A Beer in a Burger Bar

A Beer in a Burger Bar

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 AN EXCERPT:

It was a hot June afternoon in the Spanish Algarve resort of Islantilla. My wife, Breda, and I had been lazing, sunbathing for over an hour, around the huge pool to the rear of the fantastic hotel we were staying in, but the sun was so hot, the ice-cold drinks we drank, trying to keep cool, failed miserable in that endeavour.

“Come on,” Breda said to me, “let’s get out of this sun. It’s far too hot to enjoy.”

“Do I have to?” I groaned. “I am so comfortable, sitting here.”

“Yes, if you know what’s good for you,” she tersely replied, pretending to be cross with me.

“Oh, all right,” I laughed as I collected my bits and pieces from my sun lounger.

We made our way upstairs, to our room. Breda freshened herself in the bathroom. I sat on a chair in the shady balcony, enjoying the view of our hotel’s swimming pool, which the holiday brochure said contained such wonderful things as a waterfall, an in-pool bar, and its very own island complete with palm trees.

When she had finished her ablutions, Breda put on her favourite dress, and then she suggested we go out for a bite to eat. “It’s my treat,” she said, “but only if you’re ready in five minutes.”

Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, I dashed into the bathroom and ducked under the shower. Lathering up in a hurry, I said, “I’ll be ready in a jiff.”

“Good, I’ll be timing you,” she answered, scrutinising her watch.

I was fast. I showered, dried myself and got dressed in my best shirt and trousers, with my hair combed to perfection, in less than five minutes.

“I’m impressed,” Breda said to me. “I did say that you were buying the drinks, didn’t I?” she added, laughing impishly.

“I should have known there’d be a catch,” I groaned. Following her out from our room, I pulled the door closed behind me. “There are so many catches, in life,” I continued, “and the biggest one of them all is that it finishes too soon.”

“Don’t you get all gloomy on me,” Breda warned just as the elevator doors opened, revealing an elderly couple we had met earlier.

As we stepped into the small receptacle, I said, “Hello.” Then I threw in a smile for good measure

 The couple returned the smile. The woman said, “It’s lovely weather, isn’t it?”

“It is,” I replied,” “if you like being grilled to a crisp.”

Fiddling with her hearing aid, she said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that.”

“Oh, what a shame,” I whispered. Speaking loudly, I said, “Because it’s so fine a day I decided to out for a beer and a packet of crisps.”

“How nice,” she answered, Turning to her husband, who was obviously even more hard of hearing than her, she explained to him what I had said. When he had digested her words, he looked me straight in the eye and then saluted me. I saluted him back. Thankfully, the elevator doors then opened.

Squinting against the strong sunshine, I said to my wife, “Which way to we go?”

“Left, and then left again,” she answered. Linking my arm affectionately, she steered me along narrow, cobbled street.

When we got to the end of the street, I turned right.

No, not that left,” she laughed, “your other left!”

“Oh, that one,” I chuckled. “Why didn’t you say so?”

CONTD

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