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Selby Bit – Spain Arrival

A little blurb of Selby.

Selby_Cover_web_corner_1 “Grabbing my dust covered suitcases I walked the few yards to the RENFE Station where an escalator quietly conveyed me down to the platform beneath the street. Here modern electric trains ran between the cities of Malaga and Fuengirola every half hour entertaining their passengers with a background of classical music while they enjoyed the view of the various beaches en route. It was only a couple Euros to Fuengirola on the train ─ a taxi would have been at least fifty or more.
After 30 minutes enjoying the view and listening to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake wafting from the overhead speakers, we arrived in the bustling city of Fuengirola. This modern beach town in the middle of the Costa del Sol is a Mecca for tourists who travel from all over Europe on a budget ─ a polyglot of humanity attracted by the comparative low cost of hotels, restaurants, cheap booze and plenty of sunshine. They all swarm onto the sandy beaches joining the semi-nude sun worshippers with their arses in the sand and their nipples to the sky. Nobody gives a shit what’s hanging out while toasting their buns and stuffing themselves at the dozens of fast food counters along the beach.
In the evening they spend their Euros, Dollars and Pounds at the hundreds of bars and restaurants jostling for customers in every nook and cranny along the sea front.
The Casa Grande Pension where I had reserved a room was within walking distance of the subway station, but my suitcases were heavy. While wondering what to do I was approached by a shifty looking young man, his face grinning at me like we were old friends.
“Hiya,” he yelled. “Me name’s Skeets. You want some help carrying them cases?” he asked.
“I certainly would. It’s only to the Casa Grande just across the street.” He smiled, picked up both cases like they were full of feathers and headed across the street to the Pension.
The Casa Grande Pension was a typical old Spanish white stucco covered building decorated outside by scores of wire baskets filled with brightly colored flowers hanging from the windows and balconies. The owner had just finished watering them and stood outside admiring his handiwork. He wished me Buenos Dias and followed me inside where Skeets was waiting for me at the reception counter.
“You don’t know how grateful I am,” I said, taking out my wallet and handing him my last ten-dollar bill. “I have very little Spanish money, but I hope you can change this.”
“Course I can. Look Mate, if you needs me help as a guide, I knows all the right places. I told ya me name’s Skeets and I’ll come back and see ya later on,” he replied in a broad cockney accent. He then vanished into the street as quickly as he had appeared.”


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Other Asquiths

Just to note about this Asquith’s Notes blog. It has nothing at all to do with Herbert Henry Asquith, Earl of Oxford and Asquith, who served as the liberal British Prime Minister from 1908 to 1916, who saw Britain into World War I, and introduced the Home Rule Bill for Ireland in 1910, thoroughly disliked by the Ulster Protestants, and due to early setbacks in the Great War replaced in latter 1916 by David Lloyd George. His nickname was reportedly “Squiff” or “Squiffy”, an apparent derogatory reference to his fondness for drink. And aside from that, I bear no personal relation whatsoever.

There is a small town called Asquith in Australia with a railway station named for the Prime Minister. There is also apparently a restaurant called “The Asquith” in Birmingham with 66% likes, which serves a suckling pig dish, but I myself have never eaten there. There is a J. Asquith in London, who may or may not be a dentist. There is an Asquith city in Saskatchewan, Canada, but I would have no reason I could think of to go to Saskatchewan.

The most culturally significant Asquith with whom I am not at all related is Anthony Asquith, the British film director of the 1952 Michael Redgrave version of “The Importance of Being Ernest”, with Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell. He also directed the British film classics “Pygmalion” and “The Browning Version”. Anthony Asquith was the son of H.H. Asquith, but only dabbled in politics, before heading a labor union. 

I, Roger Asquith, disavow any association to these others. Though, I did recently have a dream about Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell.

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Cheltenham Festival

This week, the annual Cheltenham Festival comes galloping into Gloucestershire with hats, horses and Guinness galore at the Racetrack in Prestbury. Goodnight Mister Tom celebrates its 30th anniversary with a brand new production starring Oliver Ford Davies, coming to Cheltenham for one week only, George Montague performs and an overnight kart racing challenge to raise money for kids.. Plus, the chance to win an equine work of art from Dwell at The Brewery.

I was born in Prestbury village where they have the racecourse  where the Cheltenham Festival is held. I recall back during the war when the whole racecourse was taken over by the American troops who were welcomed like Flowers in May by us kids because they always had lotsa candy  (Babe Ruth, Juicy Fruit Gum , etc.) to give us kids when we yelled “Any Gum Chum”!

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