British ex-pats who have emigrated to the Spanish Costas to start a new life in the sun are basically deluding themselves, claim the friends they leave behind.
“My mate Keith and his missus emigrated to Torremolinos last year to follow their dream of running a tacky, unhygienic cafe on the beach front”, says Bob, 58, from Wigan. “He’s been e-mailing to tell me that Sheila’s still bitching at him about her sister’s dickhead boyfriend, and how they row every day about who’s going to wipe the crusty ketchup off the laminated menus. They’re getting divorced now. Seems the Spanish sunshine hasn’t cured them of being miserable bastards after all.”
With the beach resorts full of British bank robbers and wealthy fraudsters on the run from Interpol, making new friends can be difficult, say ex-pats. “Our next-door neighbours seemed lovely”, says Pete, from Sunderland, now living in Alicante. “The husband even helped me fix our patio doors. But we knew something wasn’t quite right about him when a helicopter appeared overhead in the middle of the night and shone a searchlight straight onto their house. Then when we noticed the snipers on the building opposite I said to my wife not to bother asking them for our lawnmower back.” The couple are planning to return to Sunderland. “We don’t trust anyone around here. And it rained every day last week.”
Eddie and Jill have decided to move back to Blackpool. “The grey skies of Blackpool were making us really depressed, so we decided to move to Marbella for a permanent dose of sun, sea and sand”, explains Eddie. “But it turns out that the nicer weather hasn’t cured my depression, or Jill’s. Incredibly our marriage might be in trouble for reasons other than the weather. Besides which, it’s all poncey tapas bars and Michelin starred restaurants out here. Not for us, thank you. We’d rather have a glass of Lambrini and a Ginster’s.”