Tuesday, July 05, 2005

New broom

One of the great joys of house renovation is dust, it permeates the air of every room in the house; covering each and every surface several times a day with a film of debris. The polished granite worktops and tiled surfaces intended to make life easier have instead become showcases for the builders waste.

There must be something in the macho code signed up to by most Spanish males, which prevents builders from purchasing sweeping brushes. No matter the scale of the company, none of them will come prepared with the brushes and shovels needed to clear away the inevitable debris, they create. Instead they will utilise domestic dust pans to shovel away tons of broken concrete and tiles. I have run out of hiding places for brushes and dust pans, and accepted the inevitability of shopping weekly for such items.

I am not yet at ease with the design of Spanish sweeping brush; their handles are always 90° to the brush head, and it is impossible to apply any force behind such a brush head. And therein lays the problem, a whole new technique is required.

If you spend any time in a busy Tapas bar, you will eventually become aware that the customers are slowly disappearing in a sea of their own litter. Food morsels, napkins, cigarette buts, small animals and children can be identified amongst the debris. Some customers loose sight of their feet for several hours in the process of dining.

Periodically the Camerera/o (waiter/bar staff) will emerge from behind the bar to tackle the growing pile of litter. Using one of those rather delicate continental brushes each scrap of the offending litter is deftly flicked into the dust pan, leaving not a trace. These bars should, I now believe, display warnings to the effect that customers should not try this at home.

When you next tackle the builders debris, emboldened by the technique of the Camerera you have patiently studied and emulated you find that the mountain of dust and debris that moments ago lay before you has miraculously disappeared without trace. Success at last! It’s obviously all in the wrist action.

Turn around however, and you will find that the pile of debris, having flown though the air and over your dust pan has reformed behind you.

Oh! well its back to the bar for further studies.

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