Episode 18: Where Eagles Scare

“Its 0800 hours, rise and shine soldier, these pots won’t wash themselves!”  I yell into the new recruit’s bedroom. 

My son opens one eye, looks at me, sighs, turns over and pulls the duvet up over his ears. 

“Can’t you stay at home mum and let dad take me to boot camp, you’re beyond embarrassing” he mumbles from underneath the bedding. 

“What, and miss your grand entrance into independence?  Not on your Nelly” I reply with a sardonic smile. 

Gingerly retracing my steps over the mountain of dirty clothes strewn across the floor, I noisily close the bedroom door behind me and try and ignore the ‘where’s my socks/hoody/trainers!’ dialogue that follows me around the apartment for the next hour. 

Once said items have been located (stuffed in the bottom of the wardrobe as usual) the whole family including Brian ‘the brave’ pile into the jeep and head up towards the Alhaurin mountains.  The temperature gauge at 9.30am is already heading into the 30’s as the summer sunshine beats relentlessly onto the singed Spanish countryside.  Boy child brushes his hands over his newly shaven locks and stares out of the window.  Brian attempts to consume an old Twix wrapper and my husband hangs one lanky tanned arm out of the window while its white twin hangs forlornly inside the moving vehicle.

“I still can’t get used to the fact that the theatre closes down for over two months in the summer” the older of the males says to no one in particular.  I nod my head in agreement.  Only 3 months into the position of lighting technician and already he has 2 months off.  Mentally I compile a list of things that need repairing around the flat, and that list increases steadily by the day.  Unfortunately the only room in our humble abode that currently has an air conditioning unit is the lounge so it’s akin to entering the Sahara desert when you have to leave the comfort of the chilled room and make your way begrudgingly to bed.  The first few hours of attempting sleep is usually spent on top of the sheets mumbling ‘it’s too hot, are you hot?  I’m really hot, get your leg away from me it’s too hot’.  Of course I hold the ‘I’m WAY hotter than you’ card, being age 51 and attached permanently to what appears to be an internal furnace with a broken thermostat.

After 17 wrong turns we finally arrive at the camp meeting point and a young lad on a push bike leads the way up to the area which is going to be home to my son for the next 5 days.

“You can drop me off here” boy child mumbles and makes a hasty exit from the confines of the stifling car.  Half a dozen teens are loitering around a large green tent listening intently while a man dressed in Khaki shouts out orders.  Spotting his latest recruit ambling towards the camp the Commando yells out towards my son  “You look tired boy, no doubt up to god knows what time on the Xbox, well there’s none of that computerised crap here, pick a bunk and fall into line”

My son, who never does what he’s told without argument, breaks into a sprint, drops his bag onto an empty mattress, puts his shoulders back and joins the other inmates without complaint

“I’m getting one of those for home” I mumble to my slack jawed husband, pointing at the confident man barking orders at the motley assortment standing before him.

After waving our goodbye’s we head back to civilisation in the car and I decided to broach the subject of selling our 4 wheel drive and replacing it with a couple of scooters.

“You can have a scooter, I’m having a 125” my spouse harrumphs then proceeds to make motorbike noises all the way back into civilisation.

I shake my head at the man beside me and smile to myself.  It’s been a rollercoaster of a journey.  In the 4 months we have been living in the Costa del Sol we have bought a property, got our son into school, submitted the mountains of paperwork to enable us to get healthcare and rescued our faithful hound from an attack of the Zombie Pussies.

Staring out the window an idea begins to form. What if I was to write all about our relocation, would anyone actually read about the adventures of a new wife in the sun??

To be continued…

“Animal Farm”, featuring my ‘not so monosylabic child’, is showing at The Salon Varietes Theatre in Fuengirola from 22nd to 26th February – Book Now

 A New Wife in the Sun, as featured in The Olive Press, is available for proof reading, wedding speeches, radio presenting and anything that involves not having to smile at people for any amount of time.

