Adventures of a Pink Brit - Part 1

Published on 19/10/2010 in Expat Life

As agreed at my planning meeting with you I attach the first of my reports back to Eye on Spain my main sponsor for this expedition. I know you will be very impressed with the thought and planning which has been put into the venture and I will ensure that you get value for money for the €1-50 you invested in vital safety equipment for the expedition namely: a large tube of buttock cream.

Pink BritObjectives of the Expedition

To boldly break new ground and attempt the first ascent of Mount Teide on a bicycle starting from Majorca and cycling to Tenerife from Palma when the tide goes out. This would be the last of mans endeavours to conquer different aspects of the planet before lunch time, complying scrupulously with all health and safety regulations.

Starting point

Research has shown that the latest directive from Brussels has designated Majorca as the centre of the earth. Until NASA moves from Florida and swamps the island with very rich American astronauts, bold explorers are encouraged to start all their expeditions from here to simplify all paperwork and attract grants to encourage all people, no matter what their race colour or creed is, to establish their equal rights in as many bars and restaurants as possible before lunch.

This is easier than at first might seem as EU lunch hours have now been substantially extended to allow for “Extra curricular activities”. To obtain a substantial grant a simple registration form of 168 pages needs to be completed in triplicate with a photo copy of your great grandmother’s original EU passport and a copy of your dog licence. (An EU type temporary dog can be provided if required. See form EU-1WooF/12(45768)


  • A. EU approved form of wheeled transport which complies with all EU directives relating to: Bicycles for the scaling of Mount Teide part 25,(3) (ll)
  • Suitable substantial insulating out door apparel able to resist extremes of temperature and volcanic ash. Namely one set of woolly scratchy Long John type underwear with convenience flap (Compulsory) and one heavy tweed woollen suit with abrasive collar and leather patches on elbows.
  • Trade goods to placate and bribe the local native. (As an option can be purchased locally) Swiss army knife.
  • Large tube of buttock cream.


Day 1

Arrived at the distribution centre at Palma and staggered off the aircraft after 2½ hours of flight at 30,000 feet. Fortunately, managed to get the aircraft window open for a bit of fresh air using the Swiss Army knife. Very handy little tool, though I do feel that the Swiss army might need more than that little knife to stem back irate illegal native immigrants.

Cabin crew extremely bad tempered about “Sumowlful messing about” whatever that is, but being from some obscure Irish airline and unable to speak clearly, only to be expected. Must say legs got a bit tired standing all the way and they unfortunately only accept Euros to use the loo, so flight slightly strained. Delighted with the level of liquid absorbency of the woollen underwear and buttock cream most effective. Met fellow countrymen fighting in the street with whatever came to hand, bottles, glasses, teeth. Informed that they were fighting to support the world cup. A noble cause.

I think every country should have a world cup and then nobody would have to share. Felt the lack of a companion to share the trials and tribulations of the expedition. Made a mental note to investigate the local places of refreshment to find suitable companion.

Arrived and set up base centre in a place called Caan Pastilla. It is remarkably close to said places of refreshment and noticed that the local natives seem to take great pleasure in the very dangerous practise of removing their clothing and exposing their bodies to unhealthy ‘airs’ and very hot radiation from the sun. Thought living there they would understand the risk they were taking. They suffer greatly from a strange form of sleeping sickness as they all go to bed after lunch and do not appear until very much later with what appears to be raging headaches.

First impressions, I noticed that the base was close to numerous establishments which hired out large vehicles including Motor bikes. As none of these vehicles came within the very generous budget given to the expedition by Justin, I declined. However on leaving the establishment I noticed a very pretty young thing who obviously likes bright colours. The minute I placed a hand on her my heart jumped. This was what I needed.

A companion to share the loneliness of my endeavours. I took her for a trial and the minute I got my leg over her, I found that with a firm hand she was most responsive to me and was relatively easily controlled. She was not very old but had a low mileage and a little light and a girly type basket to carry all the expeditions’ equipment, and she was not too hard to pedal. I christened her ‘Brenda’ and knew she would be my faithful companion throughout. Justin’s funding did not last for vey long so I sold my children to keep the expedition on track. Nothing was going to stand in the way of this all British expedition, well that is apart from Brenda who I assumed was Japanese and the starting point which was Spanish.

Now that the transport was organised we proceeded down to the sea front for a quick recce. Well it was a most surprising sight. The first thing I noticed was that they have moved the old Cathedral substantially bodily inland. No wonder they are suffering financial depravation and I am not sure why they bothered. Access to the harbour in Palma was excellent with a designated route dedicated to dangerous journeys like this. I was initially concerned that ‘Refrescos’ (A vital part of any expedition) might be hard to obtain in such a foreign place, but the natives had established little camps along the way to offer sustenance to intrepid explorers pounding along the by now well worn track.

I was most concerned to see frail little old ladies with very brown wrinkly skins, dressed in wet long black tight shorts, and what can only be described as ‘boob tubes’ except they had no boobs to tube, and tight colourful bandages around their foreheads, I assume designating the expedition they are on.

They had very pained expressions on their faces performing some form of ritual dance with long quick strides which must have damaged their hips as they all seemed to limp. They continuously waved what appeared to be, very heavy cast iron dumb bells in their hands for balance. It was impossible to engage them in conversation as they became quite upset if you blocked their path and went to great lengths to avoid you and under no circumstances would they have eye contact with their fellow explorers. Very strange behaviour.

I could not longer continue my attempt to return to the distribution Centre in Palma as both Brenda and myself were beginning to feel the stress of our endeavour. We stopped at an attractive Refrescos establishment, but I was forced to leave Brenda outside in the shade as the proprietor would not allow her to join me at my table for a pint of warm beer and a reflection on the enormity of the task ahead.

I decided to observe and learn from other expeditions returning in a little red train with exhausted explorers hanging out the back. Conditions are really bad here if they have to send trains out, albeit small one’s, to help these brave people return to their base camp in Palma before lunch.

To be continued...

Written by: Stephen Reid

About the author:

I am an Irish story teller but not the type that would immediately spring to mind. Whist I tell Gaelic stories as part of my repertoire I also tell contemporary stories and short funny stories. I have been doing it now for nearly 7.  See my website at

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