Saturday, 27 September 2008

Just when We Don't Want It

The celebrations continue on this Saturday of every year with a large paellera uptown in the main plaza providing a taster of paella for the gathered masses and down here Michaela (the self-appointed "queen" of El Bajondillo) always runs a Street Barbecue and party outside her Hostal. The trouble this year is that it is raining. Bad weather has been forecast all this week but it hasn't happened until now and the poor forecast is continuing well on into next week as well, so it's likely that the paella cook-in will be postponed or cancelled. Micheala always has the street shaded at the start of the summer with a giant awning stretched across from one side to the other at 1st floor level so she may be able to carry on as normal if it proves to be an effective umbrella as well. 1330hrs my photo shows, the paella is being cooked (under cover) but unfortunately for the chef the crowds are missing due to the wet weather. A shame.

1515hrs and a further update....I can hear Micheala's "bash" sounding like it is in full swing just down the road so when my camera has finished charging I am going to pop along for a hotdog and a photo or two..........OK, nothing much going on now (seems it was 2 o'clock) but look at this - a sign advertising some of what was on offer and what's interesting is that, apart from Tripe, there are two paellas - one Spanish and one Philipino and that has fired my imagination. I'm going to investigate on the net and next time Lary and I do paella together maybe I'll be able to ring a change!

Randy has kindly given me a few euros for a new black cartridge as payment for all the printing I have done in recent months for him and Beryl. I haven't been unduly bothered about the lack of ink until now but last night Teresa came up with the idea of having a "give 'n take" bookshelf on the mantlepiece over the fireplace in the bar which, after gaining Ana-Mary's enthusiastic approval, (she'll always welcome any excuse to remove some of the photos of her that are around the bar) is going to be actioned straight away and I've been put in charge of making a sign and I much prefer a DTP document off a computer than a scratchy job with a felt-tip pen. So, I've got to go out and, likely, get wet.

I'm not surprised about the rain though. It had to come this week because I'm trying to move!! I can't get washing dried easily, the plants are soaked through, heavy and wet and having to lug cases along to Ann & Bills' for my temporary move into there won't be fun either in inclement weather.

Friday, 26 September 2008


Since last Sunday, and until next weekend, Torremolinos celebrates its adopted saint, San Miguel (I think). Last Sunday the Romeria took place and a couple of shots of a young lady enjoying herself in the Bullock drawn procession are now posted on the Website Front Page. I took 72 photographs of the procession and some will eventually find their way into the archive at My Gallery but, first, I have to remind myself how to do that.

This coming week is La Feria (the Fair) for which lights have been put up all over the place (including bang in front of my webcam outside my bedroom) and banks and businesses are shut on Monday at least with many taking the whole week off, including my brewery and other suppliers; hence a double delivery of beer today (and that won't probably be enough!) A fun time.

The large delivery earlier today and its attendant workload gave me an appetite that wouldn't wait to be consoled later, so, what to eat for a late lunch? On Thursday morning, seeing me sleepily descending the stairs, Larisa asked "Quieres Pan y Huevas?" That floored me a little until I remembered that she has a habit of using an "A" when there should be an "O". I've read about eggy bread in the past and even seen Worrall-Thompson produce the dish on TV (he has a home not far from here which makes me wonder whether Pan y HuevOs is actually a spanish dish that he has added to his breakfast repertoire.) Her quickly produced offering served with jams and pates was delicious, although I wouldn't buy pates for myself, I'm not too keen. Have a go I thought, do it for yourself, and I have, just now. I know you are not fond of eggs but:

1 egg and a dash of water
2 slices bread
Paprika (I just love the Hot , Smoked, Spanish stuff.)

Pour the beaten and seasoned egg and water onto a shallow plate and soak the bread slices (both sides) in it before frying them in hot Olive Oil.

Easy. I didn't bother with jams, marmalade and the like though, I served mine with some bacon rashers, a turkey burger and an extravagant splodge of ketchup.

