Lockdown Day 66: Poked and Prodded / Encierro Día 66: Empujado y Pinchado

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I MET WITH A GREAT physiotherapist yesterday who is also an acupuncturist. He worked the area all around the sciatic nerve and then he poked me. Eight needles and mostly in my butt/bum. Some in my lower back. But I don’t know where exactly because I couldn’t see or even feel them, although he told me there were eight needles, I was barely aware of two when he adjusted them. An artist.

I slept here and there last night (well, here the entire night, but not well). I’ll probably have to go back again Friday, but he’s given me hope. His name is Pedro Lönnblad and he’s fluent in Spanish, English, and his native Swedish (he’s half Swedish/half Spanish).

Pedro’s office in Fuengirola, called Clinica PhysioSpain is just a 15-minute walk from home, and he also practices in Marbella, 25 minutes west by car. Unlike other facilities around town, the office has only two physiotherapists. You don’t get stuck on a machine and then left for another client. And you don’t get 7 minutes with the therapist before being passed off to an assistant.

In addition to the therapeutic massage and the acupuncture, Pedro showed me how to adapt my stretching routine to suit my problem. Not only that, he was a pleasure to visit with.

IN ADDITION TO THE TWO restaurants below us undergoing new terrace construction, the apartment above us is now under major renovation (everything must go, apparently). So, we are awakened (well, lately, I’m already awake) every morning at 8:00 to the sound of hammering and shattering tile. And we can’t even escape to Mesón Salvador for an extended coffee break. AND… the renovation will take about a month. I think I’ll practice writing new swear words with my toes (to increase flexibility in my ankle).

Oh, speaking of my ankle, how do you like my new tattoo (photo at top)? (Pedro taped it.) I am SO cool!

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AYER ME REUNÍ CON UN gran fisioterapeuta que también es acupunturista. Trabajó el área alrededor del nervio ciático y luego me empujó. Ocho agujas y principalmente en mi trasero. Algunos en mi espalda baja. Pero no sé dónde exactamente porque no podía verlos ni siquiera sentirlos, aunque él me dijo que había ocho agujas, apenas sabía dos cuando las ajustó. Un artista.

Anoche dormí aquí y allá (bueno, aquí toda la noche, pero no bien). Probablemente tendré que volver el viernes, pero me dio esperanzas. Se llama Pedro Lönnblad y habla español, inglés, y su sueco nativo (es mitad sueco / mitad español).

La oficina de Pedro en Fuengirola, llamada Clínica PhysioSpain, está a solo 15 minutos a pie de nuestra casa, y él también practica en Marbella, a 25 minutos al oeste en coche. A diferencia de otras instalaciones en la ciudad, la oficina tiene solo dos fisioterapeutas. No te quedas atascado en una máquina y luego te vas a otro cliente. Y no tienes 7 minutos con el terapeuta antes de pasar a un asistente.

Además del masaje terapéutico y la acupuntura, Pedro me mostró cómo adaptar mi rutina de estiramiento a mi problema. No solo eso, fue un placer visitarlo.

ADEMÁS DE LOS DOS RESTAURANTES debajo que se están construyendo en nuevas terrazas, el piso que está encima de nosotros está en proceso de renovación (aparentemente todo debe irse). Por lo tanto, estamos despiertos (bueno, últimamente, ya estoy despierto) todas las mañanas a las 8:00 con el sonido de martilleo y rotura de baldosas. Y ni siquiera podemos escapar a Mesón Salvador para tomar un descanso prolongado. Y… la renovación tomará aproximadamente un mes. Creo que practicaré escribir nuevas palabrotas con los dedos de los pies (para aumentar la flexibilidad de mi tobillo).

Hablando de mi tobillo, ¿cómo te gusta mi nuevo tatuaje (foto en la parte superior)? (Pedro lo grabó.) ¡Soy realmente genial!

Pedro Lönnblad
Physiotherapist

Pedro Lönnblad
Fisioterapeuta




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For my friend Lidia. Although I don’t think she has any tattoos, you can still “learn a lot from Lidia.”
Para mi amiga Lidia. Aunque no creo que tenga ningún tatuaje, aún “puedes aprender mucho de Lidia”.

It’s Only a Number / Es Solo un Numero

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

SAN GERALDO BOUGHT fifteen bags of blueberries. No, it’s not a tongue twister. Nor is this the start of an arithmetic problem. San Geraldo went to the supermarket to buy fifteen bags of blueberries, among other things. He thought and thought about how to say fifteen in Spanish. He has a really difficult time remembering his numbers.

He wanted to tell the cashier there were fifteen bags of blueberries, so she wouldn’t have to count them all. So, before reaching the cashier, he reviewed the numbers 11 to 15 in his head for a few minutes, “Once, doce, trece, catorce…” And then it was his turn. Only he didn’t say fifteen (quince), he said “ten and five (diez y cinco),” and maybe not clearly enough. The casher asked, “veinticinco?” (twenty-five?) and SG said, “Yes” — because that’s what he says whether or not he understands the question.

