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Archive for May, 2014

So The Knives Are Out!!!.

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We would normally spend a petanca paella, sitting down to eat in good company and sunshine, however, today was to prove an exception of sorts.  For a start, we had been looking at the weather – el tiempo – for the past two days and according to the tv we would be up to our armpits in water oh yeh???

This morning arrived in full sun warm and promising a lovely day with no clouds in any direction and as we could see down the valley we made the usual remarks about pity it was raining so much or we wont have to drive down with all this rain we can float…. should not have said anything.

We spent the morning tidying up and fiddling about to pass the time – we did not get up until gone 10 o’clock as I was watching the football on tv then the Godfather 2 till late. Anyway I decided to have a lie down before we left – it’s a requirement as there is plenty to eat and drink and a few games afterwards – so I was a little surprised to find it getting cloudy with large white clouds that were giving way to varying shades of grey appearing over the mountains. Still we have a club house so I was not worried we have had the paellas in there before, we are a versatile lot here.  So once rested and washed I was handed the bag with our dishes, forks, glasses – for vino – a bottle of wine and lemonade plus the obligatory roll of paper towels -and we set off for town.

It was getting grayer as we drove into town but the tables and chairs were set up out under the trees then the sun came out.  This was more like it, however this did not last long and I think the weather report might have put quite a few people off as there were not many there, but those who were were good company and  good friends.  We found our spot at the table and whilst I went to chat with my friends my wife went to the shop for one or two bits to go with the lunch, crisps, cakes and apricots.   Then we all settled down to the traditional country paella of rabbit, chicken, peppers and rice cooked to perfection as always by Hosea.  It was whilst we were on the last course the water melon and coffee – the coffee was passed round from various flasks – that the first spots of rain were felt.  During the conversation no one had noticed the clouds getting thicker and darker, but just one not so dark and dense was the one that tinkled on us.  Well that was that, we went from laughing at the remarks of the women about our petanca prowess to being told by an army of female  organisers – my wife included – to get out of their way and with in a few minutes the tables were cleared so we men could stash tables and chairs away all neat and tidy.   I looked around but everyone had basically gone, so it was really annoying to find that 10 minutes later it stopped raining and as I write the sun is out.  Can’t trust the weather man can you lol.

So no pictures were taken however here are some of the best from past meals just to give you an idea of the fun we usually have.

 

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So hopefully the next one will be like this good company and  friends lots of sun and a few games after, oh and I must remember to take a flask of coffee next time…..

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

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This weekend saw the Falset Wine Festival, we missed it last year so made sure we got to this one.  We were pleased to find it was back on the main street of the town like it used to be, the last time we attended the fiesta was up in the castle which left the town virtually deserted.  I did not think this was good for either Falset, the cafe’s/restaurants or the vintners as it took people out of town and away from the wine Bodega’s that did not have stands but just opened their doors.  Anyway, we decided we would go after Petanca for the early evening when it would be cooler.  The first thing we had to do was find somewhere to park as all  the car-parks were full to over flowing, but behind the Co-operativa I managed to find a space so I was happy.

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We entered at the bottom of the main street and found the stands were arranged along the left hand side.  People were wandering around with their ‘glass in a bag’ – you bought this for about 20 Euros along with tickets that enabled you to sample the wines – or sitting at tables outside some of the Bodegas.

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There was also entertainment, I noticed a group of musicians taking a break whilst at the top of the street a ‘human tower’ contest was taking place. There were several visiting teams which included young and old alike but this was the winning team.

 

 

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We then went for a drink bumping into one or two people we know in the process. After a beer we decided to wander around to the main square which is hidden in the heart of Falset.

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Here we found the cheese stalls, passing small artisan shops selling coffee as well as the delicatessen wines, cheeses, cakes and breads on our way there.  Whilst in the square I found some really nice goats cheese so cholesterol is ok for a while.

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As you can see from the first photographs it was a packed street with people wandering around tasting wines or just standing discussing them, but I did manage to get fairly close to the stand of the Capçanes Celler, it is here they make the wine for the Jewish Church in Cataluña. I could see  they were busy as there was quite a crush there.

 

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But we did manage to get to the El Masroig stand to be greeted warmly and discovered they have re-branded, and produced a very light Roseada for the UK market.  I bought a bottle of their new young red and the Roseada to try at home as it was almost impossible to do so there.  But I have made an appointment to visit and find out more about these wines.  So to the New Roseada.  As I was informed this has been made for the UK market and the Celler was asked to make it lighter in colour as the deep pink we have here was not to the taste of the customers for that market. The result is a very drinkable wine almost a white with a pink blush which is perfect either cold or at room temperature, the Celler has this one spot on.   The red is a young wine and meant to be drunk young, this is not for laying down.  I found it to be pleasant and very drinkable and one for my shopping list.   So I shall be going into more detail about these and the other wines from El Masroig when I visit.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is the rock rose that my wife saved years ago. She was so fascinated by the bush and the fact that its flowers are almost like paper, that instead of disposing of the plant when we were clearing the area for our house she planted it out of the way at the edge of the BBQ area. And here it has stayed and grown flowering every year.  At the time we did not know what it was then one Christmas my sister gave my wife a book of Mediterranean plants. In there are lots of bulbs and plants that in the UK cost a fortune in the garden centres but here are simply growing wild so the book has now become one of her ´garden bibles´.

She was so happy yesterday morning, her gum was getting better –  lots of toofy pecks –  plus we had been sitting in the FF zone, chatting away whilst on the computers not a care in the world.  So I suggested we went to town me to play petanca and she could go to the wi-fi café, it would be a break so off we went.

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After petanca we had a beer at Ramon’s watched the world go by did some shopping then came home. Now normally what happens is I park the car hand my wife the door keys so she can get in whilst I bring in the shopping. However, when we arrived home for some reason unlike normal I took the house keys and with one bag in hand went to open the door whilst my wife followed with rest of the shopping.  I headed for the FF zone when “Mike STOP”!!!! came the shout ‘SNAKE’!!!!!  I stopped looked around but could not see it then I looked in the FF Zone and there was Sid  slithering towards the front door step.  There was no way he could get into the house as there is a screen door to prevent that, but still not a good move on his part. Anyway I put down the bag fetched the bamboo pole and went to “say hello”, but Sid decided he would rather be off and in doing so kindly showed me where he had managed to get in.  Needless to say that is no longer and option for him.  So sometime over the weekend we are off shopping for various bits and pieces to make VERY certain he can’t get in again.

As I said to my wife – who for some reason did not seem to appreciate it – look at it from his point of view, in here he is safe from the eagles and others who consider him food, plus the concrete is warm and a nice place to sunbathe.  I have noticed that the bamboo pole is now inside the front door……..

I also reminded her that he has provided her with poetry material.  Her reply? ‘well let him bite you then”.  So what started as a happy content day saw my wife checking the FF zone every now and then and a little apprehensive.  But this morning she was fighting fit again and back gardening.

 

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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