Saturday, 22 December 2018

I've just read an article by someone called Brendan O'Neill. It felt like an essay written by an overexcited schoolboy who has just discovered Hitler.

Friday, 14 December 2018

I've just received my Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea and it was accompanied by a lovely letter from the Minister of Work, Migration, and Social Security or rather the Director General, one Maria Redondo Rincon in which she said she was very pleased to send me said card which I can use during my 'displacement' or trip abroad in the EU and added she wishes 'your grace' ( that's me) a happy stay wherever I am destined. Watch out world, here I come!

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Don't talk to me about immigrants. I am an immigrant, I married an immigrant and so did my husband!

Thursday, 6 December 2018

How long will they string the people along before the people start to string them up?

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

I've just woken up. I was dreaming I was in a pub, the Blue Posts in Rupert Street, drinking with Barack Obama. One of those dreams you could stay forever. There were lots of other people there and I kept thinking I really ought to ask him something important as no one would forgive me if I didn't. I decided I would ask how we had gone from him to Trump when I saw him go to the other side of the bar and start serving drinks. He was pouring shots of something and handed me the first smiling and winking as if to say, 'this will get the party started', and then he turned up the music. I threw my drink into someone's cup of tea hoping no one would see and finally said 'sorry Obama ( we were not on first name terms at that point) but I have to get up in the morning, some of us have work to do.'

Monday, 26 November 2018

Where do people go now the Daily Heil has gone all soft? Well have a peep at Leave EU's page, it's the best cardiovascular workout!

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Continental Europe calling. Well, with all the social agitation I realise nobody has written much about Jean Claude lately. To be honest the last time I saw him was a while back when we were hiding in a cupboard trying not to laugh while Michel B tried to keep some UKIP chappies, Digby and Woolfie, from the door. That was the time when they were trying to woo Michel with some typical British products, you know, a tinned Fray Bentos pie, a dog eared copy of Boris's Winston Churchill, some out of date Mr Kipling's fondant fancies and a pickled egg. Products which were worth it just for the look on Michel's face, especially when he opened a jar of Marmite and looked like someone who has just opened a tin of Surstromming the tinned Swedish fish that you can smell from here and one of the lesser known advantages of the freedom of movement within the EU.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Mr van de Ven enquired in one of the local shops for local people if the cured meat was venison and the local shop keeper told him no, that they only sold pork and then she proceeded to do make weird pig noises presumably to make sure he got the idea!
If you get a good seat Spain is like a great painting but with noise!

Friday, 23 November 2018

If you would like to know what hard Brexiters think of the 'likes of me' then here are some examples. 'With a surname like yours you should go and live in the Netherlands', 'judging from your Facebook profile you certainly weren't born in the UK, 'go back to Spain', 'grow a backbone and get behind your country', 'leave, no one's stopping you.' Well, I can't argue with any of that! 

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Not many people know that a few years ago I was involved in a plan to steal Franco's bones. It started out as a bit of a joke but me and a Basque friend managed to let it get swiftly out of hand. I can't give away too many details as I wouldn't want the Guardia Civil kicking my door down. Not at my age. I will reveal that we also needed to steal the incorrupt arm of Santa Teresa as it was necessary to give credence to the name of our outfit which is not for polite ears but also because we weren't going to commit any old heist and the arm would have added a certain panache, especially where we were going to deploy it.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

How to put this. H told me he never dreams. Then he tells me he remembers a dream from the other night. He says there was a Cessna plane circling the park opposite and then he remembers thinking 'this won't end well' as the plane turned and headed for number 69, two doors down next to the photographer's and crashed making our house shake and tremble. He woke up with a start and heard me talking in my sleep, grumbling, 'for God's sake, every f*ckin' night.'
Nolotil is a painkiller often prescribed in Spain. It is is currently thought dangerous to administer this drug to British people as many have died after taking it and the Spanish authorities have advised or recommended that doctors shouldn't give it to them. It is strange that there is now a shortage of said drug in Spain and it is believed that this is due to the drug being stockpiled by British chemists. Why would you stockpile a painkiller known to cause many deaths to British people? 

Saturday, 17 November 2018

You will all be pleased to hear that austerity appears to be over for some. How do I know? I gather the brothel next door is up and running again. How do I know that? Well as everyone's favourite insomniac I found myself dipping into Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago at 3 o'clock this morning and heard the distinct sound of high heel against marble coming up the stairs accompanied by some titters and shushes. As an unfailing nosy Parker I leapt out of the matrimonial and looked through the spy-hole to keep an eye on things. All I caught in the kerfuffle was a fish eye view of three men and one woman. I think it is the same girl but all I saw was a enormous eyelash looming back at me and a giant bottle of cava.

Monday, 12 November 2018

I am now at an age where I feel that everything I do or say is a rehearsal for my eventual transformation into one of the Golden Girls. Judging from certain reactions I am morphing into Sophia.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Watch a debate with a guy who looks like he goes to bed in his clothes talk about populism or a three hour lunch with wine? The 'Begrimed Barbour' ( AKA Steve)  is showing up in my Facebook page regarding something called the Munk debates. 

