Monday, 29 December 2014

Christmas, Bow-Less, In Spain

Happy Crimbo blog people, sorry for the dearth of posts lately I've been - er, waiting for the postman.
Let me explain: After an intensive period of putting a shift in at The Goblin King's place I was all set to spend Crimbo with my kids and fly out to Spain for the NewYear and Kings Day.
Oh the schemes I cooked up, the plans I had! It was all going SO well. 

"If you want to make the hunting goddess laugh - post your plans online"
Ancient Spanish Proverb

"What are you doing for Crimbo SBW?" 
"I shall be practicing archery by day, and writing my memoirs by night"
"Really where?"
"Elfa has borrowed a house in the sierra, its going to be great, might even be some Conejo"
"Is that a euphemism?"
"With a bit of luck"

It was all going so well: Gave up smoking and after a year had saved a small fortune, Made peace with Ex Mrs SBW so spending crimbo with her and the kids. With some of the money saved I ordered a hopefullly badass compound bow, sorted shipping in plenty of time for the bow to be delivered to Elfa in Spain before I even get there. So far so excellent!

He said.

Ex Mrs SBW's brother dumps his girlfriend, again, but keeps her and her kids tickets, so Ex Mrs SBW gets a free Christmas skiing holiday for her and our kids. 
Christmas Day, all watching Doctor Who together, now cancelled.

I book a much more expensive flight but agree to travel to airport with Ex and Kids-some money recouped. Fail to check temperature in Spain before packing and in doing so inadvertantly provoke the mockery of the gods. 

I set off to meet the kids feeling pretty sure all the grief is behind me. On arrival Bushwacker Jnr announces he feels tricked and is very concerned that a 'proper' christmas lunch won't be available. The Littlest Bushwacker hates her mum, but ever the pragmatist, will put that to one side for skiing. The Ex Mrs SBW has gone to bed in a huff. So far so Christmasy.

At the airport I see the amusing sight of my former brother-in-law with his moody sister on one side,  his moody now on-again girlfriend on the other side and assorted offspring standing around awkwardly. "Cheerio! Have Fun!!"

It's bloody freezing in Spain, I'm totally inappropriately dressed for it. Elfa's plan to order furniture and have it assembled by her brothers has come to nowt. We must go to Ikea NOW. We have traditional massive row in Ikea's carpark. Much to the amusement of smirking Spanish brother in-law.
I don't know if you know this, it came as a surprise to me, but ikea's furniture is perishable. Exactly who knew! So it has to be assembled, as soon as its through the door. The very second. Still I keep telling myself, my bow will arrive in the morning and I'll be free to play with it.

Get up and check tracking. Finland's rigorously efficient postal service email me to announce my box left their jurisdiction slightly ahead of schedule. Defending silence from the Spanish postal service. Lots more furniture assembly later. More defending silence from the Spanish postal service and no sign of the postie. 

Elfa's family home is a converted office block, it was built as a showroom and office space in a hot country. No insulation, no central heating. Acres of tiles, cold hard tiles. Half of the floor is fully decorated, furnished and quite warm. We live in the other bit. We huddle around a propane fire. Me, forlornly checking my email, Elfa keeping up a running commentary of things that may or may not have happened to my bow in the post.

The Spanish posties have stolen your bow, with this Crisis they are so desperate they wanna hunt christmas lunch with it, then when they found out how early you get up, they sold it for a few drinks

Drinks, Food, more Drinks. Spain can often seem like a never ending meal. Even their junk food is delicious. Drinks are about 30% of the prices in London. We stagger from bar to relatives house to bar. Since I gave up Elfa is now smoking for two so we sit outside, patio heaters are apparently illegal in Spain, its freezing. There is no sign of my bow.

Christmas morning dawns; the post won't come today, there is nothing more I can do. I give Elfa her prezzie, she tells me she didn't get me one. A relative has given us Christmas Night in a Luxury 4 Star hotel. Elfa briefly tries to claim its a present to me from her. Happy Christmas.

We set off for the four star resort. The drive takes us a few hundred meters closer to sea level, its a bit warmer. The Crisis means there are lots of abandoned building sites where half finished hotels are crumbling. We see one that looks open or at least recently open, we rock up and its our place. Four Stars mi culo! This is the last resort.  It's terrible and even colder than the house/office block, the bed is like a box of rocks and the bed's covers are for a Mediterranean summer's night. There is very little hot water. The promised 'Fine Dining' is available only at the vending machine. In fact 'things' in general are only available at the vending machine.  Wifi is sporadic at best. I keep checking the tracking. There is no sign of my bow. 

Back at the casa I'm now reduced to plaintive emailing. The fella I bought the bow from in Finland is willing enough but unable to do anything to help. No tracking information is available, its really cold. We walk to the post office - to warm up as much as anything - its shut, not just for the day but forever. There is no sign of my bow. We've still not left for the house in the sierra, I seem to have gained an enormous amount of weight, or so Elfa persists in telling me. Her mockery the only thing punctuating the deafening silence from the Spanish postal service. Did I mention There is no sign of my bow. 

Don't worry, I'd be laughing if this were happening to you. I hope you're all warm and well fed and that at least the present you bought yourself was delivered and as you'd want it. 

Your Pal