181 – Has Anyone Got Any Knickers?

Church halls pretty much anywhere in the western world all look remarkably similar.  This one was just like the one in Yorkshire I went to in the 1960s as a Brownie, and the one in south London in the 1990s when I hosted fundraising jumble sales, and then in Somerset in the 2010s when I ran charity training courses.  This one, though, was in a small Axarquía town in inland Málaga province. Continue reading

167 – The Turn of Another Year

My fifth Christmas in Spain.  I thought that must be wrong, but it’s not.  Four and a half years since I bought my house, three and a half years since I retired and moved here full-time.  Such a short time, yet it feels like forever. Continue reading

166 – Catching Up

 

First of all it was remiss of me not to thank you all for the lovely thoughts and messages you sent following my heart attack.  I really did appreciate every one of them – “the kindness of strangers” means a lot.

Since then I’ve been doing a lot of catching up.  Trying to slow down, catching up with old friends, and catching up with long-delayed tasks. Continue reading

165 – Irredeemably Grumpy

Some people are easy to like.  Belén, for example.  Kind, generous, pretty, gorgeous eyes, and she works more than 40 hours a week as a volunteer, cooking and serving meals for homeless people at Los Ángeles Malagueños de la Noche.  One of life’s special people.  So when it was her turn to need something, dozens of strangers who had never met her were willing to help. Continue reading

162 – Friendlessness

She’s not at all an unpleasant woman.  Not as far as I’ve seen, and nor does anyone mention they’ve found her difficult.  A bit grumpy at times, but then this is not the life she had imagined.  Perhaps a bit judgemental, not really willing or able to see that nobody else wanted to be there either.  Doesn’t participate in group activities, seems to sneer slightly at the art and craft workshops.  But pleasant enough, a nice smile, easy to chat to. Continue reading

161 – Possessive Pronouns

Language is cultural as much as grammatical.  The Spanish don’t say “my” as much as we do.  I don’t know if that’s a cultural thing, something to do with not wanting to boast, not wanting to appear too proud, or what.  It felt odd at first, but you become accustomed to it.  “The head hurts me” to the doctor.  “The tooth hurts me” to the dentist.  No need to say “my tooth” – after all, nobody else’s tooth is likely to hurt me.  Continue reading