BY now, gentle reader, you should have survived another summer in southern Spain and be looking forward to September.
It’s one of my favourite times of year as you check on friends, ring around your neighbours, restock on supplies and venture cautiously out in public, now that the madding and maddening hordes have gone.
I imagine that survivors of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves have pretty much the same routine.
But as we head towards autumn, ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ (and somewhere to park the car), I thought I’d reflect on what I’ve learned from the summer of 2016 which boils down to one guiding principle: stay out of Puerto Banus.
I have a love/hate relationship with the ‘Port of Abuse’, as it’s where I spent my early teenage years (before moving on to full scale debauchery in Marbella’s Puerto Deportivo. My favourite bar there – which is still going – was called Locos, so I think you can draw your own conclusions).
The Puerto Banus of the 80s (laidback and bohemian) and the Port of Abuse of today, with its TOWIE tsunami, are entirely different creatures.
The Hottie Hippy had family over from the UK, however. So I felt duty bound as Unofficial Goodwill Ambassador of Marbella (I’ve been looking for a new role since I stopped being ‘The Voice of Brexit’ on UK Breakfast TV ) to do the tourist thing and take them on a tour of Banus.
In hindsight, it may have been an unwise move to do this slap bang in the middle of August. Puerto Banus was packed. Not just with TOWIE wannabes – and there are such poor unfortunate souls, trust me – but also the super wealthy. You know that you are in Marbella when you see more Lamborghinis than Minis, with the former sporting Kuwaiti number plates and seemingly being driven by teenagers.
Stepping nimbly out of the way of the speeding supercars, the pavements were no safer. This summer’s must-have toy is the hoverboard and the pedestrian thoroughfare was heaving with the damn things, all being inexpertly piloted by overweight Middle Eastern kids.
After having my clipped for the fifth time, then almost flattened by two kids on a Segway on a pedestrian crossing, I admitted defeat and slithered back up to my lake.
“Wake me up when September ends,” I yelled over my shoulder, making a mental note not to try that again in a hurry.