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Posts Tagged ‘fiestas’

Wishing all my fellow writers, followers and friends a Merry Christmas and  Happy and Peaceful New year.  May it be filled with cheer and good writing.

Well the first part of Christmas here has passed, now comes New Year then the Three Kings. All of which means the Christmas decorations are still up and the festivities continue.  So I thought you might like to see the lights in town.

The Lights in Town

The effect is a very pretty display, but as always there was a sting in the tail. When I arrived to take the photos it was late at night which was what I wanted as I thought there would be less traffic.  Wrong!! the moment I got the camera out the world and its mother turned up headlights blazing so these are the best ones I hope you enjoy.

The Car Light ones….

                                                         

And here comes the rest:-

These are the lights that wander round our local town. All over there are villages and towns decked out and they stay like this until the 8th of January, then as if by magic, they are gone, not to be seen until next Christmas.  Catalunia may be having problems but the spirit of Christmas is kept going strong.

BON NADAL i FELIC NOU ANY     Soc Michael Douglas Bosc – Author

 

 

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The Course and The Club  

Once again its race time on the river at Club Nautique.  As you can see its a long way to the bridge where they round the central pillar then row back.  The downward journey is not too bad as they are racing with the flow of the river (about 6knts), however, on the way back it against the flow and a really hard pull. An awful lot of strength is required for this as pulling against a 6knt flow in a large rowing boat with only oars to get you where you want to be is no mean feat. Not here your Oxford or Cambridge boats these are sturdy river boats that have been used on the river for a long time.

              

As you can see from this photo there are safety boats out as well as canoes, plenty of assistance if needed.  So this people, is what these youngsters do every night of the summer for fun. Out in his boat are Pep and Chris two of the people who are always there for the club, today they started the races.  This is an annual event which we try very hard not to miss.

   

The club is always well attended and this year was no exception. As you can see it was very busy, but they have a good system for the food and drinks area.  You went to the two people sitting at the table who were issuing tickets for drinks and food, paid for what you wanted took your ticket to either the bar or BBQ on the other side of the bar – which was doing a roaring trade with kebabs – and collected your fare.

So to the Races

There are such a lot of pictures for the actual races that I shall just post them hope you enjoy.  Starting with the competitors:

The competitors,line up,the off finish and prize giving enjoy

   

   

 

 

And this young lady won a cup because she SWAM across the river  beating the only other competitor a young man by yards.

 

So there you are our day at the races in photographs, friends and life just get better.   Looking forward to next year boys and girls

 

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc – Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Petanca in Tivissa

Well Mother Nature has turned up the heat and the weather is  hot and sunny so on a normal day in these condition we all arrived at the football ground in Tivissa for petanca in the company of our friends.  At 8.30am the heat was on so after breakfast of wine, water and a bocadillo, tables and chairs were cleared away and the little tents were set up at the top of the courts to provide shade for the players during the matches.

              

Once the games were over the International was held and the tents moved to the side of the pitch and again shade was provided for contestants and spectators alike.

 

            

For those not taking part there was the shade of the buildings and tent covering the prizes. However as is Sods´Law´ at the end of the International the wind blew and the tent had to be taken down so the prize giving was in the open.

These are the three who provided the fun whilst presenting the prizes the Sports Jefe, the President of Petanca and the Alcalde.  But take a look at the faces of everyone, they may well have been hot having played for a few hours in the sun, but they are happy laughing having fun and this is why we love of friends and the Petanca club.  Also take a look at the young lady in the wheelchair, not only is she proof that the disabled can and do play sports but she is one mean bowler  and not for the first time won prizes. So here´s the winners and our friends hope you enjoy.

This is the team that came first

                                                                             This is the team that came second

Here are the rest of the contestants who came from other towns and cities to play and meet friends.

                                                                            

And last but not least  the winner of the raffle and another good bowler.

So there it is a day at petanca with friends and `family´ and as I close I can say this really is a family club with young people encouraged to join in and play against us `oldies´ long may it be so.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc – Author

 

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Summer Has Arrived

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Last year we never went to Club Nautique because the road was being dug up and the round trip to get there after petanca and school was just a bit too far.  So this year now the road works have finished, we started watching the bar from mid June and last Monday after shopping we drove by to see the netting being put in place and knew summer was almost here and we could return  to evenings by the river in the company of our friends.  So on Tuesday after petanca I drove down to the bar to wait for my wife to join me after bingo.  When I got there Pep and his family were sitting in their usual spot and suddenly it felt like home things were as they should be, I am so pleased that I have been to school to learn more Spanish I can now converse better and understand a good deal more.

