Hasta Mañana

Coronavirus aside we are lucky that we are all not dead in our house. Clearly somebody or something has been watching over us. The boiler has just been removed from the basement. It had a gas leak, and two huge holes in it. I shudder to think what might have happened. That’s 20 years of neglect!

Apparently there are around 60 deaths a year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales. I think we could have been a statistic. The moral here of course, is regularly check your boiler and don’t wait 20 years until you see water seeping out of the bottom and hear loud cranking noises in the pipes.

Currently we have 5 masked, gloved men in our house. In the loft, in all the rooms, in the basement infact there is not one part of our house that is COVID safe. I am trying to keep calm – so much for having been so careful over the past 6 months. It would amuse some of my friends who think I have been a tad over cautious. At least if I do get sick I will be warm and have hot water.

So here I am sitting at my desk, masked writing this blog and shortly I will be disinfecting the entire house.

Now I just have to get the roof sorted which would be a lot easier if any of the 4 roofers who have turned up agreed on the issues! After a lot of tutting, shaking of heads, “who put this roof on” comments and figures with a lot of zeros, I am left to decide which one of these men are the real McCoy. Quite frankly I have little faith in any of them. Where are you Tod when I most need you. I do really believe that had these roofers been talking to a man then the outcome would have been different.

After a lazy weekend tomorrow is the start of a new learning regime. I am returning to my Spanish lessons. Pre my Costa Rica trip last March, which of course never happened, my Spanish was coming along very nicely. I was determined not to rely on my two fellow travelers who both spoke Spanish but once the trip was cancelled I lost the will to carry on. Now in the hope that travels in South America might be resurrected in 2021/22 I am back on board.

And I am eager to try this new in-ear device that is supposed to help people pick up and remember unfamiliar sounds in a new tongue. It apparently works using an earbud-like electrode that stimulates part of the vagus nerve (one of the main information highways that connects the body to the brain). Researchers at the University of California found that when English speakers were asked to identify tones in Mandarin Chinese, those who received nerve stimulation were 13% better at classifying the sounds and achieved peak performance twice as quickly. Anything that can stimulate my brain is very welcome. I wonder whether it could also work on the prefrontal cortex of my brain. Now that would be even more useful.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and Hasta Mañana

“Let’s be careful out there”