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Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

A Short Drive in the Car
04 March 2021 @ 23:09

Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch, combined and in noisy pantomime, appear to be a way of remembering how to cross oneself successfully. For me, they are a simple mnemonic to remember to leave the house properly equipped. As age creeps up upon me, I find I forget things. Like not doing up my flies or forgetting to brush my hair, or coming out without my glasses. However, there is nothing more irritating than driving down to the shops only to find that I had left my wallet at home. And while it is useful to know what time it is, and therefore if the shops are open or not, I depart from the list by not wearing or indeed owning a watch. One day, when they invent watches that tell us what year it is, then maybe I’ll reconsider.

So, my four stations of the cross have morphed into: zipper, not that this is really my immediate concern - unless of course I am entertaining, spectacles, wallet... and face-mask.

The face-mask brings its own luggage to going anywhere. First of all, it steams up the glasses. No problem in the car, of course, but then you don't know that you've forgotten it until you get out at your destination.  Walking means I must hold my breath while I try and see where I'm going, then letting it all out with a sudden whoosh while gamely waiting for the specs to clear.

Thus, being new to my requirments, I forget to bring it along more times than I remember. There is nothing worse than driving down the lane, then remembering you forgot your mask, and having to turn round to go home again with the air of somebody who knows exactly what he's doing - rather than being an absolute chump. The neighbour is still leaning over his fence as I return. 'Nice day', I tell him for the second time in three minutes.

Unfortunately, a knot in a handkerchief won’t do. Firstly, because I would have to remember to carry a hankie, and secondly, because my list of vital things to retain before I leave the property turns out to be rather longer than the modest accumulation of paraphernalia mentioned above.

Wearing a tee-shirt and jeans doesn't help either with extra storage. My pockets bulge when I'm in public like I've just been on a shop-lifting spree in a candy store.

See, I need two pairs of glasses, one for reading and the other to keep the sun out of my eyes. These sun-glasses, usually originally belonging to somebody else - you know how it is, in the old days it used to be lighters - often tend towards being bent, scratched or hopelessly unfashionable; but they are useful in the summer, especially if I find I need a short nap while talking to the vicar.

I like to carry a mobile phone. Mine is an elderly model much like myself and it, like me, has a short battery life – a couple of hours or so – and is rarely charged when I am. This makes it an optional item on my list.

Keys of course: car-keys, the house-key and that strange one on the key-ring that no one remembers where it came from. I must also bring with me an ID, which, and thanks to the polizie, means both a passport and the green A4 letter from immigration saying that they care. So much easier than the old Residents Card which I carried about with me for forty years. I suppose I could put my name down for a Foreigners Identity Card - a TIE as it's called - and slip effortlessly from a second class European to a third class extranjero, but  perhaps another time.

My pockets are filling up. I’ve brushed my hair and had a pee. I've done my Four Stations again: money, ID, keys and a nice clean mask. Shut the dog away and checked that the door is locked. I’ve got the plastic shopping bag out of the kitchen (no sense in wasting three céntimos), turned the water off in the garden (hah!), put the chicken back in its cage, eaten its egg, checked my pockets again… and am now ready.

But wait, I’ve forgotten where I had planned to go.



Like 3




2 Comments


pjck said:
06 March 2021 @ 09:58

But why ID?


anthomo16 said:
06 March 2021 @ 11:12

Ha ha ha ha, please keep them coming


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