Notes from Monday

A quiet start to the week as I recover from some sort of stomach flu that is a) either a virus that is doing the rounds or b) damage done by two cañas I really didn’t want last Thursday night but drank anyway. I think I’ve had it with alcohol, really.

However, I need to write something on this rainy Monday in Madrid, and have two recommendations, one churlish and Spain-related, the other quite the opposite on both counts.

1. It amazes me that a few Spanish people are still occasionally finding and leaving angry comments on the posts that caused me so much trouble late last year. The latest comment, where a certain MOWGLY brings Ireland into the equation, is a classic, and can be found about 45 comments down in this post. It’s easy to find, look for the CAPITAL LETTERS.

2. Having the energy to do precisely nothing all weekend, I downloaded an audiobook I’d been recommended, ‘Lady in the Van,’ by Alan Bennett.

Can you imagine letting a loopy old lady, that you really didn’t know, maroon her battered old van in your London driveway, and live there day in day out, all year round, for years and years on end? Most people would have had her committed at once, but Alan Bennett just let it happen and wrote about it.

It’s a true story, and this is how writing about reality ought to be. If you enjoy such things, or are interested in writing, I urge you to listen to this, read as it is by Bennett himself. Find it on or in iTunes. An hour and 20 minutes very very well spent.