Wednesday 11 July 2012

Lazy days in the sun

The remaining days followed a similar pattern to the first. The boys would get up en masse, the DVD player would go on, always slightly too loudly for me to be able to sleep through and Sharon would sleep on, having been disturbed by Angus falling out of the bed in the night, or Rowan thumping his way through the house in search of the toilet or Finn sleepwalking. Angus would typically refuse his cereal while the others mucked about and laughed and ate their toast and jam and fruit and pestered us to go to the pool. The advantage of not having a pool as part of the property is that we aren't worried about Rowan or Angus walking out the door and falling in: the downside is that one of the adults must be with the children to take them over to the top pool. The trips to the pool were generally late morning, up until lunchtime and then again late in the afternoon, before dinner.

The boys enjoyed jumping in with Edie and Sharon bought them more pool toys: noodles (long floats that allowed Rowan and Angus to ride them like horses into the deep end), water pistols (they didn't play with these much) and goggles and masks. Finn's flippers mysteriously disappeared on day one, to our annoyance. Edie and Oscar shared their inflatable crocodile and rubber ring too, so their was plenty to occupy the boys in the pool as well as sunbeds on which they could rest and dry off in the sun. Sharon and I read and joined the boys in the pool and took it in turns to prepare lunch and dinner, passing the time and not worrying about being a slave to the clock. Things have turned a corner with Angus now being old enough that we don't need to worry about naps, nappies and strict routine, although he is still in night-time pull-ups and has chosen to go "for a wee lie-down" most days after his morning stint in the pool. The heat and the late nights have disrupted all the boys to some extent, so it's important to relax when we can.

On Tuesaday afternoon we had a fruitless search for Carol and Mark Johnston's holiday villa in the neighbouring Urbanizacion Voltacado, trawling past numerous sprawling, gated houses in the baking heat. Giving up, we returned to Mijas Pueblo for a wander around and a stop for ice-cream, eventually, after a fruitless search amidst the stairs and terraces of the Alcazabar area. We visited the playpark with possibly the best view of any we've been to, up by the oval bull-ring. Sharon decided to re-attempt to locate Carol's villa with Angus and got lucky. Seeing a curtain twitch she buzzed a gate and found them. Angus spent the rest of the afternoon throwing dive sticks for Cameron and Tom (Gary and Nicola, friends of the Johnstons, were sharing the villa) and having a great time.

For Wednesday lunch we drove down to Cala de Mijas, some 30 minutes' drive from the house down to the A-7 and along towards Marbella. The heat by the beach was only slightly attenuated by the onshore breeze blowing through the beach umbrellas and sunbeds. There was far more people about than we had been used to up in the mountains and my feeling, which the others agreed with, was that we preferred the quieter environs of our villa (quieter that is, when Rowan isn't clamouring endlessly in excited squeals by the pool) to the business of the beach.

That said, the boys had a fine lunch of pizza and pasta bolognese and burgers; all very tasty, according to the recipients. My salade grande was less so. By and large, the food we bought and prepared ourselves was far tastier, in my opinion, than the food in the resturants. Maybe our choice of establishment was the cause or maybe the economic woes of Spain have dictated that cheap food now tastes like cheap food whereas once you could be assured of tasty fare at reasonable prices. Now, if you want decent food you have to pay for it.

Rowan and Angus had a play on the ship climbing frame, we had another of many ice-lollies (hours have been spent selecting ice-creams and poring over lolly boards) then Rowan and I visited a supermarket while the rest headed home. In the evening Sharon escaped into Mijas for a stroll about without children and to sit down for a much-needed coffee. She reported the town had a great vibe in the evening, with people sitting out, enjoying their food and chatting as the evening wore on. We had a fine dinner on the balcony ourselves, seared tuna, octopus with chorizo and egg, ratatouille and potatoes, washed down with wine and the quiet sussurations of the trees around us.

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