Grimble and G go to the beach

Day 4:image

Grimble felt the holiday would be wasted if the only thing they did was sit around the hotel pool all day. Instead, she decided that they should aim for the major sight of Calella: the lighthouse. Then, they could go on the beach where they could sit around the sea all day.

In addition, Grimble and G had purchased beach equipment from Chipping Norton’s super posh Beales. They had a parasol with matching cool box and even matching ingeniously designed beach mats with integrated head rests. Grimble was desperate to try them. These items of beauty had been discounted by 75% because essentially the UK summer never really commenced and Chipping Norton is a long way from the sea.

The flaw with the heavy discount meant stock had been limited. The main matching colour left was a summery peachy pink. But G refused to have his chair in that puffy colour and located, somewhere in the nether regions of the store, a blue one with the same pattern, same style but distinctly and definitely not peachy pink. Despite this spoiling the colour coordination of Grimble’s finds, G was insistent that this would be his chair and no other.

Now in Spain, with an almost matching set of beach furnishings, Grimble had decided today was beach day. She had only to convince grizzly morning G of the wisdom of her decision. There were some mental hurdles to overcome: G did not like people crowds, he wasn’t entirely convinced by the texture of sand and he would see little point walking to look at a lighthouse whose image was easily visible online. There was only one way to make this day palatable to G and that was through food. If she could convince G to think with his tummy, they would end up on the beach. At her waking hour of 8am, she did Trip Advisor research and found a beach side cafe with a 4.5 rating. Armed with this information, she woke grizzly morning G with the promise of cooked breakfast food. This had the desired effect. Grimble wouldn’t say the grizzle departed entirely but there was hope that they would leave the hotel.

Clearly, whilst they were down there, they might as well use the beach, Grimble expounded to G and felt a slight grizzle returning. Quickly, she decided to forgo the 20 litre cool bag and stick to chairs and parasol for carrying purposes. Grimble packed her lady bag with essentials: sun cream, tissues, toothpicks and foreign money and gave G the neatly folding chairs with shoulder strap whilst she took charge of the parasol. She checked G was OK leaving the beach towels knowing full well he hated carrying anything at all and they departed.

About 200 metres onto the street, they were at a standstill as G started wrestling with the perfectly folded chairs saying they were impossible to carry. Grimble took the objects from him and deftly strung them over her shoulder. G immediately looked happy and relieved at the release from this burden until she handed him the compact parasol whereupon he grunted a little.

They arrived at the nautical named Marine restaurant. Despite the high Trip Advisor rating, Grimble had misgivings. There were too many poorly taken and faded photos of apparently appetising dishes. However, this was the final option before the lighthouse and to turn G around to return to previously passed places would inevitably lead them straight back to the hotel and the pool as he didn’t react well to returning.

The place was alarmingly German. G and Grimble ordered the closest item to a cooked breakfast. G’s was a hotchpotch of fried eggs, that weird streaky foreign bacon, the paradoxically named skinny chips as well as a random frikadelle disguised as a beef burger under onions. Grimble opted for the safer beans on toast with eggs which also were delivered with chips. Grimble immediately noted that there was no butter on her toast with beans and sighed with disappointment at how Johnny foreigner could so easily miss the necessary detail.

The toast deserved a special mention. It was made from the cheapest processed white bread that on entering a toaster had all moisture sucked from it. In effect, the cook inadvertently created awful melba toast. As soon as G attempted to butter the brittle bread, it ricocheted across the promenade hitting unsuspecting tourists with small children who were somewhat disconcerted at bread shrapnel. Grimble made a mental note that future breakfasts would be cheese, ham and coffee on the balcony and G would have to like it. How the place had gained such a high rating was a mystery or down to the owner having a large extended network of family and friends kind enough to write a myriad of positive reviews.

