Living the dream for a few days (and forgetting about bills)

It’s the Bank Holiday Monday and if I told you it is 25 degrees, and I’m lying out in the sun, I know you’d think to yourself that the drink has finally got me. However, when I tell you that Carol and myself are on our (almost) annual visit to Cabo Roig on the Costa Blanca on the eastern side of Spain, you will realise that I’m not totally delusional and at least for these few days, I’m living the dream.

  Just a week ago, we flew into Murcia Airport, which is Spain’s equivalent of Knock, got through in about 10 minutes, were met by our friend and neighbour, Terry Hampson, and before we knew it we were installed in our holiday house and ready for a few welcome days’ away from the weather, work and the ever-increasing number of bills that make their way into the letter box. I know the bills will still be there when we get back, but at least this week we can pretend they don’t exist.

  Talking of bills and the cost of living, like everyone else who comes over here, we can’t get over the value you can get when it comes to eating out. In most places you will get a good three-course meal for €10, while I’ve told you before about the amazing Wok, where you can have as many starters, main courses and desserts as you can eat, all for the princely sum of €8.95. Children up to three are free, while those up to 5 are €5.95 – signs are on, to see so many families eating there.

  On the entertainment side, golf tours are huge in this area and every year we run into large numbers of (mostly) men from all over the country who get away for a few days to play the many top class golf courses that are all over the place.

  Needless to say the pub has a big part to play in a place like Cabo Roig, and in the years that we’ve been coming here, we’ve seen a large number come and go. However, the one constant has been the Bog Road, owned by the O’Shea family from the Waterford/Tipperary border, which is always full, always lively and always where you will meet everyone from home. However, in the last couple of years, a big affable Corkman, Niall O’Riordan, has opened O’Riordan’s bar and it has fairly caught on too.

  The staff are so friendly and the governor himself is an example to us all as to how a businessman should behave. Everyone is met with a big handshake and a friendly word and even if it’s your first time, you feel as if you’ve known him all your life.

  I have to say that both places are a credit to their respective family owners and if you ever lay your head down in Cabo Roig, you will enjoy your visits to either of those excellent pubs.

  I said earlier that being out here is living the dream and as a fellow gets older and longs for the day of retirement (that sadly will never come), I would often allow myself to dream about living in Spain and having the benefit of the never-ending days of sunshine. And yet there’s something about the auld sod that would always draw you home – and so my ideal world would have me spend from November to March in Spain and the rest of the time back in the Emerald Isle, when I’d be home for the All-Ireland championships!

Blessing in disguise for Roscommon?

Talking of the championships (as I do elsewhere in this week’s column), and it seems the Rossies must have had a rocky trip to the Big Apple.

  Sometimes an early, unexpected shock can be a blessing in disguise and this may well prove to be the best thing that could have happened to the league semi-finalists.

  I missed the hurling league final but apparently it was a cracker and the replay should be another great occasion. 

Connacht’s big game

Surely the visit of Glasgow to Galway next Saturday has to be one of the greatest sporting occasions ever in the Western capital. It’s one of those ‘winner takes all’ occasions. In relation to getting a home semi-final, it makes it a must-see match.

  On the day after (as I write) Leicester City have won the English Premiership, let’s hope Connacht can carry on their fairytale season as well and clinch that home semi-final. What an occasion that would be!

  My daughter, Lisa, has a ticket to the Glasgow match (I’m jealous), but I’ll have to make do with watching it in O’Riordan’s – could be worse.

From Cork to Costa Blanca

Finally, for this week, at Christmas, one of the presents we got was a Nathan Carter DVD – ‘Live at the Marquee in Cork’ – and four months later (have no DVD player at home), we watched it here in Cabo Roig and I have to say I really enjoyed it.

  He’s the new superstar of Irish country music and anything he gets he definitely deserves. Took me a long time to look at it, but it sure was worth it.

Till next week, bye for now