Any other business
‘Where shall we sit hold on I am just going take over these leftovers from yesterdays barbeque. Did you put the four bottles of Lidl wine in the carrier?’
‘Yes that Conde Noble has gone up to 49 cents a bottle you know. I have put in those ribs that were left as well.’
‘Hi lovely day here are some bottles of wine we have brought some grub to put out. Here are some ribs, chicken pieces and some nice English pork sausages in the foil. Hide these cans of cider for me could you?’
‘Look go to the table up the back with the lesbians no one has a go at them.’
‘Hello girls how are things? Anyone sitting here? We do not know most of them here who’s, who?’
‘Have you got a copy of the agenda for the meeting and last years balance sheet?’
‘We just managed to get the last ones.’ I tell them with a smile.
‘Do you want us to bring you over some food?’ They ask us ‘We are going over to get ours before it all disappears.’
They return with enough grub to feed a bulimic model. ‘You two are not eating are you sure you do not want anything to eat?’
‘I just had breakfast at the new place over the road thanks.’
‘Where did you go?’
‘The new café bar just opposite the roundabout.’
‘What’s it like, do they have a good menu?’
‘Well when I sat down the owner came over for my order he recommended the big buster English breakfast which he said was the best on the coast, ‘two eggs, two bacon, two sausages, beans or tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding and hash browns, fried slice, with two toast, marmalade, and a pot of tea or coffee, also with orange juice included.’
‘Wow! How much.’
‘Five Euros, I asked if he had anything bigger. I had quite a wait while the chef prepared it I even began gesturing my hunger to the owner by repeatedly pushing my finger into the back of my throat and nodding toward the kitchen. His wife does the cooking apparently they had a guest house in Blackpool It’s spotlessly clean and they are ever so polite. He is an expert on bar lawyer gossip already.’
‘That roundabout is very dodgy you know the tarts are hanging around it in the daytime now we were on the way down to the beach past that roundabout the other day and as we crossed the road two lads were hanging out the car windows as they drove past trying to chat us up. We told one to save his breath because he would need it to blow up his next date they smashed into a parked car outside that café.’
‘It was the new café owner’s car, he told me about it the usual grief. They had no insurance.’
‘Anyway you will find it easy to identify most of them here the lot in that corner are the Spanish the one with the suit on is the ex President,we had him out last year. mind you he said he was resigning anyway due to those three heart attacks that he had.’
‘Who is the pretty Spanish girl with him?’
‘That’s his mistress, she is the administrator we are voting to sling her out this year.’
‘Where is his wife?’
‘She lives up in Madrid no sign of her around here for years she was on the promoters team selling phase one and two. I think the Spanish got wind of us voting his mistress out as administrator when they saw her name down on the minutes. So they have arrived mob handed to try and out vote us and keep her in.’
‘This gang along here eating all the grub are the sheep shaggers.’
‘It sounds as if you two do not get on with them.’
‘We lived in Wales and we did not learn to speak Welsh.’
‘That should not be a problem?’
‘That lot do not give up easily you will get a good stabbing in the back around here for not learning Spanish and fitting in with the culture.’
‘Are you sure that is why they are branding you as not fitting in.’
‘Leave it! We are not to sure about the lot at the front.’
I stand up to get a better look and collect another cider from under the table ‘I think they are long term rentals they should not be here at the meeting.’
‘I know that one he is the one who ruined poor old Fred’s lovely apartment.’ one of the girls points to a hairy monster who is filling up his plate up with all the sausage rolls and pork pies that are leftover.
‘Fred’ I ask?
‘He used to come over to Spain a lot then he decided to let the apartment out long term he could not get on with the heat in the summer, happy Dave runs a management company and put the rental in for him.’
‘What happened to the apartment?’
‘Happens all the time with trash like that lot Fred told happy Dave no rentals were to go in with any pets and strictly no smoking was to be allowed. When they eventually got them out after not paying the rent for nine months Fred got the keys back from happy Dave.
Fred was broken hearted the leather suite had been used as a cat scratcher there were fag burns on the furniture and bedside tables. All the mattresses stank of urine and the new set of the pots and pans were missing and also the digibox had disappeared. The cooker and fridge you do not want to know about it made me feel quite sick, actually I was when I went to the bathroom and lifted the lid on the toilet.’
‘Blimey! What about the security deposit?’
‘Happy Dave kept that and never gave it back to Fred.’
‘Fred had to throw the all the linen and towels away and have all the curtains dry cleaned then he had to have the whole apartment repainted and decorated the smell of the cigarettes was awful the ceilings and light fittings were yellow. The walls looked like they had been repairing a car in the apartment. Filthy hand marks were every where. I think the cleaners charged him over two hundred euros to clean the apartment.’
‘What on earth had been going on?’
