Friday, 19 January 2018


Today, the weather is superb! Hot sun, fluffy white cumulus clouds and surprise, surprise, no rain. So, after breakfast I decided to go out on my bike although I still feel weak after my phantom virus (it is my own bike which I brought from Spain). About the same time, Adrian the owner of the property came to show me photos of a house for sale near by and so he offered to be my guide on his motorbike. We stopped briefly for a coffee at the panaderia (baker) and then took a big circuit which included the roundabout which I can see clearly from my apartment about 1km away as the crow flies. We went very close to where Nini lives and visited Adrian's uncle who lives one block away from her. We stopped for a chat and water and that is where the photo of me looking rather girly was taken!

I seem to be falling out with one or two people! Firstly, the lawyer who I met here last year, then Nini and now a British friend who sent me an email publicising a book she had written. But in the forwarded email she had written the salutation "Freedom for Catalunya" in Catalan of course. This to me is red rag to a bull and in my reply I said that I did realise it wasn't directly aimed at me but, "please no politics". I confess to rising to the bait.
I can live with "Independence for Catalunya" but "freedom.." suggests that it isn't free now. Her reply was the most amazing rant! Wow, I hit a sore point, I think. This was the person who angrily said to me once, "Show respect!" when I explained that I had no intention of speaking Catalan. It is odd, the two people that I know who are most fanatical about independence are English women! I guess it is a sore point with me because the move for independence has really mucked up my life, even to the point of my considering living here. It was that motivation that made me decide to come here, a bit crazy, so soon after visiting the Philippines. Now I think you can see why this situation is causing me so much unhappiness - after Brexit, I feel rather root-less! The rest of Spain doesn't attract me. France doesn't attract me - too many Brits! And I don't speak the language very well.
Alba and Adrian, mis anfitriones. The owners
of the apartment.

Alba showing me plants in her garden! 

Alba and I went shopping for food and drink for
a party Saturday night. We stopped for a drink!

I have had the most torturous time with Airbnb. As I wrote previously, I paid €500 into an account for "Special Services" for the apartment in error although the amount was not solicited by the owners. It appeared in my account in exactly the same way as my payments for the rent, so the mistake was not evident. The simplest thing for them to have done would have been to re-allocate the amount to rental. The owners were happy with that. But no, there followed over a week of messages back and forth. First they said they never took commission from these payments, but they took €34 and called it "commission" !! So we argued about the missing €34. And finally, finally, yesterday I won the argument. They did what they should have done in the first place and what I suggested. The €34 appears on my account as a credit and the final remaining payment which I am due to make on 28th January is correct. They made out that they couldn't change their system but their system seemed unable to carry out simple arithmetic. I was gently sarcastic at times giving it 2/10 for arithmetic. And suggesting its name was "Hal" because it appeared that they couldn't make any changes.  (The joke is in reference to the computer in 2001 Space Odyssey but most people know about that).

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