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Saturday, 7 July 2018

I woke up from my siesta nursing a strange dream starring Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader. In the dream I was trying to persuade him that now was his chance and he was going to blow it. I'm not sure what I was trying to convince him of but at one point I picked him up by the scruff of the neck and shook him. He felt as light as a feather and I managed to throw him around a bit. It was truly awful, nightmarish, and I ended up somehow hospitalising him. He wouldn't grass me up for some reason but kept giving me evil looks as if to say I was in for it at some point. The nurse in charge was giving me his dietary instructions in Spanish and I was trying to hang onto her words as she read them out at top speed until she finally turned to me and spoke in English saying 'oh and he's rather partial to those Haribo Gummy Bears. Is there still no end to all this madness!

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Oh yes, other humiliating moments. The time I remarked on the man who was wearing a willy, (pajarito) round his neck, instead of a bow tie (pajarita). Oh how cute! How sweet! How charming you are! Replied the Spanish, when all I could think about was, 'yes, that's what they all thought about the rabbit in Monty Python's Holy Grail.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

We've all been there. The perils of learning another language. There's the usual feminine and masculine mix ups. When you find yourself asking for a 'polla', (prick), instead of a 'pollo', (chicken). Oh how they laughed at the local butcher's! Then there was that delicate, dyslexic situation at the furniture store. Ordering a wardrobe with cojones (bollocks) instead of cajones (drawers) and the shop assistant walking around laughing, holding an imaginary big pair between his legs and laughing 'si, pero, cojones eh!!' Then there is the disconcerting, bewildering, cruel, 'how do you say..?' moments when so called friends tell you how something is said and it is not until ten years later when the wife of the mayor of Montpelier looks at you during dinner and says ' I think you might like to know that the man you are describing on the other side of the table has sideburns and not bugger grips'.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

I had a quick look at the local rag and couldn't help reading my star sign. It said 'ahora no es el tiempo apropriado por excentricidades' which roughly translates as 'now is not the right time for any of your nuttiness!'

Sunday, 17 June 2018

It's Fathers' day today in the UK. Mr van de Ven and I agree that both our fathers were mysterious men, difficult to get to know. Perhaps, in my father's words, awkward bastards but we loved them and we believe they loved us in their peculiar way and ultimately, without them we wouldn't have found one another, and as this is an endgame I guess that is all that matters now. Spread love wherever you go.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

I forgot to say that I went back to the police station and on my way I armed myself with my best persuasive expletives just in case. When I got there policia told me my name wasn't on the appointment list. I could see it was but it was spelt with a hyphen so I told her that was the other ANN-MARIE, the one who inhabits higher spheres and realms and has the potential to be a godhead if she would only get her act together and the ANNMARIE in front of her was the lazy, earthy, sweary, anarchic one that has a tendency to channel the spirit of her ancestors scrappy ways and philosophise and kick off at the same time. She gave me a scorching look that would explain why the wheels of officialdom are constantly welded, referred to me as 'your worship', and gave me a form to fill in while she filled in my details on the computer with her cloven hooves. After more comings and goings and other things lacking in sense or meaning there was a complete change of atmosphere and character as she presented me with my official papers, the culmination of almost two years and 600 euros. There was a round of applause from the other immigrants and I left with Voltaire ringing in my head. 'All is for the best in the best of possible worlds'. The End.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

I got my 'certificado de concordancia' and went off to the police station to update my details. If you have any experience of Spanish bureaucracy you will know that it is often accompanied by a feeling of dread as you wonder what bullshit they will spring on you this time. The policia who dealt with me looked at both passports and told me that my name had been written ANNMARIE in one of them and ANN MARIE in the other so this threw a doubt as to whether I am actually the person in either. I said the equivalent of 'are you taking the piss?' which seems more persuasive in Spanish, something on the lines of 'are you touching my bollocks' which sounds even better when it is said by a woman whose got some.