Monday, 5 November 2018

The problem with getting away from it all or fleeing the rat race is you will have to go somewhere that is thirty years behind. Where to go when the world ends? I chose the Village and its rustic charm, and on the whole there is a certain allure to not being part of the daily grind but forgot I would have to suffer the occasional run-in with someone who thinks they have just invented private enterprise. You know, 'rugby shirt wearing capitalist, just discovered Thatcher, seeks similar prepared to work under duress.' 
I received an odd thing on my Facebook page today. It was an invitation to watch the Frum versus Bannon debate. I'm reminded of PG Wodehouse from the Girl In Blue,

“It was one of the dullest speeches I ever heard. The Agee woman told us for three quarters of an hour how she came to write her beastly book, when a simple apology was all that was required.”

Aaron Banks. He is shitting himself isn't he? Did you see him on the Andrew Marr show? His mouth was as dry as one of Farage's crusty old Union Jack socks.Somehow he doesn't strike me as the generous type. More a second hand dealer in ideas.  He'll be fine though. He must be loaded if he can afford to donate millions. He can piss off whenever he likes, to Bermuda, Belize, leaving you to it. It's not any old fool who can pull a stunt like this. 
A while ago I wrote 'who needs an education system when you've got the Daily Mail?' ( also, democracy when you've got Murdoch, and a cuisine when you've got brown sauce). Well the DM has had a funny turn. 360 degrees. Yes, hysterical. It recently informed its readers how to get to the People's Vote march and now tells them Arron Banks has undermined democracy. The DM usually serves as the only cardiovascular exercise its readers get so this shift in thinking will do them the world of good!

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Today I have watched British and Dutch political talk shows and in conclusion I have to say the Dutch have an intellect that is sadly missing on British TV nowadays. Where did it go? Why do British people have to listen to bullshit from the likes of Arron Banks, Katie Hopkins, Farage, Choudray, Robinson, O'Neill and all the others who seem to have carved a niche for themselves just by being shit stirrers, wind up/bullshit merchants and gobshites?

Saturday, 3 November 2018

I don't need anyone to tell me I am wonderful, and I don't need anyone to tell me I am not either!

Friday, 2 November 2018

Cold callers in Spain are rubbish. When they can be bothered to call, about once a month, and when I can be bothered to pick up the phone, almost never,  they often ask who might they be speaking to. Today a charity rang and the guy refused to say why he was calling but aggressively persisted in finding out who I was. He was undeterred when I told him he was speaking to the owner of the brothel, probably didn't want me to think he wasn't indulgent, but still insisted on a name. I told him I was Adolfa Bonifacia Ecolastica Homobona Buenaventura and hung up. You have been warned time wasters.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Brexit. Growing apart, together.
It bothers me that you think it bothers me. That's what bothers me.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

I'm probably too old to grow a thick skin but it's never too late to tell people who bully you, annoy you or are just evil to 'fuck off.'

Sunday, 28 October 2018

I live somewhere, was told I am from nowhere, think I can go anywhere, see bullshit everywhere, try to be kind to everyone, talk to anyone, take shit from no one, and married to someone who thinks he is it!

Thursday, 25 October 2018


So, Tommy, AKA Mummy's Little Soldier, is thinking if it doesn't work out in politics and he doesn't  become the leader of UKIP, ( never mind the UK are leaving so what would be the point?) why not get into TV? I'm A Racist Celebrity or perhaps Britain's Got Racist Talent. I wouldn't put it past him.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

When will Tommy Robinson stop from telling us what we already know? He has just moved into a house worth almost a million pounds. Is he a career racist? The so called gammon heads will soon see they have been conned by this pork scratching with aspirations. No wonder his house is gated.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

The Disunited Mug Kingdom of Nowhere.......Brexitland

Sunday, 14 October 2018

I've just made Marmitako, a delicious Basque fisherman stew and I'm drinking Asturian cider. No one can accuse me of not fitting in! 

Saturday, 13 October 2018

I have a confession to make. I don't really know anything about Kanye West. I know he's a singer but that's about it. I saw him yesterday chatting with Trump. Am I right in saying that he, ( West), is a bit of a dickhead?

Friday, 12 October 2018

Some women worry that they are turning into their mothers as they get older. Should I be worried that I am turning into my dad? I'm finding it increasingly difficult to watch the TV without muttering 'prick'.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018


