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Posts Tagged ‘rivers’

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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Asco

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Asco is up river from us and home to the Nuclear Station for which it is well known.  We always know when coffee or meal times are as we can see the ‘smoke signals’ rising over the mountain behind us.  Today as we drove in it was puffing away and the river was ‘smoking’ (where the hot water enters the river from the plant).  Asco is a small town nestled at the feet of the  Serra de la Fatarella mountain range. This is the same range our valley is in only on the other side of the mountains. But it can be crossed as we found out one day a few years ago when a very tired man trotted into the garden asking for water.  This is normal for those running, cycling or walking in the forest, water is never refused to them. There is also excellent fishing to be had here as the warm waters around the power station is a good breeding ground for fish. A lot of our friends live and work here and during term time Michael helps them with their English in the linguistics class at the college in Mora d’Ebro.  Most of the employment here is based on agriculture with the power station providing a lot of work.  Here they grow almonds, grapes (the wine is very good) and of course, olives.

There is a good deal of history attached to Asco, it  was one of the castled points along the Ebro during the Templars time.  They controlled trade, collected taxes and got rich.  Today the castle is slowly being rebuilt/restored as the towns now realises that being part of their heritage it is important to preserve it.

Petanca

We have been coming here to play in competitions since we began playing Petanca.  Our friends used to come and play in Mora when we had a club there but age, time and other things have seen the club disintegrate  to basically three or four people.  We like others either joined Tivissa or Asco to play, but we still see our old friends around town and at the competitions like today. At the time of writing they have just started playing so it will be a while before I go to take the photos. I do this because I like to, it is nice to see the faces of our friends when they get their ‘winners’ photo something so small means so much, I get pleasure doing it and they get pleasure from the photos.

So here we go – PETANCA! This is the ‘family photograph’ winners and losers alike. We had a great day met up with friends and generally enjoyed ourselves.

          

Relaxing waiting for the last game to finish

Here are the winners, first prize large ham, second prize smaller ham, and so on from there. Michael, Maria & Gill won wine and a dried sausage (sausage didn’t last long yumm) and he is in another competition next weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as you can see here is proof that like golfers, mad dogs & Englishmen, Petanca players go out in the midday sun…..

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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Rain, Goats and Gardens

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Like everything in our lives nothing is separate. One thing is connected to another in some way take yesterday for instance.  Wednesday is one of my physio days plus it’s also market day.  So just after 8am we were going along the river road when my wife cries stop Goats!!!!  there in the road were three small goats who had just been for a drink.  Although time was pressing we watched whilst they clambered up the steep bank into the cover of scrub and pine trees.  Once again we were given an insight into our neighbours.  However, my wife was not so thrilled this morning when I showed her what the ‘little dears’ had done to her saffron bed, obviously hungry they had nibbled the shoots as they were appearing and dug the bulbs up they could reach.  So once the ones that are left have flowered they are being moved to the back of the house amongst the daffs and planted deeply.

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Friday IT RAINED!! not hard flash rain, but long soak it in rain, the stuff we need so badly. This is the misty photo the trees as the rain subsided.  It started  Thursday evening and was still going most of Friday all the plant pots were put outside even threatened to put the boys out for a bath. Anyway, my wife had to go to the Doctors for her BP tabs & I wanted to go to the engineers, so there we were going along the river road when suddenly a small herd of goats were crossing the road from the river – never a camera around – they were so quick, but at least we know they were not the Ibex we see on the masa these were small with curved horns not the straight.  So we now have an idea of who’s been digging in the garden….and yes one of the cameras is pointed at the bulb beds.

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The result of the rain is that the Lilly bulbs are starting to shoot.  Now it may be early in other parts of the world but these lilies shoot and carry on growing through the winter before blooming in early spring.

Agricultural Fair or ‘What Day Is It?’