"O" and "A"?? If you look up the difference in a Spanish dictionary between, say, Pollo and Polla you'll realize why I was careful to look at the Mis en Place before deciding to say "yes please".

Thursday, 25 September 2008

I Caught One!!

It couldn't see me at the back of the queue so I managed to get a shot. Left with its tail wagging out on the street a 220 is beginning its next meal. All went well until I got to its mouth. "Espera!" and I had to wait while it checked its belly for more room. With reluctance I was allowed in (along with 3 more behind me) and my journey to Calahonda began. Having had to allow me in it then wanted revenge, which it got at Calahonda by shutting the exit door in my face as I queued to get off. Having none of its fun and games with me I shouted at it and was promptly disgorged out onto the dusty street without further ceremony. What a beast!

I've come home early today because Larisa has taken the girls into Marbella and there was no point in me going with them only to have to turn round and begin the journey back as soon as I got there. Juli goes home on Saturday so they are cramming as much as they can in before she leaves. Katy has yet to buy her return ticket so maybe I'll get to see her again before she goes although I've told Lary that next week will be difficult for me because I will be moving. The trip to Benalmádena and the flamenco show was aborted because, at the door the entrance fee was 35€ and Katy and I immediately started counting the number of days shopping that the spend would deprive us of. Juli was disappointed but we drove to the Marina and had an amble round there instead where, luckily for me, my new socks didn't give me blisters.

Larisa has asked about when you will be arriving and I've told her the story as it stands but, just in case, I've checked out Mesón Salamanca in Fuengirola today on my way home for opening times etc. and hopefully a trip there for a meal together can be arranged because I have been given the use of Ann's car and there is an underground car-park just 50 metres away with a lift back up to Terra Firma. I might even be able to drop you at the door and then park the car. We'll see, one way or another I'm hoping that you will get to see some of our favourite places if you come.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Brighter Horizons

A grey, miserable and damp day has dawned in keeping with the forecast which, for the next few days, is more of the same with rain and possibly thunder to boot. We (Lary, myself and the girls) are going to go to a Flamenco show in Benalmádena this evening and I think that I'm going to have to dry my washing in front of the fire in order to be ready to catch the infamous 220 later this afternoon. It's all go here; Christina has just knocked to tell me who to speak to to get the telephone line moved (I asked her to call Telefonica for me, she has but only I can place the order), a trip to the bank for change is necessary, then prep the bar for Teresa and in-between whiles nibble away at the jobs required here in the apartment in advance of my move downstairs. One day soon I'll get to make the temporary move into Bill & Anns'; things have come all at once and whilst I'm not losing the plot I'm beginning to wonder which way to turn next! The other week when she was here Lary offered to help me clean this apartment as I vacate and I might just take her up on that remembering the help she gave me in Carolina's when Aaron and Lizzie visited a few years back. A woman's touch makes all the difference.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

I'm Moving!

Christina has just knocked to tell me that I can move into the studio downstairs on 1st Oct. She took me to see what has been done since I last saw it and I have to say that the little kitchen is a gem, she's really done a nice job with cupboards and workspace, all nicely thought out. I'm looking forward to it although I'll be house-sitting for Bill and Ann and not able to take proper advantage of my new abode until November.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Here's Hoping

A trip to a different Accountant this morning, one where English was spoken and understood, has switched the light on at the end of the tunnel. I have now found the right paperwork here in my files with which to prove to the Social Security people that they should lift the block on my bank account, stop the payments that they expect every month, and indeed return all monies to me that they have been erroneously taking over the last two-and-a-half years. A tidy sum if I get it, some of which will be used to by a second-hand car. Then I can take you to Calahonda if you can come for the visit. What's even better is that this accountant, for a very small fee, is going to do all the business with the Soc Sec office for me.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Days Full of Surprises

I woke up this morning to find that my mobile was as dead as a dodo. No amount of threats, shakings, bashings or rechargings would bring it back to life (it was fine last night) so I've had to nip up the stairs to buy another. An unexpected expense, which, at 49€, has bought a basic phone without a camera into which I have transferred the SIM in order to keep my number.

