Sunday, 4 March 2012

Feliz Año Nuevo: parte dos

A head rests on the hotel bar.

Sevillanos looking for a drink
Hope? Despair? Relief?

The only sniff we'd had of a drink since dinner was bottles of wine sold in a bocadillo shop near Plaza Nueva. For this there was a queue round the block.

It was relief. Two-fold relief. When we saw that the bar was open the BH gave voice to what we were both feeling. "Thank fuck! I don't care what it costs. A bottle of Rioja please." The barman, startled by this Celtic outburst, needed some help translating this. Relief dropped the head to the bar when it only set us back €14.50. It was a touch dry. Crianza, so what can you expect?

Safe in the knowledge that we would at least be somewhere for the 12 bells we started to take in our surroundings a little better.

Despite the many miles trodden by these ol' feet I've not actually spent much time in hotel bars. Although new years eve and fairly late the bar was far from full.

Quiet though it was not. Thumping, dreadful, loud, Europop was disgorging from the speakers. The place was called the piano bar. There was a white grand piano in the corner. A folded piece of A4 rested on the keys asking no one to play it. One can only presume it was out of tune.

We decamped to a hall type area that was next to the bar. The music was not so loud here and a television had been set up for those who wished to watch the Spanish new year show.

Currently this was myself and my BH. New year's television in Spain appears to consist of a live music show which bears a resemblance to Eurovision. It is presented by an extremely friendly woman (she smiles a lot so she must be friendly) who changed her outfit after every song. At first this stuck me as a miraculous act of re-habiliment. After about the first half dozen changes I came up with the theory that she probably had a sound proof dressing room and the more time in there the better.

The hotel had organised a new year party for guests who had nowhere else to go. When we learnt of this we scoffed that it was unlikely to be the sort of event such cultured types as us attended. Now we were starting to worry that we might have missed out on the best the evening could have offered us.

As we were now about 20 minutes away from the year of London's Olympic glory this party should have been in full swing. We therefore thought we'd stick our head in and see what our snobbishness had caused us to miss out on.

Peeking through the open door of the party revealed about 20 tables with about four to six people sat around each one. Some had party hats on. Some did not. Some had smiles on their faces. Some did not. There appeared to be no correlation between party hats and smiles.

The BH utter the most complete two word description I've ever heard.

"Bad wedding."

We had not long retired back to our comfy sofa in front of the tele to admire the presenters latest dress when we both suddenly checked our watches. Not an unusual thing to do on new years eve, I grant you, but it was triggered by a most unexpected event.

Everybody left the party. Everybody. It was clearly not a nice day for a bad wedding.

What was going on? A mass walk out of revellers? Striking merrymakers? No.

It seems the metaphorical bride and groom were due to leave at ten to midnight and the party was over.

Their polythene partybags had not appeared to cheer them up. Not much anyway.

Everyone now preceded pick up a glass of cava from the (non) piano bar and drag chairs in front of the tele. Presumably so that they could see what the nice lady on the tele was going to be wearing at midnight.

At least the Europop had been removed from the bar's stereo to be replaced by more televisions. Some sort of improvement anyway.

The time came and grapes were eaten (in the Spanish style). Children who really should have been in bed went a bit mental, stuff happened on the tele and whatever the star had on couldn't have been that memorable because I don't have even the faintest recollection of it. But I'm sure it was interesting.

With so many people now in the bar it at least felt like a party. Though the chap in the kilt looked like he felt hogmanay was one time when Dundee had something over Seville.

Our televisual host seemed to have run out of dress changes so she wasn't allowed to be on tele any more.

Was slightly surprised by what replaced her on the box. It was a tour through the pop music history of different European nations. So no sooner had the new year's show ended that we were greeted by Sir Cliff's toothy grin belting out 'Congratulations' followed by Sandie Shaw's 'Those were the days'.

Things were looking up. They'd even run out of the dry wine and started selling us one even nicer.

There were some famous acts on the TV now but not always performing their biggest hits.

So to a background of 'Johnny and Mary' by Robert Palmer and Dire Straits' massive 'Tunnel of Love' we settled down to an evening of people watching. By that I mean sneakily making rude comments about our fellow guests.

It was excellent.

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