From the outset, we’ve been referring to our little Spanish retreat as Casa Libélule. Whilst trying to remain reasonably minimalist, we’ve adorned it with a few suitably decorative items such as metal dragonflies screwed to the naya (a.k.a. balcony) walls. We have a splendid set of dragonfly bedecked drinks coasters which get, as you can imagine, considerable use. Less successful have been a pair of scatter cushions with a dragonfly motif; they are less successful because they are made of the most incredibly uncomfortably, rough hessian material.
[Aside. Scatter cushions of one of my pet dislikes. I can never comprehend the reason for their existence. Furniture designers usually attempt to shape their chairs, settees and the like such that they are comfortable to sit on. Then along comes decorative hausfrau and adorns said chairs, settees and the like with a plethora of scatter cushions – two is never enough. The scatter cushions do two things. Firstly, they take up all the space that was originally intended for your bum. Secondly, they ruin the originally comfortable profile of the back rest. Whilst it must be admitted that some of the more avant garde furniture designers fail miserably in the comfortable brief, scatter cushions are rarely, if ever, the answer. End of aside.]
Most of the houses in Spain seem to have names adorning their facades. Maybe it’s time and place but it doesn’t seem as trite as bolting Dunroamin, on a property in the UK. We’’ originally fancied a name fashioned out of a wrought iron but finding someone to make it was less than straightforward. Then we came across some modestly sized, very Spanish looking ceramic tile letters, the like of which we’ve seen used frequently. These were 1.25€ a pop with a modern-looking, colourful mosaic edging. Being both colourful and seemingly easier, we changed direction and went for it. I purchased a spirit level to get them aligned accurately and a tube of something that claimed to pega todos to fix them to the wall. Casa is christened; may Darwin bless her and all who drink in her. [It feels like a him, really.]
My evening was less successful.
When I was a mere student, possibly in 1971, I went to the cinema to see Death in Venice. So monumentally boring was it, that I got up and walked out. It has the honour of being the only film I have ever walked out of. It is a Visconti film which appears to feature a Dirk Bogarde character having completely improper feelings towards a teenage boy on a beach in Venice. This was probably a contentious topic in 1971 but that wasn’t why I got up and walked out, it was just so unutterably slow and tedious. Watching paint dry would have been scintillating by comparison.
It could well have had a partner in crime had I been to the cinema to watch the movie we sat through, occasionally snoring, this evening. With no TV for amusement, we had invested in a couple of DVDs to bring, one of which Francine was interested to watch. The movie in question seemed to have received critical acclaim and plaudits. It was Mr. Turner. This was supposedly about the life of the artist, Turner. At least, I think it was about the life of the artist Turner, though I was having desperate trouble discerning any storyline whatsoever. Francine nodded off for most of it. I stuck with it, still desperately attempting to find a storyline but continuing to fail. It wasn’t about his rise to fame, he already appeared to be famous, even though I thought no true artist achieved fame until after their death. It wasn’t about his paintings, though some were scattered around the sets occasionally. Nothing very exciting seemed to happen in his life and I found myself praying for his demise so I could stop desperately trying to discern a non-existent storyline. It was actually screened on our first Bay of Biscay trip out here, though mercifully we didn’t feel bright enough to watch it: mercifully because watching it then could well have resulted in cries of, “man overboard”. Eventually, Mr. Turner did croak and Francine could wake up to go to bed.
Actually, I’ve just remembered there is a third film that I would have walked out of, though walking out in this particular situation would’ve been fatal, and not only to myself, since I was 36,000 ft up in an Airbus A380 at the time. Lincoln was the couple of hours of stultifying tedium to which I refer. As it was, it helped me achieve the impossible aboard an aeroplane in a bucket-class seat – sleep.
So, if you are searching for a drug-free cure for insomnia, I commend Lincoln to you, though Death in Venice and Mr. Turner might also work.