The wind had dropped in an unsporting way.
I was barely moving on my windsurfing board off the north-east coast of Sardinia, while all around me people were zipping along, their sails inflated by mysterious gusts I had yet to capture.
I’d clearly not come to the newest beach club from activity holiday company Neilson for my knowledge of the sea – rather, reliable sunshine and endorphins on tap.
At the water’s edge, I’m clutching a golden grenade. At least, that’s what it looks like — but break it open and you’re rewarded with a medley of sweet, tangy flavours.
This is the fruit from a freshly plucked cacao pod on a pristine beach on Principe, the smallest of the islands off the west coast of Africa that make up the twin-island nation of São Tomé and Principe.
It’s Africa’s second-smallest country, with a population of fewer than 200,000.
In the early 20th century, most of the world’s chocolate came from here.
Stockholm and Venice share a problem. What to do with the cruise ships?
As we approach the city by car from the watery south, I tell my wife: ‘You’ll get a sense of the archipelago right here and at the same time the city will look magnificent.’
‘Hardly,’ she says, as three huge multi-deckers block the view with pin-point accuracy.
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It’s hard to choose the kind of holiday mini-movie in which I’d like to star.
A thriller, perhaps, as long as it doesn’t involve sharks or a lonely crevasse. A rom-com with my husband? Maybe a girls’ road trip like Thelma and Louise before they drive that green T-Bird into the Grand Canyon.
The point is, I could be in any of them thanks to today’s technology – if only I was better at using it. I’d like to be, which is why I am in Cyprus with Martin Kemp, star of Spandau Ballet and EastEnders, reality show judge, TV host, stage actor and film director too.