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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Where is the summer?




For the first time this year my car informed that there was “A danger of frost” because the temperature was down to 4°C.  This was a reading which gradually increased as I travelled further uphill – which seems just a little counter intuitive but it is what happened.  It is now a bright and sunny day, though still cold.

As with Britain, it is easy to get to like cold, bright days, as there is a sort of invigorating clarity about them which is good for the soul!

It is now ten in the morning and I have already taught two periods!  Time for a cup of tea using the last British tea bag that I have in this staff room.  Luckily I have supplies hidden elsewhere so that my addiction can be fed.  Replenishing supplies is also easy as the majority of the larger supermarkets not only stock their own etiolated versions of tea bags but also the true British types as well.  The only thing (and it is a big ask) that I have to do is remember to call in on my way back home.

This might be difficult today as I am expecting books and a dog disturber.  Both create in my their own particular excitement, I only hope that Toni is able to convince the recalcitrant delivery persons to accept him as me so that they part with their precious cargo.  In spite of the last consignment being delivered absolutely according to instructions with the suggested date being the actual one, I am still somewhat prejudiced against the whole breed.  I arrived home yesterday to find that the Spanish postal service had “failed” to deliver a registered letter at a time when Toni was in and waiting.  Too often in the past the delivery people post a “failed delivery” notice into the post box because they cannot be bothered to wait for the recipient who might possibly not be there so they don’t bother to ring and merely place the notice in the post box.

This is a “bad thing” for many reasons not least among them the horrible fact that one then has to visit the Post Office to get the item.  Waiting at our local office would test the patience of a saint and I am no saint.  However if we go into town this evening I might still have sufficient residual enthusiasm and patience to try as I attempt to slope away early on a Thursday and therefore miss the static line of bad tempered, parent frustration-fuelled traffic which makes leaving school such a joy.

During odd moments, when I should probably be doing something else, I ponder on the strategies I am going to use to frustrate the knavish curs next door from voicing their opinions through increasingly irritating barks.  I want these low-life mangy mongrels to associate me and my voice with discomfort and unease and stop their noise.

Reading through the reviews of the machine that I have purchased I am bemused by the range of stars given which rates the machine as “excellent and effective” to “don’t waste your money”.  I am relying on the fact that the more dismissive reviews are a result of people expecting the machine to work in very much the same way as a light sabre!  I think that the trick is persistence and association: my face and voice associated in the dogs’ minds with some sort of unpleasant sonic sensation.  At least, this is what I am clinging to and I will hope for the best.

I am just about to do two more lessons and that will take us up to lunch; one more after lunch and then freedom – more time to enjoy the books which I am now assuming have already arrived at home and are waiting to be unpacked.  The unpacking is a large part of the excitement of reading for me nowadays as most of my books come through the post.

My copies of The Guardian come directly to my iPad and I am not sure how I like reading a newspaper in this format.  In one way it is easy because I do nothing and there is the paper waiting for me each day.  I have the old copies saved in the machine and there is the added advantage that Internet links are provided with many of the stories so that you can study the topics in more depth.  Even within stories there are often links on which you can click to give added depth to your reading.  It is convenient and I find that I now tend to read the paper through from one end to the other, flicking through those articles which are incomprehensible or unpalatable!  I have taken out a subscription on a month-by-month basis that will show me whether or not I am getting value for money.  Which is another way of asking if I have read the thing during the month.

I am going to have to get into the right frame of mind to use the iPad for what it was intended – and bringing me The Guardian was, I am sure, what Steve Jobs had in mind when he caused it to be developed.

I have now discovered that the books that I had ordered have not arrived.  However, on checking on the web site I have also found that there was a “delivery attempted” yesterday.  No slip was left and I am sure that Toni was actually there.  This is the second time that MRW (the carrier) has signally failed to deliver items that were in stock.  It means that I now have to go into the centre of town and try and find a parking space in cramped and overfull streets.  It is irritating, to put it mildly as the packages are hefty art books which weigh a ton!  Perhaps that was also the feeling of the delivery men who couldn’t be bothered to heft them and would rather wait for an exasperated customer to come in and take them off their hands.

I hesitate to complain because I fear that this appalling service will get even worse if they know that I am one of those difficult customers who likes a delivery service actually to deliver to the address on the package!  It is far too easy for a delivery man to throw something over the wall (which they have done in the case of a camera) and however well a big book is packaged there is bound to be damage when a book lands on a corner.  I would rather go get than have to go through all of the hassle of sending something back.

Alternatively I could develop my complaining to the level that I get known as a “difficult bastard” and they deliver properly just to avoid the repercussions of a middle class man knowing he is right!
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