"Well, that wasn't at all what I expected," said a decidedly disgruntled Martin Shuttlecock, from his garret in Barcelona's notorious El Raval district, last night.
"The flight down here was pretty uneventful - although it wasn't a Lear jet, it was at least a jet, one of them airbus things. Still, at least we never did a belly flop onto the M27. And we didn't get served champagne by a bevvy of sexy stewardesses - just offered some stale bread and cheese by some disinterested Spanish sort."
There was further disappointment in store for an increasingly bad tempered Shuttlecock, when the expected limo to take the party to the six star hotel failed to materialise.
Instead, it was two bog standard taxis, and the destination wasn't a luxurious six star hotel, but an apartment up a grimy, graffiti strewn alleyway in the heart of the notorious El Raval district, and there was nobody there to meet the Shuttlecock clan. Nor the Spanish couple who were waiting expectantly outside.
A mobile phone call appeared to galvanise the apartment owner - who sent a quite decent sort of chap, named Dave, to get stuff sorted out.
"The Spanish couple seemed relieved," Shuttlecock revealed. "God knows how long they'd been waiting. Anyway, eventually Dave turned up and let us into the building. Which was just as well, because we all felt like a right bunch of plums sitting on our cases up this poxy alleyway. And that's when the fun started..."
By 'fun' Skoob News reporters guessed that Shuttlecock was being gently ironic.
"I was being gently ironic there," Shuttlecock said. "What happened was that as we took our bags into the hallway, the biggest fucking cockroach you've ever seen decided to make a run for it. It was the size of a racehorse. The granddaughters screamed and jumped up into the air as this huge bastard cockroach scuttled past them...then I side footed the fucker into the wall and left it on its back. Kicking its legs in the air. Eric Cantona would have been proud of the controlled manner with which I punted the bastard thing with me size ten brogues.
"Anyway, we went up to the apartment then, and it's actually quite nice. Five bedrooms - which is rare in Barcelona, and even rarer in El Raval. Dave dismissed the giant cockroach by saying it's summer, and shit happens.
"We haven't seen any more since. So we dumped the bags and the girls off, then the son in law and me went for a stroll down Las Ramblas. We had a beer in the Cafe De L'Opera, then headed back into El Raval and had a quick pint in a bar named 'Marmalade.'
"The girls were all knackered. So we went out to the supermercado on Rambla del Raval, and bought beer, vodka, bread, eggs, butter, and some sort of exotic fruit juice and got back at about half past midnight - which in Barcelona terms is early evening.
"Anne made some sandwiches, and the miserable bastards all fucked off to bed. Not me, though. I've got San Miguel in the fridge, and I'm on Barcelona time. I'm enjoying it, and I think the others are. I'll write more tomorrow providing I'm not mullered on absinthe."
More if he doesn't get mullered on absinthe, and probably even more than that if he does...