What can I say – here we are sprinting into Autumn at a rate of knots, a sudden bump into this seasonal change. One day its summer, the next day the leaves have turned into a beautiful array of colour and the weather cannot make up its mind!
So, to reflect on the summer seems a dim and distant memory…or not! This leads me to share with you a small journey on our holiday in Ibiza. This year, I booked a hotel (a new adventure as we normally self-cater!) which in itself set a couple of challenges for me. I love my work which involves me being engaged and energised for clients, colleagues and delegates who attend our training, and so typically on hols, I enjoy being away from the crowds to re-energise. This year I realised this did not always excite my girls who are very sociable and love meeting people!! – Hotel it was….
We arrived early hours of the morning after a very twisty and turny transfer, not long in time, challenging for my stomach though!! The driver had asked if I’d like him to stop as apparently, I had turned a very disturbing colour! On arrival, we checked in and we were excited to see our home for the week…a room with balcony to chill out on…. or not. We opened the door into a very small room with a balcony looking onto a dirt bank. Disappointed is one word for it. Like you I was ready for my hols and was staying on the positives with a rocky start. The next morning, I asked if we could be moved and explained the room I believed I had booked. The manager (Emma who became my new hero) said they were full. At this point, to mine and everyone else’s surprise, I spontaneously burst into tears!! Imagine…not something I had predicted or typically do! It was at this point I realised how tired I was and in need of respite. Emma stepped in weaved her magic and we moved to a fabulous room, so our holiday began.
So, it took a good couple of days for me to wind down and relax…my girls, on the other hand, thought they had landed in heaven – a pool, others to play with and ice-cream and slushies on tap!! Happy days!
Mid-week we decided to go to the hippie market – my heaven!! We taxied there and at the advice of the hotel, we would catch a taxi back from the taxi rank outside the market, apparently, they would only take bookings for the airport. A fabulous day was had by all – much spending and acquiring of fabulous things we decided to call it a day. The weather looked quite stormy, so getting back to the hotel for drinks and dinner was a good plan……
On arrival to the taxi rank, we quickly learned that people had been waiting for at least an hour for a taxi. It was about a quarter to six at this stage. I called our hotel for advice and at their suggestion went to the hotel opposite the taxi rank to order a taxi, which they duly did – “10 minutes madam!”
The rain had started and it was very black overhead. The wind was picking up and we could hear rumbling in the distance. At this stage, I need to share with you that my girls are 12 and 10, tired and hungry and missing the pool, and my Mum (70) is terrified of thunder and lightning. The taxi rank queue opposite was getting very restless and fractious.
20 minutes passed and no taxi. I asked the hotel to chase and they did – “it’s on its way.” It arrived shortly after…and so starts the first challenge…a couple of people sprinted over from the rank to secure the taxi. I calmly spoke to drive who said he had a booking for Vicky – brilliant…When asked my destination, I responded and the taxi driver said, “no I’m not going there I finish at 7 and it‘s too far” …so took another fare. I was a little surprised….and still fairly calm. The rain was now torrential and thunder settled in overhead. I had asked my girls to look after their Granny in the foyer of the hotel – a responsibility to distract them and ensure my Mum was as ok as she could be. I called our hotel for their advice and they were unable to do anything – except suggest walking into the town to the other taxi rank – about a 25-minute walk.
We are now in the throes of the storm. There was little to no movement of the taxi rank queue, no taxis appearing and I honestly had run out of ideas. After much debate, we agreed to walk into the town…..it was torrential, my youngest was jumpy with the storm and my Mum well she never ceases to amaze me…was so brave.
We walked for about 25 minutes, soaked to the bone and found the taxi rank, to be met by people we had seen at the other rank …still waiting. I parked my family undercover and stood in the queue, racking my brains…Suddenly I remembered we had family who had property on the island and knew people …. a callback to the UK to explain the situation, Enid gave me three numbers to call for lifts…hope was still alight…. I called the numbers and explained our situation. I can’t believe how kind and helpful people are…they all rallied and called around for us…unfortunately on this occasion with no results, mainly due to the storm causing havoc on the island. We were now very stuck, wet, hungry and tired and for the first time, I was actually freezing cold. I had been in contact with our hotel throughout and made one last desperate call asking if there was anyone who would like to earn some money and collect us…. they called back and Curro – one of the maintenance team was on his way to collect us…I can’t even begin to tell you the relief.
All the time this was happening, my girls were coming to check I was ok, looking after their Granny and not once got upset, or moaned. Curro arrived at a quarter to nine, did not speak English and was now my second new hero. He was lovely and sped us back to the hotel in time for a late supper and a much-needed beer…and that was just Curro as the football was on!! On getting back to the hotel around 9.45, I gave Emma the manager a massive hug and thank you…Although this did not seem enough for the support and help she had provided throughout. She ensured we were looked after for the rest of the holiday.
For me, this was over three and half hours of high pressure and stress for all of us….and a massively proud reflection on the incredible resilience of my Mum and my girls. At no stage was there any wobble. All the way through they stayed positive and looked on it as an adventure…which it was!!
Thank you seems to not capture the feelings of gratitude the whole thing brought to me. To know that people are so kind, supportive and will go the extra mile brings a deep sense of joy that as human beings we all have capacity to help others, find our resilience and dig deep when we need to find solutions.