In Presentation, Production on May 31, 2011 at 10:36 am

…baby burn…

This has to be the best way to see Marbella.

I think that might be a Lamborghini down there. Or a Ferrari – I wouldn’t know the difference from this high up. I’ve seen a Porsche, plenty of Gucci, horse-drawn carriages. Down there. With the great unwashed.

…burn baby…

It isn’t for me though. Not tonight. The streets with their clutter and noise and ordinary people. In Ferraris. I hang aloft up here with my stemmed glass and survey like the birds that fascinate me above Tarifa. Mine is an imperial perspective. Decadent. Faintly ridiculous.

…burn baby burn…

I’m not alone. K clinks my glass and we laugh. We are enjoying ourselves; brushing against the edges of mania – happy. We are bathed in changing colours; and we are wet.

…disco inferno!…

Green, azure, purple and pink. Red, gold – the water moils and surges through the hues – bubbles beneath our grinning chins. Flashes go off around us on the penthouse terrace; our bones pummelled by fierce water jets on all sides.

…burn baby burn! Disco inferno!…

Two little speaker towers have risen from the water. K stands up in a borrowed swimsuit and holds her arms high, fists clenched.

“I still have it!”

Something about her triumphant emergence from the watery turmoil speaks to me of our first months here – the consistently fun-tinged struggle, the delightful disorientation, the hi-energy exhaustion; regular readers will know I’m partial to a metaphor and this is tonight’s.

…out of control, it was so entertainin’

We have been pushed and pulled and dizzied in a whirlpool of our own making. It has felt at times that the whole world is just K and I, bobbing about in a little K and I shaped bubble. Tonight is like that but with added lights and music.

…One hundred stories high. People gettin’ loose y’all gettin’ down on the roof...

We almost certainly aren’t sober enough to be doing this safely but there are people all around us. And not just anyone. There are J and E who got married today. There’s my mother and her S, my brother J and his. I don’t know who that person is. Auntie E over there; uncles B, M, auntie A.

…everybody’s goin’ strong…

So we aren’t alone. Just beyond the flashing lights and light-hearted music is my family. Nearly all of it on Dad’s side. A raft of cousins who like me are scattered; G in Ireland, S in California, J in Florida , K in London and T in Shanghai. They must feel a little like me. Bittersweet. We are still the younger generation here but a certain amount of hair has been lost and shirt buttons are taking some added strain. That’s the men. The women of course effervesce in their eternal beauty. Tomorrow cousin J will bump into me in the hotel foyer.

“We should probably do this more than once a decade”.

He’s right of course. It has been a long time since I was surrounded by these people and will be again before the next time. When I take my leave of them and return to Tarifa I will be sad; as always at these gatherings there isn’t time or opportunity to speak properly with everyone, to reconnect.

In the subsequent days the enormity of what we have done will dawn on us. As we approach the end of our first challenging year here we are faced with the prospect of another one. And the one after that will probably be…challenging. And the one after that.

…I can’t stop when my spark gets hot...

For now though we are not alone. This is perfect; sitting here on the penthouse roof in a hot tub that I would usually avoid and in a town that has not been a favourite of mine – this is a perfect moment in a perfect spot. To hell with anxiety and to hell with regret. We all seem to be doing fine.

…everybody’s goin’ strong…...

I raise my glass to all of them though they don’t know it.


…burnin’, burnin’, burnin’, burnin’, burnin’…

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  1. 🙂 I like people watching, especially from the bird perspective up above.

  2. Drunk with life!! Yee hah! Have a good time with the alphabet over the days ahead, especially J, K, A, M and E. I’d like to come and join you but you’ve already got a J!

    Sitting here warm in Madrid myself – pity I can’t pop down to see you!

  3. I love your writing style and the way your stories unfold. Makes me feel like I’m there with you. 🙂

  4. So, Robin, did you get up and shimmy? I have a suspicion that you just lurked and didn’t hit the dance floor. Am I right?

    • I’ll have you know I’ve been known to shimmy in my time!

      On this occasion though we WERE the dancefloor – the hot tub with its disco lights and music.

      The others were being much more sedate.

      • *headslap* I KNEW that. I just got so excited at the thought of you dancing that I forgot the start of the story!!!

  5. great blog, looking from above is always the best way to look at places

  6. the only thing better than the view from above is being the person driving the ferrari. or porsche, lamborghini.
    hang on, are the speakers water-proof? that sounds pretty epic.

  7. Love the way you tell the story. (Think the Matador Network would like this).

  8. ha! between the disco music, the hot tub and the nomadic cousins you do make it sound a little like we were at some class of gypsy wedding!

  9. […] forward to. I’m not drawn to the place at all but it’s always family that takes us there and we always end up having a good time. One of the reasons I’m not particularly attracted is that, invariably, it provides an excuse for […]

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