Been very very quiet over the past week or two as we prepare a big new project for our Spanish site, Notes in Spanish, and Marina deals with her Presidencia (more on that in a second…) It’s been ages since Marina and I have consistently created new content, and it’s wonderful to be recording new audio again. But with only half a day to work each (we are lucky enough to each spend the other half looking after the baby), everything else – blogging, eating, sleeping – goes out the window.
…Except of course for Marina’s thrilling enjoyment of her new role as Presidenta de la comunidad [Definition: Spanish law dictates that in every block of flats some poor sod has to be nominated to spend a year chairing residents' meetings, and being on the receiving end of every niggling neighbourly nonsense, battle and complaint.]
At the beginning of the month, November 1st, the communal, central heating got switched on in our building, and Marina, along with the administradora (person who manages the building accounts etc), get to decide how long the heating goes on for each day (with plenty of advice from the Portero, obviously).
And so, as boilers across the city kicked into action, and the air-quality plummeted in direct proportion to the number of coal trucks (still, in 2009!) refilling cellars across the city, the knocks at the door began…..
Here’s a typical exchange from yesterday:
Doorbell rings, just as baby starts siesta, of course, miraculously doesn’t wake him up, but, we open to find a smartly dressed old lady with a stern expression on her face:
Old Lady: Are you the presidenta?
Old Lady: THEN PLEASE DO ME THE FAVOUR OF TELLING ME WHY I HAVEN’T GOT ANY HEATING?!???!!!
Marina: (Summoning patience of a saint) But you do have heating, it goes on from 10 am now, earlier than ever before in the history of our blessed block of flats.
Old Lady: Well my radiators are tepid to the touch, my house is freezing, and I’m using THREE electric heaters just to keep my Salon warm.
Marina: I’m sorry about that, you see the heating uses a thermostat, and seeing as it’s unseasonably warm outside…
Old Lady: Wa… Wa… WARM?! It’s barely 14º! It’s FREEZING in my flat!
Marina: Well, I think it’s actually bit warmer than that [Note: real temperature actually closer to 18º, not bad for November, no one in the streets wearing a coat!]
Old Lady: It’s COLD! And I’ll be sending YOU my electricity bill for all those heaters…
Etc… Etc…10 minutes later she left with a promise from Marina that she would try getting the temperature increased during the day, and a formal agreement from both Marina and myself that it was indeed pretty cold outside after all, muy sorry for our ignorance.
And so it goes that Marina now ducks into the kitchen whenever the doorbell rings, pleading with me to tell anyone that knocks before 5pm that the most eminent Presidenta de la Comunidad is currently engaged in the pressing matter of her afternoon siesta!
Meanwhile, outside it continues to be most unseasonably
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