Unfortunately, the Bossman did have to go to work today, since that’s what’s bankrolling this whole Being Abroad lark, and the working week did not start well. First, the teabag stash had not been replenished while we were in Monaco, so he was stuck with a choice of mint or vervain, which went down rather like the discovery that I was stuck with decaff or nothing for my One Ration Of Coffee. And unlike bad wine, I don’t drink bad coffee for the taste.
(Although I didn’t know it at the time, this was the start of the Bossman’s ever-spiraling grievances with the maid, which got more and more embarrassing as the week went on and she did her best to make friends with me. Plus, I’ve been a hotel maid, and it’s fairly onerous, especially if you really can’t fight your way out of a double-duvet cover.)
However, seeing as I appear to be along as some sort of trophy/ baggage on this one, I made to make with my own maid service and nip out to the supermarket for an independent supply of tea. Alas, this was met with much bitter laughter and I was informed that nothing round here opens before ten. (Also alas, this later turned out not to be true, and I could have procured teabags well before he left for work. So don’t believe everything you hear).
Instead, I went to wash my eyes out, because they have been feeling really gritty lately. So I also had an unpleasant surprise, namely, what the hell is that Thing on my actual EYEBALL!?
During the quest for the answer to this, it also turned out my internet connection is guff, my laptop filled with spyware, and my ability to fight my way out of a paper bag disputable at best.
Anyway, it seems it is an eye blister, which is apparently very common and fixes itself. Touchwood. My E111 form, which (allegedly) entitles me to healthcare throughout the EU, it was nowhere to be found.
After all that ‘excitement’, (read: one of us stomping and growling and the other trying not to panic in case they were secretly About To Die Of Ick) I took it easy for first day, thinking I’d get my bearings. So I went to the supermarket and got a big stack of teabags and some beers for the Bossman’s return from work. I investigated the possibility of some genuine UV-rated shades, just in case it is my Scottish-summer-rated ones that caused the eye blister, but alas, prices started at two hundred earth pounds, because everything round here is Designer. (And still, not a single UV-rating sticker to be seen!)
The domestic stuff aside, I went for a wee swim in the sea, early so as not to get burned. Now, I had packed very carefully for the beach, because I don’t usually get within spitting distance of one when the temperature is above icicle degrees. Bikini (stars’n’stripes – other, older, less novelty bikinis no longer fit): check. Minidress (in camo – lycra is quick to dry and strapless slips on easy over wet bikini!): check. Hat to keep off the ferocious UV rays that the Bossman assures me will kill me stone dead within a day round these parts: check. Alas, my only hat is a US army baseball cap. Also in camo.
Put it all together and look in the mirror and only then realise what the hell you resemble: check.
(No, there are no photos: I have some standards, dammit, even for someone who broadcasts all their failings on the internet for cheap laughs).
Thus decked out like some sort of deranged Capitalist beachhead, I slunk down to the shore as unobtrusively as possible, threw most of it off and strode briskly into the sea to distance myself from it, encountered the pebbles with my bare feet and limped pathetically through water that refused to get any deeper than knee-height until I fell over. At which point a passing member of the silver fox community (which seems very well represented here) came romping over to ask if I was not American and could he help, and wasn’t my bikini just awesome (or something: my French isn’t great). I explained that I am Scottish but lack any taste in clothing, and he showed me a way to get in and out of the sea avoiding the pebbles, which was very nice of him.
(And very fortunate too; I promptly had to go back for my shades, because the sun on the water was blinding. Ha, and I thought everyone else was just wearing em to be Cool).
Ooh wait – now there might be a way to keep away sleazy people – dress like a nutter! … sadly, I don’t have the gumption to carry it off well, and had to keep swimming for hours because I didn’t dare go and get back into all that clobber. Eventually, fear of burning to a crisp outweighed the fear of being laughed at, and I slunk back to the hotel.
I spent the afternoon hiding from the maid (with another suitcase against the main door, just in case) and drawing a bad oil pastel of a backstreet in Grasse.
The Bossman got back in a better mood, possibly helped by my impressive selection of bevvies, and we wandered down the shore for a Moroccan feast, on big blue cushions, with all the couscous you can eat and a bellydancer who came to entertain us at our table. Alas, it didn’t even occur to me to take photos in case it was Rude, until she danced at some other people, and then she went away, so buttons. They could have been so cool to draw from, too!
Oh wait, I know bellydancers. Hmm! and, Aha! … nah. Once again my plans have got ahead of themselves. I mean, here was my plan for the week to whip up several bad oil pastels of cute little backstreets, and I have slaved away and produced A Flowerbed In The Corner. In theory, I was gonna do some writing today as well, hahaha. So the last thing I need is a new art project, when I already have plans to do a series of Rasslers, and then hit up fightclub for some pics of them to draw, and do I not have an allotment and an engineering course waiting for me at home (with all the paperwork and the dayjob and the freezer to source and augh, no, do not think of it)! Buttons. See if drawing was my day job? … yeah, I’d have to slave over it faster and faster and have no enjoyment of it at all in case I not only ended up doing gash, but doing gash that didn’t bring in cash. )
So in conclusion… oh just shut up and enjoy your holiday, idiot. The daily grind will pick up where it left off soon enough.