Archive for August, 2010

A Good Weekend

I think I’ve had a good weekend. Saturday was spent at home a mix of watching F1 writing and generally chilling out plus a few glasses of vino so I think Saturday was good.  I know I had a good Sunday morning. The alarm went about 7am, wife got up made a cup of tea then headed for the bathroom. Why I wondered is she doing that at this time of morning its Sunday aft…. ah! Petanca competition 8.30 start, so I also headed for the bathroom. A while later washed, dressed with the all important cuppa inside of me we were on our way to town. Now it is the local festival and they have been partying all week – as they do – and I fully expected to see signs of a disco at the bull ring as has happened in the past, however no sign of disco, no hung over bodies making their way home, nothing. Then in town all we saw were the cleaners tidying up, no bars were open with people sitting outside drinking coffee. One of the club members said that people were partying all night and bemoaned the fact that she couldn’t get a cup of coffee anywhere and the noise!!! Still there was the breakfast to look forward to.

These competitions always start with a good `Spanish’ breakfast of a Hammon boccadillo olives and red wine and all before we start the competition. We played in teams of triplettas and doubles, and although taken seriously the game is also a lot of fun. My friends and I won all our games so there was a play-off was between us and the doubles team who’d done the same, and who managed to beat us by 1 point. Still the prize was excellent, a Paleta Curada – leg of dried pork  (Hammon), this will last us for a while and the use is infinite.  My wife’s team came second to us so she won three bottles of wine plus two sticks of dried sausage, yes I can see lots of lovely snacks….. When we were leaving for home a foam party was in full swing on the Passage de Dolt looked like people were enjoying themselves nice to see adults there of course they were only there to keep an eye on the children….more adults than kids no just big and small kids having fun.  Got to see the F1 and Louis Hamilton win, such a shame Rubens didn’t make it though.  We saw the goats this evening good to see them back but if they are coming down from the macer and snaffling my apples not so good.  Still it was nice to see our friends and have a few laughs, yes definitely a good weekend.

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I Couldn’t Eat A Whole One.

Well, I suppose the ferry is as good a place to begin. We moved here in 2004 and the ferry that connects our side of the river with the village was being built. Over the past few years we have seen the it painted then repainted; then this year it was in the water. However, the river does get a bit low and one morning I drove to see if the ferry was working and lo there is was stuck in the middle of the river because the water level was down. But, it is in the water and it does move so next year we might…………  Another thing is the driving. You notice this when you have been driving along a nice straight road and the cars behind do not over take but sit there. Then approaching a bend of brough of a hill and off they go, whoosh,  whoosh, wish, bless em they do however mind the solid white line fun comes when it returns to dotted again.

Other things that make living here a joy and continual sense of fun is parking. There are black and white parking places on the roads in town. It is not unusual to find a car parked on the crossing while the driver chats to his mate who is standing on the pavement. While they are chatting backed up behind are various vehicles, no one hoots a horn, screams or shouts, they just sit there and wait wonderful people. But what ever thoughts people have about the Spanish and work, here in Catalonia they work very hard. We have left for the drive to the port and seen farmers out at first light and the roads are certainly not quiet. If we do not get through Llieda before 7am we hit heavy traffic.

There is another side though. I have just replaced the tyres on the car with 50/50’s which have green valve caps. My wife returned to the car the other afternoon to find two young boys taking them off. She went after them and got the caps back. The colour denotes what is in the tyres in these  its  inert gas not air. Still there are always some.

This afternoon I finally got the car port finished, and would you believe it rained lol. Well its fiesta starting this week and we are playing petanca so will keep you up to date.

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The Longest Weekend

We went to play Petanca this weekend, and what an experience.  Because of my writing and going to UK  to get a laptop I missed some games, so when we turned up yesterday to play in the usual Saturday competition, we were surprised to find few people there. However my wife insisted we stayed there as going by Spanish logic starting at 4.30pm meant getting there at 4.30, which proved to be correct. We started playing at 4.45pm and finished at 9.30pm needless to say it was the Longest Game. Our daughter who was with us had time to visit the little fair, have a couple of drinks and STILL see all our games. But this is Catalonia, nothing frazzes anyone. While we were playing a young couple from Australia who were traveling round Spain visited Mora and one of our senior players gave them a lesson in Petanca which it turns out the Australians play but their rules are not so strict. They said that this afternoon was the best they had spent since being in Spain. See oldies are fun!  We won two games and lost two games, but the fiesta is coming up over the next two weeks so we will be playing quite a few games. I play Petanca in the afternoons as relaxation (or rather a break from writing) and as its men only it is enjoyable.  The couple from Australia were very pleasant and I hope the rest of their tour of Spain will be as enjoyable as their visit to us. Last night my wife and daughter watched the meteors, they said it was quite a good show.  I might just join they tonight. So for me, today has been one of relaxation, well almost, I cooked lunch: mashed potatoes, carrots cooked with onions served with a gravy. The local village has its fiesta this weekend, so a lot of noise at night but they do play some really good music. I am now going to watch some sport and the others are going to pick figs. Yes this is an ideal weekend.

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Our daughter is over for a holiday and last night we took her to Rasqueria for their Correfoc. We have never been to Rasqueria’s before and the experience was well worth the effort. 

When we arrived people were milling around the plaza to one side of which there were five dragons soon to be paraded round the little village accompanied by their groups who carried lit torches of fireworks. The dragons themselves had more fireworks attached which were lit and made them look fierce. The groups were formed up then the parade began, each group well covered to prevent burns, danced their way round following their dragon who breathed fire stopping every so often to have its fireworks replaced then off it would go again.

Following was fun and squeals could be heard everywhere. Well protected youngsters were dancing with the firework carrying followers, shirts and hats dampened to protect against stray sparks, looks of sheer delight on their faces with more squeals as the dragons passed by. Accompanying these groups were drummers who were protected from the fray so we walked along with the drummers watching the dancing dragons with their followers in front while keeping a close watch on the group behind us.

But this was a well run fiesta. Each group had a `Captain’ who  made sure there was enough distance between the groups and no one got too close to do any damage.

We went up and down streets laughing at the younger generation being daring and having fun. However, on the last leg the wind began blowing the smoke, which was heavy, down the hill towards us causing my wife to start coughing. Taking to the side of the street which was sheltered, we passed the final display coming back to the square where it had started from to find a fresh breeze blowing. After a glass of cola she managed to stop coughing and my daughter and I watched the drummers as they had a contest at the end of the display.

This is a traditional fiesta, used to drive the devil from the village, they must have succeeded, if not we all had a whale of a time trying. This is one we will be visiting again, taking a smoke mask and who knows I might even dance under the fireworks. 

We did not take a camera but for pictures if you go to Ebro Apartments you will see the photos that Dena Rowland’s took which as always will be spectacular. At this moment I am sitting writing in my outdoors office overlooking the forest accompanied by the noise of cicadas  its Sunday.

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