Sunday, January 06, 2013

Ill and everything

Toni is not better, indeed is worse, than he was yesterday, so the proposed trip to Terrassa has been cancelled and the day has been given over to not feeling well.

As usual, I feel fine.  Which doesn’t really help as I have to keep showing a face of concern for longer than is humanly possible when one also has to be worrying about the forthcoming beginning of term and whether one has sufficient clean white shirts to get one through one’s next bout of teaching.  Even if it is only proposed to be four days long.

I have kept up my new swimming regime for a grand total of two consecutive days; something of which to be proud!  It is, oddly easier to keep up my swimming on teaching days than when I have more time.  Yet another of the odd paradoxes which define our species!

I called into Lidl before my swim to get tonic water for Toni who is not eating properly and wants what he wants.  I took the opportunity while I was there to buy a Rascon because today is the day to eat it.  This round, loaf-like cake has a hole in the middle and what is left forms a cream sandwich in which is secreted a series of small toys of which the most important is the King.  The person who finds the king in the slice of cake that they have is the one who, in theory, is supposed to buy the cake the next year.

This is no small responsibility – a casual look at the price of these damn things, which can easily reach twenty quid, quickly disabuses you of their triviality.  Which is why I was in Lidl.  Even if Toni is too ill to eat it, we have two further (non-traditional) days to get it eaten and even if neither of us actually wants to eat it the Lidl cost makes it easier to throw away!

On another cultural tack I have been benefitting from the largess of Amazon in the seasonal price reduction in a series of Kindle books.  I have bought a few to store up on my over-used machine.

The book that I am reading at present is based on the television programme hosted by Stephen Fry called “IQ” which takes a series of well known assumptions and explores their falsity.  It is full of those sorts of facts that I greedily treasure.  I mean, surely it is important to know that one of my favourite animals is also the one which dreams the most of any creature in the world.  My brain is now filled with little tit-bits of knowledge to be sprung on unsuspecting people during otherwise innocuous conversations!  And the book is barely a third of its way read!  This book possesses the same hypnotic quality as the Guinness Book of Records for those of susceptible propensities.  And god knows, I am one!

I have not yet seamlessly integrated my important gadgets but I am getting there.  At the moment I am exploring the possibility of putting all my iTunes library on the Cloud.  This will give me 26,000 “songs” (as iTunes quaintly puts it) on the Cloud which can be accessed on any of my devices.  I am not absolutely sure, but I think that will be insufficient for my library, and the service costs something like €25 a year – if it is available in Spain.  It is worth thinking about and it would solve the problem of creating an index for my collection.

The world’s greatest non-delivering delivery service aka MRW has yet again shown its quality by not delivering yet another Amazon package.  The time was that this dysfunctional organization used to leave a note telling you that it had failed to deliver something (whether or not you had happened to be in when they (ostensibly) were outside (ostensibly) trying to deliver a package.  They don’t even bother to do that now, merely send an email letting you know that they hadn’t managed to deliver it.  They rely on customers visiting the shop/depot in the centre of Castelldefels, so that we do their jobs for them.  And yes, I am bitter.

The last time I visited the depot, after the firm had sent me a mobile phone message letting me know that my package had (what a surprise) failed to be delivered, they denied all knowledge of it when I actually turned up.

Tomorrow, therefore I intend to be fully armed with a copy of the email with all available reference numbers so that they will not be able to deny it!

And that is the delight of this Sunday.  Whereas all my colleagues in the UK are feeling sick at heart and the thought of the long slog towards Easter and the first Monday of term, I and my Spanish colleagues are relaxed about the extra day of freedom that Monday brings and, while it is a school holiday, it is not a Bank Holiday and so all the shops should be open.  As if.

Still, it is a joy to have a whole day to prepare for the next assault on the walls of ignorance!

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