Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Friday, July 14, 2017

More of nothing

I'm watching a fly trapped between the mosquitera, the fly screen, and the glass of the windows. It must have walked in but now it seems unable to retrace its steps. Bear in mind that that's my opening sentence, the considered first paragraph. Do the sensible thing and move on now!

Hunting for something to write all I can think of is trivia. Second warning then. 

The third cat, the newest cat, the skinniest cat, Gertrudis has nearly got to the point of trusting us. She doesn't always push off after she's wolfed down her food ration. In fact she's settled down on the sofa a couple of times to watch the afternoon news bulletin. Stroking is accepted but an attempt to remove a thorn or some such from her paw left me scratched and bleeding. She may yet move in for real though.

I feared we were about to take on cat number four the other morning. Gertrudis turned up with a healthy looking white cat which, Maggie assures me, is Gertrudis's son. Clapping, shouting and stomping left him unmoved. It took a hosepipe blast of water to send him on his way. Maggie seemed to take to the white cat and Gertrudis showed whose side she was on by leaving the garden with her bedraggled offspring. Later Maggie sent me a message to say that she had seen a slain tabby cat at the side of the road - were all ours accounted for? Gertrudis wasn't. Guilt gripped me. Had my dousing and her family loyalty led to her death? The dead cat wasn't easy to identify. It didn't have much head left. She weighed the same as Gertrudis, she had pointed ears the same as Gertrudis and the same sort of thin tail. I was sure it wasn't her and then equally sure it was. I carried the body home. I decided it was her - wasn't it? As I looked for a shovel Gertrudis mewed into sight, late, for her elevenses. She's Spanish, she expects a mid morning snack. I unceremoniously dumped the dead cat in the field of stubble somewhere near the dead fox that the other cats had taken to as a plaything a few days before.

Whenever I rest my arms on the keyboard or the desk I'm leaving traces of sweat. It's been quite warm for the last couple of days - hovering in the mid to high 30s. It's a topic of conversation - the heat. I was missing a couple of students for yesterday's afternoon session. They'll be at the pool - if they've any sense - said the attendees. Our liquid consumption has gone up. I'm not keen on water except for showering and doing the dishes. I know that nowadays, along with fruit and veg, and not smoking, water is one of the fundamentals for eternal youth. Put on some stretchy sports clothing and a water bottle is an essential accompaniment. To be honest all those people sipping all that water from plastic bottles annoys me. For a start I presume that most of those plastic bottles end up floating as part of those giant rubbish islands in the world's oceans. It annoys me that huge corporations, the like of Nestlé and Coca Cola, manage to flog us water at extortionate prices but, away from the global issues, I wonder at all those tiny sips all the time. If you're thirsty fine, have a drink, but sip, sip, sip, sip. Give me strength. Better out of the tap, from a water fountain and, if you really must carry water to ensure that dehydration doesn't do for you as you go around your daily routine then a reusable container would be better. Tea's good I think, and beer.

Culebrón fiesta this weekend. Usual sort of programme. Bouncy castles for the kids, a gachamigas making competition, meal on Saturday evening, football here tanganilla there. To be honest I'm not that keen on participating. I know I'm not one of the world's most gregarious, social, sympathetic or even friendly people so that most people can take me or leave me but Maggie is pretty sociable. Last year, after we'd chosen a seat for the meal, a seat we'd paid for, we were asked to move. It's that the brother in law's great aunt is coming tonight and she's going to need somewhere to sit. It happened once or twice more until we were basically in the seats with a restricted view behind the pillar. In Pinoso tonight there are songs in the open air from a choir. Tomorrow, nearly as near, but in the other direction, in Casas del Señor, they have an evening of short films, outside and with free snacks. Over in Petrer the guitar festival is still in full swing and in Sax, there's an "ethnic mix" music festival. All of them free. If I were actually to look for some events there would be more. Hmm? Which attracts me more: 15€ worth of takeaway chicken eaten with plastic knives and forks or a bit of free cinema or music?

Ah, ah! The fly is gone. Like those Shakespearean writing monkeys blessed chance must have led it to fly free again. My cue to go away.

PS Maggie has just returned from visiting someone and she says that a Spanish person from the village has messaged her for us to sit with them tomorrow. Bother! Well, I'm not going to let the truth get in the way of thirty minutes worth of post writing. Publish and be damned as the Duke of Wellington said.

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