In an attempt to gloss over the disaster that was Sunday, suffice to say I learnt a salutory lesson in trusting people who think they have more power than they actually do, and who then relinquish all responsibility for the outcome.
What did I find out? That complete strangers here are damn friendly and helpful when you´re in trouble. That Spanish long distance buses are fast, comfortable, cheap (fortunately) and show some very dodgy films. That taxi drivers here, as in the UK, don´t always know where they´re going.
So - Madrid again after possibly the briefest sojourn ever, 10 days into my trip. I can´t pretend it´s quite turning out as planned but a) I´m not where I was and b) my Spanish is improving rather fast, by necessity.
I now know a couple of other people here in almost the same situation so we´ll get together, commiserate, brainstorm and work something out.
And if not - I´m not above begging the mad cat-obsessed taverna owner in Kalives for a job. Er yes, that´s in Crete, not Spain but so what? It´s not Gatwick!!!!