Sitges, Sitges, Sitges
So said the barwoman of the hotel terrace bar. We we looking down on the church, at a green laser light playing on the ground. It was nothing really, like something a kid would have.
The palm trees along the avenue were lit with a subdued light. The sea was subdued too, and overhead planes made their descent towards Barcelona airport. It was about 1 a.m.
“This song is my life,” said the barwoman, a tear welling in her Spanish eyes as she slid a JD and a glass of wine towards us.
There is something about fifth storey terrace bars. You always want to jump off of them, especially this one as the walls are waist high, glass. You can sit in your chair and there in front of you is the sea.
But it was the same from the hotel balcony and the top of the Sagrada Familia. Top tip for Barcelona, don’t go into here. It’s about £20 for the two of you, if you are two, and whereas you used to be able to walk up the steps to one of the towers now you have to go in a lift and pay £2 for it.
This is progress. They can’t finish the building but they can put in a lift. One of many problems I have with Catholicism.
Also from the hotel balcony I saw a cat, black. It was scrawny and liked sitting by the hotel pool in the morning until one of the staff came and threatened it with a broom. It was no match for the broom, this cat, and it was off up a wall.
There was another cat. A man came out of the door adjacent to the fish restaurant where we were eating. He put down some scraps in tinfoil and a cat appeared. After it finished eating it leapt up the door and just hung there by its two front paws.
Actually there were loads of cats. And Labradors being walked along the kilometres of sea front. And bars on the beach. One had every chair different, long sofas, rattan boxes with spikes on the back, lanterns hanging, candles burning, a waitress like a cross between Julia Roberts and Mae West. She sat with her back to the clientele, usually only us, chain smoking Russian cigarettes and drinking cheap brandy. When it came to pay they had forgotten what you’d had. We went there every night.
Sitges is an old town with little twisty streets. There’s a chicken restaurant its walls adorned with famous footballers you’ve never heard of. There is a bigger concentration of underpant shops than anywhere in the world. Mannequins leer from display windows, in Calvin Klein briefs or see-through underwear, briefs, thongs and so on.
The see-through underwear I imagine you would buy to get a discount rate for entry onto the nudist beach just before the harbour.
There are no shops that sell inflatable things, beds, hammers, penises, with which to waft yourself out to sea on. There is no rock, kiss-me-quick hats, tacky postcards.
House prices are very expensive.
I want to rent an apartment and spend my summers here. I want to go down to the port and imagine myself owning one of the yachts. I would sail it in my see-through pants and be happy. I would write sun-soaked books and grow old. Actually, I will probably do that anyway.
That is the nature of the beast.
One of my stories, Troy and Me, has just been featured on the Untitled Books website. Untitled Books was recently chosen as a website of the week by the Guardian. Also this month is an interview with Will Self and Ali Smith talking about ‘How I Write’.
Currently reading - Seeing, by Jose Saramago
Currently listening to - Happiness is the Road, Marillion