“Are you mad? Ah – go for it – lucky ba$tar*s. Can we have your furniture?”
I admit most of our friends took the realistic approach when we shared the fact we were decamping from our very normal life to a leaking shack/money pit 1115 metres up a Spanish mountain.
But, wait, stay right there. This is not a “Hey look at us, didn’t we do well” lifestyle post.
It’s been, well, great – and almost 10 years on we are happy enough with our lot – although it has not always been easy.
Especially the cold and hard winters we have endured since we arrived with boxes of linen and cotton clothes, and a selection of flip-flops – our woolies and 15 tog quilts gaily abandoned in a Newport skip.
But – this is the middle of summer. Spanish summer. The sun has got his sombrero on. Woop – right?
Calls from home – wet and windy Ireland calling…
“You must have a great colour”
“How blue is the sky?” (This last one usually asked through gritted teeth, as in Ireland we wear the sky as a grey bobble hat)
“You’re off for dinner? Oh imagine, sitting OUT”
“Saw your area on A Place In The Sun – it looked FABULOUS.” Er, no, you didn’t. Just Christopher Columbus and us made it this far up a blasted mountain. Maybe Mallory if he was lost.
Actually no. I’m a faded brown, sort of sludge colour.
Why? Well, since our day (note the singular) on the beach this year, when we overdid the idea of a day off and turned deep Gamba pink, we haven’t sunbathed.
I did buy a relaxer-lounger garden chair, but haven’t managed to sink my bum in it once.
It’s too bloody hot.
So, envy-filled friends and family, imagine a different picture.
Closed shutters, drawn curtains.
The fan whirring and pushing hot air around. Re-runs of A Place In The Sun on TV.
Flies. Big flies. Flies that might normally be indicative of a dead body in close proximity.
Little flies. No-Sees. They salsa through the mozzie nets, laughing at us, and with needle precision torment us all night.
We eat out – sure we do. At 11 or 12 in the darkness when it’s cool enough, the mosquitoes have us for postre as we sit there sweating and heavy breathing.
Entertainment is mostly checking the dogs for ticks. And then checking us for ticks. *Shudder*
So, dear friends and family, look fondly at that ‘soft weather’ – and be bloody grateful.