The Ely Grumpster reflects on his favourite holiday memories

The Ely Grumpster

The Ely Grumpster - Credit: Archant

• Having secured a contract extension at work (the removal of the uber-expensive brown brogue-wearing buffoon, Peregrine, playing no small part in my good fortune), I can complete holiday planning for 2018.

Two weeks in Turin and the Italian Riviera (July) with friends Jaw-Ache Jane (won gold for England in the 2010 mini-Olypmics (“talk incessant garbage for three hours medley”) and her Blacksmith husband Jim (who has a false leg and a right bicep two inches bigger than his left), plus the eagerly awaited trip down under. With the Grumpster daughters’ flights now booked, Doris and I only have to persuade the hollow-legged inhabitant of our spare room that he should join the rest of his family for the antipodean knees-up.

• Whilst trapped on the tube two weeks past (signal failure, Baker Street), my face making whoopee with some Hungarian’s armpit, I started to reminisce about some of the amazing holidays of yesteryear.

Memories that will stay with me forever. Here are just a few:

• Isles of Scilly – white beaches, turquoise seas (St Martin’s), Neolithic graves, camping in a force 8, midnight moonlight glinting off the Western Rocks, Live music and ale in the Turk’s Head (all St Agnes).

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• Croatia – rocky inlets, crystal clear sea, the magnificent walled city of Dubrovnik, cliff-side restaurants at dusk, kayaking from island to island. Less salubrious? Doris’ insistence on “trying out” a nudist beach. Having a conversation with a German couple whilst stark naked is something I will never forget nor ever repeat.

• Cuba - The sheer madness of Havana, Ernest Hemmingway’s favourite bar, full-corona cigars, rum punch, eating freshly caught lobster. The screams of my daughter as she discovered the co-inhabitant of her beach toilet was a three foot snake.

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• Ontario – lost in the wilderness in Missisagi National Park with no water and bears for company (possibly the only time I have been truly scared). Witnessing the 2017 total solar eclipse on a mountainside in Wyoming. The awesome beauty of that celestial event is burned on my soul.

• Corfu – my first proper holiday with Mrs Grumpster’s predecessor – swordfish steaks then cocktails in the Coco Banana. 15 years later, returned with the family. Youngest Grumpster’s first flight. Face a picture.

• Tobago - Englishman’s Bay – incomparable. So many great memories. Despite loving the fact I am earning again, the wanderlust never goes away. I won’t be taking the budgie smugglers to the charity shop just yet.

To get in contact with Chris Fry aka The Ely Grumpster email

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