I had to take Spot for a walk.

It had become so big I could almost put a lead on it.

‘Oh querida!’ exclaims the pharmacist. ‘Que terrible!’

‘Yes, it is terrible,’ I reply.

‘What is it?’

‘I’d rather hoped you might be able to tell me that,’ I say in broken Spanish.

‘Have you had it before?’ She asks, now flanked by her two junior colleagues, drawn from the depths of the drugs’ emporium by the alarm in her voice. There can’t be much excitement  – other than COVID – in town these days, so an unexplained spot draws a crowd of pharmacy assistants in the manner the Roswell Incident attracted those who believed in UFOs.

‘Yes, I think so. Last summer I think.’

‘And what happened then?’

‘My head exploded.’

This elicits looks of confusion. Have I grown a new head?

‘Surely not?’

‘No … I exaggerate,’ now regretful of my stroll down Sardony Lane. ‘You gave me something for it … I think. Anyway it got better.’

‘But what caused it?’

‘I don’t know,’ I reply, now slightly piqued by a lack of diagnosis.

‘Have you been bitten by something? Perhaps a mosquito?’

‘What … in early March?’ My frustration is now apparent.

‘Well perhaps,’ she replies, defensively. ‘It happens.’

‘Does it?’ I ask. ‘It hasn’t stopped raining for the last two weeks. So it’s hardly the conditions mosquitos thrive on, is it?’

‘They thrive in the tropics senor … in the rainforests where it is always wet.’

‘Yes, but this is Marbella, not the tropics.’ But I’m still strolling down Sardony Lane. I can’t help myself … I seldom can: ‘I know! Perhaps a mosquito caught the ferry from Tangier on a mission to destroy my good looks.’ This is greeted with stony silence and three pairs of questioning eyes. ‘And then perhaps it caught the ferry home again? Mission accomplished. Maybe a plan?’

The pharmacist shakes her head and shrugs in a fashion similar to those with Gallic blood. The assistants sense the excitement is over and go back to counting pills.

‘Perhaps it will heal on its own?’

 ‘Come on, Spot … we’re going to the beach.’

‘Si … it’s stopped raining. Perhaps the sun will help your spot, senor.

I thank her and leave.

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