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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Saturday 20 April 2013

Beers before breakfast--and a high flying bride

OK so this isn`t going to win this week`s *Just Back* travel writing competition in the Telegraph.... (DAMN !!) ...So I`m publishing it here instead. All about how sometimes..the spontaneous, last minute breaks you book in a mad rush...can be among the best. Especially when your hardworking daughter`s about to disappear for five months in the States. What better excuse to grab a cheap flight, book a base, and head for the sun, and a few surprises....?    

Nervously smoothing a delicate, shoulder length veil, the bride moved slowly down the aisle, returning smiles from each side.

Half a step behind, the proud father and then the entourage; visions in lilac, shepherded along by the final attendant, at first just grinning broadly at those already seated, then, with glee unbridled, proclaiming proudly what many had suspected: `Three pints each, we`ve had, yeh, three already…!`

This was the 0640 from Manchester to Malaga-- also the bridal carriage for Dan (the one in the veil) and his mates, off, as their team T-shirts confirmed, for his Benalmadena stag weekend.

We`d already spotted our first `sect before marriage`, all, according to their cross-breast branding, Katie`s `hens`, cooped up in departures ,clucking animatedly; one raising an arm sky high with premature, reception-class relish when an airport assistant shouted for any final passengers for Thessaloniki : `Not this one, love,` shushed her friends.

Back on the plane, the boys were high spirited but well behaved; and anyway, their stag base was miles down the coast from where we`d be for our last minute, mum and daughter break. We relaxed. Then we landed . More hens. More T-shirt branding. This lot were `Jo`s Ho`s.` Here for “Marb`s 2013.”  Funny, yes, but we needed a weekend of peace; not peak stag-hen season.

Marbella old town
A sixteen euro bus and taxi trip restored our faith. Past the turn to Marbella, whose colourful old town streets and squares would provide us with Saturday coffee, churros and meandering time and on to a snowy mound of gleaming, marble-floored apartments nestling quietly, white on white, against the bluest skies. This was the immaculately manicured Los Naranjos development, with pools, supermarket, tapas and smoothie bars just an espadrille`s tiptoe away.

We strolled into Puerto Banus that evening, past millionaires mooring their yachts in the sparkling Spanish sunshine, and settled into front row seats in one of the many waterfront restaurants to watch the `beautiful people` go by. Many were tottering along in top to toe designer wear; their brazenly boastful carrier bags containing more of the same. A motorcade of gleaming, testosterone fuelled limousines purred past, too, some; more than once. We rolled our eyes…. and tucked into tapas.

And then: cutting through the cosmopolitan chit-chat and the click-clack of Louboutins; a very British, very down to earth group roar...of "Go on my SON !!`. Eyes right; and Mike was in sight. Sans Ferrari; and sans strides, sashaying flamboyantly down this classy catwalk in a blushingly red air stewardess style jacket and skirt with a matching hat and size ten `statement` trainers. 

He paused outside our restaurant to light a fag, blowing a smoky, pouty `hola` to the waiter--who, as it turned out, wasn`t local, or even from Barcelona, you know, but from Accrington; a revelation worthy of a bellow back down the street from Mike to his bevy of matching, pencil skirted stag stewardesses --yep; yet another pre-nup party. Actually even funnier than the bloated Bentley drivers flashing their cash and their leery smiles . And, after the pretentiousness on parade that night… surprisingly welcome. So if today`s the day, mate, all the best to you and your other half.

Hopefully, having seen your legs, you`ll be the one wearing the trousers.

Spanish escape..on the *Juliet* balcony

ps...thanks for reading! If you`re on Twitter and could retweet this for me, I`d be very grateful. Might even buy you a churro sometime.

1 comment:

  1. Love it. Story made me giggle. Through all the madness hope you still managed to have a good time.