Quiet day. Out for a walk in early evening. Still a slight headache at midnight.
Out after noon. To niece's school, but it's closed. To Caprabo for groceries. Cooked pork and pesto-spaghetti and salad for dinner.
Still headache in later afternoon; took a sumatriptan.
Walked Dora to metro before 6, to work 7-1. To fruit shop, then hustled home. Cold.
Felt a bit better after dinner.
Online, bought tickets to Cirque du Soleil "Toruk" show. Four tix for total of €209.
Out a couple of times in late afternoon to buy a lot of groceries. Then I'm feeling a little achey and scratchy throat. Took a Neobrufen.
Family won't be returning from north tomorrow evening on the tickets I bought for them, they've changed to return Monday evening. Niece starts school on Tuesday morning.
Felt okay in the middle of the day, but achey and headachey in the evening. Took a Neobrufen.
Took a Neobrufen, then out after 6. To F-i-P metro, to Arc station, to Estacio Nord bus station. Good timing, the parents and niece got off the bus less than 5 minutes before I got there. And they have a ton of luggage. Up in the elevator, and the taxi guys try to cram us into the first, normal taxi, despite me telling them we need a big one. They fail, and we walk back to the big one in line, and load up. Slow trip through traffic, maybe not the quickest route, but we're home around 7:20.
Took a sumatriptan before bed.
Had a bad night's sleep. Had coughing fits until finally Dora dragged me into the kitchen and made me drink honey-lemon tea and start taking antibiotics.
Out after noon. To niece's school and paid for this month. To a shop to buy a garlic-press. To Dia for groceries.
Home, and the mail is full of bills. Dora's mother cooking, and she filled the kitchen with smoke and both smoke-detectors went off.
Walked Dora to the metro after 2, to work 3-11. Then I went to ECI and paid the water bill. Home, and online started a payment of the building fee (finca).
Took a Neobrufen in early evening. Feeling fairly lousy. Took anti-biotic and paracetamol before bed. Dora home at 11:45.
Again coughing badly 10 minutes after lying down in bed. Took tea and cough syrup.
Online, ordered 8 GB of RAM for my current (old) laptop, which has only 3 GB.
Out after 5. Cold. To farmacia, and bought medicines for the whole family. Nine boxes of medicine for a grand total of €11, and it would have been cheaper except one of them wasn't covered by the NHS. Still amazed at the low prices for medicines here. To Dia for groceries, and home.
Dora's son arrived from the north. Dora home by 11:20. Penetration Testing and Bug-Bounty Hunting.
Out after noon with Dora and her sister. To VA metro, to Vall d'Hebron, to the big hospital. Ask several times, finally find the office we need, all the way up the hill in the back. I wait while Dora and her sister try to register her sister onto the "bolsa", the list of doctors eligible to work for the govt in Catalunya.
Out of the office, down to cafeteria for lunch. Dora and sister taking pills; they both have various pains. Sister will have to make more photocopies and come back here again tomorrow.
Dora off to work 3-11, sister and me to home before 3. Out again later for groceries.
Dora home just before midnight.
Sister left in midafternoon, heading back to the south.
Trying to do the Spanish tax filing, but Linux has no free PDF app that can handle the PDF file, so had to use a Windows machine. Then I ran into a number I reported a year ago that looks like a total mistake, can't figure out how I calculated it. Will just have to stick with it, doesn't really matter, this is a declaration not a tax.
Then someone is calling, there's flooding from an apartment downstairs with no one home. I have a key to the water-meter closet, but Dora doesn't want me to use it. Someone calls the water company.
Then the package of new memory for my laptop gets delivered. The two DIMMs are from different manufacturers, look different, but both are the right type and specs.
Drill holes in the bureau, get the pieces in but we need 3 or 4 more screws. Clean up and leave the bureau on its side for now. After dinner, father had bought new screws, put them in and put drawers back in. Not the greatest situation, the wood is soft, but it's okay.
Sent the ETE form in to Spanish web site.
Put the new memory DIMMs in my laptop. Took two tries, first time it just beeped, DIMMs not inserted far enough. Second time came up and I ran diagnostics for a long time, finally stopped them and booted into Linux. 8 GB now instead of 3 GB.
Dora out to work 7-1.
Watched half of Barca-Levante game on TV; stadium looked half-empty. They've been having very-low-priced deals on 3-game ticket deals in these two weeks, but they're playing minor teams and we decided we didn't want to sit in the cold even to watch Barca.
Dora home by 3:15, and she's not mad at me, so that's good.
I'm out at 7. Cold out. To flower shop to buy flowers for Dora, tomorrow is our 1-year wedding anniversary. Well-received back at home.
Out in the evening to hit ATM and get groceries. Messages back and forth with Dora to get the niece signed up for a gymnastics program, which means we'll have to get up at 7:30 on Saturday mornings. Made a pizza with the niece; she likes hotdogs and chicken lunchmeat slices on her half.
Dora home at 11:45. pic.
Left the niece in class, and Dora and I went upstairs and over to the big gymnasium, and watched a gymnastics competition in progress. I kept pushing Dora to talk to other parents, and eventually she did so, and found out about some other classes closer to home.
Killed some time, had a coffee, back to niece's class at 11 to pick her up. She had a good time, wants to do more of this. We'll see if we do it here or somewhere closer to home at a more civilized hour.
Headed for the metro, stopped in a cafe for a while. Into metro, long ride home, home after 12:30.
Dinner, napped, napped again.
Out after 4 with Dora and son and niece. Down to F-i-P metro, long ride to Placa Espanya, into a line for busses running up to the Palau San Jordi on Montjuic. Into the arena and our seats with 15 minutes to spare. Bought popcorn and soda.
Then it was time for Cirque du Soleil, the "Toruk" (Avatar) show. Turns out none of us have seen the Avatar movie; somehow I assumed the kids had seen it. A nice show, slow in parts, really good in other parts. Some great athleticism, loved the dragon, loved the flowers growing. I think we all enjoyed it. Hard to take pictures, only really got one (from Dora): pic. [Later got this from her son: pic and video.]
Out by 8 or so. Quickly caught a bus down to Placa Espanya. Long metro-ride back to F-i-P, most of us standing all the way. Up F-i-P and into a bookstore so Dora could buy a Catalan textbook, and it took forever for her to check out. Son went home, and the other three of us stopped in an outdoor cafe. I had a cognac, which was much bigger than I expected, but tasted strange, I think it was watered. Fine with me, plenty of alcohol in it.
Home before 9:45. Tired.
Out before 6 with Dora, to walk niece to a friend's house. Cold and a strong wind blowing, strong enough to stagger me sometimes. To friend's house, and some screwup, friend and mother aren't there. We head back home, I buy some fruit in a shop, then into a cafe to relieve me of €10 so we can have coffees and pastries.
Studying Spanish, found that the word "esposa" means "wife" and "esposas" means "handcuffs".
Sore throat in the middle of the night; took paracetamol.
Out with Dora at 1:15. Cold and a little windy out. To sports complex across from ECI, to ask about gymnastics class for the niece, but they just gave us a phone number for another place. I went to Mercadona for groceries, Dora went to the gym.
Dora out again at 8 or so, to a 1-on-1 medical Catalan-language lesson. Then the rest of us cleared out to our bedrooms so the son could have some privacy with a friend of his, dancing, cooking dinner etc. Friend left around 11:30, Dora home at 11:45, much later than I expected.
Out in midafternoon to Dia for groceries. Out with Dora at 6 to walk her to the metro, then I went to a pharmacy. They had only 4 pills of sumatriptan, at €3 each. That's about what I paid for pills from India last year. Need to find something cheaper.
Headache in the evening; took paracetamol. Still headachey at 10:20, halftime of the Barca game on TV, took a sumatriptan.
Out in late afternoon for a walk with Dora. Still have headache. Napped, couldn't get rid of it, took a sumatriptan.
Dora working 11-11 today.
Niece out at 11, tried going home on the bus instead of the metro. Found the stop, only waited 7 minutes, onto the bus. Then it went one or two more stops and sat for 5+ minutes. Finally going again, lots of stops, eventually our stop. Home at noon, about same as the metro.
Niece is supposed to be having lunch with a friend, but Dora is the only one who knows if and how and when, and she didn't tell any of us, and isn't answering calls or messages (she's at work).
Finally, her friend called, and they picked up the niece at 1:45 or so. Then she was gone all afternoon, finally home at 7 or so.
Dora home before midnight.
I created a simple quiz for home users, about phishing: Go to Phishing Test page 1 of 3.
Out for a walk in late afternoon; cold out.
Dora home at midnight, and she had a busy day.
Online, paid tuition for another half-year of medical school for son.
Lots of confusion around dinner, niece stayed at school to eat, finally a late dinner.