Last night was the repeat performance that Teresa and I were looking for (actually slightly better) and the new phone's first job today was to contact the brewery for an extra cask of beer over and above the order I placed with them on Wednesday. Things went well and the beer was delivered promptly while I was there this morning bottling up. A "Hi Derek" while my back was turned to the bar door doing that (making me jump out of my skin) turned out to be Teresa looking for some first-aid to a cut finger she'd suffered in her apartment. Randy was summoned and duly dealt with the situation for her, after which she and I went for a quick beer together. And here I am, back home...........

The plancha is for another day - my job was to cook a paella for Juli to try as part of her first trip to Spain. She is a Newscaster for a local TV station in her city north of Moscow who took a great interest in the proceedings and, needless to say, La Paparrazi found a camera or two and photographed me and her at the cooker. With me firmly in charge of things I found time to bring Juli into the frame with me while the Paella looked after itself. At the table the whole lot went, along with two jugs of Sangria, for which Lary and I went back down to the shop in the car because I forgot about having to buy the stuff beforehand. And that was because I was very late in arriving because the 220 sauntered into the bus station at Fuengirola well over an hour late. I actually tried to photograph the beast's Nose & Beak to show what one looks like but while we were in a standoff with the camera it barked at me and decided to move forward a little so I missed my shot.

Thursday morning I was woken up by Lary bright and early (qué pasa Mr Derek Field, todavía estás dormiendo? through a wide open door) to be told that we were going to go into Málaga and the Police Station. Katy had to get her papers ratified or something and it can only be done there at the Comisariá. 4 hours later we were safely back with the car parked in the garage without a scratch. Around 3pm the two girls decided to go out on their own, leaving me and Lary alone until my time to leave at about 4. During that time I decided that one day in the not too distant future, all things considered, I ought to ask for that job I mentioned the other day but I'll be absolutely devastated if I can't have it.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

All of a Rush

"When you come bring your plancha" so whilst heaven knows what's on the menu tonight I've got to take my electric griddle to Calahonda today even although Charcoal was bought during last weeks shopping trips. But first there is much to do in the bar. The place looks like a bomb has hit it, Teresa is worried that another night like last night will mean that she'll struggle to keep up etc and I, despite her pleadings, will not be on-hand to help. We actually had an overflow out onto the street yesterday of about a dozen people because there was no room in the inn and they included Favio & Ana-Mary who couldn't get into their own bar!

I'd better get on, time is precious.


Teresa and I have just had what is probably the best night
ever in the bar. Hopefully not a fluke but more to do with a couple of recent radical changes to the way that the bar is managed. After long discussions with Favio and Ana-Mary the pair of us have managed to get our own way in the way things are done because, despite Favio's ditherings, Ana-Mary has taken all onboard and persuaded him to listen to us and, at least, try what we are suggesting. Repeat performances like tonight will prove us right and we have every confidence that that will be the case. The only trouble is that here I am at 4-30am, having more-or-less just got home, waiting for a meal to finish cooking. The carrot, of course, is that Favio promised more wages for increased business and we will hold him to that, mark my words and watch this space as they say. Why's the room full of choking blue smoke?......I'm not paying attention to the heating deep-fat fryer!!...must go.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Un Hombre Único

A call from Larisa just before 3am Friday morning sent me into a panic; she was in Torre and was going to come down to my apartment. That meant that she intended to stay the night and then the both of us go over to Calahonda etc. etc. I told her that I would call back when I was finished in the bar and proceeded to plan a strategy - get closed, prep for Teresa and go. Sod's Law took over immediately, I had a few slow drinkers in who were disinclined to drink-up and leave. Eventually, at 3-45, I managed to close the doors behind a group of disgruntled punters clutching plastic cups. Too late to prep what with Lary waiting for a call so the closing procedure was hurriedly completed and on my minutes walk back to the apartment I made the call.

"Were you watching for me on your camera?"
"No, I watched from the terrace balcony as you saw."

