Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Wednesday around here.

So here we are; it's Wednesday. The day when Theresa May is supposed to send the fateful letter pulling the UK out of the EU. Any last-minute reprieve in sight? I don't think so. It will be interesting to see how things go over the next few months and years.

Apparently EU chiefs have warned airlines including EasyJet and Ryanair that they will need to relocate their headquarters or sell off shares to European nationals if they want to continue flying routes within continental Europe after Brexit. Car manufacturers are watching carefully to see whether they need to move their bases out of the UK. The law of unforeseen consequences strikes again!

But life goes on and we have to make the best of it.

There's a little pocket philosophy for us all!

Here everything seems to have returned to something like normal after the quiet of yesterday's día festivo. The workmen were back, drilling and hammering at eight this morning. There was the usual traffic jam up at the school. Everyone wants to park as close to the school as possible. Heaven forbid that their little Pepe or Marta should have to walk any further than absolutely necessary. And so they park on the designated pedestrian sections of the road - it's a one-track road without pavements - and on the pedestrian crossings, with no thought for those who do actually walk their kids to school. Dog eats dog!

On the subject of dogs, there are some impressively large dogs on the route I run in the morning. So before I even get to run the gauntlet of the school traffic jam, Ihave to be frightened out of my skin by an enormous German shepherd dog barking furiously down from one balcony/terrace and an even larger Saint Bernard running back and forth growling down at me from another. Heaven help me if they ever decide that they can leap over the low walls and down into the road.

Even the goats set up the hue and cry the other day. My route takes me past some plots of land where people cultivate stuff: neat rows of potatoes and greens. On one of these a goat appeared a couple of years ago. Last year there were two of them. This year there are three. If we stay here long enough there will be a small goatherd on that plot. As a rule they are very quiet but the other day the largest of the three, perhaps the original goat, decided she had to have a shout at me as I ran past.

It's a curious mix around here, more or less on the edge of town. Between the modern bits there are traces of small village life still around. At the end of the street is a tap, permanently running into its little basin, a source of fresh drinking water. I suppose it was a spring that has been channelled into this tap arrangement. Most mornings you see somebody filling up bottles with this water, no doubt preferring it to what comes out of their taps at home. And it appears to be free, unlike the bottles that so many people buy in huge quantities from the supermarket.

Within walking distance there are also a couple of the old public washing places where the women used to take their clothes and linen to wash before everyone had washing machines in their homes. Monuments to a different lifestyle!

Our flat is in one of a pair of high-rise blocks, about thirteen stories. Along the street are lower blocks, four or five stories, interspersed with individual older houses. Down the hill, on the next main street down, it is like a sort of corridor of moderately high-rise blocks, none of them very attractive. A friend of ours bemoans the fact that they have ruined a perfectly good area with indiscriminate building.

Between the two streets are vestiges of the area as it presumably was before all that building took place: individual houses, quite well-maintained and nice-looking, mostly with a bit of a garden, sometimes with a vegetable patch. Rather like the area where I run in the morning, there are roads leading into the place but between the houses there are only footpaths.

It must be particularly odd to live in the patch between the two main roads, a little enclave of a previous lifestyle, overshadowed by the taller buildings of another age.

So it goes.

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