No Sex Please, We’re British (And Human). And Other Musings…

26 Feb

17th Feb 2014
It’s 6pm and I’m sitting in a bar, a nice kind of stoned, after an hour and twenty minutes walk through the countryside, to the nearest town, La Hoya, the closest place to my mum’s home that I can buy Rizlas. Drinking a Coke. Dry mouth. Even though after I ordered it, the barman – a bloke in his mid twenties with pointy designer sideburns, wearing a bright pink t-shirt, and looking like he would rather be anywhere else – started making me a coffee. “No! una COCA COLA, por favor.” It’s badly lit in here. And the table is uneven, wobbling as I write upon it. Up above my head there’s a telly showing a Spanish soap opera. No one’s watching it. Apart from me and the barman the only other person in here is an old boy, sat at a table on the other side of the room, who has been staring fixedly through the glass of the front door for a good ten minutes. His mouth open. Catching flies. I don’t think he’s actually looking at anything; he’s off in his thoughts. Or memories. When I first caught sight of him he reminded me strongly of Grandad. Something in the dropped jaw, the yellow teeth and the vacant look in the eyes, and yet still managing to give off an impression of innocent mischief. That’s how I remember Grandad, sat in his armchair every waking hour of the day, right up until the end. I actually felt like I knew this old man. And because he was away with the moon and stars, I could keep stealing glances at him and remembering Grandad, without him noticing and thinking I fancy him. I felt warmth towards this solitary senior. After a couple of minutes, though, I looked down at the table in front of him and saw that he was sitting over a glass of red wine. And instantly the connection was lost. He became a different person. Nothing like my Grandad at all. Now, if he had been nursing a cup of tea and a couple of custard creams or bourbons…………..

On the walk here, as I strolled up a narrow country road, I found my path blocked about 20 yards up ahead, by two cats. Shagging. Right in the middle of the road. One black, one white. Kinda like a Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney collaboration.They both just came running out from the field to my right and then got straight down to business. And I’m the kind of stoned where I’m not walking in a straight line, too distracted by a group of starlings doing a well choreographed dance routine above my head in the late afternoon sky to bother keeping an eye on where I’m treading. And then I’m brought back to the here and now when I see these two copulating cats in front of me. Only, my paranoia doesn’t let me believe for more than a few seconds that the animals I’m looking at are just a couple of harmless felines. No. Instead, my eyes and imagination convince me that it’s actually a couple of badgers! ‘Shit! If I get too close to them and disturb them, they’ll attack, bite me, and I’ll end up with tuberculosis! Not good!’ And I slow down, almost to a halt. And then I think, ‘Hang on a minute. We’re practically on the Costa Del Sol, this ain’t England, you dickhead! Badgers! What a nob you are! It’s obviously what you first thought it was; a couple of cats.’

This sensible point of view then fades as quickly as it was gifted me. ‘No, wait. That ain’t cats. It’s a pair of rabbits!’ Followed instantly by, ‘Shit! They ain’t normal cute rabbits. They’re those giant ones you’ve seen on the telly. If you get too close, they’ll savage you!’ And I’ve actually stopped walking now. I’ve got The Fear. What kind of wanker can’t tell a couple of domestic cats from badgers, or giant killer mutant rabbits? This kind of wanker! And I’m telling myself I’m being stupid. What the fuck would a couple of giant rabbits be doing on this country lane? Well, shagging, obviously. But there’s no way it’s giant rabbits. It just can’t be! And now I’m trying to rack my brain to remember if I’ve actually seen giant rabbits on a proper TV programme, or if I’ve seen them in a cartoon. Or, if I’ve even seen them at all and not just made them up in my imagination. Now curiosity takes over me and I start walking slowly on. I need a closer look. And then I see it for what it really is. A Jack Russell dog, on his Todd, staring at me and showing his teeth. Really, though? Really? What the fuck am I actually looking at here? And eventually I get close enough to see clearly. It’s two cats, one black, one white, shagging. As my eyes had first told me before we started going into fucked up nightmare land. And these two horny cats are enjoying it enough not to have noticed me approaching. They just keep on keeping on. I feel uncomfortable. I even feel a bit sick. It’s a pretty rank thing to witness. So I cough, to get their attention, but they ignore me completely and keep on trucking. Just then, a car comes slowly around the bend, driving towards me, and is forced to put the brakes on and stop the car completely, as these two fucking cats won’t even be put off by the sound of an approaching motor. Exhibitionists! The bloke bibs his horn, the cats slowly turn around and scowl at the driver with pissed off looks on their faces, before separating and running off in different directions. The bloke in the car then makes eye contact with me, laughing, and then, still laughing, he pushes the sides of his hands together to gesture what the cats had been doing. And we share a nod and a grin. And then we carry on along our separate life paths. A momentary human connection.