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This is my friend Pep who like me is a qualified yacht/sailing master (here he’s called a Captain) and we have spent many hours over the years talking about boats and life in general. He gives a lot of his time to the club and youngsters in the summer and in winter its football, he’s a really nice man and friend.

 

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Above are some of the photographs from years past pictures, of friends and the young people who races and are now grown up but still support the club. I sailed for many years on the south coast of England crossed the channel a few times, made some really good friends and met interesting people doing so. Sailing, racing or just messing about in boats provides you with a ‘family’ made from the bond forged by a love of the water and boats whatever they may be.  That’s what I like about Club Nautique the family atmosphere and a real sense of enjoyment by the youngsters who train on the river.

The Ebre is not a river to be taken lightly, its has a strong main stream of fast flowing water, plus back eddies and large boulders hidden beneath it people have died training on it. So I really take my hat off to these youngsters who every year train for the races under excellent supervision and provide a good basis for a very relaxing (if you are watching) rowing sport.

So Glass raised and here’s to a good summer of sailing and friendship.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc (author)

 

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Party Like The Moon

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Now you may well be wondering what this has to do with fiestas, well as we are involved it has everything to do with it.   I have forgotten a little bit where I’ve got up to with the news so if I repeat myself its old age and late hours……

DSCF5210 (640x480)First there was the Petanca social in town so we went to that if you remember ham is very nice, we were home around 3 pm this time.

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Then we went to the seaside and found their fiesta going strong with fair ground and bands, we got home around 2am .

 

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Then we had a small party at the Petanca club which meant we played a few games I won a small bag of goodies then we sat down to eat under the flood lights.  All in all a very pleasant evening, we got home around midnight.

But our annual visit into town for the correfoc meant that in true Garcia style we wound up getting home at 3am.  This is a big night in town as they close the streets, set up stages for the bands and shows. Then tables come out in front of bars and restaurants, chairs are put for people to sit and watch the shows and a dance area is made. Lights are on, bunting is hung, bands are ready and everything begins.  We always go to the river bar which is run by Ramon’s youngest daughter. Here there was a singer, all the songs were from the 80/90’s, and the minute the correfoc was over he started and we were dancing.

There are no pictures of this event as we were with friends and dancing plus with so many people about it was not practical. But I can say that when our friends left around 2am – they had been travelling for most of the day –  we danced on.   Two happy but tired people who wended their way through the crowds towards their car and home.

It Rained – Honest!!

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You will have gathered by now that the weather and climate change in our valley has been one of my oft mentioned gripes.   I look at the weather outside, watch the weather on tv and wonder why the hell they don’t match up.  The weather chart shows a cloud with rain coming from it and out of the window I see…. sun ….  So having said my usual “oh look it going to be sunny” bit to my wife I decided we would go to the club for a few games then on to the coast.  Then along comes the clouds!  “you going to take in the cushions?” I asked “no we’ve seen it all before, dark clouds no rain” came the reply so off we set.  We were playing nicely when the first rumble was heard then a few flashes, game ended just as the rain came.  “where the hell did this lot come from it certainly wasn’t forecast” was heard from the lady running ahead of me.  So we headed for the coast by which time it was really raining parked up and went for a coffee.  I didn’t fancy driving around in this lot so we headed home as we came out of the pass we could see – wait for it – sunshine….  It had rained and yes the cushions were soaking but the garden looked refreshed and the forest smelt renewed. So that’s about it, I will have to make sure I write about our adventures as they happen otherwise I forget or repeat myself, the  weed killing – no that’s for next time.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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Here he comes wobbling across the sky not sure where he’s going but he’s definitely high.  “Hic! who’s there? oh its you. I suppose you’re going to tell everyone I’ve been partying again, hic! Well, I don’t care!!!!”

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 He lurched, became round again for a moment then wobbled on his way.  As I said, I don’t know where he’s going but I do know where he’s ‘bean’!

