Breakfast probably doesn’t come any better than mine did today. Picture the scene. I’m outside the awning in my comfy chair in front of the foldaway table. Before me is an array fit for a king: omega 3 margarine, una barra curta (Crusty bread), 2 boiled eggs (just over the 3 minutes) and a large mug of Tetley’s. I’m wearing a pair of Jesus sandals and a pair of shorts. Facing south, the warm sun is in my face and I resort to having breakfast with my hat and shades on. At 10 o’clock it’s so hot I have to retreat to the harbour of the awning for my second cup of tea while Lady Burton joins me for her first of the day. Is she really be missing Monday period 2 at Monifieth High School? Her face says No.

While I see today as a perfect excuse for farniente, Mary, influenced by her dear mother’s genes, sees it as a fine washing day! What is it about the Robertson girls and doing laundry? They view a full washing line blowing in the wind like I do a Champions’ League Semi-Final penalty shoot-out! And is their idea of misfortune having two correct numbers on a Lottery ticket or a holiday of a lifetime cancelled because of a far-off volcanic eruption or losing their wedding ring down the plug hole? No. Misfortune for the distaff side of the Robertson family is rain sweeping in just after the last virgin-white sheet has been hung on the line!

That’s exactly what happened here today! In my most supportive of roles, I sat with wife Mary until a washing machine became free (it’s devil take the hindmost up there in that wee room you know) then came back to the caravan and put up a lovely washing line round two trees and the awning. It was a thing of beauty, fit enough to support any selection of our smalls and delicates! While Lady Burton enthusiastically filled the extended drying screen with the smaller things, I, being that bit taller, hung the bulkier items between the trees, creating a kaleidoscope of colour rivalling the flags outside the UN building. That stuff will be dry in minutes, we thought.

But what was that? Did I just feel a drop of rain? Impossible on such a perfect day! We looked up to see angry black clouds blot out the Mediterranean sunshine and a worrying darkness fall upon the site. The clouds took one look at our washing hanging proudly outside the awning and emptied their contents on it in a sudden burst of unexpected wetness. Misfortune indeed! Mary, safely inside, bemoaned her bad luck while I, in an attack of pragmatism, unclipped the flags of all the nations and threw them inside. The drying screen followed in a flash and the day was saved. Lady Burton looked on admiringly.

You can’t beat class, can you!

That was our portion of sunshine for the day. The rest was cloud and annoyingly infrequent but still wet showers. As always on such days when confined to quarters, we retreated to our own personal pleasures, Mary to her Kindle and me to Mah-jong on the laptop. I’m glad to say that, in the middle of a particularly difficult board, I was taken with a strong desire to write some more Socrates which I did in an hour or so and that is why you will have received a surprisingly unexpected next chapter sometime in the afternoon. Hopefully you will have found the content equally unexpected!

It would take something special to rival the culinary delight of today’s breakfast as I said, but tonight’s mince and tatties were absolutely outstanding due in part to the tin of Heinz beans I found up at the campsite shop and added to the mince and onion. Delicious! We spent the evening apart. Mary cosied down with a DVD “The Black Swan” (starring Desmond Tutu!!) while I ensconced myself up at the unusually busy bar to watch France v Spain, a World Cup qualifier. I got chatting to a butcher from Lincolnshire called Mick (who was a cut above the rest!) and I endeared myself to the healthy number of French fans in the bar by starting up a resounding “Allez, les Bleus!” as our Gallic cousins strove to find an equaliser. Unfortunately they didn’t.

The Audi keeping cool.

I forgot to mention that the satellite is up and running again, only this time it’s tuned to Astra 19 as 28 is just too difficult to fix on. So, although we can keep up with things out there in the rest of the world via CNN, Sky News, France 24 and BBC World, we will have to be weaned off our diet of German soaps and Islamic prayer channels which populate 19 east. Both Russia Today and China Today look like they would be riveting, if only we were in any way interested in what’s going on in either of those two countries. Africa seems to be where it’s all happening these days, given the amount of programmes dedicated to analysis of events on that continent, and French TV is absolutely awash with documentaries, discussions, debates and anything else that begins with D about North Africa where its former colonies of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco lie.

I haven’t seen “Casablanca” for years. I’ll have to play it again!

 

 

 

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