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Ash crisis over? Sadly it looks likely, as confirmation of our homeward flight comes through from the airline. This eruption story update is now available!

“But I’m an artist!”

A few days ago, in jestPedregalejo-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow,
as a lame excuse for some petulance I’d exhibited, I said to my wife “But I’m an artist!”. I swear I was joking, and at the time she was kind enough not to go into exactly what kind of artist she thinks I am.

When I mentioned this to a friend, he said sure that’s right, you don’t have ‘moods’, you have ‘phases’. Well at least somebody understands me.

Well I was quite upset last night. I know… I’m such an artist. My wife said, stop it or you’ll start me off too. The reason I was so sad was because the flight’s confirmed for 23:45 tonight. As some of 2010’s stranded holidaymakers we’ve ridden the wave of Schadenfreude rising off the UK’s shores, beaten it and it looks as though we’ll be on our way home soon.

Stockholm syndrome

This Stockholm syndrome’s a bitch though. I called it Stockhausen syndrome when I first mooted it. She said ‘no, that’s when an avant-garde composer kidnaps you and plays you his music incessantly. In spite of your hatred for the noise you still learn to love your captor.’ Um… not quite like that then.

You see we’ve learned to love being held prisoner by volcanic ash, and now we don’t want to go home. It doesn’t matter anymore about the dwarf who bangs away in the apartment’s kitchen wall (you may have met him here…). He and I have learned to tolerate each other. It’s good to know he’s home looking after stuff, while we’re out sunbathing. Finally he understands why I can leave the apartment, and why he’s got to stay indoors. There are a few other issues though…

Issues?

What about the 2 apartment rooms we couldn’t persuade anyone to enjoy with us this year? Well, it was short notice. We don’t often open the doors, and we just pretend they don’t exist now. The doors are just part of the wall, aren’t they?

How about that stove that burns the plastic handles of the pans, no matter what configuration you put them in? Oh yes, I did some cooking. Well it wasn’t just my holiday, was it? My wife insists I’m good at cooking. Good – just very slow, she can’t wait that long to eat. That’s fine, but it doesn’t help my self-esteem.

And what about our bed that creaks even when we blink? And sometimes I get up a couple of times a night, so we’re all awake then… And that smell of damp that knocks us over when the wardrobes are opened? I tell her that’s just rustic Spanish charm. I’m sure they have a word for it here. If only I knew what it was.

What about the location of this place though? I know it’s a 1 in 10 hill, but you can take the 100 + steps for the short-cut, and then there’s just Kilimanjaro to run up after that. Well you’re OK after a breather, and you don’t get those kind of views at sea-level.

Oh, and mind the steps at the end of the street where the workmen building the new villa relieve themselves.

And if I get that dirt left by the wild cats that yowl all night outside our window, in the tread of my trainers one more time, my wife says she just might throw them out for good.

Upset

So why are we both so upset about leaving? It’s hard to put into words. But you know me… I’m a trier.

It could be the picturesque jostle of the town splashed around the hills outside the window, or the seashore neatly arranged around 5 little bays with curving breakwaters to keep the waves low, the myriad of little boats and big ships slipping past Pedregalejo and El Palo, the 2 strands of the fish farm tended daily, the bars and fish restaurants teeming with locals and out of town Spaniards on holiday, the Selva Negra and the Panqueque con Dulce de Leche y Nueces that’s piling the pounds on, and hot Fritura with a bottle of ice-cold Rosé at Cafe Picasso on La Malagueta.

We will come back next year. We say it every year we have a holiday. We will come back… Won’t we?

Paseo de Pedregalejo, Malaga Este
Paseo de Pedregalejo, Malaga Este

Leaving again

Now we’ve tidied and beautified the kitchen. We’ve cleaned the bathroom, unmade the bed and closed all the blinds. Carrying our suitcases downstairs, we stop to say hello to the elderly German couple who have just arrived after spending 2 days and a night on a coach, in lieu of a cancelled flight.

We say you’ll have a great time. It’s a super place. You’ll love it. And looking at the sunshine it’s hard not to believe it. In the end I say “We’ve got to go… before we get upset.” I smile, so they don’t know I mean it.

It really is time to head off for our 2 bus rides through Malaga to the Aeropuerto, and back to all our responsibilities again in the UK. Bye bye, Pedregalejo. It was fab.

© adewils 2010

If you have missed part 1 of this story catch up here