Nothing but sea, sand and scorpions

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THE 70’s in Mojacar was easy livin’.

It might have been the light cloud of marihuana being puffed, the popular theology of flower power and love, but most likely it was the lethargy of just not giving a damn.

Keeping out of other’s faces and allowing the world to pass one sunrise at a time.

To this mystical vision of Camelot, people arrived daily to start new lives or to hide old ones. They all had stories to tell and as Spain is a café society -listening was part of the programme.

Air Vice Marshalls abounded but never got into anyone’s hair as did the thespians looking to strut their hour upon stage.

The latter had the worst time as there was little they could invent by way of imagination or background to compete with our already well-established theatre and movie folk already here, ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt and slept with the director.’

Two enviable rules were the law: no fighting and you always had to pay your bill at the Hotel Indalo bar in the village plaza.

Sr Haro, the owner never pushed anyone for money, it was the rest of us that well knew that if the recent rag tags were allowed too much charity, that when we needed it the well would have been drunk dry.

So, it was the residents that pressured the poor payers or refused to drink with them until they were solvent again.

Nevertheless, visits from us beach people seemed to insight the locals.

I was met constantly with the same refrain: ‘what you wanna build on the beach for? There is nothing down there but sea, sand and scorpions.’

Now I wasn’t quite dumb enough that I tried to correct their errant thinking. As long as they all stayed up in the happy village it made less competition for us buying up the lower realms.

I gleefully bit my tongue and remained silent. Within four years more some of the ambassadors that had been gifted free homes and others of their exalted ilk came to us looking for places on the beach, away from the constant noise of the village and a setting of quiet and serenity.

Within two more years we were met by a constant stream of village people asking for loans to pay their bar bills.

Within four years some of the village shop owners started building on the beach. One of the tiny supermarket-convenience stores became famous throughout the province as never giving change for your purchase.

You were required to take matches, liquorice, candy or bubble gum.

My wife achieved worldwide notoriety when upon one of our children’s birthdays she purchased a small packet of candles and paid for them using liquorice and bubble gum.

From that moment on – the beach ruled.

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