John Hurt died today which was rather sad except that he gave us so much pleasure over the years that it’s hard to think that he’s ever truly going to be gone.
Not that we had a lot of time to mourn dead actors because we were off to Barcelona at 10:30, courtesy of Carol and her taxi. We had a jolly lively discussion around the inherent stupidity of Brexit and the older generation that wanted it for reasons we couldn’t fathom before we were dropped off at Heathrow Terminal 3.
Our transition through was very smooth and, largely uneventful. I have to say that travelling Business Class makes everything so much easier. Security, especially, was a total breeze.
In fact the only hiccough came in the departure lounge (before we headed for the real lounge). I had stupidly forgotten my e-reader which meant I was forced to go to WH Smith to buy an analogue book instead. Sadly I took too long to make up my mind because I was beaten to the till by an American whose English had come via Russia. She was with a young teen whose English, in contrast, was non-existent.
They were buying two books. On being told by the check out lady that the books were 3 for 2 there was a bit of a hold up while they rummaged around the shelves looking for a third book that they just had to have because it was free. Having finally selected a third book, they decided they should pay.
It was determined that the woman would pay by card (it’s important to understand that the entire exchange was conducted with hand movements and strange, inexplicable noises). She put her card in the machine and nothing happened. Everyone was a bit confused. The woman pulled the card out and pushed it back in again. Still nothing.
One of the rapidly growling crowd behind me pointed out that the woman had put the card in the wrong way around. This was reversed and the machine smiled, asking for the PIN. The woman entered some numbers but they were not right. She tried again but for the second time her PIN was rejected.
Before she could try for a third time, Joyce, the woman who was serving her (her name was on her badge) informed her that if she failed for a third time then she (Joyce) would be forced to take the woman’s card. She assured the woman that this was the law and not her fault at all. The woman, fingers poised, decided to use cash instead.
“Dollars?” Asked the woman. Joyce nodded her head and the woman handed over a $100 bill. Joyce then explained that the change would be in British Pounds. The woman flapped around at this saying it would not do at all. She asked how much the books would cost in American dollars.
“$27,” Said Joyce and they both started counting out dollar bills until they had the exact amount to equal £18.05. Then, for reasons beyond my ken, Joyce asked them if they’d like a bag. This caused a bit of an uproar of confusion but eventually the woman said no and they moved away…slowly.
I stepped forward with my book and gave Joyce my cash. I was tempted to ask for my change in some exotic currency but thought the masses behind me may not have been particularly amused given they now numbered in the thousands.
And so our week in Barcelona started. The flight was fine and the journey to the hotel was also fine. I’m very happy to report that the hotel passed muster and we settled in for a bit of a rest before hitting the town for a wander.
Our hotel is in the Gothic quarter just a few streets from the Rambla…ideally situated if you ask me. There is no traffic because the streets are pedestrianised. In fact our hotel has double aspect balconies.
After a short rest we headed out and went for a wander, a stop for a drink then a bit more of a wander until we found somewhere to have dinner. Of course, being in Spain, we ate very late (9:30pm). We had a lovely meal of meat and fish before heading back to our hotel. This is in contrast to a group of Indians at the table behind us who wanted something on the menu that excluded meat and fish. They eventually settled on prawns because they are quite small fish.
As an added extra, here Mirinda explains how it feels on the first night of our holidays…