Spanish Preparations

No, it’s nothing medical or, even, anything to do with alternative medicine. Rather, it refers to our having spent the afternoon packing, unpacking and repacking.

Our first conundrum was two loads of camera gear with, and this is the fly in the ointment, the lap top computer. It’s all very well going digital so that one doesn’t have to cart shed loads of film around but, if one wants to shoot RAW format pictures, a computer loaded with the relevant camera manufacturer’s software becomes necessary. JPEGs aren’t enough, we have to shoot RAW. Therefore the cameras must now be accompanied by a computer. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that digital cameras enable you to travel light.

Second conundrum: the hold baggage. We’re generally pretty good at travelling light when it comes to clothing and I had thought we’d get away with a large, shared kit-bag kind of affair. After all, as with all low-cost airlines, bags are charged extra per item. Being retired cheapskates, I didn’t want to pay any more than necessary. What I had not allowed for was the fact that we were travelling in winter and that Carol had frozen last time in Spain (November) through not having sufficient warm clothes. Spanish houses are designed to be cool in summer rather than warm in winter and the evenings get quite cool – frosty, even. So, the (over) compensation for previous oversights soon had the bag heaving and splitting at the seams. There was nothing for it: sign on to easyJet and amend the booking to allow a second piece of hold baggage. Now we have a bag each though I still haven’t got room for a tripod, darn it.

Of course, the Euros were a painful purchase given the current exchange rate. £1 buys a paltry €1.13! Quite why the economic gloom seems to have affected the Pound Sterling worse than other currencies is bemusing, and galling, considering that everybody is suffering from American financial mismanagement. It is particularly odd that said American financial mismanagement seems to have done nothing but strengthen the US Dollar. A third party forces us to self-administer medicine that we can ill afford and we’re in a tail spin.

No matter, our blessed government has, it seems, further increased its debts in order to compensate us for trusting the Icelandic banking system so we’re primed and ready for España, 2008. Hopefully the local hooch will still be round about €1 per litre so at least we’ll be saving money on wine, still.

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