Until you use me up / Hasta que me agotes

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

OUR WATER HEATER STOPPED WORKING Thursday morning. It’s original to the apartment, 48 years old, but our plumber insists it’s a great heat-on-demand water heater and we shouldn’t replace it. It’s located in our utility / laundry room, which has a partial airbrick (openwork) wall. So, every year the dust finally plugs up the pilot light. A few months ago, I was able to clean it myself. This time, after several days of “cyclonic winds,” it needed a professional clean. Isabel was on her way, so I texted the plumber, we heated water on the cooktop, washed our faces, spritzed our pits, and headed to Mesón Salvador.

Lulu surprised us there. We knew she was going to Sevilla for a few days and we didn’t expect to see her. She decided to leave the house early and have coffee with us before hopping on the train. San Geraldo started the day in a foul mood. He lived up to his other nickname “Gruñon” (Grumpy). But, after an hour with Lulu, we were both walking on air. Adrian was working and he was in fine form. He and Lulu love to joke with each other (well, Adrian loves to joke with everyone). When we told him San Geraldo was Gruñon today, he replied, “What else is new?”

A friend of Lulu’s taught Adrian a number of Finnish phrases. Phrases that should not be used in polite company. Adrian told us three young Finnish women were in for drinks Wednesday night and he greeted them in Finnish. They were impressed, but he then shared the other phrases he knew. It all seems so much more innocent when it’s not in your native tongue. Fortunately, they weren’t offended and tried to give Adrian one of their phone numbers.

Adrian saw Lulu’s travel bag and asked where she was going. She told him she’d be in Sevilla for two nights and gave him her hotel name and room number. He said he’d be there today. (Don’t tell his wife.)

Lulu is traveling with seven others to attend a birthday party. She said most of the others were young men and she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to keep up. I think the problem will be the opposite. Anyway, she laughingly summed things up with a flick of her fan: “I use men.” The truth is, Lulu would never use anyone.

Nutrition and Fitness Report
Stretching: Three times Thursday. Once so far today.
Walking: 8.5 km / 5.3 miles Thursday. Today, rest.
Gym: Going in an hour for arms and shoulders workout.
Note: No sweets (except Lulu and SG Thursday). No alcohol.


NUESTRO CALENTADOR DE AGUA DEJÓ de funcionar el jueves por la mañana. Es original del piso, tiene 48 años, pero nuestro plomero insiste en que es un excelente calentador de agua de calefacción a pedido y que no debemos reemplazarlo. Está ubicado en nuestro cuarto de servicio / lavandería, que tiene una pared de ladrillos calados. Entonces, todos los años, el polvo finalmente tapa la luz piloto. Hace unos meses, pude limpiarlo yo mismo. Esta vez, después de varios días de “vientos ciclónicos”, necesitaba una limpieza profesional. Isabel estaba en camino, así que le envié un mensaje de texto al fontanero, calentamos agua en la estufa, nos lavamos la cara, rociamos nuestras axilas, y nos dirigimos a Mesón Salvador.

Lulu nos sorprendió allí. Sabíamos que se iba a Sevilla por unos días y no esperábamos verla. Decidió salir temprano de la casa y tomar un café con nosotros antes de subirse al tren. San Geraldo empezó el día de mal humor. Estuvo a la altura de su otro apodo, “Gruñon.” Pero, después de una hora con Lulu, ambos estábamos caminando en el aire. Adrian estaba trabajando y estaba en buena forma. A él y Lulu les encanta bromear entre ellos (bueno, a Adrian le encanta bromear con todo el mundo). Cuando le dijimos que San Geraldo era Gruñon hoy, respondió: “¿Qué más hay de nuevo?”

Un amigo de Lulu le enseñó a Adrian varias frases en finlandés. Frases que no deben usarse en una sociedad educada. Adrian nos dijo que tres jóvenes finlandesas iban a tomar una copa el miércoles por la noche y las saludó en finlandés. Quedaron impresionados, pero luego él compartió las otras frases que conocía. Todo parece mucho más inocente cuando no está en tu lengua materna. Afortunadamente, no se sintieron ofendidos y trataron de darle a Adrian uno de sus números de teléfono.

