83. The fall

26 April, 2022

Lavinia, april 25, 2022

This spring the weather was not really stable here in Alicante. It looked suspiciously like the fickle nature of the Belgian weather. Now rain, then cloudy, and then suddenly another five days of radiant sun to greet. We’re not used to it anymore. It therefore appears to be one of the worst spring periods since the measurements here. Fortunately, the temperatures are usually not too bad even on those rainy days. I think we’ve had it now, and that we now have the prospect of a more steady and beautiful weather type, as we are used to. It is also clear that Spain in this region is in no way prepared for this wet weather. You see that in different facets of Spanish life.

To give just one example : in constructions it is not customary to seal the windows with silicone, gutters are hardly visible here. So the rain patters down the roofs like a curtain, and seeps in through the windows when it rains very hard. The drainage systems in the streets are also not equipped for a large amount of water, so that streets are flooded very quickly. And what often annoyed me anyway, the footpaths and whatever paths are invariably paved with shiny tiles, which become very slippery with the slightest drop of rain. Beautiful, maybe. Even if it’s not wet, and you’re wearing slippery shoe soles, you run the risk of slipping. Which, by the way, happened to me once in the middle of a square in Alicante.

Just a week ago, on Wednesday morning, I was going to bring breakfast to the guests who had arrived the night before. Plateau neat and nicely filled with a tasty breakfast tailored to the customer. Coffee, fresh orange juice, homemade yogurt, fruit, cheese, bread, jam, you name it. Unfortunately it had rained quite a bit during the night. As a result, everything was wet. Because I know that the previous owner did not take rain weather into account when building paths and the slope that leads to our house, I was extra wary.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have Duracell batteries up my ass, and that everything has to go quickly and effectively. This one time I thought I should take it easy, so I put on some sneakers and stepped cautiously down the slope, carrying my tray full. I was just about to step onto the terrace of villa Melodía when I felt my foot slip. There was no stopping it : the plateau flew in an arc a few meters further up to the wall. I slammed my back and ribs against the hard floor with a huge thump. I gasped for a moment, had to recover and, in the meantime, took in the spectacle. The terrace was strewn with shards of glass, coffee and orange juice, the yogurt dripped down the driveway, the jam stuck to the stones. There I lay, moaning in pain. I thought it was a bit silly to call for help from people I didn’t know, so I tried to get myself straight. The extra kilos killed me once again. It was not an easy job, and the pain was unbearable. But guests come before everything, so as soon as I got up I knocked on the door and announced with a painful grimace: “Your breakfast is waiting there for you”. The couple  immediately saw that it was no joke, and offered his help.
I could only think of one thing: one couple still had to get breakfast, and this couple was also entitled to a new breakfast of course. Bravely I suggested that I first go back upstairs to start from scratch, also for the other guests, and whether they might be okay with coming to Liv’s, our bar room, for breakfast. They didn’t have to worry about what was on the floor, I would clean it up afterwards.

I dragged myself upstairs, biting the pain in the meantime, to prepare breakfast after all. I admit it didn’t go very smoothly. But in my head it couldn’t be that the guests didn’t get a sandwich. Wim had meanwhile gone to the airport to take a couple of guests away, and would also do some shopping. I wanted to hear him for a moment, to comfort myself. Unfortunately, he didn’t answer the phone and I was forced to leave a message – a message he hadn’t even listened to, I heard later.

A little later, very worried, the couple in question came upstairs with an oven tray stuffed with the crushed breakfast. Immediately they and the other couple took charge, and when the table was spontaneously laid, I was served a cup of coffee with the instruction to recover. Because I looked quite pale, or so I heard.

As if it were a well-oiled machine, and without any consultation, the two couples ensured that I could rest quickly. I should not worry about the dishes, they would do that together. I didn’t really feel good about it, because in the end they were our guests, and they didn’t have to take care of us, but it was a very nice feeling.

From then on, help is always provided, and the kitchen and the bar are restored to their original state in no time. Wim was forced to do everything alone, and I tried to update some administration here and there.

It wasn’t until Saturday, because the pain was unbearable, that I went to the emergency. Three bruised ribs, which unfortunately there is nothing you can do except take anti-inflammatories and painkillers, and rest (what is that?)…

The people are very nice, they ask all the time if they can do something for us, how the pain is going, and so on. I can hardly imagine that there are many places where people just jump into the breach, even adjust their holiday a bit to be as little of a burden as possible. And when on top of that other guests come trotting along with a hanging plant full of beautiful flowers and a sweet card, my heart overflows. Even though this injury will play tricks on me for another 6 weeks, the pain is only half as bad thanks to these lovely people.

By the way, that same Wednesday on which I fell, apparently – and perhaps at the same time – two crates of wine had been pushed from Wim’s cart in the parking lot of the wholesaler. Twelve bottles of red wine were bleeding on the asphalt. An accident never comes alone. Fortunately, he could just pick up a dozen new bottles from the store, because the cashier hadn’t stacked them properly on the cart. We are worth each other, aren’t we?😉

Hasta luego,

Annemie or Ana


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