Sunday, December 15, 2013


I have excuses.  

The .4 of a kilo extra since last week.  Disaster.  

But, as I say, I have excuses.  

Yesterday I went, with Irene to the shopping centre connected to Español’s ground – ostensibly for the buying of Christmas presents.  I had no lively expectation that I would make any purchases but I was tempted by the chance of a chat with Irene and going out to dinner.

The shopping centre was packed and I was lucky to get a space in the massive underground car park, at least within a few minutes after crawling along in the traffic jam to get into the place in the first place.

The shops appeared to be horrific.  We went into a cheap clothes shop and it was like a vision of hell with hordes of people and narrow corridors of passage between shelves and tables stacked with rubbish heaps of items.  After pushing our way around for a little while, I suggested to Irene that I start queuing while she completed the gathering of what she wanted.  This is the delight of having a mobile phone with a library on it – queues are never that much of a problem!

My idea was to go to a restaurant, after we had exhausted our patience shopping, that we didn’t manage to get into the last time that I was there.  Toni and I were told that the place, Morder y Pasta, or a title something like that was excellent value for money.  The fact that we couldn’t get in because there was a vast queue and I was not prepared to wait, in spite of the two kids who had accompanied us bursting into floods of tears at the idea that they would have to eat elsewhere!

Toni and I walked off and we were eventually joined by others who saw the sense in not allowing the very young to be dictators.  Especially as the little buggers had no intention of paying for anything!  Something I always remind myself of.

Anyway we didn’t go and so this was my chance (without kids) to go and find out if the hype was justified.

The place was closed and after asking a passing cleaner, she told me that it only opened at 8 pm.  Later than other places.  We decided that we could do just a little more light shopping and then we should be able to time our completion with the opening of the restaurant.

We arrived ten minutes early and found a vast queue.  Though not as vast as the one in which I had previously refused to wait.  Trying to ignore the increasing wind chill factor we eventually got in and found that we had to pay first!  This, we were told was because once we had got past the till all the food and drink was ‘free’.

The place was quite large with lines of joined tables set in frameworks which came up to about shoulder level to separate them off into sections.  We were ushered into a small corner and then we started to get our bearing and start the meal.

Which was an utter disaster.

The place had all the ambience of a hangar.  The people were noisy and the architecture seemed to force the sound down so that normal conversation was impossible.  The beer ran out within twenty minutes, the sangria was liquid sugar and the white barely drinkable.

The food was unspeakable.  None of it was hot; everything was luke warm and tasteless.  Even the boiled eggs tasted a little strange and their outer surfaces were suspiciously slippery.  It was just awful – I even left my apple quarter eaten, as it was tasteless.

But the range of luke warm tasteless food was remarkable: meat, fish, pizza, salad, sweets, ice cream (which I also didn’t finish) beer, wine, soft drinks, fruit juices.  Everything was there but nothing was quality.

I did eat my money’s worth (€13.95 per person) but I will never go there again and I have put the blame for my weight increase squarely on the food that I ate defiantly and the wine that I endured there.  It’s not my fault.

I have now taken a more Draconian approach and flung away some of the little treats that I had been harbouring in the kitchen.  Now the most exciting thing left for me to eat is cottage cheese.  Life, ‘tis said, is hard.  And with Christmas approaching I am even more concerned about getting below my present stubborn level of kilos before the new year.  We shall see.

The course continues with very few people posting the writing that they should be doing at this stage, presumably everyone is trying to get the next assignment out of the way so that they are not working over Christmas.  Fat chance.

Tomorrow the ink arrives to be the fairly essential ingredient in my drive to refill my disposable fountain pens, though perversely I have now decided to use my computer to produce my Morning Pages because it is much easier and more fluent like that.  Perhaps I will have to go back to the steam driven form of production if only to justify my purchase of imported ink!

I do tend to write poetry with pen or pencil rather than computer – but the poetry section of the course is some months ahead at the moment.  The pens will keep.

There are always excuses or reasons or explanations.  They keep life going!
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