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Thread: Marbella Madness

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  1. #1

    Marbella Madness

    MARBELLA MADNESS …..
    It begins with an "unexpected journey".
    It doesn't involve a hobbit or any dwarves ... and eventually ends in Marbella.

    A few weeks ago, the 8th December, our horizontally chilled antipodean night worker was on duty Friday and Saturday nights. This means I can finish by 6pm Friday and not be back on-call until 11pm Sunday night and, thus, have the weekend off.

    However, I was woken at 01.30am on Saturday morning by doors being slammed 4 or 5 times. Knowing we had 2 possible residents who might have fallen over I went downstairs to investigate. No sign of anyone, no noise, no blue flashing lights ... (a good sign).

    Just as I was about to go back upstairs I heard a sound and turned to find the night worker coming toward me in his PJs. So, I asked him if everything was alright and explained about the doors. Everything fine, he said, but I was doing my washing!!! And he was! I think he was on to the 3rd machine load. Suggested he do it earlier (he arrives around 8pm) in future - and didn't ask why he wasn't doing his washing at home.


    Back to bed went I, but by now it was 2am and I was AWAKE!!! Tried to go back to sleep but knew I was wasting my time so I made a cup of tea and sat in bed having a think or three. Then I knew what I had to do!!! EUREKA!!!

    In February Pabbers and I are flying from Bristol Airport at 6.30am so we'll have to leave my place around 3.30am. I've never been to BA before, let alone take a flight from there, and had wanted to do a trial 'run' to avoid getting lost. When better than a similar time of the morning to get the driving and traffic conditions right???

    Except, this was the morning that snow and ice was forecast.
    But then, I reasoned, it might be snowing on the 1st February so I'd be prepared!

    So, having made a flask of coffee, I got dressed and at 2.45am set off for Bristol Airport. Arrived at 3.40am, checked the layout and set off back at 3.45am; found shortcut so back home by 4.35am. Job done!!!
    And you guessed it - I slept until about 12noon!
    The off-topic queen strikes again ...................

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  3. #2

    Re: Marbella Madness

    Some weeks later …

    Tuesday 30th January
    - I haven’t used my car since Saturday night and the battery has died! Argh!!! I’d left 2 courtesy lights on for 2 days. Need it fixed to be able to drive to Bristol Airport at 03.30am on Thursday morning. RAC man to the rescue; left car running for 2hrs to recharge battery. T’was OK the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday so fingers crossed.

    Dursn’t tell Pabbers as don’t want to cause over nervousness …

    Wednesday 31st January - Pat’s arrived and brought the remains of a cold bug with her so is coughing like a good ‘un. Have found and packed my earplugs and Lemsip. We had an early supper and planned an earlyish night. I'm rubbish at going to bed before a trip so only got 4 hours sleep.
    The off-topic queen strikes again ...................

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  5. #3

    Re: Marbella Madness

    One good thing about this particular DC tie is that the tickets are for all 3 days so 1 ticket per person! In a way that's a shame because it's nice to move people around each day so they meet other forum friends and new folks. But I'm happy to go with the flow!

    It turns out we are front 3 rows behind the 'corporate' boxes and opposite the team bench/Barmy Army. So not bad but it was tempting to counter call some of the dodgy line judge decisions!
    The off-topic queen strikes again ...................

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  7. #4

    Re: Marbella Madness

    Thursday 1st February - and we're off to Marbella!!!


    Car starts first time (phew) and we’re away by 03.40am!!! Bleary-eyed both. It’s dark and I took a wrong turn but we made it to Bristol Airport by 04.50am and walked mucho rapido to the terminal to escape the biting wind. Bag dropped, security sorted and there’s time for a large coffee and sausage butty - has to be done. Nom nom.



    Good flight - it’s my first ever on a ‘budget’ airline and we arrived at 10am, 15mins early. We’d booked the Hoppa, to transfer to Marbella, and were held up 30mins waiting for a couple who were finally given up for lost. We reached the hotel around 12noon, unpacked and headed to the old town in search of lunch - and a glass of wine.

