“What on earth is a blanket trip and who in their right mind needs blankets? It’s almost 30 degrees out there and it’s not even 8am!”
Blotting the sweat which is trickling at an unhealthy speed down into my cleavage, I explain once again to my confused husband what my latest form of employment actually is.
“It’s not just blankets, its mattresses too and they are all made from the best Marino wool that ewe can buy. Anyway, I’m more than happy for you to find me my dream job, just as I found you YOURS in the theatre!” and I slam the door behind me and head for the stairs.
Unfortunately my dramatic exit is cut short when I tentatively have to reopen the door to retrieve my forgotten helmet and then slam it for a second time.
Mumbling to myself, I gingerly place my buttocks on the already blisteringly hot moped seat and head towards my latest form of employment.
I’d spotted the job advertised online a couple of weeks earlier and it sounded relatively easy. All you were required to do was stand in a hotel foyer and book people onto free locals excursions. The only catch being before you reached the chosen destination; a detour was made to watch a well presented sales pitch led by two charismatic women in a factory outlet in Malaga. All this was made more enticing by the fact there wasn’t actually any hard sell on the beds and coffee and cake was provided along with a glass of sherry.
The promoters were so passionate about the products I was almost swayed to purchase a mattress and a pair of wool innersoles myself but then remembered I needed neither and in all honesty, had no money left for such frivolity. But several pensioners did purchase the products and the mood was good humored as we left the factory and headed towards Mijas village for the complimentary day out.
A car horn suddenly beeps loudly behind me and I realize that the traffic light has changed from Red to Green. Within minutes I am parked outside my local hotel and straighten my crumpled blouse before heading into the embrace of the air conditioned building.
“Blanket trips anyone? Free trip to a Ranch afterwards, tapas and drinks included…plus a free stallion if you can fit it in your hand luggage” I smile at the elderly guests making their way to breakfast. Some look at me as if I’m trying to sell them funeral plans but others happily sign up with the promise that the sales pitch in the factory isn’t hard and the coach is air conditioned. Every signature on the sheet contributes towards my pay along with the knowledge that I will start Tour Guiding on the coach once a position becomes available.
The morning finally draws to a close and I pack up my clipboard along with my sales pitch and head home, stopping en route to pick up some fresh bread from the Panaderia.
Opening the apartment door I immediately hear the voice of my son yelling into his Xbox alongside the dulcet tones of Jeremy Clarkson omitting from the lounge. Placing the still warm rolls on the counter I await confirmation of my return but I wait alone, technology taking precedent over human contact.
As I stand forlornly by the vibrating fridge I am struck by the realization that my son isn’t suddenly going to start playing in the streets with the local Spanish children, he’s almost a teenager and the online forums are now his virtual playground. My husband quite happily works in a local theatre; he isn’t ever going to be the next Bill Gates. He enjoys lighting the luvvies and in his spare time watching middle aged men drive fast cars and talk crap and get paid millions to wax lyrical about Ford Mustangs.
Retracing my steps, I pick up my keys and retreat back to the front door. But blocking my path is the one family member that’s always pleased to see me, Brian the ever hopeful. Shaking in anticipation he reaches up to me with his dirty paws and looks me in the eye, happy in the knowledge that he has a warm bed to sleep in, food in his bowl every night and most importantly, people that love him.
“Maybe we should all be more like you Brian, grateful for what we have’ I whisper to my furry companion and he replies by gratefully licking my nose. Picking up his lead we head outside into the fresh air and away from the internal noise. Moving to Spain was my dream and the reality of the situation isn’t easy. Work is vastly underpaid, families still argue, the language is a barrier but the one thing that there is here in abundance is sunshine and cheap wine, and that brightens even the darkest of moods.
“Fancy a sausage sandwich?” I enquire to my four legged friend and he replies with a wag off his tail. Smiling to myself I cross the road and head into the shade, just another expat strolling the avenue whilst trying her best to find a new life in the sun.
Paula is taking a break from Blogging for the summer but will be back in the autumn.
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.