The reason I didn’t blog on holiday.
I don’t know about you but I spend ages imagining the first day of our holiday throughout the winter months, planning it really carefully to make sure it’s perfect. This year it wasn’t. As you know our plane was delayed and so instead of a good night’s sleep in a nice hotel, we had to force ourselves up after just 3 hours. I had barely nodded off because Mr MC, high worshipper of air conditioning, had turned it up so high that I was a shivering block of ice but was just too tired to get up and do anything about it. The boys were bug eyed and grumpy but we had to get moving because I’d arranged to collect a hire car at the railway station at midday. It was about a kilometre from the hotel so I had imagined us strolling though the city after an early breakfast, instead, by the time I’d got everyone moving, it was a last minute pile into taxis.
We arrived at the station in true British style, bang on time and we waited and waited and waited. In fact there was plenty of time for a blog picture – here’s what I was wearing:
- T-shirt: Mango
- Shorts: cut down jeans from Hobbs
- Shoes: Boden
- Sunglasses: Whistles
After several calls to the car hire company, it transpired that we would have to wait at least another hour which didn’t go down well. The car was finally delivered by an incredibly grumpy woman who took us into a corner to sign the paperwork. Being diligent about these things I sent Mr MC off to inspect it for damage which infuriated her even more as she insisted it was brand new. It wasn’t, it had 6k miles on the clock and was covered in deep scratches. At times like this it is both a blessing and a curse that I speak Spanish. It means I can sort things out but that they are argued far more intensely than they would be if I just shrugged my shoulders and pointed.
Anyway, eventually we set off feeling rather shaken and, of course, collecting a strange car in the middle of a city centre when everyone is exhausted probably wasn’t the most relaxing thing for Mr MC who had to negotiate the kangaroo effect of an unfamiliar gearbox whilst driving on the other side of the road in heavy traffic – oh how my heart was sinking!
On top of this, despite calling several times, the caretaker of the villa wasn’t answering her phone. We had a rendezvous point at a cafe in the mountains but no time set and she was utterly incomunicada! Trusting in the many messages I’d left for her, we exited Malaga and made it to the supermarket recommended by the villa owner. Of course the car was pretty full of luggage and so we agreed to buy enough for dinner and breakfast BUT it was hot which meant we had to take the boys into the supermarket with us. It is a cardinal rule of mine never to do this. €200 and a trolley full of stuff later, we emerged.
Sweet revenge meant that the boys then had to sit for an hour’s journey with all of the bags on their knees. This made them more grumpy, especially when we hit the mountain’s hairpin bends and various items of melting, sticky foodstuffs started to roll all over them. We eventually arrived at the mountain cafe for the meet with the key holder only to find – yes you’ve guessed it – no-one. There was a bright side however, lovely chilled rose in plentiful supply for €1 a glass, things were looking up (at least for Mr MC and me). After many more phone calls that were becoming increasingly frantic as I watched the shopping bags shimmer in the heat of the car, the caretaker finally arrived in her 4 wheel drive. This must be it we thought, a 5 minute drive and we’ll be in the pool. But no – it was a 20 minute drive round hairpin bends with no barriers between the dust track and the sheer drop to oblivion following someone who obviously does it every day – at speed. The eldest was busy assessing it for submission to his beloved “Top Gear’ as an epic road challenge. The rest of us were silent (well I was quietly calculating how many glasses of rose Mr MC had enjoyed).
However we made it. The villa was fine, the pool was great, we eventually got rid of the (very) chatty caretaker. The only thing left was to get the bags into the house before we could take a dip. I stayed inside to to sort things out while Mr MC and the boys went to bring everything in when I heard a shout, a cry, a slam, a yell. You know how it escalates – and you freeze because you can tell by the tone that something bad has happened?
We had travelled with 10 bags – 5 in the hold and 5 hand luggage. In the car there were only 9 and the one that was missing was full of some really important stuff: Mr MC’s MacBook and iPad, all the new clothes that the 17 year old had bought at TK Maxx the day before, his wallet of €200 holiday cash that he had worked for 2 months to earn, his Kindle, various other bits and pieces belonging to us all. However the worst things were:
- the USB stick with the eldest’s 10,000 word A level Extended Project Qualification essay on it (the only copy we think, we’ll find out at the beginning of term)
- Mr MC’s wedding ring (his injured finger had swollen on the plane so he’d taken it off)
- and one of the boy’s comfort blankets.
