Thursday, 23 April 2009

On Destiny

You only have to take the most cursory look at history to realise the dubious benefit of having the courage of one's own convictions. I’m thinking Icarus, Napoleon, Hitler, Maggie Thatcher.... Anyway, my dearest K is widely known for his work in the dark art of persuasion, so much so that until we met, few if any had dared to challenge him on a whole plethora of peculiar beliefs, which together constitute certain idiosyncrasies of character that only a wife could love. So it was that, blessed with the appeal which utter confidence inspires, I blithely followed him aboard the flight he had booked, and made the unusual mistake of going on the wrong holiday.

It seemed like nothing less than good fortune when, trying to harness a wriggly one-year old Impster on my lap, the pilot announced that our flight would only take 2 hours. Indeed, I had anticipated the flight to Lanzarote taking a good 4 hours. The only obvious (and dare I say it, logical) explanation was that we were experiencing an unprecedented tailwind (my father is an aerodynamicist – I really do believe such things are possible). And as we came in to land, K pointed to the volcanic mountains and remarked that the island was really much larger than he'd remembered. Then out through customs, more curious yet, was the inexplicable absence of the car hire firm we'd booked. Tcha, what cowboys! Undeterred, we hired a different car and sought a map of the ‘island’. And in the midst of our most creative gesticulations and finest pigeon Spanish, the horror crept upon us. Quite clearly, we were in mainland Spain, aka The Wrong Lanzerote. Yes, if our stupidity is to be believed (and we’ve made careers out of it not being), then we had not the slightest notion that Alicante was on the Costa bloody Blanca. How wise was Robert Louis Stevenson when he wrote that to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.

In short, my beloved had booked flights to Alicante (ALC) instead of Arrecife (ACE). A note to self that late-night use of is a truly hazardous thing – you could end up anywhere waiting for those screens to refresh! But K is so entirely plausible as to be a liability - a reputable member of customer services at Gatwick was actually grateful to him for being told that Alicante was in Lanzarote. After all those years of ignorance!

Looking on the bright side, as far as the little Impster is concerned, she's had a super week in Lanzarote. Well, it seemed a trifle unnecessary to confuse matters when she'd just learned to pronounce the place, and 21 months is far too tender an age to reveal that grownups are fallible (or whither parental authority?).

I must confess, dear reader, that we had a rather fine holiday after all (though an extra jumper wouldn’t have gone amiss). Which begs the question of whether we were not destined after all for our destination? For who can say how often we take a wrong turn in life, only to end up at the exact place we had been headed all along? As the Spanish would have it, ‘Que sera, sera’.

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