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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Count the days


After a night of heavy rain the clouds of the morning gave way to a glorious day of bright sunshine only marred by Toni's continuing illness. He stayed in bed till mid day and is now lying on the sofa a picture of dejection.

I have signally failed to get My Machine to recognize my phone. My technical knowledge extends to using a cable to join the two and then I expect the vast power of The Core (which had five stars ***** count them in the MediaMarkt blurb) to do its stuff. Which it is signally not doing. I know that I should read the instructions (I am, after all of that generation) but I feel resentful that in 2011 I should have to do something which surely ought to be automatic.

I did however have occasion to use one of my other laptops and I had forgotten just how bloody heavy these things usually are. I am afraid that you will have to put up with comments like this for some time so that I can continue to convince myself that I have done the right thing by purchasing The Machine.

Toni's illness stopped up from going out into any bar, cafe or restaurant and finding out if the new laws, some of the most swingeing in Europe against smoking in public places are actually being enforced.

I am particularly eager to revisit an Argentinian restaurant where the food was excellent; it was the atmosphere which was unpalatable. Everyone, apart from Irene and myself seemed to be smoking: man, woman and child. It was impossible to enjoy the food in the miasmic surroundings that Spaniards have accepted as normal until today!

There are, of course bleatings from those who fear that they are going to be forced out of business by the changes. And, if I am fair, and god knows I have no real desire to be fair to the people who have attempted to poison my life via passive smoking, they can point to all the countries that have changed their attitudes and laws and show that businesses have gone bust. And at a time of crisis in which there is already 20% unemployed!

The television has already shown pictures of people taking their drinks outside the bars, in one case a lady taking her bar stool outside and resting her drink on the outside windowsill. Another man, his drink on the sill, the window open and breathing his smoke through the open window.
It is also part of the law that there is to be no smoking outside or in the vicinity of school gates. As the older pupils in our school congregate outside the entrance to the secondary school I shall very much enjoy calling the police and getting the pupils expelled or at least having a criminal record. While I may be exaggerating a little I am sure that our school will react with a knee jerk inappropriateness on the day we get back.

This new law is going to have to create a real change in the way that people here behave and reform their expectations.

I shall observe the implementation of these new laws with considerable interest. And not a little scepticism. We shall see.

I am now painfully aware that it is the New Year and all I have done is buy new books and not arranged the ones that I already possess. I am determined to do something if it is only to bring down the volume of Sorolla 

that is on top of a book case on the third floor and put it with my latest bargain buy hardback of that painter in the living room collection of individual artists. That's what I call doable book organization. The key things, of course, will be to see if I have even done that little before the end of the holiday.

The days are creeping away but at least my holiday ends with a trip to the UK, my opportunity to visit Paul Squared at last and to celebrate a significant birthday, with the very real possibility of being snowed in on the Sunday before I have to start in Barcelona.

One can but hope!
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