Saturday, 31 May 2008

2 nights in Spain

After just one day back at work following the Venice trip, I caught an Easyjet flight from Stansted to Malaga on Wednesday morning. What a contrast with the ghastly Ryanair!

I had to see my late step-mother's solicitor to arrange for her to have power of attorney so she could sort out Liz's affairs, and I also had to be issued with a tax number, so I can pay the tax on my half of the apartment I've inherited from her.

There was going to be a curious contrast of frantic activity in the morning, followed by complete absence of deadlines in the afternoon, since both the solicitor and the police station (where I was to get my tax number) close at 2.

My brother had been out a couple of weeks previously, and had left directions, so I drove quietly through an older part of Fuengirola where I've not previously been. I loved this statue of a male torso emerging from a rock, though I've no idea what it's actually about.

The solicitor was OK, though I wasn't impressed by her competence (nothing definite, just an impression), and the power of attorney was easily sorted out. There was a minor difficulty of paying the 50 euros for it, as my bank card had been rejected, but we arranged I'd pay it the following day. By the time that was wrapped up, I was too late for the police station, so went back to Calahonda.

I phoned the bank and sorted out the card. Somewhat inevitably, the bank's security software had decided the card was being used fraudulently, and had stopped it. I'd pretty much expected that, given the gallivanting about we'd been doing. They were quite happy to fix it straight away, and I was able to draw money next time I tried.

FYI I used the 0845 number Lloyds TSB provide, just sticking 0044 on the front and dropping the leading 0. Then I had to speak my sort code and account number, as the keypad didn't send the right signals for the software at the other end, but that was OK once I'd caught on.

I walked on the beach and collected a few pebbles, then returned to the apartment an carved a couple of them. Nothing complicated, just simple and quick.
The first is just a piece of blue tile that's obviously not been in the sea very long and was clearly cut to the triangular shape it now has. When I threw it back, I tried to skip it over the water, but sadly it didn't go far, so I imagine it will be found pretty quickly. On the other hand, the terracotta clay is also pretty soft, so it won't last long in the surf anyway, so that's probably OK. It's about 10 cm across.

The second is a proper pebble, just with eyes and a mouth. I was aware the electric engraver was very loud in the apartment, and although I'd warned one pair of neighbours, there was a good chance I was disturbing others, so kept it as brief as I could. This one is about 7 cm high.

Having finished them as far as I wanted to and taken the obligatory photographs, I strolled back down to the beach to throw them in. As I say, the tile didn't go far, probably only about 10 metres, which puts it right in the surf. That will maximise the rate of wear, and actually, with no significant tidal movement, it'll never be actually exposed, unless it's picked up by a wave and tossed up onto the beach.

The real pebble went much further out to sea, so should stay lost for a reasonable length of time. It's much harder, of course, so will wear more slowly.
I took a photo of where I threw them in, just in case you want to try to find them.

What do you mean, it doesn't help?

On the Friday morning I was in Fuengirola bright and early. I got one form stamped at a bank, then went to the police station. Outside it was a balmy 25°C but queuing inside it was sweltering. I was really grateful that Liz had died in March. In July and August, the outside temperature can reach 40°C. Youch!

After queuing for 25 minutes I got to talk to a Geordie who told me the form I'd paid the bank to stamp was invalid and blah-de-blah-de-blah. Then he said I should speak to Angelina over at another queue and maybe she'd be able to sort me out.

Angelina was as helpful as he'd been the reverse, and in nothing flat I was done. Stamped forms and the 50 euros delivered to the solicitors and I was free. I'd allowed all morning, and at 11am I had nothing to do. No point going back to the apartment, as I'd thrown all the food away, turned off the electricity and water and shut the place down.

So I drove up to Mijas, where I had a very pleasant lunch in a restaurant we know there. Amazingly, I've found a picture of the actual restaurant! The platform on the lower right is a pizzeria. The upper one, on the left, is where I sat, on that actual balcony. A glass of chilled white, a plate of boccerones (fresh anchovies, treated like whitebait) and a view down over Fuengirola and the Med from on high. I couldn't resist the temptation to phone Jenny and eat my lunch at her.

I've just looked up some birds I saw from the balcony. A bit like lightly-built blackbirds, they had a startling white flash on the tail. I was a bit far away, so didn't see any more, but that was enough. The book says they were black wheatears, which are resident in Andalucia.

1 comment:

Sparx said...

I love the notion or carving stones and throwing them back into the sea - would be great to see the puzzle on someone's face if they ever found one - I've done the same with wood carvings in the past.

There is also a form of sea magic which works like that - you carve what you want to get rid of, or what you want the sea to bring and then throw it to the sea to take away or bring back, depending on what the tide is doing at the time...