I opened a bottle of Red Wine (Doctors orders) and we settled down to chat well into the small hours, going to bed at 6am or so (usual arrangements BTW). Apparantly, during one of her calls with Carolina in Majorca (we were discussing my impending move) the fact that none of Carolina's tenants, since I moved, have paid her any rent. She was bemoaning that fact and said that she "wished everybody was like Derek, Un hombre único (A unique man). I'm not blowing my own trumpet here, it's just that, for me, it is nice to know. Lary's point was actually that I should twist Cristina's arm and get a better deal here etc. etc.

Friday morning, somewhat after 11am I quietly made my first cuppa while she continued dozing on the sofa. What with me having to prep the bar and wait for a delivery we didn't get away until 3-45pm and, chatting like we hadn't seen each other in a long long time, we made it by train and bus to her place. During the journey we spoke to Katia on the mobile and I was told that another of Larisa's nieces is coming this weekend and that Katia is coming on Wednesday. Larisa showed me some papers addressed to Katia - a work permit and rights of residence here in Spain, valid for 2 years, which means that she doesn't have to apply for a visa for every visit. Larisa's expired some little while ago and she didn't bother to renew them so I guess that that is why she goes home regularly, to renew each 90 day visa. Maybe, now, Lary might overcome her dislike of bureaucracy and get her own again.

She did it!!
"You go to the pool" she said as a pair of Viktors shorts winged their way across the room, "I'll make something to eat and then we are going to go shopping." At this time of year pool heaters tend to be turned off so I opted to sit out on the terrace in the autumn sun and wait for what was coming to the table. Reheated paella (from the freezer) is not the best way to enjoy Spain's national dish but we both tucked into it with gusto, leaving nothing for the ever present flies. "Vale", after everything was cleared away, washed and put away, "nos vamos de compras" and with a pointing finger I was directed down to the garage. Its a Seat Ibiza with the steering wheel on the wrong side for me and, luckily, a manual gearchange (I hate automatics.) Having gingerly manoeuvred out of the garage, up the ramp and onto the road I was beginning to feel at home behind the wheel so off we went, to the Mercadona supermarket. In charge of the trolley, I dutifully trotted behind, only once ramming her backside in a moment of distraction, keeping quiet while she concentrated on what to fill the cupboards with for herself and her visitors although, when I saw a carton of Sangria coming off the shelf I drew the line. "Larisa, por favor!!" "No?" "No! If you want Sangria I'll buy the proper ingredients." "OK but not now. When you come back bring them with you," and with that the carton went back where it belongs, left alone on the shop-shelf. "Can you see Bomba Rice?" I've got her converted it seems but unfortunately it's either out of season or this branch doesn't stock it because there wasn't any to be had. So stuff for a Sangria and also some Bomba rice are now on my list for a future trip to my local Mercadona prior to catching the train and 220 back to her. Oh, great! It's now dark, we've finished shopping (for now) and I don't know where the headlamp switch is. She didn't know the way back either so, after twice round the roundabout and once up a dead-end we eventually got home.

Hoy no día de descanso para ti Mr Derek!
Saturday, 1pm, and a call to Lary's mobile announced that Julia (her expected niece) had boarded her flight from Moscow. Due here in Málaga at about 1930 hrs her arrival was to be preceded by last minute dusting, tidying and more shopping so here I am, very domesticated (maybe I should put in for the job as husband), out on the terrace with the aspiradora doing my bit. Remember, the shorts are not mine so I make no excuses!! "Vale, ahora nos vamos a la piscina, entonces nos vamos a las tiendas y entonces algo comer." I was right! The pool (and the poolside shower) was excrutiatingly cold on hot skin but we enjoyed a frolic overseen by an English lady enjoying a rest on her sunlounger nearby on the grass. Another trip to the shops saw Larisa happy that every eventuallity was covered and, back at the apartment, Sardinas, Russian something-or-others (pork mince and onions wrapped in a filo pastry like an overgrown ravioli, and all homemade), Prawns, Chorizo sausage and salad brought the clock round to about 4pm and my time to leave for work. "I'll call you, probably on Wednesday" she said as we parted, which could mean that maybe, just maybe, I might get to drive her and Julia to the airport to meet Katia in the arrivals hall.

