Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A Visit To The Bank

The holiday now seems like no more than a distant memory. I have returned to so many things that need doing. My daughter in law made a marvellous job of looking after my plot when I was away. The one thing she was so unsure about was harvesting the now very fruitful space. She was able to cut lettuce and salad leaves and pick peas, but that was it. My onions were all ready to bend over and prepare for lifting and drying. My potatoes were all ready for cropping and a marvellous crop it has turned out to be this year.

She and my son have been off on holiday and this has meant my keeping tabs on his mail for his legal business, a task that took a few hours out of each day.  So one thing and another and I have as yet not managed to have a day at the paint since my return. I hope to put that to rights as soon as he returns home which will be this evening.

I have had a few occasions that have required trips to the bank over the past week. On one day in front of my in the line of people waiting to be served was a family from USA. They were hoping to change US$ into GB£. The exchange rate, as you all are aware I am sure, is not at all good for such an exchange. So he was letting me know loud and clear that this was the case. Telling me and everybody else in the bank that my lovely country was a costly place to visit.

This reminded me of the tale I was told very recently that just has to bring a smile to your face.

There was an Asian lady  in the bank
trying to exchange yen for dollars.
It was obvious she was a little irritated  ... . She asked the 
teller, "Why it change? Yesterday, I  get two hunat dolla fo yen.
Today I only get hunat eighty? Why it change?"

The teller shrugged his shoulders and said, "Fluctuations."
Taken aback for only a second, 
The Asian lady says, "Fluc you white people too"

My apologies for that but it really did make me laugh out loud.

One last bit of news.  Those who follow my blogs know that I am not a competitive sort of person!!!!! So it is with some humility that I share with you that I have just been told I have won the trophy for the best garden plot for 2011. All my work has not only given me wonderful produce but also I feel pleased and honored to have won this award. 

The pic is of my first cooking of my first crop of beetroot, and that little lot is not even noticed missing in the plot.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Listen Before Speaking.

It seems like a million years since I last wrote a blog or was able to make comment on one of the blogs of friends. I am just home from Spain, where I had a marvellous holiday. My holiday could be summed up very much in the words of the security guard of the caravan park I was staying on. Every morning as I ran through the gate, as I headed out for my morning run, he would look at his watch, and on my run return tell me the time I had been gone.  The same happened in the afternoon when I headed off with my walking pole. After the first week of my holiday he said, “Never do I see anybody who all day every day is making exercise.” I could not help but smile.

One of the marvellous things about staying in another country is meeting people who look at life so different from ourselves. The language is not the only thing that makes life different. The Spanish have a large lunch, then late at night, and I mean late, ten o’clock, they will have the main meal of the day. The whole family gather round the table and this late night meal becomes an event. 

On my first year visiting I found this difficult. I wanted to be asleep at ten o’clock, not listening to chatter I could not understand. Now after years of visiting I accept this is the way things are and I try my best to join in and be part of it.

This brings other advantages, the people of the area warm to those who try to fit in with the culture. Over the years I have made many knew friends. What a joy to see them each year, even if we are not always on the same page when we communicate. The many misunderstandings only lead to more laughter.

I painted three works. Two fairly fast paintings of the sea and rocks, and an abstract inspired by the restful things I do on holiday. More of that you can see on my other blog.

The two sea painting I actually liked on first sight, on reflection they have found their way into my bin. The more I looked at them the more I saw they had no soul.

The abstract, I did not like on completion, but it has developed and grown on me, and my family like it. I have shared it here and talked about it on my other blog. You will either like it or hate it.

Let me end today with a thought. Thinking of speaking to people in a language you do not really know brings its problems and takes much concentration and thought. Listening to what is being said is crucial, then that is also the case when you do know the language, maybe more so.

Think of this little story.

The newlywed wife said to her husband when he returned from work, “I have great news for you. Pretty soon, we’re going to be three in this house instead of two.”
Her husband ran to her with a smile on his face and delight in his eyes.
He was glowing of happiness and kissing his wife when she said, “I’m glad that you feel this way since tomorrow morning, my mother moves in with us.”

This blog is linked to my other.  Crosswords