Wed 28 – Thurs 29 Sept 2016
So my time in Torrox continues and it is amazingly civilised living. Nothing OTT, just the simple pleaures of sleeping, reading, coffee and eating all topped off with a traditional Spanish pueblo atmosphere and lots of sun. Indeed, I keep losing track of the days. Fortunate that I am here whilst the town’s feria (carnival) is happening in the plaza (town square). Set up on Tues when I arrived and really kicked off from Wed evening. We think the finale is on Sat evening. I do think my Spanish is improving just by being here. Although I am not doing anything specific to try and improve it. Just being around Spanish people and hearing words is helping me (I hope!)
Wed afternoon, Philip’s friend Alex popped round on his new motorbike. Although he also came off it on the way, got some grazzes, and mangled one of his wing mirrors – oops. Nice chap, works on the airlines and lives in the Netherlands. Said that Amsterdam really isn’t that gay now and is actually a bit conservative. I was told the same by someone at Berlin Folsom who was saying about how the police had been shutting down lots of gay bars and clubs. Sad.
Dinner in on Wed evening – pizza and salad. Philip’s a strict vegetarian so didn’t have any of my meat pizza and instead made do with veggie cutlets and salad. Out later to look round the feria. It does seem strange to start it midweek. It certainly wasn’t kicking but there were loads of old people and families sitting out in front of the stage. Lots of kids running around in costumes so suspect they were putting on a show. Back to watch the Spanish version of First Dates to try and improve our Spanish (and perv over the good looking men).
In bed by 10.30 (9.30 at home) though I had not had a siesta during the day and the draining sun takes it out of you. I am sleeping really heavily apart from my normal old man routine of getting up in the middle of the night to go for a piss. Also some really weird dreams though that may be due to all the wine.
Breakfast (desayuno) problems
Thurs morning up around 9am and out for breakfast in the town square (all set up for the feria). They didn’t have croissants so a comedic scene with me ordering a tostado with tortilla. Got a bit confusing and I ended up with a tostado con queso though I lived in fear of a great big omlette turning up as well. Philip had been planning to go to the gym but decided to go in the afternoon which is his favourite time to attend. Strange because my peak is in the morning and I deteriorate as the day passes.
Thurs was very windy but I spent some time on the roof terrace reading my kindle and listening to my ipod. Then we drove down to Torrox Costa, the part of the pueblo by the sea. Billed as the part of mainland Europe with the best weather, it was let down by the unseasonal wind which was blowing a gale as we walked along the beach. Lunch and coffee then popped into the English food shop with a sexy young guy working there who Philip knows (unfortunately not gay). Philip went to the gym in the afternoon whilst I spent more time on the roof terrace then down to the town square set up for the feria. Popped into the Chinese shop which sold everything, it was amazing. I think we under-estimate the entrepreneurship and work ethic of China. Some of their digital stuff is amazing and it is not just plagiarism.
Evening me and Philip went out to the plaza (town square) for a very nice dinner of fried aubergine and solomillo con mushrooms and lemon. Another half bottle of wine each. The feria was much busier with some traditional music on the stage. Though also a DJ playing some very non-Spanish music. Back to the house and crashed out.
Books and reading
I didn’t bring too many books out because I thought I would concentrate on reading via my kindle. There had been a special offer the week before I came out with several sci-fi and fantasy books published by Gollancz being available for 99p. I bought a load. However the first book I have been reading on the kindle is a free book, The Tor.Com Sampler. Tor is a well known publisher of sci-fi and fantasy. Basically a book of short stories to wet one’s appetite to read some of the authors’ full-length books.
‘Berlin Blues’ by Sven Regener
So far one ‘normal’ book read on this holiday. I picked this up in charity shop for £1 if I remember right. It attracted me because it was about Berlin which I often visit. It is set in the city just before Wall comes down. And follows the life of slacker just turning 30 and his slacker mates. Good fun and very good at painting a picture of the near past. It is based in the area of Kreuzberg. I never went there before the Wall came down but my friend James lived there. Kreuzberg was an infamous island of craziness in West Berlin because it was surrounded by East Berlin – basically it would have been the first place to go if they had invaded. All gone now and just another part of Berlin. When I went there recently it was painted as trendy bohemian but actually felt quite gentrified.