‘I told you it was too big!  The first time I laid eyes on it I said it wouldn’t fit up that tiny gap and now it’s well and truly stuck.  You’ll have to find another suitable entrance to shove it in if you’re determined to get it up!’

Storming back up to the apartment I leave my husband and two very confused Spanish delivery men encased on the communal spiral staircase lodged behind one very obstinate king sized mattress.  Slamming the door behind me I wipe the sweat off my menopausal brow and pick up a copy of the local Olive Press newspaper and fan myself back into some semblance of sanity.

Within 4 weeks of saying ‘I do’ to our little Fuengirola flat, papers had been signed, hands had been shaken and just 18 hours earlier the majority of the profit from our Hastings home had been handed over to three squabbling siblings in exchange for a set of rusty keys.  And now, before we can finally settle in to our new life in the Sun, we have to find something to sleep on, and that something is nestling quite comfortably half way up the shady staircase of our hastily purchased first floor abode.

‘Paula, stop moping and get your arse out onto the balcony, we have a plan B!’ yells a familiar voice from outside. Hauling said posterior off the marble floor I peer over the railings and see two tanned plus one beetroot face looking expectantly up at me.

‘Apparently, they are going to wrap a rope around it and I’m going to haul it over the balcony, well I think that’s what they said…either that or they are going to hang me so  PLEASE open the door and let me in!’

Reluctantly I press the buzzer, mumbling profanities to the silent walls and within moments ‘he who knows best’ puffs past me and heads out onto the sunny terrace.

Five minutes later a makeshift pulley has been attached to the railings and my husband stands precariously on the wrong side of the balcony facing the busy road.  One hand grips the wrought iron balustrade and the other a piece of cord which is attached to a very large and cumbersome mattress.

‘Don’t drop it’ I yell helpfully as sweat drips off his ‘verging on fifty’ fore-head.  The two delivery men, no doubt used to stupid foreigners purchasing products too big for their humble abodes, haul the bed above their heads and start the countdown.  My husband, tethered to the railings by his Dunelm dressing gown cord, leans precariously over the edge, nervously facing the pavement and grabs the hem of the polythene cover with the tip of his fingers.  Without further instruction, the younger of the two Spanish workers vaults onto his partners shoulders and gives the mattress a final shove and husband, bed and common sense fall backwards over the balcony railings, landing together in an ungainly heap upon the terracotta floor.

Brian (the brave) having watched all this from the comfort of a canopied shady corner, meanders over to see what is occurring and having found not one solitary digestive crumb en route,  circles the area a couple of times before settling himself on the mattress which is currently residing on top of my motionless husband.  Shoving the disgruntled hound off his coveted new bed, I grasp my spouse’s barely visible hand and haul him out from under his plastic prison and between us gently lay the troublesome slumberdown up against the apartment wall.  Delivery forms are finally signed and the other less cumbersome objects are placed in the rooms they were duly purchased for.

‘Well, that’s good, we finally have something to sit on, something to sleep on, and something to eat off and…er, something to look at until the Telly arrives!’. My husband’s eyes dart warily over to the cobalt black, four foot glass mosaic face I hastily purchased after several glasses of Andalucía’s finest export. I glare at him from the comfort of our new sofa bed and ignore his last remark.

Looking around the white washed walls , an empty shell full of possibilities, the truth hits home and I realise I will never, ever have to mow a wet lawn in November again. No mortgage, no biting winters, no more poundland….no more…A thought suddenly strikes me and it chills me to the core, what properties am I going to covet now whilst watching channel 4?

To Be Continued…

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