‘Happy Dave rented it out to one of his thugs they had only been in the apartment for just over a year. They had a barbecue on balcony terrace, the neighbours could not have a window open with all the smoke billowing everywhere. There’s more! They had a boxers training punch bag outside that they used to dance around and beat the crap out of until the early hours.’
‘Say no more!’ I pleaded.
‘The people downstairs from them were on antidepressants for about a year whilst they tried to sell their apartment because of the kids upstairs playing basketball, football and rollerblading up and down the corridors. But I think the final straw was the parties and the stiletto heels clattering on the marble floors that made them go back to the UK and live in council tower block.’
‘Crikey! I thought I heard it all, what a disaster for them.’ My jaw was slowly making its way up from the floor.
‘That’s happy Dave and his mates over in that corner do not get him started if he comes over he will go on and on about the sun everyday. He moans constantly about the lack of rain and never stops asking why do people come here to live the dream? What Spanish dream? The money he lost on the bling he brought back from Thailand. It was dodgy gold plate and it all went green and black he had to give loads of refunds his wife went back to the UK after three months. That one next to Dave is the man from Liverpool that does the Sunday market with him, you know him he has got the three rottie’s.’
‘I thought that only owners can attend?’
‘Well that’s right, they all have apartments in the same block as Dave.’ They point to another group of people. ‘These ones across here are that’s odd you do not usually see Timothy’s mum here we never found out her name. Well they all get the mini bus back to the UK to update their benefit forms and make sure they are not being swindled by the DWP. We asked her one day why she came out here with all those children in tow. Debt she said, it was a choice of paying everyone back, or going bankrupt. The consolidation loan the credit cards and all those club books not to mention the household bills and the Shogun car loan. The CSA payments and the child support just did not cover it apparently, and she did not fancy working her butt off and get a job for the rest of her life, so the best option was to hop it.’
‘How is she finding life here in Spain?’
‘She reckons much the same, except that she has got a nice colour. How are you two finding it since you moved here from the campo?’
‘What a laugh that was we froze in the winter the finca only had single skin walls the log burner was fired up from about four in the afternoon then we boiled in the summer it hits the forties out there. You should see the dust with loads of four by fours roaring up and down the roads creating more dust! Wild fires they are scary. The times we had to use the pool water to shower and flush the loo because of water shortages. Then the fruit flies and mozzies you could lose a pint of blood a night mind you the gecko’s kept them down a bit but they used to scare the crap out of you if they scurried over your face in bed at night.
Then the barking dogs all through the night they would just about stop as the chickens started crowing I do not know what was worse the bugs clacking away or the dogs. When we did the rotovating and strimming on the plot we had to watch out for snakes and poisonous caterpillars and some nights the noise of the generators going all over the valley because the electric could not take the strain of everyone having their air conditioning on at the same time. Saturday and Sunday were the worse days with quads and trial bikes roaring up and down the tracks. The Spanish used to throw rocks at them.
Another horrible lark is clearing up the dead rat or two that had gone to die in the swimming pool they were poisoned from the bait in the vegetable garden, Oh! Yeah, the giant millipedes you have to watch out for them in the grass if you have flip flops on the Spanish run around screaming if they come across them and chop them up with a spade.
The illegal building that goes on all around you with people dividing up their plots and putting villas up they last about a year then get bulldozed down by the Town Hall. They are all mugs because the Town Hall is always updating their data base of aerial photographs every year the helicopters buzz around checking for illegal builds.
The pruning of the orange and lemon trees you never stop clearing up then the rotovating. Then people using poles with cans on the end nicking our avocados. Do not ask about the squealing when the neighbours start slaughtering oinker for a hog roast or hanging live chickens with a piece of string tied around one leg on a pole by the barbeque.
Then we tried it front line on the paseo nice views but the noise from bars you are plagued by looky looky men, then the crowds of tourists on the beaches in the high season. Watch out for eastern European pick pockets they are now sending the highly trained little scroats to the UK because its easy pickings and no deterrent, you get pestered by timeshare touts and drug fuelled twats wanting you to go to a presentation after you surprisingly win top prize for the free gifts on the scratch card they gleefully whelp with delight telling you have won and they have the commission for another tinto. Boom boom music roars out from the cars as they patrol for their next date hooting every few yards to let everyone know they have got the horn!
Mind you the walk along the front is great but watch out for scooters, cycles roller skaters, power walkers with ski sticks and dogs mess. The biggest laugh we had was watching from the balcony that great tradition of Spanish parking this is done by bashing any car that’s in their way.’
‘What about that lot who look like lumps of leather with eyeballs.’
‘Who do you mean those over there sitting with their arms crossed, and faces as long as kites? They are the clique who moved into the compex years ago. Good old Gordon Brown scuppered their pensions and made them a sure fire recipe for a miserable old age they have not got two cent pieces to rub together now The trouble they had I would not wish it on anyone. The furniture packs the developer supplied fell to bits no roads were done around this phase you would not believe the mud during the rainy months. No fences were built around the perimeter no gates were installed at the entrances and the villas and apartments were being constantly broken in too. Happy Dave and his family made a mint fitting the rejas and new locks everywhere.’