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What else did you expect from an agricol fira? fun, wine and food? hehe they come later. But seriously folks, every year we go there simply because we like it.  Now normally it occurs on the last weekend in October, this year however it falls next weekend on our birthdays.  Our weekend will be a round of dinners, the fira and petanca with good friends, which night I don’t know we are still sorting that out. Anyway, when we were there on Friday we saw the stalls being erected, bars set up but no sign of the rides so we were a bit perplexed had we got the dates wrong?? Well not wanting to miss the fira we decided to wander down only to find that what we saw was actually what was happening they were setting things up for NEXT weekend – drrrr are we getting old????

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We always make for the horses first then wander round watching the people enjoying themselves.  My wife visits the Church tombola and buys tickets the proceeds of which goes towards helping others.  Then we go to look at the machinery, wines and any other displays on that side of the fair.  Our last stop is the café where we enjoy a glass or two plus some jamon and or cheese.  Another wander around then we head for home.  As most of the rides and stuff are the same these pictures give you an idea.  The last picture is to me a gently reminder that Christmas is not far away.

And So To Books and Radio Devon:

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I was listening on-line to radio 5 live the other day – cricket of course – after which I decided to wander around the radio stations and came across Radio Devon. Now as those of you who have read A Plymouth Story know I have a love of all things naval, and Devon is so full of naval history, pirates and the likes that I have a fondness for that part of the world.  On one of our visits to our daughter in Torquay we went one wet grey day to Dartmouth.  Crossed the Dart on a ferry and wandered round a town that looked like it was still in the 1700/1800’s, quaint but very picturesque, which is why I could see James Blackstock walking down streets like this in Plymouth.  So now we are linked into Radio Devon with good music, chat and a general community feeling, for those of you who are interested and like on-line radio give it a try.

(c) M.D. Bosc  – Author

 

 

 

 

 

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Clearing In The Forest Now Out On KINDLE

 

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As I have said before writing is a funny business, your writing away happy as larry or pretending to be a Christmas tree. Then something pops into your head, totally different from your normal work and its SCARY!!!  So what do you do ignore it or go for it? well I went for it and submitted the story to Kindle Scout who accepted it for consideration.

This was something new to me and to be frank a little scary, like waiting for the letter from an agent or publisher. But I did enjoy writing this book witches, demons, good v evil, with English history as the pivot for all the events. King John dies and the King of France sends his son Louis to become king of England using the black arts to do so. Three children growing up trying to survive in a time when life was cheap are all that stand between England and this evil. Hope you enjoy the book.
Well Kindle decide not to publish it so I have put it is out on Kindle myself and Kindle Scout have been very helpful in letting people know.
A lot of people have said they would like to buy it when it came on Kindle well ITS ON KINDLE NOW FOLKS!!!!
A Date With The Surgeon
Well the phone call finally came, they will operate on the 8th of August.  So at long last I shall have my hand sorted out and be able to look at the countryside as I wont be driving for a while, lovely….
The Boys
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They have enjoyed themselves over this past month, toys and stuff they have had a whale of a time. A palm ball is their favourite as they can pull it to pieces and swing around on it. It has been fun watching them trying hard not to fall off, and hear them shouting and squabbling over small bits of palm, funny little things.
Club Nautique and Birds of the River
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Having finished school I have been going to the river and taking photos of birds.  This is really nice as Club Nautique is now open and the boys and girls are back practicing for their races.  As usual my friend Pep is there with his family, looking after the youngsters and generally.  It is nice to just sit in the cool of the evening chat with friends and enjoy a glass or two or even a bite to eat.  The youngsters who are running the club bar this year are polite and very good waiters.  They are supervised by adults who make sure they are ok and help with any problems that may arise, this is truly a family sailing club.
There will be more photographs to follow of the club and our friends.
(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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Petanca at Mequinenza over the years

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One of my favoured places for competitions is Mequinenza in Aragon.  Over the years when we have been playing we have had some memorable times and some we would rather forget, but that’s how competitions go. We have made lots of friends and it always feels like a reunion when we all meet up. besides being a place for Petanca Mequinenza is also renowned for its fishing, and as we arrived this morning there were fishermen all along the banks of the river enjoying their sport.