Filled with some sustenance that had struggled to place itself somewhere between breakfast, brunch or lunch, G and Grimble marched on to the lighthouse and they dutifully looked up at it. Finally, it was beach time. The lighthouse was placed conveniently at the end of the main beach strip next to a cove: La Roca Grossa. This had fewer crowds and Grimble was convinced this would suit G better. As they peered down from the lighthouse viewpoint, it was clear from their promontory, that this cove was indeed a tranquil setting. There were only a few people. However, as they surveyed this scene, both G and Grimble noticed that there was a surfeit of wizened todgers on view. It’s peace, tranquillity and space was because it was nudist. And nudist not in the way G had hoped for.

Therefore, they joined the main beach and set out their almost perfectly matching beach furniture. The sand wasn’t too soft luckily as the Costa Maresme is known for a sea breeze, which understated the gale force wind, that meant G took mastery of the parasol to ensure it remained part of their beach set. Their mats were surprisingly comfortable and, as their scheduling was later that expected, the beach quieted soon as the Spanish left for lunch and siesta.

In fact, there was a sense of contentment for G and Grimble. G only mentioned a few times how he’d have liked a dip in the sea had Grimble brought the towels. Grimble would have responded but every time she turned to face G, her eyes were averted to the naked old man standing on a rock, proudly displaying his cock. She really did think the todger octogenarian should stay on his portion of naked beach.

She knew that G would easily tire of the beach despite its evident loveliness and Grimble was determined to stay til at least late lunch. Thus, she craftily kept G beach ridden by commenting on this and that: sighting a lovely bikini did the trick for a while. Finally, against her better judgement, she summoned the smiley Thai lady to G and he had a delightful 5€ back massage which he felt may have been more relaxing had he not had a beach audience. He was also nervous when she offered for an extra 5€ to work on the top of his legs as happy ending and beach time was incongruous.

So content was Grimble with G’s attitude to the beach, that with a sense of warmth and generosity, she asked G to decide on what he’d like for lunch. This was a basic and foolish error on Grimble’s part. G in charge of sustenance is not a natural thing and as soon as she uttered this invite, she regretted it. However, it could not be revoked and surely G would look at all the wonderful Spanish restaurants and select one. As they passed what seemed to be number 15, Grimble looked at G with hope and expectancy. He grunted. She, fast losing patience, demanded to know what food thoughts were in his head. Chips…hot dog was the alarming reply.

And so it was that G and Grimble finally ended up in a poorly rated Italian in the heart of the tourist centre. The menu purposely mislead as to accompaniments ensuring that they ordered additional potatoes to the mound already on G’s plate.

Grimble fidgeted sullenly with her dull clams and spaghetti and vowed this disastrous culinary debacle would be rectified. There would be no more visits to Johnny foreigner restaurants unless Johnny foreigner happened to be the indigenous Spanish population which would be where all future victuals would be enjoyed. Nor carried off on the crest of a beach wave, would she ever request that G took on their food selection. This was clearly work for Grimble whilst G’s work was structural such as parasol installation.

In addition, his transgression would be punished post siesta with Grimble demanding a short shopping trip at the unnaturally busy 6pm. If he complied with good grace, Grimble vowed to take G for a post shopping shandy. She swirled her spaghetti a little more and smiled at her magnificent benevolence.

Sunbathing by the pool

Day 3:

Grimble, as ever, awoke at the inordinately early hour of 8am and had to entertain herself by sitting on the balcony watching the hotel staff tidy the pool area. In all honesty, this was not entertaining at all. Grimble needed G to waken, but it had to seem natural or he might grizzle.

Thus, she left the balcony and pushed back the black out curtain letting streams of bright sunshine illuminate G as she fumbled quietly about after miscellaneous important items. Grimble felt waking to the gentle morning sun to be a beautiful thing and so could not entirely understand G, when on her fifth attempt, he reacted like a man hit by a laser, exclaiming through screwed up eyes, “Where’s that fucking light coming from?”

Undeterred, Grimble ignored the expletive tone and responded that it was from the lovely, warm Spanish sun, as opposed to the weak sickly cold sun they’d left in Blighty. Grimble’s odd understanding of cosmology, in her implication that the sun was somehow different here, made G wake in wonder and consider if taking her to listen to Brian Cox earlier in that year had been a total waste of time.

