Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Episode 5 - Supper in the village

I love this little restaurant in the village. It’s not surprising that it’s very popular with all the locals, beautiful food, and friendly staff and with its view of the fountain in the square it’s perfect for people watching. Maria and Carlos have managed to create a lovely atmosphere where I don’t feel at all self-conscious eating alone. Not that I make a habit of it you understand, but occasionally, when Martin is away, I will make the effort to come down to the village for supper rather than sit on my own with only Astra 2 on the television for company.

I spotted Mrs Hale as I walked in, sitting at her usual table indoors. Gloria Westbury told me that Mrs Hale eats here every night. I can’t say that I blame her. I don’t know how she manages living on her own in the village. I’ve always thought that she would maybe happier living in Los Vista. At least there she would be with other expats and have the golf club to go to of an evening.

Oh well I suppose she doesn’t have far to walk home from Maria’s. Her townhouse is only about a five minute stroll from the square in one of the side roads that run up to the church at the top of the hill. It’s strange but I don’t know of anyone who has ever been inside her house, she isn’t the kind of woman who passes out invites for afternoon tea. In fact apart from the odd committee meeting the only time I ever see her about the village is on market day when you can often see her marching back home with her groceries.

It might seem unsociable of me but the evening is so warm and I am still feeling stressed after talking to the girls that I’d rather sit at a table outdoors by myself and admire the sunset. I really don’t feel like making small talk with a woman who probably wouldn’t want my company anyway.

‘Carlos has prepared some beautiful lamb this evening, he has baked it for a long time with garlic and tomatoes, can I tempt you Signora?’ Maria asked as she appears to lay a fresh cloth on my table.

‘Oh that sounds lovely and can I have a small carafe of house wine as well please’

I am feeling hungry now with all the fabulous smells wafting out from the kitchen and as I watch the world go by from my vantage point at the corner of the square, I can slowly feel the stresses of the day slip away.

The square is starting to fill now with families having their promenade. The warm evening air has brought the old ladies of the village out to sit on their favourite benches gossiping with their friends and the old men to play boules under the trees that line the square.

When it arrives, the food doesn’t disappoint and tastes as delicious as it smells. Carlos really does have a magic way with lamb

I think that I might suggest to Martin that we could come here for supper on Saturday night, or, even better, maybe I could ask Carlos for his recipe. Then I could cook the lamb on Friday and surprise Martin with a special supper. Perfect, it has been ages since I’ve made a fuss of him when he gets home for the weekend. A candle lit supper, plenty of wine and soft romantic music might be just the way to get the weekend off to a good start especially if I collect him from the airport. He really won’t be expecting to see me. I won’t tell him what I am planning so he will get a nice surprise when he realises that he doesn’t have to start queuing for a taxi.

I can’t believe how lucky I have been to keep this party a secret from Martin. He knows that the girls are coming over for his birthday but he thinks that we will just be having a family dinner at the golf club. I do hope that he will be pleased when we turn up there and he finds all our friends and neighbours waiting for him. Though as the day of the party gets closer I am getting less sure that he will be quite as thrilled as I thought that he would be when the girls and I first started organising it.

I’m not sure why, but our social life seems to have all but dried up over the past couple of months.Martin says that he has to be sociable and chatty when he is working in London and that he just wants a quiet life when he is back in Spain. Well that fine for him but I miss our dinners out and god help me but even the evenings we used to spend at the golf club don’t seem too bad, especially when they are the only time that I get to dress up these days.

I am hoping that it’s just a phase he’s going through. I hate to think that this is all I have to look forward to. Evenings spent on my own when he is away and weekends alone cooking in the kitchen waiting for him to come home from the golf club.

Bugger it, I’ve decided, enough is enough, this is the weekend when it all changes, from now on we are going to be a proper couple again. Poor old Martin, he isn’t going to know what’s hit him.