The Pates arrived on Sunday afternoon, bringing some much needed sunshine with them which enabled us to sit outside and attempt to consume the contents of my cellar-which I had of course restocked in anticipation. For someone who professes to dislike rioja, sir bruce manages to force an extraordinary amount down his throat and had 12 bottles in his shopping trolley on monday morning as we accompanied them to the local Mercadona supermarket and showed them the delights of Conil. And for someone who doesn't drink brandy, his introduction to the 7€-a-litre spanish variety has produced another devotee-and even Briony has taken to drinking it in her coffee.
After shopping we headed down to the beach and walked a way although sir bruce is in severe pain having put his back out and trapped a nerve or something and is creaking along in agony like an old man and wincing and sighing every other step. Ought to pull himself together. We all went to the monday night Buffet (8€) and bingo/salsa lesson evening but failed to either win a line or a house or learn how to dance the Meringue. Pates claimed his back was hurting but I suspect a case of two left feet....have you ever seen him dance? Terrifying.
On tuesday we took them to Cape Trafalgar for my impression of Nelson (much appreciated) and then Vejer, a white Andalucian hill town with much Moorish influence where we had lunch at the Moroccan restaurant. A very pleasant meal, somewhat marred a) when Briony managed to bush past a newly painted white wall and cover herself in paint and b) we emerged to discover a parking ticket on their hire car which sir bruce had parked outside the front door in a loading bay.
It is still a mystery where the paint came from and the hotel was not initially very helpful about helping clean her up. They did suggest that we go down to the police station and plead stupidity about the ticket which was for 90€ as they had cancelled a similar ticket for a client the previous day (of course, if pates had parked where the Gf suggested this would not have happened as she pointed out, several times.) The policeman on the desk turned out to be less than sympathetic to stupidity, obviously having used up his quota for the week the day before but did offer a 30% reduction for immediate payment. So that was an expensive lunch. Vejer continues to delight but the stupendous views were somewhat marred by what appeared to be hundreds of miles of flooded fields. A trip to Bolonia on Wednesday to see the roman remains of Baleo. Included a very interesting museum with excellent english translations and free to EU citizens. Glad to see the euro-gravytrain is diverting some of its slush funds to worthy cultural causes. Stunning beach to hand, where we had a picnic lunch, where the romans had fish salting factories for when they caught the tuna migrating through the straits of Gibralter back to their spawning grounds in the Med. Baleo was v.important place 206BC-6AD and remains are v.good.
The police have sir bruce on their computers as it could not be a coincidence that we were pulled over by the ever-present 2 man shakedown squad. This time however, the stupid ploy worked-either that or the very unnerving sight of pates in his shorts trying to extricate himself from a VW Golf without hurting his back any more than necessary. After much "Inglese..no habla espanol" they gave up and waved us off but I think we're marked.
With the pates on the team for the Wednesday quiz night we came joint first but yet again lost out in the tie-break.........How many millionaires were on the Titanic?......answers on a postcard. But we did win
20€ which went some way towards the bar bill....I wish I'd never introduced him to Spanish brandy. On Thursdayit rained nearly all day and on Friday we were supposed to go to Arcos for more cultural learning but the Gf has picked up a stomach bug and is laid low and taken to her bed with the sick-bowl (we travel with all amenties equipped for most emergencies these days.) Hopefully it will soon pass. We were supposed to be doing dinner tonight before the Wales-France game but that is now cancelled-the dinner,not the game. More news anon.
10 months ago