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"Paul took on the translation work for The Green Guide to Andalucía at the very last moment. He burnt the midnight oil so that I could meet my deadline at the printers. For A1 service, A1 quality, A1 value – I would recommend A1 Language Services every time!"
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A day like any other PDF
Monday, 28 September 2009 12:45

A day like any other

Wake early, as I often do. Dark and silent, try to get back to sleep, but too much on my mind. Sneak to the loo for an early pee. Only 4.30 am but decide to get on the computer and sort a few things out while America is still sleeping, thus giving me more speed as I beaver away online.

Work for a couple of hours, trying to sort out the domain and email address I bought two days ago. Finally give up and email the Support Team for advice.

Gasping for a cuppa by now, I tiptoe to the kitchen, gently close the bedroom door and boil the kettle. She wakes anyway. Not to worry, as we both have an early start today: she has a Spanish class and I have to go and meet a plumber at a house I look after for its absentee owner. Time for a cuddle, then it’s breakfast on the run and a quick shower.

After two days of rain the day is breaking fair. Perhaps I’ve got too many clothes on, I think, as I head down the mountain on the way to Ronda.

Get to El Rincón, the house I tend, in good time. Salvador, the plumber arrives shortly after and begins to investigate the problem. The house flooded during a recent storm, but when the waters subsided, water was still pouring into the lounge from the wall!

Salvador starts to drill out the wall and eventually finds that the old lead piping has a massive jagged hole in it. 3cm x 1cm. Salva says he’s never seen anything like it!

He goes off to fetch what he needs for the repair and I set to harvesting the grapes from the four vines which shade the middle terrace. The vines are a bit straggly so I prune them quite hard and re-align the wayward branches ready for next year.

Salva is soon finished. It’s an insurance claim so he asks about any damage – just a ruined woven rug, as luck would have it. He tells me a builder will come later in the week to make good the wall where he has been working and to paint it.

I tidy up then go for a coffee in the main pedestrian street. Watching the people go by is fun, but after a while I decide to read. My book is so interesting I have a second coffee, before wandering off to visit two art exhibitions that I’ve been meaning to pop into for two weeks. Both are free to get in and very interesting.

Then it’s off to the Barrio San Francisco, where I have my flat, and a couple of beers and tapas outside my favourite local, Bodega San Francisco, while I read El País. All the news is about German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s election success the day before. I wonder how much coverage it got in the English press...

A departing German holidaymaker sees Merkel’s photo on the front page and asks me about the result. I tell him, then we get talking and he is joined by two German women. I invite them to join me and we have a jolly chat. Helmut, Hildegard, Sigrid und Irena are from Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. They are amazed that I am English and speak such good German – very flattering – and are envious that I am able to live in Andalucía. Then their tour bus turns up and they have to leave for the next venue on their whistle-stop tour of the region.

I finish up, pay and go to my flat to bring in the washing from the other day. With the rain it got wetter than when I took it out of the washer, but it is now dry.

I prepare un bocadillo de tortilla, an omelette sandwich, and watch the BBC news. No mention of the German election! What is going on?

Then they switch to live coverage of the Labour Party Conference in Brighton and a speech by Lord Peter Mandleson. I watch it fascinated. I don’t like the man, but his speech is a tour de force. A real rallying call to the Labour Party members in the auditorium and a warning to the Tories that New Labour isn’t finished yet.

After a standing ovation, Gordon Brown introduces an international guest speaker, none other than José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister. At this point the BBC coverage ends! Why are the British media so disinterested in the rest of Europe?

© Paul Whitelock



Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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