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Sunday, 12 April 2009


I'm not sure whether it is a sign of getting older, having Irish blood or maybe just living in Spain when one starts putting the definite article in front of things like 'are you on The Facebook?' I also haven't fathomed out what The Twitter is exactly or whether I need it. It seems strange to live in a small town far away from 'it all' and know you can be tracked down often by people you have absolutely nothing in common with apart from you once leant against the same bar.

Talking of bars, faces and books, while up in them there hills I met a man in a bar who claimed he had read Ulysses and enjoyed it. Few people have read this book and knowing this anyone can say they have read it with the argument that they didn't understand any of it. This bloke however claimed he loves books like this. Apart from Finnegan's Wake and anything by Becket I can't think of many writers who are required drinking, meaning you'd need to be half cut to understand any of it. Most Spanish people don't read at all so this guy was quite a find.

I'd like to think that most people go to the mountains to seek solace, chill out and get away from 'it all' but lying in bed at around two in the afternoon with Henderson insisting as usual we needed the windows open I could hear a man shouting into his mobile to someone called Hector and said man had a habit of saying everything three times a bit like the character Jimmy Two Times in The Good Fellas. There was also a weird thing going on with Hector as he didn't seem to want the conversation to end and after every 'OK Hector, speak soon, love to the family' etc there was a pause and the chat would kick off again. The hapless mate just kept giving his best with every kind of adios, goodbye, see you later he could think of along with kisses and hugs to the wife and then more hugs stronger than the ones before till I leant out of the window and told him to tell Hector to go and shaft himself but all in Spanish of course so a lot more vulgar.

Something odd happens to city folk when they head to the mountains. They feel compelled to buy walking sticks and to stare at everything as if it is the first time they have seen it. Our friend Elena told us it is even worse when they turn up to go for a horse ride. Horse riding in the way you might ride a donkey on Blackpool beach that is. Men who should know better dress up in cowboy gear and start swaggering into the bar much to the amusement of the locals.

It is a surreal feeling when you are nursing a whisky at four in the morning on Easter Friday and listening to Sympathy for the Devil and look up at a TV screen and see the famous drums of Calanda being played till the drummers' hands bleed and realise you are sitting in an old slaughterhouse that the owner decided to call The Silence of the Lambs but that is where I found myself with Basque Jon whilst planning more propaganda for our political party Fisting for Franco. More of this later.......................

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