Early this morning there is no one on the beach other than a couple, not too conspicuously but conspicuously enough, making love. A blanket is at any rate, conspicuously, an inadequate shelter for their activities. The man, tall and thin, has his hair tinted with blond highlights; the woman is slight with longish hair. Both are modestly tatooed if tatoos can be modest. But there is nothing modest about the man´s accessories which consist of one large ear ring and two nipple rings. There are bands on his wrist which look as though they are made from used car tyres.
After a while they move into the sea and they are still there in a corner of the shore when we go down to swim. That might be the end of the story except that when we go for our second swim before lunch they appear again. Both this time are wearing bikinis, the lower part that is. They are in the shallow water and are caressing enthusiastically, she with her legs wrapped about him. It is in this state that he carries her from the water.
The beach is now crowded, it being Sunday, and the couple are lost to sight among seated, mostly family groups. When we return to our towels we find that they have settled a few feet from where we are sitting. But there is a surprise. The towel, which they have spread on the sand, is shared with a boy, aged perhaps 10 or 11. Most surprising is that, where as the couple are tanned beneath their tatoos, the boy is pale in colour and apparently unexposed to the sun. Beside him on the sand is a Barcelona FC cap, the shape of cap which English schoolboys used to wear when I was his age. He seems quite happy and clearly belongs to one of the lovers. But in what capacity it is hard to discern. The man is almost too young to be his father and the woman would have been be young indeed to have been his mother. They are so absorbed in one another that you get the feeling, whatever is relationship, the boy is de trop.
That too might be the end of the story. Except that later they turn up at the restaurant outside of which we are lunching. The boy is seated with them. Soon a party of Chinese, (the now prosperous Chinese which we are beginning to see in Europe), arrange themselves on two tables next to the lovers (as we now call them) and the boy. The Chinese are happy sharing a "Spanish". They have a Barcelona FC beach ball, which after a while, they present to the lovers and the boy. The want a photograph of them with the boy holding the ball. They all exchange high fives. They take their photos and before leaving present the ball to the boy. Before long the lovers and the boy are playing with the ball beside their table punching it into the air, agile and enthusiastic about the sport as earlier the lovers were about osculation. . The boy if he was bored before is no longer bored. We decide that we like them as much as we enjoy the theater. And there we must leave them several questions unanswered. At least for the moment
Alberto Bigairre, the propietor of Costa d´Oro, our favourite restaurant here, is in his eighties. He grows exotic flowers like strelitzia and hibiscus in his garden, and arranges them in vases on the tables outside the restaurant. Today, pride of place goes to something called mano de deo, hand of God. It looks like a plastic utensil, a large white basin, inside which resides a stamen a bit like a bottle brush. This plant, as well as others, has its photograph on one of the walls of the restaurant, as other restaurants may hang photos of film stars, which they claim among their clientele. Tomorrow I ahve promised to help Alberto order by telephone some rare carnations from an English nursery in Sussex.