Saturday, June 28, 2008

cant believe another week gone already, time seems to go so slow while i am standing there, the afternoons more than the mornings, but then i am driving home and now, again, its Saturday, today we had our car broken into in la cañada.... not badly, but they got in through the drivers door and had a look in the boot, but, oh so sorry we had nothing in there to pinch!

OK blog notes... have a little note book with me from now on to.. well make notes!

so bit distorted but here goes... it was San Juan on the 24th and the evening before is when it all starts at midnight with fires on the beaches and lots to drink and eat on bar-b-ques there on the sand, and as i drove off from c/playa along the beach road there were already lots of people about, playing games on the sand and having fun, the roads were packed with people driving down to the coast and the police were out in full force (!) directing the heavy traffic, and then at midnight, when i was fast asleep its when you run into the sea and have your dreams come true....

the following morning driving back the coastal road they were still parting, well the hardened the young people mainly i think! still playing ball, tents up and looking a bit worse for wear, and the rubbish! everywhere the beach was covered with plastic bags and bottles, what a mess!

couple of more new cigarettes for sale this week, promotions only maybe i am not sure, because in these days of trying not to promote smoking as fashionable thing we now have here D&G and CK cigarettes! nice packaging and all that, but who needs Calvin Klein smokes or Dolce & Gabbana!?!

i keep getting pruny fingers... do you know what i mean, like when you have been too long in the bath... i wonder if its the air con in this estanco? in the mornings its not too hot yet outside and the air con is very cool, people coming in saying how nice it is and my fingers are turning blue and wrinkly!! nice eh!

when Russia were playing Spain this week the other two girls in the shop came in in the afternoon both wearing their Spanish tops! and me, still with my black Lambert & Butler shirt on! so one of them made a nice little sign to stick on the front saying 'España' or course! and we won! three goals right at the end, well almost, and as my mom said just as her phone credit ran out calling me the day after, the goals went in boom boom boom! and i was left laughing to my self on my beach bed and the line went dead! mom uses a card to phone my mobile here during the afternoons while i am having my siesta, as its too late when i get home....

i am still having great fun on the roads to and from work... still marvelling at the lack of indicating general couldn't care less approach to driving here... you don't see much road rage from Spanish people, who know others are doing as they do, so what can they say! you have to be waiting along time behind someone having a chat with someone on the path before someone beeps here! and double parking out side the estanco's... only the Brits shout and scream, because the locals don't! so really all in all i guess its us with our road rage who lose out don't we, get all hung up about nothing... although coming round the mountain road between de la torre and el grande the other morning i met with an extra wide load, carrying a small house on board, only a third of the house was almost over my car, i actually ducked! doh! that would have helped, i don't think!

a well known and long standing company down on the coast is not having the best of times, making a lot of people redundant, closing receptions and restaurants, even making porters only work weekends! lots of people have been told to go....

although i must admit not that many people are complaining who come into the shop, they are still getting a huge bargain on their ciggies after all, and after all its not only Spain where the prices have risen we see on the English news every day how expensive every thing is getting well it is here too! its not just a British problem its world wide...

off to Pizarra market tomorrow, will be back soon, Dr Who is just starting... oh and by the way Tony is having his birthday weekend in Prague as i write, havent heard a word from him, hope he is having a good time.... are there any web cams there do you think?

A responsible warrior is not someone
who takes the weight of the world on his shoulders,
but someone who has learned to deal with
the challenges of the moment.
Manual of the Warrior of Light


Sunday, June 22, 2008

its late now on sunday, but just remembered something that was on the local news here on friday morning and i wanted to tell you, here at alhaurín golf there have been some bad break ins, not the
usual type, which are bad enough, and we should know after ours three years ago last weekend.... but there were five in just four days there where 'they' used the old gas trick through the air con units over night and people are waking up in the morning feeling sick, and then finding someone has come in and taken anything they want... they and they're pets gased and robbed... i remeber thinking after our break in that the man had seen us laying there and all the other much worse posibilites, and what an awful thought of someone coming in when your unconscious!