‘They had a tough time of it then, poor sods.’
‘Tough! Tough! You are not wrong there one of the big problems they had for ages was the sewage coming up the drains around here it was awful the pump station over the road could not handle the extra volume as everyone started moving in. The sewage pump broke down more often than the swimming pool pump then this phase was the only one that had water in the pool they say the first summer was a nightmare with people using the pool from all the other phases in the area.’
Shaking my head side to side,‘ poor sods.’
‘That was not the end of the troubles.’
‘Power cuts and the brownish water coming through the taps and it took over three years to get the first phone lines in. Lots of owners were still getting break ins with no apparent signs of entry.’
‘I can recall someone telling me that that phone lines were already in when these properties were built.’
‘Do you still believe in Santa Claus?’
‘Just phone the customer service help line and you will get a rollocking for enquiring about a new connection you should realise that you are on the end of a long list of priorities.’
‘Been there done that the Town Hall gave me a good rollocking when we asked about extra police because of the break-ins. Do not ask what they said when we enquired about when they would start putting some proper roads and street lighting in.’
‘But I can recall an article in the local paper that the Town Hall granted a contract for laying a new road through phase three and four that‘s a start.’
‘Wait until the new owners move in there the Town Hall have given the Mayors brother a licence to run a Sunday market in that road.’
‘They cannot do that surely? You are pulling my plonker?’
‘We don’t do that!’ Both girls retort in their best masculine voices.
‘Sorry a slip of the tongue’ my wife tells them whilst giving me a swift kick in the shin.
‘You’re not lesbians are you? No, please don’t be offended not that there’s any reason why you should be offended. Nothing wrong with it in this day and age I might even have given it a go myself if I was a woman.’
She gives me the two finger salute and tells me about the bad time she had in the back of a mini when she lost her virginity and that she had never been with a man since that horrible day.
‘What a coincidence!’ I tell her ‘I lost my virginity in the back of a mini as well. It would have been nice if I had someone in the back seat with me at the time. But hey! At least I did not turn into a shirt lifter.’
‘No that is obvious you turned into something else.’ She continues with our conversation about the bins. ‘Well anyhow it’s on the cards now they have put ten rubbish bins at each end of the new road.’
‘How on earth is any one going to get parked outside their villas?’
‘Have you seen how many cars park for the Sunday markets? None of us will get in and out of here on a Sunday in the future.’
‘What about all the rubbish,who is going to clear it up and more to the point who is paying for it to be cleared up?’
‘What about the Town Hall?’
‘Ha!Haaa!Ha! You are funny, hold on a second. Haaa! Ha!Ha!Har! Heh! Hee! Ooooh! Shhh! Oh God! I think I’ve wet myself. I’m alright now hee! Hee! You mad fool you. Hold on a minute just pass me my drink heeheeee! Any hee! he! Way the First Occupation Licence is not granted until all the infrastructure is completed on any developments and is signed off by the Mayor.’
‘Does that mean the Town Hall can wash their hands of all these problems?’
‘Well and truly washed we told our lawyer before we got our keys and signed up at the Notary, about the lack of licences. He said no problema they will come along later and that we should not to worry about them. Well all of us were on builder’s electric and water for years we had the air conditioning units blasting away in the summers and we and hosed the terraces down my irrigation was never off. The invoice from the developer for the electric and water to the community was humungous and it had to be settled before it was all cut off. Everyone had to be pay up before we could get our own meters for the electricity and water supply connected. Try and get that done without all your paperwork signed up. And to make matters worse the community was nearly bankrupt because half the owners had not paid their community charge for years.’
‘It’s touch and go in the papers now whether or not the Mayor and the councillors are going to be arrested over granting projects and licences that are illegal.’
‘What’s on the agenda then, what are you voting on?’
‘First on the list is the community fees again quite a few have not paid again this year looks like the same parasites who did not pay the year before.’
‘Good grief! 40,000 euros of non payer debts.’
‘Yup it makes me sick they still use the pool and the lifts and pay nothing towards the gardeners and cleaners of the community.’
‘They should banned from using the community facilities then and have their water cut off.’
‘You cannot do that it is against the law.’
‘I will make sure the President and the administrator check they have paid before they can have a vote then. What about the administrator setting up a discount system for prompt payers?’
‘Bring it up when we get to any other business.’
‘I will and I hope we do not get asked for an increase in the community fee if we have that amount of community fees owing.’
‘Next is a new pool pump more money.’
‘Blubberpuss has got a problem with the lights in the road outside not working along the waste ground.’
‘No that is our residents park that the developer is supposed to maintain it is just the same between phase two and three you will see that further down the page, it comes up every year. Someone keeps taking down the Perros No signs the playground is full of mess. People are dumping their garden rubbish and furniture in there all the time. The Town Hall does not want to know.’