Out with Dora pursuing me, to ATM and groceries. Cold. Out again later for a few more groceries.
Dora out to work 3-11. Quiet afternoon and evening. Dora home at 11:45.
I went out at 8:45 to a cafe to watch the first half of the Barca - Real Madrid game. Home, only to find the game showing on free TV. Good game, but ended 1-1.
Online, bought tickets for son to go back to medical school in Slovakia.
Went to bed and couldn't sleep at all. Dora home around 1:45, with a nasty cough that she took a while to stop with medicine. I still didn't sleep much all the rest of the night, just couldn't sleep.
So we went out after noon, to clinic, and waited maybe 45 minutes before she was seen. Bronchitis, she's excused from work today and tomorrow, she was going to have the weekend free anyway. Out, and to a pharmacy to buy about 5 medicines for a total of €3.50 or so. Home by 1:45.
Dinner, then soon Dora took lots of pills and to bed. After a while, I went out for groceries. Then joined her for a nap. Later she's up, still sounding terrible, then back to bed for a while.
Headache in late afternoon; took paracetamol.
Niece home from school, after time in a playground etc, and some time later we realized she'd left all of her schoolbooks at school. So she and I hustled back to the school, but too late, they're closed. To pharmacy to get something for Dora, then home.
Still have headache later. Took a sumatriptan.
Down to the class at 11, picked up niece, to bus stop, waited 5 minutes for the bus. Home before 11:50.
Dora felt well enough today to go to her zoomba class at the gym. But she still has a nasty cough, lots of fluid in her bronchi.
Dinner. Dora out to beauty parlor in late afternoon. Afterward, niece and I went to meet Dora and son at a cafe for coffees and sandwiches etc. On the way home, I went for groceries.
In late evening, made a pizza with the niece. But when I tried to get it out of the oven, I couldn't grasp the tray safely, and the pizza slithered out and fell face-down on the floor. We ate it anyway, it was fine.
To metro, to VA, waited for rest of family to join us. Off to a Peruvian restaurant to have a birthday celebration for Dora's mother. Decent restaurant, nice time, but I wasn't too happy to learn the niece was skipping an afternoon of school to be here. We all came out tired and full. I stopped to buy flowers and then fruit on the way home. Home, and down for a nap.
Headache in the evening; I knew that very nice beer I had at the restaurant would give me one. Took a paracetamol.
Online, made reservations for Dora and I to go to Prague for two weeks in late June. Used 70K of my 70.1K frequent-flyer miles, plus $205, for the plane tickets (business class going, economy coming back). Apartment for €780 for two weeks. It's a big modern apartment and close to a major metro-and-bus hub, but a bit of a strange layout and only one window with no view. It was the usual deal with AirBNB: other apartments all had some flaw, such as no elevator or no big bed or too expensive. But I'm fairly surprised so much was available at all in Prague in the summer, I thought it would be booked up.
With Dora's father, pick up the niece after 1, home, finish cooking dinner.
Out for a walk with Dora in late afternoon, but just slightly too chilly to be nice.
Dora out to gym. Son back home around noon.
I went out for groceries, then it turned out we weren't going to cook them, Dora had me go out again to buy a couple of roast chickens at the Peruvian place.
My tuition payment to son's medical school bounced, even though all I did was push a button to repeat the same transfer I did for last semester. Getting him to email the university to see if they know what happened.
Started working on my Spain 720 foreign assets declaration.
Out with Dora in the evening, for a walk. Still nice weather, just slightly cool.
Which was fine, because they were having a gymnastics competition in the main arena, so we watched that for 10 minutes. Then niece was into gymnastics class, and father and I started killing time. Warm, sunny day. I watched a little of the gymnastics, studied my Spanish book, dozed, listened to MP3s.
Picked up the niece at 11, back into main building to watch some of the gymnastics and buy a snack for the niece (in addition to the powerbar I gave her).
Walked down to bus stop, bus came in 1 minute, on. Gave niece another powerbar. Longish ride, and then Dora called and said she'd meet us, which means a cafe. So we got to VA plaza, off, and to our usual cafe. Ten minutes later Dora joined us. Coffees and pastries etc.
Home by 12:40, and I'm tired. Dinner, nap, headachey.
Out in late afternoon. Not so warm any more. To farmacia, walk, groceries, fruit/veg. Home. Later took a paracetamol.
Early evening, walked Dora to the gym and then I went for a walk and to grocery store and fruit/veg shop.
Strolled through an unusual area of old town, I've only been through here a few times. Stopped in two churches I've never been in before. Light was low, the pictures didn't come out too well. Esglesia De La Merce: pics. Esglesia De Sant Just i Sant Pastor: pics. Street art: pics.
To Jaume I metro, to Llucmajor, home by 12:45 or so. Dora holding an ice-pack to her jaw, she's hurting from dental work.
Dinner. Then I was out at 2:30 to go sit in the sun. But all the sunny seats in VA plaza were occupied. Soon went to grocery and fruit shops, then home.
Dora still hurting in the evening, from the dentistry.
Out at 8:45 with Dora, down to a cafe to watch El Clasico, Barca vs Real Madrid, on TV. Turned out it's on a free channel, but that's fine, it's nice to get out of the apartment for a bit. Watched the first half, and Barca was lucky to escape 0-0, Madrid mostly outplayed them. Home by 10.
Second half was mostly Barca's game. In 20 minutes or so they scored 3 goals. Game ended 3-0.
In the evening, Dora coughing like death just before going out to the gym.
Out again before 1, to niece's school, to pick her up and get costumes from a friend's parent.
Dora still at hair salon, and niece seriously perturbed as time to go to school approaches and Dora is supposed to do something with niece's hair. Dora arrives at 2:30, does the hair while I eat a quick dinner. Then the three of us are out and to the school. Clouds have come over and temperature has dropped a couple of degrees, on the edge of chilly. We arrive at school 15 minutes late, but our timing is perfect, they're still taking pictures and lining up. The theme is "costumes from around Europe".
Then they're off, in a little sidewalk-parade, 5 blocks up and then cross, 6 blocks down, cross, and back to school. A couple of other schools are doing the same. Hard to take pictures, everyone's so close together, and the kids tend to be turned inward, talking to each other. Pics.
Finally we're done, Dora and I head for home. But into a bookstore where Dora liberates €100 from me to buy a stack of Catalan textbooks. Into fruit shop, buy some stuff, home by 4:40. Tired and a little cold.
Killed time, dozing and listening to MP3s, walked a little, studied Spanish a little. At 11, picked up niece from class and paid €19 for some competition registration, I think. Missed the bus by one minute, waited 10+ minutes for the next. Home by noon, tired. Dora working 11-11 today.
Headachey; took a Neobrufen with dinner.
Before 6, out with niece and Dora's father. Heading for ECI to buy a case for niece's phone, but I want to see a parade that's starting at 6. Happily, we ran right into it about 2 blocks from home. A nice parade, smaller than I expected, mostly children. Crowded, and I only took a couple of pictures. Pics.
Over to ECI, looked at phone cases, but few/none will fit niece's phone, and only 2 or 3 out of all of them have a design that's at all interesting to her. And I'm amazed at some of the prices; I didn't know you could spend €30 or more on a pretty plain case for a big, new model of phone.
We gave up on the phone case, headed for food stores, then I realized I should look online for phone cases. To Dia and fruit shop, then home.
Then I went right back out, up to govt complex, to where the parade ended. Lots of people and something happening on a stage, but not so interesting.
Home, and eventually got online and found phone cases. Niece sat down to look at them and wants a dozen of them. But finally she chose one and I ordered it, for about €11. [But later I realized it doesn't have a cover over the screen, it just protects the back and sides.]
Dora home before midnight, tired but not sick.
Quiet day, went for a bit of a walk, sunny but a bit cool for comfort.
Dora home at midnight.
Dora returns, and says money has been stolen from her son's credit card, we need to get him to do something about it. Apparently someone's been just about draining his account, and he never noticed ! Dora yelling over the phone at him, calling banks, etc.
Out at 4:30 or so with niece and Dora. Cold wind blowing, so we grabbed a taxi. To big Maquinista shopping center. To Decathlon to buy gymnastics clothing for the niece, and Dora found a couple of things she wanted, and later we returned to buy some hand-weights, so I paid about €130 total.
To a cafe, where service was slow and people were smoking near us. But we relaxed and had coffees and focaccio and a crepe.
Out, back to Decathlon for the weights, then out. Found the bus stop, and the bus we wanted was due in 21 minutes. Took a less-desirable bus in 5 minutes, long slow ride, out and walked about 8 blocks, home by 7.
Headachey; took a Neobrufen.