More Crumpet(s)
Back at the bar I hadn't long been open before Ann & Bill came in. "We've got something for you" they said, and peering into a carrier bag I saw some Smoked Mackerel and a pack of six crumpets. Supper last night was a couple of those, followed by a couple more and then a couple more. The empty package was all too soon in the bin and I went to bed with a smile on my face and indigestion raging inside. A fine end to another fine time.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Tomorrow Instead

I'm going tomorrow. Larisa has just called and I've said "of course" because I'm now due a day off and am expecting to be able to take it at a moments notice bearing in mind that I had no idea when we would be able to re-arrange our time together, I was leaving it entirely up to her.

The other day I mentioned a stag party in the bar and wrote about a photo...well here it is and my thanks go to the guys concerned for taking the trouble to send it to me. There are actually 4 and one or two more of them will go onto the TV Screen, believe me.

What a Day

I never got to see Larisa after all today. One of the chores that I mentioned earlier was to take some change to the bar to set the till up ready for Teresa. There I met with Beryl who was concerned about the fact that a little earlier a Town Hall Official had delivered a revised licence (the outside tables are now allowed) accompanied by two Police Officers. She was worried that the Officers were there to check other things and, between us, we decided that I should work the bar alone and well within the bounds of the opening licence, in case they intended to return during the open hours. Having taken that decision I asked Beryl to speak with Larisa on the phone explaining why I wouldn't be able see her, which she did and everything was fine. 6 hours later I learned that Officials delivering licence papers always have a Police Escort and that that was their only ensure that he was able to deliver the papers without hindrance. Too late to change plans, I lost my day off again. I've sent a txt to tell Lary that it was a false alarm and that I intend to take a day off at mine and hers' convenience but she hasn't replied yet. Sometimes this job really gets in the way! Favio owes me a big favour.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Good Job Too!!

I'm up early because I have things to do in town (including going to see the Accountant again) before I leave for Calahonda. Having had just 3 hours or so sleep last night I don't feel too bad but I might just snatch forty winks after the chores.

Yesterday I managed to sort out the problem with my website. Well, not sort it, more of a workaround. Either way my domain is back online albeit with a different host. Luckily for me this new hosting company provide exactly the same hosting services as the old one using the same software so I now have a reserve site which is a cinch to bring online with nothing more than a simple address change. Oh, and there's another thing: this host is totally free!!

We had a belter of a storm last night after all. It lashed it down after I went to bed and I'm glad that I didn't put any faith in my assessment of the weather situation despite going up onto the roof terrace to watch the storm apparantly passing by us some miles out to sea!! The heat has been taken out of the ground by the water leaving us with a cool 21ºC /70ºF this morning. Nice. But the sun is already out, the sky is clear and the temperature is rising so it won't be long before we are sweltering again. At least my babies out on my terrace won't need any attention for a day or two, they are all well-stocked with overflowing pot-trays.

Larisa said last night on the phone that she is alone so I'm presuming that Viktor has gone home with Anastasia. There's Paella in the freezer (or there was) so apart from, maybe, some wine and stuff for a Sangria I can't see the reason why we are going shopping. Yes I can, I get to practise in the car! Or perhaps Viktor has eaten her out of house and home and she needs to restock. We'll see, I don't mind a dose of Retail Therapy at all.

By Hook or By Crook

The weather report at this hour of the morning is "thunder in the vicinity" and I can hear rumbles in the distance. I've checked the sferics and the nearest activity is on the Moroccan coast. Southerly winds prevail so I don't think there is any risk that we will get the storm here although there is other activity to the north around Madrid.

Last week, having been told that Larisa was going to Moscow I arranged to go to the Marina in Benalmádena tonight, discotequeing. That appears to have been forgotten about by the others involved and good job too because I'm off to Calahonda later when we will go shopping together. I'm to have my Driving Licence with me so that we can go in the car! By hook or by crook she's going to get me driving Viktor's car.

