It wasn’t an ordinary chair, and yet it was. Blue and green, cobbled together from seemingly random lengths of wood – jetsam or flotsam, who knows? Bishop’s seat or a Macintosh masterpiece, or perhaps the creation of the beach bar owner – Chirinquitos they call them round here. I had read that the owner was South African, journeyed from the southern tip of the mysterious continent and landed only just into Europe. I met him only as we left to pay-great manly paw reaching out to wish me well and hope to be back again, the smile on his face enough for the whole of the beach. It was an instant and personal connection. People leave their homeland the many reasons. Had he escaped, years ago, from the oppressed oppressive apartheid regime; was he a romantic voyager moving from place to place in search of adventure, excitement and maybe something deeper? The twinkle in his eye and the warmth with which he greeted this passing customer suggested peace, they carried the energy of the man who knows himself and is comfortably his skin. I choose to imagine that somewhere on his travels he met an Andalucian beauty and chose to settle with her on this sunkissed Mediterranean bench. The edge of Europe, his home continent within sight, almost within touch.
And the chair, well it was just a chair one among many an eclectic mix of old and new, hand and factory made, barely two matching yet all of them so appropriate for this beach bar. A place so full of life that I can feel it now. The most battered, the least swish, of the few that I’ve seen somehow had the most attraction. And after sitting drinking for an hour I could feel the life blood seeping back into me. I could spend hours, days even, just sitting in this world of battered reed umbrellas just being.
The blue and green chair my new companion, nothing fancy just honest.