It’s been longer than usual since the last blog update and I was wondering what excuse to make. I wasn’t sure whether to say I’d been too busy or just not had any ideas. Then I remembered the notes I made the other morning while I stopped off for breakfast in the hotel bar in the village.

The TV was on – is there a bar in the whole of Spain that doesn’t have a television on all the hours the place is open? – showing some kind of morning magazine programme. Although the sound was on, there were three other people in the place (that includes the barman) and the conversation – jumping back and forth between the farthest corners and behind the bar – was sufficiently loud to drown out most of what was going on, but I managed to gather some of it.

On screen they were talking on a phone connection to the directora del Instituto de estudios del huevo (yes, that really does mean the ‘egg studies institute’) about the biggest egg in all the world. Apparently el huevo, laid in Colombia, weighed 254 gms.

Two five four. That’s the sort of number that can’t be ignored by someone who grew up when the UK was first dabbling with the metric system: I couldn’t see that number without thinking that if those grammes were centimetres the huevo would be 100 inches long.

Alongside the presenter on screen there was a young chef (I think he was cooking their breakfast, though I don’t know if it was huevos con beicon) and a be-suited man with an olive silk tie who, without sound, I assumed must be a nutritionist saying how egg yolks are the bad guys and egg whites have cero colesterol and poca grasa, or something.

I realised this wasn’t the case when he accompanied the presentadora over to the weather map and helped her locate Spain. (To be fair, it was hidden under the isobars and clouds, though I’m not sure she would have found it without help anyway.) The weather woman made an appearance in the studio at this point, all bundled up in winter coat and gloves etc. and proceeded to demonstrate how you wear a snood – the tubular neck scarf that is so confusingly called a braga in Spanish. (If bragas are knickers, why would you wear just the one to keep you warm?)

The scenes on the weather monitor then changed to women wearing exotic and impractical outfits and I thought we must be getting a preview of disfraces de carnaval. Actually it was the fashion segment. And then they went on to an interview with an otorrinolaringólogo. (They were kind enough to put the word up on the screen, but I still didn’t manage to copy it down completely before they’d moved on to the next segment.) I’ve always had an idea these doctors should be experts in ornitorrincos (duck-billed platypuses, or should that be duck-billed platypods?) but in fact, far more prosaically, they are ear, nose and throat specialists.

I suppose I could go on, but really, I think I’ve made it clear to myself that:

a. I haven’t been so busy or I wouldn’thave had time to stop and watch TV over breakfast in the bar


b. If I haven’t written anything it’s not through lack of ideas

I shall just have to make up another excuse. Or, perhaps, write something.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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