R t V f F I


Welcome back January. That’s because December is neither November nor January, it’s just December. I noticed this years ago and it’s one of the main bothers of life in Passeig de Gràcia. If you can, in December, get out of here. Why?

Category: Revista | 22 January, 2012
Illustration: Anna Solsona

December is the month of damp, rain and cold, a series of circumstances that seem like nonsense when you live in a house that isn’t prepared for damp, rain and cold: ten-foot ceilings, wooden windows, windows from 1910, a heater that doesn’t turn on until January and a fireplace that even Mary Poppins’ boyfriend is unable to unblock: all these things make living in Passeig de Gràcia a real torture. I can assure you, you can be colder indoors than outdoors.

That’s why things such as eating dinner on the sofa watching TV and warming your hands with the toaster, moving your reading couch into the kitchen to use the heat of the oven, getting up at midnight to cover the bed with towels as blankets, getting out of the shower with the Spyder over the towel, and painting your nails and lips to hide a purple-freezing color are all common in one of the most glamorous streets of Barcelona.

And worst of all, all this happens in the most absolute discretion because there is a pact of silence among the neighbours: what goes on inside these buildings, stays inside the buildings.

And that’s why I went to my concierge to ask for advice. After giving him a tip, he gave me four pieces of advice on how to survive, he unblocked the fireplace and  he removed the soot.

Soot, indeed, a word that had always amused me, until I saw that once removed, soot is fucking everywhere and that word is not so nice, because it stains everything and leaves it all dirty for months.

Back to the story. Once he had removed the soot, my concierge told me that the best way to have a warm November was to use the fireplace, but it was not easy because the distribution of firewood in Barcelona was quite low, and I had two choices. One, burn my grandma’s books. The second was that on Wednesdays there is scrap-wood leftover from beds, old windows or tables, ready to cut and burn, and for that I just had to buy an axe.

So, since I have always wanted to have the whole kit, I went to Servei Estació and bought the urban lumberjack kit, which includes a hatchet, a cutting-base, a chainsaw, a protective mask and a plaid shirt.

And there I was, waiting for the first Wednesday of the month. I went down to the street with my cutting-base, my all-new plaid shirt, my axe, my protective mask and my chainsaw (lithium-battery powered), and started with work, and just when I was and about to successfully finish my first bundle of firewood, the police came shouting like mad and they seized the axe, the saw, the cutting-base and my bundle of firewood and they arrested me without even letting me take off my protective mask and without explaining in any reasonable way what it was that I was doing wrong.

So without word or explanation I found myself in jail, with the laces taken out of my shoes and sipping a nespresso vivalto (I could choose) in the police cells, where after a while I had two familiar faces visit me, my neighbour from the attic and the Frenchman who lives on the second floor who, following the concierge’s advice, decided to spend the cold night having a little party with some friends and some girls the concierge had recommended him, and apparently it turned out that the girls were so young and so drunk that they caught the passersby’s attention, who as good citizens decided to call the police and that’s how they were arrested too…

Luckily, we were able to explain to the judge and all was wrapped up quickly, but the night we all three spent together will remain in our memories until at least next year. And the concierge was right all along, we didn’t feel cold again afterwards.

Category: Revista | 22 January, 2012
Illustration: Anna Solsona




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