Saturday, 17 March 2018

Worse things than storm Gisele?

I was woken at about 2.00 or possibly 3.00 am my phone going ping! It was a request to phone Phil at 10.30am English time to ensure that he had got up to go to his chess match. I might be a lot further south in stormy Andalucía but I can still be useful.

I woke properly at somewhere around 8.00 to a grey and gloomy day. Storm Gisele was on her way in. I phoned Phil later as requested. It was snowing, he said, in Delph. Here in El Puerto de Santa María the wind was getting up and the rain was starting.

We were due to go over the bay to Cadiz for lunch with my younger sister’s Spanish in-laws. So we dodged the rain and piled into the car and off we went, across the elegant new bridge, a very high, cable-strung affair. So far so good.

Once over the water we collected various Spanish relatives and set off to find a place to lunch. All the likely places were full, largely because those who might have sat outdoors were inside because of the foul weather. My Spanish nephew suggested we looked for a place which served really bad food; they were bound to have room. Eventually, however, we found somewhere without having to go to such lengths.

The usual selection of tasty tapas followed. My English sister had egg and chips. Now I know where my middle granddaughter gets her refusal to try exotic food from!

After lunch we went elsewhere for coffee. This was a whole different adventure. We were heading for a place near the seafront and at one point were almost blown away, the wind was so strong! There they offered us a strange concoction of salted peanuts and chewy fruit sweets. Is this the latest trend? If so, it is not one I appreciate.

Coming home to my Spanish sister’s place in el Puerto, we avoided the very high new bridge and used the old bridge. We are not going out again this evening. Gisele is a storm too far!

On a different topic altogether, here is a story from yesterday’s Guardian:

“A Romanian court has rejected a man’s claim that he is alive, after he was officially registered as dead. A court spokeswoman said on Friday that 63-year-old Constantin Reliu lost his case in the north-east city of Vasului because he appealed too late. The ruling is final.

Media reported Reliu went to Turkey in 1992 for work and lost contact with his family in Romania. Hearing no news from her husband, his wife managed to get a death certificate for him in 2016. Turkish authorities located Reliu this year with expired papers and deported him.

When he arrived in Romania, he discovered he had been declared dead. He was quoted as saying: “I am officially dead, although I’m alive, I have no income and because I am listed dead, I can’t do anything.””

So there are worse things than Storm Gisele!

Meanwhile, I read that Finland has overtaken Norway to become the happiest nation on earth, according to a UN report.

“The 2018 World Happiness Report also charts the steady decline of the US as the world’s largest economy grapples with a crisis of obesity, substance abuse and depression.

The study reveals the US has slipped to 18th place, five places down on 2016. The top four places are taken by Nordic nations, with Finland followed by Norway, Denmark and Iceland.”

The UK is in the 19th place but al least we are ahead of France and Spain. So it goes!

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