Christine and I got a click tonight – a double click. At least when Christine’s click kissed her hand this time she didn’t have her false teeth (bottom set only) clutched between her trembling fingers.
It appears we are fair game. Two women on our own, even though we are past our sell by dates, the French men think we are incredibly rich when Christine tells them she is here for six months. What they don’t know is that we have a discount because we are long term residents and that our rooms are a simple double bedroom with en-suite. They are paying much more for studio apartments, spacious bedrooms, bathrooms and sitting rooms, with at least one balcony.
I came out on 19th October, and have been here three weeks now. It has just flown. I was exhausted coming out with all the trauma of trees chopped down to save the garage roof, the main house roof and the outhouse roof. Then the wood needed to be taken out of the garden shed, bagged up, transferred to the dry of the garage and then the newly cut wood stacked in the garden shed, now renamed the wood shed.
My attempt to remove the gravel around the pond to the side of the house has been going on intermittently as and when I have been strong enough to lift the gardening tools. (This being my contribution towards saving the planet.). Was almost on the point of giving up when a woofer enthusiastically took over the job for me. He found it hard too but the night before I was flying off for the winter, he worked until 11.30pm. I had explained I wanted grass seed laid across the area around the pond, replacing the gravel. He scrapped and dragged the tiny grey stones until there were two large heaps of gravel by the boundary wall. He placed bamboo cut to approx three feet tall around the area to be grassed. He wound rope around the bamboo stakes in a cross cross arrangement. I had given him a whole new and unopened packet of Lidl tinfoil and demonstrated a strip approx three inches wide and a foot long to be twisted over the rope. This would I hope frighten the wonderful bird life away and allow the seeds to grow.
I got up around 8 am when it was light I looked out to find the area resemble a space age scene with huge strips of tinfoil waving in the breeze. In his enthusiasm he had used nearly the whole roll of tinfoil.
As I was still at the stage of unpacking and repacking suitcases, balancing them on the bathroom scales and transferring item from suitcase to suitcase to meet Ryanair’s designated luggage limits, there was little I could do to sort out silver city. I was travelling with four suitcases. One 20kg and another 10 kg added the previous evening, and these two would go in the hold. Good old Ryanair allow me a 10 kg suitcase on board free of charge because it contains necessary medical equipment and there was also the regular 10 kg bag I could take into the cabin. This suitcase was also filled with medicines.
I could do nothing about the silvery garden as Jonathan was arriving shortly to take me to the airport. I don’t know if the tinfoil strips were successful and if any of the seeds have developed into little green shoots. (Latest report five months later is that the bamboo and silver strips remain, but the grass seeds have disappeared completely).
I underestimated the temperatures in Playa Blanca. Last year it was 23 and 25 in October but reverse the numbers and you get a fair idea of what we have been experiencing. I didn’t bring clothes suitable for these temperatures but have made do and mend.
It took several days to sort out all my possessions. I had left one very large suitcase, one small suitcase, two large plastic storage containers and my tartan shopping trolley packed to overflowing with my sun hats, cushions and covers for the patio chairs, and throws stored for a friend in the hotel store room.
I was also storing art equipment for one of my friends due out in February 2020.
It’s take these past three weeks to sort everything into some sort of order within the limited space.
It’s been so lovely meeting up with friends and catching up on the six or seven months since we last met.
I am now coming within sight of the end of my winter sojourn in the sun. What a five months it has been. There have been dramas and excitement, unrequited love affairs or would be affairs. The special and wonderful experience of seeing two people you really like finally realise they are meant for each other. I love them both and am so happy they have found each other. Personally the loneliness is present all the time and I do feel envious of the many couples who walk along the beach hand in hand. Feel angry and cheated that John didn’t try harder to look after himself. But on the positive side I have made the most amazing friends. The Spanish Social group are friends I know I will have the rest of my life and one couple in particular have been the backbone of my stay here. I would have not managed half as well without them. I miss people of course at home, the grandchildren especially. But conversely I will miss the friends I have made here and will look forward to returning in October. How luck am I to have two places in the world I want to be! And dare I write a tell all tale of the past five months in paradise? It has been such fun at times, but maybe what happens in PB should stay in PB?