Though there are of course clear compensations from being Marion Rees’s son. This means that retail therapy is always in the blood and a ready way to make all manner of things well. I have never found a little light shopping to be anything other than an advantageous way of behaving when things are not going exactly the way you want them to. Living in Spain there is also the added attraction for WASPs of ‘delayed gratification’ when buying something via Amazon.
I have had the moral worries about trading with a company which quite obviously is dealing well over the other side of legality about the amount of tax that it does not pay to, for example, Great Britain by having its so-called parent company incorporated in Luxembourg removed surgically. And I bet that your attention span was not up to linking the last two words of that sentence to its beginning!
Quite apart from my new electric chair (of which more later) I have also invested in a more practical wallet from the little shoe repairer tucked into a corner in the underground car part of the shopping centre – and the new watch is still not that old. All of this (at least the last two) has been purchased with something approaching impunity because some of the ‘hidden money’ has resurfaced.
My financial ill-management is so poor that my life has been one long struggle to hide money form myself so that I can be surprised in the future with funds which appear as if by magic – my having forgotten that I had hidden them. One such sum was ‘loaned’ to The Generalitat some time ago and, while I knew it was there, somewhere, I had no idea of when the money was going to be returned. It was not, you understand, a fortune, but it was a ‘spendable amount’. Having suddenly returned to my bank account, with no information sent to me, just a casual entry in my bankbook when it was last updated.
Now, of course, it is burning a hole, and I have ordered yet more CDs and double walled tea mugs and ink. I still have not recovered from discovering that the cost of a bottle of ink seems to have rocketed from pence to pounds. So much for my YouTube inspired plan to refill my disposable fountain pens. Well, almost, I am determined to give it a chance and have therefore ordered ink in a spirit of defiance from Amazon which allows you to ‘add on’ certain low cost items to another order. This of course encouraged me to buy other things to make it all worthwhile. It is at times like this that I remember the only accountant who I retained many years ago who give me the following advice, “Mr Rees do not spend money to save money.” Good advice which I always remember after the event and not before. At least I remember it.
And the chair, or The Chair, the replacement for the one which was falling apart and the material of which it was made, flaking away. I made the most of the opening of a new furniture and home store and bought a new electric reclining chair for what I think is a very reasonable amount. It cost an extra €30 to get it from the store to the home, but I am still pleased and I find that I am using the reclining function more than I did the last one because this one is electrically adjustable and doesn’t have to be one thing or the other. If that makes sense. I have also purchased a faux-fur throw to keep me warm in the cooling evenings. When fully furred up with my feet extended and elevated I look like some sort of Dowager Empress holding court. And rightly so.
As we wend our way to Christmas I am exploring the various goodies that Lidl have produced under their Deluxe label and am thoroughly enjoying the discoveries. I now have (among other goodies) a small container of blossoms to scatter on salads and other decoration demanding foods. This, I feel, is a good thing.
As indeed is the range of teas that Lidl is now selling – all of which I am buying. Their Oolong tea bags are the best that I have tasted and the more exotic the blend the more eager I am to try it. I am now ‘tea-ed up’ till the New Year and beyond. And if my new mugs with filters arrive soon then I can be even more radical in my blends and taste experiences! Everyone should have a hobby or two and one of mine is now tea and its bizarre and, in many cases, unsatisfactorily blended outcomes.
Were I a real aficionado then I would be keeping tasting notes like those that I discovered in Nicholas’s bedroom when I was staying with his mum. Nicholas I might add was not there, or even in the same country now I come to think about it. But in looking at his books I came across his detailed notes of his wine tasting: each wine tasted with the details of the meals which accompanied them with dates and times. That is the sort of dedication that I admire but seldom emulate.
I have been to wine tastings and even written my own notes – Toni has offered me folding money to record the sessions, though I have of course refused to protect the guilty! But they were far too esoteric and fundamentally funny to continue for long – much though I enjoyed them. But taking the whole thing so seriously is delightful to find in someone else’s effort, but exhausting to consider for too long from a personal point of view.
Tomorrow the start of a new chapter in the Big Red Book which will lead us towards more work for our next assignment. I have to admit that I am becoming less and less confident as the course progresses and it will be interesting to see what mark I get for the next piece of work. My ideas are in place, but I think that wholesale editing will be necessary using rules and advice which have been vouchsafed to use during the progress of the course. It will be a very interesting exercise, but I fear an exhausting one.
I am making my way steadily through the CDs from one of the new collections and at the moment I am discovering that I do not know Britten’s War Requiem as well as I thought I did, though it is an absolute delight to get to know it better. There are some pieces of music which survive, no matter how fractured your listening experience is – which is another way of justifying having exceptional music on my car CD which I listen to on my way to and from the leisure centre and getting the bread. No trip is more than a quarter of an hour tops, so most music is spread over an extended period of time. It gives one a different perspective; not better possibly, but different.
My pillow! That’s another purchase. My eternal quest for a decent pillow (leaving aside the one I found in El Corte Ingles for something like €250 which I did not buy) seems to have reached some sort of reasonable conclusion. I have been looking for some time, ever since I threw away my old feather pillow having decided that it was only suitable for scientific research rather than slumber. And then discovered just how much feather pillows were! I did buy a fairly cheap one from Lidl but it was woefully thin and inadequate. All of the artificial ones have been unsatisfactory and, even though I have got used to them they were not what I wanted. The answer seems to have come from the same place where I got the chair – and came at ‘reduced’ price too. So far so good, and at less than €15 an absolute bargain. But I do now have various sorts of partially used pillows waiting for visitors. At least now we can give them something like the same choice of pillows that they have in five star hotels. Ish.