Sunday, November 15, 2009



My mind slowly clicked into gear,the heat on my eyes' warm and red.
Six months I'd lived in Spain,when will I learn to pull the shutters closed at night:drunk or not drunk!
Oh no!
That perfume,my eyes snapped open:thank God,she's not there,an empty pillow.
I started to smile to myself as the nights events came back to me.

Jane,the retired failed actress,her description not mine.
One of the many Ex-pats in the small village,who spent their days flitting from one friend to another,playing cards,gossiping and getting sozzled on a regular daily basis.
For the main I kept myself to myself,mixing mainly with my Spanish friends;but once in a while homesickness,loneliness,the sound of English being spoken,whatever the feeling is:this situation is occurring on a weekly basis.
I feel that I must not slip into the English trap.

I stood on the balcony blinking.
Ten o'clock,Sunday morning,the sun was getting hot,another two hours and it would be like a furnace.
The sun sharply reflecting off the white-washed walls.
Mucho color,as they say.

I looked down the dry,sun scorched brown hillside onto the farms and small holdings,in the valley two kilometers away. I could make out a figure of a man,leading a donkey laden with branches,a true working team I felt. The valley levelled out and then sharply rose into a mirror image of the hill I lived on.

A clink of a cup and a cough.
I looked across the narrow gap to the next balcony,'Pedro' flicked his hand in the Andalusia way of greeting; “Hola Kebin Que tal?” Bein Pedro,et tu?
A question which reoccurs through out the day.
I found the Spanish people very respectful and pleasant.

To my left a flash of blue struck my eye,the Mediterranean was twinkling,light blue six kilometers away,beckoning me.
I have to be at work in a hours time.
Mathew,a blond very tanned youth,the only ex-pat I'd met who had truly integrated;he had lived with his family in Spain for ten years:being only six when they arrived,he was now more Spanish than English,as I witnessed in Sebastians bar the night before.
He was stoned as usual it being Saturday night,probably not much less so this morning. He sat with Theresa,a jet black haired beauty. She was definitely out of bounds for the usual English lad,but they'd grown up together and were now inseparable,a good match.

He was supposed to pick me up at the Bar at eleven o clock,for the scare ride down the mountain road on his motorbike,i don't let on that my eyes are slammed shut for most of the ride;I have to trust his skills,not an easy task on a Sunday morning.
We worked the pedalos on birranna beach for 'Tony the Greek',the pay wasn't good but we got a tan and plenty of laughs. Mainly at the expense of the tourists,pink,pot bellied and who seemed to be drunk for two weeks at a time:plus an endless supply of female admirers.

'Pedro' lit up a Spanish cigarette,the smell invaded my hangover,I wouldn't or couldn't get used to the foul smell,cow-dung,I retched.

I took a shower,pulled on my shorts and vest,slipped my crucifix around my neck:my daily uniform.
It wasn't any good looking in the fridge,no milk,the contents were:two bottles of beer,a coke half drunk and half a tin of tomatoes with greenish blue fur.
I missed my Grans tea in the mornings.

I left my flat,turned right into the 'Calla de Grenada',a grand name for the twelve foot wide ally that I lived in. I turned left up the steep slope,keeping in the shade,flamenco music blasted out of a window,kids were being yelled at,the streets stank hot. I struggled up the donkey steps,every third step raised to assist the heavy laden beasts.
Breathing heavy for a twenty two year old,I made it into the main street.
Jane was gossiping with Jack,an old artist,they didn't see me thank God:I ducked into Sebastians bar,so dark,so cool.

“Hola Kebin! Cafe especial Si?”
Si Sebastian.
His usual greeting. He looked typically Spanish,five foot six,heavy set,black hair and a friendly face.
He'd worked in Switzerland in the Hotel trade,a well paid job,but he'd missed the climate and returned to his village. He opened his bar/cafe and was doing well,it was a small bar,one side was screened off,an area to eat tapas,watch bullfights and argue.
Sunday was his busy day,while the women and children went to Mass:the menfolk drank.
Farm workers,Doctor,office staff,the Mayor even the local Police man;they all mixed happily together,no class system here.
They chatted,argued over the past weeks events,sometimes very loudly,but always with good humour:no British violence here,it wouldn't be accepted at all.
Just the presence of 'Francos' Guardia Civil,in their sharp green uniforms ensured that fact.

Sitting at the counter was one such trooper,'Miguel' a friend of mine,the first policeman I could ever call that. I just hoped he wouldn't find out about my jumping ship in Malaga.
We first met when I was escaping the clutches of the seedier side of Malagas shore side. I sat next to him on the bus,he was then a student returning to his village. He called me Despachio on account of when he and his mates spoke it was so quick my Spanishh couldn't keep up,I had to say “Despachio,despachio,slow down,slowly”
He was a large,gentle man,now doing his National service.
He was very proud he'd been selected for the Guardia civil.

I remember when he came into the bar for the first time,in his uniform:his right arm behind his ramrod back.
A matador strutting his stuff.
Then an eruption of cheering and clapping,as the joke became apparent.

Miguel was now Guardia Civil!


  1. Good to see you're back,kevin!

  2. Ok,but I miss your usual blood and guts stuff,leave the pleasentries to the wanna be's.
    more ,more,encore,translated in French is also good.