Day 0 + 3
We are now clinging with a dogged faith to our belief that Sunday will be the Day of Release when silence, like a cool hand on a fevered brow, will reclaim one half our neighbours for the next ten months. The odd days and weekends we can take, but the concentrated sojourn is something of a trial!
Today and been the Diada or national day of Catalonia. Even the dampness of the day has been insufficient to lessen the enthusiasm of Catalans who formed a chain of people some 400 Km long the whole length of Catalonia stretching into France. It has been estimated that one and a half million people took to the streets to show their support for Independence. Out of a population of some seven and a half million. A considerable show of opinion.
The Spanish State has no intention of letting such a wealthy milk-cow like Catalonia go, but it is easy to see that the past appropriation of money earned by Catalonia, siphoned off by the Spanish State and the State’s continual refusal to rethink the status of the Catalan fiscal arrangement has exacerbated the tension between Catalonia and the Spanish State.
I am no proponent of the breaking up of the present organization of Spain, but I do understand the real (and imagined) grievances of Catalans and the present government in Madrid of insensitive, arrogant idiots are only likely to make a difficult situation much, much worse.
And just in case you might be thinking that the situation of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom is similar, you would be wrong. Catalonia is much richer that most of Spain and would make a viable independent country. So some reputable economists say. Politically, however . . .
Just to ram the idea home I have just watched a film which takes the real life story of a boy called Eric who formed a society based on Harry Potter to try and get a supermarket to write information on its products in Catalan as well as Spanish. The story is a graphic illustration of how stupid the state can be when it gets caught up in its own paranoia and ends up accusing a twelve-year-old boy of terrorism. And of course the other groups who then use the boy for their own ends.
Actually there was a must better film which could have picked up more on the ruthless manipulation of the kid, but that was not what this film was trying to say!
It will be interesting to see how the Spanish State and the State Broadcasting System reacts to what has gone on today.
Yesterday I bought some box files in a further attempt to bring order to the free-organization which characterises my book and document collection. Little does Toni realise that the Third Floor is a chaos of half inspected fragments of my past life: photos, work sheets, documents, bank records, tax returns, cards, fugitive writing, instruction leaflets, maps, letters – well, you get the idea, all the sort of stuff that would get a historian gibbering with joy were they to be found in a thousand years time.
However, my intention is to a very serious winnowing and make sure that the bulk of this so-called documentation is shredded and space created for stuff which I need now rather than dead paper waiting for an unexpected encounter to bring it to momentary life in a jaded memory!
The shredder broke down trying to get rid of the bank statements from BBVA (the worst bank in the world) which just goes to show that the Forces of Evil are alive and well and protecting banking!
Day 0 + 4
Although it is, allegedly, a delight to be able to stay in bed for the extra hours now that I do not have to go to the School on the Hill, I do not find that it is congenial to me. Getting up early is so ground into the very bones of my way of living that I will have to follow my instinct and get up earlier than I am at present. I think the Third Phase of sleeping is more draining that invigorating so I will have to readapt!
And I started this morning and was rewarded by an empty swimming pool!
Even though the pool is divided into lanes with floats there is still something magical about breaking the mirror surface of an empty pool and to know that all the turbulence created is your own work rather than a passing body. One must take, as the saying goes, your pleasures where you find them!
The two spiteful days of rain have now gone and the sun, bless it, has deigned to reappear and I feel happier with the world. It meant that the retractable roof on the swimming pool (which has been offensively closed for the past two days) was opened a tinge so that at one end of the pool one was able to feel actual sunshine on one’s back!
I cannot pretend that the water was actually warm, but it was the right temperature for swimming. Which I did. And for longer than usual as I have had a threatening talk with Toni who (presumably on the basis of his extensive training in medical exercise) stated that for “anything to happen” I would have to swim for longer than my regulation twenty minutes. I don’t know if he expects me to develop gills, but I did the “extra mile” and felt duly exhausted at the end of it. Which shows that something is happening – even if it’s only entropy!
I had my cup of tea in the company of droves of sixth from students from the adjacent school whose liveliness (aka noise) stopped abruptly when their break was over and silence descended once more.
Because of the Bank Holiday yesterday on the 11th and the start of term in September there has been a staged re-start to the school year with some scholars not returning until Monday. But I am typing this with only the moronic bark of the sociopathic next-door neighbour’s dog (on the other side) to break the tranquillity. At least the dog barks on a note below middle C - as opposed to the voices of children-of-a-certain-age (whose communication is just this side of the ultrasonic) and which are able to cut through tempered steel!
I think we ought to go out for lunch to take advantage of the temperate weather and to give me the energy to tackle the rest of the reorganization of the Third Floor in preparation for revision and the next course.