Last night I dreamt I tried to become a Brazilian citizen. The Brazilians asked me why I wanted to become Brazilian and I told them with no small amount of self importance that their country needed me. They looked at one another, shrugged and said it seemed reasonable enough but I would have to navigate my way around the building we were in and if I could go to the top and find my way back again they would give me a passport. I started going around lots of rooms and corridors that looked like United Nation meetings, busy restaurants, betting offices, court rooms, classrooms, and wondered if I was watching my life flash before me. I got to the top and walked into a burst of sunlight and was greeted by a handsome Brazilian man who said that I had passed half the test but had to find my way back. He said he would walk part of the way if I wanted but then said I would have to kiss him. It was a horrible dry kiss, unemotional but he didn't feel the same. He told me that he had fallen in love with me and that this was it, we had to get married. All I kept thinking was what the hell had I done now and that I had to get back to my husband who I suddenly remembered was waiting outside somewhere. I started to run away, thinking what a fraud I was, that I wasn't Brazilian or a femme fatale. I met some American tourists and asked them if they knew where I could find my husband. They took out some enormous maps and directed me to walk through a forest which I did and came out the other side into Golders Green bus station where he was waiting for me with open arms. I guess the moral of this dream/story is not to get any more ridiculous, highfalutin ideas.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Every five minutes they would come across a village much like the one before, everything closed, faint glimpses of what the village had to offer be it dinosaur footprints or local cheese or in this case an old man holding a small tree. His jacket, Henderson couldn’t help but notice as they whizzed by, was covered in shit, caked on from years of not washing. In the mirror he could see the man waving as one might to a passing train or a coach full of school kids.
‘Just like Ireland’ muttered the Dutchman.
‘What? His jacket?’
'No. He waved. Like in Ireland.’
‘Did you see his jacket?’ asked Henderson. And what was he carrying? It looked like a small tree’.
The Dutchman didn’t answer but carried on looking out at the foothills and tiny dotted villages every now and then spotting an eagle or a kite.
Henderson looked back through the mirror and could still see the man standing there ominously, watching them drive forth into their doom he supposed. ‘It’s nothing like Ireland’ He thought. The Dutchman had just said it to reassure them they were on familiar turf.
‘Take this next turning’ he said, pointing to a dirt track that looked like it was private land. The ground changed and they moved slowly over the gravel surface surrounded by olive trees and shrubs. In the distance they could both make out a church standing solitary against the hills with no sign of life except a stork keeping guard in its nest on top of the turret and the timely arrival of a group of ravens that landed in front of the car as they drew up outside. Henderson felt like turning back. He didn’t feel comfortable visiting places of worship. He had a fear of intruding on something sacred rather than be welcomed by it. Even worse was the anxiety that went with it. He might have a Damascene moment or a religious attack of some sort. He had countless memories of his shoes squeaking across marbled floors, of ubiquitous old women that lurk like heathen detectors at his every turn giving him the evil eye, or the suppressed anxiety he felt on a day trip to Lourdes when he thought he might have a funny turn, a vision, or start to blaspheme in tongues and never be the same again. He’d even fled the Albert Hall during a gospel performance as he suppressed urges to be reborn or converted.
The Dutchman had climbed out of the car and was looking back at Henderson with that ‘are you coming?’ expression that showed he didn’t care if he did or not.
Inside there was an old couple who to Henderson’s relief didn’t do the old ‘you’re not from around here’ routine. They just nodded politely and carried on lighting the many candles. There didn’t seem to be much going on in the way of art or murals or any of the things people are supposed to admire when they have no desire to pray. Henderson picked up a leaflet to justify his presence and was delighted to see it was very badly translated. It also contained the overused words ‘the only’, like ‘the only’ vestige in the village. It was the legend that appealed to Henderson as it would transport him to the 14th century in order to relive the massacre that finished off the religious community that had lived there. A very rich Jewish widower by the name of Levi had only one solace, his daughter Esther. One day apparently a troubadour had turned up as they do and after much singing and storytelling had managed to make Esther fall in love. She gave him money, promised him eternal love and then he did a runner. Esther now ‘pale and gloomy’ moped about and neither her father’s affection nor the ‘manual of the clavichord’ or even the ‘framework of the needlework’ could cheer her up. Old Levi heard through the grapevine that there was an old friar in the village monastery who might help. Yet after sending a messenger he was told that the only cure could come from God. Naturally Levi ‘engaged a party of Moorish and Jewish wicked people to attack the monastery’. 'And so,’ the leaflet went on,‘during the night of Saint John when everyone normally celebrated the summer solstice with bonfires and the like, the ‘wicked ones’ went on the rampage and slashed all the religious men with daggers and stilettos with the blood splashing up the walls. To this daythere is a mark on the wall that attests to the sad event’. Henderson couldn’t see it. All he could see was a bizarre image of Monty Pythonesque characters running amok in the Spanish countryside.
‘It says here’ the Dutchman started to say, ‘that apparently it was finished in 1259 and …’, he looked round and saw the church was empty and he was alone.
Outside he found Henderson smoking and staring off at something. It was the old man. The one with the jacket caked in shit. He was still holding the tree. He was staring and grinning inanely.
‘Get in the car’, Henderson ordered the Dutch, stubbing the cigarette out as if there was no time to waste.
‘I think he wants something’, he said not the slightest bit perturbed.
The man waved and Henderson smiled and waved back. The church, despite the story had left him feeling apocalyptic.
‘Why are you being so apocalyptic? I know when you are being apocalyptic you know.
‘Just get in the car’ shouted Henderson..
‘But we haven’t been here ten minutes’
‘OK, stay if you want but I’m leaving.
‘Alright, we’ll go but I’m sure it is nothing to worry about’
Two kilometres down the road they found themselves speeding through the deserted landscape. They were lost and screaming as the old man gave chase with the tree sitting in the passenger seat. Soon he  took over them and forced them to stop.
‘He’s getting out. What do you think he wants? ‘asked the Dutchman.
‘Just stay calm and we’ll see’.
The only words they understood were ‘key to the church’ to which they replied ‘yes thank you we’ve seen it’, and, ‘would you like to come to my house for some wine?’
Despite the alarm bells ringing they still managed a ‘Yes, that would be nice’.
‘Follow me’ he grinned.
‘Do you think this is a good idea?’ asked Henderson.

