Well, my friends have a house now, and I have a hangover.

On Friday, my friend Norma came over to look after Julio, who had the tail end of the flu. (Thanks, Norma!) Then I set off to Los Llanos with my friends. Of course we had to park about half a mile away, which wouldn’t normally be a problem, but I’ve had the flu too, and I’ve got rather flat batteries. We went to the bank first, to take out great wodges of cash to pay the estate agent, and then on to the notary.

I had to translate a six page document in dense legal Spanish. Some of the sentences went on for about 10 lines! Consequently, the English translation wasn’t exactly elegant, but it was enough to do the job, and correct some small mistakes (like my friends’ postcode in London, and the fact that I was translating into English, not German). Then we all signed. We went in at about 1:15pm and finally got out at 2:30, and my brain felt fried. But both the notary public and the estate agent said I’d done it very well, so I might just pick up some translating work as a result. It wouldn’t be a bad little niche – learn all the technical words once and get paid for knowing them maybe twice a year for years.

Of course after we all left the notary, local custom demanded that we all go for a celebratory drink. I only had one beer, but it was on a very empty stomach and its a good thing I wasn’t doing the driving.

When we got home, I opened a bottle of Cava and we had a very late lunch followed by a siesta to sleep off the cava. When I surfaced again, I sent off a non-fiction submission. And in the evening we went out again on a pub crawl.

For some reason, whenever I go out with Norma we have a great conversation but no male attention. This is not a problem because I’m married and I intend to stay married. But whenever I go out with Helen and Theresa, I get blokes trying to chat me up. (This isn’t a problem either because it does nice things to my ego.) Theresa thinks it’s because I’m prettier than her or Helen. Well it’s nice of her to say so, but I’m not sure that it’s true, and even less sure that it’s the reason. It’s not that Norma gets male attention when I’m out with her. I think it might be because H & T don’t speak much Spanish, so I order most of the drinks. Therefore blokes see me a little apart from my friends and speaking Spanish.

Whatever the reason, I’d just ordered a round when a bloke tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hello. I’m single you know.”

I said, “Hello, I’m married. Sorry.”

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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