ok thats me done for the weekend now, today we went to pizarra market, was a good day, even though the police came round and we all had give our names address's and of course NIE numbers and list what we were selling!

they shifted off a couple of people who had new things for sale and they are not allowed to!

the la trocha market starts again sunday july 6th, but its only boot sale things and no food at all is allowed to be sold. so we may go there instead of pizarra! not sure, also not sure weather to do the S.E.P.E. next sunday.... so many decisions!

my juice and lunch are made ready for tomorrow, and my bags packed!

so have a good week folks and hasta el fin de la samana!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

hola amigos...

ok... been making notes, seems the best idea as the more tired i am the more i forget, or the worse my memory gets!?

although this first lot of notes is hard to read, when i was driving into work the other morning i realised the notes were in the back pocket of my jeans, which were then drying on the line... with the faded paper having also taken a wash, but here we go with what i can read....

first thing i noticed immediately this week was the trucks are back in town.... and country and roads every where.... the journey takes about another 10 minutes now with them on the roads taking up space and time! strangely i hadn't noticed their absence the previous week...

a customer who came in the store commented on a girls rudeness to her and said she wouldn't be back in here to me! then later the girl told me how rude the customer had been to her and what had she said to me about it! the tobacconist was also saying how he thinks the people from the UK are unfriendly! no hello's or good mornings... not many thank you's and bye bye's on the way out! and i must admit a lot of the people coming in were none too forthcoming with their usual friendliness... but i think a lot of it is to do with the language barrier... and i said may be its just, rather than start a conversation you cant finish, its best not to start one at all! although i think most of people i know all say hello to all the people here, i know i do as i walk down the street, i don't know them nor them me, but i say hola! and get one in return, this morning i had an 'hola princesa' which i thought was lovely from a neighbor i hadn't seen all week! but then this is inland, and i don't say hello to everyone i meet down on the coast! they'd lock me up!

and a 'foreigner' not naming and shaming here.... told me something about the cigarettes, he told me and pointed at them, i said i didn't understand, and so to make me do so.... he shouted exactly the same thing again at me really loudly! yes that helped!

still not seen anyone i know yet, from either blighty or alhaurín el grande - but people came in Thursday to say bye bye and thanks which is nice. people are so happy to hear an 'English' voice to help, although i don't know the area really, for banks or ATM's etc. and yesterday a couple who i first met last week in the other estanco who knew i was in this one from earlier in the week, came in to see me and say bye bye.... then there are the people to whom i am invisible.... i was telling the guy in the shop about the time when i was working on the golf course - about a man who 'didn't see me' and didn't buy a ticket for diabetes research.... and when he got a hole in one with his shot, he didn't get to go to Las Vegas and didn't get a chance to win a million dollars!!!

well the week went quick - well mostly, could sleep for longer on the beach but for the road works when i am at this estanco on bajondillo, and if the guys who came to collect the money would only not wait till i had just dropped off to sleep!!

also yesterday at this estanco lots of really drunk blokes coming in later on in the day, obviously i don't start back till 5pm but they're well gone by six when some come in, standing there at the counter legs moving all wobbly and trying to hold themselves together and concentrate! yes great eh!

think my Spanish is improving a lot now, i can understand and join in with lots of the conversations this week, although there was one i just listened into and laughed at the end... more because i think i had misheard most of it, the three were apparently talking about a pirate who was in bed, sick, with cheese flavoured chewing gum.... well who wouldn't be sick....

The search for happiness
is more important than the need for pain.
Eleven Minutes


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Today, two blogs for the price of one....

franco the hero... when he and maria, his sister, got down to the apartment saturday morning, early about 2am, they were settling her in and could hear this mewing noise from the bathroom ceiling or terraza area, hard to work out exactly where...

the noise the mother was making sounded like a baby in distress, she was moving around everywhere on the roof crying and worried... they thought maybe there was a cat in the ceiling of the bathroom, somehow!

and by 5am there were 3 cats mewing... mommy and two babies! franco had to move a part of the boiler away from the wall and some bits and pieces, and there was the drain with no grill on it to catch leaves or rubbish or small kittens it turns out... because firstly franco saved one that was head down into a drain up on the terraza, he was holding on with his paws out to save him self from falling further, franco lifted him up and put his somewhere safe... then he dropped a long long length of string down the pipe that goes 20 feet through the apartment and the one beneath and then onwards out into the sea i guess, taking rain/washing water from the terraza away with it...

