A final flurry of late summer visitors arrived at our home last week, all full of excitement and merry chatter about their holiday plans. They bounded enthusiastically about the orchard and vegetable garden, squealed with joy at finding fresh warm eggs in our hens’ laying boxes and marvelled at the fruit hanging heavy on the trees. They fondled the cats’ ears, delighted at the frogs sun bathing on lily pads in the pond and breathlessly pointed to booted eagles circling our land. As they stood on the back patio surveying the Tramuntana mountains beyond, bathed in a fool’s gold of shimmering sunlight, they insisted that this was Paradise: that our little enclave of the Soller Valley was in fact the Garden of Eden.
Of course I didn’t tell them that just that morning I had woken grumpily at four o’clock to the dulcet tones of irrepressible Carlos our cockerel, had slipped downstairs for a glass of water and found ants crawling the walls and that one of our darling cats had sicked up last night’s dinner on the rug. After clearing up that little offering I staggered back to bed only to be woken at 7am by local electric company engineers alerting me to a power cable problem on our track due to recent storms which meant that we’d have no electricity for the morning. Up in the office and unable to meet writing deadlines without a functioning computer, I frantically tried to send work emails via my mobile phone but the signal was down due to the night’s storm. That handy refrain ‘With hey, ho, the wind and the rain’ came to mind.
Without electricity we couldn’t use the kettle so resorted to the gas cooker but alas, as fate would decree, our gas canister was on its last legs awaiting the imminent arrival of a replacement, and hissed its last. Out on the porch a rotund dead rat leered up at me while one of our proud felines stood sentry and it was at that point that I decided enough was enough. It was time to set forth into sunny Soller for a hot coffee and croissant and to fulfil a few chores. My husband and I took rubbish bags to the tip, heaved sacks of corn for the hens from the local farmers’ cooperative into the boot of the car, picked up some groceries, posted mail and finally allowed ourselves our first cuppa of the day in a cafe on the main square.
Anxiously I awaited the return of electricity to be able to meet work deadlines and prepare dinner for our guests who arrived mid afternoon just as life was restored to our stricken gadgets. So when we finally sat down to dinner, I was tired enough to contemplate resting my head in the bowl of gazpacho before me. One of our guests smiled dreamily across at me as I yawned, commenting on how relaxed I must be living the dream without stress or the normal frustrations of life. None of us expats, she insisted, could have a care in the world and the sun almost always shone. Yes indeed, I agreed, life was perfect in Expatland as I darkly contemplated the best means of gagging Carlos by morning.
Please feel free to comment on this article. All comments are moderated, so it will appear after I have checked it. Thanks!
Please sign up here for my monthly e-newsletter.