Sunday, August 09, 2009

A confusion of days

Tempted by Emma to luxuriate on the beach has necessitated the liberal application of After Sun. And I thought that I had acclimatized so well to Catalonia that such unguents were no longer necessary.

As further balm we went to see the pictures in MNAC that Emma didn’t see during the last visit.

The earlier paintings in the collection were rejected outright by Toni because they were contemptuously dismissed as ‘church’ pictures, and he watched with growing impatience as Emma and I bounced or way from wall to wall through the galleries.

It was only when we came to the nineteenth century and landscapes that he relaxed.

The one artistic experience that we all agreed on was the exhibition of the paintings of Vlaminck in one of the galleries of La Caixa Forum – one of the times that you don’t mind your money being used to the greater glorification of a bank! I still have to transfer the rest of my money from the Worst Bank in the World aka BBVA to La Caixa. This has to be done in a certain way so that I do not pay transfer fees to BBVA. The kind gentleman in La Caixa pointed out to me the various ways in which BBVA would try and squeeze the final cents out of me if I dared to change!

Today to Sitges. If I ever need to hear my native language then all I have to do is walk down any street in old Sitges and I can hear English – possibly with a particular lilt, but nevertheless English.

We had a lunch of a selection of tapas in a chiringuito next to the beach and we were royally ripped off for the privilege. Our meal later in the night in a restaurant in Castelldefels was much better quality and 50% cheaper and that included the excellent sangria that we quaffed.

Sitges is making the exploitation of tourists rather obvious but it has improved the appearance of some of the smaller beaches dramatically with increased pedestrianisazion of the areas behind the beach. Very impressive!

But it was still a relief to get back to the quieter pace of life in Castelldefels.

A walk along the paseo back to the area in which we used to live showed that the flat is still not being rented. The owner is going to be very fortunate to find people prepared to rent out the flat at the same rate that we were paying. Because we had a contract we were guaranteed our tenancy but we were also subject to a government limited rise in the rent each year. The owner will now have to start this process again, and, given the financial crisis he is unlikely to get the same rate. His refusal to return my aval has cost him dear – I hope!

Emma’s last night (difficult to follow the time scale of this blog sometimes isn’t it?) so we had paella followed by an internet search for the weather for Cardiff for the next week or so. This was a mistake.

A big, wet and cloudy mistake.
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