and after a while of coaxing and pulling out came the small fragile body of the other kitten! looking like a drowned rat! the string was around his head and both front paws... as if he had looped it over to help the rescue mission!

then... the first kitten had gone missing again, he had gone into a flower pot head first and got jammed in, so franco had to pull him out by the scruff of his neck!

the mommy cat carried each one away holding on by her teeth to their necks, then a final thank you and good night to maria and franco!

we saw the mother cat later, when i was there, but no sight of the babies, hope they're safe now? and not up to any more mischief eh!

we were out all day yesterday it seemed.... i got the bus down to fuengirola first thing, collected my new glasses! only got one pair for now to see how i get on with them... bit blurry to start with have to be careful how quickly i move my head about!

then a shorter bus ride to calahonda and ice cream in hand, i headed off to maria's place.... once there after our 'hello's' we went out for groceries, after a breakfast, i had had mine of course, would'nt leave the house without it! then to lidl for food, well in theory, as most of the shelves were bare, no food, no milk, no fresh vegetables... this transport strike is killing spain at the moment, no fuel, no vehicles to transport any thing, its crazy...

back to the apartment, and then off to ikea.... maria had a small list of things to buy, now her place is all done up beautifully, there are things to be changed and re newed... coffee table, small cupboard, rug and cushions etc, we were all tired and debated weather to go today, but it was the only day to go really and i would never turn down a chance to go to ikea, especially as i now pass the place morning and night, before its open and after it has closed!!!

we had ice cream and drinks when we got there.... shopped.... and then had a light snack on our way out!! then it was back to maria's and then home, must have been about 8pm i think, cant remember!

so today we decided to give the market a miss, i had to have one day where i did'nt have to get up early! and franco has certainly had a lot of missed sleep the last couple of days too!

i could'nt believe the time when i came down stairs this morning... 950am! unbelievable pippa even let us sleep in that long!

we went out to buy some fresh fruit and bread from the little store near alhaurín golf, they dont have to rely on trucks and gasoline, everything there is grown or made on the premises!

then before coming home we went to see a friend and enjoyed some relaxing time on her terraza, with a cool drink and good conversation...

now home, in the cool of our house, its over a hundred up on our terrace now, at 4pm...

just checked out the web came down at torre where i will be tomorrow, of the three torre web cams its the first one, bit of building work going on down there, and a kiosk in the centre of the view.... there used to be benches there on the path but now only earth under the palm trees? i will have to sit on that wall on the left for tony to see me tomorrow afternoon! it says 'live' but i think its about every minute it changes!

The glory of the world is transitory,
and we should not measure our lives by it,
but by the choice we make
to follow our personal legend,
believe in our utopias and fight for our dreams...

well to begin? had three days of my new job.... just as it was last time, long day... 40 hour working week, but 67 hours from door out in the morning to door back again at night!

but as i just said to barry, i do get a three hour rest on the beach every day! eat sleep read.... then back in to the shop at five! so that'll do me very nicely thank you!

last time i was sitting on a bench trying to get some shade, but not easy to relax on a hard bench, and definitely so sleep, so this time i already have it sussed out, after eating my lunch i am going to sleep, i set my alarm so i wake up, but am waking up naturally after an hour or less, so having some energising sleep for the afternoon.

had such a laugh on friday afternoon, i wasn't sure if i could make it through as we had woken up at 5.30am! for franco to leave at 6.30am! and i hadn't been able to go back to sleep, and i had only had half hour super nap on the beach before being woken by a girl asking me if i wanted a massage(!) but then the boss in the estanco got out a Duracell rabbit! like the one on the telly with the little guys falling of the cliff at the moment... sorry i digress... so she gets out this rabbit(!) and puts him on the counter, standing about 18 inches high, resplendent in his shorts and joggers top, cd player in the hand, camera round his neck and a earphones hanging round from his ears....! then she puts in the batteries and off he goes! music and swaying hips.... we, the boss marie, and her two girls who work there, and me... in hysterics! marie was mimicking the rabbit, then two of them, then three, and well who am i to spoil the show, so we were all doing the bunny swing!