And that last item in fact, was what tipped everyone over the edge. In the end the rest (apart from the essay) was stuff that could be replaced. The comfort blanket however has been honoured by us all since the boy was a baby (I can’t reveal which boy it is). We have had so many near misses, it has been rescued and returned from all kinds of places, it has been mended and patched and had reached the point where to wash it was like nursing a sick cat because it was literally falling apart. He’s a big boy now but it was still so very, very important to him and this was like watching a bereavement.
None of us could understand what had happened to the bag. We spent ages thinking through the morning’s events which were all a bit fuzzy because everyone was so tired. In the end we concluded that the bag was with us until we collected the hire car. It must have been that, during the distraction of arguing about the damage and inspecting the car, just for a moment we took our eyes off it and it was taken. Someone must have been watching us while we were waiting and assessing which bag to take if they had the chance. I know that most of you readers are mums so I need say no more about it. You’ll understand the impact that it had on the beginning of the holiday.
However, suffice to say, it got better. The boy had 3 sleepless nights imagining what had happened to his blanket, breaking his heart over the thought of it being discarded in a bin on a Malaga street. But in fact it was a very bonding experience. He admitted that he’d known he needed to wean himself off it soon and was glad that, if it had to happen, it was with his family who were the only people who would understand. During this time the boys were all incredibly kind to each other which was heartwarming to watch and reassuring for the future.
So, onwards. I need to stop burbling and show you some outfits although some of you will have seen them on Instagram, I’ll take you through some from the first week.
For going to the Police Station (in the 40 degree heat I hadn’t acknowledged how low cut this dress was and feel a bit of a hussy now)! It was bought 3 years ago in Ibiza by the way when we went to celebrate Mr MC’s 40th by indulging him in one last clubbing weekend – now there’s a story!
For a casual supper in Competa:
- Jewelled t-shirt: Boden
- Bistro shorts: Boden
- Slingbacks: Boden
- Necklace: Zara
Lunch at a beach chiringito (the chips weren’t mine!)
- Strappy jersey dress: Boden (I have these in every colour as you’ll see)
- Straw trilby: Next (comes with a brilliant plastic inner so it won’t get squashed in your suitcase)
- Sunglasses: Whistles
A better view later in the day of the same beach dress
- Silver Havaianas
- Silver straw beach bag: Next
Shopping – this outfit does tone by the way, it’s bright pink but the camera seems to have altered it
- Top: FatFace
- Chino shorts: Boden
- Sandals: Zara
- Hat & Bag: Next
Another day at the beach
- Kaftan – a brilliant buy from Ebay, if you search there are lots available, I think it was about £5
- Gold slim Havaianas
- Bikini: Boden
Dinner in Competa
- Navy & white striped maxi dress: Gap
- Sandals: Boden
- Red clutch: Zara
- Necklace: Zara
It was a very relaxed, dressed down week, in fact most of it was spent in bikinis. I know the one piece swimsuit is supposed to making a comeback but I didn’t see anyone wearing one (other than old Spanish grandmas). As I suspected, mine has come back for the third year running with the tags still attached.
So, sorry, despite my promises it’s been a wordy one again. I think I just needed to relive the episode and get it off my chest. I have 2 more holiday posts to go before we start to hit Autumn and I really want to try to stay in summer mode at least until 1st September so maybe I’ll show you some of the new things I bought at Zara in Spain. I noticed when I was in the Manchester store a while ago and some items were mislabelled that they seem to charge a straight Pound to Euro i.e something that costs £29 here is €29 or £23 – which can accumulate to make quite a difference! It didn’t seem to be the same policy at Massimo Dutti or Mango though.
Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my last post – it’s so good to hear from you, I have honestly missed you and was frustrated that I didn’t have a laptop to blog on. I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer, it’s lovely hearing from those of you who are in exotic places, it’s like having a holiday vicariously. My boys are off canoeing on the lake today with friends so I have a full day to catch up with work (and blogging). Keep in touch – and if you’ve read this far, thanks for bearing with my woes!