‘Is blubberpuss here?’
‘Yes I think she was up the other end eating all the prawns there she is I hardly recognized her all covered up look at that big Mexican hat she has got on what’s all that white crusty stuff on her hands?’
‘It looks like camomile lotion to me.’
‘Stone me blind what on earth is this bill for 987 euros for replacement fire extinguishers?’
‘The drunken holiday makers have been using them for a game they all play similar to the lark you have at paintball ranges.’
‘I can see why happy Dave has turned up their are lots of complaints again about the woman in his block using that computer controlled embroidery machine she stiches on the designer labels for the gear he gets from Thailand. Hold on a minute this agenda item is about Dave as well it’s a complaint from someone in phase two mind you this was bound to come up sooner or later with that giant plasma television he has got it’s about the porn film’s he watches and records the DVD’s from the cable channel. Apparently he sells loads of them at the Sunday market they want him to close his shutters as they are sick to death sitting in their porches watching it night after night and these are for Dave as well blimey what a list he is still blocking peoples car parking spaces with his car hire vehicles and he still has not moved those ones that are write-offs.’
‘Joe has got another two claims in for accidents you did not hear about these you have not got your fingers on the pulse have you. He will not have much luck though he is still waiting to hear from the administrator about the damage on his car the year before last.’
‘What happened this time?’
‘Well him and Mavis came back from the Sunday market with those lovely spit roast chickens, they pulled into their parking space in the underground car park, and as they were walking to the lifts those three big rotties came tearing after them out of nowhere, Joe slipped over on some dog crap and broke his collar bone, he and Mavis hardly talk over it she just left him there and ran, he got the right hump.’
‘Did the dogs have him as well?’
‘No, but Mavis made it inside the lift, unluckily for her one of them had his paws around her in a vice like grip bonking her like the clappers, that really big one had it’s head right up her dress, and the last one was pulling at the carrier with the chickens in it, by the time the lift door shut the rotties were in with her.’
‘Poor Mavis, was she alright?’
‘Well sort of, two of the rotties had a spit roast chicken each out of the carrier bags, and the third one ate Joes big English pork sausages, that is why Joe does not talk to her anymore he just will not forgive her over letting them eat his sausages.’
‘Anyhow they are claiming for the money to cover for the clinic, the broken collar bone, and Mavis is claiming for wounds to her chest and legs where the dogs leapt up at her trying to get the carrier bags she was holding in the air, the claw marks she had were awful she was done up like a mummy for most of the summer.
They are also claiming for the vet bills when her cat lost his leg, it got run over by a mini motorbike on the path at the side of their villa.’
‘Happy Dave’s little angels again?’
‘I am sure the insurance for the community will not pay out on the cat, because we do have a no pets rule on the statutes.’
‘I suppose it will be the same with the claim about the dogs then.’
‘This is the bit about the Administrator and what she is being paid.’
‘Well it says here on the balance sheet she only gets five thousand euros that’s not bad.’
‘We all thought that, but it was always written in Spanish when Senor Lopez was the President. It turns out since an audit was done and it was all translated from Spanish that payment was per quarter look down further on the balance sheet just there the other fifteen thousand euros came under sundries with the other administration cost’s like postage telephone calls.’
‘Hello the Moroccans have caused an upset it’s unusual that, they have been very quite since that one got banged up last year for the twenty kilos of hash in that old Mercedes they owned. The Guardia got him in a roadblock. He got coshed to kingdom come he was running around screaming Inshallah or something. His case might come up next year his picture was in the free local paper Osama Al Jazeera I think his name is, you can hardly recognize him in the picture from the paper with that camouflage outfit on. We kept a newspaper cutting, I will show you it after the meeting.
It’s phase two having a moan again about them keep cutting holes in the dividing fence, and having rows with the Russian doorman about money he works in the club up the road you know the one it’s got all the neon lights over the building the La Dama De Noche.
Filthy lot they are we have never used the pool since we saw them sitting on the edge coughing up phlegm and spitting in the water. Tell a lie we did go in that week after it was drained and refilled.’
‘Timmy’s mum has got a claim in as well, I do not believe it! She is only claiming for that kid who was taken to hospital during Timmy’s birthday pool party it says here that he is still on oxygen and about the community having no lifeguard on duty, and if one been provided as required by Spanish Law he would have seen her friends child under that inflatable crocodile. Mind you even if we had a lifeguard he would have had trouble looking after fifty kids.’
‘You would think the parents would keep an eye on them?’
‘No chance, you did see how many jugs of sangria they downed.’
‘Ah well you know how it goes treat them as adults.’
‘Timmy was ill it’s a wonder he did not end up in the ambulance as well he ate that skinny anorexic girls laxative while she was having a swim. You missed it where were you?’
