Back from Beefa

22Jun11

Ibeefa rocks! According to all the posters. And they are right, though in truth we didn’t get much rocking done, deploying our resources more towards the handsome lunches, gourmet dinners and gentle swims end of the spectrum. Amy didn’t even do a handstand once – never mind traverse any living spaces, which was a shame, but since we spent most of the time either eating or digesting, she was probably wise. My centre of gravity had certainly shifted, and there were a lot of stone floors to fall on.

What a glorious island! And we had a heatwave while we were there (that’ll be the four pairs of socks coming back clean then), and little Lily learned to splash about in the sea without any worries at all. Club life was occasionally on show, particularly dismally in the form of a bunch of girls with heart-shaped nipple covers and thongs parading along a shoreline, uttering drearily half-hearted ‘Whoo! Pacha!’ incantations while we all lay like dead cod and stared at them. Far better beach viewing was afforded by the fat bloke with the hernia the size of a Satsuma that blew out his belly button. We each spotted it one by one, I was first, and could tell whenever someone else had clocked it, even if they were standing in front of me, because they went all still and intent and horrified. When he lay down it detumesced, wrinkled and listed to one side, and when he put his T-shirt on it bloated up again and poked through. Eurgh.

My Spanish fulfilled expectations, though even I was able to piece together the meaning of ‘Mas musica! Non-stop!’ which was all the bloke on the radio ever said, before playing Jessie J’s insistence that it’s not about the money-money-money. She was counterpointed by some thug with a long list of unappetizing suggestions for any laydeez who might cross his path. You want to try what? All night? A to-do list that long requires eight hours’ sleep and a hearty breakfast, I thought to meself, even for an unemployed 21-year-old off his head on pills and swagger.

The north of the island is fantastically beautiful: clear sea, sandy beaches, pine woods and rocky coves, making it a treat to swim out a little way and then look back, just floating on the brine. I know that sounds like foolish talk for one in my condition, but I braved ridicule and wore factor 50, a one-piece swimsuit and – wait, I haven’t finished yet – and a long-sleeved swimming top. Then, once out of the water, I scuttled into the shade. Completely forgot about my scalp, of course, so I imagine if I ever get my head shaved I’ll find a landing strip of freckles set at a jaunty angle where my parting used to be.

We stayed in a fantastic house near Santa Eulalia (or Eularia, I still ain’t cracked the Catalan/Spanish/Mallorquin/Andalucian regional language thing) with its own pool. Fred withstood the ladytalk and barbecued manfully despite the sweltering lunchtime sun, Alison had us all hooting with laughter and Lily was a treat – she has the knack of beaming at anyone who says hello (and in Spain, everyone says hello to littl’uns), which makes all grown-ups feel incredibly charming. Oh, and if you’re ever on Restaurant Street in St Eularia, have dinner at Sandy’s. Shelley the waitress is a sweetheart and the gazpacho is a thing of glory.

So back home at 4 in the morning, with nothing but memories and a bright red scalp. No, actually, not quite nothing – the bites on my ankle are still itching like hell. My version of chorizo-stuffed tourist was the dish of the week, it seems. Who says the British have no taste?

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