MONDAY FEBRUARY 13TH
‘Bye Shirley and Dave !!
Mid-morning and Dave and Shirley went on their way to Benidorm and Nerja. We were sad to see them go, and looking back on the week, it has gone really quickly. We were reminiscing yesterday on our long friendship, and were amazed to think that we first met them about 40 years ago! Our children were all small at that time – much smaller than our grandchildren are now, although, of course, WE have not changed at all!
But the big news of the early morning was a huge cat-transplant in the house! Maisy woke up with a different attitude, so that, as I sat on the floor sorting the washing in the washing machine, she came running up and rubbed herself against my legs, purring! What? I fussed her and she wanted more. Even when I stood up, she wouldn’t leave my legs. What went on in the night? When we went to bed last night, she ran at the speed of light if she thought she would find herself anywhere near a “person“! Rod got up and had the same treatment – even Shirley and Dave! This is too sudden! Two weeks of hiding away from 8am. until 8pm. , and eating championship loads has transformed this cat from a shivering wreck of an animal to a domesticated friend!
Having seen off our good friends and done the odd jobs, we shot off into Jalón for yet another load of cat litter (how do they get through so much ?) and kept on going through the village, out the other side, through Alcalalí and onto Parcent, where the car seemed to park itself just outside L’Era. Hmmm. It was exactly lunchtime, by chance, so in we went and enjoyed a fresh paella and a bottle of the best , telling ourselves that it was because next Monday I shall be in the UK and not in Spain. That’s plenty reason in our book !
Coming home, we got caught up with what we had to do, then started worrying about Daisy. Daisy has not been outside much, but went running off at 11 o’clock when Shirley and Dave were packing their car. By 5pm, it was raining a bit and not warm out, so we started to call her. As it started to get dark, we paced a large part of the mountainside to find her, but could not. At 8pm, it was dark, and she still was not home, and we both sat gloomily on the settee, telling ourselves that she would not come at all now.
Half an hour later, we were still nipping out to call her every ten minutes – and then, as we opened the door for another “last time”, in she ran, looking very pleased to be home and heading straight for the litter tray. Urgh – more than 9 hours outside in the open countryside, and she comes home just for a poo! We were SO pleased to see her – but now we have to think about the best way to train a cat to go to the toilet outside. Scatter cat litter over the bancalis? Perhaps.
Yesterday when the visitors were feeling relaxed, we put on a marvellous film. The true story of “Lion” is newly out and has been nominated for lots of awards. It was one of those wonderful films that you go on thinking about well after it’s all over. The opening sequences, in India of twenty years ago where little Saroo’s mother earned a scant living by clearing rocks and the children kept themselves entertained when they weren’t working, simply by splashing in the river or by simple things that did not need toys or equipment. I kept thinking about it all day, and feeling so lucky to be able to watch any film at any time on our big tele. . I also remembered the poor people of India and Asia that Rod and I met when we were doing our big 1998 world tour.
The over-riding impression these children left us with, was how they made the most of what was available to them, and how genuinely cheerful and happy they always were. We had a big bundle of cheap pens in our bags to give out to the children. In this pic, we were on a boat in Kerula, and the children tan along the bank shouting, “Give me one pen!” We were not the only ones throwing pens, and many of them fell into the water. But the children simply jumped in and rescued them! We know that if they haven’t got pens and notebooks they can’t go to school, so they are so valuable to these children. A sneaky part of me suspected that a lot of these pens were sold on – but at least they were providing a family income !!
This second one was taken in one of the main streets of Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. These puddles were everywhere, usually with a happy gang of children jumping in and out of them, shrieking and laughing and having a whale of a time!
My point to ponder is …. have we more prosperous people lost the knack of laughing at, or making the most of, simple things ? Who are the happier children – those enthusiastically jumping into the dirty river water to dive for pens, or those in inner cities in developed countries ?
Makes you think. Let’s help the poor ones anyway and keep them laughing.