‘No claim again then, no inflatables it is clearly shown on the pool rules.’
‘Oh dear! We still are having problems with the developer and constructor over the cracks in some of the properties walls we might as well give up on this one. Also the roads and lighting we could not get any of our snagging done in our apartment I do not know why anyone bothers to bring this up anymore it’s never going to get done.’
‘No I do not think so you can see daylight through these.’
‘At last we have been trying to get this on the agenda. No fireworks parties.’
‘Come on, everyone loves fireworks.’
‘You would not say that if you were here a couple of years ago the community satellite dish got blown to smithereens by an aerial bomb. That cost us all a bomb to get replaced. Then the community bar had the roof burnt down in seconds because of a rocket landing on it.’
‘Bet there were fireworks at the AGM over that.’
‘Jock is still at it more complaints about him urinating over the balcony onto the terraces below. The landscaping company who do the gardens and pool area have asked for a big increase to cover the cost for extra jabs for various diseases they might catch, due to clearing up soiled nappies from the bins plus they have to pay extra for it to be specially bagged because of the new rules at the waste dump.’
‘I thought they dumped it all in our park outside?’
‘And only one of them is prepared to clear up after Timmy also if we still want the cigarette ends and cats mess cleared up in the grassed areas they will have to pay for a new employee on a permanent basis seven days a week to keep on top of the job. They also say that they are using double the chlorine blocks in the skimmers to keep the needle out of the red on the filters.’
‘Three gardeners have left and have gone to construction jobs in phase five talking of phase five did you read they have permission for another five hundred homes and another two employees have got their cement mixer lorry driving qualifications. They were all offered pay increases but the cleaning company were unable to convince any of them to stay even though the jobs they were leaving for paid less and the young Spanish girl who did the cleaning in block four she has left. But rumour has it she was sacked because she refused to clear up the vomit in the lift and clean the pool toilets during July and August.’
More claims for the flooded storerooms in the underground car park after all the rain the other week. This one is going to keep happening until we have the money to repair the emergency sump pumps that have never worked since day one.’
‘What about the developer?’
‘Go on I will give you another three guesses?’
‘You are joking?’
‘It will take you a few years to get used to the system here. First you ask, then you wait, then you ask again, then you tell the administrator to start court proceedings, then you get a new administrator who knows nothing about the problem. The next option is to try the community insurance or your house insurance policy. Then you get a report done then you eventually get the developer and constructor to admit the problem has always been their responsibility then the constructor goes bankrupt! Then you get a new President elected.
‘What are you two up to?’
‘Woo-hoo! We are off to the Costa Del Sol we sold last month and should sign at the notary in a few weeks.’
‘You were lucky who did you sell too?’
‘The Smiths loved our place it was twenty thousand euros cheaper than the Lopez’s place we did them a private sale no commission you see.’
Then meeting suddenly falls silent. Someone mutters under their breath ‘Hold up, look who has arrived.’
With much holding up of crooked little fingers and mutterings like ‘that pool water was cold earlier in the year.’
‘I’ve seen that blonde bird who was in the pool hanging around the roundabout.’
‘The Russians are coming.’
‘Did you see his breast stroke?’
‘What a funny style of diving, nudge, nudge.’
‘The noises they made it was like a seal slapping it’s flippers for fish.’
‘Eukk! You should have thrown them those out of date boquerones at them.’
One owner grins broadly gesturing with extended arms fully gripping his hands repeatedly as though testing two melons for firmness.
Gerry and Martin have turned up after all, and sit down with their wives who start starring daggers at the President. Apparently they had been told of his rumour mongering about Gerry and his friends while they came out to play golf.
‘He is such a swine he offered me and Shauna a hot dog at his barbeque I never liked his smile it’s more like a leer. Have you noticed he is always looking down our tops when he passes you food or a drink. Gerry is right you cannot trust him or anything he say’s.’
Martin chewed nervously on a fingernail his face was now glowing crimson a rash formed around his neck his curly hair is almost straight with the sweat which was now soaking the back of his shirt. Gerry’s legs were doing an uncontrollable jig his right eye was twitching and his sunglasses tilted to one side as he feverishly scratched his brow and impulsively bit his lip. Occasionally taking the odd swig of poteen from his carrier bag.
Looking around him at his accusers with his best poker face Gerry’s mood changes his eyes were now on stalks with anger his beard bristled because of the static built up from his nylon shorts during his involuntary jig his fists clenched he rose to his full height from the chair pulling his shorts up and his shoulders back with his neck jerking in a backwards and forwards motion.
‘For Christ’s sake Gerry’ Shauna yell’s at him ‘put it away.’
Two teenage girls giggle to each other. ‘Go to www.pequenopene.com,’ one whispers to the other, who now has her eyes covered by her mums hands.
Gerry’s hairy crown jewels are on display from the leg of his high cut shorts.
