Sunday, 29 January 2012

News on Sunday

English:Image via WikipediaIt has been hot since quite early this morning, so I'd chuntered through the routines...dogs, chicks, chickens ducks, us....and prepared to read quietly on the balcony until lunch time.

The dogs doing their Baskerville imitation soon roused me and heading for the door loaded for bear I found my fury at disturbance turning to resigned acceptance as I beat back the hounds to let the group of ladies into the house.

Quite a band.

Estrella, Luz, Marta, Ermida and Mery, all sporting parasols against the sun and bearing carrier bags with offerings for Mr. Fly.
Knowing that he is ill, people tend to bring him things good for his health...everything from papaya via noni - an extremely bitter fruit - to sangre de christo - a bark to make a tincture held to be a sovereign remedy from everything from worms to cancer.

Settled with coffee and cake the routine enquiries as to health of all present and their families were undertaken and then there was a little silence before Dona Mery leant forward to say

I don't know if you've heard, but The  Neighbour has been diagnosed with a tumour on his lung. It's supposed to be cancer.'

Now, while my first and reprehensible reaction might be

Serve him damn well right.

A second's reflection is enough to make me realise that this is not actually what I think. No one deserves illness.
Not even The Neighbour.
He might deserve to be beaten within an inch of his life...but not illness.
So I ask if anyone knows how far the cancer has advanced

No, I just heard through his daughter's husband's mother that it was a tumour and when he disappeared last time it turns out he was in hospital in San Jose.

We drink coffee contemplatively. I think we are all thinking of The Neighbour's long and unpleasant career as wife beater, philanderer, swaggering bully and violent lout.

His insults, his arrogance, his tampering with water system and the telephone lines, his attacks on the defenceless.

We haven't been here long, but long enough to have experience of his methods.
He blocked our car with his cattle lorry on a narrow section of the road and, knowing Mr. Fly to be ill, leered through the window at him, passing his hand across his throat and croaking

You'll die'll die soon.

Like some witch doctor in a crisp white hat with a curly brim.

This was nothing to compare with his attack on Dona Mery's father...then in his seventies...when catching the old man alone on his coffee plantation and beating him so severely that he had to spend weeks in hospital while The Neighbour boasted of his feat in all the bars in town - until being barred from same because the other customers were so disgusted.

Local culture is such that speaking ill of the well is frowned upon, let alone speaking ill of the unwell, so no more is said until Dona Mery gathers her parasol and prepares for departure, her flock around her.

Pausing in the doorway she says

He should never have cheated the monks..

And in a susurration of

Ah, si!


God bless you

The party take their leave, mission accomplished.

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  1. And so he shouldn't, Fly. But you're right, I wouldn't wish cancer on my worst enemy, especially not lung cancer, of which my father died.

  2. Perpetua, no, I agree. It's something we've been too close to to wish on anyone.

  3. We don't wish illness that's true. But what a sad life to have lived that people have double edge to their feelings when your that ill - we reap what we sow.

    Talking of characters have you noticed that Jimmy has disappeared again.

  4. Mark, in a culture where family is important and family is omnipresent it always struck me as odd that his family did not visit him and did not invite him.
    He picks up women in church from time to time...the local church is a bit like pre Fire of London St. Paul's...but it never lasts and he spends his life listening to dance music and going out to fiestas and bars.

    Yes, indeed I had noticed. A sad loss...I miss his voice.

  5. Bad ju-ju. Karma. The universe. Not for us to glory or take satifaction in.

  6. Good wishes for your husband Fly.


  7. Wouldn't wish a terminal illness on my worst enemy either but he was tempting fate when he was so horrid to Mr Fly. What goes around comes around.

    You may be basking but we the 1st flurries of snow...

  8. Well, I just hope it mellows him...

  9. Well I was just about to say it's karma although Steve beat me to it. Of course no-one wishes illness on anyone, but it must be difficult to find sympathy for such a brutal man.

  10. Niall and Antoinette, I was quite ashamed of my first split second reaction but, no, I wouldn't wish illness on anyone really.
    He's been a lot nastier to locals...hooting at Danilo's wife who was going in to hospital for thyroid cancer treatment
    'You'll never come home...' for example.

    Snow...very pretty when seen from the tropics...

    Sarah, he'll go one way or the other...calm down or really go for bust. My money's on the latter.

    Ayak, a beastly man.

  11. Give my best to Mr. Fly...As for your beastly neighbour, I'm sorry he has only become more so. With lung cancer, a dreadful disease, he will eventually be gone.

  12. e, thank you! Mr. Fly is enjoying his project....though it makes him tired.

    It seems such an odd thing...The Neighbour has apparently never smoked in his life.

  13. He sounds most unpleasant and I'm glad I don't have him in my neighbourhood.

    He seems to enjoy what he's doing, though. I don't imagine he's do it if he didn't. I wonder what caused him to derive pleasure only from that type of behaviour?

    I don't think he will be missed, which is sad, really.

  14. Everyone else seems much more generous-spirited than me. I personally can't help feeling there's a certain divine justice at work (for once).

    I hope Mr Fly is OK? Sounded like not?

  15. Mark in Mayenne, from what I can gather his father was just the same and this was the favoured son.

    He really is a blot on the landscape and from what people say he has become worse over the years as, through his own mismanagement, he has had to sell most of his finca and take odd jobs to make ends meet.
    It is as if he compensates for his loss of status by violence.

    Pueblo girl, I wouldn't wish illness on anyone...I've lived too close to it for too long...but I could wish a horsewhipping on the so and so, to give him a little of what he has inflicted on others.

    His 'curses' affect people badly, too; he is a sort of witch doctor figure, although since he has been hauled into court and seen to be vulnerable the tide has changed somewhat.

    Mr. Fly is having a great time renovating the house in San Jose...this incident was not long after we had made the permanent move while he was still pretty bad.

    When we took The Neighbour to court to seek the first protection order the judge, horrified, asked him if he were not ashamed to threaten an elderly man who was very ill.

    Replied The Neighbour

    'He might be ill...but he don't die, do he...'

    Gives you something of the measure of the man...

  16. Gosh Fly - it all sounds like 'Manon des Sources' all over again...except now in Costa Rica. Sure you do not fancy writing a book?

    Your guest post is up at mine now:
    Once again I'd like to thank you for all of this. Super stuff! Great to see your mum's memories up there on the screen (hopefully) for posterity. H/C xx

  17. Hadriana's Treasures...I did enjoy sharing some of mother's memories....and if she comes out here for s holiday The Neighbour had better look out!

  18. Bloomin' niehgbours, what a guy! I'm with Pueblo Girl about Divine Justice at work. I also hope that Mr Fly is ok.

  19. Lulu LaBonne, Mr. Fly fine!
    Busy installing a proper bathroom in the San Jose house and discovering that when he told Danilo to make a sunray pattern with the tiles in the shower what he has ended up with is a display of evenly distributed swastikas....I suppose we're lucky he didn't choose back red and white tiles...

  20. Hideous horrible man. The illness which may end him is not to be wished upon anyone - however it does not make a thoroughly unpleasant man any more or less palatable...

    On a different note - you write so beautifully. It is a joy to read as your style is just so natural - the words perfectly placed and chosen. The reading rhythm just right.

  21. la mujer libre, he is a despicable object.
    Currently he has picked up a girl in her early twenties to live with him promising to leave her his fortune when he dies....
    I know, greedy little fool, but it doesn't make him any better.

    Thank you for your kind remarks...I try to reflect the way things happen, the way people speak, but any virtue in it is, I think, the product of a life of reading and that, in large part, is thanks in turn to the wonderful public libraries of my childhood and youth.