Last night: At the scheduled 8.50 I go next door, on the expectation that the lovely Ester will be ready and that her equally lovely friend, Susana, will have arrived to take us down to town. Neither of these assumptions proves correct. I chat to the kids and watch TV with them and Ester comes down around 9. She says it's unusual for Susana to be late and I naturally wonder whose definition of this word we're using. There's an exchange of text messages. Ester expresses concern for poor Jorge, who's been standing on a street corner since 8.50 and who must now be pretty cold. Then Ester starts cooking pancakes for the kids. There's more text messaging and a few expletives are uttered by Ester, in between turning pancakes. Eventually, Susana and Maria arrive at 9.30, having driven past poor cold Jorge standing on a corner at the bottom of the hill. There are remonstrations in the street and these continue in the car as we finally set off. As I experience the sound of three voluble Spanish ladies all talking at the same time, I muse once again how ridiculous it is that I can drive with this – and more – smashing into by ear drums but not the quiet voice of a BBC podcaster coming through my ear-phones. Funny country. But anyway, we bring Jorge's almost-hour long vigil to an end and head into town, aiming to eat at a new tapería opened up as an adjunct to a well-known restaurant, Román. Being new, it's packed and we're told we'll have to wait for possibly 30 minutes for the two tables we need. But Lady Luck smiles on us and we're seated almost immediately. Even better, the menu is not the standard list of this region and we try a goodly portion of it. And are impressed. Especially as the prices aren't as high as expected. When the place has become less en boga – and so quieter – I shall return.
Incidentally, when quizzed as to why she'd told me to come by at 8.50, Ester said it was because Susana and Maria were scheduled to arrive at 8.45. So there was some logic to the time, after all. Ignoring Susana's approach to punctuality.
So Frankel didn't let anyone down. At Ascot today he beat the “second fastest horse in the world” and so ended his career with his 14th straight win. He'll now go out to stud and will, it's said, provide his services a hundred times a year. Earning many, many millions in the process. What a life.
Judging by the number – not 'amount'! - of times Toni-the-son-of-nice-but-noisy-Toni-next-door gets bawled for, he must live hidden away in the archives of the distant attic. Listening to one of these bawled summonses today, it struck me, again, that Toni hasn't been away to sea for a long, long time. And this despite telling me in June he was going away very soon. I guess he must be one of the victims of la crisis. If so, it would probably make it impolitic of me to ask him again about his travel commitments. Perhaps I could get the lovely Ester to do it for me.