‘So in total that will be 418 Euros for the three excursions, are you paying cash or card?’
I never thought as myself as much of a sales person before starting our Andalucían adventure but it appears I’m really rather good at making money for TUI. Swiping the MasterCard through the wireless machine with a flourish, the transaction is instantly confirmed and I hand the coach tickets over to the sun kissed tourists and watch as the more elderly of the two adventurers carefully places the receipts underneath her bikini top for ‘safe keeping’.
Stretching, I look up at the hotel reception clock and realize I should have finished work over half an hour ago. Reaching over to my flipchart, I carefully write what daylight hours I will be working the following day and make my way out the front door, bidding farewell to the doe eyed Spanish cleaners as I leave.
‘Be Careful’ is sat waiting patiently in the MOTO bay alongside several other battered steeds and I hastily fire her ancient engine up. Gingerly I place my continuously ample buttocks upon the scorching black leather seat and roar off down the seafront, trying to avoid the impromptu stag party which has taken up residence in the middle of the carriageway alongside their inflatable sheep and half consumed bottles of Jagermeister.
The beach is awash with sun seekers, greedily soaking up the heat and applying factor 50 to already pre baked skin. Children and pensioners sit side by side on pedalo’s, trying to avoid teenagers on Jet Ski’s who appear intent on never reaching their 21st birthdays.
Within minutes I’m parked outside my home and I happily make my way up the communal spiral stairs. The thermometer on the balcony has reached its peak and I let myself in the sweltering flat and drop my ruck sack on the floor while calling out a greeting to whichever inhabitants are still encased indoors.
My son, now age 13, has morphed from an outgoing young lad into a gangly monosyllabic teen who appears to have his phone surgically attached to his hand. Stumbling from the bedroom into the lounge he falls onto the sofa and without any acknowledgement of my previous absence, asks what’s for lunch.
Sighing with parental resignation, I make my way into the circa 1973 kitchen and throw a few ingredients into the last two remaining slices of bread and add a couple of carrot sticks in way of compensation for my lack of culinary imagination. Grunting in my general direction, the ‘Kevin’ (minus Perry) incarnate staggers back into his bedroom clutching the food and slams the door without a backward glance, no doubt to resume destroying all of the undead on his Xbox1.
Slipping out of my 100% polyester ensemble I lazily head into the shower and let the cool water cascade down my rubenesque torso. Lathering my hair up into vosene frenzy I vow to start on my low carb diet once the weekend is over and after I’ve polished off the 2 scotch eggs hidden carefully at the back of the fridge.
Rubbing the soap along my unshaved Velcro legs I half heartedly hunt around for a razor then remember I used it to defluff the wayward bobbles on the sofa blanket the previous week. Closing my eyes under the spray I allow my mind to wander back over the past 16 months of our life in Spain and all the hurdles we’ve encountered and overcome, none of which was ever mentioned by the shiny eyed presenters on all of the relocation programmes back in the UK.
With resignation I turn the cold tap off and step out back into the humidity, patting myself dry and trying to avoid my middle aged naked reflection en route. Grabbing a sarong from behind the bathroom door I stroll into the lounge and immediately see my husband emptying his work bag on the table, shoulders hunched and lips devoid of whistle.
‘You ok?’ I ask without real concern, mind already subconsciously devouring the eggs of Scotchness.
‘They’ve let me go’ he mumbles into the silent air
‘Whose let you go where?’ I reply, confused, all thoughts of savoury products forgotten.
‘The Theatre, they’ve let me go’ he finally looks up, green eyes searching mine for an answer to his own question.
‘I’ve been made redundant’.
To be continued… Episode 31
A New Wife in the Sun is available for proof reading, wedding speeches, radio presenting and anything that involves not having to smile at people for any amount of time.