Yesterday was mad. I went with Helen and Theresa to customs, to start the paperwork for importing their van – the one they drove down from London. The staff were helpful enough, but the rules weren’t. If you buy a car six months or more before you come to Spain, it’s treated as part of your personal effects. If it’s less than six months, it’s treated as a purchase and import, and it’s more complicated.

They bought the car five months and three weeks before they arrived. They wisely decided to take the easy out and we trooped off to a gestoría, which is a firm specialising in doing paperwork for you. I think it says a lot about Spanish bureaucracy that there are six of these firms that regularly work with customs in Santa Cruz which has 12,000 inhabitants.

The guy at the gestoría was helpful and spoke some English, so I think it’ll be OK, just expensive for them.

I left them to go and have yet another go at getting their electric sorted out, while I went home to dye my hair. My friend Farida had already cut it, thank goodness, but I wasn’t planning to go on stage that night with inch-long roots showing. By the time I’d dyed my hair and editing another page of the Tourist Office’s translation, it was time to fetch Julio.

Helen and Theresa arrived for lunch, and kindly cleaned up afterwards and supervised homework, while I did a bit more editing. The ironing fairy waved her magic wand, bless her. Then it was off to the theatre for the second Ruido fiesta.

Well it was fun. This time the music was two solo acts, but they were both very good. And my own little reading went off well enough, or at least people laughed at the end. Helen took the photo (thanks, Helen). I don’t think they raised as much money as they’d hoped, but the audience seemed happy, at least.

So Issue Two is one sale at last and now I have to get the contents of Issue One up on the web site asap. This would be easier if I wasn’t mad busy with the job for the Tourist Office.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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