customers came and went realising that yes, it was friday, it was late and we were all un poco loco!

the rabbit was put away, back in his box and we were still talking and laughing about 'him' when a customer came in and caught some of the conversation about.... a rabbit and batteries... he was stunned! misunderstanding... and somewhat embarrassed! will leave the rest to your imaginations.....

i met a lot of nice people, strange seeing the same ones so much in one week, in the last promo i was in five different estanco's in the five days, so didn't see the same people unless they were here for two weeks, or lived here, of course!

this time they come in every day buying cartons and cartons of cigarettes and rolling tobacco to take back home! which is great for me! and a gift for them!

and as last time also, i wonder if i will see someone i know from back in blighty, in the five weeks i only saw one person i knew, which was good, hope to see someone else i know this time too, and wish i would see someone i know from here too! seems very strange being in a store and not seeing all the friendly faces i used to see every day... where are you all you alhaurínos? oh i know up here in alhaurín! of course.... this week i am in the other estanco of the two i shall be doing the promo in, this one is along bajondillo... the one with the web cam from here in my links section, so no doubt i will be calling tony and saying... hey look here i am honey! like a loony standing by the street web cam....

well for now.... i am done... have a story of franco being a hero, will be blogging that later, just need a break!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

today i had a days training down in malaga, we met in the hotel room mate! its in the main street c/larrios, hidden away between two shops! then we went to a bar and sat out in the sunshine and went over the products i am promoting, a bit of a refresher for me, but basically just the same as two years ago.

i got the 8am bus into the city which takes an hour, and had a quick walk around el corte inglés on my way back to bus station... well it would have rude not too!

we're running out of petrol here, the strike begun either today or yesterday only, el peñita petrol station down town is closed already, has been most of the day, and the bp garage at the moreno round about has only '98 left, and probably not much of it!

if the strike finishes it will be on friday 'they' say in the papers, and if it ends then, by monday they hope to have the pumps ready for action again by monday! its only tuesday today, so bit of a worry!

ok folks....

this bit below is from the opening of paulo coelho's alchemy 2005

What is this force that drives us far from the comfort of the familiar and makes us take up challenges instead, even though we know that the glory of this world is only transitory? I believe this impulse is called the search for the meaning of life. Over many years of seeking a definitive answer to this question in books, art and science, and in the paths I have followed - both dangerous and easy - I have found many answers. I am now convinced that a definitive answer will never be given to us in this life, but that, at the last, at the moment when we stand once more before the Creator, we will understand each opportunity that was offered to us.
Acceptance speech delivered to the Brazilian Academy of letters.


Monday, June 09, 2008

yesterday we were at the pizarra market again, was good again, so many stalls and lots of people out looking and buying bits...

and today... i got a new job! remember i did the cigarette promotion two years ago... the one that tired me out flat after 5 weeks! well when needs must and the need is great... so i begin tomorrow! had interview this afternoon in malaga, and they called me this evening! i have a day training, remind me of all their products and i am off to a tobacconists on wednesday, last time i did five different locations, this time it is a week at one and a week at another, at just two places.

one of which is at my web cam, see links... so look out for me there! will have to make a time, and stand there looking strange (?!) for five minutes!

my hours will be long, not home till 10pm, so, like last time, franco will have my dinner ready for me, and then it will five minutes and i will be asleep i guess, so if you don't find me writing on here for a day or two don't worry... i will take photos maybe and a quick word or two...

