Just in case anyone is worried about me, after having read Young Faris's blog of yesterday, I can confidently assure you all that I have definitely re-appeared.
strange being back home. Of course I am happy at seeing Mr B settled and happy in his own armchair and in possession of the remote control again. But I'm sad, too, that I didn't wake up this morning, in my bedroom at 86 Arco Mediterraneo, to the sound of Tala
(Twinkle Number One) drumming her tiny feet on the floor, of Lilia (Twinkle Number Two) hiccuping happily at her sister's side, and of the Middle of the Darling Daughters in the kitchen preparing today's beach picnic as quietly as she can, so as not to wake
up (i) her husband, (ii) the Rampaging Rascal, or (iii) me.
I was happy enough to wake early every morning even if the only practical "help" I could offer my hard-pressed daughter was to cuddle a baby or two.
It's a hard life but someone has to do it. Those beaming smiles of welcome from The Twinkles made my day. Every day. From first thing in the morning till the moment they were tucked up in their travel cot with a rolled up towel between them in a vain effort
to stop them rolling onto each other and pulling each other's hair.
We nicknamed Tala "Dora the Explorer" because she just won't stay put. She doesn't crawl - yet - but she manages to get every where she wants
to by rolling over and over. "Where's Tala?" someone would ask, having turned his or her back for a moment. The answer would generally be: "under the table" where our Intrepid Dora had once again gone exploring. It's not haphazard wandering, either, this lass
knows exactly where she wants to go and how to get there. Lilia, for her part, boasts two teeth where her sister has none. I keep telling her that there is no way I am putting my finger in her mouth, not with those Lethal Gnashers. She beams back at me, showing
off both her pearly whites with pride.
I slept with Faris which everybody, on hearing about my sleeping arrangements, thought was either hilarious or foolhardy. It worked perfectly; he was well asleep by the
time I went to bed and I was always up before him. I don't think he actually realised I was his room-mate until the final morning.
Our holiday home in Algorfa was a swift half hour drive from Alicante airport
and about 20 minutes from the most glorious beach at Guardemar. Every morning we packed up the car with picnic equipment and I was stowed in the back with the cool box, the carrier bag full of buckets and spades, a small blow-up bath, and the surfboard. I
was thus perfectly placed if one of the Twinkles needed soothing or a top-up of milk and I could advise the proud parents up-front when each dropped asleep from the motion of the car.
We were invariably the
first to take up our chosen spot on the beach, right near the water's edge and ideal, as Young Faris explained so eloquently yesterday, for playing the "Oh, No!" game. No tourist beach, this. We were surrounded by local families and couples - the latter spending
many a happy hour paddling along the beach in the most pleasant of promenades which the Middle of the Darling Daughters thought an excellent way to spend time. If, that is, you weren't otherwise occupied with a two year old and two six month old babies. The
latter became something of Local Celebrities with lots of people coming over to admire them as they amused themselves in their special sun-tent. Now I don't know much Spanish but there's no mistaking: "Dos bebes!" The Twinkles did what they do best and basked
in the admiration - they quite literally twinkled.
On the way home from the beach we would make a Family Trip to the Mercado to pick up fresh fish (Oh, the dorada! Oh, the sardines!) and other necessities.
Like nappies. And wine. Not necessarily in that order. At our holiday home, the shower was much in use, towels and swimwear were consigned to the washing machine and a refreshing dip in the complex pool for those still feeling energetic.
Then, with the babies in bed and Young Faris watching Despicable Me (again! again!) we settled down on the verandah to enjoy our evening meal, Mediterranean-style, and discussed everything I had been able to find out that day
about other occupants of Arco Mediterranea. The Son in Law is alternately impressed and horrified at the Sheer Scale of My Nosiness.
Every holiday is different. Every holiday is the same. Sun, sea, a beautiful
place to stay - thanks to our lovely friends, Jan and Joel - good food, red wine, lots of fun and laughter. Add in a family which includes a Rampaging Rascal and a couple of Twinkles and what do you have?
Perfect Nanni Holiday.