Now I know how the Guanche felt.

First, a brief history lesson. In 1494, Fernández de Lugo and his army of well armed mercenaries got their asses well and truly kicked by the primitive Guanche warriors armed with sticks and stones. It’s said that de Lugo only escaped the battlefield because he gave his distinctive red cloak to an expendable minion.
The place that this happened, on the hillside of northern Tenerife is now a town with the wonderfully macabre and evocative monicker of ‘The Massacre’ (La Matanza).

Mural celebrating Guanche victory outside La MatanzaThe story didn’t end there of course. The underdog might occasionally have his, or her, day but in the long run you can’t beat the big boys. De Lugo returned a year later to wreak vengeance upon the people who’d humiliated him.

One story is that de Lugo didn’t win because of superior tactics, or even firepower, but that he prevailed because by the time he returned, the Guanche were basically buggered. They’d succumbed to a mysterious illness (i.e. they’d done a ‘War of the Worlds’). They couldn’t have repelled a flock of mildly irritated bunnies by that time. And so they were conquered.

But what’s all this got to do with the price of butter? Well, the point is that the after four years of living in this wonderful climate with its clean air and generally bug free environment, my immune system has gone Guanche.

I sail through the year cold and flu free…until that is I mix with someone who’s brought a disease from a far off land…or at least cold germs from the UK.
Last week I headed to The Beehive to watch Man Utd play Portsmouth in the FA cup. A couple of stools behind me some bloke had obviously brought more than his holiday togs in his suitcase as he sneezed continuously throughout the match, sending legions of malicious germs in my direction.

Clearly, my defence system isn’t at its optimum levels. Whereas once it would have batted the germs aside with a disdainful ‘Ha’, it has now developed a mañana culture attitude to protecting my health, and was obviously overpowered without a murmur of protest.

Sunday morning I woke with a fuzzy head and a ‘blocked dose’. A double whammy as Man Utd had been dumped out of the FA cup, by bad luck, good defending and some shite refereeing.

However the difference between the Guanche and me is that they didn’t know about ‘Hot Toddies’. A generous glass of whisky, hot water, honey and lemon juice before bed gave my defence system a kick up the rear. Whilst I slept soundly, this Willie Wallace of germ fighters rallied the troops and after two days of battling, my body was pure again – relatively speaking of course.

 A Hot Toddy, the Willie Wallace of germ fighters

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