CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Friday, 12 May 2006

Once in a century

Whilst it's true that I don't tend to get out much, I'm not trying to infer it is that infrequent, however, very few days are quite like the one I had on Friday. In the morning, I went down to Buenavista del Norte to do my once monthly round of business, but it is getting ever more difficult to distinguish a trip to the bank and some shopping from the old custom of paying visits.

On the way down, I had called in to see, Ana, my next door neighbour - I've seen her twice to chat otherwise since the first of the year - because she now works full time, running the family bar. She was standing outside the bar in La Cuesta as I approached and I wanted to ask a favour anyway.

This makes it very awkward when she insists on giving me coffee on the house, just because I have bothered to go and see her. "Er, not entirely without interest", I assured her as I asked if she would rent me her husband again to spray whatever it is (they aren't saying and I ain't asking) that is the only thing known to man and science that will get rid of the plagues of black centipedes that crawl all over the floors, walls and other surfaces.

Half an hour or more, coffee, chats with Ana, with her daughter and meeting her sister for the first time, I made my way into town and first to the bank.

There I dropped off some stamps for Manolo in the bank. He collects them.

A visit to the newsagent next is always a lengthy one to get caught up on news - not the sort that is printed in the press - and my friend there picked out very nice cards for me for my friend whose baby arrived on May 1st.

Called into the supermarket to get baked beans (it's the only place locally that sells "foreign food") and cat food. I was accosted with "We have Piccalilli and Branston Pickle". Well, you can't refuse, can you? And from there ensued an explanation of how Branston Pickle is nice with a bit of cheese.

Can you imagine a Canarian trying it?

From there to the post office to get stamps for the cards. My friend Crissy works there. She used to do the delivery round in my area for several years, during which we had got to know each other quite well. "Gosh, is it a month since I last saw you?", she exclaimed and there started a long chat with her, the other man who works in the post office and any other customers who came in, one of whom was a lady selling lottery tickets for the charity lottery, ONCE. She had one ticket ending with 57 - the year of my birth - so I bought one of those. Crissy wanted one ending with a 7 too.

When I eventually got out of the post office, I went to the square to have a coffee at the kiosk, then went across to the corner to La Venta also the offices of El Cardón and introduced myself to Janiera, who I had spoken to on the phone. Another fifteen minutes, chatting, collecting information and leaflets and leaving my URL.

Time was flying away from me, is it any wonder?

I needed to get back up the village, pay my debts to the local supermarket and buy a few provisions, before they would close for the siesta. Then home for my own siesta, which I was going to need.

Later in the afternoon, based on the idea that I was probably unlikely to be around for the commemorations for the next centenary, I decided to go to Garachico to see the events surrounding the celebrations of the 300th Anniversary of the volcanic eruption on May 5, 1706, which had destroyed the town and its livelihood.

Little did I think I would be rubbing shoulders with the President of the Canary Islands and other assorted dignitaries. Full report of the entertainment here.

On the way back from Garachico, I picked up a young lad hitching from Buenavista to Teno Alto. I've had to do this myself many times, because the busses are so infrequent and finish so early in the day. To Teno Alto, they are non existent at any time, so I know it is the only way to get around these parts.

The good news: when I got home and checked the lottery numbers, number 7 had come up that day. WOW! That means I've won a whole 2.5 euros.

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