Holiday by numbers


Eight. That’s eight. Not seven, nor – thank the Lord – nine, but still, that’s quite a good showing to have added that number of pounds to a not-very-big physique in a mere six days.

Still, when these eight pounds are placed in the context of the high-end cocktail bars and restaurants of Ibiza, all should become clear. For that is where we were, me, my goddaughter Lily, and the assorted parents, friends and sots (these are not discrete categories, let it be noted) who made up the party’s numbers to eight. Oh! Look at that! I put on a pound for every person there! How pleasing, in a pattern-spotting, acute-psychotic-episode sort of way.

This year the weather was a merciful few degrees cooler than last, so much so that I was tempted to appear in the sun for not-more-than 45 seconds per day – a 100% increase on last year. And while we’re on the maths, the eight pounds have been largely dismissed thanks to multiplying exercise levels by five and dividing the quantities of food and booze being shovelled down by a similar amount.

This was our third year going to Ibiza and until Sunday last week I had never been dancing there. This needed rectifying, according to the wilder members of the group (ie everyone who isn’t me), and there was a plan to go to Amnesia, a prospect that filled me with dread. The dread was hard to pick apart but was mostly a self-loathingy swirl of ageism, lack-of-tannism and horrid dancefloor technique. I also have an allergy to being in places from which I cannot escape to bed. Mature, I know, but there it is. So in a shameful display of cowardice, I ducked out of the club night in favour of beddy byes and a morning on the tiles with Lily and fellow duck-outee, walking around the harbour and eating enormous ice cream sundaes in Santa Eularia while the clubbers recovered gently.

It didn’t matter, in the event, because of Sunday and our improv night at Le Club Piscine. It started as an evening like any other. We returned from the beach, salty, sandy, freckle-nosed and sticky with suncream, but instead of separating for showers and smartening up, we sat by the pool enjoying a nice cold beer, then another, then another. And by midnight we (ok, mostly I) was dancing like a windmill round the pool and the boys were skinny-dipping.

The others went ahead with the club night the next Thursday – and in fairness it sounded spectacular. But you know what? Capering around the hibiscus to the strains of an iPad under a velvety Ibizan sky ran it a pretty good second. And the ice cream sundae with my goddaughter? The start of a tradition, I hope, that will last forever. Or at least until she wises up to my spoon attacking the side that she can’t see.


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