Sunday 20th February

Today is Sunday 20th February, I am reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The weather is much akin to that of Britain. Today I felt like I was in many places at once – because of the weather: bittersweet Edinburgh in late winter/early spring; Wales on holiday with my family, sleeping in a tent, playing by a river; Easter at home. It was not unlike Billy Pilgrim’s ‘travels’ in time that he proclaimed in Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5.

Reading The Scarlet Letter is not bad but it is emotional. My family this weekend, I know, is in London with the rest of my dad’s side of the family, since it is my dad’s brother’s 50th birthday celebration, but I am not there, I am here in Barcelona. This isn’t bad, I am just wistful. I was going to study more this evening but it is not the time. I went with Tania to a bar “La Champinieria” (not sure if this is the correct spelling) but it was shut. So we went to a bar called “Bollocks” which was terrifying but cheap. There was a mannequin dressed like a grunger with the head of a monster sitting on a dirty toilet above the heads of the people. There was a pirate flag and a bat, and the walls and ceiling were covered in grafitti. I had an orange juice. Tania had a canya.

Then we went to “Polaroid”, which is like “Bollocks” but less strong. Instead of a hanging motorcycle, it had a small bike with a blue crate in the front with E.T sitting in there, in front of a moon in the background. There was music from the 80s and an E.T. I got a box of popcorn. Tania got a canita (a small canya, which is a small beer) and since I was eating popcorn I felt like we were IN A FILM, and not just any film, A FILM FROM THE 80S!  I pretended I was watching a film when Tania was singing to one of the Spanish songs from the 80s and I did that thing where you eat the popcorn faster when there is an exciting bit.

Before we left, Tania went to the toilet. She wrote our names on the wall in the bathroom and I drew a fox, who had a cigarette hanging from his “mouth” and he was saying “Hola. Busco abrazos” with one arm outstretched. The smoke from his cigarette turned into a heart at the top of the wall. Before you get ahead of yourself, there was a tiny metal basket attached to the wall with a few chalk pieces in, and the wall was painted in blackboard paint QUE GUAY! (“how cool!”)

Also, something good happened on Friday, when I was returning from eating a scone and drinking a coffee or 2 with Luca in “Buenas Migas”: I found some shoes! They shone at me from the door!  They shone like they had sound like in cartoons! They were Nike Hi-tops. It was a second-hand shop – they were size 7, not my size 6 – so I asked how much they were and the woman said 60 euros!??! I don’t think so!! I told her I couldn’t buy them – the rubber was old, they didn’t have good grip, and they weren’t my size AND I’d bought a BRAND NEW pair in Edinburgh for 45 pounds – new and cheaper, and better. It was a sale, it’s true, but they were brand new and they were beautiful and they changed my life. They were my babies. I explained this to her and she said ok I can give you them for fifty. I said I would only pay 40 for them, she said well ok, 45 is the least I can go down to or else the boss will kill me, and I said HMMMMMMM…… ok!

Then I put them on and put my old shoes (Which were actually Tania’s friends shoes that I was borrowing because of the torrential rain the day before) into the bag and left, skating down the smooth highway all the way home – when I returned to the flat I encountered grief when I realised I HAD LEFT MY BAG OF BRAND NEW BOOKS IN THE SHOP!!! I grieved my empty purchase, my books that were new, that I had, but at the same time, had not. I paused my mango tea break (rather, speedily drank the mango tea whilst Lidia had to put her cup down) and went in search of the shop with Lidia and Zeta (flatmate and dog) and the shop was shut, so I returned the next day with Zeta and Tania in the morning and my grief was over.

The Sound and Fury by William Faulkner was amongst my purchases, and it is like a glass of water to thirst to have it now. I read the first page and was inspired to write in my story again. Faulkner’s writing is beautiful. My shoes are white and red btw. I normally find it difficult to wear white shoes because I keep catching them in my eye, but such is the way of life that I don’t mind. It was impossible to find new Hi-tops in Barcelona sales, and my old Hi-tops (my babies) had a hole in the sole, in the heel, and one in the Achilles heel of the shoe, and a MASSIVE tear down the SUEDE leather (who would have thought it possible? And how?) on the right of my right little toe, and only a small tear in my left shoe in this same place. On my right foot this has now created a breeze and you can actually see my foot, and the colour of my socks, through this gaping crevice. Can a crevice be gaping?

I will go to make a cup of orange tea for me and Tania (Who is great and is watching Friends) and then I will read some of The Scarlet Letter before I go to sleep! I intend to get up at 7am. I will try. Goodbye for now!

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