Nano & stuff

Today, here in Spain (Catalunya?) It’s a holiday which means things are even quieter in our street than usual.  

For me the 1st November is always the start of Nanowrimo. At least it has been for the last 6 years. This year I have even less of an idea of what I’m writing but am going with the flow and started ok so far. 

I’ve also decided to make some apple-turnovers today with the apples that June kindly have me yesterday.  Hopefully they’ll be as well received as the apple cake I made with some of the last lot. 

Apple-turnovers always make me think of a funny story which Jane and I shared.  

In one of my return trips to the UK and a visit to London we took a bit of a detour into Lewisham.  There, in need of sustenance, we dropped into a cafe/ bakery for a cuppa and a cake. 

The apple-turnovers on display looked tempting so we both opted for one of those to go with our mugs of tea. 

As soon as we st down we dived in. Spotting ourselves in the mirror beside our table I couldn’t help but laugh.  We were attacking the turn-overs like we hadn’t eaten for days and were both licking the cream off our lips.  
As we enjoyed our tea an old lady came into the shop to buy a loaf of bread. The exchange between her and the man behind the counter had us in stitches.  

“Small bloomer please,” the woman asked. (Old lady voice evident).

 “Would you like it sliced?” asked the man behind the counter.  

“What’s that dear?” The old lady asked leaning in.  

“Would you like it sliced?” Counter man repeated.  

“Just a small bloomer, dear,” the old lady replied. 

“OK. But would you like it sliced?” Counter man tried again.  

To which the old lady asked, again, “what’s that dear?”

Counter man, still very patient, leaned over the counter and repeated, “would you like it sliced, love?”

“Just a small bloomer, dear,” replied the old lady.  

“Would…..” counter man began again…

Their exchange continued in the same vein for a couple  of minutes before we decided to leave them to it and left giggling like teenagers on a school trip. 

Now if we’re ever in a bakers together and anyone mentions a small bloomer we fall into fits of more giggles.  

Unfortunately this is probably one of those ‘you had to have been there’ stories but I thought I’d share it with you anyway. 

Happy November!

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Problem solving

Today’s writing comes from an interesting writing prompt in a writing group I belong to on FB.

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I couldn’t bear it. I had known for some time that I needed to make some kind of big change in my life.  My home, which had been a haven I had really loved in which I had felt comfortable and safe had gradually felt more like a cage in which I was locked, or dare I say a coffin in which I was gradually being interred alive.

My lover of five years had proved to be worse than a snake in the grass, poisonous.  While looking for new batteries for the wireless mouse I had found letters hidden at the back of his desk, letters from another woman detailing their encounters. They were the straw to break the camel’s back of my love for him.

Just under an hour ago he had come home with flowers and a huge smile, completely oblivious to what I had discovered.  Now they, like him, lie motionless on the floor, both not long for this world and neither of any further appeal to me.

The shots must have been heard far and wide for in the distance I could hear the sirens, but I was not one to be re-caged. My bag was packed and I was ready…

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Jealousy

With Nanowrimo just a few days away I thought I better flex my recently unused writing muscles, so here’s the first offering in what has been too long…

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Three times he’d called her this afternoon and three times she had hung up on him. He was loath to try again. Perhaps he hadn’t given her enough time to cool off, but last time they had had a row she complained when he had left it longer before calling her again. ‘Damned if I do, damned if I don’t,’ though Tim.

He put the phone back on his desk and decided to leave it a little longer before trying again. At least Myra would know he had tried to call already.

As Tim tapped the keys to his all singing all dancing MAC he couldn’t stop thinking about Myra and what had started their stupid spat. Every few seconds he glanced at his mobile sitting on his desk, willing it to ring and for it to be her.

The previous night they had gone to the new seafood restaurant that had opened in town down by the Quay. It already had a reputation for having the freshest fish and the most imaginative dishes on its menu.

On arrival Tim had thought the decor a little kitch,  ‘hadn’t the whole fishing nets and bottles thing been done in  the seventies?’ he had quietly commented to Myra as the manageress approached them. She replied in less than a whisper that she didn’t agree with his assessment. Tim remembered her words exactly. She went on to say that she thought it looked homely and was more than appropriate for the kind of restaurant it was. Of course her little speech had been more for the manageress’s benefit than his. Sometimes she seemed to enjoy embarrassing him in public, or ‘calling him out’ as she would tell him should he ever mention it.

