Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cruise passengers

On Sunday I had my first job with a bus full of people from a cruise ship. I was rather nervous: new company, new route, not as much time to read up as I'd have liked. But I reasoned that I'd picked up a lot of information in 20 years of living on the island and being interested in what was around me, and made sure I got to the port 15 minutes early.

The paperwork was unfamiliar, but not difficult. And I was told that I had to be back punctually, because I was one of the last buses back and the ship had to leave.

And then the inspector arrived. The cruise company, not unreasonably, sometimes put a surprise inspector on one of the buses to check that the cruise passengers are getting good service from the local contractor. You've guessed the next bit, haven't you? Yup, I got the inspector.

Right, I thought. Deep breath. Forget the inspector, just concentrate on giving people a good day out which is what I'd do anyway. The driver was probably very good at knowing how long various bits of the route would take and where to park (he was, too.)

And it was fine. We went up to El Time, had coffee and admired the view. Then we went to La Zarza. It's an archaeological site with rock carvings in the woods. I went a bit too fast, and I couldn't see the end of the queue, so it took me a while to realise I'd done it. Part of the problem was that I was worried about getting lost, because there's a part where you could go round and round in circles forever. Luckily the inspector brought up the rear, and I didn't lose anyone.

I didn't go round in circles, not even once.

And then we went into Santa Domingo for a picnic lunch, followed by the Roque, and back to the port dead on time.

The inspector was happy. The customers were happy enough to tip, and my boss seemed happy.

Next time will be easier.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A lovely review

The Escape Velocity Anthology got a great review on Amazon. And I particularly liked what she said about my story.

"Scream Quietly" by Sheila Crosby was one of my favorite stories. Told by way of letters from the perspective of a young woman in 1849 England. This story depicts the intricacies of alien contact and space/ time travel. It's a wonderfully heartwarming tale with a great twist at the end.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This diet's no yolk.

I went to someone's leaving party on Saturday at a social club. It was nice to be invited, since my husband works with the host, not me.

But the buffet was a problem. There were yummy looking croquets, which I couldn't eat, since they were fried. Ditto the little tuna pastries. I couldn't eat the cheese and anchovy sandwiches either. I made a beeline for the smoked salmon sandwiches - I love smoked salmon - only to find that they had cream cheese underneath, which is another no-no. The Spanish omelette looked really good, but I'm not allowed egg yolks, so I couldn't eat the lovely quiche either. The pork sandwiches would have been ok without the fried onions in them, and the octopus salad would have been ok without the raw peppers.

So I ate beef sandwiches. And they were nice enough beef sandwiches, but I'd have enjoyed them a lot more without all the other stuff under my nose.

The bar had beer, wine, spirits and fizzy pop, so I went out and got a bottle of water.

All of which was rather frustrating. I managed not to whinge while I was there, but when I got home and had to produce food, the only easy thing was more eggs.

That did it. I moaned to my son, "Lord, I'm sick of this diet. All I want is a cheese omelette. Is that so much to ask?"

He said, "You can have an omelette Mum. You just can't eat it, that's all."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Not as bad as I thought.

I've been getting very irritated with myself for taking so long to finish this ebook. But this morning I found a backup of said book from January. It turns out that since then, I've written 8,000 words. I've also added lots of photos and written captions for all photos old and new, to say nothing of the editing I've done. Considering I've also had the Starlight guide course and the health problems, it's not nearly as pathetic as I thought. Not brilliant by any means, but not pathetic either. I supposed I'd give myself a C rather than an F.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


As a reward for getting my website finished, I felt I'd earned a day off. Luckily my friends Helen and Theresa felt they'd earned a day off too. So this morning we all met in the flea market in Santa Cruz, and then moved onto the picnic area up at El Pilar.

It was pretty full, but we got lucky. Someone had almost finished cooking for a largish party, and said we could have their hot coals in about five minutes. This was great - much quicker and easier than staring from scratch. We were cooking n under ten minutes and we didn't even have to get our hands dirty.

It was nice food too, my friends brought chicken and salad and I brought sausages and burgers and pudding.

Right. Back to work on that ebook.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

A Window on the Universe

Galaxy M 83

Want to learn about amateur astronomy on La Palma? Well, at last, my new website is open for business. Star Island is designed to be a window on the universe, and a show case for astrotourism on La Palma.

In future, I hope to sell advertising on the site, but for now, it's just for people to enjoy.

The Cat's Eye nebula