If you’ve been watching this tiny miserable part of cyberspace you may have been aware of some issues with Nat West. Following much hassle they’ve decided to reimburse me the full amount (some £300 plus) but being the pedantic sort I am, I want compensation for the distress caused to me, my friends and you, for having to put up with my fucking moaning about it.
Anyway, it was rude to not write a reply, one was dispatched this morning -it contained the following extract…
“…As said in my previous correspondence, which you failed to notice, I already contacted the financial ombudsman. I’ll notify them of this matter and a copy of your letter for their records.
It may also be worth noting for your records that in the second paragraph of your letter (dated April 2009, ref no.XXXXXX) you stated that ‘[you] wrote a cheque out on the incorrect account in error and this was presented to your account July 2009.’
The first part of the statement is true but with reference to the dates cited you might have noticed your letter (dated April 2009, ref no.XXXXXX) is addressed to Mr. Piqued not Mr. H.G Wells, and I don’t have the facility to pass through the fabric of the time/space continuum. If I had such skills I would have corrected my error by returning back in time some 25 years and opening an account with Abbey National….”
Spain was marvellous despite having to fly Ryanair, an experience so miserable I’ve all but cancelled it from my brains. In hindsight, on entering the human tube of horror, I can’t help thinking of pigs skidding and sliding up one of those ladder ramps to face the sticker’s lump hammer, such is the pushing and shoving to get a decent seat, which if you’ve been on Ryanir is an oxymoron.
IC and I managed to achieve two essential things. We sat together and one of us, not I, got the window. I, however, was privy to a flight with an enormous Spaniard spilling into my being on the other side. It felt like a stroke. I virtually climbed into IC’s seat with her to avoid suffocation
As usual the palpable relief on landing inspires immediate drinking and this aspect was aided by being met at Madrid airport by two old pals who drove us back to their brand new gaff and plied us with Rioja and scotch into the wee hours. They laid on a spread of chorizo, cheese and bread, that’s what I call a happy meal, and our combined delight at seeing one another allowed us to push on until way beyond bedtime.
The next morning we had breakfast on the balcony which was enough to induce vertigo, this wasn’t helped by the communal swimming pool a few hundred feet below ‘inviting me’ to leap into it. In spite of this I was green with envy at their apartment, which was rented out at about half the cost of my mortgage.
Our pals drove us into the city we said our goodbyes, IC and I checked into our hotel, which for a 3 star was a bit shit. The lobby looked lovely, just our room, a bit pokey. Bathroom all right though… bidet, I love a good bidet me. Clean goods? No bother. Especially in that temperature.
It was lunchtime when we headed to the Prado after a weird but tasty open sandwich, queues round the bloke and as I’ve been there before we cut our losses and headed into the massive park to visit the Crystal Palace -it’s literally a carbon copy of the English one that burnt down though a fraction of the size. We wandered about in the burning fucking heat and decided to head back to the city via a Coke in a café by the Royal Palace (I managed to smack an old dear round the barnet with a metal chair as I was transporting it from one table to another much to my amusement) and find some cool back street that did the Spanish thing of Paella in one joint and Sangria in another away from the relatively throngy throngs.
Following a long and rather important drink we headed off for something else to eat. It was still boiling hot despite being early evening so we took a table outside see off the first phase of the night. We ordered tapas with Cava, the Cava was lovely but the grub was a bit hit and miss, though it more than happily laid the foundation for a nasty cocktail in a bar near Sol. There was so much cocktail in fact that we wound up walking about Madrid clutching green drinks in a less than civilised state… at some point in the small hours we arrived back at out hotel and slept like the dead.
After a shower, a good squirt on the bidet (I fucking love them, I really do) we had a greedy breakfast in the hotel at 11. I ate meat, meat and bread, some cheese, but mainly meat, then we headed out to get an espresso. It was another hot day and IC and I were a bit vexed at having to leave for home later on, though we managed to stuff our faces and enjoy one final go on the Sangria before setting off on the pristine Metro for the fucking airport.
Madrid is a beautiful city; it’s very homely and not too big so you can virtually walk everywhere. In addition to it being cheap (a jug of Sangria and more tapas than you can possibly eat costs less than 15 Euros) the Spanish seem to actively encourage smoking. Tabs are cheap and you can smoke anywhere you want, shops, hotels, bars no one gives a flying fuck. The city also encourages serendipity, away from the main drags little streets curl round plazas and discreet open squares usually boasting fountains and hidden bars. The city feels safe and relaxed; despite my love for London I can see why my mate Al and his missus live there so happily. The only caveat to my enjoyment of Spain is the music; it’s fucking loathsome and far too present in the bars and cafes.
Coming home was a pisser to be honest, the flight was as horrific as I expected (I sat next to a monster Mexican looking chap which didn’t inspire easy breathing, I spent most of the flight gulping air from the other side of the plane) and the landing was terrifying. To sate our dismay at suddenly being home we went out for dinner in Dalston which went quite a long way to returning us back to a happy ‘normal.’
The bank holiday consisted of sleeping, a bit of shopping for food, The Big Lebowski, eating and the consumption of duty free booze and tabs. It was ace.
Oh good back in the office, oh no, off again next week.