Tonight is the first time I’ve had access to Youtube since I left England almost three weeks ago. Until tonight the internet connection has been too slow, and also my mum’s cheap Chinese knock-off tablet hasn’t been working. But it is now. And after she went to bed, I nipped into the living room and borrowed it. And that means music. And that means happiness. In my hasty packing I only grabbed two CDs from home, both of them trance compilations, and that’s all I’ve had to listen to. Not that I ever get bored of late 90s trance. But a bit of variety is the spice of life. For almost two years I couldn’t listen to a particular song. Because it brought back too many painful memories and emotions. An ex’s favourite song by her favourite singer. I wonder if it’s still her favourite singer, or if she moved on to someone else. I feel that referring to her as just ‘an ex’ is an understatement, like she is so much more than that, at the very least ‘The Ex’, but no she is now just an ex. Just like all the others. Those that came before her and those that have come after. A girl I used to know once upon a time. Luckily, it didn’t bother me that I couldn’t listen to the song, because I never liked the song. She had played it so much when we were together that it grated on me. I would wake up to it every morning and then have to listen to it another five or six times while she got herself dressed for work. I did not miss the song. And if I did ever accidentally bump into it on the radio, I’d quickly jump on the dial, change the station, and then drift into memories, and I’d feel sad, and distressed, and even sick in my stomach. And this would confirm to me the fact that I was unable to listen to the song, even if I wanted to. Which I didn’t. Until tonight. I wanted to test my reactions. I’m stoned enough to take it, right? I typed in the name of the song, hit search, and then clicked on the top video. And I listened to the song. And then I listened to it probably another five or six times. And every time it played, I remembered all the happy, funny, loving, amazing times we had together. Without any of the sadness of the ending. And I realised it’s a fucking great song. A fucking great song! But now, as I write, I don’t know if that’s because of the feelings and memories it stimulates in me, or because it is actually just a fucking great song. I mean, I used to think it was rubbish. And it’s not like it’s changed.
After I’d worn out the song, I listened to some more songs by the same singer and watched some of the videos on Youtube. Some of them actually are good songs. And some are shit. I’d never really seen what she looked like properly until tonight. The ex used to listen to her on Spotify, so no videos. And I’d seen the odd picture, but her image hadn’t really registered in my memory. It was always an audio thing. She’s a good looking girl. But not a patch on the ex. That girl I used to know. The loveliest person you could ever wish to meet. Blue Jeans.


Earlier on, when I was in La Hoya, I came across a game of football being played in a little park by some kids aged about eight or nine years old. It was a well-organised game, with the mums stood around the outside chatting away. And I stopped to watch for a few minutes, as I do whenever I stumble upon a game of football being played, by anyone, anywhere. And I wanted to see if Spanish kids played differently to English kids. They must do, I thought, look at the football the Spanish adults play. It’s a different game. I watched as the kid at left-back took possession of the ball, and then, under no real pressure, lumped it high up the wing, towards the corner flag. Spanish kids were playing long ball! I felt cheated. And left to carry on my walk.


The Brazilian national flag is a pretty cheerful looking thing, eh? Not like the Albanian flag. That motherfucker needs some anger management classes and some psychological therapy. I’m talking shit again!

Brazil-flag-flyingCeremony to mark the Accession to NATO of Albania and Croatia- Flag Raising Ceremony in the Cour d'Honneur in the presence of Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of Albania and Ivo Sanader, Prime Minister of Croatia


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