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Monday, June 29, 2009


As if to drive in the knife of viciousness a little deeper into the depths of my unreal tiredness the road to work today was one continuous traffic jam enlivened only by the death defying (unfortunately) antics of supercilious motorcycle drivers.

I had intended to get my ‘job’ for the morning out of the way before anyone arrived, but the traffic ensured that my arrival was only just inside the normal starting time.

The ‘job’ was photocopying ‘Holiday Homework’ for those miscreants who had failed their examinations. The work had already been decided and all I had to do was re-type the front page and use the originals to produce X numbers of copies.

I have always been amazed at the sheer ineptitude of people using the photocopier. The basic principles of use involved are surely easy to grasp, but it is a never failing source of self satisfied gloating to observe the antics of colleagues as they try and obtain the elusive copy that they want. Notice I said the ‘copy that they want’ which is very often not the copy that they get. They look askance at the results of their attempts and sometimes even shake the paper a little as if their failure were a mere wrinkle in the system that, with a little flick they can sort out.

Some people find the mere process of obtaining a single copy challenging but when you get to horizontal format double sided copying then whole forests are sacrificed in futile attempts to get a reasonable outcome.

The ‘originals’ that I was given were of the ‘forests wasted’ variety with pages printed upside down. In spite of my tiredness I made an executive decision to ‘make things good’. This was a mistake. The photocopier ran out of paper almost immediately and my re-arranging and re-photocopying of selected faulty pages soon developed into an epic race against time to get them done.

But done they eventually were, with the expenditure of reams of paper and all of my remaining nervous energy. I used to be able to tell how much I had drunk by the exact level of disintegration of my level of squash playing. Now that my knees seem to be packed with gravel I have another indicator: the number of typing errors that I make.

Even the untiring efforts of the irritating Microsoft typing corrector are insufficient to cope with the level of random letter insertion that my insensate fingers are producing.

I have asked if I can slope off early and help Toni in the final (please god!) efforts of the packing and the commencement (dear god!) of the Cleaning of the Flat in Preparation for the Arrival of the Owner and the Returning of the Money.

Toni and I are still talking. Just. There was a period during some late night (or perhaps it just seemed late) transferring of ‘stuff’ from flat to house when we went through a quietly spoken, extra polite phase which was mutually terrifying. One sense that, should the veneer of civilization peel away for a moment then it would be carving knives at dawn! But we survived. Just.

This afternoon has to see the final move completed and the Great Clean Up begin. House cleaning is not my forte. I would prefer to adopt the ‘leaving the money in the envelope for the cleaning lady’ approach, but I have not been allowed to pursue this course in Catalonia.

I am a little perturbed that we will be moving to a place with three (count them) flights of tile stairs and an extra room. I feel that something must be done.

But not by me.

I was allowed out early so was able to catch Toni cleaning my bathroom. Because mine does not have an outside window it is prone to damp and mould and we have taken extraordinary measures to ensure that the place looks even better than when it was given to us. We are trying to eliminate all the potential reasons for the Owner to quibble about how much of our money he pays us back. We are looking for 100% which, in Spain, is a truly ambitious expectation!

We have now made a further three visits to the house taking an inordinate amount of further ‘stuff’ which has apparently been breeding overnight!

We have still not moved everything, but, by later this evening we should have transported the overwhelming bulk of what we have to move.

Further cleaning today and tomorrow and then the fateful Visit of Inspection!

Tomorrow our phones and all other forms of communication will be cut, supposedly to be restored to our new accommodation in a couple of days time. I am not sanguine about the assertions of our internet provider and therfore this will probably be the last of my entries in the blog for some time!

Perhaps I am being unduly negative.

Or realistic.

Who knows!
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