Monday, 25 August 2014

Haircuts, magpies, airlines and beggars! The price of stuff!

Sitting in the barber's shop while Phil has his hair cut, I just overheard the barber comment that this is a very bad summer. What did I say in my last post? There you go! 

Today is in fact rather a dull day but warm and sticky. However, because of the cloud (perhaps?) lots of ladies are wearing scarves. I suppose it could be that all of them suffer from "cervicales", that curious ailment that only the Spanish, the French and the Italians suffer from, to my knowledge anyway. It's a kind of stiff neck but more so and involves strain of the top of the spine, or something like that. Now, for all I know, the Germans might also acknowledge this as a medical condition but I have never come across an English person who is aware of it. 

 The caged magpie that used to be here in the barber's shop has disappeared. Maybe it just grew too big and they decided to let it go. But no, in fact, it turns out that back in May someone walking past noticed it and reported them to the police. Una denuncia!! They took it away to release it into the wild. Apparently they were in all the papers and even on television. I was never really happy at the thought of the poor bird in its cage. Neither would I like it to hop around the shop as I am not a fan of things that fly around indoors. You should see me when I take the grandchildren to the zoo and they want to go in the batcage !! My idea of torture!!! However, the barber was concerned that the poor bird might never have learnt to fend for itself and might well die in the wild. 

Before the barber's shop visit, we called in a the offices of a budget airline on Calle Policarpo Sanz here in Vigo. On Saturday we cleverly went online and booked our flights from the UK to Oporto, well in advance as we won't actually fly until the end of November. This Portuguese airline asked for passport numbers as we booked, unlike others who ask for the details some time later, between booking and actually travelling. Anyway, we managed to put one of the passport numbers in wrongly. Looking online for a way to remedy the matter, we discovered that there is an office here in Vigo. So we trotted along and sorted it out. The very helpful young lady in the airline office just changed it on the computer and that was that. We didn't ask how much that would cost us. Online it said that any change would have a charge of £60 but she didn't ask for any money and we didn't want to tempt fate by asking. Maybe a bill will come through later but so far so very good. 

Our supermarket beggar is back. For the last six weeks or so, there has been no hand extended, no whining voice, no stories about how she has no money for her son's birthday and so on. And then, as we went out in the early evening on Saturday, there she was, greeting us like old friends. My cynical side wonders if she has been away on holiday! If she is from a gypsy family, which is not impossible, I suppose the whole lot of them could have been away working the harvest somewhere. You never know. Or maybe she now needs some money to fund her son's return to school. After all, "la vuelta al cole" is an expensive business in all countries. Our daughter has been protesting at the amount she has had to spend on uniform for her daughter, moving to secondary school this September. Even the sports socks had to be of a certain brand - the more expensive, naturally!! 

So it goes!

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