Episode 10: Trading Spaces

Clutching the solitary flip flop in my hand I tear up the rain soaked stone steps, searching for my husband around every sodden stair.  Finally, on hearing a deep groan I turn the last corner to find him lying in a puddle of his own discomfort, sprawled across the floor like the world’s most unfortunate incarnation of Cinderella, grasping his swollen ankle and expressing profanities so detailed I refrain from making any Prince charming jokes until his mouth has been washed out with carbolic soap.

“I fell down the bl**dy stairs and not one of you noticed” he yells up to me through the falling raindrops and then makes a feeble attempt to reintroduce his foot to its runaway soul mate. After several failed attempts he shoves the rubber shoe into his pocket and sits with arms folded, sulking on the tiles.

Trying to stifle an impending giggle I turn away and concentrate on a cobweb located just above my right eyebrow.  I make a mental note to refrain from  laughing at people who fall over, even though Harry Hill appears to have made a small fortune from it.

But the harder I try and convince myself to not make light of the situation, the harder my shoulders start to shake and the stupidity of the situation finally overrides any matrimonial compassion and I throw my head back and let out a peal of laughter.

After the giggles have finally tailored off into hiccups, I uncross my legs and hold a tentative hand out to my spouse who promptly brushes my fingers away, hauls himself upright, dusts off his injured pride and hobbles down the steps to join us all in the estate agents car.  Mr Veneers is trying his best to sully his dental investment with several Marlboro lights and the boy child; unaware of the events unfolding around him is tapping his foot in time to whoever happens to be flavour of the month on his iphone.

No one comments along the short journey as to why the Costa del Sol’s latest incarnation of Lord Lucan was delayed on level three for such a long time.  In all honesty, looking at his petulant face, no one would dare.

The sun evaporates the remaining black clouds as we gallop steadily along the A7 from Calahonda over to our next destination, Mijas Golf.  Bleached villas and Orange Blossom adorn the roadside as we climb the whitewashed village, finally stopping in front of a pretty terraced house which overlooks a sparkling communal pool set in stunning surroundings.

Entering the front door we walk/hobble straight into a dining room come kitchen which leads directly out onto a private terrace.  Every picture I have seen depicting what we could actually afford in southern Spain is brought to life within this home.  It has the two bedrooms we require and also the two bathrooms we will undoubtedly need once the inevitable visitors start arrive and the views are simply stunning.  Boy child, already bored in the pursuit of utopia sits out on the sundrenched balcony and grunts his approval as we point out various landmarks.

I lean upon a potted Palm and breathe in the tranquillity.  My husband sits on a deck chair and places his hands behind his head, swollen ankle and injured pride all but a distant memory.

“Soooo…..are we ready to move onto our final property of the day?” a voice echoes above my head.  I nod in agreement and we reluctantly close the door on what could be our future home.

“This last property is one that has been on the market awhile and been reduced in price for a quick sale. You will either love it or hate it.  Are you all ready to go and have a look at something completely different from what we have already seen?” asks our realtor with a smile.

I nod my head in affirmation as my husband crosses his arms in realisation while my son stretches his legs in resignation as we head off into the sunset of our final destination.

To be continued… Episode 11

Follow our further adventures and video clips on www.anewwifeinthesun.com


A New Wife in the Sun

I think my husband finally admitted defeat after being forced to watch channel 4‘s ‘A Place in the Sun’ thirty seven times in one month.

In the deciding episode, Aunt Maude had left a substantial inheritance to a  lacklustre middle aged couple who, after being shown several stunning Spanish properties in Andalucia decided they wanted to stay in Accrington after all.  Shaking my head in disgust whilst inhaling my fifth Jammie Dodger, I sighed and pointed out to my forever weary spouse that come 2019 the choice to relocate in Europe may well be taken away from us Brits and we would have to stay and reside in the UK forever.  Brushing the crumbs off my increasingly expanding belly I sighed loudly and looked out of the kitchen window at the grey clouds rolling heavily across the November sky.

Rubbing away the deeply ingrained London smog from his bleary eyes, the man I married only 7 years earlier raised his hands in a ‘you win’ gesture and uttered the words I’d been longing to hear “Ok, let’s do it, we’ll move,  but you can tell the family!”

Scraping up my disbelieving jaw from the Axminster I screamed in excitement and rushed over to the computer to see how much international Schools cost and what paperwork was required for back-packing pets.  Behind me I could hear my husband mumbling under his breath about Rabies jabs and how they were missing a trick by not administering them to menopausal housewives.

Looking down at the family dog, feet in the air, snoring obliviously, no doubt dreaming of cheese and giant tennis balls. I made a mental note to get his maracas removed before heading off on our adventure.  The last thing I needed was the pitter patter of 24 Spanish feet while quaffing cheap Rioja.

(I did actually enquire with the family GP if the same procedure could be done with my younger husband but alas, the NHS is stretched enough apparently)

So here I am, exactly 5 months later and one week shy of my 51st birthday, staring vacantly out of the airport window onto the grey Gatwick concourse.  Beside me, my twelve year old son mumbles something incoherent about mozzarella and ambles off to purchase a baguette which costs roughly the same price as my first car.  The boy child is more than happy to move abroad.  He’s watched Bay Watch.  He knows that everyone runs in slow motion and looks like Pamela Anderson on warmer shores.  Plus I’ve bribed him with the promise of a certain Xbox game (yes I am a bad parent, but at least I’ll be a bad parent in a vest as opposed to a cardi)

The house is under offer.  The tears have been shed.  Man and dog are loaded up in the Jeep, our worldly possessions crammed into every available crevice. No doubt by now both would be heading over the French border, happily singing Charles Aznavour tunes en route.  The ties with normality had been cut.

I glance down at the suitcase in my hand and grip the one way ticket to Malaga tightly in my fist.  We have no home, we have no jobs.  We don’t speak Spanish.  We are either very brave or very stupid.

Taking a deep breath I drag my belongings and monosyllabic child towards the gate which is now boarding. This is the moment our lives will change forever.  I smile, pull my big girl pants up and take the first step towards our new life in the sun.

To be continued – Episode 2