Episode 17: Saving Private Brian

‘Boot Camp?  Like in the Military?  I don’t even own any boots, only trainers.  Is Brian going too?’

My son stares at me through narrowed eyes, arms crossed, already a couple of inches above me in height and leagues ahead of me in attitude.  Prepared for his reaction, I silently place a flyer in front of him which explains the 5 day summer course based up in the Alhaurin hills called ‘Eagles Training Camp‘.  With a sullen expression he reads it, grunts a couple of times and then looks back up at me.

‘So, basically it’s like the scouts but with no dib dibbing, considerably hotter with mutant sized mosquitoes?’ He enquires.

I nod my head in agreement and remain quiet as he takes the pamphlet into his bedroom and closes the door.  I can hear the familiar sound of the X box controller being taken out of its stand and I reach for the phone, hoping he will forgive me in years to come for making this decision on his behalf. 

Thinking back to my own childhood filled with fresh air and conkers amid endless summer holidays, I smile at the recollection of my bygone youth.  San izal, a prerequisite in all the school toilets then once we escaped the confines of our dusty classrooms, playing kiss chase until the sun set over our freckled faces.  Faggots and peas or Findus crispy pancakes graced most of the dinner tables in our cul de sac, in fact anything highly processed and on offer at Kwik Save being the staple diet of most children of the 70’s, the more E numbers, the better.

Looking down at my weathered hands, I dial the number on the flyer and after a brief conversation with a lovely lady called Debbie, the wife of Micky (ex military, no nonsense) my only child is booked on the 5 day survival course which provides children & teens the basic skills to cope in the wilderness, and also how to deal with bullies in the real world.  The small selection of boys and girls would sleep in adjoining tents placed adjacent to the family house, high up in the hills and I smile to myself, wishing I was young again and able to happily function on a daily basis without the aid of HRT or Silverkrin.

Sitting on our apartment balcony I hold the still warm phone in my hand and look out over the street.  The world is passing by in a sunny haze of garbled conversation and noisy mopeds.  My son’s bedroom door opens and he walks over to where I am sat.  Silently, he places his arms around my neck and gives me a hug.  I smile up into his brown eyes, knowing full well the difficulties he faces, an English child in a foreign land approaching his teenage years.

‘Ok, I’ll do it, it actually looks good fun.  But I want to take lots of Haribo for snacks and get my hair cut before I go’.  Nodding my head in agreement I hug him back and fail to mention that he is already enrolled starting the following Monday and that, although the camp is in the wilderness, they conveniently have a tuck shop available on site from 3-5pm.

Brian places a paw upon my lap and looks beseechingly at me; it’s time for his morning walk.  Clipping his lead on, I bribe the boy child to accompany us on our jaunt with the promise of an ice cream en route.  The hairy hound is also partial to a lick of a strawberry mivi and we all set off before the sun has time to heat up the pavement below his naked pads.

‘Where’s the car parked mum?  I’ve not been in it for weeks’ my son enquires, as we make our way over the Miramar Bridge.  I point in the direction of the car park where our dusty jeep sits forlornly in the corner, patiently awaiting its next adventure.

Unfortunately, the one down side of living in the town centre is the lack of parking.  Food shopping is nigh impossible.  A trip to Lidl involves double parking outside the apartment, hurling all of the shopping into the communal hall, jumping back into the car, parking it several miles away, sprinting back on foot to the flat to find everything has already defrosted and henceforth, that evenings tea will consist of a various assortment of food items that cannot be refrozen.

‘Why don’t you sell the car mum and get a couple of motorbikes; at least we can leave those parked outside the flat…can I have 3 scoops?’ he asks all in one breath while perusing the assortment of sugar laden Helado’s on offer.

I stop dead in my tracks, of course, this is the obvious solution, why didn’t I think of it myself.  Flog the car and get a couple of mopeds, do as the locals do, when in Rome and all that.  After all, what could possibly go wrong?

To be continued…

 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.