Barcelona - Day Five - L'Aquarium.
In his own words for once.
"It was a weird sort of a day; day five. It kicked off with the kids getting bored in the apartment, so I had a conspiratorial word in the son-in-law's shell, and we decided to take them out for a walk to burn off some of that excess energy.
"I don't know if any of you who are reading this know Barcelona at all - if you do, you'll know what I'm saying. If you don't, it won't make any sense whatsoever. Which is nothing new for me. I even confuse meself. Most of the time at least.
"So we walked down Carrer De L'Hospital, to Las Ramblas, and then up to Placa Catalunya, then hung a right, before turning right again down Portal De L'Angel to La Seu. The Cathedral. Then we headed right to Carrer Del Bisbe, down there as far as Carrer Ferran, then right again back into Las Ramblas.
"By this time the kids were whingeing and throwing strops because it was pretty hot and humid, so never one to miss an opportunity, I dragged them all back up Las Ramblas to the Cafe De L'Opera, and had a well deserved pint of Estrella Damm. I got them a Coke each. Also made the son-in-law buy the round as he's a tight git who doesn't like standing his corner.
"One-nil to me! Oh yes!
"Back to the apartment, a quick scrub up, and off to Las Ramblas again for the trip to the aquarium.
"The wife and I didn't go in. Last time we went in there, we just saw dinner. We don't really appreciate fish, unless it's on a plate.
"So the other five went in the aquarium. We completely sold out and against all our better principles, popped into McDonald's at Maremagnum. The food was shit, but the view was lovely.
"After that, we went outside and I sparked a roll-up on a bench by the I-Max. At which point, a bloke approached with a young lad wearing an Argentina football shirt in tow.
" 'Couldn't spare us a roll up mate, could you?' he says in a broad Welsh accent. 'Only I've just been up the Nou Camp with the boy and some bastard picked me pocket and swiped me baccy pouch.' - I'll be buggered how he sussed out I spoke English. Maybe the straw trilby was a bit of a giveaway...
"Anyway, we exchanged pleasantries, and I gave him my tin to roll a ciggy. As we talked, all became clear.
"Turned out he was a Welsh farmer whose crops had failed because of the weather, and it was his first time abroad. His wife had whisked him to Cardiff airport and on from there to Salou down the coast to cheer him up a bit. He was in Barcelona on a day trip.
"This bloke explained that his baccy pouch was leather - which explains the pickpocket thing. They probably thought it was his wallet. Luckily for him, the error ensured that his wallet remained intact. It was okay for the lad though - he got to see the Nou Camp and the aquarium, the only problem being that his old man was gasping for a gasper.
"So I explained to the geezer about Tabacs shops, and how they're usually brown in front and that there was one close by on Via Laietana. Gave him directions and he toddled off, with a heartfelt thanks and a cheery Welsh goodbye.
"Nice bloke. Nice kid. I sometimes wonder if they made it out of Barcelona in one piece.
"We (the wife and I) then headed back to the apartment, up Drassanes and on to Rambla Del Raval, where we sat at an outside table and had a drink, watching the palm trees flutter gently in the sea breeze.
"The wife looked a bit hot and bothered, and got me to thinking that I very much doubted she'd be up for going out that night, so I stopped off at the shop and bought a few tinnies for the evening.
"We stayed home that night, and it was okay, very enjoyable, quite relaxing, watching people pass by in the street below, which although it wasn't very charming in daylight, had a haunting, romantic quality to it when the ornate street lighting kicked in at dusk.
"That's about it really for day five. Just another Saturday night in Barcelona. The kids and the grandkids came back a short while after us, and they were all pretty wiped out too, so we had a pretty cool evening enjoying each other's company. Apart from the teen granddaughters who were never off their fucking iPhones.
"Ah well, I thought, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So I caught up on me previous Shuttlecock letter and submitted it to the Spoof. Forgot what happened after that. Probably got rat-arsed drunk and fell asleep. Or something."
More as he gets it.