I was delighted to see this morning the return of the organic farmers' street market across the street beneath the trees lining the pavement outside the bullring, as it gave Clare an opportunity to explore what was on offer, and buy a few extra special things to eat while she's here. After this, we went to the beach for her daily swim. Although the sun was high in the sky, there was a cool breeze which made it tolerable to spend an hour there in the shade of a tall palm tree.
On our return, the man living in the apartment underneath ours approached me and asked if I was aware of a leak, as he was trying to work out where water was coming from into his bathroom, right underneath ours. There were no surface symptoms in our bathroom, and nothing was flowing down into ours, so we closed the stop-cocks we could find, and I reported this to churchwarden Rosella, who talked with the neighbour on the phone. The building's maintenance man was summoned and expressed the view that there was most likely a problem with the supply of water to the bathroom hot water tank, as the leak was of clean water, not sewage.
Rosella sent me to the church to consult the files of essential documents kept in the sacristy, which include church and apartment insurance policies. I was able to tell her by phone from church the policy and phone help line numbers for MAPFRE, the insurance company, for her to pursue the necessary arrangements to commission an emergency plumber. By half past two, said plumber was ringing the doorbell, and after completing his diagnostic, he broke through both the wall and floor tiles in the corner where the pipes supply the heater, uncovered the source of leak and repaired it. By four, he was on his way out, repair done, hot and cold water supplies restored. Amazing, and quite a challenge for communicating with neighbours and plumber in Spanish. My new word of the day? What else but 'fontanero' - plumber.
As I'd been due to leave for the bereavement visit to Torreblanca at four, I left later than planned. It was twenty five to six when I arrived at the house in Puebla Blanca, a charming collection of houses on a hillside, with a communal swimming pool and its own small bar. I learned that the man who died had been a footballer on a modest weekly wage from the late fifties, and had spent his working life and some of his retirement in the profession. Best of all, he'd played for Bristol City, around the time when we were at University there.
Thanks to the marvellous Cercania rail link with Malaga, I was home again by eight. Moreover, this time my tarjeta dorada worked as intended. After supper, I set about preparing the order of service for the funeral, ready for approval and printing, with the sound of the Queen Symphonic Rhapsody concert in the bullring booming all around us. This time, for real. No escape - four hours of it, with intervals.