Monday, 21 June 2010


Watching England's dismal performance at this year's WC, took me back four years ago to the last World Cup and watching it in Spanish bars during the Jolly Girls Trip. Five of us headed off to a little town called Tossa de Mar on the Costa Brava and little did we know what lay in store. We flew into Barcelona and managed to hire a huge people carrier which pootled us through the Spanish barmy night and tricky mountain roads to our villa. Once we spent most of the next day cleaning it (the word rank doesn't do it justice), disposing of resident lizards (and me having to be sedated) we hit our private pool and sort of stayed there for the duration doing hours and hours of lilo racing, underwater races, standing on shoulders, somersaulting into pool, drinking beer and laughing a lot. Our evenings were spent having barbecues, drinking more beer, dancing on our balcony to very loud music and playing cards. We talked about anything and everything and then when the Spanish electricity system failed (as it often did), we spent scary times going into the cellar  in unison and hand in hand to locate the fuse box, trying not too hard to think about the Freddie Kruger character who might be lurking in the shadows sharpening his blades. I suppose 5 of us singing nervously 'I will survive' with facepacks, leave in hair conditioner and sloggie knickers entering any cellar would deter even the hardiest of serial killers. 
Then in a fit of 'let's give the pool a miss today and go get some culture', we found ourselves on the bus out of Tossa de Mar and heading towards the beautiful city of Barcelona. We had a full day planned... do the culture bits first and visit Antonio Gaudi's famous La Familia Sagrada cathedral, visit La Seu cathedral, have a wander down the famous Las Ramblas and then the big one - visit Nou Camp, the world famous football stadium and home of Barcelona FC. The cathedrals were absolutely magnificent. If you've never been, you are allowed access to the roof of both buildings and although it's a vertigo sufferers worst nightmare, the views take some beating. Coming down the hundreds of steps on a very tiny spiral staircase with no handrail was also not for the feint-hearted. Inside however, they are simply stunning. So after many hours of culture, did we amble off into a little tapas bar to flirt outrageously with the waiters? We headed to the nearest KFC right outside Gaudi's masterpiece of modern architecture and gorged our way through a bargainio bucketo. Fed and watered, we headed off the Nou Camp by on Barcelona's underground which it has to be said, was exceptionally clean and very safe. For Vic and I who are football mad, the stadium tour of the Nou Camp was awesome. Even the less football-enamoured girlies amongst us enjoyed it. Well, they said they did. After a madly hot day and we trudged back to the city centre and caught our bus in time to hear the Spanish bus driver speak the immortal lines to each of us whilst pointing 'You...Tossa?' 'Ce, Senor, me tosser, but you're a tw*t'. Oh, it's so very, very childish but it amused us all the way back to our villa. And thank God he didn't speak English as we could have ended up turning left on the motorway and heading towards the East European sex slave industry. The other memory of the bus journey was the really awful tape of really bad 70's music - I seem to recall Tiger Feet by Mud, and Yes Sir, I can Boogie by Baccara playing over and over with 5 of us on the backseat (where else?) singing along with lyrics with the occasional Pans People dance routine thrown in for good measure much to the appreciation of the Spaniards on board. We got back late and jumped in the pool for a late night pool-lit dip with lilo racing and the hits of the Rubettes ringing in our ears.  
The rest of the holiday saw a few escapades which I cannot divulge. Some involve a bloke in leather trousers and a large motorbike who jumped in our pool without formal invitation. I can say no more. As the saying goes, what goes on in Tossa, stays in Tossa. Great holiday and great memories. Thank God the photos are locked in a Swiss vault.....

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