Party Time

It’s that time of year again and the village is in party mood.  Tonight is the villages big correfoc which is followed by dancing and music until dawn.  Yep they certainly know how to party here even the moon gets in on it as you can see from the pictures.  This being the second year I have noticed this event I am quite convinced that no matter what NASA says, this moon is most definitely a party animal.

The Garden

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My wife has actually finished one of her projects in the garden, the bulb tyre.   This old tyre has been here for years and she had filled it with earth then planted up some bulbs.  This year it looked very tatty so she dug up the bulbs, putting aside the small ones for planting elsewhere, sifted the earth, then in-filled the rim with stones to strengthen it. Now I don’t know about you, but to my wife plain black tyres are not appealing in a garden, so the next job was the painting.  Two cans of yellow were needed for the top to give it a ‘weathered’ look but because of the effect she wanted it only needed one can of green. Allowing the tread to show here and there gave it a mottled look which I think works well.  All that was left was to replace the earth, plant the bulbs then top it off with compost. However, with Puddytat and the piggy wigs rooting around, she felt it needed something else. So this morning she collected small stones and scattered them over the surface. End result a smart-looking garden tyre.

Work In Progress

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This is a project that is part of  a bigger on going garden thing…   It was here that I planted a bay tree that my sister gave my wife and here is where the grubs of black beetles killed it by eating the roots.  So after killing them and cleaning the ground I went to check and re-pot an off shoot I had taken, leaving my wife standing looking at it wondering what to do.

Well she has come up with a good solution.  First she cleaned what was left of the ground then we went to a farming centre and bought stuff to protect roots from these things.  Next stop one of the gardening shops in town for bulbs Gladioli and Anemones, plus more compost.  Once home she mixed the granules into the earth to discourage the beetles, planted the bulbs, topped off with compost leaving about 2-3 inches below the rim to protect the flowers from the wind.

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Now I am sure you know this character, he is the cause of the stones on top of the compost, using the hexagon garden as a toilet was not a good idea matey.  All that’s left of the planting is for flowering cacti to be  planted in the holes and it is finished. However, that is her job as I have managed to get an infection in a cyst on my hand. So its off to the doctor’s again this week to see what he is going to do.  As I say it’s all go up here.

And other Things

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I am hoping to have a few more pictures of the wild boar next time, they have been making a ‘pond’ on the lower level so I have set a camera up down there. This time I have cut away the leaves, so there won’t be the 600 photos like last time because the honeysuckle was whipping around.

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This is the honeysuckle’s new home in the new wall garden.  We did not plant this it appeared on year in front of one of the olive trees so we left it to grow.  But because it’s in the direct line of a camera I decided to move it here, so it can clamber up into the olive tree and play.  Oh and I all most forgot,  the new bird bath is being engineered, yes I did say engineered….

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

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De Vine & Nut Tree 

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As those of you who follow me will know I have built us a “fly free zone”(FFZ for short) where we can sit without being mullered by wasps or black biting flies. It also provides a certain amount of camouflage for bird watching, especially now I have loped the olive tree.

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Two years ago I planted a very small  cutting of a grape-vine which we have watched grow slowly, and I do mean slowly, until last year.  Since then it has been a competition between the Walnut tree and the Vine to see who can grow the tallest and longest.  The Walnut tree was winning last year as it shot up putting out two new branches so not wanting it to become a giant I pinched out the tips – I had already cut out the central growing bit – of the tallest branches and waited for the others to catch up. As for the vine well, although it spread around the FFZ, it did not bear any fruit and behaved itself until now that is!  You can see from the ‘before and after’ photos that they both did very well. I pinched out the tips of the other two branches on the Walnut tree no problem there however, on further inspection I found the vine had taken a liking to the tree and was wending its way up into it.  So I got the secateurs cut that branch away then after checking  found there were several bunches of grapes on the main stem hidden by loads of leaves. Then my wife asked if I was going to sort out the bit which was trying its hardest to grow across the FFZ door. But the thing that finally drove me into action were the hornets.  Where the vine had latched onto the netting it’s weight has torn a small hole which allowed the hornets to get in so with staple gun in one hand and secateurs in the other I repaired the hole and began the job of drastic pruning.  Now only the fruit bearing branches are left the grapes are filling out and we can see the garden more clearly.  It may not be the correct way of doing things but up here it works.