To waterfront, to sports complex. Badminton and kids trampolines and stuff in the main building. Delivered niece to gymnastics class and paid €35 for a maillot for her.
Killed time, then Dora arrived, we had a snack. Picked up niece after class, Dora talked to teacher, then we're off to the bus. Out near home, into a cafe for ham and drinks. A bit pricey, but worth it. Home by 12:45.
Nap. Dinner. Loaf.
Out at 6 or so with Dora and niece. I wanted to go to the library first, but instead we went to ECI and exchanged pants for me that Dora bought yesterday. Eventually got out of there, walked to F-i-P and looked for a store to buy a jacket for the niece, but no luck. To fruit shop, and home.
Started trying to learn Bootstrap/Angular/Electron so I can write an app I want: My "Develop an Application" page.
Out at 7:30 or so with Dora. To metro, to Diagonal, and walked several blocks to a disco. Place is hopping, full of old people (our age and older). Dancing to all kinds of songs, and some of them very good dancers, they probably come here a lot.
Dora can dance up a storm, and I mostly just move as much as I can in time to the music, and try to follow her. I did pretty well tonight, I think.
Then I bought a gin-and-tonic for €10, and it was pretty large and about half gin (or, at least, what came out of a bottle labeled gin). We shared it, we were thirsty. Danced a couple more times, then I'd had enough.
Out and to the metro. Home before 11:30. Tired and feeling the alcohol.
Dora out to class 12-2 and work 3-11. I'm out in midafternoon to grocery shopping.
With help from people online, got the very basics of Bootstrap/ng-bootstrap/Angular/Electron working for my app.
Dora home before midnight.
Out again after 2:30, to sit in plaza, but it's just slightly too cool and windy for that.
Out at 4:30 with Dora, to the library. She got a card and then 4 books.
Late in the evening, looked at the box of 60 pills I bought for €0.16, and it only has 24 pills instead of 60 ! Looked around, I don't see how I could have lost part of them out of the box. And I can't imagine it's legal to sell a partial-box. Strange.
More programming with Angular, hit a nasty problem with tables, finally figured out why it was happening, will have to deal with it tomorrow.
Dora out at 8:15 to meet with niece's teacher.
Out with Dora after 11. To kids-clothing shop to buy a gymnastics jacket for the niece. Walked Dora down to Meridiana so she could catch the metro to Catalan class. To Dia for groceries etc.
Late dinner with Dora. Quiet afternoon. Then she's out to work 7-1.
Dora home around 2, but then she stayed up all night. Later I found out she couldn't sleep, so she just stayed up and worked on taking a test online for some medical class. She went to bed at 8:30.
Out with Dora and niece at 8 or so, niece needs to buy a present for a friend's birthday party tomorrow. Crowded on the main streets. To half a dozen clothing stores before they bought something, and then they said they were going to ECI. I said bye, went to Dia. They changed their minds, caught up with me there, also hit the fruit shop. Home.
Niece out at 11, and we went into the main building. An intermission in the competition, unfortunately, but we sat and watched, as the niece inhaled two snacks from the machines and 4 powerbars I gave her, and a Coke.
Out, and longish walk to bus stop and then a bit past it. Into a big traveling dinosaur show for which I had bought tickets. About as I expected: we were tired and a bit hungry, and it was crowded in there. Also a bit hot. Dark, too, hard to take good pictures: pics. We spent less than half an hour, then out and walked a couple of blocks to the next bus stop. Waited 5+ minutes, then on. Home by 1.
Took a paracetamol. Dinner. Nap. Still headache, took a Neobrufen.
Out in the evening for groceries and fruit. Headache slowly receding.
Out after 5 with Dora. To bank, then to Western Union in ECI, then she went to gym and I went to Mercadona for groceries.
Hit a roadblock with the application I'm developing (Promises, in Typescript). Switched and started my US federal tax return, and hit a roadblock there, it demands a SSN for Dora. Sent request to Support and gave up for tonight.
Out after dinner, to walk Dora to the metro to work 3-11. I went to shop to buy a lightbulb, and bumped into niece and father buying glitter-glue for school. Then to Dia and fruit shop, and home.
Back into Dora's Yahoo email, and got it down to 3500 messages, 560 of them unread. And Facebook is going to unlock her FB account.
Had to switch to different tax-prep software to avoid Dora having to register with the US tax system.
Dora home before midnight. Restored access to her FB account.
Dora stayed up all night doing some medical coursework.
Dora out to class. Dinner. Headache, took a Neobrufen, laid down. Dora home. I took a paracetamol.
Dora slept about 3 hours; I napped next to her for about 1.5 hours. Then she was out to work 7-1.
At 7:30, an accident on the street outside our balcony, looks like a car hit a motor-scooter, the driver is on the ground. Someone called right away, but it took 15-20 minutes for ambulance and police to arrive.
Out for groceries and fruit.
More work on US federal tax return. More work on the application I'm trying to build.
Dora home around 2, I think.
Dora out at 11:45 to go to class and then work 3-11. I'm out in midafternoon to sit in VA plaza and then go for groceries and fruit.
Was doing my taxes online when TaxAct suddenly said "oh, you have capital gains/losses ? You have to upgrade to Premium+, that will be an extra $58." So I'm looking for another site.
Dora's sister arrived from the south, around 5:45.
Someone pointed me to the tax site Free File Fillable Forms, and it's great, so much easier than the fancy web sites. And free, and I can keep Dora's info out of the US tax system.
Everyone out in different directions. Dora to gym, sister and mother out to banks or something, I went out to hit an ATM, pay the finca (building fee) for our apartment, get groceries.
Confusion at dinnertime; who's cooking what ? Everyone arrives home, we get food on the table.
Out with Dora at 2:20 to walk to metro, she's working 3-11. I sit in the plaza for a while, then go home. Still a little headachey; took a paracetamol.
Picked niece up from class at 11. Long walk to Metro, stopping in various stores, and then a long stop in a cafe. Finally into metro, long ride, out at Llucmajor. Stopped at fruit shop, home after 1:15. Tired and still a bit headachey.
Great: ribs have been cooked, table is all laid out for dinner. But then Dora announces her mother wants to go to the Peruvian restaurant for dinner. I'm not going anywhere for a while. They go, I stay and eat ribs and potatoes and rice.
Nap, still headachey.
Online, filed my US federal income tax return. But it got rejected with various errors. Most of them look easy to fix, but it looks like they're requiring Dora's name in the spouse field.
Out at 6, down to Heron City Center where there will a band tonight. Dora said 6, but as we arrived she said the band starts at 7, she wanted to get here early to get good seats. I'm not happy. We do get a good outdoor table on second level. Her sister catches up with us, and we nurse drinks for a while. Friends arrive, and we add a table and more chairs. But after a while they go down to the ground level with other friends. I thought we were done with the cafe, but then Dora's sister is ordering food. Soon I go retrieve her father and niece and lead them to the table.
Then a bunch of the niece's friends arrive, and she dashes off with them, then the food arrives. Then niece is back with friends, the music gets going. Pretty good band, although it's just a drummer, bass player, and singer. Pic. Eventually the food is done and paid for, we head down to ground level. Dance slightly to a couple of songs, and then the band is finished.
Nice walk with Dora over to F-i-P and then up it, to fruit shop, and home by 9:15 or so.
Online, fix my tax return and submit again. I'm holding my breath that it doesn't fail again, this time demanding a US ITIN for Dora. It did fail, error message is related to spouse but not clear. Can't put "NRA" in spouse's SSN field. Tried checking the box for "spouse itemizes on separate return", maybe that will get around it. Submitted again.
Online, my US federal tax return was accepted ! Form had a couple of tricky things about it, I had to give Dora's name but not in the obvious place, didn't have to give an ITIN or "NRA" for her.
I did a little more work on my JAva application, got a little life out of the database.
Dora home after 11.
After 45 minutes or more, niece sees doctor. Eventually out, it was a waste of time, the kind of appointment Dora wanted can't be made online, have to do it in person here. So we'll have to come back another time. They stand in line for 10+ minutes to make the new appointment. Out, and Dora liberates €20 from me and catches a taxi to go see some doctor.
Home before 11, picking up Dora's father along the way, he's been waiting for us almost 90 minutes on the street. Niece out to school (actually, swimming this morning) about 15 minutes later.
Dora out 2-7. I'm out after 9 to try to buy calling-cards, no luck. Did get a prescription filled.
A little headachey; took a Neobrufen.
Dora's sister arrived from the south around 6. She had a suitcase full of stuff she'd bought at bargain prices, for us and for the sister in the north, and wanted to show all of it to me and tell me the great prices. But I was feeling achey, begged off and took a Neobrufen and laid down for a while.
Dora and her mother out all evening. To a beauty salon, it turned out, to spend the money Dora liberated from me. Home around 11:15.
