Oh, ‘tis March and the tomcats are walking the calles and calling out for pussy. Lisa, the ladyboy-not-quite-tom cat is now an even more confused animal.
Lisa is also known as He-She-It or Heshite. Lisa has learned how to yowl and yay, Lisa yowls the day away.
Nighttime is quiet time as Lisa is shut in at night for her/his own good.
Those testicles are still tiny and yet, they must be throbbing and sending out messages to his/her brain.
I really do think that as a breeding cat, Lisa is the end of the evolutionary line, being so inbred as to be both male and female.
This doesn’t last for too long, as a rule. We will sleep well from this week on, with no amorous males calling outside our bedroom windows.
Our other cat is not impressed with the odours that the males leave around the courtyard and by the doors. He’s old and very disapproving, having been neutered some time before we met him. He can do something that Lisa can’t yet – he can spray.
Our first early Spring visit to Galicia, was in 2005. We’d toured around in early summer 2004 and then several times afterwards, but this was going to see how cold Galicia would be in winter.
Spring 2005 was a bit of a shock. Spain was suffering from a very strange cold spell, with temperatures of minus sixteen – yes that’s -16 at night.
I was recently reading Christ Stewart’s third book ‘The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society’ and he described this (as yet unrepeated) cold snap.
I we never experience that phenomona again.
Last week, the daytime temperatures reached 18 centigrade and the birds were feeding their chicks insects. The bees had emerged from their nests and the plum trees were in flower.
It’s very tempting to go to the Escairon’s finest emporium, Patatas Prado, to see what is in stock for early planting.
Patatas Prado is big. It sells on potatoes and in autumn, apples and chestnuts and grapes. I thought that it was a sort of Galician joke, ‘hah, hah, potato palace!’ but Prado is the family name.
They sell ornamental plants as well and very nice terracotta plant pots. I have to confess to a strange terracotta fetish. I love it and I don’t know why. I have a great many plant pots and now that I have a safe balcony, they will contain Surfinias and Petunias and Pelargoniums and all will be well.
The balcony, which was rebuilt in early 2005, lacked a handrail and balustrades. It scared me so much that I rarely set foot on it, but as my birthday was coming up, I decided that this would be what I would like for my present. I hadn’t quite thought my cunning plan all the way through.
For some reason, I thought that a handrail and balustrade in pine wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. It was going to come in at around seven hundred euros, with fitting. Oh dear.
My parents, bless them contributed and as I’d decided that as it was going to be a big birthday, the kind of birthday that after which, one can regard oneself as ‘grown up’, I was going to have a party.
It was well planned. However, plans don’t always get carried through. The balloons are still in their packets, the silly balloon games never did happen and probably just as well too…
The food went quite well – my Pavlova meringue was a miserable failure and never made it to the plate, but no matter. The chicken and leek pie was a success, the wild boar curry was excellent and whilst the chicken curry was spicier than planned, it went down well.
The special Villarreme surprise was provided by my neighbours. They’d had a whip-round and had gone to the carpenters and paid off part of the final bill, presenting me with the receipt. The carpenter was Valentin of Escairon and their work was magnificent. It’s the best handrail in the world.
How to take someone’s breath away. You can’t beat that. Absolute magic. Oh and our grown-up kids came too. Perfect.