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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

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There Be Dragons

This is the time of year when the Correfoc’s take place. These are the traditional pageants to drive the devil out of the village or town and bring good harvests and luck.  So as always we try to go to the one in Tivissa and Rasquera. So around 9pm on Saturday night we set off arriving just as they had begun to move off.

 

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In Rasquera I counted about 6 teams who gather in the square some with their dragons others just fire dancers, waiting to be told to go.  All the people dancing with the fireworks are clothed in fireproof suits with various designs on them and the reason for staggering the start is because each team has a ‘trolley’ with their fireworks in and this follows behind the drums which accompanies each team. Noisy eh? wonderful…

The Fun Begins

 

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Then  come the dragons whirling and twirling around covered in fireworks and thoroughly enjoying themselves.  Youngsters are seated on fathers shoulders to watch all this whilst some of the older people and teenagers  dressed in old clothes with scarves round their faces bandit style and hats to cover their hair soak themselves with water and join the dancers under the fireworks.  One year in our village when I was younger, I was given the top half of a dancer’s costume and joined in the dancing believe me to do this you need to be fit plus it gets very hot wearing the protective clothing and I only had the jacket on.  We never intended to take pictures but wife+ phone produced these  hope you enjoy:-

Dancing

 

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There Be Dragons Dancing

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Having Fun

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Happy Fiesta People…

(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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I hope you will excuse me if I repeat myself here but I am rather proud of our roses. This one was given to my wife by her friend, also a keen gardener, who found it difficult to grow roses where they live. Every time we visit my wife comes away with cuttings or small plants, some of which take whilst others die, so it really does depend on our little ECO system here as to what we can grow.

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So this morning we were weeding the edge of the terrace where I have planted Flags and Lilly bulbs in the hope that they will hold the terrace top together, building a small retaining wall was not an option here as the original terrace wall has crumbled in places – ant works.   This was their first year and to my surprise and joy they put on a good show, especially the white Flags that the our friends in the local Petanc club gave us.  I was a little worried about whether or not these would survive as down by the Petanc courts they got plenty of water up here they get some, but basically like the wild Flags they are on their own.  We were well pleased not only when they flowered but as we weeded we noticed they had begun to spread, always nice when that happens. The other nice thing about the garden are the Cacti they are in flower now and looking well.

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I often mention the fact that although there is rain all around we never seem to get much if any.  Living in a valley in the mountains you would expect to have a fair bit of the wet stuff, but no! the clouds gather grumble then ‘bog off’ somewhere else to drop their water.  Realising that it might be difficult for some of you to grasp I took these photos on such a day in question, and no – no rain!  Think I might get one of those rockets the French wine producers use to make the clouds drop their water now where’s Google…………………………….

Right now for a little titter.   Those of you who have followed our stories when we go out and about, know that nothing is simple where we are concerned.  If there is a way to get lost going from A to B in a straight line we find it or if we try to get something done again it turns into a saga or adventure depending on how you look at it.  So being in town and doing something simple like sitting in the café working on the laptops should be plain sailing shouldn’t it? well grab a coffee and try not to laugh too much.

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Let Us Out!!

Monday morning found us heading into town around 10am as my wife had a dentist appointment. So with laptops in the carry bag off we went.  She was supposed to have a small filling plus a small adjustment to her new dentures which would not take long so she had already decided to be a ‘big girl’ and go on her own. Therefore when we found ourselves outside the dentists an hour early (see where this is going?) I headed for the car park which is near the top of town not far from the dentists then we descended on the café opposite. We often use this little café its friendly, clean and upstairs there are plenty of plugs for people to use laptops/tablets.

The ladies in there are used to us so while I headed upstairs to our normal table my wife ordered the coffees then joined me.  Everything sorted out she began to type up my Social Freedom blog so I could carry on translating another of my books into Spanish.  I noticed the time was getting near her appointment so off she bravely trotted – must be horrid to have a fear of dentists.  Anyway she was soon back and a happy bunny, ordered more coffee then settled down to finish typing.  We were so engrossed in what we were doing that it was a while before I realised that it was quiet – too quiet!  No music, voices, door opening or closing. I looked at her and said ‘they wouldn’t have forgotten we’re up here and locked us in – would they?’  she thought for a moment then stated the obvious ‘yes!’  So I decided the alarm needed to be set off, the fact that we could be clearly seen by passers-by was no good as most people had gone to lunch.  Whilst my wife packed everything away I wandered down stairs towards the door off went the alarm we waited no one turned up.  Ummm so with my wife sitting at a table in front of the door I took a few steps  into the café then off went the alarm again, bloody noisy.   This time it worked there they were two slightly concerned ladies but chuckling away as they let two OAP’s out who acted like two puppies let out to play.  The result was we were so traumatized we had to go to the coast for lunch – well that’s our excuse and we are sticking to it.

So today is hopefully peaceful but we are going into town I have school this afternoon……………

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

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Well this is us, not with my home club but with our friends from Tivissa. They were having a Petanca evening and had invited us to join them. My wife likes taking photos of club members and winners at the various competitions we go to, so she took along her camera and these are the photos maybe not professional but certainly family, and I think she has done us proud.

Not long after we arrived we were presented with ´team´shirts which, of course,  we promptly put on.  This was an unexpected gift  from some very nice friends. They make us feel welcome whenever we meet and accept that my wife is not very good at Petanca, mind you she has her moments.  But they give her loads of encouragement just as they do to the younger members of their club, which relaxes her so she always enjoys playing there. There were several younger people there some perhaps around 10 yrs, old all practicing, it is so nice to see the younger generation being encouraged to not only join the club but play as well.

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These are the trophies we were playing for and believe me the competition was fierce. You know a game is serious when the tape measure come’s out those few milimeters make all the difference.  After the games were over but before the presentations, out came the tables which were then laid with various nibbles and drinks.  The Alcalde (Mayor) of Tivissa arrived with two other members of his council to present the cups then everyone tucked in.  I could carry on describing things but here’s all of us enjoying the event.

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The games commence, spectators watch and comment, and the measure comes out – which ball is nearer the bouletchi? which team wins the point?

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The Alcalde (he’s the tall guy in the light blue check shirt) and his officials present the trophies, then everyone tucks in, wonderful.

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And showing us how to drink from the traditional jug is our good friend Rocca, bueno bowler and very funny man. Take a good look at him because as well as being good at Petanca he is a master carpenter, although he will not admit it.

We are grateful to our Friends in Tivissa for inviting us to share their evening.  Good fun, good food but above all good friends.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

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Horns In Paradise

Horns in Paradise

I was sitting on a beach in North Goa, pure white sand, glorious sunshine the Arabian Sea spread out before me. Walking towards me were some women selling fruit, baskets on their heads. I ended up buying a whole water melon, not that I wanted it all but that’s the way it goes in some places. As I hacked at it digging out chunks, a delight in the sunshine juice running down my face and through my fingers, I was suddenly aware of movement close by.

Looking up I was face to face with a herd of cows. Large eyes staring with even larger horns making an intimidating sight. Not exactly small creatures, something I had not considered when buying the water melon. Eyes were staring at me from all sides as I continued eating, who would blink first?

Surely I am more intelligent than a cow? but those horns were big. By now I had eaten several pieces and a plan formed. I threw a piece of rind and some of the cows chased after it, success! So the remaining pieces were thrown along the beach cows scattering in all directions.

A quick movement of the towel covered the remnants of the water melon. Now it was hidden the cows wandered aimlessly looking for food. Which goes to show that even in paradise there are things with horns.

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