I have found myself subconsciously adopting the Spanish trait of how and where to acquire a pitch on the beach, namely as close to the tideline as possible without endangering your towel. What I am yet to do, to complete my Spanish beach transformation, is to purchase a low level deckchair and a parasol, seemingly de rigeur equipment for beach trips.
Despite my best attempt at cultural integration I have yet to perfect the art of front-line pitching. I considered myself to be at the forefront but was dismayed to discover, with the arrival of ladies even more curvaceous than myself, to have left more than enough room for another line. My view of the tranquil sea stretching out towards Africa was blighted by a multi-coloured parasol, lime green chair and Picasso style beach towel. To add to my chagrin the ladies in question, following a rapido telephone conversation, then undertook that very Spanish of activities – promenading along the beach – for some considerable time. So, view ruined and they’re not there to enjoy what I can’t.
The women did at least promenade in the time honoured manner unlike some chap, athletic of leg and sporting an unusual titfer, who promenaded backwards. Slowing down only occasionally to glance over his shoulder, he passed along the beach like a film on rewind.
The beach was a colourful spectacle from one side of the bay to the other. A ribbon of psychedelic mushrooms lining the first thirty feet of beach petered out to a few puce mushrooms in front of each of the chiringuitos. And squatted beneath the verisimilitude of fungi was the full array of Spanish life – grandmothers of girth, slender señoritas, cute children of various shades and sizes and the occasional hombre, there either as a pressurised father or as a toned member of a herd of young bucks.
By three o’clock it was as if truffle hunters had passed over the playa and plucked the best. The ground was denuded as one by one families retired for lunch. My view of the Mediterranean was restored, punctuated by colourful commas of windsurfers, as I picked up pen and paper and started to write.
(Apologies for the lack of photo but I was too busy watching to remember to photograph!)