To be continued........

Saturday, 29 September 2018


Que pasa? 
Que pasa? I will tell you que fucking pasa. Standing, waiting to be served at the cheese counter with one woman in front of me, another woman arrives. An older woman but really, not that much older than me, so we are both 'old', and possibly invisible. I turn to her and ask 'should we take a number?' knowing that people here love to push in without any shame. She looks at me, sorry, recoils, as  xenophobes often do when they hear languages, 'their' language, being spoken with a foreign accent. She informs me there's no need as we both know she is behind me, I am in front of her so I get served first, solucionado, problem solved. She then walks away with an iron will and stands next to the first woman who finishes her shop and walks away and immediately asks for her order. What to do? I told her 'excuse me, I was first' and the bloody actress puts her hand to her mouth and comes out with 'oh, dear God, it's true, you were first!' Well, I hope dear God forgives me as I told her she is a phoney and her life is a lie but with some great adjectives placed in front. The moral of this story is, let it pass or tell them they are feckin' conts

Monday, 24 September 2018

It's so revealing when someone posts something funny on the internet about Brexit and the first thing someone else says is (still!)  'REMOANER, we're leaving/we won/get over it'. With those comments I think we can safely point out who the miserable, joyless cun* is.

Thursday, 20 September 2018


I don't like it when people make fun of other people's bodies or their body parts. I find it toe curling and childish to hear about the size and shape of the President of the United States of America's penis. Then I remember all the horrible things he has said about disabled people and women and so on and said them to a worldwide audience so I am sure he can handle it when someone does it to him. Meanwhile did you know he told the Spanish to build a wall across the Sahara to keep the African people from being able to come here? The man's still a dickhead! 

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

A few days after the Brexit referendum a 10 year old Spanish boy asked me why we, the British, didn't want to be with them, the Spanish, and the rest of Europe. He seemed puzzled and nobody had been able to explain it to him. He ended the short conversation by saying, 'I just don't understand'. Two years on he is now 12 or so and he heard the word Brexit mentioned in conversation between me and someone else. 'Brexit nooo!' he cried and waved his finger as if to put a stop to it. I asked him if he was still upset about it all and he paused for a few seconds and then said 'to be honest, I couldn't care less what you do now'.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

I found some old diaries from twenty odd years ago. I had written about a Player's cigarette box I bought in a junk shop and how it had an old photo of some Portuguese petrol pump attendants in uniform inside that appealed to me for some reason so I kept it. In another diary I found a page that said Mr van de Ven, who was then my boyfriend, stumbled across said photo. 'A look of jealousy and crimson crept across his face as he demanded to know "who are these sailors!".

Thursday, 13 September 2018

I'm back, standing in the queue at the supermarket and it is getting longer and longer so the girl on the till makes an announcement to see if 'Fulanita' ( all names changed/no relation/not meant in any derogatory way..) could please come and help on the other till. Fulanita doesn't show up, the queue gets longer and the same announcement is made. Minutes go by, they seem like hours, no sign of Fulanita. The girl repeats the message, still no sign. She repeats it again. The manager comes over and tells the poor girl to do it again but this time 'a bit stronger'. The girl says' Fulanita can you come to the till?' Still doesn't show up. The manager grabs the intercom and shouts the Spanish equivalent of ' Fulanita, stop whatever it is you are doing and get to the fucking till now'. About two seconds later she appears tossing her hair and straightening her uniform moaning 'God, can't even go to the toilet these days'.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Sometimes you just have to disown your loved ones, including husbands. 'What's he gone and done now?' you might ask. Well, massive, HUGE lorry ends up in the centre of the village by mistake. Probably bad map reading or GPS failure. Anyway, you know the scenario, wing mirrors being torn off, sides of buildings being scraped away, litter bins crushed under its wheels, everyone staring. Last place you want to be as a driver. A builder jumps down from some scaffolding and takes control of the situation, all hand signals and telling all the villagers to get out of the way, while he helps maneuver the vehicle out of the street, smoke a cigarette and wink at me. Made worse when you find Mr van de Ven at street level looking up but at the same time looking down on the bloke driving, laughing and shouting the Spanish equivalent of 'clever dick', 'smart Alec', and the rest. Poor lorry driver leans out of the window as much to say 'what's your feckin' problem' and Mr van de Ven just carries on laughing and gives the finger to boot. I look at the driver and somehow manage to convey a look that lets him know that none of it merits an explanation and to just ignore the 'crazy Dutch bastard'. 
Life. All in all rather lovely. Moments when you feel like you could burst with joy. Then a struggle. Times when you feel you will never cope again and your heart is no longer in it. Then the bewilderment. That none of it merits an explanation. It just is. You sit and look and find yourself having a word with God, and you say, 'I like it here. I like birds, and flowers and bees and, well I guess I am just one of those people you probably think has got a soul'.

