Saturday Feb 2nd
V’s coming…. 🙂
To fill in the morning M got himself scrubbed and dressed whilst I ran along the coast, finding signposted footpaths that took me on the seaward side of cliffs (no bolts for climbing, I checked, just in case). Sorted and ready, an hour or so later, we trundled into Malaga, to pick up a car which which to travel more easily (there are no seatbelts in the back of the van).
Malaga airport facilities resemble all other airport facilities: busy, designed to optimize parking charges and facilitate the through-flow of bodies. But most of all: busy. I abandoned M, leaving him floating round with all the other cars that didn’t want to get trapped in the financially lucrative parking buildings. I went in search of the Arrivals hall.
Standing in the corral alongside more patient ‘waiters’, I peer intently at and through the glass doors from whence other travellers emerge.
Where is My daughter?
In front of me, directly in my line of sight, blocking my view of that glass portal; obstructing the first possible indication of V, a woman leans on the railings. Her position obscures the view for several of us. Doesn’t she know? Can’t she move? My daughter is due to come through any moment. I might have to wait…seconds… before I see her. Finally, a guy wanders towards her and she gives him and tentative hug, then she’s gone. Great…
A smart young woman, (in her late twenties?) comes through to meet an older couple, a greying Brit and a small woman whose thick makeup and long, black-dyed hair, make her ethnicity indiscernible. Slightly anxious as this new arrival sees her audience, she increases her pace to almost a trot, hurrying in their direction. Reaching them, she turned first toward the mature woman. The greeting female held the girl’s arms, preventing her leaning forwards to kiss her cheek, trapping her in an awkward position of neither warm reception, nor whole rejection.
Somewhat flustered, a pink flush spreads across cheeks and neck, the young woman turns to the man. He carefully manages to put his arms around her and simultaneously hold her apart. The girl holds his arm-tops firmly and rests her chin on his shoulder for a moment before the embrace is broken. My mind fills in the blanks. I hope the disapproving stepmother will warm up over the visit and that her father might make time to have proper chats and close embraces during her stay.
Next, a man in his forties, with a huge trolley full of luggage comes into the arrivals arena and, without exiting that confined arena, stands at it’s centre, looking all around him. Shortly after, a similarly laden female joins him. They occupy the majority of the available space, looking aimlessly from left to right and shrugging. My compassion is running thin. Do they not know? My daughter is due to come through. I might have to wait… even more seconds… if they stand there gawping. FINALLY, they move off too. Right… back to peering.
And I realize that none of them appreciate the weight of my possessive noun. MY daughter is coming through. MY light of my life, child of Mine. I know she’s a grown up; she’s accomplished; far more widely travelled than I; independent; autonomous; frankly awe-inspiring in many ways; but she’s My daughter (other things to other people, but I’m her mother) and I want to know she’s safe. Woe betide thoughtless passengers who stand in my way when I need to see her, collect her, know her safety.
And there she is. Home, well, with me, which amounts to the same thing. I can hug her, stand back so to take a good look, assess what might be needed. She’s here. Possessive noun placated.
Sunday Feb 3rd
We’re running this morning, V and I. M, ever the proficient and practical does the washing, which is very kind. He’s planning to take advantage of the WiFi and wait the 45-60 minutes our route should take.
During the miles we do, V plugs into something that makes her smile, I’m working my way though “Learn to speak Spanish with Paul Noble” (now on chapter 12 of 37). As we pound the boardwalks parallel to the shore, I’m silently chanting repeated phrases: “Por que no quiere habla espanol?” (Why don’t you want to speak Spanish?), and “Por que no puedo tomarlo a la estacion?” Why can’t I take it to the station?).
Back at V’s Airb’n’b, M is onto drying our things (for which I’m immensely grateful. I hadn’t expected him to assume this single handedly, we juggle things on the airer). V takes advantage of our presence to attempt her first open water swim, ready for her ½ Iron Man Competition in Greece this Easter. We follow her down to the beech, speaking words of encouragement, neither of us commenting on precisely how cold those blue depths are likely to be.
As V plucks up the courage to run through the surf and into the waves, a small gathering of disbelieving locals stare in wonder at this strange English female. V’s been taking lessons in preparation for her sea-swim in the competition. We see the benefit of this in the few strokes she’s able to make before the temperatures render her limbs inoperable and she has to retreat.
We all get it now, the advice of: “you’ll need a wetsuit”. No more attempts till she buys one!
The rest of the day involves exploring Marbella. V had imagined some ancient, terracotta-bricked fishing village. The reality lives down to M and I’s expectations. But we stop for a drink, I get an ice cream and V asks to cook tea this evening. Lovely.
Back at the van, M and I give Stan a walk. The sun has nearly set, the sky looks like it’s been spread thickly with orange tango water colour paint, then brush stroked upwards to fill up to the top of the page.
Tomorrow – Malaga to shop and find that wetsuit, then… well, I’m not sure what… I have my two most important people with me, so not much else matters really.