Nuevo Suizo pension, Sevilla.


jimmy Hogg

01 Mar

Sunday March 1st
2015. 11am

Nuevo Suizo pension, Sevilla.

The last few days seem to have blended into one, not that I’ve really
done that much since I last wrote. I’m digging the dormitory-hostel
vibe, partly because it’s cheap and partly because I have really good
ear plugs and lots of podcasts available to block out the snorers of
which is could be posited that I am occasionally one (if drunk and
sleeping on my back, otherwise I’m like a particularly reticent
doormouse in a library, who has taken a vow of silence). Spending
money on accommodation, unless you’re actually spending any time in
the place makes no sense and it seems that the standard of hostels
and budget hotels is way better than the last time I travelled like
this in Europe (1998?) when you had to get mangled just to be able to
pass out for four hours and then wake in the middle of the night
sweating like a marathon runner wrapped in cling-film.

People are a bit more stand-offish in this hostel, which is fine,
it’s just the vibe here. Over free breakfast I chatted to three
twenty-year old American girls- I am the same age as one of their
Dads- amazing. They talk loudly, wildly, enthusiastically- they speak
over one another, squeal and giggle and generally behave like North
American girls of their age. This is not a slight. They’re smart and
open and honest and ask me why I, “don’t have an accent,”
explaining that I don’t sound like any of the characters in the Harry
Potter films. Superb. I go through my, quite frankly, excellent
repertoire of accents and voices from the films . It kills. I’ll have
to put something like this in one of my new shows I’m writing,
although the massive sense of shame one feels at ‘performing’ at such
a base level may force my whole being to shrink up into my own rectum
never to return.

They all have rich, white girl names- I can’t remember any of them-
like Regan and Madison and Ashley- but none of those names. The
blonde one reminds me of Reese Witherspoon in Election, she’s clearly
the leader of the three of them, the smartest one has quite bad acne
and wiry hair and the third one is the lazy, funny one… It’s as
though they’ve been cast for some generic TV show or summer high
school flick. They play poker for no money and I explain that they
should just call every hand then. They hadn’t thought of that.

Baggio, the Italian, has been out every night until at least 5am,
this morning he came in just before 11am to get his stuff and check
out and head off to get his bus home. He looks surprisingly well for
a man who has been on a three day bender. Last night myself and
Carrie-Anne, the French Canadian went out and found this Flamenco Bar
I’d been to four years ago. It was legitimately excellent. Good
choice me.

During the show the thought occurred to me that I should be in a
relationship with a Flamenco dancer. I make us a simple dinner in the
evenings, then we drink wine and make out and then for no reason
whatsoever she just loses her shit and we have an epic argument until
she has nothing left in the locker and goes to sleep in the bathroom
with the door locked. In the morning she brings me a glass of freshly
squeezed orange juice and some eggs that she’s over-cooked, but she’s
trying to apologize for being a mentalist the night before. I accept
the apology and eat the eggs, which are actually not that bad, but
maybe I’m just hungry. We go for a walk and drink coffee and read
newspapers and short stories and she puts an ear bud in my ear and I
listen to some new music she’s stumbled upon. We have sex all
afternoon (realistically, about 11-14 minutes, but the intensisty of
it makes it seem like it was a lot longer and the perceived value is
very high, everyone has a great time). While she naps I write,
something excellent, something that’ll be just enough to pay the
rent, but something that comes from me so naturally I don’t stop to
ponder on a single word, there is no pause, no hesitation the words
pour from me like hot butter from a vessel specifically designed for
pouring hot butter from. Then she comes and kisses me on the cheek
and asks me how the writing is going. She jumps in the shower and I
put together some lunch, something simple but delicious and then she
has to run out of the door because she has a show or a rehearsal, she
forgets her keys, or her bag or something she would later need, but I
shout out of the window and drop them/it down to her in the alleyway,
she shouts up that she loves me, but I’m too shy to shout it back
with the neighbours looking on and smiling, but she knows and I know
and even the neighbours know. One she’s gone I write some more, only
briefly distracted by Facebook where I post a picture of something
I’ve recently eaten and a status update that affirms how great my
relationship is. I write a bit more and then pop out to the market
before it closes to get some bits and pieces for dinner. I have a
meeting with my editor who confirms that, yes, he definitely wants to
extend my book deal to twelve more books. On the way home I buy a
good bottle of wine and I take my time preparing dinner and listening
to music and podcasts. That night we have dinner and argue once more.
Sundays are different. On Sundays we hang out with her family and
steal glances at each other across the table…


Okay, I’m  exhausted. I was out walking, sprint training (no one else
would consider my maximum velocity a sprint, let’s imagine a sloth
after two coffees attempting to reach the most succulent leaves at
the tip of the branch- like that, only with an ounce more
enthusiasm), doing some yoga by the river (again, no one with any
working knowledge of yoga would consider my awkward lunging and
twisting anything but an all to desperate attempt at avoiding
spinobifida). Yes, so, I was just taking to Irma who’s this
Lithuanian woman who works at the front desk- she moved here in her
early teens and speaks perfect Spanish- we speak in Spanish together
and she compliments me on it even though we both know I’m a bit of a
spastic. Anyway, I have to apologize to her because I can’t even
string a sentence together. She doesn’t give a fuck, she makes fun of
me- she’s rotund and acerbic, with a pretty face and a laugh that
arrives easily.

I’m listening to The Cold War Kids last album- a live recording they
did for some American Indie radio station. It’s melodic, emotional,
full of crescendos- a few lyrics that make me wince, but then I
forgive them because I believe they’re just trying to be honest- plus
I saw them live about three or four years ago and they were fucking

So the Sevilla-Althelitco game was excellent. A 0-0 draw, but the
atmospehere was great, the home fans singing continuously, the rake
of the stadium was so steep it was like a cauldron- I was in the
nosebleeds and it took me a little while to come to terms with the
fear of falling. I think I will review the game separately, as I will
also write a restaurant review of my favourite tapas bar- both as
exercises in writing about different things and perhaps adopting a
different tone or style- we’ll see what comes of it.

I’ve been listening to some excellent podcasts- there’s one by
Richard Herring recorded live in a theatre in London where he speaks
to different comedians of which I’ve listened to three of about sixty
ninety-minute podcasts. I’ve also been listening to the BBC Radio 4
Book Club podcast, a thirty minute chat with the author about his/her
book or with critics chatting about Orwell or someone else who’s dead
and wrote something- so far all three have been tremendous.

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