    Sat in the sun, drinking wine, eating freshly cooked great food … eso es la vida!
    (sorry the piccy is so huge ...)




    We clocked a few likely restaurants whilst walking around but we are both really too exhausted to eat out in the evening so we found a small supermarket on the edge of the old town where we picked up milk, soup, cheese, fruit and stuff, and headed back to the Princesa Playa.

    By this time various AMFFers had arrived so I handed over as many tickets as possible and promised t-shirts later as we were waiting for the LTA to drop them off at the Princesa.

    We’d booked a studio apartment with mini-kitchen so made ourselves some tea and coffee and sat on the balcony for a while. Slight snag as we couldn’t turn the hotplate off after boiling the kettle (this was a problem for a few others too!) and had to ask a man from Reception to come and fix it. Having sorted that out Pat was feeling rather poorly so dozed for a bit whilst I went on a delivery mission with tickets and met a few more AMFFers who came over to collect theirs.

    Eventually, it being well past wine o’clock .....


    ..... we tottered out to the balcony for a glass or two of wine whilst watching the sun set over the sea and palm trees.





    Had our supper and collapsed into our beds around 10pm. Knackered!
    The off-topic queen strikes again ...................

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  9. #5

    Re: Marbella Madness

    Friday 2nd February
    Didn’t surface very early but there was time for a cup of tea in bed, had breakfast and whilst Pat made sandwiches I dropped off the rest of the t-shirts except for a few for those staying elsewhere which we took with us to the tennis. Caught the free bus to the tennis so we arrived by 11am.
    Erm, missed the opening ceremonials. Shucks!


    Some seating stories …
    The Spanish organisers had numbered the seats in the Centre block 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 etc and to the right of us they are 2, 4, 6, 8 and so on. To add to the confusion they had labelled the Centre block with a sign saying ‘Left’ and were trying to send shedloads of people with Centre to sit in the bit labelled ‘centre’ which was on the left and held a ¼ of the people supposed to be sitting in the centre. Are you keeping up?

    It was chaos apparently - glad I missed that bit but I gather the AMFFers stood their ground and would not be moved. Besides, as you’ll read, I had my own ’mess’ to sort out.

    Aimee and Jerry did a great job of communicating with the Spanish officials until they realised the problem and swopped the offending signs around so that Centre read Centre and Left was, erm, left. However, by Saturday afternoon the sign saying Centre had fallen off and it had disappeared completely by Sunday morning!

    Toilet tales …
    You will hear much about the complete lack of washbasins in the toilet area - and in particular I had need of a washbasin!!! All that was provided were individual portaloos - the sort you see on building sites. Nowhere to wash hands afterwards - VERY poor.

    My own particular woes turned the air - and my hands - very blue!

    I am obliged to wear Polaroid sunglasses always from dawn to dusk, when outside, and am ‘blind’ without them on because they protect my eyes as my pupils don‘t work.

    So, the first daft thing I did was drop the Polaroid sunglasses down the chemical toilet. And I had no choice but to fish them out and pray there was only urine in the wad of toilet tissue at the bottom! Thankfully, after 2 attempts and notching up some grazes on the backs of my hands I came up with the glasses.

    (and phewy!!!).

    Managed to dry off the glasses and my hands in the loo and went off to find Pat before she thought I’d fallen down it. I had proper wipes and antiseptic cream with me so gradually got cleaned up properly - or so I thought. But by the time we had settled in our seats my hands had turned blue.
    Think Smurf.



    The tennis …
    It was great to see a couple of new faces out on court playing for GB. Liam played as well as he could and probably better than the Spaniards had bargained for. So, although he lost I thought he’d not been steamrollered and the 3rd set tie-breaker was very close. All in all the #165 player in the world gave the #21 player a real fight!

