Oh, hail / Ay, granizo

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

A NUMBER OF PEOPLE AROUND town were talking about the snow that hit right here in Fuengirola during Storm Filomena. It was just up the beach from us, perhaps 1 kilometre away. I only saw it in photos that day.

But it seems we on the Costa del Sol can’t tell the difference between snow and hail. Whitish and cold? It must be snow. It wasn’t. Only hail. A lot of hail that quickly turned to slush and then was gone.

I broke another plastic retainer on Monday. I was pulling the bottom retainer out of my mouth and it got stuck. Instead of readjusting, I simply tugged. It cracked. I was back at the orthdontist this evening and will have my new retainer within a couple of days. To make me feel better, I was told that last week a patient broke her retainer, had it replaced, put it in a napkin while she was eating dinner, and then threw the napkin in the garbage. Since I only have to wear mine at night now, there should be no risk of my doing that (or little risk of my doing that).

I walked the beach and the neighbourhood this morning. It didn’t improve my attitude much, but at least I didn’t go back to bed (like I did yesterday — twice). The cats enjoyed the sunshine in the living room. Then they went back to bed.


MUCHAS PERSONAS DE LA CIUDAD hablaban de la nieve que cayó justo aquí en Fuengirola durante la B orracha Filomena. Estaba justo en la playa de nosotros, quizás a 1 kilómetro de distancia. Solo lo vi en fotos ese día.

Pero parece que en la Costa del Sol no podemos diferenciar entre nieve y granizo. Blanquecino y frio? Debe ser nieve. No lo fue. Solo granizo. Una gran cantidad de granizo que rápidamente se convirtió en aguanieve y luego desapareció.

Rompí otro retenedor de plástico el lunes. Estaba sacando el retenedor inferior de mi boca y se atascó. En lugar de reajustar, simplemente tiré. Se rompió. Regresé al ortodoncista esta noche y tendré mi nuevo retenedor en un par de días. Para que me sintiera mejor, me dijeron que la semana pasada una paciente rompió su retenedor, lo reemplazó, lo puso en una servilleta mientras estaba cenando, y luego tiró la servilleta a la basura. Como ahora solo tengo que usar el mío por la noche, no debería haber riesgo de que haga eso (o poco riesgo de que haga eso).

Caminé por la playa y el vecindario esta mañana. No mejoró mucho mi actitud, pero al menos no volví a la cama (como lo hice ayer, dos veces). Los gatos disfrutaron del sol en la sala de estar. Luego volvieron a la cama.

That really is snow.
Eso realmente es nieve.
Across the street.
Cruzar la calle.
Plant this tuber and grow your own pile of debris.
Plante este tubérculo y cultive su propia pila de escombros.
I don’t think I ever noticed this wall not far from home.
Creo que nunca me di cuenta de este muro no lejos de casa.

Light the corners of my mind / Iluminan los rincones de mi mente

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

RELAX. I PROMISE TO NOT share the song referenced by today’s title. I hope I don’t offend anyone when I say, “The Way We Were” is not on my top 10 song list. It wouldn’t even make it to my top 500. But here are more memories that do light the corners of my mind. There are some misty watercolours still to come. The photo above is of Moose atop a stack of San Geraldo’s historic papers and photos on the dining room table. Like me, he finds the memories very comforting (or at least comfortable).


RELAJARSE. PROMETO NO COMPARTIR LA canción a la que hace referencia el título de hoy. Espero no ofender a nadie cuando digo que “The Way We Were” [Tal Como Eramos] no está en mi lista de los 10 mejores canciones. Ni siquiera llegaría a mi top 500. Pero aquí hay más recuerdos que iluminan los rincones de mi mente. Todavía quedan algunas acuarelas brumosas por venir. La foto de arriba es de Moose encima de una pila de fotos y papeles históricos de San Geraldo en la mesa del comedor. Como yo, encuentra los recuerdos muy reconfortantes (o al menos cómodos).

