Skip to main content

The old man is snoring

My mum is here with us in Cartagena at the moment. To welcome her it's raining. A sort of persistent English rain, heavy at times and very wet.

Rain is not that common in our part of Spain. It happens of course but it's quite unusual and often it pelts down for a while and then brightens up pretty quickly. It has been raining on and off now for about 24 hours.

I popped out to a bookshop last night and about half way there, past the point of no return, it began in earnest. I realised as I walked that the rain causes certain behaviours on Spanish streets.

The first thing is the magical appearance of umbrellas. Where people hide their brollies is a mystery to me but, as soon as it starts, out they come. They're a menace. Sharp pointy spines to scratch along the side of my head as a normally narrow person misjudges their new width. It's an attempt to do what a whole arsenal of sucker guns failed to do in my childhood.

Just as the rain starts there is the wall hugging. Spanish buildings tend to have the first floor projecting further out than the ground floor. This means that one side of a town street usually has a metre wide dry patch beneath the overhang. Those of us determined to keep going walk, single file, in the relative dry. At times it's a bit Little John and Robin Hood on the log bridge but without longstaffs. Deviations are also necessary where the overhang causes an Iguazu Falls effect or where groups of pedestrians, hopeful of a quick let up, have huddled together in shop doorways. I am sometimes tempted to join the few (typically short sleeve shirt wearers) who have decided to be pretty zen about the whole thing and walk soddenly, but determinedly, along the centre of the unprotected street.

When it rains cars come out in force. Pedestrians become drivers and traffic incidents are commonplace as the white carriageway markings become almost invisible on the monotone streets and roads.

Maggie tells me that, when the rain is heavy, school attendance drops away dramatically. As my mum said "Good job that doesn't happen in England - nobody would ever go to school."


Popular posts from this blog

Looking for a flat

Finding a house to rent in Spain is usually a pretty straightforward process. When I say house I really mean flat because, although it's not impossible to find houses in the middle of a town or city, by far the most usual style of dwelling for urban Spaniards is the flat.
I need to qualify this a bit further. It's easy to find a place if you are willing to pay an estate agent. The other options involve walking around random streets looking for to rent signs with your mobile phone to hand. We've only ever done it a couple of times and it has not produced good results.
The internet has made it a slightly less fraught process to find an individual renter and the place that Maggie rented in Ciudad Rodrigo came that way. Even then it takes ages to sift through the various websites usually to find that nobody answers your email or phone call except for the estate agents.
The estate agent method is the most straightforward but also the most costly. The standard charging process…

La vuelta al curro

Certain Spanish soft news stories do the rounds each year. Spanish summer ends on 1 September and as people return to work the news always includes little filler pieces about how difficult it is to go back. In a couple of weeks time the story will be the cost of text books as the youngsters return to school. Back to school is la vuelta al cole, la vuelta al curro is what I've just done, back to work.

In fact we both started work today. We intended to leave Culebrón yesterday evening so we could unpack but the cat sensed something and scarpered so we had to put it off till this morning. Horrid, up at 5.30 - long before dawn. It was bad enough for Maggie after two months off but pity me - eighteen months since I last had a proper job. The strain! - polished shoes, shirt with collar, new people to meet, new routines to learn.

I'm working at the Wall Street Institute in Cartagena and everyone was welcoming and friendly. The centre has a good positive feel to it and the teaching me…

Where am I?

When I wrote the last post on this blog - Looking for a flat - I should really have written it on the Life in Culebrón blog because that's where I am at the moment.

In fact, apart from working in Cartagena it looks as though my links with the place are about to be cut. I am in the process of signing up for a flat in La Unión and the logic of naming the blogs must mean that the active ones are the places where I have a kettle. La Unión and El Culebrón.

There is a tab at the top of the page to navigate there or this is the link