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Showing posts from October, 2012

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. Span…

Noises off

On a weekday morning in Cartagena it's usually the sound of the street sweeping machine. On a Sunday morning it's a man playing a violin. Back in Culebrón it's more likely to be dogs barking or the cars swishing past on the main road. Always something that seeps into my consciousness as sleep fades away. The cicadas are just for summer and for much later in the day .

Saturday, out for a stroll; as we left the house we commented on the never ending tide of humanity passing the top of our street, just metres from our front door. The difficulty of navigating around people. There's no doubt about the sound either. It's a sort of low volume hum that comes from all the people talking as they walk. Sometimes the monotone is broken by a child's cry or a some rough metallic sound as waiter's shift tables around but that hum is something characteristic.

Ranting and Raving

This post is very long. It's not the usual chit chat about something I've done or something that happened to me. I showed it to Maggie for checking. "It's a bit long," she said " And a bit of a rant," "Is it boring," I asked "Well, err, a bit," she said. But it took me hours to write and the typist's chair has made my back ache so I'll be damned if I'm not going to use it.

You have been warned.
Drinking coffee. Huffing with indignation as another phrase sank into an oblivion of overcomplexity. The usual sort of scene in the bar Capitolio for one of my weekly intercambios - the exchange of English for Spanish conversation.

We were talking about Spanish business, attitudes to work and education.

Actually, before I forget, a little episode. We were leaving. We'd been in the bar nearly two hours and drunk just four coffees. The bill came to 3.70€. The person I do the in…