‘So let me get this right, you went out for a Pomegranate and a pack of digestives and you came back with six bottles of cava and a new apartment???’

Nodding my head in agreement, I smile up at my long suffering wide eyed spouse and offer him another glass of sparkling wine to soften the blow.  He looks at me in amazement, shakes his head in disbelief, then downs the additional fizzing contents in one go.

In all fairness, I haven’t actually signed any paperwork or exchanged any of our hard earned cash just yet.  I have in fact lined up three properties to view and my husband has to guess which one I’ve chosen, and if we have both chosen the same one then we buy it.  Simple.  All the apartments are in (or around) our £120k budget and all are vacant and ready to move into.  My other half rubs his pulsating temples and heaves himself out of the safety of the rented sofa, mumbles something about quick divorces and promptly heads towards the shower.

‘Don’t take long; the agent is picking us up in 20 minutes!!’  I yell after him and then turn on my heel and find myself nose to nose with my son.

Tilting his head he looks at me with molten brown questioning eyes  ‘One thing you’ve failed to mention, does it have a pool and can I walk to school?’  He enquires.

I smile at the simplicity of childhood, ruffle his hair and whisper ‘Get your shoes on and let’s go and see!’

A horn beeps outside the gate and we both jump in unison.  A loud curse can be heard upstairs and then the sound of running water promptly stops.  I smile at my son and clap my hands in childish glee, grabbing my handbag en route to the door while my son shakes his head and waits for the only actual adult in the house to get dry and join us.

Mr Veneers is stood by the open car door smoking a cigarette and warily eying up the goats who have decided to see who is paying them a visit this balmy evening.  Edging closer, I battle my way through the assortment of hairy bodies and hurl myself into the back seat of the air conditioned chariot.  A brown nose presses itself up against the window and looks at my straw handbag beseechingly, then bleats at me in apparent longing.

Within minutes all four of us are safely ensconced in the Fiat Panda and heading up the Calahonda hills to view the first of what could be our future home.  I smile happily around the car and am met with a steely glare from my still slightly damp other half.  The car screeches to a halt in front of a terracotta building and our estate agent leads the way up a stone staircase to the third floor and opens the front door with a flourish.  I nod at my husband to enter the property first and he and the boy child step over the threshold.

The apartment is immaculate and fully furnished.  With two double bedrooms, a large lounge and dining room and a sun bathed south facing balcony.  I brush my hand over the upholstery and look up to see if I can read my husband’s expression.  His jaw has softened as he takes in the distant sea view.

‘Well, what do you think?’  I gently enquire ‘do you like it?’

Nodding his head in my direction he looks me straight in the eye for the first time since arriving and grunts his approval.  The boy child has already decided what bedroom he wants if we decide this is the chosen one and also where his computer can go.  All the furniture is included in the asking price and the British owners are keen to sell.

With hands on hips our tour guide tells us about the communal swimming pool and the bus times which head into Fuengirola along the A7.  I look at my spouse and my son, both like the apartment; I can see it in their faces.  It’s a ready made home, equipped  to move into without any fuss.

Catching the agent’s eye he nods in affirmation of my eagerness to move on and leads us all out the front door and back down to the car to view property number two.

Halfway down the external stone stairs the heavens suddenly open and a torrent of rain begins to fall.  Laughing at our bad fortune,  we all head quickly into the car and jump through the open passenger door.  Bemoaning the change in weather I turn to my husband and smile… but he’s not there.

I wind down the window and look around for him.  The sound of thunder muffles my voice as I call out his name but there is no reply.  Shielding my eyes from the deluge I walk back towards the entrance of the block but he is nowhere to be seen. I move my sodden locks away from my face and call out hs name again.

A glimpse of blue catches my eye and slowly I turn my head towards the apartment we have just viewed.  Floating at the bottom of the stairs like a forlorn rubber fish is one familiar solitary size 10 flip flop minus its owner…

To be continued…

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