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Zany Grans’ 70th Birthday 

 

Zany Gran donned her trainers and her new bright pink sports top and baggy trousers and set forth in happy anticipation of another session at Adeje sports centre.

She had been thrilled to find an over 65’s deal which meant she could get to the gym really early in the morning. She had to be out by 3pm but that suited her fine.  She was a bright and breezy soul early morning and probably too bright for most people.  She wanted to get fit again.  Her 70th birthday loomed next year and she wasn’t going down without a fight, after all ‘70 is the old 50’ she would often tell her grand children.  Jenny and Zoe had christened her Zany Gran some years ago and the name had stuck big time.

She wanted to go to New Orleans for her special birthday celebration and wanted to tour the jazz clubs there and dance the night away and was determined she would need stamina and fitness to get all those dreams fulfilled, so that made her a regular visitor at the gym. She was planning the trip around Mardi Gras and longed for the fun of the processions.  She had been researching this year’s processions in March and seen the outlandish costumes worn.  She loved fancy dress and was a keen fiesta babe in Santa Cruz each year.

She pedalled away on the recumbent bike dreaming dreams of jazz and romance and looked out from the picture windows out to sea.  She would get out her notepad and jot down things to buy for her holiday and the clothes she would need.  She went round the machines carefully pacing herself. From the other windows she looked out over the mountain. The sun was beginning to cast a rosy glow over all the rocks and the palm trees. It was too early to see the hang gliders catching the thermals to float their way to the sea.  How beautiful it all was to see such sights and exercise at the same time.  The young fit monitors gave her a cheery smile and said ‘Hola, and some added ‘Good morning’, as they often spoke together in Spanglish.  She had a good rapport with the young men who shared many a laugh with her over the weeks.

She made up stories about the people using the gym, laughing inwardly at the posing in front of the mirrors, by both the young girls and men all vying for attention.  There were all shapes and sizes of people in there and all age groups from the slight Miss Twiggy to Billy Bunter,  all with their own reasons for coming.  Some were getting fit after serious operations or life shattering events, others went to chat and not do much work at all. She used to think to herself what a waste of such fabulous equipment here.  Some were lost in the world of their music plugged into their various contraptions to give sound insulation from the thump thump beat of the gym’s own sound system. She got used to that and some of the music she quite enjoyed. It was never jazz though her main passion.

Zany Gran finished off with a good swim enjoying the fiesta music playing and then went to join a couple of friends in the café.  Today they hadn’t come and hadn’t told her why.  She would ring them when she got home.  She sat quietly catching up on the news in the paper when someone came and asked if he could join her as all the tables were full.  She started to talk to him.  It turned out he was a jazz singer, so of course the conversation flowed onto jazz and New Orleans. He was an attractive man who she would guess was in his 60’s. He said he would be going over to the States next year as he had been invited to sing in New Orleans.

This chance encounter led to Zany Gran fulfilling her dream for her 70th birthday, but much more she ended up with a second husband.  She had been on her own a long time and was so pleased to have shared interests with her guy.  She went along with him to gigs all over the country and in other countries too.  They had a honeymoon in New Orleans as well as her birthday celebration.  She often wondered if they would have met if she hadn’t been to the gym and decided to get fit.  She still goes to Adeje and sometimes Steve her new husband goes too. She certainly doesn’t look her age and I suspect will be dancing to jazz for many years to come. Her nickname seems to be fading fast, as she takes on her new role as Steve’s wife and once again she is called Diana.

BY CHRISTINE HOBAN