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Showing posts from June, 2021

Final Stretch, 7 & 8. Summer Dreaming.

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It's June and summer is here. Between last month, this month, and at least the first half of next month, is the best time of year. We are enjoying the high point of the year; it's light at six in the morning, twilight stretches to past eleven in the evening, and the weather is beautifully warm. Another sign of summer were the four buses that passed by me as I went to take out the trash this morning, taking various groups of kids on their field trips. Exams are over, and now it's time for the end of year field trips. This year, they're back, to the kids' joy. They are the true hallmark of summer vacation, the foretaste of a summer of play and fun for many. My memory of primary school tells me that we did have field trips that were fun. I remember one to an amusement park, another to a bowling alley, one to watch Pippi Longstocking at a small theatre somewhere in the Back Bay. There was one during the school year to local businesses, to see how they were run. I also r

Final Stretch, 4, 5 & 6. Beach Etiquette.

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Beach weather is here, this week. My daughter already went to the beach this weekend, and the sands are starting to have occupants. Toward the end of the month, as soon as school gets out, they'll be filled with teenagers, if the weather holds. Tourists will appear next month, and August is strictly tourist month. Local people will reclaim the sands in September. There has been talk of ditching the masks, at least outdoors, at the end of the month. The vaccination is going well, and the incidence of contagion is slowly going down. At the moment, though, a mask is obligatory when we move around the beach, though not in the water nor when we lie on our towels.  Other than that, beach fashion depends on the tastes of those wearing it, or lack thereof.  Lately, more and more women go topless. Not so much because they claim that women's breasts are just like men's breasts, except larger, but because they don't want a tan line. Twenty years ago, it was rare to see the woman w

Final Stretch, 1, 2 & 3. Bus Moments

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I'm changing the header after two months, because we now seem to be in the home stretch of the pandemic. The number of vaccinated is growing, the number of contagion is going down, and so is the number of deaths. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Again, life has interrupted. I had intended to write about Friday morning, and the interesting bus ride, but I had no time. That day, in the middle of my last class, the tractor my husband had hired to finish chopping the wood showed up, and I spent over an hour helping out that evening. Saturday morning was spent entirely working on the wood pile; later I did the shopping, tired, my arms aching. Today, my arms still hurt, but I have more time. Friday morning, I walked into town. Normally, I would drive the seven kilometers or so, but my daughter started working this month, and she needs the car. Whether or not her job will last the summer is yet to be seen, but this month, at least, I'm stuck at home. Halfway down the road, a car pa

Level Ground, 59 & 60. Pardon Me.

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Plenty of protest has gone up among the conservative politicians of a possible pardon of those condemned for the Catalan independence referendum. They were condemned to prison for sedition for going ahead with the independence referendum a few years ago, even after the central government (in the hands of the conservative Partido Popular, then) had nixed the idea. The present Socialist coalition government would like to pardon these Catalan leaders to try to weaken the independence cause, and start talking with the Catalans. It's the first step toward bringing them back into the national fold.  But the conservative parties see this as anathema, and are raising their voices in holy anger, claiming that Prime Minister Sánchez is bowing to the independents' attempts to destroy Spain. Even the Supreme Court has recommended that the Catalan leaders not be pardoned.  How quickly we forget things. Back in 1981, on the 23rd of February, Lieutenant Colonel of the Guardia Civil, Antonio T

Level Ground, 57 & 58. Electric Shock.

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Today, the new electric rates come into effect. Now, everyone, regardless of how they have contracted their electric service, will pay according to use by hours. The cheapest will be from midnight to eight in the morning, on weekends, and holidays. The most expensive will be from 10AM to 2PM, and from 6PM to 10PM. Shoulder rates apply from 8AM to 10AM, 2PM to 6PM, and 10PM to midnight.  This means that, at midday and in the evening, it will be much more expensive, than it already is, to use electricity. I pity those who have an electric stove. Lunch just got its price tag hitched upward; it might become cheaper to eat out. Supper will have to wait until after ten in the evening, right before going to bed. Those who use electric-intensive appliances will either have to put them off until the weekend, or manoever around sleep and work hours. Microwaves, ovens, washing machines, dryers, etc., will have to be programmed to be used either when people are at work, or sleeping, those that can