Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What Comes Around, Goes Around


The crescent and the circle are visual emblems of Lanzarote. It is an island with little rainfall but it still manages to cultivate vines by harvesting the heavy dews within semi-circles of volcanic stone. These provide each vine with its own windbreak and reservoir. Similarly, some of the beaches have windbreaks built up from the ample supply of volcanic basalt.


But it is a different type of circular movement that will stay in my mind. Each evening our hotel would put on entertainment in the large open, vine-clad atrium. On the first day we noticed that the show on stage that evening was a reptile show, featuring a cast of lizards and snakes. Now the GLW is not fond of snakes, but I assured her that fortified by a good supply of the free alcohol on offer and seated well away from the stage, she would be safe. So we carefully chose our seats near the rear of the atrium and collected our first free drinks of the evening.

The lay-out of the atrium was interesting and you can get an impression from this photograph. The stage is just hidden by the staircase and vegetation on the left of the photograph whilst the beach-hut thing was the bar (and the supply of free drinks). We were positioned safely in the area on the mid right of the photograph well away from serpents of all kinds. It wasn't until we were well into our first drinks that I became aware that something strange was happening : the whole auditorium was slowly rotating around the central bar. The movement was so slight that you wouldn't notice it normally, especially after a drink or three. However, by the time that I went to the bar 15 minutes later to replenish our supply of alcohol I noticed that we had rotated by some 90 degrees : and that was 90 degrees nearer to the stage - and the reptiles on display. Pretty soon. the GLW had also noticed our circumnavigation  and drawn the appropriate conclusions. that as sure as eggs are eggs and 20 foot pythons are 20 foot pythons, within 15 minutes we would be rubbing shoulders with the pair of rather large snakes that were the highlight of the show.

I tried to calm her nerves, I tried to logically point out to her that once we had skirted the stage we would  thereafter be transported further and further away from the beasts in question. I tried to calm her with more alcohol. But what comes around, goes around, and she eventually jumped from her seat and fled - somewhat unsteadily and using language that surprised even me - back to the safety of our room.

18 comments:

  1. I do hope you haven't turned into a lounge lizard, Alan.

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    1. I have always quite fancied being a lounge lizard Martin. There with my rye whiskey and cigarette whilst Buddy Greco croons "One For My Baby"

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  2. Hello Alan:
    We are most definitely with GLW on this one. Close proximity with a snake no matter how dulled by alcohol our reactions were would not be for us!!!

    It is most interesting to see how the scant rainfall of Lanzarote is captured in order to enable the cultivation of vines etc. We have to admit that this somewhat 'lunar' landscape does not have an immediate appeal for us.

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  3. I see what you mean about the landscape and in many ways I agree with you, but there was something quite fascinating about it, especially when it ran up against the creativity of mankind as I hope to show in my post tomorrow.

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  4. I've sat in restaurants atop tall buildings that did a slow turn, but the scene of the city below was intriguing, no snakes in sight. Had it been a ventriloquist or clown act I would have bolted, but snakes I can handle (good lord, that pun was entirely unintentional so it must stay).

    The rock formations look like an Andy Goldsworthy art "installation." Any landscape can be fascinating, especially when seen for the first time.

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    1. The landscape and art went together wonderfully : again, as tomorrow will hopefully show.

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  5. Wow. Love the photos as well as the story! Very entertaining!

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  6. Thanks Alan! We hope you came bearing a canary....
    Glad you enjoy rain again. I hear England is heading for a drought.
    Thanks for your complimentary comments. I use a wide angle lens, hence the expansive views...

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    1. It's only the southern and eastern bit of England that is having a drought - there's plenty of water around here but we haven't worked out a way of exporting it yet.

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  7. Reptile show? Ain't that something to do with banks?

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  8. So, you and the GLW were having a bit of a circular argument then Alan.

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  9. I think I would have been okay with snakes. I hope the entertainment was more acceptable to the GLW on the other evenings of your stay!

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  10. haha...I hope she didn't lock you out! :)

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  11. Kinda funny how you can accidentally get into free trouble. Somebody's always there to help you out. So did you stay and watch the show?

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  12. I'm pretty sure that I would have taken a while to notice that rotation. I'd have thought I was tipsy and therefore declined to mention it! I'm with GLW on the snakes!

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  13. This made me laugh! not just the tragi-comic plight of your GLW (I hope she has recovered now!) but also the idea of a revolving stage of serpents !

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  14. I cannot better Little Nell's comment, which is as funny as the very enjoyable tale itself!

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  15. I would have left to ..crying..I hope she is okay. I am very afraid of snakes..I doubt that I would have stayed in that room for 30 seconds..so she is very brave. A moving stage..who would think of that..how long did you stay? The landscape looks so harsh there:(

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