Finally got popup menu working in my app; it was a struggle. Took a paracetamol.
Small parade came by right under our front balcony at 10:30, about 6 drummers and 4 people with tambourines etc, half a dozen family walking alongside. They sounded good.
Back to lie in bed for a while. Later, a little exercise. Online, paid (from Dora's account) rent for son's apartment in Slovakia.
In the evening, out for groceries and fruit. More fun working on my app. Dora found out we're losing an hour of sleep tonight, clocks are changing.
Took a paracetamol before bed. Coughed a lot during the night.
I'm out after 12:30. To metro station, buy T-10 cards, to bus stop, wait 5 minutes. Longish bus ride to the waterfront, get to sports center around 1:15. Gymnastics competition going on. Soon Dora finds me. I don't want to sit with her and sister and mother in the middle of the crowd. I wander and listen to MP3s and sit in the sunny corner.
Finally after 2, the niece gets on the floor with 2 other girls to do a dance-type routine. She seems to do okay. Afterward, 4 or 4 other routines and then the competition is over. They all line up and get certificates and then the crowd starts filing out.
Takes a while to assemble with everyone, and they take some pictures. We start heading for the metro, but then they hail a taxi. No room for me, which is fine. I keep going to the metro.
Home before 4. And Dora wants me to go to a birthday party at about 4:30. No, I'm going to lie down. Dinner first. They're out at 5:15 or so.
Up later, still headachey, took a paracetamol.
They're back from the party at 8 or so. I'm still coughing and headachey. Did more work on my app. Took a Neobrufen and to bed early.
Achey and coughing and sneezing. Took a paracetamol. Dora going very late to her Catalan class.
Waited to have dinner with Dora, and that was a mistake. She and her sister got home after 3:45, and the three of us were starving. Dinner, then I went out to pay tuition at niece's school (€146 this time), then for groceries and fruit/veg.
Still feeling bad. Took a Neobrufen. Worked on app in the evening. Did tech support for Dora and sister as they did lots of computer stuff.
Typical: after 11, sister says her phone is full. She's flying out early tomorrow, but she says maybe when she comes back next week I can copy stuff out for her. She rejects every suggestion I make that she delete old junk out of the phone
More work on my app. Dora home a bit before midnight.
Dora stayed up all night, never went to bed.
Picked up niece at 11, brief snack stop, then to the bus stop. Home by noon, feeling cold. But right back out to hit ATM and buy ribs at the butcher.
Dinner, loafed, out in early evening for calling-cards but couldn't find any, got groceries.
Out at 8:35 with niece and father and Dora. To a bar to watch first half of Barca - ATM game. A bit crowded, the game was good but 1-1 at the half. Home after 9:45.
11, going out with Dora to go dancing. Tried going to a new disco, but they're CLOSED on a SATURDAY night ? Went to our usual place. Crowd younger this time, mostly our age. Different kind of music this time. A lot of it was 90's pop that we didn't recognize and didn't like much. But the rest was okay, danceable, we had a good time. Home a bit before 2:45.
Out at 1:30 or so, Dora and mother before us, niece and father with me later, to a Peruvian restaurant. Nice meal of chicken, potatoes, noodles with beef. Loafed at the table afterward. Home by 3:30. Dark skies and some thunder in the distance.
I'm out after 4, down to metro L1 through light rain. To Arc de Triomf, to language school, picked up refund. Walked to Placa Catalunya, but it's crowded and the weather is grey and almost raining. Into metro, crowded, out at FiP, to fruit shop, home after 5:30.
Headachey in late evening; took a Neobrufen.
Out again, at 6, to pharmacy to buy a ton of medicines for Dora's mother and for the household in general. The paperwork for only the medicines for Dora's mother says that on the open market (I guess) they would cost €490. I bought them plus various household stuff (pain relievers, antibiotics, creams) for about €20, because she's on the NHS and listed as extremely low-income.
Dora out to work 7-1.
Out after 1:30. To Llucmajor metro, stopping on the way to get change for a €50 bill. To Alfons X, out and hustled up to the medical clinic, only a couple minutes after 2. Dora had said she might be done before 2, but she came out at 2:20.
To a kebab shop for lunch. As we were finishing, Dora got a call that her niece has pain when breathing deeply, she and Dora's mother are off to the medical clinic near home.
Back to metro with Dora, to Urquinona, long walk to connect to other line, out at Placa Catalunya. Dora headed off to a train to Sarria, I went to La Rambla and sat for a while, listening to MP3s.
Eventually walked over to the cathedral square. Loads of people everywhere. Over to Jaume I metro and rode to Maragall. Down to the medical clinic and found niece and mother waiting.
I got there a little before 5, they'd probably been waiting at least half an hour, and they didn't get in until 6. Hot in the waiting room, I'm overdressed for this. Out in 10 minutes, niece probably has muscle strain or spasm, no problem, not even a directive to take ibuprofen or something.
We walked home, stopping halfway in a pastiseria to give the niece a dose of cheesecake (and some and a coke for Dora's mother, who tires easily, and a chocolate donut for me). Home before 7.
Dora's sister arrived from South around 7:15, and Dora arrived at 7:30.
People going all different directions. Dinner without Dora and Mily and son. I went out to sit in VA plaza for a while, then to farmacia, then groceries.
Dora and sister home around 4:15, tired and starving.
Online, started my wealth tax return for Spain.
Out after 8 with Dora. After much back-and-forth, we figured out how to open a car-entrance door into the parking garage underneath the building; the clicker works on one set of doors but not the set on our side of the building. To a donation box to donate clothes. To Caprabo to buy groceries and a cake, and I was reminded why I hate grocery-shopping with Dora. As usual, we came out with 50% more than we could carry comfortably, and 100% more than I intended to buy. Home after 9. Cake we got barely fits into the refrigerator.
Good thing we didn't go dancing as Dora had suggested. By 10:30, I was mostly trying to stay out of the way as they cleaned and rooted through boxes and laid out a mattress and did several set of sheets etc.
Dora out to work 11-11.
A couple of false alarms, then the car from the north arrived at 11. Loaded with stuff, and one of the twins was car-sick. I was wrong, people who told us the building car-door would open if a car was near it when we clicked the remote were right. They drove in and down to -4 in the parking garage. Three trips for 3 or 4 of us to haul everything up in the elevator.
So now there will be 11 of us in the apartment, for a week or so. Except Dora will be working, and her sister's husband has to go back north tomorrow night because he has to work.
My cough getting worse in the afternoon. Took a paracetamol and napped. Out for a bit to sit in VA plaza and then do groceries and fruit.
More napping, then took a Neobrufen, then we had a birthday party for the niece, Dora's father, and sister's husband. The cakes were delicious.
As expected, around 2 Dora's sister handed her smartphone to me, it's down to zero free space, I have to move stuff to a backup disk and remove obvious junk.
Took a sumatriptan, and half an hour felt better but tired.
Did sleep at all during the night. Headache, and cough. Finally at 5 or 6 AM, took a paracetamol and started antibiotics. Still can't sleep.
Found out later that niece still isn't feeling well, and one of the twins has been vomiting so much that they took him to the medical clinic. What's really flooring me is a sinus-type headache I can't get rid of. Probably should have taken sumatriptan, but Dora fed me Nolotil and various other pills, an inhaler, and something to help me sleep.
Finally got 4 or 5 hours of sleep in the evening. Up at 10:30 or so to eat soup, and felt half-decent, only the barest hint of a headache, and still a bad cough.
Dora out to work 3-11. Online, ordered some legal documents about Dora's sister's properties. Had to wade through various paper legal documents first, and the situation is not pretty.
Out before 6 to walk a little and buy fruit.
After a big screaming match with Dora about homework etc, niece is out to stay at friend's house overnight.
Dora's son and father both feeling a bit sick, maybe getting what the niece and I had.
Out at 3:30 or so (?) with Dora and sister and the 4-year-old twins. Down to F-i-P metro and out at Arc. The boy fell asleep on the metro and I had to carry him from the train, through the station, and across two streets to the Arc. His mother says he weighs about 20 KG, I was glad to put him on his feet as we woke him up.
Fun to walk through the Arc and down the promenade. We bought helium balloons for the kids. Down to Parc Ciutadella, across to the fountain area. Stopped for sodas and coffees. Around the corner to take pictures at the statue of a mammoth. To the rowing pond, and soon we're all piling onto a rowboat. I rowed us around, Dora kept wanting us to go longer and longer. then Dora wanted a turn, and while shifting positions I managed to let one of the balloons get away.
Out, and over to Born CC, making a couple of overshoots as Dora insisted on ranging out front of us although she didn't know where we were going. In and used bathrooms.
