Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Unexpected intercambio

Tonight's lesson didn't start well. I turned up at Jaime's garage, as every other Tuesday evening, at 8.30. The look on his face followed by his exclamation of "Mierda" should have been a clue!
Oh yes, he'd forgotten all about our lesson and was just closing up the garage and heading off for drinks with a mate.

Magnanimously (I thought, having walked all the way there in 32 degrees with a heavy bag!) I said never mind, why don't we do it tomorrow evening instead?! Oh no, he said, I can't, I'm going out for dinner with 6 friends. We'd already established that we were cancelling Thursday's lesson, so it was looking like it was all over til September.

Until his mate, who was loitering around, asked why I didn't go with them for drinks! Jaime said yes as long as we had the class at the bar. Though he made me promise to let him speak quietly as he said he'd be embarrassed speaking English in public.

What the hell!

I can't pretend it was a roaring success. We probably did about half an hour of the class, regularly interrupted by the mate, who spoke no English but was very funny. In the end, Jaime gave up and said no more, please!

I let him off (the customer is always right), and we got more beer and more tapas.

Of course, once the class was over it was a free-for-all language-wise. It was pointless for me to keep plugging away in English so I took the opportunity for my first proper Spanish conversation! Went quite well, if you ask me! I understood pretty much everything they said and they were very patient while I looked odd words up in the dictionary. They politely ignored the fact that I can still only do the present tense!

What had started as a bit of a disaster turned into a very entertaining evening, all in all, and a very enjoyable learning curve!

Monday, 27 July 2009

RIP Little Tree

The bastards finally did it - the gits digging up the roads etc round here finally cut down one of the 5 trees in the little green area in front of the flats.

Eve and I had been keeping a close eye on it since they started, but because they had protected the trunks of all the trees with planks of wood, and had been carefully driving around them all for weeks, we thought they were safe.

Hah! Just as I stepped onto the balcony today, I heard a crash and looked down to see the smallest of the trees tumbling to the ground, then chopped up into bits and taken away in a digger.

So we have gone from (note little tree in the middle in front of the white van):

to this:

This is officially "Arbol Pequeño - Ground Zero".