Tim had smiled his lopsided smile at the manageress and tilted his head in a kind of apology. She nodded what Tim took to be an acknowledgement of said apology and showed them to a table by the window overlooking the marina. The music that gently filled the restaurant also sounded like some kind of throwback to the seventies: ‘easy listening lift music’ he would have commented had he thought Myra would have agreed, and not put him down again. Outside the lights of the boats were twinkling in the dusk, and the wind whistled past their masts twanging the lines as it did so making a marine symphony of its own. The manageress handed them menus and told them the day’s specials before slipping away.

“What was all that?” Myra asked once the manageress was out of earshot.

“All what?” Tim had asked innocently.

“That goofy smile, the tilt of your head and your come to bed eyes,” Myra spat back at him.

Tim knew there was little point arguing when she was in that kind of mood. he leaned across the table and took her hand. “It was nothing and I’m sorry if it looked otherwise. You’re the only woman for me, you know.”

Myra smiled and the fire for a fight went out of her eyes. Tim hoped that that was that for the evenings confrontations.

They each studied the menus commenting on the dishes as they went, until a waitress came by to ask if they wanted drinks. Tim’s suggested that they go directly for a bottle of the oaked chardonnay, which he knew Myra adored, and was sure he had made the right choice when Myra leaned in and touched his hand commenting that it would be perfect, calling him darling into the bargain.

As soon as the waitress left their table Myrtle’s face changed again. “If you don’t stop flirting with every large breasted creature in this place soon I’m going to up and leave.”

This time Tim had had enough. “One, I am not flirting and Two, please lower your voice. People are looking.”

Myra looked around and seemed to be mollified by the stares of the other diners. She simply glared at Tim one more time and returned to studying the menu.

Moments later a waiter appeared with their wine, served it and said he’d be back in a moment to take their food orders.  Tim noted Myra’s smile and possibly suggestive comments to the waiter but thought better of saying anything.

When the waiter returned Myra flirted with him outrageously once more as he took their order. Inside Tim broke a little but again let it pass.

The rest of the meal passed off without incident until it came to dessert. The restaurant had an old fashioned trolley on which the desserts were displayed, although it was clearly an updated version with covers and some kind of cooling mechanism.  Tim almost rolled his eyes as the waitress rolled it to their table and asked what they would like.

Once their desserts had been served and the waitress had rolled the trolley away Tim met Myra’s eyes to see a fire burning in them once more. She accused him of choosing something from the bottom shelf simply so he could get a better look at the waitresses ample bosom as she served. He told her she was being ridiculous and their meal was finished in an uncomfortable silence.

In the car on the way home Myra once again levelled accusations at Tim for flirting while retorting that her behaviour with the waiter was nothing of the sort.

As Tim pulled up to the kerb outside Myra’s building she jumped out slamming the door behind her and rushed inside with no further comment, leaving Tim wondering how they were still together after two years especially when Myra’s jealous rages had grown over the past few weeks.  In all honesty he knew the reason he was still with her. He loved her above everything, and hoped that one day she’d realise that. He knew her past well enough to also realise that she had been through the mill with relationships, especially the last one before they had met.

Having run through the whole sorry saga from the night before in his mind once more Tim picked up his mobile and after a few seconds indecision called Myra’s number again.

“Hello,” said a deep voice that Tim didn’t recognise when the phone was answered.

“Hello? Who is this?” Tim asked brusquely having been caught off guard.

“Mr Wilson. It is Tim Wilson, isn’t it? That’s the name that came up.” the voice told him down the line.

“Yes, but…” Tim stuttered. His mind raced trying to work out who the voice could belong to.

“Mr Wilson. My name is Officer Hedman. I’m sorry, but ….”  The line went quiet.

‘Had the officer hung up? Was the call cut off?’ Tim wondered, his mind full of worry, as he shouted into the dead line, “Officer, Officer.”

 

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The little things

I’m not sure if I mention it in #BerwickStreettoBarcelona  but Tony and I were similar sizes for a long time so shared many clothes.  There were two pieces of clothing that we both especially favoured, one a striped grey t-shirt, the other a green sweatshirt.  

A few moments ago I watched a flash mob video on Facebook and there in the video was a young man wearing that exact same t-shirt. 

As the heading says It’s the little things …. in this case…. that really get to me.  Just seeing that t-shirt flashbacks of happy times ran through my mind causing me another complete meltdown.  Memories are great but they hurt so much too

All because of a stoopid shirt in a stoopid video. 

