Going back to Ibiza is always an experience for Family Contomichalos, we hadn’t been for two years and we were yearning for a bit of Balearic life. My husband and I have been going since our 20’s and we all suffered withdrawal symptoms last year so this summer, we headed back there (fully insured, money in the bank, children bribed to the max and trusting us yet again to take them out of the country!).
I was feeling quite nostalgic and relieved that nothing really changes in our village. It was perfect, except for the 80’s soundtrack in the local restaurant. I think that I would like that to move on – just a bit. I mean really, Rod Stewart and Boy George don’t really scream Balearic beat and cool vibes do they…it’s not exactly Cafe Del Mar!?
As I sat at Paco’s, with my little family, I started to reminisce about previous years, remembering a time when Pav was a little three year old just like Ant. ‘Ahh’…I thought to myself….then it suddenly came back to me. I felt a bit hot and prickly, cringing and shrinking in my chair….I remembered the time he argued with his sister Chelsey and flicked some spaghetti at her. Only, it didn’t reach her! It went well beyond our table and landed like a sort of Jackson Pollack painting all down the back of an immaculate white shirt worn by a very smart French man. My husband didn’t know what to do, so he had stood up immediately and started sort of beating the man’s back with his napkin trying to get the sauce and spaghetti off without smudging it!The French man had turned round thinking he was under attack and I was saying in my very bad French ‘can I take your shirt and wash it for you?’ to which he replied ‘I have my own wife to do that for me’…he was really baffled by this English couple, one was whipping him and one begging to wash for him – eventually someone explained it to him. Pavlos apologised and we left….quickly. Oh dear, I thought as I looked at the 14 year old sitting opposite me – I hope they don’t remember him.
Anyway! We had a good holiday, and just when I was thinking things couldn’t get better, we decided to take Pav and Joe on the banana boat. Joseph is not like Pav (who leaps and then looks!). Joe didn’t want to go on an inflatable that gets hauled around at top speed, but after much persuasion and bribery from older bro’ Pav, Joe agreed. Trussed up in life jackets, and Joe in his NX Sport Swim Shorts (made from elastane to ensure they don’t get pulled off with the G force!), the boys straddled the banana boat and waved for the camera – off they went at top speed!
Far out to sea until they were just little specks, we laughed with the parents of the other children on the banana that we couldn’t see them at all but after a few more tumbles, we realised that their go was over and they were coming back. I was pointing out to sea and showing Ant were Pav and Joe were, ’Look Ant. See those four little black dots on the yellow boat? That’s Pav and Joe and the other kids! I was waving and whistling….then it hit me. I started sweating….hold on…those four little dots…where the hell is the fifth little dot?? I turned to my husband grinning madly so that I didn’t panic the other parents….’there are four little dots? Where is the fifth? How many little dots should there be? Oh my god they’ve lost someone? ‘.
My husband counted and looked at me calmly and said ‘don’t panic but there should be five of them’. ‘DON’T PANIC? THERE IS A CHILD MISSING AT SEA?!’ I shouted. The other parents began to count and then became hysterical like me. They were getting closer to shore, Pavlos beaming and waving, oblivious to the fact that , yes, Joe was missing….By now I’d become totally speechless (not a bad thing) I was sort of signing to the Spanish woman, who was finding it hard to understand, and probably thought I’d just drunk too much Sangria. Whilst the other parents hugged their children, as if they were Titanic survivors (and were a bit ‘unlucky, rather yours than mine mate’ to me). My husband, calmly explained (shouted really loudly), that our child was lost at sea and said some other stuff (which I know is really rude Spanish) and jumped in the boat so that they could go searching for Joe.
Pavlos blamed himself for not keeping an eye on his little brother, whilst I cried into Ant’s hair (I know, really great in a crisis). Whilst we were all sobbing, we heard the boat coming back, and standing up was Joe, waving and grinning. ‘Mum!’ he shouted, ‘That was awesome! It’s so cool that they do that thing and make you think they’ve left you behind!!’ he was shouting. With audible sighs of relief we decided not to tell him the truth….but if I am honest, we stayed by the pool for the last two days!