Christina:Some pleasures in life are best enjoyed alone: listening to a Richard Marx album, for example. Similarly, I've developed a Dunkin' Donut addiction which I've been hiding from Will. From Monday to Thursday evenings, I babysit four Spanish children and on my way there, I often steal into the Las Ramblas branch of Dunkin', select their most fattening, chocolatey offering, squirrel it into Liceu Metro station, where I sit at the platform, often letting a train go by so I can snaffle away in peace.
I've been furtive about this because Will and I are trying to be healthy since we've become one of those couples who've moved in together and developed portly eating habits such as eating a whole wedge of cheese after dinner. I also realise I should probably be buying dried apricots and pulses from the market instead of giving money to fast food giants like Dunkin' and McDonalds.
Aah, McDonalds. On New Year's Day, I had a raging hangover and nothing else would do but a Bic Mac with all the trimmings. I found myself alone in the flat as Will and our guests had gone for a walk. It was the perfect opportunity to sneak down to Portal D'Angel's branch and bring my meal back to the flat for an undisturbed meat-fest. I had just bitten into the first delicious chip when the doorbell went. I sighed, put down my chip and answered the door. To three vegetarians. Had they been sent by the Locally-Produced-Organic-Additive-Free-Foods-Watchdog to lecture me on the evils of Ronald McDonalds' stinking beef empire? Thankfully no, it was just my friends who were staying in hotel down the road. That said, there are many ways to enjoy a Bic Mac meal but under the watchful gaze of three veggies is not one of them.
Still, at almost 7 Euro for a Big Mac meal over here, it's not exactly cheap dining. You're better off going for one of Barcelona's menus del dia (menus of the day); they're a real bargain and you can get a decent, three-course lunch with a drink, sometimes for as little as 7.50 Euro. I think I'll keep my doughnut habit though, you've got to have some vices.
A pocket for poo-bags gives this coat an extra touch of chic
Will:We returned, a couple of weeks ago, from a day out in the Catalan countryside to find that the only free parking space remaining in Barcelona had turned from white (the colour of free parking) to green (the colour of envy, and parking fines). An hour later, we pulled into a desolate-looking patch of ground overlooking Mar Bella beach, to the north of the city centre.
“Is this fine? I don’t know if this is fine.”
“It should be alright. None of these other people have parking tickets.”
"Maybe they live here. Is that rusty lamp-post going to fall onto the car? It's probably fine."
And there it has stayed. I feel a strong sense of guilt about my car, parked some 4 miles from our flat. This is the workhorse that carried Christina and I around France on our way here, moved us into our flat, and has taken us on a number of nice trips since then. It has put up with Christina’s use of the side door pocket as a rubbish bin, her refusal to admit that the sat-nav is better with a map than she is, and her incessant complaining and messing about with the radio. Every time Christina, who cannot drive, has said “Will, those traffic lights are red, you’d better stop”, the car has held its tongue, and every time she has waited until we are just a fraction of a second past the turn-off before saying “that one!”, it has patiently waited for the next turn-off before turning around. The car is a trooper.
In fact, I was just thinking about how reliable the Vauxhall Astra is the other day, as I was jogging along the beach, on my way to check up on it and run the engine for a bit. Which is probably why the bastard wouldn’t start. Still, at least it’s got a sea view.