Ooooh I dunno....brighter lightning and louder rumbles, maybe the wind has changed, I'd better bring the washing in.

0501 and I'm battening down the hatches, it's starting to spit rain.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Website News

Sorry for the inconvenience but you have been redirected here because the webpage you are trying to access is no longer active. Please go to and reset your bookmarks/favourites.

The problem with the domain ( has been sorted and the alternate site that has been in use is now back on "reserve". Hopefully no other problems will arise and the proper domain can be maintained daily as is necessary.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

A Night in the Parlour

Not as strange as it may sound, my title, because before Anna turned the premises into a bar, the bar itself was her front room!! An extremely good night last night, Teresa and I took a lot of money and had an enjoyable time with a lovely crowd. It all started bang on 7pm with a Stag Party turning up to start their celebration. School friends from South East London, they found the bar early on Friday evening, fell in love with the ambience and returned last night for a bevvy or two before going out on the town. Seated at the end of the table the "victim" is getting married in October and, here, is dressed in a ladies dress with Pearls and allsorts to accompany. I'm sure that they will have had a good time and they promised to return tonight to tell me all about it. Actually there is an hilarious photo of me being held up, horizontally, legs and arms all akimbo by the chap standing. Time will tell if I get to see it again but he has my Email address to send it to.

Ann & Bill came by and gave me the Roasting Rack that they'd bought on my behalf in the UK during their recent visit. A nice, small, non-stick one that fits in my little oven just perfectly. Then the fun started. Teresa commented about having a few aches and pains so Ann offered to do a little massage on her. Unfortunately I didn't think to get the camera out but, as the queue grew for Ann's attentions I did and a few shots of folk undergoing Ann's almost hypnotic treatment follow. Then a singsong started. With Bill & David in the bar it is becoming inevitable that one occurs and always it is not long before some of the others find their voices and join in. And then the dancing started and Irene had her wicked way with me. Something she's been trying to do ever since she arrived a week or so ago, get me to dance with her! And all because of Rod Stewart. Requested by Bill so that he could smooch with Ann the background music turned the bar floor into a dance floor pretty quickly. Some, of course, prefer the quiet life tucked away out of the hullabaloo. Anna, Randy, Beryl, Ole-Erik and Elsa-Britt found conversation easy at the other end of the bar although, as it turned out, Randy was deep in thought about another bowl of his homemade chilli, some of which was offered as a takeaway to me and Teresa. Gratefully accepted, and with my name ringing in my ears (if Deidre used it once she used it a thousand times and was eventually gagged by Ann), my evening ended out on the terrace in quiet reflection over Chilli and Tortilla Chips and a cuppa or two. All the fun and games means that there is plenty to do in the bar to prepare for tonight, which is what I have to go and do shortly. I have the place to myself tonight because Teresa is having the night off as she has a visitor so I'm going to charge the camera up in the hope that things are as busy today even without her blonde charms!

Other Stuff

The news broke last night that Erica is going home, back to the States, tomorrow having decided that Spain is no longer for her. As a friend and confidante I have known about her decision since she took it and she came to see me on Friday afternoon to say cheerio (we actually bumped into each other in town, where, not having noticed her, I heard "don't you dare walk by without saying hi!" She said that she was actually on her way down to see me whereupon I had to point out that we'd better keep moving because my shopping bag contained a trout and I didn't want it to start stinking in the heat. "Friends forever" we will stay in touch through email.

Ann & Bill have mentioned again about me house-sitting for them while they are away in October. If I do, and with Ann & Bills' blessing, then we'll have to arrange a trip over here for you . Their apartment is more suitable for you than mine because there is a lift.