Weather Gardening

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As you may or not know it has been very very hot, too hot to work outdoors and only just bearable indoors. So when Thursday broke cool and grey a cuppa appeared by my bed accompanied by “I’m in the garden whilst the weathers like this” and she was sorting out the tyre garden before I had drunk it.   Now this tyre was left here by the delivery guy many moons ago and put to use as a bulb garden at the top of the drive.  Two years ago she planted some of the lilies in there along with the other bulbs but they took over and stifled the Irises and Tulips.,So out came all the bulbs carefully sorted  then began the work of filling in under the rim of the tyre with stones.  (Please note the lesser spotted Michael plant is not for this planter it’s too big.)

This done the earth was spread around again and a coffee appeared should have known, out came the plant books and we sat pouring over them and discussing what would go well where.  “Right then, fancy lunch I’m buying.” that meant one thing garden shopping!  Well I did want a few thing so we got ready then headed for Reus and the big stores and lunch in the Chinese.

Weather Weather Come Our Way

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When we left there were dark clouds everywhere but NO RAIN……  As we neared the pass it began to rain but as we were driving through clouds I suppose it should have.  Up and over the mountains we went down towards the coast with lighter sky’s but still no sun or rain.  The return journey along the coast was no different and I was feeling a little let down all these dark clouds but no rain and we really needed it.  Friday came in cool and grey, but at least we could get out and do thing. One important job was getting the petrol for the generator if it was going to be overcast for a few days we would need to run it for a while to top up the batteries, so under darkening sky’s we went shopping.

 

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Returning home we filled up the generator,  I looked at the sky and grrrrr’d at it then went to continue writing.  But hey guess what we got our rain at last in the shape of a promised thunder-storm.  The first we knew about it approach was the wind getting up and blowing a hooly, bit like the approach of a squall at seq.  It got darker and I heard a distant rumbling as well as seeing the odd flash streak across the sky.  I then noticed my wife sitting in her chair concentrating on her laptop “did you hear that?” I asked “shut up I am ignoring it” was the reply and she did.  Even when it was over head and the rain came very brave.  Normally I would find her hidden away where she cannot see the flashes, a while later she even stood and watch the light show nature put on over the town the sky was lit up in a most spectacular way.  Eventually I asked if she was watching the tv as I was going to turn off the generator as she wasn’t I trotted outside to the shed turned it off then went to the battery house flicked the switch and got soaked, but know what? it was really refreshing.

This morning I woke to find the clouds still there but the sun could be seen peering under the cloud further down the valley and the black biting flies were out in force of well the respite be it ever so small was most welcome.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

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Tivissa Petanca Social

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El President

As you know I have been playing Petanca for a few years during which time I have made some good friends, had quite a few laughs, lost a few competitions, won hams, wine, cheese, dried sausages, olive oil and the odd cup.  This year I can honestly say that when I have played – after the road trip – I have really enjoyed myself.

Getting Ready

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It’s Tivissas Fiesta this weekend so yesterday found us at the club for the Petanca Social.  We arrived early just as the prizes were being set out under the trees they looked quite impressive.

About Tivissa

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This is a quiet little town, loads of history, located below the La Llena massif which overlooks the Petanca courts and football ground.  Tivissa is part of a municipality which includes the village of La Serra d’Almos and the hamlets of Darmos and Llaberia, and can trace its origins back to prehistoric times, and during the Roman period amphorae’s were made here presumably to transport the Olive oil and wines that Catalunya was noted for even then.

Practice

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The afternoon was cool, the mountains looking what they are, solid hard rock covered in pines and greenery, not soft like they do on a spring afternoon. Clouds were gathering but no rain, just a pleasant breeze, so a little practice was in order whilst everyone arrived and caught up on news.

To decide who plays in which team, the names of the pickers were assigned  numbers then the names of everyone else are given numbers. Next all the numbers are placed into a container which was shaken then a number drawn and matched to a picker to make a team, simples.  Once this was done we were allotted our courts and we wandered off to enjoy a few serious games.