It is precisely the possibility of realizing a dream
that makes life more interesting.
The Alchemist


Saturday, June 07, 2008

well whats happened to the rest of this week? no really!

wednesday we went to the benalmádena market, we got up at 530am, left about 630am and got to the market about 715am!!!

we, as usual set up and were then moved, juan, the guy from tivoli market was doing the parking as usual, in his usual manner... couldnt organise a party in a brewery(!) if you know what i mean....

but we were in a good place anyway, and will be going again next week, did ok, ish, but hopefully every week will improve, especially as the holiday season kicks in, although we have next week the fair is there for the next two after that! typical!

thursday in the late afternoon franco and i were on our way home from malaga, and back in the car park, thank you! the radiator blew up! well more like a fizz and a puddle, but it blew up was how it was! back in the house i phoned alex in town, who, again, thank goodness was still at work... and friday took the car down to him, and picked it up later with a recon radiator in place, and, so far so good, we are noticing immediately how the engine isnt over heating, so probably been on its way out for while, although the crack could have been caused by the person who hit our car in the car park and took off the bumper a month ago!!!

photo above franco took in the winter of our church santa vera cruz....

today i was asked if i would come back to cudeca now i have some free time, come back to the fold and join the monday gals again... and later someone else came in and said she had heard i was coming back to cudeca, i said i had heard the same myself this morning!

Faith is difficult to conquer
and requires daily battles
if it is to be maintained.
The Valkyries


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

well today i will have to eat my words... well the food anyway! we went to iceland store down at miramar parque and for just over 30€ got about two weeks of food! not bad eh!

we also went to diá and lidl, yes it was one of those big shop days, an all over the place job! made more difficult by the road outside dunnes being closed and the ctra 340 being overly busy too.

i was very nervous walking round lidl today, there were a few gypsy types in... the girls on the check outs, and the guards had come in to keep a watch on them... they just walked in with no cart, and were wandering around, so you know they didn't come in to buy if you know what i mean... they were in to steal... either goods, or the customers purses etc etc!

seems like every day we hear news of others being robbed... someones mom was getting out of her car in la trocha, up in coín, she was hardly out of the car when a man was there, she tried to get her bag back into the car which was in her hand and someone else came... not to help her, but to help the thief, so they had to mug her to get the bag, which they did... the police were called, but said she had to contact malaga police station? seems very strange... its a bit un-nerving isn't it!

tomorrow is the benalmádena market, near the parque... lets hope we do well, have lots and lots of garden ornaments folks....

The end of one stage
is only the beginning of another.
Any dangers overcome
are a necessary preparation
to do better in the next stage.
Unpublished by Paolo Coelho


Monday, June 02, 2008

Dia de Jesus

these are the final part of the dia de jesus... at about 12.30am, this morning.... most of my photos were blurred, as usual, they just walk so fast and then if i zoom in they just all fuzzy round the edges...

as usual our street is the rest stop, resting as in quenching their thirst... millions of small bottles of water in boxes... saturday night they were walking up the street towards plaza alta and last night coming back down... photo above men at rest and below the 100 men picking up again and moving on down the street, i was up on the roof by this time, pippa going crazy with all the noise and commotion, they use all our door steps as resting places and so we prevented her getting down stairs and finding them there!

the goat was out earlier and i really should have got my camera out then, she was making a meal of a card board box with all the on lookers leaving her to it, or taking photos with their phones as chowed down on it!!!

at last someone threw the box... over the wall!?! so she could start on the plastic bottles....

here is jesus as he past by our balcon... which had i been down there would have been eye level with me!

this morning about 3or 4am as yesterday morning, the magnificent street cleaning machine came down and you would never has known anything had gone on at all!

saturday... i was on the raffle/tombola stall of this years cudeca spring fair held at el eden, was a great day, we all did really well, i had cramp from all the writing, filling out the raffle stubs! and was a long, but fulfilling day...

then sunday franco and i went to the pizzara boot sale, which is excellent! never been before but we shall be going again for sure... lots of stalls, must have been at least 20 or more, lots of people i knew from other boot sales and people from town, was a really good day, then afterwards we went for coffee to another sellers house! we already have a 'date' for coffee for next week from a seller who was pitched next to us, he was selling aloe vera products, and baby rabbits.. for pets!!! but hope he isn't just going to pitch to us! him and his partner live in pizzara, and although we made it there... the street near the poligino... near día supermarket, we still have never actually been into pizzara, so cant wait!

In our obsessive wish to arrive,
we often forget the most important thing.
which is the journey.
The Pilgrimage