The wind had continued to blow a gale all night long but fortunately we had both managed to get a few hours sleep this time, meaning that we were able to rejoin the land of the living without looking like extras from “Thriller”. We made a point of being up by half past eight as Richard and Ria were heading off around nine and we wanted to wish them a safe journey. A toot told us they were leaving and we got in another hug before they drove off direction Holland.

That left us free to get organized for our return trip to Paul and Gillian’s back up near Sotogrande where we had been invited to attend a paella lunch to celebrate wee Sam’s 5th birthday. As a bonus we would be meeting up with auntie Marie and uncle Ian who had flown over to see their son Paul and his wife Gillian and the grandchildren, Chloe and birthday boy Sam.

With breakfast out of the way we had plenty time to tidy up the Magic Caravan before packing a few essentials, including the inflatable bed and the sleeping bag. We left just after 1 p.m. and were at Paul’s house by 2. We were quickly introduced to several of the other guests and then settled down to a couple of beers in the sunshine while Gillian looked after the paella cooking in one of those huge pans, something I just had to have a go at. Here’s the result.

Take 10 kilos of rice, add a chicken or two.....!

Take 10 kilos of rice, add a chicken or two…..!

At one point I decided to sneak back out to the car where I donned the fez and Jalaba I had bargained for in Tangiers earlier in the week, returning to the garden and making a grand entrance as a street vendor. That went down well with the natives although the children treated me with disdain and teased me that I looked “rather silly”. The fez seemed to meet with general approval but the head to toe all-in-one got the thumbs down. And there was me thinking I looked like a real arab in my new gear. What do you think?

Check the threads!

Check the threads!

Gillian did us proud with an excellent paella plus crusty bread and a beautiful tomato salad. We watched Sam blow out the candles on his birthday cake then enjoyed a slice of it accompanied by ice-cream and strawberries while the kids splashed around in the swimming pool having a great time in the heat of the afternoon.

The men then went indoors to watch the Chelsea v Liverpool match and gradually the other guests trickled away leaving only the family to enjoy the early evening sunshine. As if by magic, Paul then produced 3 pizzas to ensure no-one was left feeling hungry in the slightest and we rather surprised ourselves with the way we got stuck in. The rest of a brilliant day was spent in chit-chat out on the patio before we all helped get the bairns off to bed, my role being to read out loud Chapter 2 of Socrates to a wide-eyed Chloe.

By 11 p.m. we were all fit for bed and what was my delight when I went into the bedroom (spare room) to find Mary had already inflated our bed with the built-in pump. With the sleeping bag and pillows it really looked like a regular bed but I’ll let you know tomorrow if we end up on the floor.

Well done to the Spanish Barnetts – we had a ball!

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