Went to Decathlon and bought a cheap pair of running shoes €15, some hideous but comfortable tights and a sports bra (best money ever spent – women with boobs take note).
Thought about running.
Thought about running. Felt guilty about having spent money on running stuff.
Called friend, who out of sheer monumental boredom, agreed to join me on her bike. We walk/shuffle/cycle along the esplanade in Barceloneta. This is strangely exhilarating despite the fact that everyone overtakes us. We discuss my future overindulgence in the sport. Its agreed I should definitely stop before I get a runner’s body – no waist, no butt, no hips and hard sinewy legs. We end the run hanging upside down from the climbing frame on the beach. A fantastic start!
I find to my utter amazement, no sudden death or injury has occurred from last night’s run. I am a little sore from swinging about the frame though.
The first runner’s wall – my friend cancels. Another friend points out that it’s Friday night on Carnival weekend. I go anyway. She gets worried.
Sore. A friend calls me at 12pm to see if I’m coming out. I’m already in bed. She hangs up in disgust.
Sunday morning. I wake up and glance at the clock. Its 8 am. I think ‘if I get up right now I can go for a run before I start work’. Then I think ‘who am I!!!!?’
This is almost exactly what we looked like, but with sports bras :
Miffed man: Where are you from? India or Pakistan?
Miffed man: The women of India are very beautiful.
Me: Yes they are
Miffed man: But none of them are in Barcelona
Me laughing: No they aren’t.
Miffed man sweeps out with a triumphant flourish, having put me in my place.
Insults seem to be the new chat up lines in the city. With lovin like that how can I ever say no!
T and I got home in the wee hours of the morning the other night. The living room carpet looked a bit more colourful than usual, thanks to the rubbish bin lying in ribbons in the center. Picking his way tipsily through chicken bones and tin foil, T looks around him in disgust.
The cat pretends nonchalance.
T: You have to make sure you close the kitchen door, not leave it open for the cat. Look at the mess she’s made!
Me blurry bleary-eyed : Damn I thought I had remembered.
T: Well you obviously didn’t.
Me: Wait a minute…… you were the last to leave the house today….
T (starts clearing the mess away rapidly): Thats not the point!
Me: Helpless tipsy sprawling on the floor kind of giggling
Cat: pweh! Zzzzzz
The challenge I signed up to was to write a 50,000 word novel in 1 month. From the first of November till the end at midnight.
To have any chance of a victory, I need to be around the 33,333 word mark at the moment. It’s all under control, I’m almost there. My word count is at about 2,400.
So like I said, I’m almost there.
The worst part is I have now realised that the story is boring and hopelessly lost, I can’t write dialogue, I don’t know how to correctly parenthesis a dialogue, and my characters are crap. The lead character has turned out to be an Indian girl around my age. I did this so I wouldn’t have to imagine character too much, and could just borrow from my own knowledge of 20 something Indian girls.
It didn’t work.
I don’t know who this chick is!
I think she’s going to turn out to be mean.
I am nice. ish.
Apart from her there is a mysterious Catalan lady who runs a secret dosa kitchen in a squat and has an adopted Indian daughter, Yuri the Russian dosa maker (I like Yuri), Paco the pal who was supposed to be a boring nice guy but isn’t really following his character ( I don’t like Paco!) and another guy who just entered the story
Something is not going to go well at this story club.
This is what Yuri might look like sitting at his table.
Needless to say, there are no pictures of blond dosa makers out there.
It had been one of those days when afternoon, evening and night flowed into each other so smoothly you don’t realize until the end that if you had drunk a little less and eaten a little more you would be feeling a lot better.
We walked home from Barceloneta at around 12 pm. Before we could get the front door open, our neighbor popped her head out. In our slightly fuddly state we understood that our cat had somehow escaped. One anxious run up the stairs (5 flights) and one quick and noisy check of the house later I realized that we were indeed missing one cat. By the time I got down, T had gotten a veterinary address off our neighbor and we walked along to claim our cat.
