Friday, October 2, 2015

It is Friday and all is put to bed and I find wonderful treasure haul...

Friday 2 October 2015

Sporadic rain 16 degrees

Rather fractured night's sleep - my mother was there.  Why have I started dreaming about people who have passed over?  Woke early and drank lots of tea and enjoyed some peace and quiet.  Was happily chatting on FB when it suddenly occurred to me I should be down the little rental unit and meeting the man who was turning on the water.  Took OH cup of tea and the phone rang.  It was a lady who wanted to give me her house for sale.  She sent me the link and it will be ideal for two English ladies coming separately towards the end of the month.

Threw on some clothes and found appropriate bedding and cleaning stuff and went down town.  First stop was the insurance company to find alternative quotes for the new car.  Got a bewildering sheaf of paper which I was later incapable of deciphering for OH's benefit. Then rang the plumber and he has still not been in to see about servicing the boiler for the NZ ladies who are coming from the middle east and 30 degrees and will be here again next week.  Asked him to pull his finger out.  Then to the bank to ask about a banker's cheque for buying the car and how long it would take to prepare - two minutes apparently - so asked him how he could justify 50 euro fee.  He couldn't.  Bxxxds.  Banker....

Phone rang and it was the notary and she has written to the owner of the town house where the American guy is refusing to accept the Mairie's confirmation that the house is attached to the mains drains and is insisting on an independent report.  Glad it is not me having to tell the owner.  Notary said she should have tried harder to reassure the client. Indeed she should but at least she is not chickening out of doing it.

Phone rang again and it was a lady who I had said I would pop around and see and had completely forgotten.  Finally got into the rental unit just after midday and spent two hours cleaning.  Back home and had snooze on sofa.

Popped into a brocante and found the most ravishing collection of tiny semi precious stones for just ten euros.  I could not leave them to languish, so brought them home.

Rudely awoken by OH who had decided to go fishing.  Most people go fishing to catch fish. OH had decided to take some fish with him and had started filling up a plastic tank in the boot of the car.  He had gone back into the house to get something, during which time the hose pipe shot up and started filling the car with water.  He has killed the radio.  He is such a pillock.  The other car is still not starting and I had a flash of inspiration and tried the spare key and it started right away.  Must be the anti starting mechanism playing up with the other key.  Why would you have an anti starting mechanism on a car.  Surely the whole idea of a car is that you want it to start?  I understand nothing.  Finally he left and I cleaned up the kitchen and made rabbit and chorizo casserole with liberal dash of chili and our peppers, pimentos and potatoes.  Dog refused to go for a walk which was fine by me.

Filed all the paperwork and updated the craft group for members on the map.

For the first time in I don't know how long, it is Friday and I do not have a sodding great list of things to do.  Feel very zen.  Long may it last

Food, glorious food!

Thursday 1 October 2015

24 degrees

Stunning autumn day with glorious sunshine and, oh dear, why are the cranes going over so early????  At least two weeks ahead of their normal schedule.  A grim winter is in forecast for northern Europe.  Feel totally relaxed after a week of not having to be on the phone to the notaries non stop, unreasonable buyers and difficult sellers.  Feel I have not been able to relax and breath for months as there has always been something niggling away at me.  OH has stopped making me lists - perhaps he realises the strain I was under.  I don't normally throw brand new laptops clear across the room and disappear for hours.

OH brought me tea at 7.30.  I had been deeply asleep and dreaming that I had a full beard but only on my neck, and no one had thought to tell me.  I was on a railway station with an aunt who has been dead for a number of years and we were seeing off her grand daughter to New Zealand.

Went down to the market.  There are new food stalls appearing every week - the first foreign food stall appeared about four years ago and it is an Indian guy and his wife and their wonderful chocolate eyed children who make curry and samosas and, probably by now, about five trillion onion bhajis which are his best seller.  Latterly, there has been a northern African lady selling almond sugary pastries and also a Spanish lady selling extruded battered and fried delicacies known as churros.  The normal French local approach is to treat the newbies with extreme suspicion and then take a little piece of the offering from the counter and run off and nibble it (think squirrels) and then the next week buy a very little portion and thereafter become devoted and go every week.  The Indian guy has a queue around the corner.  The longest standing food stall is the crêpe lady and she still has regulars and especially children who love her huge lacy Nutella filled pancakes.