Out and across to a church. I felt strange going in holding a big blue shark helium balloon. But no one stopped me.
Then the plan kept changing. I thought we were going to the Jaume I metro and going in, Dora to work and the rest of us home. But when we got there, Dora led us into a cafe and went off to work.
So we rested and snacked. One of the twins found some coins under the seat-cushion of their chair, and that led to a treasure-hunt, they ended up finding €2 or 3.
Finally out, and over to the cathedral. In, but they're having masses, and kicked us out after 2 minutes. Stopped so the kids could chase soap-bubbles made by a street guy. Started heading for another metro, but had to stop for bathrooms, even though I'd told them the cafe had bathrooms and they didn't use them. Throngs of people everywhere. Up to Placa Catalunya.
Into Metro, crowded ride to F-i-P, tired walk home. Got in before 8:30. I flopped down on my bed to rest for an hour.
I'm up at 10:30. Felt well enough to do some exercise. Out to ATM after 1. Dora home at 2:30.
Out at 5 or so with twins and Dora and Dora's sister. To VA plaza and onto 82 bus, and up to Castell Torre Baro. Which was closed, and the restaurant nearby was closed, and it was a little chilly, but we enjoyed it anyway. Back down and to a cafe near home. Home by 7. I went to lie down.
Out after 1, with Dora and twins and father and sister and niece. Cool windy day. To metro, out at Vall d'Hebron, to special bus stop to go to Tibidabo. Why we're going to the top of the hill on a cool, windy day, I don't know. And this place is expensive, just about the most expensive excursion in Barcelona. And by doing this, we'll miss the free parades around the cathedral at 5 and 6.
Now they're doing ticketing down here, but it's a bad as ever, each family takes a couple of minutes to figure out what to buy. So the fairly short line takes 15+ minutes. Fortunately, Dora lets her father go home, then lets me duck out too (after paying for everything, €105 for tickets, gave Dora more money to cover food etc). I see Dora and sister and niece and twins onto a bus, where it looks like they won't get seats, then head for the metro. Home by 2.
Quiet afternoon and evening. Then we're wondering, as it gets later and later and the group isn't home from Tibidabo.
Finally they call after 10, they're at the local VA Metro stop and need help carrying the kids the last several blocks to home. So I hustle out and meet them. They load me up with a heavy shoulder-bag, and I carry one of the twins home while the rest follow us. In after 10:15. And the kids start playing with toys, they're not falling asleep. Dora is aching; I make a hot tea for her and she takes some pills.
Apparently the plan for tomorrow is that sister and twins will go to airport at 4 AM and tell police the ID card was just lost, need temporary papers so they can fly to the north. Hope it works.
Up at 11. Heard that everything went okay at the airport, sister and twins are back in the north now.
Out at 9:30 with Dora. To metro, to Diagonal, walked to a disco we haven't tried before. In, and took a while to get comfortable, seating a little limited, and the music was changing too often for my taste. A second room had some good music, we stayed there a little. Came back from dancing and found a waiter had cleared away our drinks with 1/3 still left in them.
Then suddenly people were clearing out, the second room closed, the dance floor mostly emptied, the music started winding down. So we danced a little more, hit the bathrooms, and out. It was only 11:30.
Down to metro and home after midnight.
Dora home after 5 after spending time in beauty parlor. She gulped some food, then tried to edit some files on the computer to fit abstracts under word-limits. We ended up annoyed with each other, and she went out to work late, so I had to give her money for a taxi. She's working 7-1.
Online, finally starting to change all my bank accounts etc from my NJ address to my Spain address, holding my breath that nothing breaks. Had to make a couple of Skype-calls to 401K company, but so far everything is working.
Out in evening to walk and do some shopping.
Dora home at 10:15, very tired.
Out a couple of times during the day for walks etc.
Received a package for Dora, paid €73. Found out later I'm supposed to use it to paint the living-room walls, pronto.
Headachey in the later evening; took a paracetamol.
Dora home at 11, with two ladies from her medical congress who will sleep here tonight.
Out in midafternoon for groceries.
Dora home after 11:45, very tired, and she has to go early tomorrow morning.
Out after noon to hit ATM. Out again before 1 with niece and father. Lots of people lined up to vote; it's election day. To niece's tutor, where I paid €190 (owed €10 change) for lessons for niece and her mother. To VA plaza to sit for a while.
Dora home after 5:30. Neobrufen for her, paracetamol for me. I went to lie down.
About 8:30, out with niece, to HCC to meet Dora and a friend of hers in a cafe. Food I didn't really want, some nice conversation. Finally out before 10, home before 10:15. Still headachey.
Train came quickly. Long Metro ride to Placa Espanya, and I had to stand all the way. Out and up to bus stop, and soon onto H12 bus. Had to stand again.
Out, went a bit the wrong direction for a couple of minutes, finally got there. On the way, Dora mentioned that she thinks her power of attorney may be expired, so this may be a problem. SNAFU.
And then we found out the trip had been a waste; whoever Dora had called and said the office was open until 5 had not mentioned that the building entrance was closed at 2:30.
As we head back to a bus stop, Dora mentions that she needed to take the papers right to a homeowner's-help meeting at 5 back near Placa Espanya. No point in going to that, now.
Onto bus, to Placa Espanya, into Metro station. To a cafe and relaxed with drinks. Onto L1 metro, which is delayed and jam-packed. Standing all the way, of course.
Home by 5:15 or so, and I laid down for a while. Dora starts scanning documents into the computer, for some other chore she has to do with a medical association.
Tried to change address on my credit card from USA to Spain, Skype-calling to USA, and twice agents said no problem, but made minor mistakes. Third time, agent says they're sending out letters this month saying if you do that, they close your account. So I'll have to work around that somehow.
Headache in late evening; took a paracetamol.
I ended up cooking dinner, and Dora's mother was very late coming home from banks etc, and tired.
Dora home at midnight, very tired.
Afterwards, to HCC with Dora and niece, to get ice-cream at McDonald's and walk around. Home before 4:30.
Out at 8:45 with Dora, to find a place to watch the big Barca - Liverpool football game. To a sports bar just a block away, which turned out to be far bigger than we expected, with pool tables and hookah-smoking etc. But most tables are reserved, and we found one only to be told there was a €30 charge for the table ! Moved to a smaller table with no charge, but it was in the back under a bright light and there was a forest of heads blocking our view of the TV screen, which was massive but too low down. Out of there.
Walked down to a place we've been before, but it was full. Same at a smaller place. Walked a big figure-8 trying to find a place, even looking in HCC. Lucked onto a small place in an unusual direction, and we'd missed the first 25 minutes of the game. But our timing was good, a minute or two later Barca scored the first goal.
Watched the rest of the game, which was a corker. Coffees and a very nice leg of roast lamb. Tough game, Barca won 3-0, but it could have gone either way. Lots of fun.
Home by 11:15, and fortunately Dora has given up on her idea of going dancing tonight, especially since she has to be up early for a job interview tomorrow.
We went to bed, but I couldn't get to sleep until about 2, and I think Dora got up around 3 or 4.
Out around noon, and came back €400 lighter. To locutorio to buy a couple of calling-cards. To ATM. To niece's school where I paid €388 for tuition and lots of other charges including a trip-charge I didn't understand. To Dia for groceries.
Dora home around 3:30, and after some food, she's falling asleep. We went in for a nap.
I'm out at 6 or so, to ferreteria, to buy masking tape and a 5-liter bucket of paint for the living room walls.
Out at 8:40 or so with Dora, me carrying a big box to ship (although it weighed only 12 KG). Hauled it to ECI, and found we were there with only a few minutes to spare, they closed at 9, not 10. Shipped the box, took a quick look at disk drives, out. To estanco where Dora chatted with her friend who runs it, while I sat outside. She paid a €13 tab the niece ran up at the store. Home before 9:45.
Then Dora immediately starts preparing another box to ship. I'm supposed to buy a disk drive and then ship that box tomorrow, I think.
Out at 11, to ECI to buy 2 TB disk for Dora's son, €75. Raining steadily and moderately hard.
We have to go out the door to catch train to airport and meet people, and of course Dora arrives home late from the beauty parlor and says we'll take the next train, the people will have to wait in the airport.
So out before 1. Longish walk through rain to FIP metro, ride to Clot, go to train station section. Found that father's metro-pass is no good for the train, so I stupidly bought a roundtrip ticket for him instead of going back to the metro side and buying a T-10.
10-minute wait for the train, then on and to the airport before 2. Longish walk to the shuttle-bus, then over to the international terminal.
Had a bit of trouble finding the people we were there to meet, relatives arrived from Peru, because they didn't recognize each other at first. I guess it's been a while since they've seen each other.