The schedule

Now Grimble is a natural organiser and had thoughtfully drafted a plan for the day. The main objective was to be sunbathing by lunch time but several other necessary tasks needed to be completed first: breakfast, shopping for essentials such as lovely olive oil shower cream and a kettle as well as putting another 2.50€ in the car park meter.

Grimble and G commenced their tasks efficiently with breakfast and Grimble felt their schedule would be met. However, G unexpectedly went rogue insisting he’d left something in the room and disappeared. Nor had Grimble accounted for Spanish service.  As she had waited so long for the bill, she wondered whether to order lunch.


Finally, reunited with G on the street, they commenced shopping. Calella was a unexpected shopping haven and, as they wandered the main drag, Grimble’s planning, as well as her comment before they arrived that she really wouldn’t need to shop as she had everything she needed, disappeared into the ether as all those lovely, don’t see them at home, clothes and shoes enticed her.

However, they did complete their scheduled tasks too, interspersed with several random, but entirely vital purchases. This necessitated a trip back to the room to offload the bag burdened G. Grimble had it in her head that this was a fleeting stop en route to the car.

The phone reset

Grimble’s mind works mysteriously and once in the room, she decided her phone needed to be factory reset as her Bluetooth went inoperative in France and she could no longer listen to Spotify on the speaker. Grimble could not explain this malfunction and had, somewhat irrationally, blamed the French. G had offered to clear the cache but because it had not been done yesterday, or even before, as Grimble demanded, she decided to take the technical whiz task on. And so, 5 minutes later, she sat mournfully looking at her reset phone devoid of anything useful and as the button had advised, totally factory reset.

G tried to be helpful but it was too late as a technically frustrated Grimble is not a pleasant one. She downloaded her Spotify hunting her brain for the correct password and knowing it could be only one of seven, or so. Once she had completed faffing and flustering, time had moved on significantly.


They debated leaving the car until later. However, the beach towels were still in their car and were an essential for sunbathing. They protected their bodies from the hard plastic where a trillion dirty tourists had lain before. Once the meter was paid, more snacks bought, they finally made it pool side and set up camp. Miraculously, it was, as Grimble had planned, lunch time. It wasn’t English lunch at 1pm. It was Spanish lunch ish at 3.30pm. Their fortunate timing meant the pool was empty as everyone else had taken a siesta.


Grimble said, with the same cosmological insight as this morning, that this time was better as the sun wasn’t as hot. G was going to debate the temperature of the sun with Grimble, but recalled the factory reset phone debacle. Instead, he looked wistfully at the clouds and wondered if more wine would come his way. As she began to doze, he took his revenge on Grimble by picking the precise moment of her drifting off to ask a pertinent and interesting question. Grimble grinned grittily and regretted her early rising.

Gilbert Grunt and wife

Sadly, their peaceful sunbathing, listening to Spotify from Grimble’s phone via the Bluetooth speaker, was short lived as a British couple, with the option of the whole pool area, decided to plonk themselves right next to G and Grimble and then stare and mutter probably because of the Grimble inspired playlist.

G and Grimble were not to be intimidated, especially by some sun haggard Brit with the face of a Gilbert Grunt (G and Grimble had taken it upon themselves to develop new Cockney rhyming slang). Defiantly, they retained their speaker sound level until, in this war of attrition, the other woman with saggy skin the colour and texture of chamois leather finally fucked off mumbling some bollocks under her breath.

It was always fascinating what united G and Grimble. Often, it was their unified attitude to other people, especially those they deemed to be chav.

The Grimbles get to Spain

imageDay 2

Grimble and G were now safely tucked up in their hotel bed after an unrelentingly busy road trip to Spain. The happily named, “Autoroute to the sun” belied the fact that this was the most direct thoroughfare to any part of the Med and what seemed like the entire population of continental Europe were using it.