Anyway all the pleasantries and introductions have all been done. ‘Has everyone got some food and a drink and a copy of the accounts and the forthcoming budget and the agenda for this meeting ?’ The president tries to make himself heard over the noisy conversations.
‘Hold on Mr President point of order we have some people who are here are not owners. Look those two are on holiday and those four in the corner eating all the barbeque chicken. Have they scoffed all the prawns already? The two over there are long lets and at least ten of the Spanish in the corner with Senor Lopez are relatives of his that are not owners and I do believe that Martin has not paid his fee’s again, so he cannot have a vote. And who’s that?’
‘Madam who are you? are you an owner here?’
‘Well I represent several owners who have said I can use their proxy vote.’
‘I see have you presented the signed forms before the meeting to the secretary and on which issues on the agenda you have the specific proxy votes for?’
‘Uh! What specific proxy votes? Look here! My husbands property management company which provides bookings for rentals short and long term and also provides a meet and greet service along with cleaning and key holding for many clients in this development at very reasonable rates. In addition we can also water your plants while you are away at a very low cost of one euro a day. We can also offer property sales with our new low commissions of well under fifteen percent plus IVA. I am sure my input will be of great advantage.
We also have on offer this week some fantastic frontline plots in Thailand you can double your investment in no time they are great value Dave has put a deposit on four. Ask him he has been over and seen the site I have some brochures here to hand out.’
‘I am afraid you will have to leave just a minute I remember you I had to throw you out of number twelve last year for having those swingers parties in the Lopez’s villa.’
‘That’s it! I used to be in a union you will not get away with this. Ronnie is going to be very, very, upset, his brother Reggie is a client as well he said there are changes going to made around here especially the need for all the properties to have lovely blue awnings like his ones.’
‘Yes what is it? Yes you at the back. Susana could you interpret for me no habla Espanol.’
‘It’s her complaint about the noisy neighbours upstairs from the roller skating and high heels clomping up and down. Why has the noise not been stopped.’
‘Right tell her I will see her after the meeting and that the denuncia is with the judge he still has a problem with the injunction due to the five children. He should give a ruling soon.’
‘She says that she will lose her job because she cannot sleep due to the music all night just a minute. She is also compaining about the furniture being moved around all night as well.’
‘Ok tell her that the administrator has followed this up and I will talk to her after the meeting. I must ask everybody to follow the agenda I will discuss this and other business once we have progressed some more with the forthcoming budget and the items on the agenda’
‘She said you English pig.’
‘Oh! I forgot I must ask a certain owner he knows who he is to leave the meeting. The reason for this is when I asked his teenage daughter to get out of the pool because it was three in the morning and she had no costume on. Not only did she give me a mouthful of abuse her dad knows what I am on about he wanted to punch my lights out for looking at his daughter in the nude. Yes Shauna what is it? You have not got a daughter. What about a step daughter then? Is she blonde?’
With her eyes narrowed like tiny slits Shauna explodes. ‘What are you on about? You pervert what have you done with that missing underwear? Someone should tell the Guardia about what is on your computer. Have you declared the money you get for the airport runs and cleaning? Gerry has told us what’s been going on with you.’
‘D’oh!’ Cow, she paid to have a face lift to look like Jabba the Hut this vilification was too much.
‘The first item is bad news for all of us the fees will have to go up again this year to cover the cost of a new pump for the pool we have had a few estimates and the best quote we could get was two thousand euros plus IVA all the engineers said it was due to people not taking a shower before going into the pool. The sludge built up on the working parts and that had caused the pump to overheat and that’s the reason why it kept breaking down this summer. We have included in the quote fifty new skimmer plates and outlet nozzles so we can replace the broken ones every week.’
‘I must remind everyone to extinguish their cigarettes we now have a no smoking rule this year for the AGM.’ Then the president heard it the slick whispering noise of the favourite weapon of the agitator. The ashtray it came whirring through the air towards the top table where he was sitting. Ducking swiftly and falling off the plastic chair the WMD was successfully avoided. Then with a sickening “thud” it hit the administrator on the head. Luckily she still remembered last years fracas and was still wearing her crash helmet.
Mavis faints whilst watching the administrator throw the ashtray back in the direction that it came from. She falls to the floor in a heap. Joe crosses himself and starts muttering the last rites over her as she slowly regains consciousness a rottweiler is licking her face and mouth trying to get at the bit of chicken from between her quivering lips she screams and faints again. The rottweiler cocks his leg and wee’s over Joe’s paperwork that is scattered over the floor.
‘We have still got a problem with the developer and constructor over who is going to do the repairs with the cracks in some apartments, and our old favourite the roads and street lighting.’
‘It’s been years now,’ someone bellows from the back.
‘I have only had a year to chase them up since I took over the Presidency it’s a problem that should have been sorted out by now and I know that but it is very difficult dealing with these people. Their lawyers keep passing the buck and I am hoping to get it resolved soon. It may, at the end of the day mean that those with the rain coming in through the cracks will have to have the work done privatly and then claim the money back from the developer or constructor.’