Christina and I have come to an arrangement over the Studio below. I will be moving into it, probably at the end of this month. Whilst I didn't get all that I was after in terms of rent etc I'm quite happy with the outcome and, as it happens, house-sitting for Ann will make it easier to effect the move without leaving me in limbo with my things split between the two. I reckon that I can do it in two or three days, leisurely, during the time available to me. Where's heaven? In the new BATHroom!!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Una Broma (A Joke)

My phone went tonight at 10 to 3 just as I was preparing to close. I didn't need to look at the screen to see who it was, I just picked it up, accepted the call and answered with "Hola Larisa". All the way from Moscow?? Erm, no, all the way from Torre centro. "When you finish, come up the stairs and call me from the top of c/San Miguel" She said. "OK" I said and having closed, came home, dumped my stuff, collected her keyset and, at 20 past 3 in the morning, climbed the 181 steps up to the top. I didn't need to call her, I could hear her talking and laughing with someone just out of sight on C/Mercedes and sure enough she burst into view from around the corner only to go into hysterics upon seeing me huffing and puffing after the climb (not easy at 3am after 8 hours work in the bar!). "I thought that you were going to Moscow today." "Una broma" was the reply through a little grin. She was in the company of her friend Irena and I had approached dangling her keys expecting just to exchange them for mine and return to my apartment, something to eat and then my bed. Oh no. I still have her keys, she wouldn't take them..."otro día" she said "you keep them "for security", where's open now?" "I don't have any money on me, I've left my wallet at home" "No problem, Irena is inviting you". "Back downstairs then, there's a bar open down the stairs" I said, and we turned to go there. Irena has a car so I said that we could drive there whereby we turned back around again, found the car, and did just that. Back to Titos Bar which is not far from here. Irena knows the bar, she has been there before in times gone by and having all got in via the knock on the window that is necessary (somewhat like an American Speakeasy bar) we had a drink. Upon leaving I told them that I could walk home from there which prompted from Lary "you don't want to come with us?" Then Irena took over saying (to Larisa) that they were going back to Málaga so goodbyes were said and here I am, bemused. She's going to call me in the next day or two. Una broma? Maybe she'd had a wine or two which made her "sound" despondent. Maybe she's upset about the fact that I may have to return to the UK if I can't resolve the problem at the bank and wants me to know how it feels to receive that sort of news, as if I don't already from previous partings of ours. She quizzed me again, tonight, about the status of my attempts to get things put right and I brought her up-to-date but I think that she's really bothered that we might not be seeing much more of each other.

Cristina caught me on the stairs as I was going out to work today. I couldn't stop but apparantly the Studio below is ready and I have first option. Tomorrow I'm going down to view it properly having just had a glimpse in the bathroom, the door to which she opened during our brief discussion. Guess what! There's a bath. A real one, well, half of full-size one. But that's big enough for me!! Where's the Radox? Let's hope that we can come to an amicable agreement about rent, and I can sort the bank.

Bed. Nite nite. Moscow? What the devil next?

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Any Old Trout Will Not Do

A Reminder
The active website is still the alternate. Click the link on the side panel to the right and update bookmarks. is not "live" at the moment.

OK, about the Trout
Now that Wednesdays hold no anticipation or excitement for the forseeable future what to do is the question. Next week is organised...a trip to the Marina discotequeing all night long, just like the old days but tonight? I've bought a trout. A fresh one, which is presently marinading in the fridge so it won't be long before the plancha is fired up and Trout with Salad and Game Chips will be served up, al fresco on the terrace, hence the swap in cameras for tonight. I've done a pile of the chips because I really like them. Already prepped and de-starched I am now drawing water off them with some salt while the Trout is marinating. They will be crisp and delicious and I'll be picking at the leftovers all night long if I get my way! Bright-eyed through careful selection, the fish is wallowing in White wine, Soy Sauce, Lemon Juice and chopped fresh Parsley. No expense spared as the saying goes although the fish only cost 1.41€ (one Pound, more or less.) The white wine was even cheaper and if my ability to spel disappears I'll give you won guess wy. OK, the Sun is down, life is cool and my wine glass is empty, again. see you later!

