There is something seriously wrong within the state of Catalan; it is raining. It’s not that misty rain one could pretend is good for your skin either, this is the kind of rain that a yachtie will face at sea, it is ferocious unyielding knock you on your back rain, that will leave you black and blue if protective gear isn’t worn. I once swam back from an island south of Mull to our charter yacht anchored nearby in protective cove. It was a beautiful warm sunny September day so the impulse to swim somebody had was contagious. The Atlantic was anything but warm in reality so after the initial shock, the swim was brisk and hearty. I think I was first back onto the boat and I remember twirling around on deck trying to warm my cold body once more in the rays of the sun; I was naked and exposed to the world but I didn’t care, I was celebrating life. The memory of twirling around naked and experiencing the weather still calls to me from the past, however as I stared at the rain lashing against the windows any desire to re-experience the sensation albeit in a different mode disappeared as I headed back to warm comfort of my duvet.
Later when I surface the rain has eased off and may even have stopped. I open the door to the balcony and am surprised at the strength of the wind still. It feels warmer on my skin than I expected and as I look at the surrounding horizon I have a sudden desire to capture the grey views in order to respect this island in all the weather it experiences. Looking across to Minorca the sun is glinted on the sea and it reminds me that there is unexpected beauty in all places for those that have eyes to see. I return indoors and find that despite its perceived warmth, the wind has still chilled me.
When I go to flush the toilet nothing happens. My first thought is that the cistern hasn’t refilled from the last flush but my ears detect that there is no water running into it. I try the tap on the sink, no running water from there either. It seems rather perverse that whilst the heavens have opened to drop the life giving liquid on the parched ground of Mallorca, the villa’s supply of water has stopped. I assume there is a connection between the two events that doesn’t include our water supply being diverted into the clouds by Poseidon. Where does the water supply come from anyway? We are have way up a hill so I guess it is pumped but I have seen no lakes or hilltop reservoirs, I know it must rain here a reasonable amount because it is quite green but how does this island keep up with the demands of the hordes of visitors that drain it resources?
In respect of the weather I put my long shorts on (is this the end for my short shorts?) and my thickest t-shirt. Actually all my t-shirts are thin so I choose you, cycling t-shirt in respect for all those cyclist who are probably not cycling today (bummer if you’ve booked your luxury cycle for this one day of the week). The lack of sunshine also means the skin slap goes on – psoriasis be gone. I walk downstairs and into the kitchen. A peculiar sight greets me, people are eating around the kitchen table and upon enquiry I am told it’s a bit cool outside. I am asked if I have flushed the toilet as there is no water and it will only work once. Do not fear though fair damsel in distress, help is on the way; or in other words the plumber has sent for and will be here in an hour. I wonder if we are going to have to wait in all day.
Not one to follow the crowd, I grab a slice of cold pizza from the silver fridge and three satsumas from the table and head outside, cakes can wait for my return forage. My favoured seat on the veranda is a bit wet and a great big pond has formed where my feet would be, so I compromise with the sofa. I can confirm it was a bit cool on the veranda and think about getting a hot drink. Alas despite water, yes water everywhere there is not a drop to heat up in the kettle and drink, so I make do with a cold beverage from the white fridge. Hard times.
Whilst I am working my way through the sweet section of my meal I am informed by the other adults that they will go shopping because I can be in for the plumber; do I think I can cope? I reply that’s fine because basically what is there to say to the mysterious figure apart from “no agua”, a practical person should be able to take it from there. Cakes eaten, I decide that a vanilla pudding will be the last item to be consumed but now there is a change of plan; I am to go shopping so my wife can field any communication issues that might crop up. I look on this as an opportunity to buy more cakes.
I drive down to the supermarket introducing my friend to a new route. We also pass a white van on the way, perhaps that is the plumber I optimistically point out. Half way round the aisles I receive a text from my wife informing me that we have water and the pedantic bit of me goes that that was never in doubt; the question is whether it is running out of the pipes again? That stays in my head though tagged as an unhelpful comment.
All goes smoothly in the shop, my colleague even has the parking ticket ready while we are queuing whilst the poor German cyclist in front of us has to run back red-faced to get some sweets priced. The biggest challenge would seem to be having to decide how many bags we need in addition to the one we brought; my colleague says none to start with but my eagle eye feels we need at least one. All packed up it turns out the real challenge was to find the parking ticket which has now decided to hide itself somewhere we are not looking. I think the lady on the till is used to incompetent tourists but other people are not, some queuees (two) defect to another till.
The drive back is uneventful though we are following a small white van all the way to the gate of the villa. This time I know it is not the plumber. As the van driver opens the motorised gate remotely I realised is must be Maria the maid. I am slightly disturbed not to park in my usual place (how quickly one settles into a routine). I am unpacking in the kitchen when I decide to put the kettle on; I can’t because there is no running water, my wife is shocked. Maria shows us how we can get the water flowing for ten minutes before it cuts out again and calls the plumber. On his return the plumber informs my wife it is in fact an electrical problem. There is water in an external socket causing a short. Now if only we could turn the sun back on.