‘You are having a laugh’ someone spit’s in anger from the left.
‘There is only one alternative that I can offer and we will have to have a vote on it. We can have a slightly larger increase in the community fee’s to cover this work being done. We can have the estimates to include the repair work on the entrance gate and the holes in the perimeter fence and also the broken balustrade around the pool.’
‘What about the roads and the street lighting?’ a chorus from the right.
‘Have you got the money from the owners at number four to replace the plants and shrubs that the crowd of kids they brought out last half term stomped down and pulled up?’ Shrieks an old girl.
‘I have tried.’
‘It’s about time you stopped the dogs urinating and crapping everywhere that’s killing off more plants than the kids. Our portal stinks and is full of flies because of it. It’s a disgrace when our family comes over to see us it is horrible’ a tearful Mavis weeps uncontrollably.
‘You sad git.’ Dave barks out.
‘Do not talk to my wife like that I will have you.’ Yells a red faced Joe. ‘Stop parking your hire cars in my parking bay.’
‘The whole residence is filthy we need a new upkeep company.’ Someone gestures by spitting on the floor.
‘Its true’ shout the pension clique. ‘The swimming pool is never cleaned.’
‘Who is stealing the fire extinguishers if the place burns down we will have no insurance cover.’ somebody screams out.
‘Thank you for mentioning that.’ The President sighs.
A pointed wagging finger attracts his attention, Oh! Ohh! The Spanish in the front. ‘Mr. President we have not got cracks in our walls’ then stiffening upright from his chair Pedro’s arms drop to his sides and his eyes bulge out on stalks. ‘Why should we have to pay extra?’ A threatening fist shouts. Then he runs his finger gently across his Adam’s apple. Strange the president thought none of them here could speak English.
‘Well let me put it like this the owners of the ground floor apartments do not use the lifts but they still have to contribute through their fees to the maintenance of them. Also bear I mind that if the problem gets worse with the cracks they could end up affecting your apartment or the whole building.’
‘Get the developer to pay’ several of them yell in unison. ‘How much is it going to cost?’ Someone screams in a barbed tone from somewhere behind the five Moroccan sisters who are quietly sitting in their burqas wearing sunglasses. ‘Where is all the money from last year?’ Gloom is in the air.
‘Infidel dog I spit on you.’ Christ! Even the Moroccans are having a go, the orchestrated attack subsides.
‘What about the buildings insurance?’ Plea’s the waving hand from the back.
‘No luck, I am afraid the assessor wrote to the administrator about this and they dismissed any claim, as they in their judgment said it is all construction faults.’
‘Can I ask the President to stop being evasive?’ Joe politely asks whilst taking a puff from his inhaler.
‘I will look further into this and perhaps the administrator may get a response to the letters she has been sending to their lawyers.’
Jacques leaps to his feet raising his arm and pointing to the heavens. ‘That’s it no one is eating my wife’s delicious garlic snails that she spent all night cooking we are leaving.’
Tension was high, the mood was ugly the President slumped back into his plastic chair rubbing his back then out of the corner of his eye a blur of something else heading through the air towards the table a dark shadow was heading straight for him. To late an alien incubus catches him around his face and head.
‘Argh!!’ With arms whizzing round like helicopter rotor blades he has trouble catching his breath as he tries to remove the creature from his face gasping for air he scrapes the putrid sticky mess away a lucky shot it was one of Timmy’s used huggies. His mum had come to the meeting armed to the teeth with a cool box full of used diapers to use as ammunition. Kicking out and screaming obscenities some owners drag her from the meeting.
They have no respect he thought squinting at the dent in the administrators crash helmet whilst wiping his face with a napkin. Choking back the vomit that wanted to erupt from his mouth it was hard to control the feeling of nausea that was beginning to overwhelm him. Their faces registered extraordinary hate savage urges were welling up in the audience.
Why did I take on this thankless task he asked himself? Dad always told me bless him never, never ever volunteer or put your hand up for anything that you are not being paid handsomely for.
Scanning around the hushed room was there any point asking who threw the ashtray. Sometimes you cannot put your finger on it but his gaze fixed on Dave there was something particularly nasty about him smirking through clenched teeth he was winking to the knuckle scrapper next to him there was no doubt about it he was gleefully anticipating a revolt.
Look at him the lickspittle, what on earth endeared anyone to him was it his toothy grin? Or perhaps that curled lip that looked like a smiling snarl? His flaking sunburnt shaved skin head or the six, six, six tattoo on his crown was it a tattoo? Was he the spawn of Satan? No, he would have had him adopted. Maybe it is his jug ears or those flared nostrils that seemed to snort like a bull when he growled at you. It was Dave for sure that had thrown the ashtray. I will propose him for President. It’s his destiny revenge will be mine the President thought to himself the pond life will stick their hands up like a shot when I put his name forward. He had become a cult figure among his disciples.
