CRINGLE: Hopping mad in Spain

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MY daughter and her family have a place in Spain. It’s not a big place like Madrid or Barcelona.

It’s a duplex apartment on what’s known as the Costa Tropical, a safe distance from British-occupied Spain.

With apparently commendable devotion to her ageing and increasingly dependent parents she invited us both to spend a week there with her and I’ve just got back to the Isle of Man.

But I nearly didn’t. Why she thought it might be a good idea to abandon me out there I haven’t worked out yet. She insists she didn’t mean to.

The apartment is high up on what is called the Punta de Mona or Mona Point. What the connection with the Isle of Man is I have no idea. But that, as you might say, is not the point just now.

The first morning she drove us down to the nearby seaside resort of La Herredura where mainly Spanish holidaymakers disport themselves and which is the birthplace of Andres Segovia, the Spanish classical guitarist.

We were to take breakfast in the sun in a seafront cafe. She parked the car outside. Afterwards she and her mother went back out to it and I followed leaning on my walking stick.

(I know I am not known to friends and colleagues in the Isle of Man as using a walking stick. But on holiday it does help with all the tramping around that’s involved – and Spanish people are notably kind to the aged and infirm).

She and her mother were in the front seats when I got there and opened the back door. The engine was running as I tossed the stick into the car and heaved my right leg in, which was when my daughter drove off at speed and disappeared round a corner. The door slammed shut of its own accord. I was left standing on one leg in the road.

The only useful thing about this was that it was my good leg. Otherwise I was stranded.

As I say, the Spanish are kind to oldies. Two girls ran to me from the cafe, taking me protectively by the arm.

‘Abuelo,’ they gasped. ‘Por Dios, que es lo que ha pasado aqui.’

This worked out as: ‘For God’s sake Grandad, what’s happened to you?’

They sat me down where I pondered the employment opportunities for a Manx freelance journalist in a place like La Herredura.

I hadn’t got far with this when the car came back. To the disgust of an increasing crowd of Spanish sympathisers, mother and daughter were convulsed with laughter.

The girls gave me my stick and helped me into the back seat.

‘Suerte viejo,’ they said with evident concern. This meant the best of luck old man.

Back at the apartment my daughter had stopped laughing long enough to apologise. ‘Sorry Dad,’ she said. ‘I just didn’t realise we’d left you behind. But you have to admit, it was funny.’

She’s not a little girl any more, otherwise I’d have taken my stick to her.

• EDDIE and Sue Booth are back in Port Erin after a holiday in Cyprus where they read the following story in the Cyprus Weekly: ‘Police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found at a poultry abattoir in Oras village in the Larnaca district, even though foul play has been ruled out.’

Eddie and Sue told me: ‘These foreigners don’t have a clue how to spell English words. Surely it should have been fowl play.’

They obviously chickened out.

• LIBERAL Vannin Party chairman Roy Redmayne emails me to say: ‘Many thanks for taking the time to identify the spelling error on our website. I take full responsibility and will be writing the word out one hundred times.’

On the website?

• THIS week’s Isle of Man crossword clue is: ‘Article on races hurt case (6) – ATTACHE (Kevin Nicholls, Glasgow Herald).

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