Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Or miscellany. Or pot-pourri.

1) I went to Algeciras to catch the fast bus and avoid the roadworks at San Pedro. I also went so I could eat delicious tortilla and have a large glass of Rioja. First mistake. I’ve usually had tortilla with onions, or with peppers and onions, but I’ve not had the plain potato one. It was terrible. Rubbery and tasted like sad custard. The glass was scratched and didn’t seem to have the same huge measure as before.

There was a group of young Americans at the back of the bus who insisted on shouting all the way from Algeciras to Malaga. The problem when people shout in your native language is that you can't miss what they are saying. And it was boring. Of course, they did have competition from the Spanish guy opposite me who seemed to think it was generous of him to play his dance style music loudly for the benefit of the whole bus. If he's going to do that, I think we should be able to put in requests. 'How about a nice piano concerto?' would be mine.

Prices – 3.10€ for tortilla plus wine, 11.25€ from Algeciras to Malaga, 2.05€ from La Linea to Algeciras.

2) The next day, having completed watering the garden, weeding the path, and feeding the chickens plus feeding me – but only with grapefruit juice - by 8am, I decided breakfast was in order. When I arrived in Malaga I went to the railway station cafe – El Yate. This is a good place, no smoking and a good choice of food. One of the few places I have found in Andalucia that offers edible croissants. The trouble was that orange juice, croissants and coffee would have given me a sugar overdose. I spotted some patatas alioli. Potatoes in garlic mayonnaise. I asked if they had a plain salad too – ensalada mixta. Actually it is rather less plain than elsewhere. For 4.50€ it includes beetroot, carrot, egg, olives, tomato, sweetcorn, and loads of lettuce. OK, so half of it is lettuce, but the other bits are good. Then I asked for a glass of wine. So it was breakfast time, but I was eating lunch.

The waiter must have been concerned about this. I obviously didn't do much for the image of solo middle-aged English women. He shot from behind the bar and said (in Spanish) 'I will help you.' Fine by me. He picked up a knife and fork 'For your salad' and plonked them on the plate. He picked up the tray with a flourish and I dutifully followed behind. First the fork fell off. And when it did, the tray wobbled, and then the glass wobbled. Ah Joan Collins – where are you when you are needed? The glass fell. Spectacularly. The contents flew in all directions, and the glass shattered. We proceeded to my table and he slouched off with rather less of a flourish. A new glass of wine was brought and 'Sorry madam'. Hell, it could happen to any of us. Rather him than me though.

Prices – 4.50€ for the salad, 3€ for the tapa, 1.50€ for the glass of wine. A small coffee is 1.20€, orange juice is 2.20€, croissant around 1.50€.

3) On the way back, I finally finished my library book – 'Your Face Tomorrow 1 – Fever and Spear' by Javier Marias. It has taken me two months to read this convoluted novel. It might have been easier to read it in Spanish, it felt so toruous at times. But actually by the time I finished it, I decided I had quite enjoyed it. Anyway, now I can read Paul Theroux's 'The Great Railway Bazaar.' As I've been on some of the trains he mentions, this should be interesting.

4) Shower Kleener. I bought this ages ago because it was ecological and green and etc etc. But I was reading the label the other day and it said something about using it meant you could lengthen the time between cleaning the shower. Haha!! I don't need to buy something to make me drag my feet about cleaning. I can do that one all on my little own.

5) Domestic appliances update – no I haven't forgotten about this. No new bed – we are still sleeping on the floor. The Apple is still in the Apple shop countless weeks later – all tests indicate it may be the hard disk/drive. Yeah right, I may have said that ages ago. The HP All-in-One finally went on its holidays. The Canon Lasetjet is rather nice. Update – hot off the press – the Apple shop finally rang to tell me the problem is the logicboard. This is NOT a cheap fix. Ho hum, what to do? Write off a very expensive computer after two years or throw more money at it?


Letty said...

I am not going to comment on the computer probs, WOTD.

Just the food.......when we were in Spain I had been looking forward to tortillas. We both found the tortillas a very mixed bunch (if you can have bunches of tortillas!), some were glorious concoctions, light, fluffy and just right. But the majority were just as you described the plain potato one!

Husband felt sure some of the offerings were "frozen" portion controlled efforts they were so bad.

More in a mo when I have finished reading your post.

Letty ;0D The Tortilla Lover

Letty A Little Girl With Many Curls said...

the spillage of wine always upsets me deeply. I feel for you.

And waiters and/or publicans who think they have a "moral" right to judge women drinking on their own in public at whatever time of day.

Having said this, a few years ago, daughter and I went for a cold pint of beer in a local pub on a hot day. When I ordered the barman who was also owner of said pub, declared the beer I had chosen and was longlingly looking forward to, was known as "Wife Beater" and not really suitable for 'ladies' to drink.

B***dy cheek! Suffice to say, daughter and I were incensed enough to order another two!

Loud shouting and music played too loud also TWOTD. Peeps on mobile phones too, I know they are "on the bus", "on the train", I don't need to hear it shouted in my ear.

Letty who is now incensed......and has many curls forming, or even foaming.......

ha ha!

Scarlett said...

also shower cleaners, don't get me on it!

i have never found one which does what it says on the tin. or receptacle.


also being such a tart, i never clean showers, I have peeple who do it for me.

Imogen, Rhett and all the other donkeys.

Rhett Butler said...

I just use Scarlett, she is very good in the shower

oh you can delete this one if you want, I am just Rhett - you know - handsome, devil may care, and quite the careless one with leaving inappropriate comments.

Especially when one such as me, has partaken of one too many mint Juleps.

flowers of the south.

mint juleps

that is, or are, if we are being grammatical.

cheers! Rhett x

Anonymous said...

just re reading your post. and the scratched glass. I was brought up to put drinks in the right glasses.

firstly when I encountered this 'rule' I remember thinking it was kinda fussy.

however, it is very important. both youngest son, husband and I are very, very fussy about our drinking glasses.

A glass of cheap wine tastes c**p in a cheap and nasty glass, but in a better glass certainly does taste better.

We used to mock very kindly my father when he insisted on the "right" glass, but now how strange things turn around, I am most particular about my glasses.

At Ma In Laws recently, I made some g and ts, and husband said, they didn't taste like they did at home.

well obviously, not. Same ingredients, but cr***y free from petrol station glasses which must be at least thirty years old.

I rest my case. Or my glass.

An interested observer catching up on your blog posts.

Katherine and Pippa said...

To Anonymous:

If life is about personal and not internet connections why on earth are you on my blog?
Your comment is asinine.
DR's reviews aka globe traveller's comments are nothing more than spammy rubbish that add no value for anyone visiting Gibraltar.
Everyone knows there are macaques, that you can see Africa and you can walk across the runway.
Oh, but not everyone knew about the roadworks past San Pedro, or maybe about decent tortilla in the bus station in Algeciras.

So read this, clear off, and then I will delete you.