We didn’t have to wait too long to finally get into our house, as we had flights booked for early June. We knew we had some furniture and white goods there and a little crockery, so we wouldn’t be going into a completely empty house. Mrs S had some ideas for things to take out but we were limited by the amount of stuff we could get into hold and hand baggage. As it was bought to be a holiday home, we thought that a week there would give us an idea of further things we might need but I have to say, the bags were filled to the maximum with all sorts of bits and bobs, including four run of the mill breakfast bowls…..
Why do I mention them? Well, picture yourself at Gatwick North, it’s silly o’ clock in the morning, excited to be going to Spain and we get to security. Putting the bags on the conveyor, a fed up looking man asks if we have anything sharp? I can’t resist and I say “Only my wife’s tongue” Luckily for me, Mrs S knows I’m joking but the stony face of the security man tells me differently. He isn’t impressed, so much so, he doesn’t speak
again. Mrs S tells me, she thought it was a good one for so early in the morning and we forget Mr Grumpy. The hand luggage goes on the conveyor, shoes, belt, glasses into the tray and away we go. I manage to get through the scanner no problem, Mrs S not so lucky and gets the wand waved all over her for what seems a good amount of time. Experience has taught us that this is not an uncommon occurrence and has something to do with metal in the bra. Anyway, I’ve stopped wearing one and we get through a lot quicker these days.
I walk to the other end of the conveyor, lacking clear vision without my glasses and I find that Mr Grumpy has a brother. He’s a little more talkative but only because he wants information.
“Is this your bag sir?”
“I think so but my glasses haven’t come through yet”
“What is in the bag?”
Having peaked early with my “Sharp tongue” comment, I find I’m now slow thinking and all I could say was “Underwear” and before I’d even finished the word I hear “What else?”
I look around for help and I see someone I think is Mrs S, walking towards me but the glasses have only just arrived. I put them on and am asked to open the hand luggage, which I’m more than happy to do. I now see what else I’d packed but to be honest at that time of the morning, I wasn’t really expecting to be a contestant on the generation game.
I see the four bowls nestled in the middle of the bag. I look up and I see Mr Grumpy’s brother looking at the bowls.
“What are these?” he asks, picking one up. My mind is now racing, is it a trick question because to me, it’s pretty obvious it’s a bowl.
“A …… bowl?” I say, with more than a hint of questioning uncertainty.
“Why are you taking bowls to Spain?” How to answer that without sounding sarcastic is proving a challenge, so I opt for “To eat from.” Good answer, considering the time of the morning,I think.
“Don’t they have bowls in Spain?”
“Yes but I like these ones.”
This must have been a good answer because he moves on to a stacking set of ceramic coasters and a similar conversation takes place. I would say that he was satisfied but judging by his facial expression, he was not a
happy camper. He then told me that the way I had packed the hand luggage and the composition of the bowls/coasters gave something in their scanning equipment, an indication of explosives. I wasn’t sure what to say
and the look that Mrs S gave me, told me that despite my inclination to joke, that this was not the time. Very shrewd woman Mrs S and her logic is infallible.
We move through and treat ourselves to the largest coffees available and mull over what just happened. I make a mental note to check up how to pack your luggage, so the contents do not resemble anything explosive
and Mrs S makes a mental note not to go through security at the same time as me.
So, we board, take off, hand squeezed, hand released, more coffee, a snack and we land at the gloriously sunny Malaga airport. Collecting our luggage, we walk out for our first taste of car hire and that was far smoother
than we imagined it would be. We’re given a leaflet about security in Spain, not leaving luggage or other items in the car and basically how not to look like a tourist. We’re both pale skinned, so already we’ve failed,
in fact, if we spent the whole week sunbathing, which we wouldn’t, the best we could hope for is a strong shade of red, still failed.
I take a little time to look around the car and find a large sticker, advertising the car hire company. I take it off because I’m trying not to look like a tourist and then I see a few more scratches that aren’t on the paperwork
and so, I go back to the desk and tell the very helpful man, who says “They’re all scratched, no problem.” I write the scratches down on my paperwork anyway, which he thought was amusing but a week later, we take
the car back, hand it over and no more is said. (We’ve used them many times since and never had a problem, in fact, one time, we had to come back early and they refunded the money for the days not used.)
Ok, after trying to get into the passenger side of the car and finding it already occupied, I go around to the other side and make myself comfortable. A quick check to make sure I’m at least aware of where the necessary
controls are and away we go, with Mrs S reminding me that it’s the other side of the road now. It was a single road out of the hire car garage but a right turn coming up, so very timely. I turn right and onto the right side
of the road and away we go from the airport, soon finding ourselves on the autovia, which is quieter than the roads back home. As roads go, the sea to your left and mountains to the right is impressive but I hardly
notice this, as I’m on the look out for all of the traffic police that I’ve been told, are waiting for us. I see none and after all this time, I can say I’ve only seen three at most and not on the autovia.
Half an hour later and we stop at a large supermarket to stock up for the week. The supermarket is spacious, as there’s no attempt been made to make the aisles smaller, to get more items in. A fresh fish counter,
which, as a child, would have kept me occupied for at least a week, fresh vegetables that you wouldn’t see in supermarkets back home, due to their shape but dwarfing their (perfect?) rivals in the UK.
Loaded up, we go back to the car, well, we go in the direction we thought the car was. “Row 17 wasn’t it?” I say. “I thought it was 19” says Mrs S. So, we wander round, failing miserably not to look like tourists, as we bob
our heads up and down, trying to find the car we’d only just received about an hour ago. It’s surprising how many cars look just like ours but eventually, there it is in row 19. As we load up, I risk an overload by making
another mental note to remember which row we park in next time. All packed, we drive out and onto the main road and head in the direction of Sedella.
The views get better and better as we climb the hills, twisting and turning deeper into the countryside. I half expect to see a coach, with a few football fans and loaded with gold to be coming the other way but, as I
don’t see any Minis either, my imagination is thwarted. The anticipation builds with each kilometre, each turn taking us nearer to the house but still taking longer than we remembered from the last time in March. At
last, we reach the village, it’s bathed in bright sunshine and looks so white against the beautiful blue sky. We’re both smiling widely, as we drive through, find a space and get out to stretch our legs. We pick up as much as we can carry and walk, stagger to the house, where it is waiting for us to go in. I unlock the door, it swings open and I follow Mrs S into our house. I’d arranged for a bottle of Cava to be left in the fridge, so, after dropping the luggage, I open it up, we chink glasses and celebrate the fact, we’ve finally made it.
All Images © 2008- TheSlowWalkers