Thursday, 27 August 2009

Winding it all Up

Teresa called this morning to ask if I would work with her this evening in her bar. Despite the fact that time is becoming tight with regard to finishing getting packed and clearing and cleaning the apartment I can't ignore an opportunity to top the coffers up a little, so, I'm offline at the moment (it's 2pm) and taking time out from the chores to, not only write this, but give some thought to the last few days plan of action over a cuppa in the light of her request.

Due to the airlines' restrictions on weight (9 or 10 euros for each excess kilo) I'm only going to bring clothes and toiletries etc. Sounds drastic but really it isn't...the rest of my possessions just about all belong in the kitchen and most of those will be staying here in Torremolinos. Today I'm continuing to sort my wardrobe out, disposing of those things I feel that I will not need back home, those that are worn out or damaged and those that I haven't actually used in a good long while. Tomorrow clear and clean the balconies, bathroom and bedroom and Saturday the same for the Kitchen, larder, fridge and freezer. Actually I've been running down my foodstocks during this last week, making all sorts of wierd and not so wonderful concoctions to get stuff used up, the latest being a batch of veg soup into which I tipped the last of the Pearl Barley that I had. Turned out to be too much and its overpowering presence in each bowlful is not pleasing, but there you go. Saturday will also see me pass on the stuff that is staying here, giving me even more room to wield the mop and bucket. Saturday evening I'm going for a meal with Ann, Bill, Kathy and David as I've mentioned before. Then, on Sunday morning, I plan to finally finish all the necessary cleaning and then go along to The Ship (as usual) for an hour or so before calling Larisa to tell her that I'm ready to go to her.

She doesn't have the Internet in the apartment and, having never had occasion to need it in Calahonda, I have absolutely no idea where the nearest Hotspot is with which to keep in touch. Non doubt there is one somewhere but for my purposes SMS will suffice to let you know my eventual flight details if nothing else.

As for "ItsMeInTorre", the end really is nigh but I've been asked, and even told, not to let my blog die. So perhaps I won't. And on that note I have to, again, thank those who have been emailing me lately, your thoughts and comments have been appreciated.


I'll be Moving

As she promised that she would Larisa rang a little earlier and I'll now be going to Calahonda just as soon as I'm ready to vacate my apartment, probably Monday. There I can stay while waiting for the airfares to drop, which may mean until the 2nd week in September.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

- Puedas Venir Aqui -

My plan to return this weekend has been kyboshed by the fact that it's the August Bank Holiday and, as a consequence, airfares are skyhigh: BA want more or less a 1000euros one-way to Heathrow for instance! So, I am going to have to wait a little while until the prices come back down to earth. And it looks like I'll be able to do that now because a Guardian Angel has arrived on the scene.

Larisa rang again late last night:
"Where were you last night (Sunday) when I rang?"
In the heat of the moment (I still hate talking spanish on the phone) I mistakenly told her that I had been indoors watching television.
"Ah, that's why there was a lot of background noise, where are you now?"
"Indoors, always indoors" I replied in all innocence, pointing the phone toward the TV for proof. Then I remembered that I was actually in Teresa's Bar, blogging, on Sunday when she called. Not that any of it matters but I still take great comfort in the fact that she concerns herself about me.
"OK", she said, and then asked "have you bought a ticket yet?"
"No, the prices are too high" I explained, continuing with "I may have to wait a week or so for the prices to drop."
"Good, then you can come here?"
"You can come here, to my apartment. I'll ring you again on Wednesday night."
"Oh! Ok, Gracias."
"Venga, hasta luego" and she was gone.

The mind can play funny tricks at times, not the least mine and I'm beginning to wonder (and enjoying the process) whether I'm now being reeled in. Caught, hook, line and sinker! Probably not, unfortunately. But then, reading between the lines of our recent conversations (and I only ever tickle the essence of them here on this blog), she seems not to be prepared to accept the fact that my time to leave has come. All the while I don't have the ticket she's happy with the fact that I'm not committed, and that, it would seem, is providing her with an opportunity to take control. There is no need to call me today because I've told her I'm having to wait so, she now has time to get up to whatever it is that she wants to do today before calling me again, tomorrow. But, as I say, the mind can get up to all sorts of tricks.