This town is also known for its castle which sits on the hill behind the town overlooking the river as it did in the time of the Templars when they controlled trade on the river Ebre. Katherine of Aragon also spent time in the castle so the English connection is always there.

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Looking at the Petanca courts from the club house – Old Age Pensioners Club – you can’t miss the castle which looks very impressive.   The statue commemorates the miners which is something you would not associate with Spain.  There were a lot of lead mines around here and in Cataluña (see http://wp.me/pVcwA-Bk) and until they were closed down they were a good source of employment. A certain amount of pride was attached, as a miner you had a job, and that meant money coming in and food on the table.

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These are some of our fond memories friends and colleagues with their prizes. Unfortunately one of them is no longer with us and is sorely missed.

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Reiner who, as President of Mora de Ebre, stands alone with the club trophy, and the one person who never shouted at me when we played in the same team, a real Spanish Don.

Today is no different from most competitions I am here writing and Michael is playing which is as it should be. The photos below are of today, the prizes are sponsored by Proctor and Gamble who have a distribution centre here.  Hams and olive oil for the winners and seconds, cheeses, wines and the trophies this year are little framed photographs of the Jubilate Club. Michael, Maria Cinta and Gill they won a nice round of cheese each.

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Our clubs photos start with breakfast and as you can see it is a serious affair. That’s right wine, olives and a bocadillo consisting of pan tomate and jamón, plus water and coffee.  That is a proper petanca breakfast and really delicious.

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This young lady is special and quite a bowler we were pleased to see our first disabled player win, and as you can see she and her friends are in the group photo wonderful.

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(c) Michael Douglas Bosc (author)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What a week:

So I have finally submitted my latest book Clearing in the Forest to Kindle Scout and been accepted, so now it s up to Kindle and people’s votes as to whether I am successful or not.

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/C3m14FIR3JW0 this takes you to the page where you can read the piece they have selected and vote.  Me I am busy working else I would have no finger nails left.

Hospital and Hand

Years ago I developed small cysts on the tendons of my little fingers, these were dealt with but over the years have grown back.  One finger is totally bent so that will be a hammer jobbie to put it right as the joint has become set,  but the other one is operable, so on Wednesday I go for ECG and blood-tests and on the 13th I see the anesthetist and probably have op same day, but at least it will be done and dusted.

 

Petanca

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Next weekend sees us back at Mequinenza, in another competition, I like Mequinenza although it’s a long way to travel which means an early start. Still its a nice club and good way to spend a Saturday morning. Full of history both ancient and modern – Katherine of Aragon came from here  and it was involved the Spanish Civil War – the castle is well worth a visit.

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Reina is in the middle with Roca on the right and Domas on the left.    This is the Restaurant where we last saw him. We were sad to hear news a few weeks ago that our friend Reina (pronounced Rayner) has passed.  To say it was a shock was an understatement, we knew he was ill but saw him around town when we went shopping or at the family restaurant.  Everyone assumed we must have known as somebody would have told us but no, we found out the sad news from our friend Roca.  He will be sadly missed especially by my wife at whom he never shouted when playing Petanca in a team.

The Boys

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Well they are just being themselves, still squabbling and shouting at the other birds plus they have a new game and friend. Boris Blackbird sits in the olive tree and sings to them they shout back and it gets louder and louder. At 6.30 in the morning that’s not funny, but Boris thinks its great fun he hides in the olive tree thinking he can’t be seen then dives down into the strawberry patch to nick one or two.  Oh well can’t really moan and my wife doesn’t seem to mind, but they have a new trick under their wings. When we go shopping or into town or anywhere and leave they on our return they holler and shout until either a honey stick or strip f millet is placed in their cage. Yes I know we spoil them but we spoil all the birds up here, they just get a little more.

 

My Camera and I

I have finally worked out how to take some good shots with my new camera use a tripod.  So whilst my wife was at her language hour on Thursday I took myself down to the river and sat under the trees watching the different birds feeding on the weeds.  Here are just a few of the photographs I took, hope you enjoy.

 

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Not really sure what happened here new editing suit.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc – Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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