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Day Twelve – Florida 2016

I’ve a bit of a cold this morning readers, which is ironic, as its 82 degrees at 7am. I had one of those “poorly” dreams we all have when we’re feeling a bit ill. Mine features me being chased by washing machines, who make me eat vinyl records. Yes I know, I’ve got to stay off the drugs, but to be honest, I’ve not touched anything stronger than a paracetamol since the great magic mushroom incident of 1983….

There are balloons in the sky this morning, and although it’s as calm as a Nun on a Sunday at ground level, they seem to be powering along up high. There isn’t a cloud in the sky, and I’m looking really hard. Yesterday was pretty much a repeat of the day before, in that we went and had a round of golf. However, I played with my fellow retiree and friend of 30 years and 1 week, Paul Molyneux. The only bloke I know with an X in his name, as, despite several requests, Johnny Knoxville will not reply to my letters.

Prior to golf, I’d booked a provisional tee time of 10.45am, and so called Paul to let him know. The course is only a short drive away, and he said he’d “nip” to Wal Mart and call me when he was back and ready to swing the wrenches. I waited. It’s 10am and I’m thinking we’re going to be in a bit of a rush, but never mind, were relaxing and we can always be a tad late…they won’t mind. One o’clock he calls me to say he’s ready. Three hours in Wal Mart! The old me would have gone mad, but it’s Wal Mart. I once bought walkie talkies so I could discuss purchases with Mrs T in Wal Mart. It’s vast, and I completely understand that nipping to the said shop is never going to be a nip at all. It’s a full shop. Even a few things to get in the shop will eat into a tenth of your pension, as Paul and Laura proved. When he eventually met us at the petrol station a few miles away, he “nipped” inside to get a coffee. Half an hour later he emerged with a frappe latte double skinny loco choco chino with non sweetening sweetener light, 16oz bad boy, and a Kit Kat. Even at the golf course, he took the best part of a month to find his golf glove and tees. Maybe it’s not the American “nip”, maybe it’s Paul taking this retirement relaxing malarkey a bit too seriously…..anyway, off we trot to the first tee……

Paul has not played golf before. Ever. He’s had a couple of lessons, as his GF / Partner / Bird, Laura, has tried to make sure he has a hobby in his dotage, and gifted him lessons and shoes as a present. The lessons have paid off, in that he’s not bad. He’s not going to threaten Tiger Woods for his crown, not just yet, but the signs are there. He has a good stance, is patient, and is already using general golf terms, such as, “for fucks sake” and “shit bollocks wank piss”. He only went in a bunker twice through the whole round. He only found one fairway, never hit a green and his putting was shocking, but he avoided those sand traps (I’m only kidding Paul, for a first round it was brilliant… Ok, that’s a bit strong….really good). He came in 35 over par….how many golfers can say that on their very VERY first round. It was quiet course, which gave plenty of time for tips and piss taking…..

Without sounding totally self obsessed and narcissistic, if you’re coming to Florida for the first time, or if you’ve not been for a while and you want hints and tips, I’d urge you to get my guide. It’s free, and I have a facility to answer your questions live via social media. There are villas and hotels all over the place, and shortcuts to be had. Kissimmee is vast, and there’s Kissimmee and there’s Kissimmee. There are areas that are in the middle of it all, and bits that are out in the middle of nowhere. Our villa is a bit of both, and in a great location. What does get on me bits a bit is when you’re in a supermarket, and you hear Kath from Essex shout to her family, “I’m going to the Tommy Hilfinger shop to get some tops for our Chardonnay”. She’ll be wearing a vest top and shorts, even though she should have stopped wearing such an outfit in 1989, which, coincidentally, is when her top was bought, and she’s as white as an Eskimos bed sheets, except for her chest and forehead, because she overdid it on the first day. Oh, and she’s got those clip on sunglasses that fit over her gold rimmed Dierdre Barlow style glasses, with a chain attached, so she can dangle them round her neck when she’s trying to read the ingredients contained within a Twinkie. Whatever a Twinkie is. I tend to avoid these places, and so can you. Unless you are Kath…

The kids are in the air as we speak, flying to New York to trace the steps of the cast of Friends. The Kings are packed ready to join us tomorrow, I’ve got several pairs of freshly washed pants to wear, and life is good. Again, not much to report, but hopefully there’ll be some news tomorrow. Nothing yet from the rental car people, and nothing from Disney….

Did I mention the rental car debacle?

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