21 January 2003
I expect you are wondering what has happened to me as I’ve been silent for a while. For reasons unknown my laptop has stopped speaking to my modem which means I have an expensive black doorstop marked IBM at the moment. I have tried everything I can think of to make it work including kneeling in front of it with lit candles but it refuses to co-operate. Still, it helps to pass the days as I reformat & reload Win98 over & over again, each time with some new error message.
The most annoying thing is that it was working perfectly well but I decided to ignore the maxim “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” & loaded an upgraded version of Windows. Lost everything, my whole email filing cabinet (but not my address book TG) my DVD drivers, my modem & all those interesting things you download over months on the ‘net.
I am in an Internet cafe in San Sebastian where I am taking part in La Tamborrada, an annual fiesta where 5,000 schoolkids with little drums are trying to destroy the hangover I picked up last night when about 10,000 grown ups all dressed as chefs with little drums banged & whistled & marched from midnight till 5 this morning through the narrow little streets of San Sebastian celebrating the invasion & destruction of the city by Wellington’s troops during the Peninsular War.
The festival is said to originate from the 1830s custom of locals using buckets and hardware from the water pump to mock the soldiers stationed in the city by aping their daily march through the town from the San Telmo headquarters to the Main Gate at the city walls.
I parked in the underground car park & slept from 4 till 8 in the back of the Blue Beast. I am now cruising the narrow streets again, grazing on the fantastic selection of pintxos (tapas) on the counters. The reason the revellers are dressed as chefs is because San Sebastian has about 70 private gastronomic societies who meet regularly to dine & last night took to the streets afterwards to make as much noise as possible.
My next email to you all will have to wait until my laptop has been repaired so don’t expect any replies or messages from me for a good while yet.
Until I catch up with technology.