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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Keep the books comming.


A day that can almost be classified as normal!

Apart that is from taking back a tower fan to Gavá – and it providing another instance of how it is possible to say almost anything with a very limited vocabulary in Spanish.

There should be a compendium of my witty, apposite and concise sayings in foreign tongues when forced into a tight linguistic corner. I have never looked back since I engaged in a conversation in French about the novels of Marcel Proust. What was the sum total of my insights into the French Master’s prose works given that I had studied his novels (well, the first two) in university? “Each word is well chosen.” Given that the man abjured normal society and locked himself in a cork lined room to write, not such a bad thing to say I would have thought!

My attempts in Spanish have sometimes surpassed even that inspired concision. Given that I have denounced banks, asked for technical documentation, changed, exchanged and complained – all in my limited Spanish - you can imagine what depths (or shallows) of language abuse I have plumbed or paddled!

I now have an established default position in the house. I sit in my new chair, my legs slightly elevated with my back to the television looking out of the window at the loungers by the pool while at the same time fighting off the dreaded tiger mosquito. I would usually have my Sony e-book reader in my hands but am devastated to relate that there is something wrong with the screen of my device.

I am fairly sure that somewhere along the way in the move I have dropped or knocked the thing so that the top right hand corner of the screen is faulty and does not display print. This is not a catastrophic difficulty, though I do feel a little presumptuous guessing the words of great authors to fill in the blanks.

I could regard this as a signal from the god of consumerism to upgrade my present machine and go for one which can link automatically to the internet and download books without having to link to a computer. The temptation is almost overwhelming but I fear that I will find that the one I have already got is as good as you get.

As a person waging a one person war against the Crisis by pledging himself to consumerism, I sometimes feel that Capitalist Society does not always play along with my life-long addiction to shopping! I am after all a devoted follower of ‘planned obsolescence’ as long as I am given a new glitzy and blue light studded version of what I already own on which to waste my money.

Meanwhile the library.

There is the equivalent of eight shelves left for books and a damn sight more than five times that number of Pickford’s packing cases left in Bluespace.

The obvious solution is to create an ‘island’ of four bookshelves in the middle of the library. I must say here that the ‘library’ is not a big room and the two walls which are not window and built in wardrobe are lined to the ceiling with bookcases, so space is limited. On the other hand the space is Bluespace is expensive so something will have to be done and done quickly or I will be paying yet another month’s rent for the space that I shouldn’t need.

Both Toni and I am suffering from ‘Constructional Fatigue’ and are almost at the stage where we will pay twice the price as long as whatever it is we are buying is fully constructed and ready-to-go at the point of purchase!

We had lunch in a Galician restaurant which comprised a series of tapas. Toni’s favourite is pulpo a feira galega which is a special dish of pulpo sliced and sprinkled with paprika and served on a roundel of wood. It is an acquired taste and the offering that we had today had an odd flavour. I have to admit that the best that I have tasted was produced by Toni’s mum and every other attempt at this dish has had to live up to her standard.

Our first British visitors arrive on Wednesday which is concentrating our minds somewhat.

The television is showing the usual spate of fires which light up the night sky of Spain at this time of year. There are fires in Tarragona and closer to us in the Garraf parts of which form a national park which surrounds Castelldefels.

But, as usual in this part of the world, things like that just pass us by: crisis, what crisis and fires, what fires tend to be the philosophies that guide us here!

Spain, as they say, is another country.
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