Sunday, 5 August 2018


It's summer. August, and everyone is away on holiday. The whole country, possibly the continent has left for the beach or the mountains except me. I am the only one still working at the academy and there is just one student, Antonio, who needs or wants to learn English. We do two hours then he takes a break and we do another two hours. There's no one else in the whole building including the other workers who've been given the month off. Outside the street is dead as the heat is keeping people away. Those not able to escape the town are at home in the dark with the shutters down, only emerging at night when it is cooler and the deserted streets take on a life you thought had been extinguished a few hours earlier. The academy feels strange without the usual rowdy children running up and down the stairs or the nervous adults studying for their exams. I feel like an intruder or a ghost walking through the corridors, expecting to see someone at a desk or a colleague passing by.
How can I put this? Antonio is different. The locals describe him as 'special' which doesn't have the same meaning in Spanish as it does in English. It is a polite way of saying someone is impossible, difficult or trying. I tell myself it doesn't matter as being different is not something that bothers me and I like to think I have patience with others. 
One day in the class I realised I might have the capacity to snap. We were reviewing the present simple and the present continuous when Antonio interrupted and asked me what I thought of the president. I told him I didn't think anything and that I didn't like to discuss politics with the students. He looked a bit miffed and looked back down at his book. A few seconds later he asked if it was true that most British people are hooligans. I was tempted to tell him only the English but worried he might take it literally so told him to concentrate on his grammar and that there would be time for a chat later. He ignored me and asked if it was true the English stop for tea at five o'clock. I decided to tell him they do as I felt mean spirited to say otherwise and didn't want to explain that the image he had of England was a fantasy, something he had learnt from films. It was just after five and nearing the break and I asked him if he would like a cup of tea like the English do and this lifted him somewhat. Leaving the classroom would give us both some space and a breather and it felt good just to get away from him for a few minutes. I returned with the tea and a box of PG Tips as I thought he might like to see what it was he was drinking.
He was fascinated with the box but kept repeating the slogan on the side. 'Lovely cups of tea'. He must have said it twenty times and then asked 'what is lovely? Que significa, 'lovely', what means lovely?'
'Lovely is something nice, beautiful, 'hermosa', something pleasant'. I replied. I thought how strange that might sound. That a cup of tea was something beautiful and pleasant.
'Lovely' he said for the twenty first time.
He started to look at his mobile while he drank his tea and said 'PG Tips is still made in Manchester'. He then added. 'Manchester. Made in Manchester'.
He kept staring at the box of tea and told me he thought the tea was delicious and he would start drinking it from now on and where could he buy it. 
'Lovely cups of tea'.
A sly grin crossed his face and I had the dreadful feeling he was going to ask me something improper. I was on my own with him don't forget and despite my patience I had to admit he could be weird. It took him a while to say what he wanted to say but in the meantime I clocked his armpits which were extremely hairy. In fact I don't think I had ever seen such hair and it didn't help that he was evidently stroking or playing with said hair. I felt embarrassed and concerned as I waited for what was coming next.
'Is it true that you race snails in England?' he asked with the same sneaky look as if he had stumbled on some unearthly, satanic secret the English have been hiding from the rest of the world. 
'I am not sure'. I said, thinking he probably knew more about my fellow country men and women than I did.'What makes you ask?'
'I was watching it at seven o'clock in the morning the other day on Euro News. It's a great channel. You learn so much, politics, culture, snails. It is done in a place called Norfolk, the capital is Norwich. Norwich. Yes Norwich'. 
'Well that figures'.I thought. 
'You don't believe me do you?' and he started to look it up on his mobile.
'Look, here. Snails. racing'.
It was a video on Youtube of a group of people cheering on some hapless snails that appeared to not have a clue what was going on but after an eternity declared one of the snails was a winner as it had crossed the line. A woman was being interviewed and said they had cancelled their holiday to Spain as they didn't want to miss this for anything. The knowing grin on Antonio's face remained and he looked at me as if to say 'told you but you didn't believe me did you'. I have four more weeks of this.

Friday, 3 August 2018

When Mr van de Ven and I are not working hard or socialising till three or four in the morning we like to eat and then lie down. Sometimes I have been known to do this between courses. It has become a kind of hobby or maybe we have just integrated nicely. It is his birthday today and so far so good. He said he didn't want any fuss. Had a breakfast of tortilla and milky coffee outside a bar called, wait for it, Bar Mi Bar, then it was time to recline and take a breather. Later we got up, had lunch in his favourite restaurant followed by another siesta, and finally when we have to get up again we will have dinner in another reputable establishment where if we are not on first name terms we will at least be addressed as 'Your Worship'. It's great fun if you don't weaken.