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• When we moved to San Francisco in late 1998, My Mother the Dowager Duchess gave us a cash house-warming gift. We went shopping with her in Chinatown and found these two figures. The shop owner made a big deal of the fact that they were carved from “60-year bamboo.” We thought there was some spiritual significance to that but I think, perhaps, he was simply telling us the bamboo was old. The polka dot vase [vahz], 16 inches tall, in the background was purchased for my parents’ first apartment in 1950. My mother had the same dried flowers in it from 1970 to 2016. I decided to toss them. I happened to have the twigs and put them there temporarily, which means I have another 42 years to replace them.
• Cuando nos mudamos a San Francisco a fines de 1998, Mi Madre La Duquesa Viuda, nos dio un regalo de bienvenida en efectivo. Fuimos de compras a Chinatown y encontramos estas dos figuras. El dueño de la tienda le dio mucha importancia al hecho de que fueron tallados en “bambú de 60 años”. Pensamos que eso tenía algún significado espiritual, pero creo que, tal vez, simplemente nos estaba diciendo que el bambú era viejo. El jarrón de lunares, de 40 centímetros de alto, que se encuentra en el fondo, fue comprado para el primer piso de mis padres en 1950. Mi madre tenía las mismas flores secas desde 1970 a 2016. Decidí tirarlas. Sucedió que tenía las ramitas y las puse allí temporalmente, lo que significa que tengo otros 42 años para reemplazarlas.
• Here are the bamboo figures on the living room mantel of our house in San Francisco in 2000. The Dowager Duchess said, “This house is impressive, but I liked the San Diego house better.” The less subtle Aunt Sylvie said, “The other house was much nicer. I don’t know why you moved.”
• Aquí están las figuras de bambú en la repisa del salón de nuestra casa en San Francisco en 2000. La Duquesa Viuda, dijo: “Esta casa es impresionante, pero me gustó más la casa de San Diego”. La tía Sylvie, menos sutil, dijo: “La otra casa era mucho más bonita. No sé por qué te mudaste”.
• February 1999, San Francisco. San Geraldo’s birthday. Dear Judyshannon, who gave us Olivia (yesterday’s post), with the Duchess and Aunt Sylvie. Judy liked all our houses (and the Duchess and Sylvie; and they liked her, too).
• Febrero de 1999, San Francisco. Cumpleaños de San Geraldo. Querida Judyshannon, que nos dio a Olivia (el post de ayer), con la Duquesa y la tía Sylvia. A Judy le gustaban todas nuestras casas (y la duquesa y Sylvia; y ella también les gustaba).
• This is a bronze in a series called Guys with Balls. I think the artist was Thom Atkins, but I can no longer find his work online. It was purchased in 1999 with San Geraldo’s birthday money from my mother, and it stands atop my mother’s corbel that Marisa (of recent pub table fame) restored for me (click here).
• Este es un bronce en una serie llamada Guys with Balls [Tipos con Pelotas]. Creo que el artista fue Thom Atkins, pero ya no puedo encontrar su trabajo en línea. Lo compré en 1999 con el dinero del cumpleaños de San Geraldo de mi madre, y está sobre la ménsula de mi madre que Marisa (de reciente fama en la mesa de pub) me restauró (haz clic aquí).
He does have balls.
Él tiene pelotas.

You’d Better Never Bother With Me Ol’ Bamboo

That “bamboo” that has been washing up on our beaches with every recent rainstorm is not bamboo after all (click here). San Geraldo was right to question “where all that bamboo is coming from.” He finally suggested it was “fake Pampas Grass.” I got what he meant: Something that looks so much like Pampas Grass that it is often mistaken for it.

So I Googled: “What looks like pampas grass and bamboo, but is not.” Well, San Geraldo was right (imagine that).


The scientific name is Arundo donax (click here if you’d like to learn about it — for next week’s exam), but a couple of its common names are Giant Cane or Spanish Cane. It’s native to the Mediterranean. Until yesterday evening we had a ‘Giant Giant Cane’ mountain across the street. Crews worked for more than 12 hours to pile it all up and then load and haul away several truckloads. There were mounds of the cane all along the beaches of Fuengirola. A huge job.


Thanks to a recent comment by Walt (click here for his blog called “wcs”),
I felt inspired to include this video.
(In other words, blame Walt.)

Gonna Build A Mountain

By Friday afternoon, a day with some sunshine and only a little drizzle here and there, the City of Fuengirola had finished piling up all the debris washed ashore from our previous week of storms. There was, of course, the typical trash, but the primary flotsam was bamboo stalks.

San Geraldo wondered where all the bamboo had come from. I said I thought it had all come from the sea. He said he thought I was a smart ass.

Throughout Friday, the pile of bamboo and other debris grew higher and higher right across the street. I wanted San Geraldo to climb on top for my photos. He thought about it and decided it was too dangerous. Sometimes he can be so mature.


It’s raining again, and it’s supposed to do so with a vengeance. Over these next few days, we’re expecting double the accumulation of the last round of storms. But despite the weather and the news from around the world, Fuengirola has built a mountain and I’m ‘gonna’ push my daydream up that mountain slope (it’s all in the song below).

“I don’t know how I’m gonna do it; only know I’m gonna try…”