Today started cloudy and it stayed cloudy all day. When we are in the UK a cloudy day usually means a cooler day than a sunny one but here that certainly wasn’t the case. It was scorching, seriously hot and humid all day. Maybe the cloud trapped in the heat. Maybe the high humidity meant that we got none of the cooling benefits from sweating. Whatever, it was bloody hot, far to hot to do chutney as I had intended so we got into the air conditioned car and I drove us to Denia.
It is a few years since we have been to Denia. The last time we visited it was showing serious signs of decline as a result of the economic crash, known here as crisis econòmica. There were empty shops, closed restaurants and there was a general feeling of decline. It had a deeply sad, neglected feel about it which is why we haven’t been for so long. Well, we don’t know what the authorities in Denia have done to address this but whatever it was, it worked. The place was buzzing. Car parking was as easy to find as Rocking Horse droppings, the shops were vibrant and busy, the restaurants doing a roaring trade and the port had some seeeeeeeeeeeriously expensive, mega yachts in dock. It was lovely to see this transformation and we spent the day enjoying it.
We had checked out some of the restaurants’ offerings to see if they might be suitable for me and got them down to a shortlist of two. When we gave my explanatory card to a waiter at the first one he screwed his face up. That was enough, bad attitude – not going there. We have since memorised the Spanish for ‘I don’t like your attitude’ (no me gusta tu actitud) and we will use this next time we come across any establishment that sees me as the problem rather than someone who has a problem that needs to be catered for.
The second one was quite different, they laughed and said it was no problem and when we sat down the lady came across and explained what I could have on the cheapest menu del dia, suggesting adaptations that they could make. In the event we ordered from the a la carte menu – just Menu in Spanish – and we ordered a special salad each for a starter. She declared that it would be too much and suggested that we have one between us. I ordered grilled Sea Bass and she said that it came with salad and that would be too much salad, so when I suggested grilled vegetables instead she agreed and adapted the order accordingly. Garrath ordered Spaghetti Bolognese for his main course and all was well.
The food was delightful. The salad was indeed more than enough for two and that Sea Bass did not die in vain. It was perfectly cooked as were the grilled vegetables, and there was a lovely variety of vegetables too. Garrath polished off his spaghetti with gusto and they even managed to provide me with a gluten free dessert. Bliss!
I had already bought a pair of rather flash, patent leather boots and Garrath had spotted a pair of shoes in the same shop. The shop observes the Spanish working day and closes for lunch and a siesta between 14.00 and 17.30 so we had time to meander around the town and the port, stopping for teas and waters in cafes along the way. When we got to the port we saw some mega yachts harboured there – impressive machines but nobody should have so much conspicuous wealth when so many in the world live in poverty.
When the shoe shop opened again they didn’t have the shoes in his size. Deeply disappointing but it just means that we will have to go to the Pikolinos shop in Alicante.
Sadly, some time during the day Garrath lost the steel, titanium and diamond bracelet that I bought for him several years ago. He apologised profusely but there was no need. These things happen. At the end of the day it is only a bracelet. It can be replaced. It is a thing and ultimately things don’t matter. People matter, living things matter, inanimate things don’t. He is still around to lose a bracelet. That is much more important.
Immediately upon leaving the shoe shop he got a phone call from Peter, the guy who is taking the Kawasaki. He had managed to get a van to take the bike away and had been trying to get in contact via the land line all day. So we returned to the car park and I drove us back to the house in Calpe where we were joined by Peter, the van and his mate.
I did as my photographer friend Colleen suggested and took a lot of photos of the bike before it was taken away, then Garrath had to bid a sad but fond farewell to his big baby, the Kwakka. He will complete the paperwork when in the UK, but he retains visiting rights when in Spain!
Peter had already been in touch with another bike fanatic who might be interested in taking the old Honda. He is coming to the house tomorrow evening to have a look. I know that if he does hand over the Honda it will be an even bigger emotional wrench for him, so I have to be there with cuddles, tissues and a tough reality check if he wavers. I do understand but I do hope that he does take that big step. We shall see, but if it does go I will take lots of photographs.
Marijke came around with Tikkus to tell us that she had been to see another vet, that Tikkus has an enlarged heart and that she is on lots of medication to try to prolong her life. Tikkus still has a zest for life so it is worth a try, but we all know that it is only a matter of time before the hard decision has to be made. She is a lovely little dog and deserves every chance, but I think that this trip is the last time we will see her.
We are now in – yes, you’ve guessed it – the local watering hole that has free WIFI where I am reflecting on a busy, eventful and very hot day. It is 21:25 now and at Garrath’s side of the table it is 26C, on my side of the table a mere 25C. Such is life, such is technology. Time for another cooling drink methinks!