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Sunday, 12 December 2010


There are moments here where I think it can't get any better than this. Like yesterday when I did the storytelling at one of the libraries and the usual chaos ensued. Last year I was lucky to have a seperate room to do these stories but this year I am in Perpetuo Socorro or 'Perpetual Help' and there isn't a spare room so it's all a bit hit and miss as to who will turn up and disrupt things. The storytelling in October went swimmingly but yesterday I was that much away from screaming 'for the love of God will someone keep control of their charges!'. I am used to the chaos here but at the end of the session one of the mothers had the breathtaking gall and asked me if next time I could 'speak a bit louder as we couldn't hear some of the stories'. I think she meant shout as this is often the only way to get heard, raise your voice louder than the rest but as I reminded her, we are in a library, not Glastonbury. Nothing, apart from a Spaniard in a hurry as I have said before, get's my shackles rising as a Spaniard who tries to advise me on how to do things, be it teaching English or talking louder. Another mother complained at the noise being produced by the various bods who had come to cause noise as opposed to listen. Then one added 'couldn't you do it with one of those microphones, 'you know the ones,' she described and put her hand up to her mouth to let me know that 'yes, you know, the ones you might wear at the Apollo if you are doing stand up comedy, or at the O2 singing live or yes, in a small library and they can't hear you at the back. Apart from telling her that as difficult as it is to imagine, I am not a clown and despite being able to multi task I am not doing this while reading stories to kids. Next time I do it, in December, I will do a repeat performance of Peace at Last and shout 'THEN MUMMY BEAR WHISPERED!!!' with the help of a megaphone just in case.

While the Spanish are inclined to do my head in with their spontaneous, absurd and intransigent ways, the Brits are starting to rile with their attitude towards the weather. Already obsessed they have this year as well as last, decided to approach the subject with words such as 'treacherous', 'plummeting' and worsening' just to keep people in fear  as if North Korea, 'an evil country' as described by my dad on account of its ability to freeze petrol, wasn't doing a better job.

British chefs have become a bit of an obsession of mine in the last few years mainly for their use of language and the soaring price of their cookbooks. Jamie Oliver has one called 'Jamie Does' which if any of his programmes demonstrate, is ..'f*** all'. Henderson reckons that like Delia all Jamie does is teach people how to warm stuff up. In my latest edition of Woman and Home I am convinced that a certain Nigel Slater has no friends or lover to cook for and spends his time in Viennesse cafes eating apple strudel and confesses to not fearing a death with a fork in his hand while I misread it as one in his back.

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