Hand gel obsession

London again by train today – this time for my hip as it’s still bothering me a lot.  

I got messaged by the NHS test and trace yesterday (notification that I may have been in contact with someone with Covid). I suspect it came from the airport and I had to get a PCR test done (I’m double-vaccinated). I’m fine – as I suspected because I’m extremely careful, perhaps to a fault as I’m a little OCD about hygiene when I’m out and about. It’s not surprising then that I’ve a thing about using toilets!

This brings me to the subject of hand gel (I really love this stuff!) I’ve made clip-on Privvi hand gels which I must add to my online store. I’m so obsessed with it that I even catch myself using it at home sometimes. I made my own during lockdown using hypoallergenic ultrasound gel mixed with 70% proof alcohol. It actually worked really well and smelt quite nice (that’s important)..



Robinson Crusoe

I got back to the UK last night and to rain today. Really appreciated the trip but I’ve a lot to get on with after the break so it’s straight back to work.

I took a few shots for some Privvi promotions while I was away. I really like this one taken at the beach in Playa De San Juan – near to where I stayed. It reminds me of a desert island and made me think – what would I take with me if I was stranded? There wouldn’t be a toilet and nobody would be there, so not Privvi.

If I was thinking sensibly I’d take a penknife, matches, string, a sheet of tarpaulin and some iodine. Thinking about what I’d actually want to have with me: my phone, a charger, a years supply of white wine, pants and some shampoo. Don’t think I’d survive long with the latter!.


The volcano

I felt a bit little Gerald Durrell today but I’m on the wrong island.

Today I swam in a natural sea water pool, found a tortoise and fed it a grape then went to the beach and made friends with a French couple. It was a great day. Now I’m sitting on my terrace looking at the view, writing and listening to the yoga session going on nearby.

I go home tomorrow but I know I’ll be back – this island it never fails to revitalise me. It’s such a wild and beautiful place and (as you may know) it’s actually a giant volcano that gradually erupted out of the sea. It has two separate microclimates so the north side of the island is similar to the northern hemisphere and the south island is similar to the the southern. It’s a small island so you can be in cloudy, chilly weather then drive over the hills in between and find yourself surrounded by cacti, rocks and dry heat.

I’ve had some weird, wonderful and tragic experiences here. Here are some:
1. I was given a full plastic carrier bag of live, wriggling sardines by a friendly and enthusiastic fisherman at the village port.
2. I saw a large, captured octopus climb out of the top (about 1.5 inches wide) of a 5 litre plastic water bottle. It was like watching a contortionist.
3. When it rained really hard one day the streets were littered with large, dead, orange cockroaches that had drowned in the gutters (quite gross).
4. Sadly I saw a fisherman die from drowning. It was a very poignant reminder of how wild and dangerous the sea and the rocks are here. Apparently he had been fishing here for years but was caught out and washed away by a freak wave.

I had to take a PCR test this morning in preparation for my flight. I’ve been really careful so hopefully it will be OK. If not I’ll have to stay and that wouldn’t actually be that terrible.


‘But’ in a pram

Pero means ‘but’ in Spanish and perro means ‘dog’. I used to find it very confusing when I heard Spanish people talking as I couldn’t work out why they said dog so much of the time. I’m told they are pronounced quite differently but I still wouldn’t be able to tell if I’m honest. I’ve been coming to Tenerife for years and although I can speak a little Spanish it’s still very basic. I’d like to learn properly at some point.

I was looking for a dog to photograph today and luckily found this rather cute little fella sitting in a pram outside a shop. I’m not sure why he was in there and didn’t want to ask as he was wheeled off afterwards. His French owner seemed very happy for me to take this snap (and rather proud of his little furry friend).



I arrived in Tenerife late last night and was deposited by a busy taxi driver on a dirt track in the middle of a banana plantation outside the locked gates of my accommodation. It was pitch black so my phone torch came in very handy and once the gates opened and after a short walk, I found myself in a little oasis. It did feel like a mini-adventure.

This is the view I woke up to from my terrace this morning and the view again this evening. The photos really don’t do this justice – in the background is the island of La Gomera, the sea and an expanse of bananas directly in front. I walked through the field of bananas today – they’re quite strange fruits – hanging in huge bunches with a strange red ‘plume’ at the base (I’d never known was there).

I’m feeling very in need of a time out but so very fortunate to be able to have it in such a lovely place (plus the broadband is excellent so I can work when I need to). I came back from the beach today to find a baby gecko in my apartment. I’m actually quite fond of these creatures but didn’t relish the thought of it scurrying around my room tonight. Managed to get it back out of the patio door without too much hassle.