Grimble soon bored of pointing out to G all the different European number plates. Even the one where she could cleverly and accurately name cities and towns of Germany from the initial letter of their plate.

This game lost its lustre even faster than the one where Grimble had endeavoured to keep G occupied with the, ‘Would you rather’ challenge. On challenge number 20, which seemed to G to be challenge number 2000, Grimble asked the now grizzly G would he rather go forward in time or backward? His reply of should Grimble have a mute button or a coma button was not the answer anticipated. Thus Grimble adopted the mute button for 10km or so.

Road challenges

They had other road challenges. When they were alerted to a road hold up due to an accident, they had to guess the nationalities of the destroyed cars. G always (and frustratingly accurately) stated two Frenchies whilst Grimble stuck with one Frenchie and one Johnny foreigner. At one point, a French truck driver seemed to want them to participate in their own game or be in the remake of the movie, Duel, as he attempted to get up close and personal. G gave him a fair but firm Agincourt salute and they moved on.

In addition to this challenge was the rain challenge from 2016. So confident was Grimble of sunshine last year in Southern Spain that she challenged G by saying no rain would fall in the whole holiday. She was almost victorious until, whilst waiting at Arroyo del Miel train station, a sneaky, fast moving, miniscule rain cloud crept up on them and deposited a nano second droplet, thereby making G the victor.

This challenge was being maintained for this holiday, somewhat unfairly thought Grimble, as they were pitching up in the North East Med which, even to her geographically challenged brain, was less likely to have wall to wall sunshine.

However, it was a smug G who sailed through the Spanish border with a 5:0 victory. Each win equated to the loser buying the winner a glass of wine and, so far, G’s glass runneth over.

Viva Espana

The autoroute into Spain was rather deserted unlike the route out which had an ugly 12km tailback at the border. As there is no longer a border as such, this excessive queue was unfathomable. The satnav went somewhat quiet not even attempting to adopt a Spanish accent for town names the way it had in France. G and Grimble wondered if their unrelenting teasing of her butchery of French had offended her.

Her revenge came soon enough as she directed them to the hotel in their chosen resort, Calella. She kept demanding that they turn left where no roads existed and then U turn immediately. She wanted them to mow down unsuspecting holiday makers by driving into pedestrian only streets. And she seemed to have no actual idea where the hotel was located. On the fifth circuit of this route, when G and Grimble were almost on first name terms with locals at the bars, Grimble decided enough was enough.

On foot

With the determination of someone who doesn’t like driving anyway, she insisted that G park up anywhere, whereupon she opted to go on foot armed with her trusty phone and Google maps that proclaimed she was 2 walking minutes from her destination.

Boldly, like a female Victorian traveller, she marched up the street, only pausing to mutter fuck you to the seedy local who had dared to say “guapa” to her. In the manner of Livingstone, she discovered the hotel, she found out its parking lot was full, was redirected to another and left with a sense of achievement which she believed secretly negated G’s wine prizes.
Thus they parked at the local hospital carpark for a desultory 2.50€ for 24 hours: NHS take note. And whilst they both felt a little perturbed at the prospect that their car parked was preventing some local family from visiting their seriously ill grandad, this moment was short lived as they surveyed the cars in the carpark and noticed that there was possibly an inordinate number of foreigners availing themselves of free Spanish healthcare or everyone was parking in this bargain rate place.

Grimble, where’s my…

So with a clear conscience, they checked in their hotel. Grimble unpacked, ensuring G would never independently find an item of clothing without the familiar chant of, “Grimble, where’s my…?” They then had a fish supper Spanish style of pulpo and prawns with an exceedingly cheap, and fucking lovely, 8.50€ bottle of ribera.

Finally, 1200 miles drive from home caught up with them, though in the vague hope of a second wind, Grimble purchased a bottle of cava for the room, which was immediately placed in the fridge. G and Grimble lay down on the bed and Grimble immediately passed into deep slumber making G wonder if she really did have a mute or coma button.

