Who's The Daddy: Madeira the land of sun, sea, sand and of course Cristiano Ronaldo

This week’s column comes to you from a sun lounger, overlooking a saltwater infinity pool, perched over the ridiculously turquoise Atlantic Ocean, somewhere off the coast of North Africa.

Yep, me and the boss are on our first post-Covid, post-kids holiday.

Just the two of us, unravelling all the knots in our heads, reading books, lazing around in the Madeiran sunshine, getting up when we feel like it and doing what we want.

And boy, do we need it. Like everyone, we’ve had a rough old time of it these past few years, what with life-changing injuries, chronic illness and deaths. But after a few days of golden rays and glorious food, very little matters.

Lounging by the infinity pool is just what was needed to recharge batteries

Our flight took off more or less on time, Manchester Airport was on its best behaviour and wasn’t the living hell reported in the papers for months on end. And even the boss - a nervous flier at the best of times - didn’t mind too much about shooting across the sky at 500mph, seven miles above the Earth, in a metal tube.

Well, right up until the approach to landing, which anyone who’s been to Madeira will tell you, is like a ride on the Wild Mouse at the funfair. All that was missing from this roller coaster was a few 360 rolls and a loop-the-loop.

The place we’re staying has a gym, so four times a week yours truly joins a spin class conducted in Portuguese and pounds the pedals until everything goes grey - usually after about 35 minutes - in air so hot it feels like you’re breathing soup.

I only mention it on the off chance our spin instructor back home reads this and it scores some brownie points.

There’s also a daily aqua aerobics class, which me and the boss do most mornings. Forty-five minutes of arm, leg and core exercises in one of the saltwater infinity pools, which I suspect is an attempt on the hotel’s part to stave off a mass outbreak of deep vein thrombosis in its guests who would otherwise be content to fry their brains out in the sun for two weeks, only rolling off their lounger to fetch another cocktail or pint from the poolside bar.

Of course, Madeira is the land of Cristiano Ronaldo. So far we’ve seen his museum and posed for pictures next to a 9ft statue of the man himself, with a bulge in his shorts so impressive you could hang a wet towel off it.

I’m not sure if erecting a giant statue of yourself in your home town, complete with oversized genitalia, means you have no self-esteem issues at all, or enough to keep a consultant psychiatrist in work for years.