London Harley Street

London Harley Street today for a scan of my cyst. Weird to see this little black abyss in the middle of my insides. Such a strange entity just loitering there but thankfully not doing a lot (for now). The verdict is that it’s nothing sinister but it may have to be evicted if it gets a lot bigger. At 3.7cm it’s surprisingly sizeable.

I’m flying to Tenerife tomorrow after abandoning Barcelona (it was raining there for most of the week). I’ve booked a yoga retreat in the middle of a banana plantation. It’s an area I’ve visited before and my little ‘finca’ has high-speed wi-fi and I’m taking my laptop to work. I can’t wait for this mini-adventure and some sunshine.

Although I’m really looking forward to getting away I’m not particularly looking forward to the flight. There’s a lot more to think about in terms of travel documents and practicalities but hopefully it won’t be too stressful.


Captain Woodgett of the Cutty Sark

I’ve been meaning to visit his grave for years and finally went this week. It wasn’t easy to find – hidden away in a tiny countryside church at the top of a hill just outside Burnham Norton in Norfolk. It took a few minutes looking between the gravestones but there it was – unmistakably, with an anchor to decorate it.

Richard Woodgett was my great, great uncle and my grandma’s uncle via her mother. He used to take her sailing when she was a girl at Burnham Overy Staithe in Norfolk.

Richard was a farmer’s son who learned to sail at an early age taking the Cutty Sark on its’ fastest journeys, making it famous.

Apparently he used to cycle around the deck and wear a Tam O’Shanter. He kept Collies on board, acted as the ship’s doctor and loved taking photographs. I would very much like to have met him as he sounded quite a character.


Barcelona and a snowboard

I missed my family holiday this year as it was just after my hip op and I was busy with work. Thought I’d feel sad but I was actually relieved and glad to stay put. I couldn’t have joined in properly anyway – my family climbed Snowdon on the hottest day of the year (quite a walk at the best of times).

So, I’ve a flight booked to Barcelona – with a snowboard included (it’s one re-booked several times from last year). It amuses me to see it there – bit out of place on the beach but a bit like a surf board with bindings I suppose. I’d hoped to give surfing a try this September (an option where I’d stay – near the beach, outside of the city) but my hip’s not better. I’m getting a 2nd opinion in view to a replacement.

I’ve been deliberating about whether or not I should go to Barcelona. It’s been quite a year and to be honest, I could do with the time-out and a bit of a re-charge. Flying and travel’s going to be a bit complicated and weird but I might go for it and take care.


One fifth or 20%

I was told I’d have about 80% use in my hand and advised to use it as normal. It seemed an academic figure and if you think about it, 20% is quite a lot – almost a quarter. I wasn’t really sure what that would mean in real terms but the weekend before last this started to become clearer.

When I was taking the marquee down after the festival, one corner of the frame slid down putting the full weight of it onto my thumb. Normally this wouldn’t have been a problem but I didn’t have time to think or move.

It became quite sore and swollen so I had to wear my hand brace again last week. Luckily the ligament wasn’t broken again and it is better now. I have begun to learn what this sum of 20% really means and I now need to work out the things I can’t or shouldn’t do. It will be something I’ll need to learn. I’ve another festival next Saturday so I’ll need to take it steady.

I have a scan for my cyst on the 3rd of September. I hope it behaves itself in the meantime. I might give it a nickname.


The pointless phenomenon of tailgating?

This is not to be confused with the other variety – a social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle. The one I’m talking about involves people driving too close to the back of your car to stop in time. It’s one of my top bugbears.

It’s not that I drive slowly – on the contrary I actually go a bit too fast, especially on the motorway. Today on my way around the M25 I got tailgated by a white van in the fast lane, stuck behind a row of traffic at about 70mph.

What’s the point? It simply doesn’t make any sense in my mind. It’s not like I can drive into the car in front of me so why do it? The only outcome is them hitting the back of my car if I have to stop suddenly. I had a little rant to myself in the car and eventually the van moved across into the slow lane and undertook everyone at high speed (possibly even more stupid).

I’ve several theories on why people tailgate:

  1. Frustration and the vain hope that all (12 for example) vehicles in front, will accommodate them and move out of the way (not very realistic).
  2. Anger or stress – someone who’s late or just had a run-in somewhere.
  3. Stupidity and a lack of attention or thought to safety. I think there are actually people who do it out of habit and have no idea how close they are.

    None of these sit comfortably with me and I once got so mad with a driver that I let him go past then pulled out and tailgated him for about 3 miles. I think he was a bit freaked out but perhaps he’ll think twice about doing it next time. That was years ago and I would refrain from doing that now (although it’s tempting sometimes).