So here I am back in jumpers, wearing waders on the school run, washing stacked up on the radiators. To think only 3 days ago I was laying on a sun lounger in a very posh villa in Ibiza!
It all began last December, a very dear friend of mine is involved in the hiring of luxury villas in the islands of Ibiza and Majorca. And by luxury, I mean the type of place Kylie and the cast of Made In Chelsea hire for a few days in the sun, at the cost of £10K a week. Huge palatial homes set in the mountains with infinity pools, countless bedrooms and bathrooms, places familiar from the pages of OK! magazine shoots! My friend and his partner are very old (as in length of friendship not age group) and very best friends of mine and as a treat from the villa owners thanking him for the wealthy year he provided from hiring out their villas, he was able to make use of a villa for free! So me and my best friend gladly offered to accompany them on a long weekend to Ibiza, I’m supportive of my friends jobs like that!
So last Friday, the two fellas were already at the villa and me and my bestie were headed to Stansted to commence our journey to the sun. Now, flying is not my favourite type of transport to say the least! From the night before a journey, I am already imagining all sorts of disaster situations. Once at the airport, fully dosed up on Kalms and St John’s Wort, I am dreading the moment I have to set foot on that plane. I don’t think it helps nervous passengers like myself, that at your gate you have to walk up a long corridor which seems to get narrower the nearer you get to the plane like something out of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Once on board the stewardess helpfully points me in the direction of “straight down” towards the seats, I may have the manic look of a scared rabbit but wasn’t planning on sitting on the pilot’s lap! My bestie is very supportive, plying me with trash magazines and the promise of a chick flick DVD and wine once airborne, distracting me from the hoover type noise coming from the engine as it starts to trundle towards the runway. I am pleased to hear the Captain’s voice on the speaker introducing himself and his staff. And bizarrely am always comforted if he has a double barreled surname and sounds like a posh RAF pilot as I can imagine him to be extremely capable in the event of a crash situation, paranoid I know! Take off is the worst bit for me as I look around at the passengers casually reading their newspapers, I fight off the urge to shout at them “Do you know where your emergency exit is? Are you watching how to tie up your life jacket cos I won’t help you!”. And after a few bumps and a suspected dislocation to my bestie’s hand courtesy of my nervous clenching of it, we are airborne, only 2 hours and 37 minutes until I can uncurl my toes, but at least Matthew McConaughey on my bestie’s laptop and a plastic cup of Chardonnay will assist me.
But the ordeal of flying is worth it as we leave the torrential rain back in Blighty and step off the plane at Ibiza greeted by blue skies and warm sun. I instantly feel my shoulders start to drop in preparation for the next 3 days of kid free relaxation.
Our GBF’s (gay best friends) are regulars on the island as they used to live there when they owned a bar and now with the villa business they are part-time residents. They meet us at the airport and whisk us off, via the wholesale drinks supermarket, to our luxury villa in the mountains. And Wow, the villa is out of this world! From the minute we unpack the car and open the front door I already feel like a Hilton offspring embracing the luxurious surroundings as if I’m used to such expense. We check out the rooms like excited kids, squealing at “amazing sofas” and “gorgeous rugs”. With 12 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3 living rooms and 2 kitchens, I may just move every night because I can!
With our GBF’s having stocked up before our arrival we get down to the important stuff of opening the wine, changing into something more suited to the pool and feasting on Alioli (garlic mayonnaise) until the lizards outside are squinting at the garlic odour emitting from our group of 4.
The next morning, typically of our luck, we are greeted with heavy cloud but still warm in temperature. Most of the morning is spent with us discussing cloud formations, sounding more knowledgable then Michael Fish, reassuring each other that “the sun will burn through the cloud, that breeze will blow the clouds away.” And my particular favourite, the very English “you can still get a tan with heavy cloud” as I lay on the lounger, arms rigid by my side waiting for the glare of my white skin to fade just a bit in order to wear my new dress later with bare legs. But it did warm up and the clouds parted just enough to cast a tan mark and after a few Iclenadic dips in the non-heated swimming pool we got ready for our “big night out” in Ibiza town.
My GBF’s have a lovely group of friends who are all very friendly and welcoming and have very interesting backgrounds. Mostly English, they are all well-travelled and seem to live idyllic lives on the sun-drenched island. One of the party doesn’t speak very good English and I don’t speak very good Spanish, so occasionally when we were left alone, we both had to endure limited conversation of “nice bar”, “si bueno” and “warm weather”, “si bueno” until someone bi-lingual rescued us.
We had a lovely dinner at the harbour and once filled up on complex carbs and plentiful wine, we head off to a bar called Rock. I have been to Ibiza quite a few times and with the summer season kicking in around May/June, choice of bars are quite limited in April. However, this isn’t such a bad thing as the bars that are opened are very lively and atmospheric. And the Rock certainly delivered on both counts and although the cost of drinks are not dissimilar to London prices, the measures certainly are! After ordering a vodka cranberry, it was presented to me in a long glass with 3/4 vodka which the bar man ‘topped up’ with cranberry and ice. After a couple of sips, a few winces and one or two stamps of my feet I was able to climatise to the vodka/mixer ratio but could see my lightweight status making an appearance earlier than planned. After we had bar crawled a few places, literally as the vodka kicked in and my heels became increasingly difficult to lift in front of each other, we thought we’d try our chances at the uber trendy Pacha nightclub. I’ve been to Pacha a number of times in the past, my GBF’s and their resident friends have no problem getting in for free as they are known faces so I was quite surprised when we rocked up to the entrance and everyone was allowed in except me and my bestie. They said we would have to pay the not so cheap entry price of 30 euros but was reassured we would get a free drink (bargain)! We politely declined and asked why we had been singled out and was informed that we were too overdressed and looked like obvious tourists! Now, me and bestie had put on nice dresses and heels but we were hardly wrapped in mink fur and dripping with diamonds. We could take it as a compliment but instead we both felt like 18 year olds on our first holiday abroad. Our group of friends were not that casually dressed but I suppose we were a little more glammed up. After sulking for about 5 minutes we weighed up the fact that it was 4am and “we’d done really well to stay out this long”. So with a bit of self-esteem soothing we removed our heels and hailed a cab back to our heavenly hideaway.
Our last day was a very relaxing affair, “feeding” our hangovers and risking hair of the dog remedies. The sun was definitely out and we made the most of our beautiful surroundings by just lying about in different parts of the house and gardens. Before we knew it, we were packing our bags for the flight home. I was sad to say goodbye to an amazing home and absolutely loved spending time quality time with such important friends of mine, but I missed my hubby and kids more than expected and was gagging to see them all again. We were all booked on the same flight home and after we exhausted the end of Muriel’s Wedding by shouting goodbye to everything in an Australian accent we were homeward bound.