Sunday, 29 July 2018


Spain calling. Everyone's favourite citizen of nowhere here. Sorry it took a while but I've just been translating about another one whose name we shall not mention. Seems he knows the one who has the same initials as the National Front, Tommy the Martyr and just about very other nihilist, retro nationalist and mercenary on the make. He said on a London radio station that Tommy was the backbone of Britain. Well no wonder the country is on its knees! I suppose we should just start saying 'ooh, he's a one'. What to do with these people who want to see the collapse of the European Union and society in general. They seem to have succeeded in knocking the stuffing out of British society now the revolting mouthpiece whose name we shall not mention has turned up, touring Europe in an attempt to rally all the far right parties. He's already been to Spain where he met up with a fascist party who no one has ever heard of. Let's give them a name. Fisting For Franco sounds about right. The one whose name we shall not mention showed up wearing the same dodgy looking Barbour copy he seems to refuse to take off. He obviously wears it to bed. He looks like he hasn't washed or shaved for weeks.This will be his downfall. Nobody, whatever their political persuasion likes a begrimed impermeable. 

Friday, 20 July 2018

Evening all. Everyone's favourite cultural attache here. Well, it's been a funny old week, not necessarily ha ha. On my way to work one morning I nearly had my eye taken out by a man who was using an electric saw to cut a metal pole his friend was trying to hold onto while smoking a fag and wearing flip flops. Arriving in one piece I had amongst many things the responsibility of promoting the homeland. It couldn't have gone better. I had to caution and give a history lesson to some fellow because he thought it was socially acceptable to use the 'n' word. There was confusion when someone else started talking about 'Be Javier'. After a spell of pretending I knew what he was on about I realised he was saying 'behaviour'. Later, another chap told me that Mr Bean was a Jew. After some scepticism which involved a discussion involving only the words 'yes, he is, no he isn't', the conclusion was there are few merits when using Google translate. In Spanish, Judia could mean Jewish or a green bean. On top of this I was asked if everyone in the UK was a hooligan who stopped for tea at five o'clock. At one point I asked the group if we could go back to the page which championed the prestige of Harrods when someone sighed, undaunted and said 'steady, ready, go'. I could include loads more but I will finish with my walk home which is generally safe and lovely but some other men beckoned me over to a table set up in the street and asked me if I would sign a petition to complain about the state of the pensions which I did with pleasure but without thinking what I might be letting myself in for. They handed me some literature and I went on my way only to realise I think I may have inadvertently joined the Spanish Communist Party.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

I woke up from my siesta nursing a strange dream starring Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader. In the dream I was trying to persuade him that now was his chance and he was going to blow it. I'm not sure what I was trying to convince him of but at one point I picked him up by the scruff of the neck and shook him. He felt as light as a feather and I managed to throw him around a bit. It was truly awful, nightmarish, and I ended up somehow hospitalising him. He wouldn't grass me up for some reason but kept giving me evil looks as if to say I was in for it at some point. The nurse in charge was giving me his dietary instructions in Spanish and I was trying to hang onto her words as she read them out at top speed until she finally turned to me and spoke in English saying 'oh and he's rather partial to those Haribo Gummy Bears. Is there still no end to all this madness!

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Oh yes, other humiliating moments. The time I remarked on the man who was wearing a willy, (pajarito) round his neck, instead of a bow tie (pajarita). Oh how cute! How sweet! How charming you are! Replied the Spanish, when all I could think about was, 'yes, that's what they all thought about the rabbit in Monty Python's Holy Grail.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

We've all been there. The perils of learning another language. There's the usual feminine and masculine mix ups. When you find yourself asking for a 'polla', (prick), instead of a 'pollo', (chicken). Oh how they laughed at the local butcher's! Then there was that delicate, dyslexic situation at the furniture store. Ordering a wardrobe with cojones (bollocks) instead of cajones (drawers) and the shop assistant walking around laughing, holding an imaginary big pair between his legs and laughing 'si, pero, cojones eh!!' Then there is the disconcerting, bewildering, cruel, 'how do you say..?' moments when so called friends tell you how something is said and it is not until ten years later when the wife of the mayor of Montpelier looks at you during dinner and says ' I think you might like to know that the man you are describing on the other side of the table has sideburns and not bugger grips'.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

I had a quick look at the local rag and couldn't help reading my star sign. It said 'ahora no es el tiempo apropriado por excentricidades' which roughly translates as 'now is not the right time for any of your nuttiness!'

