I met a fair few nutters on my trip around the world. The scariest was a 6ft transvestite called Daisy, who I met while on a greyhound bus on the way to L.A. She told me she was going to see her Mum because she’d got her a job as a show girl. Also on the greyhound bus were a drugged up couple. One of which was wearing illuminous pink shades. They both got off the bus at every chance to pop another pill. And not forgetting the obese Chinese guy I met in Siem Reap who had a go at me for going to see Angkor Wat because he said I should prefer seeing natural wonders of the world.
“Mummy, Mummy, I don’t wanna go to school today.”
“But you’re the teacher.”
“I know, I know it’s just. Hang on, what day is it?”
“The 12th of October, dear.”
“Hell yeah. Then I don’t have to.”
“It doesn’t matter, it says it here in my annual calendar.”
“Bloody English teachers.”
It’s come round again. That great day know as Fiesta Nacional de España (previously Dia de Hispanidad), the day that we get off after just starting back from the three months summer. The one which this year has unfortunately fallen on a Wednesday. Saying that, waking up on Monday morning was more comforting this week. Knowing I had that little break in the week did wonders for the motivation. One mustn’t grumble if one doesn’t have to go to work. I suppose it could be worse, it could have fallen on a Saturday, like it did a few years back, and then absolutely no one would give a damn about the 12th of October. Continue reading
It’s been a long time coming, but finally my fingers were taken over by the characters of my novel. There I was, bashing away at the last chapter, heading for the ending that I’d planned, when something totally unexpected happened.
It was something I’d read about on a writing course, and also from self-help books about writing. The characters started to choose their own paths, their own destiny, right as I was coming to the end. It was a weirdly powerful moment, curious to both my mind and soul, but a new end just sprung up out of nowhere.
Of course, I had an idea what was going to happen. While I wrote my first draft I knew from the start how it was going to end. During the second, a lot of changes took place randomly, and the whole act of writing was so much more emotional. Not only because I could see what the characters wanted to do, but also because all those hours of writing, editing, thinking, changing, were finally coming towards the end product. My first novel is almost ready to be published. Continue reading
The other night I was waiting for a film to come on Antenna 3, one of the more popular Spanish channels. It was about 10.30pm, and the film was due to start at 10.30pm. Now this wasn’t during the Olympics, a long tennis match, or a delay on TV thanks to some stupid political debate between stupid Spanish politicians. It was just your average Sunday night.
“How can the TV be late?” I asked my wife. She looked at me, sighed, and raised her eyebrows, knowing what was going to come. “It’s the TV. Surely, it’s automatic these days. When the clock clicks to 10.30, the film comes on. Or is there still a funny little chubby guy with a fat moustache loading up the reels at Antenna 3. Maybe he’s having a fag break or something, and just forgot he was supposed to be putting the Sunday night film on. Or maybe he is getting paid cash in hand for allowing a couple more adverts on, just to wind up the public.”
“What does it matter?” my wife said. “It will be on in a minute.”
“It’s just not right. It’s three minutes late. Back home people would be starting riots, burning down the TV station, and out in the streets with placards complaining that the television world has gone into crisis.”
“But this is Spain. No pasa nada,” she said, shrugging her shoulders, just as the film came on. Continue reading
My body and mind were up to breaking point about a week ago. A dreadfully long summer is finally over. Not a day in July and August did the scorching heat go below 38 degrees. Every day and night hot heat blew in my face. I had to sleep with a fan on full, sometimes waking at four in the morning in pools of sweat. One day I even had 5 showers, just to keep my brain sane.
The mornings were fine. We could normally keep busy doing something or entertain the kids in someway, although the park was often out of bounds by about 11.30am because the slides were hot enough to turn my son’s legs onto little barbecued sausages.
The afternoons were a killer though. Fortunately I’ve been able to battle through the heat after lunch, with the help of a gale force fan in my lounge, and managed to bash through about 5 chapters worth of editing in July and August, so I’m over the moon on that front. Continue reading
I’ve never been that bothered by cockroaches, unlike my wife, whose scream sets our dogs off every time she sees one. They don’t scare me, make me feel sick, or even put me off my cornflakes, but after seeing what I saw this summer, I’ve been marked by the blighters.
It all started back in June, when an increasing amount of cockroaches began to creep out each night for a midnight feast. They knew exactly what they were doing. Once we’d prepared the dinner, got the kids to bed, and were in the lounge eating, they would scuttle out into the kitchen looking for scraps of food.
Every night when I went back in for my yogurt, or a top up of wine, I’d catch one, or two, or even five cockroaches playing rounders with bread crumbs. They’d shift round the edge of the kitchen floor, hoping to score a rounder, while the others watched and clapped. My wife kept going on at me, saying we must have had a nest somewhere. At the start I told her they would get bored and go away, but when they started to crawl into the lounge, we called in Roberto. Continue reading
Hence the reason I stopped blogging properly for about a year. I’ve been busy, not only bringing up two kids and updating my other blog Baztefl.com, but also bashing out my first contemporary romance fiction novel, Falling for Flamenco, which should be ready to publish at the start of 2017.
I’ve just finished a 2nd draft and sent it to a few family members and colleagues to have a read. Then I plan to get it professionally edited, get a cover designed, and then self-publish it.
What’s Falling for Flamenco about?
It starts off in the eyes of Charlie, a genius guitarist, who desperately needs to close a deal in his crappy sales job in order to get enough of a bonus to move out and impress Cass, his potential girlfriend. But after everything, and I mean everything, goes wrong, he stumbles across a flamenco joint in Camden and decides it’s time to start a new life in Sevilla, where he can focus on learning the flamenco guitar (and not get distracted by any gorgeous Spanish flamenco dancers) .
Meanwhile, in Sevilla, Mercedes, a shy, but passionate flamenco dancer, has had enough of the ridiculous Sevillano Mummy’s boys she’s been dating recently. She needs to find someone more special, less macho, and who can make his own decision without consulting his bloody Mama. Continue reading