Prize Giving

 

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The afternoon passed quickly, it seemed as though we had just started.  Amador and I had won our group and were in the play offs, as we had played in doubles there were three teams of two.  So I have posted the photos in order of last first.  As always on these occasions the Alcalde was there to present the prizes accompanied by a young lady. You can see that there were smiles all round especially from me.  We then repaired to the buffet which as always was well laid out with a selection of goodies to nibble on.

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A Happy Chappie

Bon fiesta Tivissa.  Oh and thank you once again to the Alcalde, I am fine now.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

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It’s that time of year again, and after our holiday I am back playing in the petanca competitions.  The first one in Tivissa was played in very hot 39/40dgs sunshine and I had really forgotten how hot it can get.  Our  team (Gil, Maria and me)  didn’t win anything but it was the first time we had played in a competition as a team so not too disappointed. As you can see from the first picture even at 8.30am people were sitting in the shade trying to keep out of the sun, and that is mountain steam not smoke around them. It got hotter as the day wore on and the tents were most welcome especially where my wife was concerned she, like a lot of others, does not fare too well in these temperatures. So these are the pictures of the competition and winners hope you enjoy:

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The Game

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The Winners

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Ever since we have known the club and played at Tivissa the Alcalde has been there to present the prizes. He is also at the various club events to hand out the prizes, a true supporter and a very nice man.  He was here at the competition welcoming the visitors and home team alike, made us laugh a little, then got down to the serious business of presenting the prizes. Whilst being kind enough to be patient with this photographer.  You can see why everyone is smiling.

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Next weekend we are at Asco just the other side of our mountains but still a bit of a drive.  I will post the photos later and as we now have satellite wifi (joined the tech world).

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

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A Little Moan…

Well here we are again in the wifi cake shop with a good signal so am able to use our photos.  I made the mistake of telling my wife she should put her photos on Google then we could access them from her tablet.  What I didn’t realise was that she has taken over 2,000 of them, Petanca, (however I understand she has those on disc) wines blogs, fiestas, garden, finca, Club Nautique and the birds etc., not to mention all the odds and sods. What I am not happy with is the length of time it is taking for Google to down load them all as she has taken to using my laptop (she’s feeding her dragons on her tablet now) anyway we are using the stronger signal here and it should only take another 27 hours?????  Not really.

 

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Yesterday afternoon I decided to go to petanca, so I dropped the wife off at the bar Casells so she could continue to down load the pictures and also get some work done (that didn’t work as the download was using so much of our wifi) plans of mice and men….   Anyway I had an enjoyable 3-4 hours at the club, we played several games with people coming and going every so often the sides went up and down but we had a good laugh I do enjoy my petanca.  Our president – second from the left front row – informed me that we had new t-shirts so this Saturday we will find out what they are like.  I am not sure if I will be playing in competitions this year we will have to wait and see, but if not I expect we will be visiting various places like the Camarque as I have always wanted to do that and it’s just up the road so to speak.

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 Criminalies Mentalies or Those Dam Piggywigs

Yesterday morning we took our morning wander round the house looking at the gardens and generally checking for signs of visitors.  The first thing I noticed was the flowerbed in front of the shed had large round foot prints in it and one of the violas had almost been up rooted.  This didn’t go down too well with my wife and when I suggested it might be the Wabbit  she pointed out Wabbits don’t root, worse was to come.  She had bought a new white rose to replace the one we lost and was so proud of the fact it had a really nice perfume, not all the roses over here have that.  Anyway we found the rose bush not only dug out of its spot but something had chewed at the roots, I quickly checked it over gave it plenty of water and re-plated it. Then turned round to find the bird bath I had placed in the Strawberry patch had been moved and the ground under it ‘rooted’ so I have now moved it up into the tree garden near the water tank.  Mind you they did dig up the ground in front of the tree but managed to knock some of the wall down.  My wife declared war on them and I set up a camera to try and ‘get the goods on em’ but the really are crafty little beggars.

 

 

Honey Candles

Honey Candles

This weekend was the annual Honey Fair at Perello so along with our friends we spent a pleasant morning wandering round the various stalls and exhibits.  I did not think there were quite so many stands/exhibits there this year as the main hall was really roomy.  I think it might have something to do with the cost of the plots which is 80Euros  a lot of money for some people.

Well that’s about it for this week, I shall keep you informed on the Piggywigs situation and who knows I might even have a picture or two hey who am I kidding.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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