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Monday, August 24, 2009

New Cycle Thefts!


Our next door neighbour has had his bike stolen and another two have gone from surrounding houses. Our faith in the police to do anything practical to regain our bikes is zero and so we have started to compile a file of information for ourselves.

Toni keeps breathing defiance and threats against our unknown thieves and I sincerely hope that that he never comes into close proximity with any of them: I have a strong personal disinclination to go visiting in a Spanish prison!

The pattern of thefts now makes it more likely that there is a gang operating in the area and relying on opportunistic thefts to keep them in business.

Our relaxed lifestyle continues with the most energetic things that we have done as a group is to prance around in the swimming pool bouncing an inflated plastic ball between us. I would imagine that there are a few groups of people who would relish photographs of our little athletic session, although I am sure that the use to which they would be put graphic images would not reflect well on our respective professional situations!

The tentative plan for this evening is to go into Sitges and watch the usually spectacular firework display which marks the progress of the annual festival. Our lethargy makes this a possible rather than a probable.

Since I wrote that last sentence we have indeed been to Sitges.

The fireworks in Sitges are justly famous and my timing to get a meal and be ready for the show at 11.00 pm was perhaps cutting it a little fine. Finding a parking space in the public car park was a little difficult and the antics of other drivers manoeuvring for space provoked a level of lively interest from the girls that got the necessary adrenaline surge into the system to appreciate the pyrotechnics.

Finding a table outside facing the sea was even more difficult, especially as the police had demanded that restaurants with seating outside the actual restaurants close down that area to allow more people into the best viewing sites.

We eventually found a French Restaurant (nobody tell Toni who was at home watching Barça romp home to a 5-1 win for their latest trophy) where, amazingly we sat outside in their ‘garden’ to have a meal.

The setting and the ambiance was a pastiche of a stereotype of a cliché for a certain type of restaurant in Sitges. We were taken to our seats by an impossibly slim waiter with tight fitting T shirt who was a damn sight older than he thought he looked. Our order was taken by a chunky transvestite wearing silver sequined dress which revealed good rugby player legs. The food however was delicious.

As the service was leisurely we watched the first part of the firework display from our table but, this being Sitges we were able to see the bulk of the show after we had paid the bill and rushed down to the sea front.

The show, as usual was fantastic and Mary transformed into a child with hands at her mouth watching countless thousands of Euros transform into burning light.

At the point when other firework displays would run out of money and end the one in Sitges found new strength and filled the dark night sky with colour and light.

The climax of this stunning show was a disorientating series of bright light explosions whose shock waves had a tangible physical effect on the watchers and ensured that they were whipped up into the right state of mind to whoop their appreciation as the last rocket ended the display.

We went to a bar on the main exit road for a drink to watch the people pass and to give the car park a chance to empty a little. The number of people with dogs was shocking to those of us brought up with the injunction every November the fifth to ‘Keep Pets Indoors’ – however the animals looked none the worse for their experiences.

The car park was (again) a nightmare. The only parking space that we could find when we arrived was right at the back of the park. Clarrie kept me company in the front while we inched forward every ten minutes or so. When we finally made it out of the confines of the parking area there was still a stalemate of selfish drivers jockeying for position to get out as well!

Perhaps, in some ways the misery of the parking experience allows my selectively Puritan soul to see a sort of balance between the utterly frivolous expenditure of vast sums of money on fireworks to see it all, literally go up in smoke and the harsher reality of being stuck in an unmoving gridlock in the parking. With pleasure must come pain!

Today is the day when Mary is going to fling herself upon the foaming deep (well, the gentle swell) and go windsurfing or possibly boating – depending on which is available for hire. This will mean that at least they will have visited the beach at least once!

I must get my camera ready!
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