    And then we had Cameron Norrie … what a revelation. I’m not sure he knew how well he was going to play at that point either. It took him time to get into the match, and get the measure of his Spanish opponent but once he did he was up and running! He deserved that 5-set win and boy did we cheer him on!

    All that jumping up and down at least kept us warm!!! It was f-f-f-f-freezing once the sun had moved around and we were in shade + wind chill from the strong winds. Not only did Pat have a cold/cough (not helped by getting cold) but her knee was also playing up so once the 2nd rubber was won we set off for the bus back to town in the hope of not having to stand around waiting for too long.

    Laters .....
    The ‘social’ plot was to go to the Irish Pub party at 9pm (set up by the Stirling Barmy Army) but we were cold and hungry so decided to go and find something to eat straightaway and then change to go out. We ended up in a restaurant with a log fire which was most welcome. Had a lovely meal, drank wine and went back to the hotel for another couple of glasses after which we conked out!!!

    So, sorry for being party poopers but there you go - the evidence as to how the evening went is on Facebook!

    I’m leaving the floor open for Supergrans’ blog …


    And anyway, I looked a bit strange with blue bits all over my nose … yep, that chemical fluid got everywhere on and inside my sunnies.
    The off-topic queen strikes again ...................

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  11. #6

    Re: Marbella Madness

    Saturday 3rd Feb: Doubles Day
    It’s a lie-in!!! Bliss. Lovely sunny morning but breezy so we had breakfast in our room looking out at the sea.
    I’d cleaned up my sunglasses properly and was no longer sporting blue skin and Pat was feeling quite a lot better.

    So, we decided to make the most of the weather and stroll to the tennis. There’d been rumours it could be done in 45mins but with Pats’ dodgy knee we decided to take it slowly, rest when needed, stop at least once for a cup of coffee, and make use of the strategicially placed (artistic) benches.
    (again, apologies for the big photo!)




    Several AMFFers passed us … as did lots of the Barmy Army looking bleary eyed!
    I think it took us nearly 2 hours but it was nice just to sit and watch the world go by and about 4000 tennis fans overtake us. We found a lovely beach bistro where we could sit out in the sun and have a jolly nice coffee.


    I clung on to my sunglasses this time around …

    ... and if there was a 2nd opening ceremony (as billed on the ticket) I’m not heartbroken to tell you that we missed it.

    The tennis
    We had unexpectedly ended up at 1-1 after day 1, way better than anyone thought we might be so there was a real chance that if we won the doubles that afternoon we might
    win the entire tie! AMFFers are never short of hope or belief.

    Unfortunately, neither Jamie or Dom were playing their best and most of the spectators were transfixed by the sight of Jamie in black tights. Do we know why?



    I saw Dom have a long discussion with Leon after game 7 which indicated his stomach was a problem and the guys didn’t communicate very well during the first 2 sets. There were lots of missed shots that these 2 would normally make clean winners and the Spaniards were clearly out to regain some pride so were right on top of their own game. Things improved a bit for the Brits in set 3 and they took it to a tie-break which could have been the turning point for yet another come back from 2 sets down. Unfortunately, the Spaniards absolutely went for it and left Dom and Jamie standing.

    It was a disappointing match to watch and end up being 1-2 after the 3rd rubber.
    But there’s always Sunday … and maybe Kyle would play?

    Buenos tardes!
    In the meantime there was the AMFF dinner to get ready for so we dashed off to the free bus and were back in town in good time for showers, changing and a cheeky pre-dinner bottle of Prosecco out on the balcony.


    A good 15 minute walk took us to Da Bruno where we had an excellent dinner with 23 other AMFFers. There was much singing and dancing, laughing and crying with laughter!!!


    We somehow managed to get several of the Spanish diners up on the dance floor! We left around 11.30pm but I think some further partying may have taken place somewhere in Marbella …..
    The off-topic queen strikes again ...................

