October 15 2013 Tuesday

Tried to use phone. “Red no disponible” (Network not available). It was working a few days ago ‘roaming’ in England, but back in Spain nothing.

The irrigation system has been leaking for some time which I discovered when I went to unplug the system. Will have to call plumber.

Today went to the supermercado ‘Consum’, but it wasn’t there. It’s place has been taken by a chinese run general store which the staff tellme has been open for 2 months.

Damn! This was the only supermarket that sold high quality hamburger meat and the artificial sweetner and they had their own line in crunchy chocolate which I used to buy in lots of 20 bars to last me months.

Went to Lidl and found grapefruit and they sell aspartame so bought 5 bottles. Then went into an expensive supermarket which I normally don’t enter as their prices are so high, but they had expensive high quality (I hope) hamburger. [The low quality is 80% meat, the higher quality is 95% meat – I can taste the difference.]

Went to Mercadona which is another chain here, but only looking for 1 special product here. Dropped my sunglasses on the floor. Picked them up. Found the cereal bars with apricot. Then decided to buy almond and hazelnut chocolate. Headed to check-out. Where are my sunglasses?  I check m pockets. Damn, I must have dropped them again.Paid, told assistant I have lost my sun glasses. Went to look for them. They announced loss. I searched, checked my pockets again, spoke to other staff. Went back to check-out. Put hand in pocket – my sunglasses. Ooops!
Assistant asks me if I have found them. Yes, I tell her, thank you. Fortunately she didn’t ask where I found them.

My friend tells me that I am famous. He bases this on my being interviewed on the radio in England. I have told him ‘not really’.

Walking between supers, I saw a young man and woman looking at me from their car. They waved. I did not know them, but I waved back. The car drove all the way around the roundabout and pulled over. The woman, probably about 20, was idly looking at me, the young man of similar age leaned across her with his hand in the air, smiling he said, “Es un crac bailando”
I melted in gratitude saying, “Muchas gracious”

I’m not sure how to translate the Spanish (english word) ‘crack’ into English.

It is funny being called ‘a crack’ as this is an english word that doesn’t mean much to us, and if it sounds like anything it sounds like an insult, but here in Spain it is widely used as a foreign word in the sense that it is used in english as in ‘crack-shot’ and not ‘crack-pot’ that is a general term for someone who is very good at something.

So this complete stranger had pulled over to tell me something like:
“You are great dancing”

So youths pull over to greet me. Perhaps I am famous.

The weather so far is sunny-cloudy and about 22C. The forcasts were for and are for sun without clouds. I am by the pool (empty – my first impression that it needed pumping out obviously wrong) listening to birds chirping, insects clicking and humming and the distant sound of someone working with hammers and power tools, plus, now and then a car driving by.

Part of the house smells a bit of matacarcoma (insecticide for the wood boring beetle that is slowly eating the house) and also of bare pine wood (because it has been sanded down to let the insecticide soak into the wood.) It looks so different with bare pine door panels where it used to be stained dark redish-brown. I leave then bare so that they can easily be re-treated with insecticide, but bare wood is vulnerable to damp.

The economics of what to do are complicated. Replacing a door probably costs about the same as sanding and treating, but would still need to be treated. It is the sanding that costs because of the time it takes.  I suspect there is a faster way to do it.

I probably should replace all the windows and exterior doors with double glazing, but I have so little desire to organize it and put up with the mayhem.

I asked my builder about putting insulation in the roof space. He said, “Waste of money” that it will costs a fortune and that with badly fitting doors and windows it will make no difference and anyway I should put in a wood burning stove; everyone else is doing that; are they all stupid?

My reply would have been ‘Probably’, but I decided not to reply. My guess is that everyone does it because everyone does it, not because anyone had worked out if it makes sense.

I wish that no one say anything to me about problems during the first week I am back. I want to settle in before having to think, but they can’t resist.

Watching a film where the owner of a second house arrives, everything goes so smoothly, the helpers have fixed everything, the place is lit and heated and clean and the choices that the helpers have made, without consultation, demonstrate skill and tact.  -ah, the fantasy of fiction.

What really happens is that the door jams from the damp and not having been opened lately. At least one of the bulbs has burnt out. It smells of something. The choices made by the helper may seem sensible to a third party, but are exactly what you don’t want. All the things that you left in exactly the handy place are now somewhere else or lost (they will show up after you buy a replacement). You need to go to sleep, but either the bed hadsn’t been made or you can’t find toothpaste, or you panic when you realise that you have left your bag at the airport -only to find it next to the front door where you just put it.

Your helper leaves saying “telephone if you need anything,”  and, of course, the phone doesn’t work.

I have a horribly bloodshot left eye. Seems worse now than last sunday. Don’t think it is very important, having had something similar last year with which I went to see an eye specialist. Obviously will keep an eye on my eye.

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