Adrian vio la maleta de Lulu y le preguntó adónde iba. Ella le dijo que estaría en Sevilla dos noches y le dio el nombre del hotel y el número de su habitación. Dijo que estaría allí mañana. (No se lo digas a su esposa).

Lulu viaja con otras siete personas para asistir a una fiesta de cumpleaños. Dijo que la mayoría de los demás eran hombres jóvenes y temía no poder seguir el ritmo. Creo que el problema será el contrario. De todos modos, entre risas resumió las cosas con un movimiento de su abanico: “Yo uso hombres.” La verdad es que Lulu nunca usaría a nadie.

Informe de Nutrición y Estado Físico
Estiramiento: Tres veces el jueves. Una vez hasta ahora hoy.
Caminando: 8.5 km / 5.3 millas el jueves. Hoy, descanso.

Gimnasio: Ir en una hora para entrenamiento de brazos y hombros.
Nota: No dulces (excepto Lulu y SG el jueves). No alcohol.

• A great view from the beach of the mountains to the east.
• Una buena vista desde la playa de las montañas al este.
• The airbrick wall through the kitchen door.
• La pared con ladrillos calados a través de la puerta de la cocina.
• SG’s English breakfast with those disgusting baked beans.
• Desayuno inglés de SG con esos repugnantes alubias.
• Half of my small whole-grain tostada with Serrano ham, manchego cheese, olive oil, and tomato puree.
• Mitad de mi pitufo con jamón serrano, queso manchego, aceite, y tomate.
• Lulu brightens our days.
• Lulu ilumina nuestros días.
• “I use men.” (Adrian in background.)
• “Yo uso hombres.” (Adrian al fondo.)
• I saw this at Maisons du Monde when I picked up our new throw pillows (photos to come). Today is a perfect what?
• Vi esto en Maisons du Monde cuando recogí nuestras nuevas almohadas (fotos por venir). [Hoy es un perfecto.] ¿Hoy es un perfecto qué?


• I saw Bill Withers perform this live in Cental Park at the Schaefer Music Festival in 1972. So good!
• Vi a Bill Withers interpretar esto en vivo en Central Park en el Festival de Música Schaefer en 1972. ¡Qué bueno!

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

26 thoughts on “Until you use me up / Hasta que me agotes”

  1. You don’t like baked beans then? We are having them tonight with our meal…..I have a day off from “proper “cooking on Fridays and we shall have oven chips, breaded plaice, and baked beans. The first 2 just go in the oven and the beans in a pan…..easy peasy!
    Say hello to Lulu from me…she looks/sounds like fun! Is she Spanish?

    1. Frances:
      Baked beans can’t even touch anything on my plate. And I even hate the smell. Ugh! Lulu is Finnish. SG met her in Spanish class several years ago. Your dinner sounds so good. I would call that “proper” cooking… except for the baked blech beans.

  2. English Breakfast – yummy. Can’t beat it.
    In England you have beans – baked beans on toast for breakfast, lunch or tea. On brown bread it’s considered a complete meal!
    I used to like baked beans but they’ve changed the recipe to low sugar and they taste awful now.
    Make your own – Boston Baked beans. Are they an American thing? Why call them Boston baked beans?

    1. Karen:
      When my English niece was little we stopped at a shopping mall in Sheffield for lunch. She read the menu and squealed, “Beans on toast!!!” I couldn’t look at it. Baked beans were a traditionally Native American dish that was taken up by English colonists. Boston’s nickname is Beantown because in colonial times, a specialty dish was beans slow-baked in molasses (treacle). I have tried every kind of baked beans. Hate, hate, hate them. When we lived in Guilford, Connecticut, our local grocer/deli made what everyone said were the best baked beans they’d ever had. SG told me if I didn’t like them, I would never like baked beans. I tried them. I hated them. And he’s never asked me to taste baked beans again.

  3. WHY does an English breakfast include baked beans? Ugh! Yuck! I’m totally with you on that! Gross.

    I’m sure those handsome men at the restaurant get hit on all the time. If I were Adrian’s wife, I’d be wildly jealous! 🙂

    I hope SG is in a better mood today.

