‘Hi Vicki, it’s Brad’. I don’t know who it is: I pad until I can remember who it is who is calling me.
‘Hi, how are you? What are you up to at the moment?’ (when in this situation, ask leading questions which might give you a hint about what they do for a living).
‘I’m good mate, how are you?’ (aha, an accent, not sure if he is from New Zealand or Australia, but he’s definately Antipodean).
‘I’m fine thank you for asking.’
‘This is a bit of a weird question mate, but would you like to learn to dive?’
‘I’m involved in a project and I am looking for people who want to learn to dive.’
(Brad, Brad, I am racking my brains, suddenly up pops a face in my memory, BRAD!)
‘Okay, why are you asking me?’
‘You fit our demographic. We need an expat who’s lived in Mallorca for a while.’
‘Okay, but why are you asking ME?’ There is, you see, a bit of a problem. My dad has been a diving and sailing instructor for decades now, and I could have learnt at any point in the past thirty years or so, if I had wanted to. But, I am not keen on being cold, or wet; in fact, I can’t stand it. I explain this to the enthusiastic Brad. He is undeterred.
‘You’ll love it mate!’
‘I don’t think so, but thanks for the call. What’s it for anyway?’
‘We can’t tell you, it’s a secret.’
‘A surprise? So you can’t tell me why you want me to learn to do something I don’t want to learn. Hmmmm….’
‘Would it be okay if we came to see you?’
Okay, we agree on a time and a place and leave it at that. A week goes past. I kind of forget why I am going to be meeting Brad and his lady, Bea. So, it’s a nice surprise when they turn up at a business lunch I have been attending. When they walk into the room both of them are literally glowing they are so excited. We talk back through what we’d already spoken about. They’ve been runing their business Ondine which offers specialist luxury sports and wellness concierge services, for a year on the island. There’s something about them, and when they ask me again, ‘Do you want to do it?’ I find my mouth opening and the word ‘yes’ coming out of it. It’s as if I was hypnotised by their beaming smiles and enthusiasm. I wonder about how I am going to explain this to my Dad who gave up on me becoming a diver years ago.
So, this weekend, I shall be wet-suited and booted and under water. Really. There are a group of non-divers being taught, firstly in the (heated, hooray!) pool at Reads Hotel and then on the next day in the actual sea.
Sometimes it is important to rise to a challenge, even if you don’t know why on earth you are doing it. Oh, and by the way, Dad? I’m learning to dive. I’ll report back.
Next installment here:
(first published in the Euro Weekly News March 31st 2011)