SO blimey, today marks the 159th day since I arrived in Tijuana, Mexico.
In that time I’ve consumed roughly 156 Mexican meals (for the record the missing being MacDonald’s and Burger King); experienced approximately 60 upset tummies from over-exposure to chili; witnessed 158.5 days of sunshine; and spent 0 days regretting the decision to come here in the first place.
Today also marks the countdown to me flying back to England – with a certain Iliana Jaqueline Pantoja in tow.
In 17 days Jacky will experience a). what real ‘cold’ weather is; b). what ‘real’ rain is; and c). why the English moan about the weather all the time.
It will be the first time that Jacky has met my parents and friends, and the first time she will have been to England, or indeed Europe.
And the best part? It’s Christmas!
When I’ve asked her how she imagines England, Jacky’s simply replies “fairies and castles”.
Well, being part-Cornish, and 100 per cent a West Country boy, I can definitely provide evidence of the castles.
But fairies… hmmm… is Zeros still open in Plymouth?!
Coming home with Jacky will be the most amazing experience for me. To show off the most amazing thing I’ve ever discovered on my travels will be well, perfect.
When I first met Jacky’s dad, Pedro, I told him about my background, and the fact that I’m a descendant of Sir Francis Drake (true story by the way).
He jokingly replied: “Well, piracy is obviously in your blood… coming over here to Mexico and stealing the treasure”.
When I first mentioned my intention to simply up sticks and move to Mexico I’m sure most people thought I’d finally lost the plot. More than a few eyebrows were raised.
But here I am with proof of my sanity. You’ll see. (Unless of course I’ve been living out a sort of Edward Norton in Fightclub scenario for the past six months!)
Life is for living. And I guess sometimes you have to go somewhere to really come back home.
Anyway the prospect of introducing Jacks to my world puts a huge grin on my face.
Just imagine… “That’s right Jacky… here is a meal WITHOUT chili”.
In a way I wish I could see all that the ‘Great’ Britain has to offer for the first time too.
When you consider it, there is no place like it.
It has so much history it’s bursting at the seams. In fact, I think I have cutlery at home which is older than American civilization.
Great Britain also has the variety too. I mean, look at the weather for a start…
Then there’s the beaches, the historic cities, the moorland, the highlands and lowlands, the legends, the tales, Led Zeppelin, the Queen... it has it all and more.
You could easily spend a month in London alone visiting all the tourist attractions and sights.
And we have three days or so to cram everything into our visit to the capital.
The vast majority of the 2.5 week trip will be spent in and around home in Devon and Cornwall.
We’re planning to visit the beaches of North Cornwall, castles in around Tintagel, Looe, Polperro, Dartmoor and Plymouth Hoe to name a few sites.
I’d like to take her to Stonehenge too simply because it’s magical.
Hey, if anyone has any suggestions please drop me a line!
Oh, and the food experience...
So strangely enough Jacks hasn’t heard of a ‘pasty’. Or ‘fish and chips’, or in fact ‘shepherd’s pie’, an ‘Indian takeaway’, or even ‘chicken kievs’.
Is that unusual? No, not really. She’s from a different world to me.
But even my mouth is watering at the thought of all the food we can eat, with her trying the vast majority of it for the first time.
So right now Jacky is mulling over what to pack.
You know how we English get when we’re packing for a ‘summer’ holiday?
“How many jumpers do I need to pack?!” - regardless of the fact that we know the climate in Egypt/Spain is not wooly jumper weather.
Well, Jacky is currently asking herself the same question… knowing that no amount will be too little.
“How many jumpers do you own?” has been my answer.
|A few wardrobe 'options'|
Regardless of the time of year, Jacky sleeps underneath three blankets and duvets at night.
Girls feel the cold more than boys. And Jacky, it seems, is no exception.
It’s safe to say she’s nervous about the whole trip – most of all meeting my mum and dad.
And by the sounds of it I think my mum is also nervous at the prospect.
“Well, what does she eat?” is a recurring question.
Food mum. Food. In fact, see aforementioned food types.
They’ve met on Skype but it’s not quite the same is it?
I mean, in real life Jacks isn’t pixelated. And she doesn’t sound like Stephen Hawking.
So yes… fun times. I might well ask her to write a blog about her experiences.
Few things are guaranteed in life but these: England will be cold, and it will be wet.
But hey, it’s Christmas!!!
While we’re away Mexico will remain hot. Today it’s still around the 26-degree mark which just feels plain weird when you see Christmas decorations being put up around the city.
|Christmas trees now on sale at Mexican supermarkets.|
Anyhow, drastic change of subject…
How cool is this?
I was sat in the garden one day last week when I looked down and saw something peculiar sticking out of the earth.
Well, I might well be wrong but I’m 99 per cent sure I picked up a Neanderthal Stone Age stone spearhead.
|Straight to the point... it's pretty old|
The edges are serrated, the point is sharp, and it has chip marks on it where it has obviously been fashioned. I Googled it and it states it could well be 200,000 years old.
We live on a new housing estate which was built on displaced land, so it’s entirely logical to find something like this.
How awesome though? Reminds you that we’re not the first to live our lives here.
We’re just tourists in time.