Today I behaved like a tourist.
I decided to spend the day at the Jolly Beach Resort, on a Day Pass It’s more than ten years since I went to JBR for the first time, back in July 2003 and two years to the month that I took my last singles’ group there. Of course, I didn’t know then that it was going to be my last ever job; my mum had just been diagnosed with cancer and I was on what I thought was compassionate leave when I was fired for writing my novel, Singles’ Holiday.
As it turned out, being fired was the best thing that could have happened to me; my life is amazing and I’m very, very happy. And besides, I deserve so much more than working for such a company. So – it’s all water under the bridge – but today, going back into JBR, a place where for eight years I used to spend half the year, was, of course, always going to be a trip down Memory Lane.
It was lovely to see that so many of the staff are still there and as the hotel isn’t very full we were able to have long chats. And I relaxed round the pool and on the beach for a while, had two lovely swims plus breakfast and lunch and then a couple of cocktails just before the sun started to set, which is when the Day Pass runs out. Okay, I’d be the first to admit that it isn’t Antigua’s most luxurious hotel, but there’s something about it that is so conducive to relaxation. The location is second to none; that long, long stretch of silver sand, turquoise sea and blue sky all fringed by green palms takes some beating. And the staff are the friendliest of anywhere I ever travelled. Seeing them again was wonderful and hearing what they had to say “You were the best tour leader we ever had. The ones they send now think they’re on vacation. They don’t co-operate with us like you did. They don’t care about the guests.” was nice to hear; recognition from tourism professionals that I did a good job. But as I hadn’t taken my ipad with me – and the little old Nokia I use here hasn’t got a camera – I couldn’t take any photos. So I’ll just have to go back and spend another day there before I leave so that I’ve got the pics to prove it!
Tonight I feel completely chilled and relaxed. I really enjoyed being a proper holidaymaker today.
I think perhaps what’s called for next is a bit of bump and grind at Shirley Heights next Sunday. You can’t get more tourist than that!