He paid and took the elevator down to the car. He wasn’t convinced he had gotten things quite right and the bill was much higher than he had expected, so he checked the receipt and saw the cashier had charged him for twenty-five bags. Frozen blueberries are not cheap. Even San Geraldo couldn’t ignore the error. He took the elevator back up to the supermarket, still unable to remember how to say fifteen.

When he reached the cashier, he told her he had 15 bags of blueberries (yes, he once again said diez y cinco — ten and five). The cashier stared blankly. SG showed her the palm of his hand (I don’t know why) on which he drew with a finger the numbers 1 and 5, while saying aloud “one, cinco” (yes, he said one number in English and the other in Spanish). Still nothing.

Finally, a very kind man in line said, “quince,” and SG exclaimed, “Sí!” (really meaning it this time). He then said in Spanish (exact translation here): “The numbers is bad!” As usual, SG left them laughing.

He tried to tell me the story when he got home. But he couldn’t remember how to say fifteen.

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SAN GERALDO COMPRÓ 15 bolsas de arándanos. No, este no es el comienzo de un problema aritmético. San Geraldo fue al supermercado a comprar 15 bolsas de arándanos, entre otras cosas. Pensó y pensó en cómo decir 15 en español. Le cuesta mucho recordar sus números.

Quería decirle a la cajera que había 15 bolsas de arándanos, para que no tuviera que contarlas todas. Entonces, antes de llegar al cajero, revisó los números del 11 al 15 en su cabeza por unos “Once, doce, trece, catorce …” Y luego fue su turno. Solo que no dijo 15, dijo “diez y cinco”, y tal vez no lo suficientemente claro. El cajero preguntó: “¿veinticinco?” y SG dijo “Sí” — porque eso es lo que dice si entiende o no la pregunta.

Pagó y tomó el ascensor hasta el auto. No estaba convencido de haber hecho las cosas bien y la factura era mucho más alta de lo que esperaba, así que revisó el recibo y vio que el cajero le había cobrado por 25 bolsas. Los arándanos congelados no son baratos. Incluso San Geraldo no pudo ignorar el error. Tomó el ascensor de vuelta a la tienda, aún incapaz de recordar cómo decir 15.

Cuando llegó al cajero, le dijo que tenía 15 bolsas de arándanos (sí, una vez más dijo diez y cinco). El cajero lo miró sin comprender. SG le mostró la palma de su mano (no sé por qué) en la que dibujó con un dedo los números 1 y 5, mientras decía en voz alta “one, cinco” (sí, dijo un número en inglés y el otro en español).

Finalmente, un hombre muy amable en la fila dijo “quince” y SG exclamó: “¡Sí!” (Realmente lo significa esta vez). Luego dijo en español: “¡Los números es malo!” Como de costumbre, SG los dejó riéndose.

Intentó contarme la historia cuando llegó a casa. Pero no podía recordar cómo decir 15 en español.

And speaking of numbers and frozen things: SG’s sister Linda in South Dakota sent us this photo from the dashboard of their pick-up truck.
Minus 21F (that’s Minus 29C)!

Y hablando de números y cosas congeladas: Linda, la hermana de SG en Dakota del Sur, nos envió esta foto desde el tablero de su camioneta.
¡Menos 21F (eso es Menos 29C)!

The Educated Cat / El Gato Educado

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

TODAY, 1 JULY, is the eighth birthday of Moose and Dudo. They were born 11 days before we arrived in Spain and taken to a shelter along with their mother and three littermates. The littermates were tabbys and were adopted quickly, while Dudo and Moose remained at the shelter for 10 more months until I saw a video online and told San Geraldo they were the ones. They spoke only Spanish at the time, but are now fluent in English, as well. And Dudo has completed a course in surveillance at the National Intelligence Centre (if we can believe him). I’m so glad they waited for us. We got the two smart cats in that litter.

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HOY, 1 DE JULIO, es el octavo cumpleaños de Moose y Dudo. Nacieron 11 días antes de que llegáramos a España y fueron llevados a un refugio junto con su madre y tres compañeras de camada. Las compañeras de la camada eran gatas atigradas y fueron adoptadas rápidamente, mientras que Dudo y Moose permanecieron en el refugio durante 10 meses más hasta que vi un video en línea y le dije a San Geraldo que ellos fueron para nosotros. En ese momento solo hablaban español, pero ahora también dominan el inglés. Y Dudo ha completado un curso bilingüe en vigilancia espía del Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (si podemos creerlo). Estoy muy contento de que nos hayan esperado. Tenemos a los gatos más inteligentes en esa camada.