Yes, first the hands then the problems then the suffering and the increased community charge. Let them descend on him like vultures at next years meeting. He felt a sudden uncontrollable urge to laugh at his plot making him gulp back another semi eruption rising in his throat.
Herman’s voice booms out. ‘Who keeps throwing our towels in the pool?’
Happy Dave sits back in his chair and blows smoke rings in the air. One of his accomplices is gesturing with one hand on his hip and the other at an angle similar to a teapot whilst muttering “chase me” he waddles around like a demented loon.
Curious the President thought to himself their mouths are moving but I cannot hear a word. Then whilst starring with unseeing eyes looking beyond the mob the mountains looked peaceful. The purple clouds adorning the sky with a beautiful sunset beckoning the evening on. The palm tree’s were gently swaying and rustling in the cool Mediterranean breeze and the scent of jasmine was filling the air and a vision of a cold beer calling from the fridge melting into another vision of Dave no all of them impaled on stakes all the way from the entrance gates to the pool the gloom began to rise from the Presidents furrowed brow.
Someone shouts, ‘look the man is mad, completely mad!’
‘He is speaking in tongues the Moroccans cry in unison’ interrupting the presidents dream like state.
Recovering quickly the President blurts out ‘I propose Dave for the new President.’ Hail the new Generalissimo he thought to himself.
Saliva dripped from the corner of Dave’s mouth in drooling anticipation.
The silence was deafening I could hear my heartbeat thumping in my ears.
‘Noooo! Do not leave us?’ Sheepish whimpering from the side.
‘My mind is made up it has become quite clear to me that my efforts to bring this community further forward have had no support.’
‘Please stay? No one else wants to do the job’ goes through one ear and out the other.
Pursing his lips his head nodded up and down the tears welled up in happy Dave’s eyes at his election. His two carat zircona ear stud glinted in the sunlight as he surveyed his audience.
Sobbing uncontrollably the tears welled up in our eyes. Costa del Sol here we come.
The messiah’s obsequious follower’s chant. ‘Eezee! Eezee!Eezee!C’mon!C’mon!’ C’mon!’
Joe eyes roll back. He looks skywards as he pirouettes and then faints alongside Mavis.
‘Peace be upon him,’ the sisters start wailing.
‘Just a moment’ the administrator interrupts the circus. ‘David is not up to date with his community fee payments he has not paid for the last six months.’
‘No problem’ the outgoing President shouts to the rabble. ‘How much I will settle his account in cash right now for him.’
The new autocracy begins!
Remember any problems go tell the President if he is not available the vice Presidents phone number is on the notice board. Also be aware the President and vice Presidents annual holidays are during the months of July and August.
The Hitleresk Development
‘Guten harben Herr President or Mein Fuhrer. We have been living here a few months now and would like to ask you some questions.’
‘Why are the community fees here so low? Why is it so quiet? Why are the prices of the properties here so high? Why are there no re-sales here? How come you can have a sunbathe and an enjoyable swim? Do you get beaten or tortured if you break any rules? I think we know the answer it’s like that film the Stepford Wives.’
‘Well it’s hard to say it’s always been like this.’
Well all these observations have been passed on for your first warning. Always ask to see the minute’s book from AGM’s & EGM’s before you purchase. Look at the budget does the community have huge debts and many non-payers?
If it’s an off- plan development the first AGM is the most important one for you to attend, do not put your hand up for being President if you suffer from high blood pressure or any health problems unless of course you are mad.
Comments imported from my previous weblog host.
June 30, 2008
Chuckle, chuckle. I dread to think how long it must have taken to produce this:
July 01, 2008
It’s like my life!!! Truely, it is !!
Kevin Davies says:
02 July 2008 00:56
very entertaining, and not too far from reality.
06 July 2008 11:44
A Brilliant taste of reallity.. But why do we do it, coz it’s sunny!!
tommy r says:
16 July 2008 23:51
Absolutely fantastic article every word so true. I could relate to everything written here as the president of a large complex. Well done.
19 July 2008 16:02
What can I say, a great blog, must have lots of time on your hands…..!
Mike Coleman says:
20 July 2008
This is so true, I was the President for 3 years for a complex of 80 houses and it is very hard work. I left Spain and moved to Thailand, the houses are cheaper, they are Detached, most people live here, (not Holiday homes or rented out). everybody is much more layed back and here to enjoy them selves.
21 July 2008 11:48
Brill brill brill what more can us expats say……
10 August 2008 10:24
Fantastico! Here’s a very observant man on the edge. I can recommend a good therapist although he has moved from the Costa del Sol to an extremely remote spot he insists on keeping a secret!
15 May 2009 14:29
Absolutely brilliant! I thought Peter Cook was dead…