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Saturday, 7 February 2009

NAME AND SHAME

As well as community meetings there are any number of reunions going on at any time in this town. They usually involve a certain amount of stored up annoyances and thorns in flesh. The latest is the distribution of female names for streets. While this was being thrashed out another was being held on why there are still streets without names and how is the post going to arrive?The former argument had the meeting's members splitting hairs over the present streets and how most of them are named after virgins and what are we going to do about this? Nest door they were more concerned with why there has never been a street or square named after the town.

There are lots of excuses for not writing, but as I stared at my vino tinto and slippered feet last night I should have known any attempt to get words down would be thwarted sooner or later by histrionics of one form or another. Earlier Mercedes my neighbour and owner of the infamous Piti threatened to brain me and Henderson with her walking stick for not being in when she needed us most. Leaving her keys at home and then returning she remembered we had another set on account of Piti's anti-social behaviour and Henderson's means of keeping him in check. Us not being at home meant she had to schlep across town to Ramon y Cajal, the street named after the nobel laureate, son of Aragon and supposed greatest neuroscientist of all time who was imprisoned age eleven for blowing up the town's gate, to a bar where her husband Anselmo thought he had found the perfect hide-out from it all and demanded the other set from him. Later when Anselmo returned I could hear a scenario building up when the street door wouldn't open and Mercedes had to go downstairs and let him in. Locking herself out again and then coming to me to borrow the other set of keys only to find the originals were stuck in the keyhole on the other side. The other side being that bit of home that is often so near yet so far. Locksmiths were rung, Mercedes went to one neighbour and Anselmo with me and my plans to poison Piti were called off when his face appeared registering disbelief. Later when the locksmith had gone and everyone had returned to their own homes in time for supper I realised Anselmo is probably the only man in this town to have watched Top Gear and Eastenders which he seemed to suffer with a certain amount of calm. I thought at one point he may be hypnotised until he turned and said he wasn't interested in anything on TV unless it was football or a war film. I also heard him mutter something about if it had been him locking everyone out he would have been out on his ear and I find my sympathies lie with him and not for the first time.

Getting back to the streets, I have just remembered there is a street here called Disappointment Street and another called Sigh Street which I think sums it up and instead of names of women the council should be thinking of streets with a less sombre feel about them. Names in keeping with the Aragonese spirit like Pugnacious Avenue or Stubborn Lane or No Tenacity of Purpose Crescent.

Finally, I can say with some expertise which comes inevitably from being a Brit abroad, that the Brits are a hapless lot who don't seem to recognise the important things in life and don't seem to know how to deal with the weather without whingeing. It usually concerns weather and always reminds me of some folk complaining about how their holiday in the Caribbean was ruined thanks to a storm. I do wonder about my fellow countrymen and women when I find myself listening to them suffering on account of the heavy snow they are experiencing. I have no sympathy at the moment for Hurricane Katrina it 'aint.

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