A Mix-up

It seems that I should have done something yesterday about getting the keys exchanged because last night she sent a txt asking what was wrong, she has no time today and that she'll call another day (which, I presume, means sometime between now and next March if I've understood the possible timescale of her trip to Moscow properly.) I sent back that I thought that I had been told (and I know I was..."te llamo mañana", three words I didn't miss at the end of our conversation late on Sunday night) to wait for a call from her to arrange the meeting and that, if she wants, I can pop over to Calahonda today if necessary. No reply yet so I suppose that she really is very busy packing etc., or maybe even en-route to Madrid for the flight tomorrow. Oh well, not to worry, but I'm disappointed that I haven't been able to talk with her face-to-face and find out a little more about why she has to go.

A lazy day indoors then, except for a trip to the shops. I prepped the bar last night after closing so I am totally free today. Lazy day? I should coco. There's washing to do, cooking to do and cleaning to do. No peace for the wicked.

I've just been shouted at, through the open patio door, by one of the local Sparrow flock!! His (or her) problem? There's no water in the plant-pot tray it is wanting to drink from. The cheep of it!

PS. I've noticed on the WebCam this morning that the lights have been put up for the Romería here in Torremolinos. My dictionary says - "ROMERÍA Originally a pilgrimage to a shrine or church to express devotion to the Virgin Mary or a local saint, the term romería has been extended to describe the rural fiesta which accompanies the pilgrimage. People come from all over the country to spend the day in celebration, bringing copious amounts of food and drink with them." Well, I know that here in Torre a long procession of decorated floats makes its way out of town to a site where barbecues and picnics can be (and are) set up for the celebration. I'll try and get a photo or two.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

It Can't be Co-incidence

When I got back from work on Sunday night and checked the Web & Blog stats (as I always do) I noticed a marker pinned into Moscow on the Google Map that is part of the information that I receive. On further investigation, sure enough, on this blog a hit from Moscow had been logged.
The same evening that Larisa called me about going back to Russia there was (earlier) a hit to a specific page (no referral, no search and, namely, the one where I told you about the special ringtone I assigned to her name on my mobile) 6 hours or so before she called me. First the hit from St Petersburg prior to Katia going there for a visit late in June and now this prior to Lary's imminent departure. Somebody in Moscow has been told to read a particular blogpage of mine. Co-incidence? Who knows.

As yet I haven't heard from Lary about the keys so, if I don't hear anything tonight I'm going to prep the bar ready for Teresa's solo stint tomorrow (my day off) before I lock up tonight in the hope that she'll call tomorrow morning (like she did last week) and I'll be able to respond without hindrance but, somehow, I don't think that Gibraltar will be on the cards if she does which will be shame because I was really looking forward to getting a big box of Yorkshire Tea in the Morrisons Supermarket there at least.

Favio is away for a holiday today and I've been left in charge of Buying and Banking for 10 days or so but I doubt that I'll get any overtime for doing so!!

BTW, I know that you updated yourself here on Sunday also! Having not spoken to you for a couple of weeks now it is comforting to know you were, at least, on the computer that day.

Monday, 1 September 2008

We Don't Say Goodbye

I knew that a week was a long time! Tonight at 2am Larisa rang and sounded really despondent as she told me that on Thursday she has to return to Russia, possibly until March I think I heard her say. And when I asked "¿para siempre?" (for ever) just to make her repeat things there was an emphatic "¡No!" but she is not sure just how long she has to stay in Moscow. The call knocked the stuffing out of me and all I wanted to do was go home from work but I soldiered on until 3-40am trying to entertain the punters but my heart was no longer in the job.

We have almost identical keyrings and last Thursday, as I left her, I picked up the wrong set and found myself locked out upon arrival home. A phonecall back to her sent her looking and she found mine. Together we agreed that it didn't matter and could wait until next Wednesday (I was able to rustle up a spare set of mine and she didn't need hers) but now, later today, we have to meet to exchange them and she is going to call me again to arrange where and when and hopefully, I'll be able to find out more.

Right now I need Celine Dion and "Immortality", one line of which is my title tonight.