I feel really sorry for my bosses, Adel and Gusa, they have been remarkably fair and generous with me and they had put together a cracking little language school here in Ciudad Rodrigo but, in the end, there just weren't enough customers and they have decided to close from the end of this month.
What is terrible news for them is bad news for me too because, once again, I am out of work and without income. Some of my students have asked about continuing with me privately and I'm keen on that idea but, being the person I am, I instantly thought of all the difficulties.
Where could I put classes of up to eight people, certainly not in the spare bedroom at the flat. Then there are the materials, the text books and other resources including things like a whiteboard, tables and chairs - quite basic things.
Adel suggested that one way to get sufficient space would be to move to a bigger flat but as Maggie and I are a bit unsure about our plans after summer that seems a bit excessive. Nonetheless it was the first thing that set me to thinking about what I could do rather than what the problems were.
Text books are easy enough from a quick perusal of the Amazon website. Flipcharts and whiteboards and even tables and chairs seem reasonably priced. I wondered about renting a small shop or office but it would have to be very cheap for it to make economic sense and a quick tour of some properties this morning seems to rule that idea out. Another bright spark idea, to rent a room in a public building, seems to have come to naught. The people in the Casa de Cultura thought it was a totally ridiculous idea. I've not given up though and I asked one of Maggie's pals, who works for the Town Hall, to check if there may be somewhere rentable by the hour. Almost any reasonably comfortable space, where I could put up a flipchart and plug in a laptop, would do. And renting by the hour means no committment to monthly payments etc. Renting rooms for clubs, groups and classes is dead normal in the UK but it seems to be much less so here.
The legalities of running a cash in hand operation are something else of course, running without insurance may not be too smart and there's the added complication that I really do need to sign on the dole in order to maintain my State health cover. Problems, problems.
I have this horrible feeling that it was Margaret Thatcher who coined the phrase "Bring me solutions not problems" so I think I'll stick with good King Hal: "Time to stiffen up the sinews, summon the blood"