There is a large maroquinerie stall selling faux leather handbags and purses, run by a huge African guy, with glossy black skin and stunningly white teeth.  There is an old carpet spread out on the floor, on which is spread a diverse arrangement of 'antique' items and watched over by an old guy who squats on a milking stool, chewing on the stump of a cigar, and glaring at passers by.  I have yet to see anyone buy anything from him.

There is the haberdashery and wool stall which sells odd balls of wool and a huge range of overpriced buttons and lace.  20p a button where you can buy a heap of them for a fiver off the Internet.  I go when I am stuck for choice or short of time.  Alternatively I go to the fripperie and find a garment with interesting buttons and pay one euro and contribute to a good cause.

Have a coffee and a local character comes and sits down with me and tells me about an old lady who is actually a very nasty piece of work, and how she is being cheated by a local agent and house management team and I think I am keeping well out of this and then say I have to go and head up to the Tresor Public.

The Tresor Public decided I was late with my rates payments and deducted some money from my bank account, without my knowledge or authorisation, and this was a year ago.  I was determined not to have any more excuses and charged in and demanded a cheque in immediate reimbursement.  The lady said she wasn't even sure they had the paperwork any more and fished around through many files and then pounded the computer and informed me that we had been part paid back in November 2014.  Where was the rest of the money?  She said she would have to ask her colleague.  I went out, forgetting that tomorrow they are closed.  I will have to take it up again on Monday.

Back home and found OH playing with the wood mountain.  Had lunch - no bread or milk or dairy and his knee is clearing up a treat.

Went back out to meet a lady from Down Under and we had tea in the tea shop and discussed her property search.  She has a very large budget but she has seen most of the stock in the local area.  Arrange to meet her next week and show her the chateau where the son is threatening to produce the roof quotes - had an offer on this three months ago and he has only just got his finger out...

Back home and tackled ironing mountain and wrote article for magazine where I will feature as Ask the Agent.  Had to do a head shot photo - took many attempts.....

Lined up some properties to take on for next week.  Walked dog and it started to rain.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Glorious autumn day

Wednesday 30 September 2015

22 sunny

Uploaded some properties and passed on a problem to the notaire as she was the one who caused it in the first place.

Did some more hacking in the garden.  I appreciate this is not too exciting in terms of the blogosphere in general, but it has done my poor fractured nerves the power of good.

banana flower with mini bananas

wood jenga - no we havent gotten round to move it yet

Milk is the problem, apparently

Tuesday 29 September 2015

22 degrees sunny

Finished off download of Windows 10 and at first appearance, seems much cleaner and streamlined.  My keyboard however was not responding and it took some time to figure out that I needed to update the driver, after which it worked like a dream.  Perhaps I shouldnt have hurled it across the room..

OH has very bad knee and can hardly put any weight on it.  Getting him up and down stairs is no laughing matter as he is 100 kilos and I am 56!  Gave him another reiki treatment - the pain seems to radiate out from under the knee and comes into effect when he tries to bend it.  Must be tendon related.

Rang some people off the list of new clients.  Spoke to Australians renting in nearby town and fixed up to see them on Thursday.  No one else in.  At 2 pm spoke to the NZ ladies about the schedule of works on the Villa and then briefly about the craft business.  They will bring over some samples.  I am still trying to figure out what people are looking for over here.  The NZ ladies can go into factories and buy the stuff at rock bottom rate.

Went into garden and cut back rampant lavatera and crocosmia and eventually made it over to the topiaried (theoretically) Photinia Red Robin which has aspirations to be a tree.  Then to the doctor's - I had to drive which made OH deeply unhappy but even he admitted that his braking leg was not in good order.  Waited an absolute age.  The family from the Chinese restaurant were in and the children spent the whole time preparing meals from the range of plastic food in the play boxes.  One child read and the others served him dishes and tea. The mother looked exhausted.

Eventually we were issued into the sanctum and the only reason the doctor could think that OH had tendonitis was that it was a change of diet - we had drunk a lot of milk in Spain in all of the various cafes con leche and he had now an intolerance to milk products.  Said he should cut out milk and see what happens.  Staggered back to the car and made quick chilli and walked the dog and watched the first episode of Downton Abbey.  This is the last series.  Do love Downton but all of the main characters are now knocking on a bit and cant carry on looking the same age as obviously the actors havent aged - the first series ended with the outbreak of WW1 in 1914 and the current one starts in 1925

The real Downton Abbey

Fascinating - the real history - and more incredible than the TV series

A peaceful day...

Monday 28 September 2015

23 degrees sunny

Downloaded Windows 10 and it took most of the day.  Heaven pray that it is better than Windows 8.1.  Made some little resin buttons with Queen Ann's Lace and also a pendant with the sea glass.  The white became virtually translucent but the green was as vibrant as a drop of Fairy Liquid.  Cant wait to see how they turn out.

I still havent made any poppies but then again it is still weeks before 11.11.  Told TB that I would possibly not have time to make any and she said not to worry, everyone else had made loads and none of them were actually trying to work at the same time.

Looked at the garden and decided that I will get off three barrow loads of prunings every day until it stops resembling a jungle.  

Looking out on Morecambe Bay

Eric Morecambe tripping the light fantastic above the prom

Soap advert - soap for gentle babies sold in the Galeries Remoises of Reims

Monday, September 28, 2015

Super moon....

Sunday 27 September 2015  super moon

24 degrees sunny

Took OH a cup of tea and he said he knee hurt so gave him a half hour reiki treatment and then went down town to vide grenier but discovered it had been yesterday.  Bought cakes and came back home and spent an hour weeding the piments, peppers and beans which are still fruiting.  Started to stiffen up so swapped to hacking back the exuberant greenery. Managed to pull out most of the passion vine - absolute thug.

Trimmed back a large sedge which took its revenge by slicing up my arm.  'Sedges have edges'

Made apple and raspberry tarte and it had just finished cooking when the electric went off. Up the hill and listened to recorded message saying it would be back at 8.30

Back down the hill and when, eventually, it came back on had pizza and pie.  Taped Downton Abbey and watched Laurie Lee's Cider with Rose, which was gloriously filmed and just as delightful as the book.  Had to take second half as just couldnt keep awake.

Moon stunning with huge silver and yellow halo and the seas like thumb prints.

OH knee had completely seized up and we had a heck of a time getting him up the stairs - he is nearly twice as heavy as myself.  Went to peace and calm of my own bed and watched the silver filigree moonlight sheen on the wall of my room until I slipped gently into the good night

Scenic times...

Saturday 26 September 2015

Sunny 23 degrees

Up early and over to coast to test drive new Scenic.  Still have concerns about the comfort of the seats but I dare say we will get used to them and otherwise the spec is very good and the price with part ex on my current vehicle with four years warranty is 17k for a November 2014 car.  Had a protracted test drive and it handles well although you need to use second gear more than with current one.  Got slightly lost and managed to program the integral sat nav which took us back safely.  OH extremely nervous passenger.  He should try being me in the next life.  Signed the order and were told to come back in October when the car's registration plate, currently 76 Normandie, would be changed to our departement and it would have had a full service and clean up.

Went to Ikea for lunch and the cafeteria was utterly heaving.  Had fish and chips with horseradish sauce and lingonberry juice and daim cheesecake and much too much free coffee.

Back home, rivers shining in the sun, and tidied up a bit before going out to see impressive manor house in our town.  Owned by four people who live in different parts of France.  This time was a Dr from Poitiers.  Went around and measured up and admired the huge collection of exotic shells from Tahiti.

Dr had a very nervous manner and smoked many thin Winston cigarettes.  Not sure I would like her as my physician. She looked like she had a bit of healing to do on herself first.

Back home.  Tidied craft room.  Must make a start on those sodding poppies

This is an example of a Scenic - mine will follow later...

Get rather fraught....

Friday 25 September 2015
Sunny 24 degrees

More catching up with paperwork.

I had accidentally downloaded the Ask tool bar when updating Real Player and OH just went nuts.  We had a huge row and I got in the car and drove around for ages before going to see colleague for tea and sympathy.  She said her husband doesn't speak a word of English, also treats her like a secretary and when she gets very angry her French becomes blocked and she ends up screaming expletives at him in English, which of course he doesn't understand, and is so much less satisfactory.

Went back home eventually and OH said sorry and made me tea and gave me some chocolate and put back together my laptop which I had hurled across the room.  Despite being brand new, it is the slowest computer I have ever had and had just, this morning, decided that it was incompatible with Google Chrome.  OH made egg and bacon and then I went to see a lady who lives next door to the NZ ladies and her home is immaculate and smells wonderfully floral.  I have never seen so many clothes and shoes and jewellery - one bedroom dedicated to their storage.

We sat by the pool and talked price and alas she wants 250000 euros for a house which is barely 100m2 but what the hell, I took it on anyway.

Afterwards, went to see a couple whose town house has a shop on the ground floor and the most terrible whiff of dog on the other three.  On sale at 175000 euros, they indicated that they would take 140000.  Very reasonable.  Their 25 year old son, 25 and never worked a day in his life, was lying in bed and playing video games.  The parents shrugged 'its his life'. Idle bastard.  I would switch the electric off.  They showed me another house in town which they bought recently and have now gone off the idea of doing a full renovation.  320m2 and they would sell for 65000 euros.

Back home and to bed early.

Time machine required, smash mystery and who are the couple in the camper van?

Thursday 24 September 2015
24 degrees sunny

Up early to prepare paperwork for visit.  With 20 minutes to spare, dashed down to the market to find materials to make poppies for group poppy appeal.  Discovered a small boy's shirt in red material with red buttons, small red buttons and red and green ribbon.

Arrived for visit 20 minutes late and both the owner and the client were waiting in the Place. Cant say it was the most successful of visits.  The client started saying NO as soon as she saw the minuscule patch of grass.  And she didn't like the fact that the bedroom was upstairs.  What she actually wants is a single level accommodation with balcony for 140000 euros with notaries fees included.  She alas may need a time machine also.  The owner wouldn't give me a mandate because he said it was 'virtually' sold.  Lady bought me a hot chocolate and we enjoyed a chat in the sun.  Alcoholic father of the owner of the house very nearly bought by the US lady was there, 10 am and nursing a glass of wine.  He was extremely offhand.  The son has just asked me to market the property again....

Back home and quick lunch and then to the coast to look at some cars.  Very disappointed with the C Max automatic - very small inside and there is a lag in take up on the automatic gearbox.  Then tried a Citroen.  Like a tank and rolled around all over the place.  There was a Scenic for 17k with 10k fewer kilometres fewer than the one in the town near us.  

The salesman hid for as long as he could in his cubicle but finally he emerged and we had a look at the interior and it was spacious and not as fussy or full of buttons like the C Max.  We started to talk price and OH took a tough line and the salesman kept on bashing away at his calculator and seemed to be on the point of bursting into tears.  I wonder if this is a technique I could employ?  Said we would come back on Saturday for test drive.

Out into the heavy traffic and found Ikea with the hope of getting some food but of course it is France so there was nothing out of restaurant hours apart from some dried up cakes and packs of strangely named biscuits.  Bought some lingonberry jam and packets of rye crispbread and frozen meatballs and mashed potato and sauce.  Back home and walked dog and left OH to try and figure out how to turn the white extruded potato sticks into something that resembled mash.  He added a little water and butter and it was fairly dreadful but meatballs were good.

Met the young couple from the camper van which has been parked on a patch of grass up the road for absolutely weeks.  From the Medoc.  They have bought the land to plant fruit trees.  They were rather creepy.

Finding time to do what speaks to the heart....

Wednesday 23 September 2015
Sunny 22 degrees

Set alarm at 7 so I could catch up with writing.  I am still ten days behind on the blog but at least I have it all in manuscript form.  OH says what is the point of writing every day - well what is the point of anything?  The point is to do something which adds value to your life. Dale Carnegie separates tasks into degrees of importance and urgency.  

Urgent and important - tends to be done immediately
Urgent and unimportant - also high on the list.
Not urgent and not important - these are the things we do mindlessly and which tends to eat up vast amounts of time, like telly or social media.

What is essential is that you plan into your days the important but not urgent - this is your bucket list; the things which, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, 'whisper to your heart'. These are the things the real you would be doing if it wasn't going out to work or cooking or doing the shopping or cutting the lawn or surfing the Internet.  IBNU requires effort, which is why it is almost always at the bottom of the very long list of things to do.  Mine is writing and being creative.  I would love to make lots of money out of what I do.  It would mean that I could stop doing the rest of the crap which eats up my time.

For example, I could have told the buyers of the contemporary house, who instructed the disastrous anglo french law company and since have spent about the last eight weeks being largely uncontactable and have now commenced legal proceedings, and have withdrawn from the purchase, I could have told them to go xxxx themselves weeks ago.  I would not then have been obliged to ring up the sellers and give them the bad news and bear their incomprehension followed by their fury and declared intention to take legal proceedings themselves against the buyers.

Took the car into town to have the windscreen replaced and had a look at other cars.  Took a Scenic for a test drive.  Had lots of bells and whistles but seat was very uncomfortable.  

Discovered that neither of the copy compromis, signed weeks ago, had been sent out until the end of last week.  They hadn't been sent FEDEX or DHL but by the wondrous French postal service La Poste, which can take a week to deliver things within the metropole. Wrote to notary, expressing deep dissatisfaction and she wrote me back a snotty email.  She can go and xxxx herself too.

Went back to get car which now has beautifully shiny windscreen.  Man in Renault garage offered 2000 euros in part ex against our car which is 7 years old and has not far from 275000 kms on the clock.  OH was all for buying the Scenic immediately and we had words and I said I was not buying the first car we saw and so we went home and found a C Max on the coast and arranged to go and see it tomorrow.

Man from China over next week and he is insisting on stopping in the house which he is buying.  Because the copy compromis only left France today and God knows how long it will take to be delivered, the ten day withdrawal period is no way underway and the danger is that if he comes and stays in the house and then decides he doesn't like it, he can withdraw without motive given and get his deposit back.  Feel very fraught

Catch up day

Tuesday 22 September 2015
Rain off and on all day 18 degrees

Slept badly and woke feeling very tired.  Spent all morning catching up with tasks and emails.  Spoke to the business manager and he has still not managed to speak to the buyers of the contemporary house, who now say they want to withdraw from the sale as the whole thing has been horrifically stressful and they are now in a legal procedure with the anglo french law company.  Noticed that the sellers have put it back on the Bon Coin. These buyers have been a nightmare to deal with - the woman is the decision maker but has never been available to speak to and the bloke just rambles on endlessly, doesn't listen and then relays incorrect messages to the woman which is how they came to engage the crooks in the first place.

Walked dog for over an hour up and over the hill.  Caught in an unexpected downpour during which dog enjoyed a protracted sniff at a big pile of poo.

Sorted out photos from holiday.  OH looked at cars on the Internet.

Watched a really creepy horror film called the Imaginary Playmate where the 'friend' turns out to be a malevolent spirit.

thanks to deviant art

Homeward bound

Monday 21 September

Up for 9.30 and packed and headed off.   Read "Painted Blossoms" by Carrie Schmidt for most of the way home.  Don't wait until your life is over to do what you love.  Listen to the whisperings of your heart.  Do it now.

Back to our town and went to get dog.  He looked perky.  Lady said he had spent first two days in a depression because he had been separated from us.  Little does she know that he spends his whole time running off and is a complete menace.  "He is happy to see you, even though he doesn't show it" she said.  Dog was looking the other way at all the dogs he was leaving behind, and didn't look pleased to see me at all.

Back home and rang insurance people and then windscreen people - car caught a pebble and there is a massive crack in the windscreen.

Woodman rang and said he could deliver tonight so said OK and when it came it was all little bits of wood and not the big logs we normally get.  It will be like a massive game of Jenga trying to stack it all.

It started to rain and we went in and had toast and marmalade and an early night.  Behind my eyelids, roads rolled and flowers blossomed.
Newspaper kiosk Gijon

Lady of the sea, Gijon

Morning sun Gijon

Sunday, September 27, 2015

We do the paseo, watch a melee and eat seafood

Sunday 20 September 2015

Woke early and escaped into the brilliant morning and freshly washed streets to drink many cups of coffee and write.  Before 10 am a Spanish city is dead.  All of the shops are closed. The cars are still parked.  The bars are dark and heavily grilled.  As my dear Mother in Law used to say, you cant be Jack at night and Jill in the morning.  If you are lucky, you will round a corner and find a bakery, windows packed with cakes of a substantial nature and cups of foaming, milky café con leche.  And you can think that this would be your life, if you were just brave enough to cut with everything you know and cast off on an unknown sea. Psoriasis has virtually cleared up.  I am allergic to normal.

Back to hotel and dug Oh out of his pit and went for breakfast on the prom.  The beach at Gijon is a long ellipse with a wide promenade and faced by a myriad of shops, bars and restaurants.  We took a large bag of UK newspapers with us, dating back at least a year, and which we hadn't got around to reading.  There was drumming somewhere and the wail of bagpipes.  We ate croissants and crank coffee and the baby at the next table smiled and waved her arms and legs like a sea anemone.

The drumming came closer and it was a procession.  At the head were children, wearing gross caracture heads in papier mâché, followed by the drummers and gaitas (Asturian pipers) and the tail end consisted of 50 or so people on vespas.   A conflicting procession of small girls arrived from the opposite direction and there was a general mêlée.

We joined the paseo and walked a couple of kms before stopping and reading most of the rest of the papers and then we walked on around the head of the bay.  5750 metres in total.  Most people only go as far as the Lady of the Sea - another sculpture dedicated to the lost at sea.  At the far, far end was an angular sculpture like the prow of a great ship emerging from the green hill.  We climbed to the top and then, conscious that it was nearly 4 pm and everything would be closing, found a bus and went back into town.  Everything was closed to back to hotel for r n r.  Out later and OH had uncharacteristically remembered the name of the sea food bar which he had seen yesterday - the Galastur.  We roamed the sector until we found it.

A small bar, a Sidreria (cider bar), and we had a stupendous sea food platter of little squid (chipirones), large squid (calamares), large crevettes (langoustinos), potatoes with paprika and octopus (pulpo).  Washed down with two bottles of Asturian Cider.

On coming out of the bar and we were strolling along and I was looking at the shops as we went and OH suddenly asked if I knew where we were and, being a woman with no sense of direction, of course I had none whatsoever.  So I looked at the map and we seemed to have walked off it so we set back in the direction from which we had just come and OH had the map and wasn't looking at it and wouldn't give it back to me.  I stopped two ladies who said we needed to head off at 90 degrees (otherwise we would have been going up and down that road all night).  We emerged at a place we did recognise and collapsed to bed.

Away to Gijon

Saturday 19 September 2015

Packed up and away for ten am.  Skies dizzy blue.  Sat nav got very confused around Ferrol.  Birthplace of Castro.  Big railway station.  Arrived in one of our favourite cities, Gijon, in early evening and booked onto the 9th floor of the Hernan Cortes, figuring that even if there was bedlam down on the streets, it should be calm up high.  Short siesta then OH vanished, mapless, to 'stretch his legs' and I went around the shops.  One called Tiger, have only ever seen it in Spain - full of little paper and plastic things which you never realised you needed until you got your hands on them and realised that you could not leave the shop without them.  Bought cardboard fold out houses (please dont ask me what I will do with them), sticky backed pretty floral paper, gift bags, bag of fruit and nuts and some spices.

OH had marched off somewhere into the docks, apparently in search of a hairdresser.  Met up over an hour and a half later and attempted to find a bar which sells huge range of artisan beers - went there last time we were here.  An elderly Spanish couple took us in hand and kept on asking young girls where was the bar, until finally we came across it and it was absolutely nowhere near where we had been looking.  Had two bottles.  OH was looking quite flushed by this point and wanted to get a taxi to a "marvellous" sea food bar he had spotted when out on his walk.  He couldnt remember its name and I had to restrain him from flagging down cars which were going in the right direction.  

Fortunately a good looking restaurant manifested itself in front of us; a miracle and so we ate there.  Back to bed and oblivion

OH stretching his legs in a place where I can keep track of him...

Belles artes, a fine moustache and the Tower of Hercules

Friday 18 September 2015

Felt very grumpy and 500 years old.  Went down to sea front for breakfast then to Belles Artes Museum.  Best known painting is that of Carlos I by Van Dyke - a triptych in one - very unusual.  Not even behind glass or with a guard in the room.  OH found a room full of etchings and invited me in to see them but I said I was not in the mood ;)

Charles I by Van Dycke

Beautiful boy

This lady has a very fine moustache.

Went for a refreshing cup of tea in a lovely tea shoppe fully of kitsch things.  OH had chocolate and pumpkin cake and I had ginger and orange.  Delicious!  We then walked up to the Tower of Hercules, oldest lighthouse in Europe.  Stupendous views of the city including early 20th century abandoned jail, millennium obelisk, grave mound of Sir John Moore of the Peninsular Wars.

View from tower of hercules

Had lunch of gazpacho, rather strange yellow beef stew and natillas (vanilla custard sprinkled with cinnamon).  Siesta much needed.

At 6 pm hit the shops and I found some leather sandals at half price and some crocodile leather pumps in a rich burgundy colour.  Went to an art deco bar where men were playing chess with lightning speed.  Played dominoes and I won 6-4.  To bed relatively early.  Wild partying at street level although blissfully muted by the height of the room above ground.