I popped down to Benalmadena on Sunday afternoon. I was supposed to meet a couple of friends at Elaineas in my square, but when I couldn’t see anyone around I headed off to catch two buses just so I could have a roast dinner. It’s more than just a roast dinner. There are seven different vegetables, carrots, roast parsnips, caramelised onion, red cabbage, cauliflower cheese and whole beans, and a choice of roast lamb, chicken or beef and roast and creamed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and a jug of gravy as good as I make myself.
There was so much on my plate that I took a plastic container home and had that for dinner last night.
It was a wild and stormy day on Sunday after a night of torrential rain and thunder and lightning storms – not what you kind of expect when you conjour up an image an image of the Costa del Sol. The storm had abated landwise as I set off but the seas were so high that the frothy foam was sweeping over the walkways adjacent to the beaches.
I walked up the road to catch the first bus that would take me as far as the bus station to catch the 120, which passed Benalmadena. I checked carefully and I had just missed the No 1 but the number 4 was due in about ten minutes. Chatted to an English woman who had failed to see the timetable but had watched me take note. Well I didn’t take note carefully enough because the allotted ten minutes passed and no bus arrived.
I looked at the timetable again and sure enough the service was listed as Sundays and Bank Holidays. Then I realised that it was highlighted in yellow and found that the yellow relates to summer season and summer we are not.
As the next bus was not due or fifty minutes according to the regular timetable I saved my 1.15 euro bus fare and walked to the main bus station.
I was just in time for the bus there and was glad to get out of the blustery weather. Blustery was not what you could call the weather when I got off the bus in Benalmadena opposite McDonalds. The weather was mad. The huge waves rolling in were vicious and frightening with the force of their intensity. I pressed the button to stop the traffic so I could cross the road and was almost thrown into the oncoming traffic. Really scary stuff as I had to hold on to the lamppost to stay upright. I would have loved to take a photograph but couldn’t risk getting my phone out of my handbag. Goodness knows where it might have ended up.
McDonalds was devoid of people – well there were some customers I could see but it was a different story in Horizon which was packed. Oliver – (he is the most unlikely Oliver as he is as Spanish as they come) – put me at a table close to the door and the corner of the marquee that covers the front half of the restaurant – as I had not booked.
The gale was such it was lifting the weighted corners to the rear of me so I asked Oliver and one of the two beautiful waitresses could they move me further away from the door as soon as a seat became available. Everyone who came in or out released another blast of cold air into the restaurant and even though all the indoor heaters were blasting out hot air they were not sufficient if you were sitting where I was.
A couple came in after me and were seated even closer to the entrance. He was tall and she was petite and slim. Even though she had a jumper and scarf on within seconds of sitting down she was complaining she was cold. He was well built and it would explain why initially he didn’t feel the cold, but eventually it penetrated and overhearing my request they followed suit. I thought he was going to explode when a group of four walked out leaving the door wide open to the elements but in fairness I think a gust of wind blew the door ajar again as one of the women kindly came racing back to shut the door more firmly.
We were moved to the tables they had vacated and sat in comfort once more. The lady continued to say it was not right and the man placated her and diverted her attention by asking what she wanted to eat. We soon were chatting amiably and it turned out that they had been travelling for some months and were to be in the ‘warmer climate’ and away from the cold of the UK for another six weeks.
By this time I had realised that the poor lady was suffering from senile dementia. She was years younger than me, poor girl, and her husband covered up at times when she made some outlandish remark. I heard all about what she had worked at and worked very hard and successfully at for years until she had become ill; about her children, all girls, who were wonderful to her and her beloved grandchildren. She was a sweetheart and whilst the mind may have become confused I would like to think that what was left was the most loving and gentle nature and that she had been like that all her life.
She was certainly reaping the rewards of a life well led, as all the caring she had bestowed around her was being heaped on her tenfold. Her husband, and it was a second marriage, explained about having to have her hair cut to tidy it up and the lady who usually came in to do it when they were at home in the UK would be annoyed that the Spanish hairdresser had changed the style. The Spanish had made a good job of her hair and the style suited her elfin face – if you think of an Audrey Hepburn-shaped face.
We continued chatting, the lady smiling all the while and contributing to the conversation when she could.
As I got up to leave and head west along, she smiled at me and blew me a kiss and said, ‘You are beautiful.’ But she was the beautiful one, just a sweetheart of a woman. Her husband has to cover up for her every day of their life and at least she is still as gentle and as loving as I expect she has always been. Love does come in many guises and, thankfully, does overcome many obstacles.