All the while this week I am bringing my tenancy here to a close, now deadlined for Monday. Much of the stuff that I can't carry is earmarked for others to have, and Saturday will be spent delivering to them. Saturday is also David's birthday and I am invited to his bash in the evening which will become my sendoff as well, finishing, I expect, in Ana's with a developing headache!

My mind is working at fever pitch again....I haven't mentioned this before but the other month, out on her terrace with Katy earwigging, a conversation started about relationships and we both ended up telling each other that we were confirmed singles, me having dismissed her suggestion that I ought to find a rich widow. I was lying of course, about remaining single, but stayed clear of steering the conversation down the road I would dearly have loved it to go just in case she wasn't but I did make it quite clear that I was not, and had no intention of, looking for anybody else. A wisp of a smile told me that I'd said and she'd heard all the right things. Katy grinned like a Cheshire Cat all the way through!

If I do move to Calahonda I must remember not to wear the Wrong Trousers!!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

You CAN'T!

Having come to an arrangement with those who are helping me to book my ticket home (I don't have a credit card let alone a convenient internet connection) I rang to let you know what the plan was. Immediately following that I sent an SMS to Larisa detailing the same and, not long ago, I received a return call, by voice, the contents of which gave rise to my title above. Monday, it seems, would be far better than Sunday so I have to go back and rehash the plan - I must not leave Spain without saying cheerio to her in person, and if I do so I will never be forgiven. Sat here in Teresa's bar, Larisa's call has reduced me to tears, literally and, for the moment, that's all I want to do - cry. Which is what I'm doing. It seems that life here is really not all about Sun, Sea and Sangria but more about a lady who once asked me, out of the blue, -¿como se llama?-and having to leave her company is what is really beginning to hurt.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Penultimate Bridge

The call that I've been dreading came earlier this afteroon - Cristina- "Hello Derek, are you here? I haven't seen you for a long time." Which was true because I've been keeping a low profile knowing that she was upstairs in the apartment above me, the coward in me fearful of any confrontation over the rent. After I had blundered my way through, in 'SpanEnglish', about my situation (which was, basically, "I can't pay the rent this month and have to leave at the end of the month, you have my deposit to cover") she was absolutely fine, fantastic even, in her quiet "I understand" reaction. Having been a good tenant for the last 3 years or so I'm more than grateful that she is not going to chuck me out on my ear immediately although she did say that she will have to check with her lawyer that I can use my deposit in this way. If not then she can give it me back on 31st August and I'll give it straight back as the rent albeit 4 weeks late. Easy. No problem. And that's the penultimate bridge crossed.

Things here in Torre go from bad to worse; not only is it planned to close the Chiringuitos (beach bars), they have now painted a yellow line along the length of the beach road ready to enforce a 'no parking' by-law from September. Rumour has it (which I heard last night) that, this next Tuesday, all the businesses along the front are going to stay closed in protest at the potential loss of trade.

The ultimate bridge to cross is saying goodbye to Larisa. Our parting last Wednesday was on a simple "see you later" basis as if nothing any different from normal was afoot. I could have gone to Calahonda, to a barbecue, today but I'm due to work at Teresa's bar tonight and that (the money) has higher priority! She is off to Biarritz next Saturday for a week so I'm hoping that we can get together again before. I'm sure we will as she now knows my plans for the next 2 weeks.