Grimble and G get going…

Grimble and G On Tour. Day One

Amazingly, the boot packed neatly without any cussing or cursing and, so far, 10 hours into the car journey, they had yet to lament a necessary item secreted in a case in the rear of the car. This portended well.

The journey on the M25 had the usual suspects: matrix messages that informed them of impending doom somewhere ahead and caution required. Apparently, there was an “incident” and later an “obstacle” designed to bring their smooth running journey to a dramatic halt. They transfixed their gaze seeking said event.

However, neither happened despite the traffic slowing to an excruciating crawl alarmed at the possibility that a fallen log, or large box of random produce, or maybe even a UFO was strewn across the carriage way rendering it impassable. Grimble felt that an upturned traffic cone on the hard shoulder hardly warranted 20 million neon warnings and suspected that this was a sly method of ensuring slow traffic.

On the road again

They made good time with only a solitary pre tunnel stop at Tesco because neither of them were willingly going to pay the thieving bastard prices at the tunnel for a sad sandwich. They were mightily pleased with themselves for their budget canniness with two enticing meal deals. Although Grimble’s insistence that she needed a heavily reduced pair of pantaloons and matching top for vacationing, despite the trouser leg being designed for a 6 foot giant and not a short arsed Grimble, as well as the fact that her case could not hold any more clothing, may have negated any economic benefit to this pit stop.

And so to France an hour earlier than booked in the tin can that is the shuttle and Grimble and G left the rare Summer sunshine of the UK to arrive in Calais whereupon it immediately pissed down: unrelenting and grim.

Bon soir France

Luckily, their route tonight consisted solely of the A26. However, Grimble, the organisational wizz, had previously pre loaded and categorised the journeys on the car satnav, giggling to herself as journey 3 to Peniscola naturally abbreviated to penis which happily flashed up every time they sought their chosen route.

They had even pre booked their toll road and had been sent a tiny box which G had masterfully secreted behind the front mirror to move effortlessly through the French tolls booths. However, G cruelly sent Grimble into a major quandary as they were metres from the toll demanded she turned the miniscule, already activated, toll tag on. She leapt into a frenzy of uncertainty and panic trying to discover the on button in the difficulty placed miniscule box on the front window as the barrier loomed ominously close, yelping that it was defective and nowhere to be seen.

Finally, G calmly informed her he was jesting and let out a sneaky snigger at fooling the Grimble.

Death stare Grimble

G then had to endure the Grimble death stare and gritted teeth for at least 10km. He occupied the silence listening to some random French radio station, as he had earlier informed Grimble that it would help them to embrace the culture and language.

After an hour of musical purgatory, where the best and most understandable track was Desparcito, Grimble was yet to feel embraced, though she was muttering merde at an increasingly alarming rate. After, the 10km of death stare silence, the impasse was broken by G requesting to move to a Spotify playlist.

Elvis assisted in restoring harmony as G and Grimble bellowed happily to the likes of Hound Dog and Return to Sender commenting occasionally on the noxious smells of rural France. Darkness descended on the journey. Whereupon, the car lights activated.

Happy truckers

Had G decided to fit headlight diverters, then possibly there would have been fewer friendly flashing oncoming trucks greeting us as we passed dazzling them with our beams of light. After what seemed like a thousand kilometres of trucks gesturing to us with light and fist, G cleverly decided to dip his lights thus restoring the eyesight of many truck drivers.

The satnav screen transformed an exciting light sabre and its calm English voice directed them onwards with odd interludes where a deep husky French voice usurped the calm English one to state French town names that bore no relation to the words on the signposts. As they travelled ever south, the grey clouds finally gave way to a billion trillion tiny stars. Suddenly, and expectantly, it felt like holidays…

Adventures begin now

New chapters

We are never too old to start a new chapter.

“I’ve always wanted to get as far as possible from the place where I was born. Far both geographically and spiritually. To leave it behind … I feel that life is very short and the world is there to see and one should know as much about it as possible. One belongs to the whole world, not just one part of it.”
― Paul Bowles