This little chapter provides a stark warning why you should never take your maid on holiday with you. No matter how much money you've spent lobotomizing the Maid, trying to tame her wild mood-swings by lacing her tea with Xanax or Valium, or teaching her deportment lessons, it's just an entirely fruitless exercise.
You see, I've been in sunny Portugal for the past three weeks and foolishly I brought Basil, the Maid, along for the trip.
Basil dyed her hair blonde for the trip. Basil likes the sun, she is one of those lucky British citizens who is as pale as a sheet of paper and because of this, she does not bother with suntan lotion, finds it insulting to her sensibilities to protect herself from the mega-watt sun and a painful death due to malignant melanoma. Her lily-white skin instead turns an unearthly shade of lobster in just a few hours and she stares at herself in the mirror like some delusional Helen of Troy. At the same moment, Basil enjoys drinking Red Bull. Her fingers are so pudgy she cannot operate the mechanism for opening the drinks can, instead she just bites the metal off and spits it on the sand. The other day I witnessed her opening an oyster by placing it between her legs and squeezing. Clearly, she is a girl of multifarious talents.
Basil, in her quick-dry St Tropez micro-bikini
To get to the point of this story, I was wallowing in the water off the beach near Troia and I realised something had inexplicably changed about the sea view. I had never noticed islands off this coastline, yet there they were. Two of them, about thirty metres away.
"I pooped in the sea" she bawled.
"You disgusting bitch!" I called back.
Tomorrow, I am planning revenge on her. It will be short, painful and sweet. Bringing her along on this trip has been like a re-enactment of The Taming of The Shrew.