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My dinner date with Jesus, Mary and Joseph

HOLA! Greetings from sunny Spain. I'm on a bit of a high this week having been awarded my diploma in beginner's Spanish.

Finally, I am beginning to feel less and less like a tourist and I'm enjoying chatting to people in shops and restaurants. I'm also becoming very used to waking up to blue skies and sunshine in the mornings and thinking of retiring here. Am I too young to retire? I've taken up golf so I'm halfway there. Now I just need to learn how to play bridge.

Even my son is beginning to say a few words in Spanish now when he's at the play centre. Children are brimming with confidence at the age of four (Gary's birthday was this week) and effortlessly mingle with strangers regardless of not understanding each other properly. We could learn a lot from them.

Roses

As adults, we are more wary of each other. It usually takes a few drinks to suddenly make friends with complete strangers when you're grown-up.

Funny, isn't it? So to help me celebrate my mini graduation, I persuaded my divine-looking personal trainer, Jesus, to hit the town with me.

Luckily he was more than enthusiastic and arrived at my home with a dozen red roses.

"Oh my goodness," I said, overwhelmed. 'You know me so well. I love them. And you're the only person to buy me a congratulations present."

"But these are for Valentine's Day," he answered, looking at me with those intense black eyes of his. I was stunned. I mean, deep down I always think I must have fancied Jesus from day one but I thought he mostly considered me as just a friend. For once in my life I didn't know what to say. So I quickly stuck the roses in a vase and put on my jacket. "Where are we going?"

He took me to a really cute little Spanish tapas bar in the mountains with stunning views over the vast Costa Del Sol. It had a wonderful atmosphere and was packed. As we were talking I heard an Irish couple having a conversation at the table next to us.

I got very excited at hearing Irish accents, as Irish people do when abroad for more than a week. "Where are you from?" I asked when Jesus had gone to the bathroom.

"We're from Dublin," the man answered. 'I'm Joseph McNulty and this is my wife, Mary."

We shook hands. They were a lovely, smiley couple.

Jesus returned. I introduced them. "Jesus, eh ... Mary and Joseph."

Anniversary

We all chatted easily. It turned out the couple were celebrating a wedding anniversary that night. They offered to buy myself and Jesus a drink.

"God, no, I wouldn't dream of it. I'll buy you a drink," I insisted. There was no way I was sticking these poor old pensioners.

They exchanged glances. 'We were going to order champagne, but..." "Seriously, it's on me. It's your wedding anniversary!" They both thanked me. I bought a bottle of champagne. And then another.

"Are you sure you don't mind?" Mary asked.

"Honestly, I don't. You're on holidays and it's your anniversary!"

"Actually, we live here," Joseph said.

"You do? Have you retired then?"

"Well no, we won the lottery."

WHAT!


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