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So I said to him, "Van, why did you cut off your ear?" and he said "You what?"

I started work at 7.15 this morning and I finished about 15 hours later. I wouldn't like you to think I worked the whole day through but, when I got home around 10.30, a nice cup of tea and my comfy slippers beckoned. But no. Bright young things that we are we were off to Mr Witt, a local bar, to see a band called Deja Vu.

Deja Vu were perfectly good. Hardly likely to take the music business by storm but pleasant cover versions sung in a competent way. So why the Van Gogh joke? That's because lots of the audience had some sort of hearing loss and all the songs were accompanied by signed translations. The first time I've ever seen sign language used for something so everyday. Top marks to the bar and the band. Now I know how to applaud in sign.

Mr Witt by the way is a character from a novel by Ramón J Sender. Mr Witt was a fictional English naval engineer who worked in the naval Arsenal, just across the street from us. Through his Spanish wife he became involved in the Socialist uprising, the Canton, in Cartagena, in 1873. The Canton backed the First Spanish Republic.

History and right on-ness lubricated with Llagavulin. Who could ask for more?

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