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Sunday, 16 November 2008


As Sunday draws to a close I realise I haven't done any of the things I promised Henderson I would do, like sort out the 'trastero', the room where everything you might need one day lies among the bottles of wine waiting to be drunk. A pile of cardboard boxes wait to be taken to the Santa Rosa school for young ladies and gentlemen in order for them to appreciate what I learned from Blue Peter but God knows what their parents will make of it. Maybe now that they realise the boom is probably over here in Spain and their children stop asking me why I wear the same jumper two days in a row they will be able to start using their imagination. Having an imagination and being genuinely creative is still not something that goes on here in many schools. The art of conversation as opposed to shouting and learning to enjoy silence need to go on the curriculum too.

Had lunch with Stephanie and we have decided that between her 'dispensa' , my 'trastero' and Mercedes' 'storeroom' we should be OK if the proverbial hits the fan. I'm starting to feel the chronic obsession with death stops a lot of people from enjoying life. I came here to get away from the perpetual anxiety I had in London about what if something awful happens on The Tube and what have you. I remember this got so bad my doctor, one Doctor Cheese sent me to have cognitive behavioural therapy which did pay off but only after Doctor Twitchin told me that even when anxiety escalates nothing can really happen unless you have the misfortune to be sitting next to a holy warrior.

Today I was delighted to get an e-mail from an old friend who lives in Portugal and like me pines for the motherland. The yin and yang of where to set up, set roots and where to go when you've had enough. Where to have your ashes thrown. I feel I have one foot planted in each country. When I talk to people back in Britain they are aghast when I tell them I quite often want to come home. They seem to think crime only occurs in Britain and Spain is such a simpler place to live. In the seven years we have been here I've lost count of the amount of times we have gone to the police as a community or to report vandalism to the car. It can't be the same clever bastard who spends his or her spare time kicking the wing mirrors off every car parked on Calle Torre Mendoza.

I saw our president today and asked him politely if he could replace a light bulb in the hallway. He told me that if I didn't tell him these things then how was he supposed to know if the light bulb had blown. When I asked him what was going to happen with the words 'Marcos I will kill you' on the front door he seemed to have quite a defeatist air but I might have misinterpreted it as a 'can't be bothered' attitude. We shall see. I am sure I have got the wrong end of.

I came home to find Henderson in his pinny cooking tagine and he also had managed to knock up a beef and ale pie although he confessed to putting Guinness in it. What with his Toad in the Hole planned for next Wednesday that is us pretty much sorted food wise for the week. This often induces a frisson of the fear type when the subject comes up round Mercedes' house. Her husband is very disappointed in Henderson for displaying such effeminate qualities. Our other neighbours, the effing bleeders as they are communally and for all I know locally known caught sight of Henderson one hot summer's day resplendent in vest and sarong. "Now we know what you are', the female of the species cried and continued to scream 'maricon' for a good ten minutes.

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