The months have yet again passed quickly, the croci are coming up, starting their annual battle against the weeds and as they appear I know that our peaceful autumn/winter has drawn to an end and that a new season is upon us. This oncoming season is unfortunately, a season that spans two seasons and is known only to a few. It is a fifth season recognised to ex-pat’s worldwide as the ‘Visitor Season’ which this year runs, for us, from end March until the last of the buggars go home. I use the term buggars hesitantly as it does not include my immediate family (well, perhaps some of them).
These intruders into my well-ordered private space can be categorised in various ways and the following examples have all been our guests at one time. But only one.
The no-car brigade - will not rent a car but expect you to show them the ‘sights’.
The sun worshippers - lie by the pool all day while you bring drinks.
The parsimonious - you feed and water them for two weeks and they magnanimously give you 25 euros at the end of their stay to go towards their upkeep
The morons - insist on having the TV on all day whether they are in the room or not
The thoughtless – leave the air-con on and open the windows – also sit on white sofas when covered in sun cream
The sanctimonious - tell me I’m drinking too much wine with dinner
The Germans - spend an hour having breakfast and want fresh orange juice, cold meats, cheeses, toast and both scrambled and boiled eggs and bring their own coffee.
And one couple who, when we were about to split a dinner bill, complained that they only ordered one dish to be shared between them.
The problem is that you only find out that they are like this after they have arrived and by then it’s too late. Our first guests this year arrive shortly and I see problems ahead. The main problem being the fact that I only know her and Sophie hasn’t met either of them. We have never been out with them, never been to each-others homes and never had a meal together – this could be disastrous, thank G-d it’s only five days. Why did I invite them? Don’t ask, I don’t know. And if you add to this the fact that they lean, politically speaking, slightly to the left of Lenin and Marx, certain conversations are out of the question, we shall not be able to watch the news together without a major heated discussion, which they would win as they are both highly intelligent and used to debating. I suppose it could be worse …… no it can’t, I’ve burned my boats, I’ve made my bed, I’ve crossed the line, there is no going back. My guests shall arrive later this month and I/we must greet them with smiles and bonhomie because if it doesn’t work it’s not their fault – it’s mine.