Sunday, 17 June 2018

It's Fathers' day today in the UK. Mr van de Ven and I agree that both our fathers were mysterious men, difficult to get to know. Perhaps, in my father's words, awkward bastards but we loved them and we believe they loved us in their peculiar way and ultimately, without them we wouldn't have found one another, and as this is an endgame I guess that is all that matters now. Spread love wherever you go.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

I forgot to say that I went back to the police station and on my way I armed myself with my best persuasive expletives just in case. When I got there policia told me my name wasn't on the appointment list. I could see it was but it was spelt with a hyphen so I told her that was the other ANN-MARIE, the one who inhabits higher spheres and realms and has the potential to be a godhead if she would only get her act together and the ANNMARIE in front of her was the lazy, earthy, sweary, anarchic one that has a tendency to channel the spirit of her ancestors scrappy ways and philosophise and kick off at the same time. She gave me a scorching look that would explain why the wheels of officialdom are constantly welded, referred to me as 'your worship', and gave me a form to fill in while she filled in my details on the computer with her cloven hooves. After more comings and goings and other things lacking in sense or meaning there was a complete change of atmosphere and character as she presented me with my official papers, the culmination of almost two years and 600 euros. There was a round of applause from the other immigrants and I left with Voltaire ringing in my head. 'All is for the best in the best of possible worlds'. The End.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

I got my 'certificado de concordancia' and went off to the police station to update my details. If you have any experience of Spanish bureaucracy you will know that it is often accompanied by a feeling of dread as you wonder what bullshit they will spring on you this time. The policia who dealt with me looked at both passports and told me that my name had been written ANNMARIE in one of them and ANN MARIE in the other so this threw a doubt as to whether I am actually the person in either. I said the equivalent of 'are you taking the piss?' which seems more persuasive in Spanish, something on the lines of 'are you touching my bollocks' which sounds even better when it is said by a woman whose got some.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Meanwhile, the witless, gormless yobbo whose name we never mention in this household, AKA Mummy's Little Soldier, Thomas the Martyr, is languishing in prison imagining he is some kind of Mr Bridger, Noel Coward's character in the Italian Job but minus the repartee, while pretending to convert to Islam like the Duke of Marlborough did while he was in prison just to get more and better food the greedy, cowardly self obsessed little bludger.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

It was a great relief to be no longer addicted to Netflix. Mr van de Ven and I have watched the lot. It didn't last long. Having seen everything worth seeing we have turned our attention to the stuff we missed the first time round. We are now on the third series of In the Line of Duty the police crime drama. Talking about how corrupt the police force is or can be and how some of the characters in the series make me sick, Mr van de Ven added, 'that's why that type join the police, because they can't make friends, just like magicians'. (I'm not sure what he meant by the last bit but will pursue it later...) I set about thinking how cut off, lonely and shunned the police must often feel and was reminded of how my late father began a conversation with me circa 1994 about the police force which managed to obliterate the Police Commissioner at the time, in a matter of seconds. 'I don't know what you make of that Sir Paul Condon', he started. 'He seems like an amicable bloke. Well actually he seems like a bit of a prick. Look, to be perfectly frank I can't stand the bastard.

Sunday, 3 June 2018


Children can be very nosy, always asking you how old you are and do you have any children etc. Some nine year old pupils have not let up with the age thing. I have informed them it is rude to ask an elderly woman her age but they keep at it. I told them one day that I was 26 but they seemed unsatisfied with this so another day I told them I was 66 but this puzzled them even more. On another occasion I gave in and announced I had been around for about a million years and had reincarnated so many times that I was getting sick of it to be honest. Then the other day I introduced them to Dr Who, the BBC series that has been running since the 60's I believe. They learnt about the different doctors and at one point started to ask me if I had been around when William Hartnell (1963-1966) or Patrick Troughton ( 1966-1969) had been the doctor. I told them that no I hadn't and that my favourite had been Tom Baker ( 1974-1981). I then heard some whispers and some conclusions that ' I reckon she's about forty five'. I looked over and it seemed they were placing bets the cheeky perishers! 

Sunday, 27 May 2018


When Mr van de Ven and I are not working hard or enjoying ourselves we like to relax at home. This being a madhouse involves having BBC World on in the background and Mr van de Ven watching various programmes on his laptop in Dutch, Belgian, Spanish, German, French, Arabic. I think you get the picture.... Anyway, while this is going on you will find me languishing in the bedroom reading Daphne du Maurier. From time to time I will get up and check my beloved is still breathing or if I am really bored I will dress up as someone else and hope he notices. It's at this point you probably think 'how sad that they can't watch the TV together', but you see, it is impossible. We have tried but this weird telepathic thing kicks in. For example, the other day I was trying to watch Dutch TV with him, and in my head I was thinking, 'God the Dutch are a good looking bunch' and at the same time my dearest turns to me and says, knowingly, ' we're a handsome lot aren't we?'. Yours truly, the Mental Continental....

