141 – Semana Semantics

141-rednazarenosThe pointy-hats have long ceased to shock me.  Once you realise that the Ku Klux Klan have NOT taken over Spain, the traditional costumes of the Nazarenos who lead and follow each cofradía (brotherhood) in the Semana Santa processions no longer provoke that inevitable first shocked reaction, and you can relax and enjoy the madness that takes over every city, town and village in Spain during Easter. Continue reading

140 – Back in the Arms of a Health Service

At the top of the stairs Marcelo took my arm solicitously.  “Should you take the lift instead?” he asked.  “We don’t want you to have an accident on the stairs, what with you having no health cover ….”.  I shot a glance in his direction and he failed to hide his mischievous grin.  But despite the joke, there was a worrying grain of truth in what he said. Continue reading

137 – A Strange Week

I’ve never been one for the nine-to-five. And fortunately, I guess I’ve never really had to do it. Journalism involved some quite strange hours, as did provincial and touring theatre. Campaigning for the rights of community care service-users and attending late-night Council meetings continued the irregularity, as did freelance training. But retirement? That should be a whole lot more straightforward. You’d think. Continue reading

135 – One Man and His Boat

I didn’t really fancy a museum.  It was a nice Saturday morning in Pedregalejo, I’d had a couple of coffees with Jose and then moved on to the intercambio meetup in the bar next door.  Nice to catch up with old friends there and meet new ones, helping everyone practise Spanish and English.  Then someone suggested a museum.  Not the best idea, I thought, but I  wandered along with the group to the western end of Pedregalejo until we found ourselves outside a boatyard.  And then it all suddenly, and surprisingly, got really interesting. Continue reading