I have been in Spain and Catalonia for a couple of years and it has taken me all this time to discover that there is another classical music programme on the radio.
I have been struggling to understand the comments that the announcers make when they gabble on in Catalan on the station that I have been listening to up to now. I desperately use what musical knowledge I have to try and fit together what I can understand with what they are saying. I can follow the basic descriptions but any further analysis leaves me floundering. During the General Strike my usual Catalan classical music station was playing pop music which drove me to press the buttons and search for something more congenial.
It was thus that now I have discovered a classical music station which uses Spanish and now a whole world of comment is now within reach. Almost! Spanish speakers do tend to get carried away and start speaking with scant regard to the slow understanding of those whose first language is not theirs!
The day in school has seemed interminable, starting has it has at 8.15 am and with a meeting in the evening it promised to stretch to infinity.
Finding the art shop for Toni in a street near the Diagonal was something of a nightmare and even when found the idea of parking anywhere near was a mere fantasy. It was therefore fortuitous that the GPS having got us within a stone’s throw of the shop a van stopped, blocking the road, to tow away a wrongly parked mini.
This allowed Suzanne the opportunity to jump out of the car and rush to the shop while I waited with unaccustomed patience for the van to drive off with the Mini attached.
When the way was cleared I was even able to lurk in an entrance to a parking place and pick up Suzanne with the art stuff that Toni wanted.
Our visit to El Corte Ingles to change a book was necessarily hurried at the time for the meeting was approaching and we needed to have something to eat before the start.
We eventually decided on an up-market looking café where a miniscule cheese bun was a resounding €3!
Throwing caution and money to the wind we decided to have tortilla with a soft drink. When we had finished our food a plate of exquisite biscuits appeared. When those finished we were presented with a new plate of more biscuits and chocolate cake. This munificence was as welcome as it was inexplicable. And it made us late for the meeting.
Which was conducted exclusively in Spanish.
We were given a guided tour of the computer benches which illustrate the aims, objectives and interests of the gallery – and of course, the obligatory visit to the showroom of toilets, baths and sinks which is the stock in trade of Roca.
The drive back through Barcelona was horrific with solid traffic and the usual suicidal and terminally irritating motor cyclists weaving their way with complete disregard for the fatal possibilities of car contact. One of the little buggers had the temerity to beep me for getting in his way! My hatred of the whole race of helmeted psychopaths on two wheels has almost reached meltdown!
The meeting meant that I could not go for my swim, so I will have to make up for this backsliding by an extra effort tomorrow.