We sit down, some of us hit the bathrooms, I gather maps from Tourist Info, then I buy food and drink. They talk and talk, and every now and then I'm poking Dora, telling her they need to get to the rental-car counters and see about a car. They're staying in Sitges, south of Barcelona, because some relative in Madrid told them to. Bad idea, because the husband needs to go to an international-studies institute in Barcelona every weekday.
Finally I lead them and Dora to the rental-car counters, and it's almost 3 hours before everything is set. They had trouble with debit and credit cards, one person paying while the other is the driver, all kinds of stuff. I mostly sat and waited with Dora's father and the grandmother who came from Peru, and spoke my limping Castellano to the lady.
Finally we head for the parking garage, get confused a couple of times, get there, more confusion, finally get to the car and load it up. Say goodbyes and Dora and father and I head for shuttle bus, train, walk home through very light rain.
Home at 8:15, and we're beat. Then I realize I need to do some errands before tomorrow morning, at a couple of shops and metro I just walked past. So back out into the light rain and did the errands. Home again and had some food and drink.
To bed at 11, slept well.
Dora's cleaning and moving boxes etc, and I just avoid it by going to lie on our bed and nap and listen to MP3's.
Out with Dora to buy a ton of fruit and veg, then to a shop to buy new pillows and sheets.
After dinner, I start getting ready to paint living room walls. Dora has bought some miracle-tools from a show on the TV, so I have to figure them out. I get started, and the edging tool barely works. The roller tool and corner-tool are better, but I could have done as well with the usual roller and brush (for much less money).
I planned to stop after one wall, but Dora tells me to keep going. She's helping with taping and stuff, and moving furniture. The TV said you could paint your living-room in 20 minutes, but it takes me about 3 hours to do 2/3 of ours. The first wall where I was painting white over white looks fine, but the second wall was white over tan, and it could use a second coat. And I don't think I have quite enough paint left to do the remaining wall anyway.
Cleanup, moving furniture back, then shower and some food.
In late night, Dora's hands and arms aching badly, I guess from ironing and cleaning and moving furniture.
As we're getting ready to go to Sitges, Dora asks me to super-glue her shoes. But the glue comes out a lot faster than I expected, goes a lot further than I wanted, now I have both paint and glue on my fingers.
Out around noon with Dora and father and niece. Tried to hit an ATM, but the only guy ahead of me was doing multiple transactions or failing each time or something; I gave up. Into VA metro, and long ride to Sants Estacio, standing all the way.
Bought a 10-trip ticket for €28 or so. Down to the track, and the train came within 10 minutes. On, and it's packed, I had to stand again.
To Sitges. I wanted to walk the 10-12 blocks to the apartment, but Dora arranged for them to come in the car to pick us up. So we had to wait 10-15 minutes.
To the apartment, and we relax for a while. These are relatives from Peru, and later a family friend from Peru.
After while, we had a dinner. Later, we all went down to the swimming pool. I said it was too cold to swim in, but the niece insisted. So she and I went swimming, and it was cold.
Out, dried off, and now they want to go to the beach. Great, it's only about 4 blocks away. But no, they want to go in the car to a hotel on the beach a 10-15 minute drive away. Foolishly, I wear my swimming clothes.
We get dropped off, then a long fairly cold wait while Dora goes into the hotel and changes into a swimsuit. Eventually she's out, but we go inside the hotel lobby to get out of the wind while we wait. Eventually the car shows up and the friend joins us. By now, the wind is strong, and sucking all the heat out of us, and there's not much sun left.
We head over a couple of blocks to sand beach, and now I'm really cold, worried about hypothermia. The only relief is on one side of a shack, where we're sheltered from the wind. Soon Dora and niece go to water's edge, and I go with them, and we take some photos. They splash in water up to their ankles, but we're all cold.
Out and back to the car to send the niece home, and we're back to the hotel, and I'm really chilled, and have a headache. I take a paracetamol, cover up with clothing, and doze while we wait yet again for the car.
Finally into the car and then home, and I get into warm clothing and start to recover.
We have birthday-cake for Dora's birthday, and a little cup of hot oatmeal-type stuff for each of us. Dora is talking and talking, while the friend and I are trying to get us moving toward the train station, it's getting late.
Finally out and into the car and to the train station, with about 2 minutes to spare to catch the 9:22 train. Plenty of seats, and I hand out powerbars to niece and the others.
To Sants Estacio a bit after 10, bathroom stop, then to the metro. Say goodbye to the friend. Onto crowded metro train, but miraculously we all get seats.
Long metro ride to VA. Home by 10:45, and we're all pretty tired and bit hungry. Took a Neobrufen and slept well.
Out at 10:15 with Dora. Brief stop at niece's school to question a payment I made, ended up coming away with an additional payment I have to make. Into FIP metro.
Long ride to Placa Espanya. Quickly onto a bus, and to Justice center. We're trying to find out the state of the bank's mortgage on her sister's apartment, the apartment we're living in.
Several false starts, then got directed to the central information desk, where we stood in line for 20-30 minutes. It's clear Dora's going to completely miss her 12-2 Catalan class today, as I thought.
Finally a consultation, then sent to a series of offices. I thought we were making progress and gathering information, but later I found out everyone was just saying "get a lawyer and ask the lawyer". Well, the sister has a lawyer, but in the South not here in Barcelona, and she either is ignoring the lawyer or not telling us what is going on. At one point, we thought the legal process was over and eviction was next, but by the end it sounds like that still could be avoided or at least be some months away.
Out to another building, then another. Last stop is a free-help place, which is crowded. Dora stands through a 10-minute line and is told to start at Social help place in local govt complex, I think.
Out and into a restaurant, but now Dora is mad and in a hurry, and irritates the staff. We get out of there, catch a taxi to near her work, and go into a small Peruvian place. I don't like it, not much space, I'm jammed in and we're sharing a table with another couple. Dora eats a couple of first courses and some bread, then has to go to work. I get my second course, eat it, get hers to go, pay.
Out, into metro, connect at Diagonal, home around 4:30. "Good" news: the second notice of the huge water-bill finally has arrived in the mail, so now I can pay it. For some reason, the first notice never includes a bar-code, so I never can pay it. I go lie down for a while.
Out at 6:15 or so. To ATM and got a wad of cash. To ECI to pay the water bill, but there was a huge line, so I skipped it. To Mercadona for groceries.
Out again at 8:15. To ECI and only 2 people in line. Paid the water bill.
I'm tired in the evening, and Dora must be dead tired, she's still working.
I'm out at 3:45, to niece's school to pay a bill, then to Dia for groceries.
Out before 5 with Dora, to niece's school to pick her up. I went to ferreteria and bought shipping tape, paintbrush, and another 5 liters of white paint.
Home, and started emptying furniture and moving it away from the wall I have to paint. Slowly got things going, started doing edging with the brush, and Dora taped mouldings. When it came time to use the roller, the niece wanted to try, but after 30 seconds she was bored, and left it to me.
More bad news from the relatives in Sitges. The husband drove into Barcelona to go to the international institute for his class or whatever, and found there's a €10 congestion charge for driving into the city, and parking at the institute costs €13 per day. And today he looked at his driver's license and realized it expired in March.
Didn't need the second 5 liters of paint I bought today; finished the living-room just as the first jug of paint ran out.
Done painting by 8:30 or so, and cleaned up and moved furniture back. Really done by 9. The wall I did today looks fine, but the long wall I did a few days ago, over darker paint, definitely needs a second coat with the roller. And Dora wants me to paint the hallway and then the middle bedroom, I think. So the paint won't go unused.
Shower, paracetamol, food, adult beverage.
Online, paid tax bill to IRS; apparently I didn't click a field in the software to calculate my tax, so it left a zero in the field. Stupid software.
Dora out again to Catalan class.
After dinner, I'm out to sit in VA plaza (warm day), hit ATM, get groceries.
After 6, out with Dora to walk her to metro to work 7-1, sit n VA plaza, then groceries.
Went for a walk at 10:30. Warm out.
Did some work on my Spanish wealth tax filing.
Out in midafternoon to sit in VA plaza and walk. Dora home from class, long enough to eat and to tell me she has to be at the congress a day early, so I have to look at everything again. Then she's back out to class for an hour. And her sister and the relatives are coming to visit tonight, so I have to go buy fixings for dinner.
Dora and sister arrived from airport by taxi at 8.
The plane tickets just are not working, €700 or more for the 3 of us roundtrip to Rome. Later, Dora tells me she has to work (in Barcelona) until 1 AM on the Thursday and then be in Rome for a (nominally) 9 AM class at the congress, further tying my hands on the tickets. Now I don't want to go, but her mother wants to go to see the Pope, and someone has to escort her mother while Dora is in the congress.