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It’s in…

No this isn’t another revelation about our life and love, although I’m sure Mr Brennan will have supplied the ‘fnarr’ by now. 😉

All my documents have finally been sent to the Ministry of Justice.

Last week I had my second appointment at the hacienda nad got the necessary confirmation of my identity to be able to download the digital signature when I got back home.

But first of all I had to download Mozilla Firefox as it was the browser that is recognised by the government system. Just another step in this ongoing journey.

That done I got into the government site yesterday and started uploading the documents. That in itself was quite a job. ONly PDF, PNG or JPEGs are accepted, and as they needed a copy of every page of my passport it took a while. I did try to upload a winzip file but it didn’t like that,.

So here I was sunday lunchtime uploading the documents when the power went out. Drama in the street with everyone asking “Tienes luz?” up and down the street. It was a general problem and came back on a coupe of hours later. So I started again, because of course nothing I had previously uploaded had been saved. At this point I was wondering if someone was trying to send me a message.

Finally al the documents were uploaded so I tried to send them, only to get an error message that I needed to download another piece of software for automatic digital signature. I swear the government will be reading this now… they probably have all sorts of trojans added in to check up on my browser use.  By this point I had had enough and was feeling out of sorts. I decided to leave the final clicks to today.

This afternoon I downloaded the final piece of kit and clicked, amazingly it sent without any problems.  The confirmation came back almost immediately (the first page of seven appears below, redacted) How long it’ll take before anyone looks at it is anyone’s guess. Hopefully they wont have any (too many) questions to follow-up on, but I could still be waiting up to 3 years, even though the government portal says 365 days. Fingers crossed everyone. If I do have to wait 3 years Catalunya may even be independent by then and I’ll probably have to go through the whole process again.

Citizenship confimation redacted_0001 (2)

 

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Citizenship update

Well, there I was thinking everything was going to be easy from here on in, what a fool I am.

Having got the webpage from the hacienda on which I had to apply for a digital signature/certificate to be able to apply for citizenship online I have today applied for one. But guess what? They sent me an email with a code on it, and now I have to go back to the hacienda to verify my identity before revisting the page to download  the cert.

To get back into the hacienda I have to make an appointment. However, being in Catalunya following the referendum I can’t make that until later on in the week.  Tomorrow there is a general strike. None of the offices will be open. This has had an advantage in that the company where I would normally teach a class on Tuesdays is also closed so no work for me. Although it also means my first catalan class of the new year has also been cancelled.

Anyway… Instead of fretting I have spent the most part of the morning scanning the documents ready for uploading. Once I get my identity validated, and then get the digital certificate I should be ready to go….. fingers crossed.

Although part of me wonders whether to hold fire on applying  or Spanish citizenship at all as I may be living in a different country soon. Then again as it can take up to three years for the application to be accepted (or otherwise) I’ll have plenty of time to consider a Catalan passport too.

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Citizenship

As many of you will know already, I am in the process of applying for Spanish citizenship. I took the ‘constitution’ test (CCSE) so long ago I think I have already forgotten everything I learned, and the DELE language test in April.

Finally I have all the documents together for the application to be completed, so this morning I went to the bank first thing and paid the fee, just €100, then went straight to the Registry to deliver my documents.

Like a good citizen I took my number and waited to be called. When it was my turn I explained what I wanted. The woman behind the counter apologised telling me that everything has to be done online these days. She explained how and told me I will need a digital signature from the ‘hacienda’ (another government office).

SHe explained the documents I would need to scan and atach to my application. I already have them all, and explained that I would need t oscan every page of my curent passport, inlcuding all the empty ones. I guess they want to check I don’t have any dodgy travels hidden away in its pages. That’s totally unlikely as its a new passport that I only got last summer and its never been used.

Before I left she asked if I was sure I wanted to take Spanish nationality as it would mean giving up my British Nationality. Except in a few cases (with South American countries mainly) it is not yet possible to have dual nationality. You have to have one or the other. I said I felt more Spanish these days and intended to live out the rest of my life here. She laughed politely and told me the adrees I needed to next visit.

At the hacienda I went through the usual rigmarole of passing everything through the security machine only to be told that if I didn’t have an appointment I wouldn’t be seen. Eye roll. The receptionist gave me a leaflet with the number on it to make the appointment.

I’ve just called the number and made the appointment… for tomorrow morning. Slowly but surely…

27 citiaenshipformJust one of the many forms to be completed.

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