On the 31st I intend to tout the desks at the airport for a stand-by ticket to either Heathrow or Gatwick, hoping that I do not have to wait too long to be accomodated, we'll see.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

-¿Donde estás Derek?-

Last Sunday I was invited by Lisa and Ward to Sunday Lunch at The Ship so I spent much of the afternoon there with them. Back home by about 6-30pm after some very nice Roast Beef etc. to an evening in front of the TV. Then at 10pm Larisa called - where was I, what was I doing and did I want to go out later. We met by the station at 11-45pm.
"Fancy going to the casino (in Torrequebrada)?" She asked.
" A Casino!? I can't go to a Casino!!"
"I'm inviting you so, yes you can, and why are you wearing those trousers again??"
I like my brown cordouroys but she doesn't, saying that they are not summerwear and on the way up to a bar to kill time before the bus out of town I (re)explained why I like wearing them. And on that walk I also found out that I had been told to bring my passport. No ID, no casino, but then I thought that she had said on the phone that she wanted to go to a Cocina (Kitchen) which I didn't really understand, and never heard anything about bringing my passport. 4 rounds later we made our way back to the bus-stop and began an hours wait for the next one, due at 2-16am. On the journey she dozed off on my shoulder so I was able miss the stop for the casino and, to cut the story short we eventually ended up in Calahonda, where I stayed until this morning. Her troubles, whatever they were, are over she says and that she is back on the social scene having not made much contact with anybody, including me, these last couple of months. I'm invited back for a barbecue party on Saturday but unfortunately my busy work schedule (sic) wont allow that which is unfortunate because there are 5 or 6 other friends of hers invited as well, all of whom I know but some of whom I haven't seen for awhile.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Possibly a damp squid

Strong thunderstorms are being forecast for Monday (late on in the day) so it looks like the hot weather of late is going to break.

Friday's newspaper turned up a job opportunity to which end this connection to the net at Teresa's bar has enabled me to email my CV in support of my telephone enquiry. I just hope that the weather forecast is wrong; I don't fancy going to Fuengirola for an interview in pouring rain, should I be invited., but needs must. In the meantime I have, tonight, confirmed with Teresa that I have 4 days work here towards the end of next week which will be handy. All I've got to do is get "round" Cristina when she knocks for the rent. Perhaps I'll get the Old Spice out.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Going Critical

I've got a night's work tomorrow at Teresa's and am currently sat in her bar, having collected the key, taking the opportunity to log on, collect email etc., and bring you up-to-date here.

Cristina arrived today, no doubt to collect the rent in person rather than have me transfer it to Granada via the Post Office which costs her 6 or 7 euros in Giro fees. Trouble is that I do not have it. I'm hoping that, when she knocks, we can agree to let me see my tenancy out to the end of this month, making use of my deposit to cover. I'm dreading the knock on the door though because I hate having to let her down but I can't, at the moment, do anything else. Once I know her reaction and any follow-on arrangement it'll be time to organise the flight home. Or maybe not. It all depends on her. She has no other tenants in the block and hasn't had in all the time (3 years) that I've been there. Perhaps I can persuade her to give me more time to get something sorted job-wise but I doubt that somehow. Without going into details, Teresa has told me that there is 2 weeks work here in her bar each month which, whilst giving me some income, would not anywhere near pay the rent at its current level even with tips and the odd night "on" to cover timeoff that she might need during the other 2 weeks of each month. I have declined on the face of it but it would be handy if Cristina gives me a little "grace and favour and I know that the offer will always be there as far as Teresa is concerned.

The last few weeks I've spent cooped-up in my apartment out of harm's way in the main so I'm not really au fait with the weather now, and not having 24hr internet means that my weather scripts on the website etc. are not running and keeping me (at least) up-to-date with what's happening weatherwise on a half-hourly basis. Having said that it doesn't seem to have been as hot as it was last year at this time and from now on I expect that the temperatures will begin to slide. And not before time; the airborne firefighters, based at Málaga Aeropuerto, have been busy these last few weeks dealing with wildfires somewhere inland from here. Currently we have (at 2130hrs) 28C and on that note I'm going to go home and cook my evening meal without perspiration!