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Showing posts from November, 2010

Five nil

You have no idea how the game between Barcelona and Real Madrid galvanises this country unless you've seen it. The papers and TV have been full of it for at least a week. The elections in Catalonia, the threat of financial meltdown are as nothing in comparison to the Barça - Real debate.
I popped into a bar at around 6pm this evening to get a coffee. Bar stools had reserved stickers on them and some people were already in their seats. Kick off was at 9pm.
I suspect there will be some sore heads in Catalonia and all over Spain tomorrow morning.

Circuses and Christmas

Christmas is only just about to get underway here. The shop displays are still a bit half hearted and none of the Christmas lights are lit yet but at least the circus is in town.

In fact there are circuses in both Cartagena and in Culebrón at the moment so we have ample choice. Not that I've been to a circus for twenty or thirty years and not that I'd go anywhere near any of the many Spanish ones that still degrade bears, lions, elephants, horses and (If the poster is to be believed) crocodiles in front of their audiences.

They are very much part of the Christmas run up in Spain and I do keep thinking that if there were one where the only acts were of the strong men, contortionists, knife throwers, tightrope walkers and juggler type I'd give it a go. Maggie is dead against the idea though and the thought of sitting there alone and friendless amidst the glittery costumes and grease paint just seems a touch too Smokey Robinson.

The Yanks are coming!

In its time Spain has controlled lots of the World; Holland and Belgium, parts of what is now Italy and a rather large chunk of America from somewhere up by California down to the tip of Argentina  - oh, and a bit of Africa. So, it was a shock for the Spanish when the USA took the last few remnants of that Empire - Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Phillipines - off them in double quick time in the Spanish American War of 1898.

One of my English language students told me that after the defeat the Spanish people and government alike thought it a real possibility that the United States would invade. A consequence for Cartagena was that the string of defensive forts that overlook the harbour were strengthened and new ones built.

I have no idea whether it's true or not but I thought it was an interesting idea.

An explanation

You may have noticed that it has been a while since I posted anything: This is because we haven't done anything much for a few weeks. So why this seeming lethargy?

The main reason is work. Despite my apparent long periods of idlesness I've actually worked for about 4½ of the six years we've been here. Maggie, of course, has had full time teaching jobs right from the start. Generally though work, whilst being an unavoidable bugbear, has left us plenty of time to do things together.

It's not like that at the moment though. I'm still only doing about 30 hours "proper" work but I also have a few hours of private English classes. Maggie does about the same.  Add on the inevitable travelling and prep time and vastly different timetables and we're hardly bumping into each other at all. The free afternoons that we enjoyed all last year to go exploring  have fallen by the wayside and my not finishing till 10pm at night on two or three evenings a week seems to …