For some reason, Ryanair doesn't like my PC, had to use Dora's. Started to make progress on tickets, then the relatives from Sitges arrived, and Dora started serving food. Bought tickets to Rome, but no confirmation has arrived in my email. Paid €444 (at a extortionate exchange rate to USD: $531) for the three of us and slightly more than hand-luggage, roundtrip.
Got a confirmation a couple of hours later. So we have tickets to Rome.
The relatives gave us some fine foods from Peru, including a very expensive coffee that has been eaten by a ferret or something and then excreted and processed. Dora was laughing when she gave that one to me, but I know what it is. (It's from Chanchamayo highlands in Peru.)
Almost 1 AM, and it appears the relatives are sleeping here tonight !
Dora and I out at 10:20, to go see an apartment. Dora forgot the address and didn't have a phone number, so it took us a while to find it (FIP 159). Turned out to be a lovely all-new place on top (7th or 8th) floor of a building close to niece's school. Terraces on both sides, with great views. But only one bathroom (I'd like two), no air-conditioning (big problem for Dora), and rent €1500/month. Dora desperately wants an apartment just for the two of us, but I'm leery of paying an extra €1800/month (rent, utilities) on top of what we're paying already. I want to wait until the legal situation of the current apartment is resolved. And Dora's parents and niece really need someone living with them.
Trying to finalize the AirBNB for Rome, but Dora (and her sister and her mother) is out for the rest of the day. And she hasn't registered for next week's congress yet, either.
Out at 3 or so with the relatives. To VA metro, rode L5, out at Sagrada Familia. They took lots of pictures. But we don't have tickets to go inside. We walk around, more pictures. Lots of tourists everywhere. Then they want to go to Placa Catalunya, a little awkward to get to from here.
But into the metro, 2 stops, connect at Diagonal, 2 stops, Placa Catalunya. We come out and find a bench and it's time to feed the baby. So we sit there for about an hour. Pleasant at first, but a little windy and cool later. We watch a swarm of police gather across the street and searching a couple of guys.
Then up and into the plaza, which is loaded with pigeons and people. As I'm walking in, some idiot stampedes all the pigeons into flight, and I stand still and turn away as a thousand pigeons go rocketing close past me.
Lots of picture-taking in the plaza, with pigeons and feeding pigeons etc. Feels nice to be out in the sun.
We start to go into El Corte Ingles to shop for a stroller, but that gets vetoed. We go down through Placa Angel, and to the Cathedral plaza, which is a big hit. Loads of people everywhere. Lots of picture-taking.
Finally done, and we go down along the side of the cathedral and to Jaume I metro station. Wait for train, and it's very full, but we push onto it. After 1 stop the mother with baby gets a seat, after 2 more the grandmother gets a seat, and a couple after that we all have seats.
Out at Llucmajor and walk home. Home at 6:45, tired.
At 7, the relatives leave.
Message from Dora says her mother won't go to Rome without the niece, and we don't want the niece to miss 2 days of school plus gymnastics plus sessions with her tutor. So I may have wasted €148+ on a plane ticket. On the other hand, I'll have a better time in Rome without the mother, and our AirBNB should be slightly cheaper.
Dora is home after 8, and she has a kidney stone, with pain and frequent urination and later feeling worse.
Out at 10:30 or so with Dora and sister, to emergency room. It's full of people waiting. Dora gets in within 5 minutes, but only to drop off a urine sample, then we wait and wait. She's finally in by about midnight, and she's in for a long time. Out before 1; they gave her a pain shot and prescriptions and a "don't have to go to work" paper.
Home at 1:15. I'm straight to bed, and I think the sister is too, she has to get up at 7:30 to take niece to gymnastics. But Dora stays up for a while.
Dora feeling bad again after dinner.
In midafternoon, finally got the Rome AirBNB apartment done. Took about 8 tries to pay, had to fall back to PayPal. A little more expensive than I wanted, but it should be nice. Also Dora paid for her congress and course, which required me to set up a PayPal account for her.
Out a couple of times for various groceries and other items.
In the evening, Dora doing facial treatment on her sister.
Restaurant is full, and it's a small place. We wait only 5-10 minutes for a group to finish and we get the table, but then it takes a LONG time for the food to come. The tamales and soda are disappointing, the chicken and potatoes and salad and sauces are fine. Desserts, lounge for a while, home after 4:30.
Dora feeling bad. I did some taping of woodwork in the hallway, she did some phone calls. Then we crashed for a long nap. I'm up at 7, headachey, but ready to paint. Took a paracetamol.
Painted the hallway for almost 3 hours. Lots of doorways and fittings to tape, and then a lot of the painting was with the brush. Like the one wall in the living-room, it's over tan paint, and will need a second coat.
Done and into shower after 10. Still headachey. Took a Neobrufen. Later gave in and took a sumatriptan.
In the evening, I put a second coat of paint on the one living-room wall and the hallway. Didn't intend to do brushwork, but some of the edges really needed it, so I did that. Done by 8. Dora and mother out to medical clinic. I had to go out to meet them to carry their groceries home. Headachey in late evening; took a paracetamol-plus.
I cooked dinner, and it went over fairly well.
Headachey; took a Neobrufen. Out in the evening with Dora and her mother. To Pakistani phone shop, then mother went home and Dora and I continued. To Correos desk in ECI, then to Correos office by Llucmajor. Then to a jewelry shop Dora knows, where she's friendly with the people.
I thought she had picked out a ring to buy, for around €500. Instead, I found she wanted to buy "couples rings" for the two of us, plain 18K gold bands for a total of €400 or €500. I don't want to do this. Then we looked at diamond rings for her, pretty small diamonds, rings in price range of €1000. Lots of talking, then finally we got out without making any commitment. Home by 9:15. I want to do some research, and look online.
Headache; took a paracetamol-plus.
Out after 2, lugging a bag full of folders and papers for Dora. To VA metro, met Dora as she went past in a train. We went to Vall d'Hebron hospital, up the hill to the HR office, and she spent over an hour typing stuff into the computer and talking to a worker there. I dozed and listened to MP3s. When we came out, she said it had been a great visit, she got a lot accomplished and got a lot of questions answered. Home after 5.
Dora out to farmacia and (tried) to gestor. Back.
At 9 PM, apparently Dora's mother has decided to go to Rome with us. And after 9, I find out the niece is going, too. She doesn't have a plane ticket, but Dora is trying to buy one for her. Going seems to be no problem, returning is a problem. I'm washing my hands of it, it's Dora's problem.
Trip to Rome:
No traffic but plenty of traffic lights. To airport by 4:15 or so. The women into the bathroom for a while, then out and into check-in line. A bit of a delay at the check-in counter, because indeed Dora's mother has brought two small suitcases instead of the limit of 1, and some of our suitcases are a little bigger than their limit. But we get checked-in, and the women head back into the bathroom supposedly to reduce 5 suitcases to 4 and throw one away. But they come out and we still have 5 suitcases.
I have arranged wheelchair assistance for Dora's mother, and that solved all our problems. Friendly guy who enabled us to bypass all the lines, arrive at the gate just before boarding started, jump past two long lines of people waiting, and breeze in with all of our luggage, no problems about number or sizes.
Despite the lines, I'm surprised to find we end up with empty seats in the plane. Niece and mother get to sit together, and Dora and I each have an empty seat next to us. Uneventful flight, but at one point we went over an island with a snow-capped mountain at one end, and I didn't know what it was. Later looking on internet, I'm still not sure, maybe Corsica, too small to be Sardinia.
Land, haul our luggage out of the plane, wheelchair waiting for mother. Through terminal and to taxi line. Lots of freelancers trying to get us to their cars, but we go to the official line. Friendly driver, and he's a pretty good driver.
Long ride through bad traffic, but fortunately we're going to one of the nearest corners outside the city, not into the city. Lots of winding back roads, but eventually we end up at the hotel where the medical congress is housed. €53 plus a small tip for the taxi. Arrived at 9 or so, Dora's class is starting now.
It's a Waldorf Astoria resort hotel, way out of our league, with attendants everywhere who would like to help us. But we get in and find the congress area, and they're willing to stash our suitcases until this afternoon. One problem overcome.
Then Dora is into a class, and niece and mother and I don't know what to do. When this trip was just Dora and me, I had planned to take a bus down into the city and walk around. But now I'm stuck with mother and niece and too much luggage to move.
We move outside onto the terrace, and rest on sofas overlooking the pool. Nice day, nice place. But we're tired and hungry. I go inside and order a Coke and a slice of lemon-cake for each of us, that's about the limit of the selection available. We eat and drink and feel better, but the niece wants more.
An hour later, when I pay, I find out that our little snack cost me €27 ! I go downstairs and check out the restaurant, and prices are at least as high down there, we're not buying anything more in this place. We sit and doze.
