Wednesday turned into an odd sort of day in some respects. Everything began fine, all as usual. I got up and ran, bought bread for breakfast, returned home and showered and got ready for the rest of the day. No problem there. Then I went out again, still before breakfast, to go to the Chinese bazar as soon as it opened.
Phil was due to start playing in a chess tournament in Pontevedra. He usually takes a flask of coffee with him. Where was his flask? Well, it turned out that he had managed to leave it behind when he played in Sanxenxo in June!
Why did I not know that? Goodness only knows.
So I trotted off to the the Chinese bazar to buy a new one.
At the same time I popped into the fruit shop to pick up this and that. The fruit shop lady was busy telling us all how hot it was going to be that day. And there I was, thinking that the temperatures looked like being much more manageable. And mostly they proved to be so.
Late morning I went down to the pool - still a bit murky-looking but better for not being over crowded. (On Thursday, by the way, the grass was cut again and no doubt the filters are already filling up with cuttings. One of my poolside acquaintances told me she had remonstrated with the chap doing the mowing and had got almost nowhere. He simply follows instructions. If nobody tells him specifically that he needs a mower that picks up the cuttings then he doesn’t bother. The pool is someone else’s problem. So it goes.)
After an early lunch we set out for the train station and off to Pontevedra. The first day of a chess tournament is like a reunion of old friends; everyone wanders around greeting each other and catching up on news before the serious business begins.
There is a bus organised to take players, and their companions, from the bus station at one end of town to the venue, a school up in the hills at the other end of town. On the bus I found myself explaining stuff in French to some players who had come from near Paris. Discovering that I spoke French, they asked if I knew anything about transport to a place called Grube. Grube? I had never heard of such a place. About thirty or forty kilometres away they said, on the coast. And then I realised that they meant O Grove! Buses from Pontevedra bus station? No problem!
About an hour after play started, so at about 6.00pm, an Italian I had met at the chess club in Vigo turned up. He had come from Vigo by bike! He had told me he planned to do this and I had taken it with a pinch of salt. But there he was, in his cycling gear!
And I set about practising my Italian. This is what language geeks do!
Meanwhile, the sun had disappeared and cloud had moved in. The next time I looked out, maybe half an hour later, it was raining! What a surprise! My phone app has suggested the slight possibility of some rain but this was quite serious stuff. And it went on for a couple of hours.
We had rainbows, but much later!
The Italian cyclist was a bit concerned. A ride back to Vigo in the rain was not appealing. To get back to the centre of Pontevedra and then catch a train didn’t seem good either. It’s a long, fairly steep slope down to the town and could be rather dangerous in the wet! In the end we organised for him to pack his bus into the tournament bus back to the station later.
Eventually the chess games came to an end and people, including us, went to the rendezvous point to get the bus back to the station. We stood a good chance of catching the 9.36 train. And then we waited and waited and waited for the bus to be ready to depart. Lots of phone calls seemed to be taking place to check that all possible passengers were there. Nobody was to be left behind.
We were still in with a chance for that train! But the bus did a drop-off in the town centre before going to the station, where we arrived just as the train left. Forty minutes wait for the next one!
Baxk in Vigo, I wanted to post my blog. Phil wanted to check some info about the next day’s play. So we caught a taxi to one of our local wifi bars. Which was closed! According to the taxi driver, places on the edge of town were closing early because of a concert in Castrelos park. Some singer I had heard of but never heard. Maybe I had heard him but never consciously listened to him. Whatever the truth of the matter, so many people had probably gone there that edge-of-town bars were short of customers and closed early.
So we went elsewhere, had a drink and very meagre tapas - well, if you had an almost empty bar you would not go to town on making tasty tapas, would you? But their wifi was working. At least it was working for Phil’s laptop and it was working for my iPhone but it would not let my iPad access the internet! I tried switching off and starting afresh, all to no avail!
So I gave up and ended up getting up on Thursday morning to post Wednesday’s blog from the cafe down the road from our flats.
A crazy day! Thursday worked better! Today’s post is from the local cafe, just in case!