The first big news is I broke my thumb, just a little, two days ago. A tiny piece of bone on the first knuckle snapped off and is now floating around in there. But lucky for me, my spankin´ new Spanish national health system ID card showed up the very same day! So I saw two doctors (a sort of sister act, really), got my right hand X-rayed, had it all taped-up and medicated, and was sent home without having a cast or splint. (If I have one of those I can´t drive the car, and splints often don´t offer much help in a case like this, when the joint is not broken. Or so I am told.) They let me keep my X-ray, which is truly cool. I put it in with my mammogram. I am starting a collection of photos of my insides.
The break is not that painful unless I use it to push or pull or lift or grasp something. Which I kinda do a lot, seeing as I am right-handed. I have lovely drugs to take at night, so I can sleep. The best thing is, it was free. Socialism is a beautiful thing!
The next big thing is the newest addition to our Peaceable Kingdom: a canary bird named Bob. He is gray and rather nondescript to look at... that´s kinda why I chose him, really, from a cage full of his yellow and orange and white brethren at a pet shop in Palencia. He had all his feathers, his eyes were bright, and he was the only gray, sparrow-like canary there. So I brought him home. He made little peeping sounds in the box on the passenger seat, nothing like singing. But he came with a guarantee. I didn´t worry.
And I didn´t need to. Within a half-hour of arriving in his shiny white cage on the porch, Bob was trilling, tweeting, chattering, and twittering his little heart out, letting the local bird life know that he was on the scene. It´s fun to watch the sparrows watching him. They tweet at him, and he answers back with an aria! I´ve always wanted a singing canary, and this one already has brought so much joy to the house. (I think Una wants to ´play´ with him, though. She is not fond of birds in general.)
And speaking of dogs: This morning, out on the plaza, was the big showdown between Tim and Pants Dog, a big canine thug known to chase cars and kill chickens. Pants Dog (we call him that ´cause he is white up front, but his behind is black. He looks like he´s wearing trousers) sometimes gets out of his yard when Edu opens up the gate to get his tractor out. He´s confronted Tim before, but one time Una intervened, and the other was broken-up by Edu, his owner, who swings a mean stick.
Often during their morning walks Una will jump on Tim, snarling and snapping, and roll him right off his feet. He fights back half-heartedly. I always figured this was just her way to reinforcing her role as Queen Bitch and his as Backup Auxiliary Dog, but now I see it differently. I think she was shaping him up for the inevitable, teaching him a few of her vicious street-cur moves.
This morning, Tim was ready. Long story short, Pants Dog made the first move, and Tim didn´t hesitate. He grabbed ahold of Pants Dog´s ear and face with his teeth, and simply didn´t let go, not even when the bigger dog pulled and snapped and dragged him hither and yon and Edu set about both dogs with a broomstick, and I grabbed onto Tim´s scruff to try and pull him free. When he finally let go, Pants Dogs´ face was bloody and punctured. He ran back into his yard. Edu was very sad and apologetic, and told me Tim is "tan valiente!"
"Tim" was originally short for "Timid," but no more. I can find no mark or injury on him. I am not in favor of my dogs fighting with other dogs, but Tim was provoked. And he kicked ass.
The other knockabout stuff came about as a result of a phone call: the carpenter is coming tomorrow to hang the doors in the house, so we were advised to get whatever large furniture we have inside the house today.
So I taped up my hand, we girded our loins, and waded into the garage and barn and despensa, in search of box springs, mattresses, and bedrails -- most of them buried behind boxes and wardrobes, sofas and storm doors. In order to start one thing, a couple of other things had to be done first. It was hard to stay focused. We had to stop and rest a lot. And in between we passed a huge, heavy work table through one window, and an old comfy sofa through another. We shlepped a monster wardrobe out the front gate, up the back yard, and in through the new door. (Then two of the legs fell off it anyway. Good thing we have all these extra bricks lying around!) We put the washing machine on a dolley and rolled it up and into the house. We put together two beds, and brought mattresses from the garage... so there are two sleep-able beds now in the house, and a wardrobe, and a dresser, and a sofa, and a kitchen work table. Paddy only fell down twice -- both times were probably my fault. (He says he´s fine, really. So I gotta stop asking him if he´s alright.)
There´s also a working toilet in the house, and toilet paper on the roll. There´s a basket full of clean laundry, the dishes are done and dog food bowls filled-up for the night, and Bob the singin´ fool is even now being tucked away for the night. We must get back to Sahagun, where painkillers and a championship football match await.
We´re on the final month of the Sahagun rental. Soon we won´t have to do the back-and-forth commute any more. We are making headway. The work is hard, but it feels good.