“Mum, where’s my lunch box? I need clean shorts for PE and I don’t want a sandwich today, can I have pasta? Everyone else brings pasta and I’ve been invited to a party tonight so I need a present and card!”
“Darling, Can you drop me off at the theatre after the school run but I’ll need picking up at 4pm to come back home to eat and get changed before returning for tonight’s show. Can I also have Pasta for lunch?”
“Woof woof, walk, ball, sniff, wee, sniff sniff ….COCKROACH!! Ahhhhhh!! RUN!! Woof woof ball…ball… yawn… Any pasta left?”
This stimulating conversation can be heard most mornings around 8am high up in the Campo. As I am the only one in the house without a job/school/4 legs I have become the designated driver, taking my passengers into Fuengirola for their daily routine but after the eighth round trip in a 16 hour period I realise as lovely as living in the country is, it’s not really conducive to a working life. Or my sanity.
Every sensible piece of advice I have researched online over the last 2 years recommends renting a property for at least a year before deciding what area of Spain to buy in. Expat forums are full of nightmare neighbour stories and tales of solitude and broken marriages due to choosing the wrong location. Tearing my eyes away from a particular annoying episode of ‘Loose Women’ I suddenly realise that a) Coleen Nolan may actually be my long lost twin sister and b) I have never listened to anyone’s advice in my life.
Making an executive decision from the comfort of the sofa I fire up the lap top and head straight to ‘Property for Sale’ on Idealista. Cramming a Custard cream into my mouth I hastily type ‘Mijas and surrounding areas’ into the search bar. With a strong coffee in hand I sit perusing the fantastic villas on offer for the same price as a small country in Eastern Europe and slowly start to whittle my way down from detached Villa, to town house and eventually accept the reality of an apartment which is the only viable option if we want to live in the centre of a town where the facilities we require are in abundance. Luckily enough we have already transferred our UK money over to Spain with the help of the wonderful FC exchange so we have the funds readily available.
I shortlist several properties that look like they have both solid walls and neighbours with teeth and bookmark them ready to show my husband when he returns from his day behind the spotlight. Rather pleased with myself for making this momentous decision without the aid of Vodka or spouse I load the hairy one into the boot of the car and we head off in high spirits to buy provisions for the week.
Spotting a recently vacated parking space, I reverse the Jeep in-between two scuffed mopeds and languidly wander into Fuengirola town centre with canine in tow. Estate agents fight for dominance along the tree lined street and I press my nose up against the glass frontage, attempting to find the diamond amongst the rough.
“Can I help you?” breathes a voice into my ear and I jump back in surprise, tripping over Brian in the process and after a brief tango with the lead I end up on my knees at the feet of the stranger in a rather compromising position. Cursing under my breath I drag myself upright and arrive nose to nose with a rather tanned blonde man in a crisp linen suit. Without invitation he kisses me on both cheeks and then just to make sure the introductions are complete, he grasps my hand and pumps it up and down so vigorously I half expect water to start pumping out of my elbow.
“I saw you looking in the window at our wonderful selection of properties and I thought this is a lady who knows what she wants!!” I smile uncertainly and look around for an escape route.
“Would you like to have a look at what properties we have on offer?” I have water for the Perro and chilled wine for the lady!” winks the stranger and flashes his artic white veneers in my direction.
Caught off guard and slightly light headed from the heat I can feel my resolve beginning to falter. Without further invitation a firm hand is placed in the small of my back and I am ushered over the threshold into the air conditioned den of iniquity.
Plonking myself down onto the white leather sofa I slowly release my grip on reality and rapidly replace it with a chilled glass of wine. My fair haired companion repositions himself behind the Oak desk, strokes down the crease in his trousers and looks me directly in the eye.
“Soooo Senora, what’s your budget?”
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