I promise not to do the British thing and talk about the weather all the time, but for the last couple of days it's kind of dominated things. It's been steadily climbing for about 4 days, starting around 32, but yesterday hit what must have been 39. When I walked back to the flat at 10.15pm, the electronic readouts all said 35. There were some promising rumbles of thunder, some fantastic forked lightning, a few fat drops of rain, but it came to nothing! My poor body is having trouble adapting, if I'm honest. It's so dry that my throat constantly sounds like I've been shouting for days - it's really croaky and first thing in the morning, practically not there at all. Just occasionally it manages the "sexy Mariella Frostrup" kind of effect, but not often! The top of my left foot and left ankle bone look like a pin cushion. Hugely swollen!! Lovely, eh? Baffled as to why my right foot is absolutely fine though. It's hard to know what to do to try to sort it out. I'm drinking loads of water, but I'm aware that if I drink too much, I'll wash any beneficial sodium out of my body (given how much I'm losing anyway, due to the heat). But various websites suggest that one of the best things to try to get rid of or prevent swollen feet in the heat is to avoid salt/sodium wherever possible! So if I try to replace the salt I'm losing in sweat (!), I'm probably making my foot worse. I've never actually tried to live in this kind of climate before - 35-odd degrees is great when I'm on a Greek beach where there's a breeze and if I get too hot, I can just hurl myself in the sea for half an hour. But here? There's no real escape. No AC in the flat, just one small fan which successfully spreads hot air round the room! The next 4 days will be fun - my first week of teaching 4 students, which will mean lots of walking/Metroing round the city getting from lesson to lesson. Not tiring on its own, but the heat makes it much more draining!!! Anyway, enough of my boring weather chat!
Yesterday, Debbie arrived. At last!!! I met her at a Vaughan Town in Feb 2008 and we've been in touch ever since, even though I only saw her once more, last summer. She's here to do the teacher training (yes, the one I quit!) so I'm wishing her all the best with it. I met her at the airport yesterday and went with her to her accommodation for the next 2 weeks. My friend Pedro is putting her up in the spare room in his flat, which is very sweet of him. The flat is like a time capsule (no offence Pedro!) - I swear it hasn't been decorated or changed in any way since about 1955. On one of the kitchen walls, it has the oldest cabinets I've ever seen! But it's quiet, convenient and has WiFi! As an obligatory welcome to Spain, we went out for a 3 hour lunch, followed by a short walk, then 3 more hours over beers talking about anything from vivisection to euthanasia and rather a lot in between!
Oh, and on the way to lunch, we went over to the Bull Ring as it's so close to her flat, and she wanted some photos. There were a lot of people milling around and it appeared that the main gate was open and you could go through. Despite the fact that I felt very uncomfortable about going in somewhere I disapprove of so thoroughly, I followed the others towards the gate. Rather a lot of people in matching red T-shirts were handing out small leaflets. A very fierce woman thrust one into my hand whilst saying something. I have no idea what she said, but I said "Non, gracias" referring to the leaflet. However, presumably she thought I was saying no in answer to the question I hadn't heard! I continued forward but she came after me, shouting. I understood "It's not a bullfight", which I'd already worked out and said that was fine, but it clearly wasn't fine with her. And equally clearly, she wasn't going to let me get any further so we all left. Afterwards, we found that apparently some Christian preacher was doing his thing in there so presumably she'd asked me if that was what I was there for. I'd said no thanks! Still, lucky escape if you ask me!
Anyway, it's nice to see Debbie again, especially as she's waited so long for this to be sorted out. It's clearly something she really wants so I'm sure she'll do well.