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Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Finding myself in a smoky bar that goes by the name 27, not just in the middle of nowhere but the middle of the middle of nowhere, surrounded by Spanish men of various shapes and sizes but all jumping and screaming at the television because Zaragoza were playing against what I presumed, not being a big football fan, were Everton, I realised I had finally integrated and no one could accuse me otherwise. Why even the landlady told me she was 'better thank you and isn't it getting cold?' and 'sorry', but she had 'to put the washing on'. After the first four glasses of wine the football began to look the same but I did learn Everton is a player and the opposing team were Xerez or I suppose Jerez which is sherry to you and me.

So our trip to the mountains was once again a good move but we both feel it should be permanent but realise in an ideal world we would like to be able to say 'adios' to either the 'Big City' or the village if either started to get our backs up. The worst scenario would be if we were stuck with a bunch of villagers brandishing anything aflame and having no place to run. At least in the 'Big City' we can get on a bus. Nevertheless, there is a pleasure in the relaxed, unassuming, self deprecating way of life we end up leading every time we go there. I particularly enjoyed the bit with the vermouth whetting my appetite before the lunch which never fails to please. A Michelin star restaurant where the owner prefers not to display the plaque outside for fear she may one day not deliver.

For once there was little noise but I always seem to have an ear cocked and I did wonder at five in the morning if they kept an elephant upstairs. It reminded me of my stay in the hospital when every night someone seemed to be moving the furniture around, namely the bed and stomping dramatically. I later found out the seventh floor is the psychiatric ward.

My cards to Ricky in London have been going AWOL and I am worried he might have my old postie who used to bury the post in his back garden on account of his alcohilism which now looks appropriate as a new word, that of being an alcoholic and nihilistic. Our postie here or posties have been, so far, wonderful, even coming up to me in bars and asking me where they should leave such things as my London Review of Books etc as they don't fit in the letter box. We had to have a special letter box made, by Henderson, as the effing bleeder next door was stealing the post and then announcing it was him whilst travelling in the community lift by telling everyone how he didn't have to pay his mortgage but he could see we still had too. Much of him at a later date as there is only so much time in the world.

Sometimes there is no time to write as one is to busy living it. 'It' being life. Sometimes there is only so much time to explain to a seven year old that the word pink is not pronounced the same as pig. In the end it is better to get them to play the machine game. This can be played in any language and provides hours of fun especially for the long suffering parnet (as they shall now be known) or teacher. Just ask them to imagine they are a machine. I don't know, but the best one was a fridge and the winners that day were six seven year olds where four held hands and the other had to open the 'door' revealing the sixth inside shivering.

Talking of pronunciation, I am worried that some Spanish English teachers are dictating in English as part of their students' lesson. Maybe this explains why nobody understands me when I say pig or pink. This is often the excuse, that the native is not talking 'properly' or saying the words in the way they are supposed to be said.

I asked Henderson his views on American English while he was showering. All I got were the words oxymoron, pigeon, George Bush and the electric chair.

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