Reading and discussing San Geraldo’s books — entirely in English.
Leyendo y discutiendo los libros de San Geraldo — íntegramente en inglés.
Dudo detects a bug.
Dudo detecta un bicho.
Apparently, we have to pay for the advanced spy class if we want him to know what to do once it’s detected.
Aparentemente, tenemos que pagar por la clase de espía avanzada si queremos que sepa qué hacer después de que se detecte.

Feliz Navidad And God Jul, With Krumkake

Christmas Day, we were honoured to be included in a family Christmas celebration at the home of Mary and Foxy (so nicknamed because he’s a Silver Fox… at least that what’s HE says). Their son Jason and his wife Ana own Sandpiper, the restaurant that’s our home away from home.

We were two of eleven people at the all-day feast. We didn’t want to arrive empty handed — although we were told to — so San Geraldo went to work in the kitchen preparing one of his traditional Norwegian holiday specialties, krumkake.

Kake is cake/pastry in Norwegian. In Spanish, caca is pronounced the same way and means … well cacka, poop, turds, etc.

So Spaniards find it hilarious whenever San Geraldo serves one of his Norwegian “kakes.” What our Spanish friends don’t find at all ironic is that peanut in Spanish is cacahuete. Why isn’t that funny? Jason and Ana’s 13-year-old son loved the krumkake, but loved saying the name even more.

Our hosts are English, but have lived in Fuengirola for many years. Their extended family is mixed, Spanish and English. They hosted a traditional English Christmas (except for the krumkake). It was a feast! (Click any image to make it even more delicious.)


MAKING THIS YEAR’S KRUMKAKE.
MARY, BACKGROUND, IN KITCHEN.
FOXY’S SPOT AT THE TABLE, FOREGROUND.
FOXY, THE ‘GRUMPY OLD GIT’ IN HIS ‘BAH HUMBUG’ HAT.
DOES HE LOOK LIKE A GRUMPY OLD GIT?!?
FINGER-FOOD FIRST COURSE — MINCE PIES, SAUSAGE ROLLS, AND MORE.
(KRUMKAKE BACK RIGHT.)
IT WOULDN’T BE CHRISTMAS DINNER WITHOUT THE QUEEN.
(ON TV. BUT WITH US, I’M SURE, IN SPIRIT.)
AN ELEGANT TRADITIONAL TABLE.
PLUM PUDDING (OUR FIRST).
CHOCOLATE PUDDING FOR THOSE WHO DON’T LIKE PLUM.
(OR FOR THOSE WHO LIKE BOTH!)



Making Krumkake

I did more than clean-up in the kitchen at home this time. I had two assigned jobs during krumkake preparation. 1) Hold up the handle of the krumkake iron when it was open because it no longer stays up on its own; 2) Quickly close the iron while San Geraldo rolled each krumkake, so the iron wouldn’t get too cool. We made 50 krumkake.

A few times San Geraldo didn’t even have to remind to: 1) “Hold it up”; and 2) “Close it.”

A Christmas Tradition

(LEFT) SAN GERALDO 1957; (RIGHT) SAN GERALDO 2015.

Spotted Dick In Spain

Our favourite English-style restaurant here in Fuengirola is, as you might already know, Sandpiper. Chef/Owner Jason recently added two new desserts. Jessica told me about them.

One of the new desserts is “Treacle Sponge,” a traditional British dessert of sponge cake drizzled with treacle (golden syrup) and often served with custard.

Jessica was very unhappy to learn that the other dessert was called “Spotted Dick.” I’ve heard of it before — the dessert, I mean. Well, come to think of it… Oh, never mind. Anyway, the dessert is commonly made with suet, flour and raisins, and served with custard.

Jessica (Spanish) was appalled and told Jason that, until the new menus were printed, she would write the desserts on a piece of paper. She was not going to say “Spotted Dick.”

A few days later, there was more to the story. Ana, Jessica’s mother and Jason’s life and business partner, was told about the new desserts.

“Spotted Dick,” she said.

No problem.

But then she tried “Treacle Sponge.”

With Ana’s Spanish accent, “Treacle Sponge” sounded like “Treacle Spunk.” And no matter how many times she tried, it always came out the same.

When Jason stopped laughing, he told her what “spunk” was. Jessica had already told her about “dick.” Ana said she would not be selling either until they were printed on the menu.

Friday night, I ordered Spotted Dick to share with San Geraldo.

When Jessica brought the dish to the table, San Geraldo asked (cluelessly), “Does the spotted dick have nuts?”

Jessica stood in stunned silence.

San Geraldo continued (still clueless), “Because I hate nuts.”

Jessica walked away before I could tell her that I usually eat San Geraldo’s nuts.

SPOTTED DICK, NO NUTS.
TREACLE SPUNK… I MEAN SPUNK… AHEM, SPONGE.
“Me mother says I must be quick to get me bit o’ spotted dick.”