My Week In Pictures -Norq from Lanzarote

I’m back!  Did you miss me?  I’ve been away in much sunnier climates on the island of Lanzarote which was unbelievably fantastic and I’m now sat in front of the fire thanks to the good old Orkney welcome of snow and wind.  *rolls eyes*

It really was a brilliant week away for us both and we feel very rested and very sun tanned.  Before leaving we overcame the usual packing wars

‘why have you got a full case of your stuff and half my case has your stuff in it too?’

‘Because I have needs’

And Orkney Beef held my hand every day in full view of real, actual people because we were on holiday and nobody knew us apart from The Mother Ship and Father Bear and they hold hands all the time.

My sea swimming took on a different feel as the waters were considerably warmer in Lanzarote and I went from 15 minute freezing cold swims to hour-long snorkeling swims.  Blissful.  ‘Take a picture of me in the sea’ I said.  He had one job…..


I think I was in the water more than I was out of it, but you can easily see why.




Orkney Beef doesn’t usually join me with sea swimming.  Having been a fisherman all his life he tends to avoid being the waters of Orkney unless absolutely necessary. But he was happy to oblige this holiday and we had some great times swimming and snorkeling. In fact, snorkeling was one of my 49 things to do before I’m 50 and I managed to check off quite a few this trip.

Snorkel Selfie

We rode a camel and this was a real highlight for me. (probably not for the camel with us pair)  Apart from a very ungraceful getting up and down process, and getting used to sitting on a moving camel, it was a remarkably peaceful experience.  Camels are incredibly chilled, I’ve discovered.  Very calm and peaceful and have been carrying heavy loads since biblical times.  If anyone is worried, I can assure you they were very well looked after by their owners.  Perhaps the most worrying thing was that the only English the camel man shouted to me as we set off was HOLD ON TIGHT! You say that once I’m on it right?

Orkney Beef holds on tight- to his hat!

We also visited fantastic volcanos and drove through the biggest larva ocean in Europe.  It was absolutely incredible and our tour guide certainly knew her stuff.


Walking round a volcano crater

To pacify Orkney Beef for riding the camel against his wishes I agreed to go in a submarine against mine.  It was tolerable.


In all honesty, it was actually quite pleasant in parts.  I just had to try not and think about how they would evacuate us all if the engines failed.  I was assured that there was enough oxygen to last 70 hours in the event of an emergency.  That’s all well and good but I couldn’t help but notice there was no toilet in this 70 vacuum and as Jean-Paul Sartre ,  famously said. ‘hell is other people…..’ Needless to say we aurvived.

View from the porthole

on the subject of fish, we had our fish nibbled by – well fish- which was interesting. And we ate, drank, walked, swam, lazed around and had the best time ever. We even bumped into friends from my Cambridge days who happened to be in Lanzerote at the same time which was absolutely lovely.



It really was fantastic and coming back home was hard. I knew I had to face going in the sea in Orkney again pretty soon as if I didn’t get back on the horse pretty swiftly I doubt I ever would. So this morning I arranged to go to my regular Sunday morning spot with an absolute sense of dread.  The waters I’d been used to were 21 degrees.  The waters in Orkney had been 5 or 6 degrees while I was away.  I opened the front door and found snow on the doorstep.

You’ll be fine said the seasoned Polar Bears – Just do it

Despite feeling as nervous as my first-time in Baltic waters, I really was fine, and the exhilaration and buzz came back once I got over the initial shock.  As lovely as it  is swimming in warmer places, you don’t get the buzz of cold water swimming. I’m pleased I made myself do it.

So now it’s the last few hours of my holiday before work beckons again tomorrow.  My holiday case has been unpacked and we are already planning saving for the next one.  Enjoy your week everyone.  Cheers!

Sangria Smiles





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