Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher house:’ A Pilgrim in Spain’*
About to abandon La Vida Normal in the Netherlands . . .
- 07.19: I’m now en route to Amsterdam airport, having been helped by the chap at Gouda station, who gave me both a ticket and a print-out of my journey, showing the platform I need to go to after the first leg of the journey, at a station in Amsterdam. Impressive.
- Checking in on Iberia last night was something of a calvario, involving the filling of a form related to my health and my recent movements. After success with this challenge, my phone declined to download the PDFs of my boarding card and the QR code which will allow me to get into the terminal in Madrid. But changed its mind when I switched from 4G to wifi. Thank god.
- I was, of course, wrong about coffee in the Netherlands. A trip to a café/bar midday yesterday involved the perusal of a card which offered at least 9 options.
- Talking of forms to fill in . . . Before we could enter the café/bar’s garden, we each had to fill in a 7-question sheet and provide a name and phone number. All very understandable but rather inconsistent with the fact that none of the 20-30 customers inside were wearing a mask.
- But I do have one donned here on the train, where they're compulsory. And Dutch friends all feel an obligation like Spain’s is just around the corner.
- 9.05: Having walked about 2km, I’m now at the right boarding gate, with a couple of hours to kill. Need I say that the machine before Security rejected my dowloaded boarding pass but the chap who assisted me to enter showed me to the priority section, meaning I avoided a long wait in the snaking line. I’m guessing that the problem arose because - in desperation last night - I download the pass in both Word and, via Drive, as a PDF. And I was using the former . . .
- Another lesson learned - Don’t try to negotiate the escalator with a bag in one hand and a hot coffee in the other . . . Especially if you’re wearing a beige jacket.
- Pleasing to see that almost everyone is wearing masks in the airport.
- I see there’s another machine here requesting my boarding card. Let’s see what happens with the PDF downloaded via Drive. . . . If this post ends here, I got on the plane.
Life Back home
- The traffic police are about to get even more efficient/officious at raising state revenue. Basically an arm of the Hacienda now.
- Richard North has moved Cataluña to Galicia but, otherwise, writes as pungently and as sensibly as ever here.
The Way of the World
- Just what you all suspected . . . No one knows how to ever get out of this mess.
- Three more refranes:-
- Lovers' quarrels are soon mended**: Riñen a menudo los amantes, por el gusto de hacer los paces.
- Make the best of a bad bargain/situation: De lo perdido, saca lo que puedas.
- Man cannot live by bread alone: No solo de pan vive el hombre.
Finally . . .
- Fotos of a beautiful walk near some ex peat-bogs yesterday near Gouda. Now a complex of lakes, with some stunning houses and gardens on the edge of these:-
Finally . . . Some folks who'd hired a boat at the café/bar but took 10 minutes to move more than 3 metres, as the driver didn't seem to understand what 'Left(Links)' meant. Or perhaps the café employee was saying 'To port'. With increasing fervour:-
* A terrible book, by the way. Don't be tempted to buy it, unless you're a very religious Protestant.
** At least until they've lived together for a while . .