Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Life with daughter 3:- Scenario: Leaving the house by car at 8.15, to get the 8.25 train to Leeds, Manchester and beyond. Hannah is negotiating the exit, between two brick pillars . . .
Can you check your side, Dad.
It's fine. In fact, I think there's probably too much space this side and you should give yourself more room your side.
Dad! I can see my side! And I've done this a thousand times.
Skkkkkkkkrrrrrrrrrrr. [Or however you represent brick on metal]
[Calmly] Well, there go hubris and nemesis in one swift go.

I'm truly astonished at how serenely she's taken this set-back. I cannot begin to describe how angry I'd have been. Overwhelmed with admiration - and wondering whether there really is a genetic connection - I find myself praying for just 10% of her ability to take things in her stride. And to see them in perspective. Probably in vain.

Ironically, the scratch-causing rush to get me to the 8.25 train certainly was in vain. It arrived stuffed to the rafters and only half the people on the platform could squeeze into it. The rest of us had to wait another ten minutes for the next one. The one I'd originally planned to get.

But, anyway. Given that only this week there was a report of a bus driving around Valencia with an ad for prostitutes on the back of it, it'll hardly come as a surprise to anyone who's spent time there that Spain leads the European Use of Whores League. By quite some way. Specifically - 39% of Spanish men have hired the services of a prostitute at one time or another, compared with Switzerland at 19%, Austria at 15, the Netherlands at 14 and Sweden at 13%.

Brits seem to have been too few to mention. But perhaps it's a reflection of hard times (no pun intended). We used to be the biggest buyers of property down south but last August the Alicante laurels were taken by the Russians, followed by the Scandinavians, the Dutch and the Belgians, with the Brits in a poor fifth place.

I did an awful lot of reading about the eurozone shenanigans on the train this morning. In fact, that's my excuse for missing the station I was supposed to get off at - just like the young woman next to me on the train to Liverpool last week. Fortunately, the next stop was only fifteen minutes walk from the house of two of my oldest and dearest friends and they were at home. And willing to give me a coffee and drive me to my destination. It's an ill wind.

My intention had been to thrill you with EU/euro quotes and citations but I figure you've had quite enough of this saga by now. Anyway, no one really knows what's happening. And may not for several weeks yet. I'll just say how amusing it is to see SPIVs coming to the rescue of the political experiment.

Walking through the lanes of Cheshire, I was nasally reminded of something I read a while back in a 1905 book on English counties - "The typical smells of Cheshire are cow dung and foxes' urine." I'm pleased to say things have moved on since then; you rarely get to smell foxes these days. Though I do see one - the scrawniest creature I've ever beheld - walking down my daughter's drive most days here in urban Leeds.

Walking back to the station to start the return journey, I passed a parked van with the words DEC ART on its side. I wanted to scribble below these "Je pense. Donc je suis." but the van wasn't dirty enough to give me the means. That's Cheshire for you.

At the Reception desk in the doctor's surgery
Can I trouble you for a Temporary Patient form?
May I ask why you would like one of these?
Internal Response: WTF do you think I want one?
External Response: I may be here for 3 months and want to become a temporary patient.
Sometimes I'm a veritable saint.

I'll leave you with the assertions that Bill Bailey is a comic of genius. As well as a bloody good musician. And that 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare is a rattling good read. Unless you're dumb enough to think that someone else authored his works. In which case, you'll find it very, very irritating.

6 comments:

Hannah Davies said...

Really enjoyed reading this tonight, dad. Thanks for the mention.
Shame about the ill-timed driving directions that nearly smashed my car up.
Han x

Mike the Traditionalist said...

Hannah - In future don't take instructions from someone who drives on the wrong side of the road.

Colin said...

Yes but she scratched her car precisely because she ignored me, Mike.

Azra said...

There was some talk here (in the media) of SA coming to Spain/Greece's rescue with the debt crisis... and then someone commented that we have enough of our own problems and don't need more. Nothing's been decided yet - or should I say, we haven't heard anything since.

Colin said...

Well, we had Brazil, India and China mentioned here but I don't recall SA being seen as the 7th calvary. . . .

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