I get Wi-Fi on my phone, and send WhatsApp messages to Dora, but it's well after 11:15 when she comes out and meets us. She has a tiny bit of food from the class: a thin sandwich and a glass of orange juice. The niece eats most of it, maybe Dora's mother gets a little. Dora and I go back inside and stand through a line to get one more sandwich and a jar of juice, and take it out to the others.
Looks like Dora's class has another 2 hours to go. She goes back in, and I head out to see if there are any stores in the area. Dora has been here before, she says there are some down the hill.
I find the area without any trouble, but it's a bit far for the mother to walk, and I wouldn't have taken her on an exploratory walk anyway. I go into a small grocery shop and buy a couple of kinds of cookies and a couple of apples, and back up the hill to the hotel. We eat and feel better, but the niece wants something with salt on it.
Finally Dora's out at 1:30 or so. We hit the bathrooms, retrieve the luggage, haul it out front, and get a taxi. This driver is a stereotypical Italian male hotdog, flooring it, tailgating everyone (even motorcycles). But we get there in a hurry, and the ride costs only €15. I noticed he was driving with his door ajar and no seatbelt, and I couldn't see any meter. So I think this trip was "off the books".
Out at our apartment, but we're early, and hungry. So around the corner and find a nice Italian restaurant, almost empty. Mother has lasagna, Dora has Tagliatelle, niece has spaghetti Carbonara, I have a pizza "capriciosa" (ham, egg, olives, artichoke, mushroom). We enjoy the food, but then Dora tells me that her son is coming from Slovakia to join us, now. Trip for 2 has turned into trip for 5. Fortunately the apartment sleeps 6, but I have to pay more for each person.
The others go to the apartment, I stay behind to pay the €50 bill. To the apartment, and the owner is friendly, but collecting €52.50 accomodation tax that is paid to the govt, and tonight he'll be back for €120 to pay for Dora's son staying here too.
The apartment is nice, everything's fine, except few electrical outlets and the extension-cord and expander I've brought don't fit in the outlets. But our chargers all fit into the outlets, so no big problem.
Dora's son arrives after 4. After 4:30, he and Dora are out to get him something to eat. Looking around 20 minutes later, I see that niece and mother went out with them too.
I went out around 6:30. Kept half an eye out for the others, but it would be an amazing chance to find them. I went up to St Peter's, stopping at a couple of ATMs before I found one that would give me €200. St Peter's was closed as expected, but the plaza had lots of people.
Walked down to the river, and Castle St Angelo. Bought an electrical adapter from a street-vendor. Walked around the Justicia building, then got slightly lost, couldn't find our street coming out of the far end of Piazza Cavour. Not seriously lost, but my map doesn't show all the streets, and it took me 4 or 5 blocks to get right.
Home by 7:45 or so, and the others are home, and they're beat. They walked and shopped and got a bit lost too. Dora is feeling sick and has a headache.
Soon I'm out to the supermarket-coop on the back side of this block, and buy a load of groceries and supplies. Home, stash it, and soon back out for another load. And as I left the store I think they were getting ready to close.
Online with Ryanair, was able to get a ticket for niece to return to Barcelona on same flight as the rest of us. Paid $267 one-way, but had to do it, and it's a relief to have that fixed.
Then Dora's son tells me that Dora told him the wrong end date, so he's staying in Rome one day more than the rest of us, and has to find a place to stay on Sunday night.
Then suddenly no one is using the bathroom at all, and I get a shave and shower. Can't figure out how to get the water to come from the showerhead, but Dora tells me the secret.
Out at 10:30 to walk Dora to the metro, down Via Ottaviano, a shopping street she knows very well, and I remember from our last trip. Then I headed for a supermarket, finding an ATM along the way. A little confusion finding the supermarket, but got there and got groceries and got home by 11. Dora's son still not up.
Out at 12:30 with son and niece and mother. Up 4 blocks and over 3 and into Piazza San Pietro, and we find a LONG line to get into the basilica, a line that covers half the circumference of the piazza.
We get on line, and it moves reasonably well, but still we're 15 minutes getting to the end of it and through Security. Up and into the basilica, which is a bit crowded.
We wander through, taking pictures etc. Pics By the end of it, Dora's mother is exhausted and never wants to walk anywhere again, and the niece is dying of hunger. I gave powerbars to both of them while we were waiting in line, and now give powerbars to them again as we sit on the steps outside for 10 minutes or so.
Finally up, and across the piazza and heading toward home. We pick a cafe in Piazza Risorgimiento, because I don't think the mother can go any further, and she agrees. A decent meal, but €70 and not as good as yesterday's dinner.
Home by 3:15 or so. Niece immediately wants more powerbars, I won't give them, she starts eating muesli.
Out late to see if the print shop nearby was open, and had trouble finding it, because it was closed with a heavy barrier pulled down over it, and the restaurant next door had parked a table of 10 people on the sidewalk in front of it.
Dora not leaving the medical congress until around 7:30, but she had down to walk to a bus stop, just missed one bus and had to wait for next one. I walked to the bus stop near Ottaviano metro, and she had already arrived and was sitting outdoor at a cafe. She's tired, and lugging 4 bags of stuff. She had a coffee, we got groceries in a small Carrefour Express next door, then home by 9 or so.
Dora cooked tagliatelle for us; she says no more eating out, it's too expensive.
Out with Dora after midnight; she wants to go to Piazza Navonna. We caught the 492 bus a block from our apartment, and I suspect it was the last run of the night. Ticket machine was broken, so a free ride. Off and the walked in wrong direction for a while, had to backtrack, but it's a nice night and we're in a fashion-shop district. Eventually got to the piazza, and sat for a while and took some pictures.
Then Dora wanted to head in the wrong direction, said we'd end up at Termini station where all the buses start. But I can't even find the station on my map. And we ended up in the center, near the north end of the Colosseum district.
Luckily, Dora found a stop for the night-7 bus, which will work for us, and it came in 5 or 10 minutes. On, and it retraced our route. Crossed the river and we got off, maybe one stop earlier than we could have. But across the piazza and up Crescenzio about 8 blocks and we're home. At 2 AM.
Up, shower, breakfast, rain has stopped and sun is coming out a little, but the others want to wait until later to go out. And Dora's mother doesn't want to go out at all today.
Got an AirBNB hotel room for Dora's son for Sunday night, and it also solves our what-to-do-with-the-luggage problem on Sunday. The place is only about 3 blocks from here, even better.
Out at 12:45 to print plane tickets and hit an ATM. And of course the copy-shop one block away closed at 12. Another I found is closed on Saturdays. Tried a couple of ATMs. Walked up and down, eventually found an ATM that worked for me, and 2 doors away an internet cafe where I did the printing. Home at 1:45.
Dinner before three, and then we're STILL not ready to go out, son has to take a shower. I go out and find a tabac shop to buy bus tickets.
Finally out after 4 with son and niece. To nearby bus stop, and a group of people have been waiting for the 492 bus too, I think. After we're there about 5 minutes, they give up and walk. We wait almost 30 minutes for the bus; I think one bus must have had a problem or missed a rotation. But then we're onto a crowded bus, and stand. We get off earlier than planned, and walk to the Pantheon.
Loads of people everywhere. And the Pantheon is closed 4-6 for a mass, so we can't go in. It's 5:15. We linger for a few minutes, then head across to the Trevi Fountain. Crowds everywhere. We go down to the lower level of the fountain area, and son and niece take pictures of each other and throw coins in the fountain.
Eventually we break out of the crowd and start heading east. We do a little window-shopping; this is a shopping street Dora likes. As we near Piazza Barbieri, a little rain starts. We find a shop and get gelatos, and when we come out the rain has stopped. Wander toward the piazza, eating ice cream and looking at shops.
Get to the piazza, go to the fountain in the middle, and finish our ice creams. Then, looking around, we notice that every metro entrance is chained closed; the station is closed.
So we head back down, I buy bus tickets on the way, and then we wait 10 minutes or more for a bus. On, and niece and I get seats. But the bus is packed.
Cross the river, get onto street for our apartment, and son and I are trying to coordinate our exit. But he hops off before niece and I can get to the doors, and we're carried another 6 blocks and past our apartment before we can get off. But no problem, we meet at the apartment door. Home by 7:15 or so.
Dora is home, in bed, and groggy and very tired. I lie down and nap with her for more than an hour. Up by 9 and have some food, and after a while, others are stirring.
I'm out for a walk, down to the castle and up to St Peter's and then home. Nothing special happening. Tonight is the "night of the museums", but I don't think too many museums here are doing much for it, and none of them are near us. And we're all tired, with an early day tomorrow.
Get home, and good timing, Dora has just finished cooking.