Cleaning up my Act

In which I try to cleanse my sins…and how an ill-advised word starts a Social Media storm

So Noche de San Juan has been and gone. The night where you dress up in virginal white, leap over a blazing bonfire and then take a midnight dip in the Mediterranean to cleanse you of your sins. You have to give it to the Catholic Church that only they could take this most pagan of celebrations and stick a saint on the end of it.

Though in my case, merely throwing on a white T-shirt, leaping over a few burning coals and then taking a moonlight paddle is never going to be enough to cleanse my sins. After my many years of living an, ahem, ‘interesting lifestyle’ four tins of whitewash, a flamethrower and being dragged behind a yacht traversing the Cape might just do it.

Forgive my lack of reglious instruction, but I’m not exactly sure what San Juan is Patron Saint of – but I’ll have a fair bet it wasn’t rubbish collection. The photographs of the beaches at Malaga the day after resembled a gigantic seaside landfill site – just horrendous.

Maybe it’s because – and I’m showing my age here – but when I was growing up in the UK, there was a huge Keep Britain Tidy campaign, which was drilled into us at school and on the TV. Living as I do in antruly beautiful part of Andalucia, on a lake in the Sierra de las Nieves, I’m constantly driven mad by the cans, plastic bags and other unmentionables that get left by the lake.

Apparently the morons that leave them think that one of my many talents has been to train the native fauna in waste management, and that the wild goat, ibex and boar that come to drink at the water´s edge will take the crap left behind to the nearest punto verde.

Pictured is the discarded rubbish I found floating this morning. As well as being an eyesore, it’s a potential fire hazzard, as the pine forest around me is bone dry at the moment. I did a fair amount of shouting – in several languages and with appropriate hand actions – at the bonehead fishermen who decided to like a lakeside BBQ last week…

The Town Hall also finally sorted out the track to the Casita, which meant that the first Saturday after they had been down with the JCB, I had around 20 Spanish fishing on the bank nearest the cottage. Fair to say, they weren’t the quietest bunch in the world, and I took to Social Media and, in my best tongue-in-cheek ‘Victorian English Explorer’ accent, wrote something about ‘Natives’ and mentioned my gun rack, before turning in for the night.

Bad mistake.

The next morning dawned and I turned on the phone to find that a German life coach had taken the post entirely the wrong way, objecting to my use of the word ‘natives’, calling me snide and suggesting that I relocate to the old country. It was a classic lost in translation moment and I wrote to the afformentioned lady, explaining that I had lived in Spain for 30 years and it was just a Victorian turn of phrase.

Even bigger mistake…

She fired back that I was obviously ‘one of those expats..’ and was not prepared to accept my apology. Now I’m not that up to speed on the basic life coach instruction manual, but I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t recommend that you expend your Ying/Yang energy by getting into FB arguemnets with deeply warped media types before 11am on a Sunday.

I blocked the Frazzled Fraulein and took the post down.

Anything for a quiet life.

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