Don’t Judge By Appearances

“Ne pas toucher!” yelled the 6′ octogenarian ex-model French bloke, who was showing us around his castle, as my mate prodded something calling itself a 100 yr old crocodile skin suitcase.

She looked up in mild surprise.  She’d already annoyed our still rather gorgeous, arrogant tour guide by saying “I don’t understand a word” when he’d offered to translate his patter into English, not meaning to at all.

My friend has just celebrated her 60th birthday, closely escaped death in a horse accident last year, she’s not very tall, and has bad feet, so she’s currently looking a little lame, small, thin, pale and hunched.

Her interest in the crocodile skin is prompted by the fact that she is a Professor of Dermatology – Secretary of the Scottish Dermatological Society Skin Cancer Group, President of the British Society for Skin Care in Immunosuppressed Individuals, Chair of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network for cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SIGN SCC), member of the NCRI non-melanoma skin cancer clinical studies group, member of the British Association of Dermatologists Skin Cancer Prevention Committee, Board member of Skin Care in Organ transplant Patients in Europe (SCOPE) and UK representative on the International Transplant Skin Cancer Collaboration (ITSCC).

She also had the same piano teacher as me til she was twelve.

And she was remarkably unjudgmental of my beautiful, deep, Summer 2018 tan.  I surreptitiously hid my bottle of Piz Buin No 10 before rubbing Factor 50 onto her glowing white back.





My 58-year-old brain is so full that I have only managed to learn one new word of Spanish during our week long sojourn here.  It’s’Medusa’ – which I always thought was the name of that Greek monster-woman with live snakes in place of hair.

Yesterday Faye and I drove 15 minutes in the boiling sun on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road along an unknown route to a beach called Playa de la Cala el Canuelo, where I had to inch the unfamiliar car backwards along the side of a precipice lined on either side by other cars, even though I haven’t paid the extortionate extra-insurance fee they always charge you when you hire cars abroad; and I couldn’t find reverse gear in the Ford Fiesta as it got tangled up in my flimsy floaty top, and the clutch of the manual got stuck under my sparkly flip-flops.

We queued in the boiling sun to catch a minibus down a sheer cliff to the pretty beach below; and finally, I rushed into the cool welcoming water.


I had been stung on the ankle.  I looked around.  There were floaty red jellyfish happily bobbing along on the waves in every direction.  No one else was swimming.  They all knew better.  And after all that effort to get here, too!  No mention of anything like this in a single raving TripAdvisor post!

What to do now? Nothing.  Keep on reading, and order yet another bottle of lovely cooling Cava.  And learn that pesky word: Medusa.