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Saturday, 21 November 2009

You said you read me like a book, but the pages all are torn and frayed

We don't have the space to carry enough novels for 12 months, so book swopping with other campers has been essential in ensuring we have enough reading matter. Many camp sites have a shelf of books available for swopping; we can leave a novel we have read and take away a new book. The books on offer vary; at Moncofa we could have stocked up on the entire Catherine Cookson collection, other sites lean towards Ken Follett style thrillers. However, the book swopping at the site in Guardamar is more to our tastes and we were excited to be able to swop 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' for a Graham Greene we hadn't read.

The Guardian is available in some towns and we have occasionally picked up local English language newspapers, aimed at the ex-pat community. These papers are similar to UK local papers; providing information on clubs and societies, photos of local events and have the inevitable readers' letters page. Typically these letters refer to a mythological Britain we hardly recognise, one where immigration is the biggest problem, immigrant communities fail to integrate and the British way of life is disappearing; the incomers prefer to live near to others from their home country, use their own language, open their own shops, religious organisations and societies. At no point do the writers recognise the parallels with their own lives.

We took advantage of the ex-pats preference for English owned businesses and had two back tyres fitted to the van by Alfie, born in Essex obviously, at Tyres Direct, rather than tackle the transaction in Spanish. We made up for taking the soft option by attending the bingo night at the camp site, which did give us an opportunity to improve our Spanish numbers.


  1. Thanks Rachel. We thought we'd show how hip we are. Thinking through our friends, we're not sure if anyone but you will get it though.

  2. Well then heres a challenge for everyone; you've got the abbreviation, whats the full band name? And no cheating on Google!!
    Rach x

  3. The Post Modernist Shepherds22 November 2009 at 19:09

    I've already cheated - but didn't need it anyway ...

    MCR = ManChesteR.

    Easy really.

  4. Not sure about post modernist, maybe pre modernist

  5. Just read this out to my husband as rings so true.
    Great blog btw. Have only just found it.

  6. Thank you Annie, its good to know people keep finding our blog.