Nice of them to invite us. Today we were to be tourists with Dr Gethin's party. In the three years of our stay here we have been to Las Canadas only twice before. "Beware the demon who lives in the mouth of Teide, for it snatches at the vulnerable and dominates them until they become psychotic and have to be sectioned under the 1959 Mental Health Act." A jokey thing, for there are a few superstitious people here who still believe in the demon. If you are touched by him you go mad. It wasn't the poor old lady with a live goose in a basket, it was other people who saw but could attach no meaning to her behaviour who were so badly affected. It was weeks ago but it brought fears that are still spoken of.
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"Really! What is the name of this demon?"
"Guayota. It lives in the mouth of Teide so don't look over the edge."
"Ah yes, Guayota. I am Catholic. I too know something of Canarian history. I've read the work of Father Pierre Bontier and Father Espinosa before he left these Islands and went to work among the natives of Santa Catalina in America."
"Sorry, but we must stay because we have a surprise let coming in. Wrap up warm. It's bloody cold up there. And take a hat - so who wears a hat these days apart from bishops, policemen and firepeople? But take one anyway."
Angela has a family of four she can't manage - and can we do something? Yes, we can. Lizzie suggests Paloma Beach 2 which has been empty for weeks and probably hosts a few creepies by now, but Rod and Carol will be pleased. However, what's all this about a mobile home? They live in a mobile home? They drove all the way here - so why do they want an apartment? To convey the inexplicable we exchange the Spanish double shrug. So now we must do our cockroach patrol, check cupboards and kettle - they love to get into kettles - the two single beds, open the bed-settee (chase and destroy), put water bottles in the fridge, clean towels and toilet rolls in the bathroom, mop all through including the veranda, check the lights, cobwebs from corners - thank God I did the ironing! It will take us at least two and a half hours full stretch. Meanwhile, two floors down, the family are sitting round the pool.
"Alan - they don't have cases, just backpacks!"
"Not like Angela to send rubbish. I'll go down."
Their restrained comportment puts them above the vagrant level. Not a guitar or loose package anywhere. They must have found me a touch unwelcoming.
"Oh, I see! A yacht is a mobile home. Well right!" A nod and a smile brings the meeting to order. Sweetpea 3 is in for repairs to her rudder mountings. The family want a rental for about four weeks.