There is nothing like starting the day with a sense of achievement. It sets you up in the right progressive state of mind where anything is possible and nothing is beyond you.
It is sad that this state of achievement comes from sorting my pills into their little containers so that my next twenty-eight days of pill popping can be done in a more efficient way than opening the boxes and pushing out each of my pills from their individual encasements. I wonder how much extra is added to the cost when pills are vacuum packed rather than sold in a little jar. And I further wonder how much extra is charged by the pharmaceutical companies for this pointless little service. Pointless because my monthly task is to take them out of their foil and put them in my own little containers to make the selection easier. But, however you cut it, this operation is one the effects of which last for a month. Four solid weeks of morning and evening convenience!
My task has been made more onerous by the insistence of Irene that I add a vitamin pill and a cod liver oil capsule to my daily intake. I am assured by learned authorities (Irene) than the vitamin pill is a win/win sort of thing because if you take too much of any one vitamin the body secretes it so you cannot overdose – but it is too easy to under dose yourself. That is the reasoning and, anyway, a massive container of these things was very cheap when purchased from the last visit to Tesco.
The other Irene dictated addition is the cod liver oil capsule. I remember these from my early youth when my parents added them to my daily diet. Being a somewhat contrary child, my parents were horrified to discover that I actually loved the taste of cod liver oil and used to crunch the capsule to get the taste into my mouth. I can remember them turning away in disgust whenever they gave me one of the capsules as my chomping jaws and obvious glee perversely reminded them of the taste which they couldn’t stand – even when their own flesh and blood could!
The poem that I am working on at the moment is refusing to work itself out in a satisfactory manner. This is fitting or ironic, depending on your point of view, as the subject is frustration. It will not have that word in the title and it may not, eventually, be entirely obvious that it is the subject – but that is what it is about and it will clearly be so to me. If I ever finish it. At the moment it is like a car in the garage with the engine on a hoist and other important parts scattered around the workshop some on the bench, others stacked in a heap with one or two parts discarded and waiting for new replacements. Never let it be said that I couldn’t write an extended metaphor! Let’s hope that artistic effort releases whatever motivation is needed to get the thing completed today.
Although today is also the Trip to Barcelona day so there will be other constraints on my time as I make my way to the strange hotel that I usually patronize in Barcelona these days.
This place trails pretention from another era and is an unsettling mixture of the banal and the extraordinary. The accommodation is set around an elliptical enclosed atrium/courtyard with suspended plant pots containing trailing vegetation stretching down to the floor. The ‘courtyard’ area is set with chairs and tables and is lit from the roof and, as it is at first floor level, by ground glass underlights. A strange and unsettling area.
The rooms are basic with tile floors, but they are en suite. The rooms which I have had have usually given out to the ‘courtyard’ area, but one looked out to the back of the hotel and it reminded me of Paris. Not because of majestic views of world famous iconic landmarks, but rather because of the confusion of buildings and lives that one was able to observe through the open window. View it was not – but interesting none the less.
Now for my swim. The one constant in my day!
And I got a lane to myself – and believe me, that is an important aspect of the swimming experience for me. And it gives me the strength to respond to the further revelations which damn the whole basis of society in this country.
There have been revelations about the number and the status of those people in Spain who have accounts in Switzerland. Our minister for the tax collecting aspects of this debased government is a pip-squeak baldy who has been making purely political pronouncements using his status as a minister to get himself airtime. As usual this unbelievably corrupt government of members of PP has tried to direct all justified attention from their worthless selves in an attempt to attack the status of the political party Podemos which is threatening the gravy train that they have been shamelessly riding for the whole of their time in power.
HSBC (a bank I am ashamed to admit that I use) had had its list of thieving customers who use their private Swiss bank exposed. Some countries (not the UK) are prosecuting this bunch of banking criminals for aiding and abetting individuals to evade taxes in their countries. Anyone with a Swiss bank account who is not a Swiss citizen seems to me to have a case to answer. It will be interesting to see which individuals (if any) the majority of our timid press attempt to expose to the full light of careful investigative detail.
Every day there is yet more evidence that the ruling classes in this country regard the ordinary people as mere dupes to bloat their already obscene salaries. At any reasonable assessment of the situation we should almost be at an explosive point in our political life. I feel that Spain is very much a tinderbox at the moment.
There is virtually no respect for the normal symbols of authority in this country: politicians are regarded as self-serving scum; the police have sunk in public appreciation as we have seen too many sights of unprovoked beatings of demonstrators and others; the government is bringing in ever more Draconian laws against any form of protest AND has made an offence to film police brutality; justice is an empty concept in this country; judges are under firm political control; the rich are getting richer; poverty is a growing fact of life – and so it goes on.
Unemployment rates are sky high with youth unemployment being over 50%! If it wasn’t for the fact that people can ‘go home’ to parents and grandparents for help and support our cities would be burning now.
Thank goodness for art and poetry. And cheap, decent, red wine!
My poems can be seen at: