Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bad Stuff and Good Stuff

Stuff keeps happening around here.

The second edition has arrived. I'm glad I paid extra for the better paper, as the photos look much better. I just hope I get my money back.

We had a call from my son's old private teacher. Two of his classmates were having trouble with Tech Drawing. Please could my son join the class on Thursday afternoon and help? She'd pay him.

So on Thursday afternoon we set off (late of course). We got to the middle of the village and  my son said, “Oh no. Very sorry. I've left my notes on the table.”

So we went back, and I handed him the keys and stayed in  the car while he went in.

He was back in about 30 seconds with his folder. “Right. Let's go.”

“Keys love?”

He looked horrified. Yup, he'd left them in the house. So the car wasn't going anywhere. He felt terrible about it, but honestly, it's the sort of thing anyone could do.

So we walked up to the teacher's house which took about forty minutes. I need exercise anyway, right? And I tried to phone my husband to say, “When you get home, please stay in the house until I get there.” No reply.
I phoned his work  and got through on about the third attempt and confirmed that yes, he left at the usual time and should be home at about 5:10 pm. I kept trying his mobile and the house, but never got through.

I got home at 5:15 and found the car gone. Drat. By then I wanted to sit down, so I went to the village kiosk and had a coffee. When I got back to the house, the car was back. Great! But nobody answered the door.

My husband must have gone out again. At least he'd left a car door open, so I sat in the car and embroidered until 6:30, when my son got back.

He had the bright idea of leaving a note on the door while we went to the kiosk and had something to eat and drink. More unsuccessful attempts to phone. More embroidery.

It started to rain, so we went back and rang the doorbell. No luck.

Then we went to next door and made rather stilted conversation interspersed with attempts to phone until my husband finally answered at 7:55 pm. No, he hadn't seen the note on the door.


I was still depressed on Friday morning. I kept putting off my walk until 8pm, when I thought, “For pity's sake woman, just go do the 25 minute circuit before it gets dark.” So I headed up the hill just south of the village, and once I got going I felt  a bit more enthusiastic and went a little further to the infant school in teh next village up the hill

I quite often go past there on a walk. There's a house next to the school with two very friendly terriers and several colourful, ornamental windmills. There's a graja (a red-billed chough) that frequently hangs around, too. This time they were all there, and so was the owner of the house, an old man. So we got chatting. (Yes, typical Sheila.) The dogs are Niña and Tita, and the graja is completely tame and she's called Katana, and he's called Francisco, which seems appropriate, don't you think? And Katana posed for photos, although by then the light wasn't very good.

And Katana gave me an idea for one of the kids' stories about La Palma. Not a whole new story, you understand. Just a little extra twist on an existing idea

But writing time would be nice.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Books on sale.

I went to visit my friends in Franceses on Wednesday, and en route I left book on sale or return in Los Sauces (the librería Iriarte) and Barlovento (librería Barlovento.)

Then Friday was the open day for Garafía (the observatory is built in land ceded by Garafía Town Hall, so they get their own open day.) I worked as a guide in the morning doing the general explanation and showing the MAGIC telescope - sun beating down on top and concrete underneath, but nice people.

Once I finished, I sat in the residencia for a bit to cool off and rehydrate. Then instead of going home, I carried on down the Garafía side to distribute more books. So they're no on sale at La Zarza and Zarzita museum, Santo Domingo town hall, Turque Bazaar in Puntagorda and Librería Tijarafe. Oh, and I also stopped by the shop at El Time viewpoint to restock them.

I got home at 9 pm, very tired.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Don't read this if you're eating...

Are you eating? Because you'd probably prefer to read the next bit when you're not.

I made a big cake for my husband's belated birthday party which I'd planned to decorate with "Felicidades" in chocolate letters. Only I opened the packet of letters and found -

(You're not eating, are you?)

Maggots.  About 10 of them. Yuck!  Eugh! Gak!

I'm quite a bit less squeamish than average, but believe me, I was squeaming. So I shoved letters, maggots and packaging into a bag for later, and decorated the cake with white chocolate and pink sprinklies.  Even though neither the letters nor the maggots ever went anywhere near the cake, I didn't really enjoy it. And of course I couldn't tell anyone at the party because we were all eating.

Anyway, a couple of days later I had time to do something about it. I didn't have the receipt any more, so I wrote to the manufacturers and sent the whole packet back to them. I reasoned that they needed the details STAT to stop it happening again, and that the supermarket would only refund my money, whereas the manufacturer might be a bit more generous.
The picture shows how sorry they are. They also said, "Thank you thank you thank you for telling us. We're sending the wildlife to the lab to find out what happened."

I call that sincere. But I'm trying to lose weight, and cake mixtures and decorations aren't going to help, so I'll be giving quite a bit of it away.

Want some chocolate letters? Somehow I've gone off them, even now.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

The second edition of "A Breathtaking Window on the Universe"

Yay!  I finally sent the second edition of "A Breathtaking Window on the Universe" off to the printers. The new version with have a more complete history section, details on a new telescope and an explanation of why we're all made of starstuff.

Now I can celebrate, and get on with my next project: an anthology of children's stories set on La Palma featuring our glorious night sky.

See what I mean?  Who wouldn't be inspired?