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Thursday, 21 January 2010


We've only been back a week or so and we have had two saints celebrated. Tomorrow is Saint Vincent which reminds me I had better wish our friend Vincente from Bilbao a Happy Saint's Day. Meanwhile, The Spanish appear to be burning someone at the stake while I sit here in one of my favourite bars, Pinxos, and resume two of my hobbies, drinking and writing. As my friend Les Mascarenhas says 'who do you think you are? 'ernest bloody Hemingway?'

A rest is needed if I am to continue avoiding Mercedes who I think will never forgive me for sorting out one drama in her life namely Piti the Bloody Poodle. Other episodes I need to recover from include certain members of Classes 4A and B who have succeeded in turning me into Basil Fawlty again. 'No Cleese in class' Henderson keeps warning me but I nearly thrashed them again with a big branch. A new private pupil is becoming a bit of a problemo with his teenage angst and attitude starting to grate. 'Don't do it' are the words of advice from Henderson and I am beginning to follow them. It always amazes me how different pupils can be despite their similarities in age and upbringing. Some make you feel as though the sun has come out to shine while others fill you with inertia.

Living here in the foothills of The Pyrenees is often lovely but there is always a sacrifice or forfeit. Lack of a support network that often takes years to build up and is always taken for granted till you realise you don't really have one is somehting I miss. Sad as it sounds, I am grateful for Facebook as it has helped me to get in touch with so many like minded souls I left behind in London. The family is still intact in countries like Spain and makes for a better society on the whole, but if yours isn't here it can be difficult at times. On a positive note, Britains have managed to build up institutions and networks all over the world that are there if needed. The trick is to not isolate yourself too much from a culture that despite what people back home think, is often very civilised and comforting to know and embrace the new one with gusto.

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