As it’s day 62 of our life in Vilanova, I want to tell you all about the last few crazy days. I’ve chosen today as 62 is my lucky number, not because I’ve won loads by choosing that particular figure (it’s a bit too high for most things, including roulette) but simply because it was in 1962 at the age of 9 that I decided to have a lucky number, so it was either going to be 9 or 62 really. I don’t know if having 1962 as your lucky number would be a practical option of course!

Well, haven’t we had fun! At least once Mary got rid of the awful pain in her tooth which took a further visit to Betty the dentist, a lot of drilling and the insertion of an antibiotic pad into the hole. Sounds great, eh? That was on Hallowe’en and we were having a party that evening on our pitch to which all our friends had been invited as long as they dressed up for the occasion.

Hallowe'en's coming....

Hallowe’en’s coming….

Het and Mike helped decorate the pitch with spooky bunting and we bought the odd spider and witch to add even more atmosphere to the event. Mary, who had shrugged off her earlier dental drama, was able to take part fully in our preparations and I knew that by the end of the evening she would have forgotten about it altogether. That’s because sneaky old me had arranged the “mother”of all surprises for her.

One by one and two by two our friends duly arrived in various forms of ghoulish attire. Witches mingled with the Undead while masked monsters tucked into plates of mince and tatties alongside ghosts and wizards. It was indeed a macabre scene, continually reinforced by a procession of similarly-attired children, mostly French, hoping for sweets in exchange for a short song.

At about 9 p.m. as Mary was seated in the centre of the company, a masked stranger came forward clutching a traditional carved-out pumpkin lit from inside. This unknown guest approached our hostess and wished her “Happy Birthday” as others had already done, given that they were only 3 hours premature in their wishes. The figure continued with “Don’t you recognise me?” and, as Mary continued to smile nervously in puzzlement, the stranger repeated “Happy Birthday” but this time added “Mum!” Mary remained so perplexed by this greeting that the figure removed his mask to reveal, you guessed it, our youngest son Scott, freshly flown in from Prestwick and brought to the campsite by my good friend Mike.

Realisation!

Realisation!

Well, you can see from the photos how totally gobsmacked my dear wife was by this incredible surprise. She had been missing Scott so much since our return to Vilanova and I had arranged for him to come over on Hallowe’en to spend a few days with us and help us celebrate his Mum’s birthday. Mary spent the rest of the evening cuddling her little boy while he escaped long enough to talk with all of our invited guests, making a very good impression by the way

Happy Birthday, Mum

Happy Birthday, Mum

.When the company was at its most animated, I produced a basin of water with half a dozen apples floating on top (Is there anywhere else for them to float?) and 3 volunteers acted out the traditional “dooking” for apples, a standard of Hallowe’en parties over the years. I myself had a go and managed to bite into one and bring it out of the basin between my newly repaired teeth with no harm done. Well done to Terry and Dick who also performed the right of passage.

While Mary, Het and Mike tidied up, I set up the inflatable double bed in the awning for Scott and after an hour’s further catch-up with his Mum, that’s where he slept his first night in Spain with us. Boy oh boy, what a night that was!

Breakfast al fresco

Breakfast al fresco

Next day after a nice breakfast outside, we took Scott around the campsite and down into Vilanova itself. Later we had tea then Mike drove us down to the station where we caught the Barcelona Supporters bus to the Camp Nou to see the derby game between Barcelona and their city rivals Espanyol. This was pretty much a dream come true for Scott and, although the game was not the best with Barca just winning 1-0, the occasion was way up there with best moments ever. Even Mary, who had expressed something less than delight when I’d told her we were going to a football match for her birthday, was carried away by the whole thing and loved it all.

Mum and son at Camp Nou

Mum and son at Camp Nou

The best Messi pose ...ever!

The best Messi pose …ever!

We were well impressed with the efficiency with which the officials got the hundreds of buses out and away at the end of the game and, after finding a taxi waiting at the station and nipping in before anyone else could, we were back at the Magic Caravan by half past midnight. Not bad when you consider the game kicked off at 9 o’clock! Before we went to bed we managed to put a severe dent in Mary’s birthday cake but I won’t say who had the most.

I think I’ll stop here for the moment and tell you the rest in another post. Enjoy!

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