Sunday, August 9, 2009

My furry friends

Sockiboloski reading MY paper before ME.... What audacity..

Ayy, Minimama when are you coming home?

IT'S LATE and I'm tired so I'll be brief. I just wanted to share these two photos of my furry friends, both taken today. Kitty was obviously missing Minimama so she sat on the pine trunk in my bedroom and stared at a photo I have of Cookie when she was younger. It was a rather magic moment. Early Sunday morning and the air was still cool. I'd just got back into bed with a cup of freshly made coffee and was about to pick up my current book (Gerald Brenan/The Face of Spain) luxuriating in the knowledge that there was nothing I had to get up for. Outside I could hear horses' hooves as riders passed up our street en route for the village annual romeria (it's when the natives go folkloric and traipse into the countryside with our local virgen to enjoy song, wine and tapas. A Spanish knees up and great fun).

The other photo, of our rather intellectual Mr. Boloski, was taken after lunch when tradition dictates feet up for half an hour, and in my case a spot of work, going through the day's local and national press to see what stories are breaking. Old Socki was just lending me a hand by reading the Spanish national El País. As you can imagine he was a great help. He manages to nod off even faster than The Artist, who I believe must hold a world record for falling asleep in seconds.
Weather today: Hot but a nice cool breeze, quite pleasant in the shade and not like yesterday's sauna - High 28ºC/82ºF Low 19ºC/66ºF. A few clouds around but zilch chance of rain. Light southwesterly wind 14km/h. Pressure 1010 mb. Relative humidity 53%. UV index: 8.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

To go or not to go, that is the question...

Err, does this say how ill I am?
AND LASTLY, at least for today, I’d just like to share this thought with you. An agency headline in the papers today quoted a Catalan regional government press release, saying - The latest fatal Swine Flu victim went to hospital “too late”.

That’s eight dead in Spain, and counting… of course.

So what do you do if you think you have Swine Flu? See a doctor, no?

Err, don’t think so, at least not initially. We’ve been advised recently by the Spanish health service, through the media, to stay away from health centres and hospitals unless we are really ill (a bit of a dodgy one that, as we’ve no thermometer that says if we are - a little ill, quite ill, ill, looking pretty sick, really ill, seriously ill or just about to pop our clogs)

We’re told not to block up our GP’s waiting room and generously share our germs with our long-suffering doc and other patients. The message is clear – stay away, at least initially. Until what? Until it’s “too late”?

Difficult one, isn’t it? If I feel ill, if I have Swine Flu symptoms, do I see a doctor and get diagnosed, thus aiding a speedy recovery or do I wait until I feel desperately ill and take a chance I might not get better?

Is Swine Flu more of a killer than our usual winter run-of-the-mill flu that does the rounds? It doesn’t appear to be yet. Do we usually see a doctor when we have flu? I guess not, unless we are really ill… What would you do?

Hot July

AS YOU'LL have guessed by now, I am a bit of a weather friki so just had to include this snippet – and as the coastline is just heaving with tourists baring pasty winter flesh (yes, even the Spaniards) to turn a golden brown, I've included a snap from our very short holiday last week (more about that another time if you're unlucky...)

July registered the highest average temperatures in this area since 1949. Nine alerts of forecasts for temperatures of more than 40 degrees were issued by meteorologists during the month and the average daily maximum was 32.3 degrees. The average minimum was 22 degrees, just half a degree less than during July 2008.

Am I grateful for the aircon, or what…

Weather today: Hot and sweaty - High 32ºC/90ºF Low 23ºC/73 ºF. Early morning sea mist along the coast that was soon burnt off by the sun. Not a cloud in the sky. Light southwesterly wind 15km/h. Pressure 1015 mb. Relative humidity 51%. UV index: 10.

Tragic run

Ermitaño takes umbrage but the runner survived
Chaos as Ermitaño ploughs into runners
SO MUCH has happened since I last blogged. Too much to put in one entry, your eyes would just cross. My middle name should have been Keepmeaningto.

Tragically, the day after I wrote my last entry on San Fermin, a young man from Madrid was killed. Twenty-seven-year-old Daniel Jimeno was an experienced runner and aficionado de toros, but was in the wrong place at the wrong time. One of the Jandilla bulls, by the name of Capuchino, gored Daniel in the neck, severing an artery. The medical team moved swiftly and got him to the operating theatre in record time, but the surgeons couldn’t save him.

Ten more runners were injured, most of them by the same bull. One was a 60-year-old American who had a serious head injury. Americans, and foreigners in general, are notorious for getting hurt in San Fermin. Either from lack of experience or sheer foolhardiness. This was one of the worst encierros I have seen.

Two days later (it’s an 8-day affair) a Miura bull named Hermitaño took umbrage with another experienced runner, just outside the bullring, and attacked him continuously, despite other men’s efforts to distract the beast. From the TV footage you’d never think the runner’d survive – but he did, despite being gored twice and thrown around like a sack of potatoes. It is always a question of luck – good or bad – on where they get gored that determines whether they survive.

Moving on –