    1. Jennifer:
      It doesn’t hurt that Adrian is a flirt and a charmer. It IS funny that a traditional English breakfast often included baked beans, an originally Native American dish.

    1. David:
      I spend many days with that Giant Dwarf (sounds like Jumbo Shrimp). He’s so far all smiles this morning.

  4. I did have a couple of English Breakfasts when I was in the UK recently (even a Scottish Breakfast–slight variation), but I did ask them to hold the baked beans. Of course, a rasher of bacon in the UK bears absolutely no resemblance to what most US folks think of as bacon. More meat, less fat and thicker cut. For the first time, I tried Black Pudding–in this case, an award winning one from Stornoway (main town on the Scottish Western Isle of Lewis). It was very tasty, but you might not want to look up the ingredients. Let’s just say it is a type of sausage.

    When my British aunt was still alive, whenever I flew back over the Pond as a teenager (having grown up there), she would have a huge English Breakfast ready for me when I arrived from my early morning flight. Including thick cut, crusty fried bread. It put me in a comatose state within the hour. But man, it tasted so great. I was home.

    1. Mary:
      Bacon here tends to be different (better), too. It still surprises me that I enjoy black pudding. We have our own version here called morcilla. I love it (if I don’t think about it); SG does not. Dublin Airport does a traditional Irish breakfast that includes blood pudding (kind of dry, usually). I also love traditional English breakfast — without those damned beans.

  5. “We heated water on the cooktop, washed our faces, spritzed our pits, and headed to Mesón Salvador.”
    In some parts of the world that’s called a Whore Bath; just sayin’.

    That tostada is making me hungry and I just had breakfast!!!

    And 48 years for a water heater is amazing.

    1. Bob:
      For some reason, I decided to be polite and not say, “We had a whore bath.” I don’t know WHAT I was thinking. Yeah, 48 years is amazing. Just wish I could clean it myself when it gets clogged, but I’d probably break something or burn myself.

  6. Ah….that late 60’s/70’s sound! Took me back there……thanks.
    Lulu looks to be a real sweetheart…….a great way to start your day.
    Today is a perfect time to be alive.
    SG needs more TICKLES!!

    1. Jim:
      Lulu IS a real sweetheart. SG met her in Spanish class several years ago and they immediately clicked, of course. He couldn’t wait for me to meet her. She glows — as you can see.

  7. Love that Bill Withers song. I bet the show in ’72 was wonderful. I imagine Lulu’s company is much sought after; she seems to bring light and laughter where ever she goes. No wonder you thought of Bill Withers’ song!

    My bathroom (as opposed to Dennis’) does not have hot water at all. But of course the “cold” water is not so very cold and it feels perfect after a run.

    1. Wilma:
      No hot water in your bathroom? Wonderwoman! Lulu seems to be liked by all. We’re lucky to count her as such a good friend.

  8. Ugh! Appliance and systems problems. I know your pain. Our central heating flame keeps blowing out. Not-so-cyclonic winds are the culprit. I’m hopeful that it will be fixed on Tuesday. We shall see. Hope your hot water issue is resolved by now!

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Oh, sorry to learn you’re still having problems with your heating. So frustrating. I forgot to mention ours was fixed within 10 minutes, as usual. Too bad it can’t be cleaned in advance of getting clogged!

    1. Judy C:
      Just wish we didn‘t have to wait for it to die before we get it cleaned. But there’s nothing to clean until it happens. Lulu’s still in Sevilla having a good time.

  9. I like that Lulu. She’s my kind of lady.

    Give me a word with your plumber, please. There is no value in a broken water heater. Geeze, Mitchell. I sure hope that’s fixed by now.

    Cheers and love.

    1. Robyn:
      I should have finished the water heater story. The plumber was here when we got home from coffee. He cleaned the water heater and, within 10 minutes it was working again. The wind and blowing sand and dust finallly gets too much for it. Probably should have been installed in a better, more protected, location. Lulu is one of a kind.

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