A patio on the margins


I now have patio furniture. A table, a faded torn parasol, and some matching faded chairs. I acquired this new luxury today, when the English family next door left Spain and went back to Manchester, yet more victims of the economic crisis. (He lost his job when yet another small IT business went bust in Calpe.)

I have two more pay packets until the end of my one year contract working in this school, and then I must wait to find out if I have work for September. Nerve-racking indeed. Meanwhile, I have put two donkeys on a field in this idyllic setting, and my entire existence is now geared to their welfare. Yesterday’s veterinary bill was two hundred and forty Euros, one sixth of my month’s take-home pay. Frightening times, economically, and I have to complicate my life by adding donkeys to the mix…

I look down the hill from my ill-gotten patio furniture, and I see Matilde looking hopefully in my direction, beyond the prickly pear cactus. She expects carrots. I have carrots. Fifty-eight cents in the supermarket. I will take them to her. She has no idea there’s an economic crisis and I will not worry her by mentioning it.

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About Gareth Thomas

A fairly mixed career starting as an aircraft technician and later Franciscan friar eventually led into secondary school teaching. I settled in Spain where I teach Geography part-time and spend the rest of my time looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I have three blogs: a geography blog and a donkey blog begun in 2015, plus an old donkey blog which ran from 2010 to 2015.
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6 Responses to A patio on the margins

  1. Barbara says:

    Consider the lilies of the field.
    All will be well.

  2. Frere Rabit says:

    Inspired by your advice to “consider the lilies of the field”, Barbara, I have just been down to the field. The donks have eaten the lilies. I presume they briefly considered them first.

  3. damagedjock says:

    its tough all round mate/but were with you…does this mean that you wont be doing the Camino with said donks on your hols?

  4. Frere Rabit says:

    No, not this summer, but I had not planned to walk this summer anyway, on the understanding that walking with a pregnant donkey was not a good idea… At the present, the pregnancy is still uncertain and I dare not get the vet to do anything because he reduces my food money for the summer instantly just by glancing at my animals and writing invoices… (Some professions seem to pay well, unlike teaching!)

    You’d be welcome to stay any time, as you know.

  5. Rebrites says:

    If worse comes to worst, the donks have a home from home here in Palencia. No one bothers with paperwork around here. Yet.

  6. Frere Rabit says:

    Thanks, Reb. Whatever happens, the donks stay with me. Maybe I’ll have a job again in September and there’s nothing to worry about, but one thing’s for sure… If I wasn’t lying awake at night wondering if my contract will be renewed, I’d do a much better job in the classroom if I had more sleep!

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