Coming of Age – Day 11

Woke up in a hot, stale, lather, but knew I should feel better once I moved. So I opened all the doors and windows and put on all the fans to pull some fresh air through the house, although it is already bright and warm at 7.a.m. I shall close up again around 10 a.m and leave the fans on all day. I do not like air conditioning as the humidity makes me very uncomfortable. I would rather sweat and dry off, cooling myself the natural way.

I did my Qi Gong on the roof, then watered the garden where there are cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons, sweet melons, beetroot, and radishes ready to pick. I thought my zucchinis had succumbed, but there is one plant in a pot of carnations that has seeded itself, and is about to flower. I felt much better for the effort, but dripping wet. I had a carrot, lemon, and apple juice earlier, so think I can safely treat myself to Spain`s nearest thing to a Cumberland sausage for lunch. It is rather salty, but in this heat, that is not a bad thing. The blood pressure is maintaining a reasonably respectable 160 over 80.

I had planned a day at the finca, but the forecast is for shade temperatures over 40C.,100F., with 44C.+, 112F during the week. So, while my eyes are dry and sore, I shall stay indoors at the town house, and get on with the writing. I have run a Jaccuzzi of cold water to sit and dunk my feet if I get too hot. I could swim in the cisterna when I am at the finca, but not while my eyes are touchy. The water from the river is far from clean, and I share it with crayfish, goldfish, and several species of dragonflies and water beetles.

Tomorrow, I must go down to check on the cats, water the newly planted Bramley apple tree, and pick peaches, figs, and plums, before the sun gets up. Then I shall see how well I can keep cool down there. There are fans and a fridge, and I shall take a cool box full of frozen fresh-pressed orange and apple juice, some salad from the roof, and home-made lemon yoghourt. I have a good stock of Vichy water on hand, fizzy, healthy, and refreshing. I drink several bottles of the stuff every day.

I must also take the research for articles on Africa, as I am behind hand with them due to having been off line during the changeover, which seems to have left me with a dreadfully slow connection, although they promised me an upgrade from 3 to 8 gigabytes. At present my downloads are a snail´s pace 12 kilobytes per second. My new pc is also a mightmare, a Spanish keyboard that keeps trying to convert itself to a UK one because Windows 8 detects I am typing in English, and programs that keep switching and opening themselves for no apparent reason. Yesterday, Google Chrome, which I never use, suddenly decided to play me a talking book I have never heard of. That chewed up a good portion of my download capacity before I discovered what and where it was, and managed to get rid of it. I am becoming very frustrated with the too clever designers who are cluttering up my memory and my time with rubbish I don´t want. I can entertain myself very well without your interference, thank you. I need my computer to WORK! For ME!

My friend tells me several million furious Windows 8 clients have been offered free upgrades to Windows 10. I must see if I can get one.

An unexpected surprise. I have a lovely neighbour who says she is in her 80s but looks a decade younger than myself. She loves figs. At present, I have four varieties on the finca, and I have brought her the plump first fruits of each, brown, green, purple, and amber. The best is the Jaffa sized amber fig, soft and luscious, that I raised from a cutting I begged from Queen Victoria´s conservatory at Osborne House. June 24 was Saint John the Baptist Day, a local holiday in Catalonia, celebrated with a special sweet glazed bread with cherries, pine-nuts, and angelica. My wonderful neighbour has brought me a huge slice, enough to share with a friend and her children.

Dare I allow myself a cup of coffee with a spoonful of honey? Yes. Of course I dare. It smells wonderful. Today is turning into another very good day.

FREEDOM! This is the name of the game.This is one of the joys of the coming of age. I do as I please, when I please. I sleep when I want, work when I want, dress as I please, eat what and when I please. Yes, it is sometimes lonely, and it would be nice to have a special playmate, to share the occasional fun of a barbecue or a boat trip, to have a cuddle, and a giggle, at siesta time. But I have some younger friends with whom I regularly share time and adventures. I am very lucky. And, as one of my feminist friends remarked, on past showing, I have proved that I need a man as much as a fish needs a bicycle!

But there is change in the air. I am moved to clear the decks, to give away stuff that has served its purpose and can now give pleasure to someone else. There are empty places among my dust collectors, and things I had kept for years in case family or friends came to stay are being jettisoned in favour of greater personal comfort and convenience. My one-room stone bothy on the finca has 2 beds and space for little else. I could rent it out to fishermen, perhaps. But do I really want the hassle? I could make it into a perfect tiny home for one, replacing the second bed with a desk and a chest of drawers, with more room for a table and a couple of chairs, room for books, files, clothes. I have too much stuff in the bigger fown house. My brain can no longer accommodate it all. I don´t need it.

In the same spirit, I am writing this for you. There is too much information in my personal memory banks. I can upload it for wider access, for family, and for past and future friends, then concentrate on new experiences and new directions. There is so much more to learn and to do. Move over, the stagnant, archived self…

Super Gran is on her way!