Under the Weather
shivered. She hadn't expected to be cold in
Tenerife in the middle of August.
Going up Mount
Teide was Sams idea. All week, theyd
been looking at it from their window in sun-drenched
Playa de Las Americas, but the fact that the
lopsided peak, rising above the towering hotel
blocks, glowed white, indicating... er... snow,
had not influenced Debbies choice of
clothing that day. Wearing warm Berghaus jackets,
the Germans ambled over to the wall to admire the
view through expensive binoculars. The Spanish
girls, taking photographs with their phones
of themselves, not of the dramatic scenery
- cosseted themselves in crocheted shawls and
scarves. Buttoning her thin cardigan,
English Debbie hugged her chest.
crumpled shorts, her - hitherto white
thighs glowed pink and her neck and shoulders
glowed dark pink... red. She had used sun
cream. Honest. Even though Sam, who said he
wasn't going to use any, balked at the price of
the bottle of Factor 15 in her Boots basket and
made her put it back. Factor 8 would be all right,
he said. Her shoulders were all right
eventually, three weeks after they returned home.
holiday was in Florida. They went a bit later
that year. Funny it was so much cheaper in
September, because it was still quite warm, just
a bit breezy. One night, they watched the trees
bending over almost double. Sam said that
those palms were thin and flimsy things, not like
the oaks and... well, other trees... you got at
home. A loudspeaker van drove up and down the
road, but you couldn't hear what was being said
above the clattering of their neighbours either
side fastening shutters. Debbie thought she
caught something about keeping tuned into the TV,
but Sam told her she was stupid and they wouldn't
have said that, would they? Anyway, Debbie
didn't like American television.
morning, after a good nights sleep, Debbie
popped out to buy some milk. The wind had
dropped but nobody seemed to be about and litter
was everywhere, branches and leaves, empty
McDonalds cartons and pizza boxes squashed
at the corners, and she had to step over at the
fallen tree blocking the end of their road.
Are you OK? asked the woman at the
supermarket, in a very concerned voice, but
Americans were always saying things like that.
Debbie wasn't OK at all, because, as there was no
milk on the shelves, she wouldn't be able to make
It was raining cats and dogs when Debbie and Sam
landed at Gatwick at the end of their holiday.
You could hear it lashing against the side of the
plane. Taking their hand-baggage down from
the overhead lockers, Debbie retrieved her
cagoule, and Sams, both snuggly packed in
their little nylon bags. She put on hers, drawing
up the zip and pulling the hood over her head.
Sam did the same. A few minutes later they
walked off the plane, down the steps and on to
the tarmac, arriving into the terminal as dry as