Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oranges and the birthday week!

I lost my serenity this week.  Even though it was my birthday week which is an annual celebration where I mostly just indulge myself....  not doing lots of work but instead blogging, biking, reading or painting, I did none of those things.  I didn't get a dinner or a cake and I 'm ashamed to admit that I felt sorry for myself, princess that I am.

  The first problem I had to solve is that I had double booked my studio apt when I was in Spain.  I had failed to mark it in the book when a couple from Holland asked later if they could take extra days.  With two parties arriving together that meant that I had to pay for a hotel for one of the parties for two nights and to salve my conscience I decided to put them in a nice hotel and give them a free day in the studio.   I wasn't sure they would still want to come anyway.  People don't usually like change they don't sign up for.

 Last week there was also occasions to call out the plumber, and the electrician for breakages in the apartments.  And the gardner finally agreed to come who I had been trying to get for a few months.   It was a full, non-stop week of  stuff to handle.  But I had it all wrong, these were not real problems.  A real problem is one where you can't see a solution.

As it turns out the couple from Holland were the jolliest and cleanest I have ever had in my apt.  And when I went to the hotel to pay for my guest's rooms, the receptionist waived the tax because we had such a good laugh together.

 When the couple left they refused to reclaim their deposit which put back almost half of what I had lost in revenue and they left the apt spic and span so that I only had to spend a half hour to have it ready for the next party.

 Piet and Ina were so much fun that I hung out with them several times during the week, drinking Tunisian wine that they had found at the corner market.  They are a retired couple who manage apartments in Holland. He sings and plays in a band  .  She plays tennis and bridge. They are both so full of energy they don't sit still for very long.  All 10 days they took bikes up and down and around to nearby towns regardless of the weather and they are 5 years older than I am!

So what an interesting birthday week I had.   I got to hang out with my other tenant/friend next door and drink screwdrivers and laugh and talk into the night.  She made some great snacks and we played with her felines.

I got the pleasure of meeting new neighbors when I distributed the oranges to other households. About 1000 oranges were collected when the gardner did his thing to cut it back.  We were out there harvesting every last one.  I was given a box of kiwis in return at one household and a thank you card by another.  People were amazed and pretty thrilled about it.  As I have said, neighbors more often keep to themselves here and most of the trees in the area are for bitter oranges instead of sweet like ours.

Yes, after the gardner left , with his three bags, we are all still drinking a great deal of orange juice! When you think about it,   at this extremely high quality , orange juice is one of the most amazing liquids that one can pour down one's gullet.

So in answer to your question,  I had a fantastic birthday week.  And I even found my serenity.  It must have been hiding around the place and just popped back out yesterday.


  1. Wishing you a fantastic new year Mary!

  2. Sorry I'm late with great wishes for a wonderful 'new year'.