Finishing work on the last Friday of April I dashed into the capital meeting my daughter at Tottenham Court Road for some last minute holiday buys. I didn’t need a lot as I’d stowed most of my summer travels back in the suitcase after our trip to Florida last year. We finished off our evening meeting her boyfriend for some late night dinner before returning home with a satisfied yawn on the end of a extra long day.

Saturday I packed my travel bag before rushing off into my local town to buy a handbag and some euros. We weren’t leaving until mid afternoon and I got everything I wanted done without a hitch. Back home again for some pre-holiday pampering, it seemed no time at all before our lift arrived and I was given a five minute rush to grab everything together.

We breezed into Luton airport on a rush of chilled air. Once the formalities were done, we did a little shopping for the toiletries we weren’t allowed to take through security and some sweeties and magazines to take on board the plane. We still had a bit of waiting time so we filled up in Burger King watching the departure board for our flight information. Half an hour to go we queued up and made our way up the steps to the plane which was going to take us through the clouds and land our feet in Barcelona.

Just under two hours we were negotiating our way through Barcelona airport and the coach which was to take us to our final destination. We reached our hotel around 10 pm spying a McDonalds to the left, we checked in, deposited our baggage and settled on some chicken strips before relaxing in the hotel bar and getting acquainted with our new surroundings.

Sunday arrived with the realization it was actually quite cold and a debate followed on what to wear from our choice of summer clothes which had been packed in anticipation of some sunshine and warmer climes away from home. We decided we would have to go shopping again. We hit the town centre to find all the shops closed but felt incredibly lucky to find stalls with souvenir shops and a Barcelona hoodie. We spent the day touring the town before having dinner under a gazebo set in a courtyard of bright lights and deflowering trees. We wound down back at the hotel bar where my second glass of bacardi was to be my last as the bar ran out in a deju va scenario going back to a recent night out in bidding farewell to our contract manager my second glass of bacardi had also run the bar dry.

Monday came bringing with it a bank holiday and slightly warmer temperatures. I headed down to the bar for a much espresso while my daughter and her boyfriend got ready for the day ahead. We decided to go to the zoo and after a walk through the town hailing a cab we rocked up there just before noon. On entering we were greeted by birds of many colours as a peacock strolled on by we bidded a Spanish hello to the loudest parrot. The bugs and bees came next and we marveled as the ants carried a whole leaf bigger than their body size through clear tunnels stashing their stash before journeying back again. Snakes came next, I decided I really don’t like them too close up but would love a pet dragon or maybe a lizard would be more feasible while catching a peek of a sealion or two floating on by through square windows. We stopped off at a busy eating place. I decided to order a hot dog with crispy onions in one queue before waiting in another to collect our orders. We found a table on a shady patio where I had glimpsed some sunlight and tried not to shiver as we ate. Off again we were awestruck at the size of the bears, giggled with the comical monkey play and worried that the lion’s enclosure didn’t seem that enclosed. We watched the pink flamingo’s pose standing on one leg and ran under the trees with warning signs of birds overhead with a farm yard to the right we found zebras to the left and reached the exit wondering how it could be dinnertime already hailing a cab back to the town centre. The waiter deciphered our food choices at the hotel bar whilst serving us a cocktail menu, oh they do cocktails I hadn’t realized, well mojito’s were out of the question so I’ll have a sex on the beach.

Tuesday, our last full day we decided to find our way to the beach, navigating this huge town centre, my daughter’s boyfriend spotted the sea down a side street, with a fabulous wave of success we touched our toes in the sand. We admired the sand statues of dragons with fire in their mouths, watched the brave swimmers pounding the waves of the cold sea and got accosted by a little man with his pieces of coconut being overly friendly for an exchange of not enough coins. My daughter collected coloured glass stones while her boyfriend skedaddled the waves with more obvious stones and I found a perfect seashell to wash away the sand and pop in my handbag as a memento of time spent with my toes dipped in the sand of Barcelona beach. We ate chips along the beach front before shopping at the many stalls for fridge magnets and souvenir gifts to take home for family and friends. We had dinner at a cafe frequented by the locals where we had popped into every evening of our stay to replenish our thirst for coffee or a cold drink. I wanted to sample a traditional dish so chose a seafood paella which didn’t disappoint. We packed and pampered ready for our early start and our flight through the clouds before spending one last night in the hotel bar where I discovered a liking for sex on the beach.

6 am Wednesday morning came all too early with just enough time for me to slip an espresso and a glass of fresh orange before boarding the coach to take us back to the airport of navigation and finding our feet once again landed in Luton airport. With the repeated chill we found a cab for a reasonable quote and before long I was home again with the heat turned up and a pretty magnet displaying its memories of our Barcelona trip on the beginning of this bright new month of May.

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