No, I’m not Spanish

I was woken early by an incredibly eager research colleague who phoned to give me complicated travel arrangements whilst I was half asleep. I agreed to everything she said then fell back asleep without taking notes and on waking, hoping I had not agreed to anything strange or complicated. A little later, awake and struggling to get myself out of bed, the doorbell rang insistently. I crawled out of bed and pulled my slippers on, thinking it was a delivery of some kind.  As I clattered down the stairs, the doorbell rang again followed by loud banging on the front door. I opened it to find 2 women standing at the doorstep. One looked as though she had put her makeup on in the dark and seemed to be covered heavily in crocheted flowers. She fixed me with a steely glaze. “Hello. Do you speak Spanish?” she asked. I said that no, I didn’t. “Do you know of any Spanish people…?” and at this, she waved her arm indicating the local area. I said again, no, I was sorry but I didn’t. The second woman who looked less encumbered by the crocheted flowers smiled and said “Thank you” politely, grabbing her colleague by the arm and steering her through the front gate. I am still not sure what it was about. We used to get the local Catholic priest coming to do an annual audit of Catholics in his parish. When he asked me if any Catholics lived in our house, I always said no, but that I was sorry to which he always replied “Oh, don’t worry, it’s not your fault”.

The other weird thing that happened was that my pedometer told me I had only taken 14 steps and had burnt just .6 of a calorie in the course of a whole day. Clearly, given we have more than 14 steps in our house, either a) I had stayed upstairs all day b) I had stayed downstairs all day c) my pedometer was lying. Proof is that I answered the door to the ‘Do you speak Spanish?’ ladies. It’s most annoying to be contradicted by an inanimate object you bought and put a battery in 😦