Saturday, 19 May 2018


I visited some offices again today. More bureaucracy. More Kafka moments awaiting in the wings. I was wandering around and noticed everyone looking really busy although what they were doing was anyone's guess but they all appeared efficient. People buzzing around carrying files and paperwork, others sitting at work stations. I kept finding myself in that space between fire doors that lead into another corridor when suddenly I realised I was lost. All the doors and rooms and now the people looked the same. I didn't want to get trapped in it forever and feeling a bit on edge I decided to go upstairs so I could at least get a better view of things. As I got closer to the top I realised I was on a ship. A war ship. It felt thrilling as I left the monotony below and everything turned into something exciting and invigorating as I clambered up. I could hear the waves crashing against the bow.The ship was sailing at speed into a storm and was avoiding smaller, stationary ships, some of them in flames. I got the feeling the ship I was on was the one that knew where it was going and what its mission was, the smaller ones already defeated. I could smell fire and petrol and taste the brine from the sea. The spray hit my face and I felt fearless and ready for anything. I walked to the prow of the ship and became its figurehead. I was invincible and ready. Wars would be won and ships would be named after me.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018


Continental Europe calling. Well, with all the social agitation I realise nobody has written much about Jean Claude lately. To be honest the last time I saw him was a while back when we were hiding in a cupboard trying not to laugh while Michel B tried to keep some UKIP chappies, Digby and Woolfie, from the door. That was the time when they were trying to woo Michel with some typical British products, you know, a tinned Fray Bentos pie, a dog eared copy of Boris's Winston Churchill, some out of date Mr Kipling's fondant fancies and a pickled egg. Products which were worth it just for the look on Michel's face, especially when he opened a jar of Marmite and looked like someone who has just opened a tin of Surstromming the tinned Swedish fish that you can smell from here and one of the lesser known advantages of the freedom of movement within the EU. 


Spain calling. Everyone's favourite escapee here. I've just written to the Disgraced Dr Liam Fox asking him how his morning has been. Mine was spent trying to find the right department dealing with my nationality change. The first place said the equivalent of no, that they had moved office and I could find the new one in the Plaza Cervantes. There a very nice policeman addressed me as 'miss' and feeling a bit Dick Emeryish I was tempted to reply 'Madam', but that didn't feel right so continued with my peregrinations. I found myself in an office where the woman told me that I needed to go to the room next door. In the room next door another woman told me the same, to go to the room next door. I looked her in the eye and asked her how long she and her colleague intended to keep this up and she sighed, stopped filing her nails and stubbed out the cigarette hanging from her mouth and escorted me to the room next door. In the room next door the original pen pusher told me no, that I had to go to the police station. I continued like a perambulating corn dolly and found myself at the back of the police station standing under a sign emblazoned FOREIGNERS ( that's me!). I asked the bureaucrat if I needed to take a number and she sneered and said 'what for' and I told her 'to speak with your worship'. She blushed and after some time she called the good cop over who couldn't have been nicer when she told me I will have to get back to the embassy and get a certificate of concordance to show that I am who I say I am and not someone else, you know, not some impostor . Onward and upward! Chin chin fucking Brexiteers! It's great fun if you don't weaken!

Thursday, 26 April 2018


Bonsoir! Everyone's favourite enemy of the state here. As a British citizen you will lose voting rights in local and European elections next year if you live in the EU. To avoid this I filled out my paperwork to change my nationality at the council. Spanish bureaucracy involves being sent to various departments until you go mad and book yourself into a lunatic asylum but can also involve a history/geography lesson explaining to the civil servant why Ireland wasn't England or in the United Kingdom and something called 'the sea' and pleading with her not to change my nationality from British to Northern Irish and then the redoing of the whole thing as she managed to changed my nationality from British to British leaving me feeling a bit like Al Pacino in Godfather Three ( 'just when ya think you got out, they pull ya right back in...'). When I asked her when would I find out if I can have the right to vote she looked a bit vague and replied that it could be three weeks, two days, five months, ten years,who knows, whenever. I offered to speed things up by taking the paperwork to the other office and for a moment she seemed keen as it meant she wouldn't have to do it herself but then her eyes flickered suggesting she didn't want to get involved with anything that had a whiff of corruption about it, what with the present climate and everything. I had all this sorted seventeen years ago. I still have to do all the necessary changes with health, work, etc etc. Thanks for nothing fucking Brexiteers!

Sunday, 18 February 2018


Hola! Everyone's favourite rootless cosmopolitan here. When I travel throughout continental Europe people often stop me in the street and ask 'Ana Maria, who is that man? You know, the one who is always on the British TV, is he your Prime Minister?' and I realise they are talking about the one whose name we never mention. The one whose mother had him christened with the initials that chime with those of the National Front. The one who has appeared on Question Time more than the PM herself or the Foreign Secretary or the leader of the opposition. He is seen in many parts as the Face of Britain, AKA the turd that will not flush. A wasp at the window. He has tried to get the Irish on board with his breathtaking gall. The one who ought to have been a Tic-Tac man at the races but ended up everywhere beginning sentences with 'believe you me'. The one that once Britain leaves the EU will be out of a job and have nothing to whinge about so is now carving a niche for himself in the States. Failing that he will, with Tommy Robinson and Katy Hopkins appear in panto or start presenting his version of The Real Deal or perhaps start his own programme The Malignant Narcissists. Like so many from his crew he is for sale. A grande horizontale. The state of British politics.