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A land of peace and adventure
What price England in the winter? What price Nature’s annual supply of coughs, colds, bronchitis, arthritis and flue? Well, for me the price had become too high and the demand for payment arrived earlier each year.
All right, I was no longer the freshest fruit on the tree and my joints contained what Caesar referred to as ‘the British disease’, but I still had a long way to go before my sell-by date – didn’t I?
In late 1999, with the intention of holding winter at bay for as long as possible, I attempted to book a reasonably priced holiday in both Benidorm and Tenerife. The weather over Christmas and New Year in both these places was usually warmer than in England so I had high hopes of a pain-free few weeks.
A search of the holiday brochures, teletext and the Internet, however, soon revealed that stories of reasonably priced holidays were a myth. None were available in either of these places. In fact, the price demanded for even the simplest holiday was extortionate. Perhaps the advent of the millennium and the hype preceding this man-made event had something to do with it!
Determined not to give in to the greed of the holiday companies but becoming more desperate each day, I continued my search until fate took a hand in an old fashioned non-electronic way. While I was sitting at my computer and glowering at the latest batch of ‘special offers’ that had winged their way to me through cyberspace, a postman on a bicycle dropped a Christmas card from my sister in Australia through my letterbox.