Sadly once we roused the on call vet, he started speaking of worse things. Broken hip bone, possible internal damage…. those horrible words which only belong in TV land. Our little cat hadn’t run down the stairs, she had fallen off the balcony. Gone was the arrogant fearless spider cat, and in her place was a broken scared little cat. After much discussion with the vet we decided to run some tests to determine exactly how bad the damage was and come back the next day.
I felt sick! We returned to the reception area and filled in the form for the cat. I had just managed to remember my NIE number before a wave of blehness engulfed me. My blood sugar level plummeted and so did I.
Back outside the clinic I asked T if I had freaked the vet out too much when I passed out. He reassured me it wasn’t the passing out which freaked him out so much as the unconscious giggling after my head hit the floor. Poor vet.
Alice: But I don’t want to go among mad people.
The Cat: Oh, you can’t help that. We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.
Alice: How do you know I’m mad?
The Cat: You must be. Or you wouldn’t have come here.
I stopped to get some pictures of the cat garden yesterday. No one seems to notice the garden, and apart from myself, there was only one slightly eccentric man crooning at a flirtatious ginger tabby through the grill. ‘Loony’ I thought to myself. No wonder the triple layer grill and metal fence had been erected. God knows what the crazies would try to do to a wee abandoned kitty.
Apparently one of the cat shelter staff thought the same, and she walked into the garden on the pretext of filling up the water bowls, to check him out. A portly lady, dressed in black. Would she chase him away? She looked formidable, but you never know what you might unleash when you antagonise a loony. But no, she called out a greeting to him. All good then, he was a cat lover apparently. Then she turned to me. It gradually dawned on me, that I was the subject of the ‘what are you looking perv?’ look. Me?! What about the dodgy old dude with the flasher jacket? Ok, maybe I was the one with a camera. I took another picture, with her in the frame. Her eyes narrowed. She didn’t speak, but somehow managed to say ‘fucking tourist’ purely through body language.
I don’t blame her. It must be hard running a cat shelter in the Raval, and lurkers (like me) need to be treated with suspicion.
I was just about to leave anyway. Maybe the triple layer fence was actually for the protection of the outside world. See you later kitty cats.
Strange things are always to be found in Barcelona. And a highly reliable guide to things strange and entertaining in Barcelona is Magda.
I met Magda for a drink the other night. In the course of that night we (a) discovered an awesome retro clothes shop near Macba, conducted a survey of all the pricey bars around till we found one selling a reasonable pint, and attended an interesting closing night party. First we met up with a friend of Magda’s. A lanky, droll, laid back musician whose name escapes me. Magda had volunteered with an art festival for the past few months, Festival Lilliput 2010. The festival organised various art installations in stairwells around Barcelona. I can’t comment more on the actual festival because I never saw it. But I saw the closing party.
The first time we tried to find the party, we spotted posters in a 2nd floor window but couldn’t find a way in. Magda maybe great at discovering things…. but she isn’t so great at actually finding them and the search was less than precise…
Magda: It’s near Macba
Lanky: Well Macba is just around the corner from here..
Magda: Ooo look up in that window, that’s the festival poster
Lanky (looking skeptical): That building is supposed to be destroyed
Magda: Realy? When?
Lanky: Yesterday soon
Magda: oh….I’m sure that’s where the party is though
The second attempt was successful (same condemned building different entrance) and we soon found ourselves ordering our drinks from a makeshift bar. We had arrived just in time for a performance by two dancers Miryam Mariblanca and Diego Campos. Inwardly cringing I followed Magda into the main room. I hate modern dance/performance art etc. Most artists come off as egotistical, pretentious and boring and I can never make eye contact with them for fear of laughing.
But what a surprise! I liked it! My bullshit meter never went off once! Awesome! No cringing, no smirking and no snorts of laughter. I credit the two performers, firstly for their skill and secondly (at the risk of trying to critique art) for the honesty of their performance. Either that, or my bullshit meter was impaired by alcohol……hmm….you judge-