Monday, 20 April 2009

'This day marks the beginning of the rest of your life'

'Treat it with respect.' So said my horoscopes when I read it in my inbox. "Oh wow!" thought I. For this morning, little old me was on her way to Sainsbury's to get some food in the house, and thought "hmmm, perhaps I should drop into the GP to see if they have a walk in centre."

You see, Barcelona was fabulous. Barcelona was beyond fabulous. How to start telling you about it now, living as I did in the centre of the old town, walking its cobbled streets, gazing at the gothic cathedrals, strolling to the beach, seeing the boats, the life I lived once, well to start telling you this I just don't know how.

The bars you can smoke in, so many of them, so many....the Champaneria where you rub shoulders with the locals as you eat sandwiches and sup cava (at 3 euros a bottle!), the tapas bar which looked like a converted front room where we were told to try Galician wine which turned out to be cider, well again, don't know where to start.

Old Shit School Acquaintance? Again, stories attached to this but in short, we got on like a house on fire. A wooden house on fire that is. Oak, old, strong.

I didn't bring a raincoat did I? Left my cagoul on the chair in the living room thinking "nah, it'll be sunny in Spain." Only it wasn't. Well it was, but not everyday. On my fourth day, Luke had to work and I was going to stuff myself with Gaudi, as though he was a cheese. Pitter patter dropped the rain. Luke walked with me to get a map and I suggested we have a little coffee while he told me other good places to go. Pitter pitter patter patter.

We went into his shop. The recession has hit him and his business partner and he had to sack his sales assistant. He felt my being there would lesson his anger at the young man 'taking the piss'. Well quite frankly, I told him, If I were told I was going to lose my job I'd roll in late too and take extra long lunches to boot etc etc (which is why I've always been given my marching orders on the day no doubt, no warnings for me.)

Luke offered to lend me a jacket, and a very nice jacket it was too. Tight fitting around the waist, very urban, a million pockets and a great big hood to catch the pitter patter that was to fall ALL day.

I walked and walked and walked some more, very grateful that when I got to Parc Guell it was raining quite hard so I could be grateful my son wasn't with me, instead of wishing he was. Rested my tired limbs in a little bar off the Plaza de la Revolucion where I had a cup of tea (four nights on the sauce, I needed it).

When I got back to the shop, Luke said I could keep the jacket. "Really? Really truly?" It retails for 210 euros hence the enormous amounts of 'really'. But get this!!! His friend Marianne, a lovely Chilean stylist, was off to the Wrangler factory to get some samples to give out to bar staff and such and on Thursday night, when I appeared in the shop ready to go to a burlesque evening she says "I have a little present for you."

Inside the bag were three pairs of jeans! One dark skinny, one cream skinny, and one regular straight leg. Two mini skirts, one my mother would prefer I wore and the other I loved and two shirts!!!! She got me out of my drab black wrap dressed and 'styled' me for the Taboo evening. Ooh ooh baby.

Which brings me back to the trip to my GP this morning. I have a rather generous bottom. I squeezed my ample arse into the dark skinny's and well, the day after I fly back to England, I have thrush. Oh I never have bubble baths because I'm just too sensitive and well, I'm guessing my bits couldn't breath in the skinny's.

Oh suffering suffragettes, I've been on fire down there all week. It did not spoil my fun in Manchester seeing Skinner again. On Friday we went to the Footballer's Arms, an old style pub of yesterday, with patterned carpets heaving with not hot young men. We sank pints and laughed our heads off as though we'd only gone for a pint the week before, not 15 years ago. I even puked up in her toilet when we got home and her husband heard the lot so I couldn't pretend I got it in the bowl on my first hurl (tried my best to clean it up though but her daughter still found splatters on the radiator the next morning. "What's that mummy?" Not my crowning moment)

So yes, today, first full day back in London. My son went to play with his friend and I thought I'd take the opportunity to go to Sainsbury's and ended up in a walk in clinic on Tottenham Court Road having a 'full screen'.

Following the rapes, I never got tested. For anything. I was too scared. I was dirty, damaged disgusting. I just didn't want to know. Every 'invasion' was an invasion. My god, just having my dilation checked during labour stopped the contractions for four hours. That's where therapist has been very helpful indeed in recent times. They took blood tests, I had my legs in stirrups. Next week I find out if I have syphillis. I'll make light of that to the few friends I tell. I won't make any jokes about HIV though. I hope I am clean. I swallowed my pill for the thrush and still made it to Sainsbury's before I got my boy back.

Barcelona and Manchester. A fantastic break I've had. A much needed break from London and the bucket I live in. It will carry me for some time. Going out with such little money as so overdrawn but coming back with amazing memories and a whole new wardrobe worth at least £400.

I've come back in credit too. Amazing I know but it would appear the child tax credit revenue have realised they didn't 'overpay' me so have returned the money they took which they shouldn't have. I called them this morning to make sure they haven't made a mistake (well I don't want to be paying back £300 because their finger hit the wrong button).

So I smiled when I read my horoscope for I thought "yes little lady, this day marks the beginning of your life. Treat yourself with respect."

Onwards I charge

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