another complaint to TUI!

All that was left for us to do was unpack which was rather easy for Maice, who just unlocked her case with the passcode whereas I had left my padlock key at home.  I can picture exactly where I’d left it! So, what to do? I had no option but to use a kitchen knife and wedge the hinge open on the lock and lo-and-behold I’d broken into my suitcase and set about unpacking.

We changed into our beach dresses, walked along the promenade, found a bar with comfy chairs, ordered our Greek salad and wine and stared out to sea towards Albania. It was glorious. It was also very very hot.  Phew. The temperature was 31 degrees with not a titter of a breeze….we were sweltering, but, as we said earlier…..don’t complain about the heat!

Reluctantly we finished our wine and salad and went to explore the area, starting with a walk along the promenade then to the mini-market for water, village wine and crisps, these being the staple items needed on our holidays.  Back at the apartment we entered our room to find that we had two twin beds. Good old Cristos had swopped over the beds and we now had a bed each, which was quite amazing really as the Greeks usually do everything avrio…..tomorrow!

On our way out for supper we stopped off at the pool bar where Gabriella informed us that their neighbour had inadvertently broken the mains water pipe to half of the village and now we had no water to the hotel…..just as well we’d showered and used the loo before it happened.  We went out for supper and chose a taverna on the main road where we could see the water from the broken pipe literally spurting upwards like a geyser!

Back at the hotel Gabriella told us that the authorities had had to turn off the water supply and it wouldn’t be fixed until the next day. Oh dear…..but not to worry, Cristos was on hand and brought us a bucket of water, you know, for the flush!!

So, our eventful day had come to an end.  We hoped we wouldn’t be bitten by mosquitos during the night but hey if they did, they’d be in for a nasty surprise as we’d brought our retractable fly-swots with us.  Oh yes, M&A have come prepared!!!!

And on that note, it’s goodnight from M and it’s goodnight from A……

Καληνηχτα χχ

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