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  13. #7

    Re: Marbella Madness

    Sunday 4th Feb - Day 3
    Quite a change in the weather - it was cloudy and quite cold with a brisk breeze. We took the bus and arrived a bit earlier so we could try to beat the queue and get a hot cup of coffee! Everyone was well wrapped up (2 t-shirts, sweatshirt and coat + gloves and scarf) but we soon warmed up with cheering “there’s only one Cameron Norrie!”.

    Cam tried to pick up where he left off on Friday and managed to take the 2nd set from Ramos Vinolas who looked quite shocked that he’d lost it !!! Liam Broady went off for a ‘warm up’ session just in case and the Spanish team looked a tad troubled. Could Norrie perform a 2nd 5 set miracle?

    Unfortunately, we think Cam began to tire a bit and Ramos read his game better so in the end the 4th set was over all too soon and with it the tie which Spain won 3-1. The 5th dead rubber wasn’t played.
    There's always next time!!!


    We headed back to the Princesa and worked out how to get hot air from the aircon unit (our radiator wouldn’t come on at all). On the 2 previous days the sun had warmed our room but not on Sunday and it was really quite cold and I confess to snuggling under the bedclothes to get warm!!!


    Most people had made their own arrangements for eating out (some had been waylaid into bars on the way back from the tennis to commiserate over a glass of something or other) so we decided to return to the place with a log fire and were joined by Julie80. It was only 7pm so we were the only people eating - the Spaniards dine much later. The food was lovely and great value - 25 euros for starter, main, pudding and a glass of wine.
    The off-topic queen strikes again ...................

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  15. #8

    Re: Marbella Madness

    Monday 5th February
    We had another lie-in and then headed off into the old town around 10.30am. We found a glorious patisserie, painted deep pink and white (like coconut ice!), a couple of blocks away and we indulged for breakfast with Almond Croissant and a mini-cake each. They had an incredible array of cakes and pastries and we had a very swanky capuccino apiece to set ourselves up for being tourists. That and some shopping …



    (Pat might have a better photo...)

    The old town was lovely and quite busy for a Monday morning and we strolled around in the sun (it had reappeared!) for over 2hrs. It was VERY picturesque!



    We spotted a place to eat that evening which opened early and did great paella (according to their blackboard!) and were tempted by LOTS of interesting clothes and accessories.

    We WERE heading back to the Princesa for lunch (to eat up various leftovers) BUT somehow found ourselves in an accessories shop stacked with interesting costume jewellery and stuff. It’s up to Pabbers to tell you what she bought but I came out with 3 pairs of earrings, a silver leaf pendant and 5 scarves!!!


    Once we’d had lunch we packed up the suitcase and cleared up the room. We had to leave at 7.30am on Tuesday morning and didn’t want the hassle of packing after a nice dinner. We met up with Linda and Supergran and took a taxi to the old town and then walked 5mins to El Cortijo where we had the most amazing looking Paella. And 2 bottles of wine.


    Lots of reminiscing went on, it was lovely to have time to chat properly!

    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUs...Andalucia.html

    And that was the end of our jaunt to Andalucia!
    The off-topic queen strikes again ...................

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  17. #9

    Re: Marbella Madness

    We said goodbye to Marbella at 7.30am on Tuesday morning and headed to Malaga Airport. There was some concern that the inbound flight would be delayed leaving Bristol because the weather forecast was for ice and snow but everything was on time.

    I really enjoyed this DC weekend. It was lovely to catch up with everyone and there just seemed to be more time to do that this trip than on some others. I’m not a fan of hot weather (over 20degrees!) or crowds so perhaps that’s why I liked Marbella more than I’d expected - it was quiet and not too hot!!!

    I hope we get somewhere ‘accessible’ in September so we can do it all again!!!
    Hasta luego a todos!





    The off-topic queen strikes again ...................

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  19. #10
    Futures Flyer
    Location
    cheshire UK
    Posts
    550

    Re: Marbella Madness

    Sally - Thanks for the early morning read, very entertaining, makes a change from the usual Brexit woes I read at this hour, now for my daily crossword (to keep the old grey cells working) ........! x

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