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Thursday, 8 January 2009


Whilst back in the homeland I asked my dad what his neighbours were like now that they live in rural England. He knows all about mine and told me that life down in Dorset is not without its perils. His recently deceased neighbour to the left was Roger the 'raving nutter' who every now and then or rather at any given opportunity would be found behind you like a creeping Jesus armed with his leaf blower. Leaf blowing was his hobby and he would be at it all day with breaks in between where he would sidle up to various folk and tell them not to 'fucking well park here ever again' and worse. He came round my parents with a courtesy letter from the council telling him of my dad's proposal to have a fence put up and insisted the letter was about him and his garden and fence and that he didn't want a fence and wouldn't leave my parents' house till they had to lie and say that yes they agreed that he shouldn't have a fence put up. Behind them is a lovely thatched cottage, the kind that makes you feel all safe and cosy but is inhabited by another fruitcake who somehow managed to purloin part of my old man's garden by digging a trench when he wasn't looking. The previous owners didn't speak for twenty five years due to another land dispute. It makes my effing bleeder and his esposa next door seem like lightweights when I have to listen to them arguing for the third time each and every day.

I don't think I own a pair of shoes that don't squeak, croak or caw. Shoes that were fine in England start rasping and bleating as soon as they hit the Spanish sod. I've even had shoes which not content with the left one making a racket, the right comes out in sympathy. A recently bought pair I have discovered make quite a noise as each heel clomps up and down the alleyways and passageways of our town and like the others draw quite a lot of irate looks from the townsfolk. I think I have imported a new sound that people are not used to or maybe it is just competition.

I'm missing a book which I realised I have left behind at my mother's. The Innkeeper's Diary by John Fothergill. It was an appropriate book and reminded me a bit of The Green Man and I felt transported back to an England long gone. I also left behind the Aubreyesque print and a Mrs Beeton cookbook. The stuffed (sic) butterfly didn't even get a mention as we passed through Stansted's security and took up most of my energy trying to get it back through the hustle and bustle of Spain in one piece.

Now I am back I definitely don't miss the British press and its headlines. I found it difficult to get through the day without getting depressed. Henderson told me not to be so glib when I noticed one day while standing in the Co-Op that I had all the tabloids and so called broadsheets screaming a choice between Gaza, Gazza and Gas.

I've just edited this for the second time as I noticed so many errors. I don't understand why the spell check never works and I am not going to edit again.

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