Is someone watching me?

I don’t mean watching over me, or watching out for me.

Is someone out there watching me – or us?

I thought I would do a pea pilaf today. Sadly when it came to chucking the rice in the pan it appeared I had used it all up.

So I shot out of the door before the shops shut at 2pm to buy some rice. And bumped into one of my occasional neighbours.

She is Northern European, so flits between her own country and here, where she has a Spanish, or rather I should say, Andalucían boyfriend.

“Hello,” she said, with her best friendly face. She’d already spoken to me two days ago so I should have been suspicious.

Our rare conversations are normally hello, and possibly, it’s a nice day isn’t it. No reason to like or dislike her, we just tend not to have much to say to each other.

Until today.

“Oh, my amigo hasn’t seen you for ages. He asks me – where are the English?”

What amigo? Turns out she meant her boyfriend. Why didn’t she say so?

“We haven’t seen him either,” I answered. “He’s been busy working.”

“Oh, you are working,” she said, helpfully or otherwise, misunderstanding me. “What are you doing?”

No, I’m not working. Apart from at this blog but that really isn’t your business.

“How old are you?” was the next question. In all the time I have been in Spain no-one has asked me that. So I answered truthfully. And asked her how old she was.

“Fifty-two,” she answered. I’ve no idea if that’s true or not as she looks pretty good on it. “And my friend is 35. My daughter is 32.”

Good on yer, sweetie. I said something feeble, like, “Well, fancy that.”

“It’s difficult for women of our age to get work isn’t it,” she said in that same very friendly fashion. Way too friendly.

Yes, I agreed, thinking I really must get to the shops before they shut, because pea pilaf isn’t too good without rice.

Then she prattled on about having another home here in Spain (as well as the falling-down two-roomed ruin where they usually live). It seems they have a pre-fab somewhere out the back of the village and she had been trying to tidy the garden.

And then I escaped and went off for the rice.

So why have I suddenly had a long conversation with this woman, who has hardly spoken to me over the past few years?

If her amigo hasn’t seen me, or my partner, we have certainly seen – and heard – him. We’ve seen him in his vehicle because he never walks anywhere. We saw him a couple of days ago driving into town with his van that doesn’t have an MoT (ITV here in Spain), ie a roadworthy certificate.

And we’ve heard him in the morning when he gets up at 7am to work in the fields, throws his dogs out on the street, and then lights his first panatella of the day and promptly retches if he’s had too much whisky the night before.

My partner has been sick with bronchitis for some time, but all the world must have heard him coughing. I am certainly sick of listening to him, but he’s not been out and about as much as usual. Although other neighbours have seen him.

So why the sudden interest in our activities?

Do they think we’ve secretly started working and want to dob us in? Well, I came here not to work, and in all honesty I haven’t done. But if I did, I couldn’t be bothered with the grief of doing it illegally anyway.

Or maybe she’s just lacking female company.

Thanks for visiting roughseas whatever your interest and, if you comment, a bigger thanks.

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