No nap today…

Quite a surprise to know that it is official. In this village if something is written in any foreign European language – take it to Elise (which is what I’m called here). No, it doesn’t matter WHICH language, just go and look helpless on her doorstep, she’ll sort it out.

Unusually, this morning, I had a lot of energy so I rushed around catching up on little jobs, so by afternoon when Badger toddled off on one of his mysterious “making and mending things” trips, I settled down for a wee nap. No chance! My ex-neighbour banged on the door until I ran out, still buttoning up my jeans and thrust a packet under my nose having given me two rather perfunctory kisses.

“It’s in English. I got it at Noz and I can’t read it.”

That spoke volumes. Noz is a mega-cheap shop which buys-up bankrupt stock of all kinds of things but on a limited basis. Wanting to help because she is always broke I squinted at the pack and must have sounded aghast when I squeaked “But it’s in Spanish!” Spanish

Having travelled a lot, I must have a reputation for “the gift of tongues” because she didn’t move, just folded her arms and waited for me to magic some solution. OK, well this woman wants to make (peer at packet) fairy cakes for her family, this can’t be so hard. I have been to Spain a few times even though I can only speak Spanish when I’m in the country. Ushering her into the kitchen I sat her down and we went through the instructions with me leaping on words I recognised and making educated guesses (how difficult is sponge cake?) at others. The most unbelievable part was that my friend couldn’t make connections between words that are similar in French or Spanish. However, between us we worked out that she needed to find eggs, butter, vegetable oil and warm water. The procedures were easier – follow the pictures. She went off, triumphantly waving her sponge-packet and my bit of paper with approximate translations.  Why do I get the feeling that this is not going to be the last time? Ah well – nice to be able to lend a paw.

Tottering back into the other room, I again removed my trousers and snuggled down for a nap. No chance! The telephone rang. Considering ignoring it didn’t work because part of my particular Woo-Woo is that I always KNOW when it is for me. Yes, a nice gentleman from a delivery company had a package and had lost our village. Well, rather, he had been through it twice, gone back to the next town and done other things. He could be back, armed with detailed instructions (crossroads with the church on your right, we’re on that corner) in about an hour.

I gave up, donned my jeans again and cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom muttering swearwords (not curses).

See? I live in my own little world and I do help out whenever I can but just occasionally it becomes a bit wearing. I remind myself of Holly Prickles in my friend Brenda Williams’ book (aimed at children but valuable to many adults, I can recommend it!) Holly Prickles cover


12 thoughts on “No nap today…

  1. I too have to take off my jeans in order to nap, even if I have no intention of getting under the covers 🙂

    Nice one on the Spanish. That’s one language I can do, if you ask me German I shrug helplessly and look around for Teutonic strangers to accost.

    1. In Germany I play “hard of hearing AND foreign” and it works well – I cup my hand to my ear and tut apologetically. People automatically speak more slowly and make gestures, making it easier for me to understand – crafty ole otter.

  2. Love this blog! Your days are never dull, Ailsa. perhaps it’s time all instructions were in pictures – that’d take care of many translation problems. Hope you received the first cake 😺

  3. I didn’t get a cake because she is no longer a neighbour – she moved up to the next town some years ago. No matter. I’ve worked as an interpreter before but never a translator. Hmmm – ideas for a story coming.

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