Archive for March, 2008

well,well, well

Monday, March 31st, 2008

another fab weekend,  Sunday we went to Rabos which is a sweet little medieval town with a little bridge over the fluvia. then 6.3 km later we walked round yet another corner to find the monastery we were looking for, another interesting monastery that looks like it could be in Scotland, with (handy for beer stops) a restaurant near by.  are there any monastery’s in Scotland? that morning i had planted 2 small trees for Catalonia, loads of people got up early to do it, apparently it was all over Catalonia people were planting trees. i need to go and water mine tomorrow.

Saturday while Moira was working i did a bit of gardening/ tidying the house etc, then we went to the Thai restaurant in Rosas, ironically it was pretty much the same price as it was in London. but it wasn’t bad if you remember that it designed for the Catalan palette so you have to ask for them to put chilli in the food.

Friday night Moira was working as well so we got in a take away pizza form the hotel. i bumped into Mark and Wendy from down the road so i sat and chatted with them while they were having the starters and i was waiting for my pizzas, that sort of thing didn’t happen in London, but then we didnt really ever get a take away pizza.

free tibet

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

we stopped yesterday on the way to a garden to let a little bird finish having a bath in a puddle in the middle of the road. we drove on over the puddle once it had finished.

the mosquitoes are waking up

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

my god the prices have gone up in the bar its going to cost me 5,60€ instead of 5,50€ for a large sandwich a bottle of beer and a coffee, i must admit the sandwich is usually half a baguette and Pepe doesn’t skimp on the cheese. but i suppose thats the price one pays for progress.

Jesus feels much better he went of to eat cheese for his lunch today after only eating rice yesterday i told him about the medicinal properties of builders tea when you have a dodgy stomach but i don’t think he was to taken by the idea.

i was working in a garden owned by a lady from Catalonia and the husband is from Edinburgh. she had been away for so long Jesus didn’t realise she was from here. they made a cup of coffee and provided a couple of digestives, just like the old days, believe it or not that sort of thing doesn’t really happen here.

the invisible man

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

we didn’t do much on Monday after Pepes birthday, it was a free bar that it seemed only the British took advantage of the Catalans turned up danced and then started to leave about 3 in the morning.

another reason we didn’t do much on monday was the wind, it was one of those well we cant do anything in this wind so we might as well stay in bed. and today i worked on my own after having my breakfast on my own in the bar because Jesus has been ill today, hopefully tomorrow he will reserect himself.

burnt quiche

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

i have eaten my fair share of brunyols these last couple of days and also drunk quite enough sweet sherry aswell.

Friday for Moiras birthday we went to L`Escala and to see some ruins/ piles of stones left there by the Greeks and the Romans we then walked along a bit of a boulevard, which would be lovely when the tamarix are in flower, to what is supposed to be the oldest village in Catalonia, St Marti d`Empurias, it has a lovely little square with 3 restaurants pretty much taking over the whole of the square. L`Escala was much nicer then we thought it would be, i bet its packed though in summer. it didn’t take very long to walk around, which was handy as we had had a bit of a lie in due to unplanned cava drinking in the bar the night before and we also had to get back for the brunyols and ganaxa tasting in the Garriguella, ganaxa is the sweet sherry which you have to drink if you are eating brunyols which are small doughnuts usually laced with either fennel or cinnamon. its good to be seen to be going to these things especially when free drink is involved. the next day was the brunyols fair in Garriguella the whole high street was awash with stalls selling, highly coloured knitted cotton stuff, ocarinas, honey and cheese, kind of stuff you only buy when you are on holiday. but there was also stalls giving away more brunyols and ganaxa, you bought 5 tickets and swapped 1 ticket for either 2 brunyols or a glass of ganaxa this all started at about 11 o’clock at 2 in the morning we where leaving the house of one of Jesus clients then came back to ours to debate whether Pete Doherty is a genius or not till about 4. Moira had to get up to work today as she didn’t think she would be able to tomorrow as we are going to Pepes surprise birthday party this evening that starts at about midnight. i didn’t realise Easter could be so much fun.

soya milk

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

finished early today as its Easter tomorrow and its also a bit windy. the last couple of days we have been going to Port de la Selva, we even had lunch there yesterday, before we tried to straighten a palm that was rotting from the base. we tied it to the van and pulled it a bit, sadly it didn’t like it and broke and fell to the floor, we took it to the dump after Jesus rang someone and told them that he thinks the wind had blown over the palm, i must admit it was on its way out, we just helped it on a bit. We go for lunch in the local Chinese restaurant and she knows that i am a veggie, i had tofu in my soup as she remembered that i had asked for it at one time, also i get bean sprouts and Jesus gets ham on the salad. the bar we go to for breakfast has a Russian lady making the sandwiches etc. she’s really sweet and calls Jesus here brother, she is pretty much over here on her own the rest of her family are back in Russia and she doesn’t have the money to go back, which especially hard for her this week as her mum died on Tuesday.

tomorrow its Moiras birhtday

i met another british couple in the village this morning they are clients of Jesus, i had actually met him before but we met his wife this time, i must admit i got a bit carried away and spoke english to them probably a bit to much when Jesus was around which really isnt fair as we are in his country, never mind, we are of to see another British couple on Wednesday morning, but apparently they speak pretty good Spanish so it wont be so hard to not speak English to them.

yesterday i thought i was ready to start learning Catalan, but i have come to realise that at the moment i am translating Catalan into Spanish and then into English which just takes far to long.

Monday, March 17th, 2008

mum and dad have gone home, we had quite a nice weekend i drove most of the time so we went to Cadacues yesterday and and the Dali house and while Moira was working on Saturday after Mum had her massage by Cerrie, and dad and i had collected 3 stems of wild asparagus we went to the monastery that we took Andy and Nat too. then down via port de la Selva and then a coffee in port de Llanca. luckily on the way down from the monastery it was very cloudy so mum couldn’t see how steep the cliffs are, i didn’t realise there are the ruins of an old village up there as well that we didn’t see, i only found out about it from reading the little booklet you get when entering the monastery.

we also had a bar-b-cue yesterday then Moira and mum had an afternoon nap. i need to remember to got coals for the next time as bits of sticks kind of flame grilled the chicken kebabs a bit. it was a bit strange having to speak Spanish again this morning after a weekend of English, we didn’t even watch any Spanish t.v. which helps to keep my ear on line, it didn’t seem to matter though.

i have confidence

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

its reached room temperature in Barcelona.

i went to Portbou today for work, there is 2 ways to get there, through the new tunnel or along the old road which is quite spectacular and generally empty of other cars. Portbou used to be a rich town, its quite small for a town, it was rich because it used to be the main place to cross the border between France and Spain cars and trains, now its only trains so there is a touch of faded grandeur about it, apparently it has the clearest sea and the quietest beach in the Costa Brava , sadly it also has a massive brick built train station looming over the whole place. its also north facing so when its windy here in Garriguella its really windy there. will return in the summer for a look.

Jesus told me you have to change trains from the french trains onto spanish trains at Portbou because Franco was so scared of an invasion from France that he put in wide gauge tracks rather then the ones you have in the U.K and France. i think its sorted now though as we didn’t have to change when we went to France by train.

para or por

Monday, March 10th, 2008

I went to see la Traviata by Verdi last night in Figueres. the place was full mainly with older people, quite a few same sex couples of the male variety and a sprinkling of opposite sex couples . this was amazing as it was bucketing it down outside and the Spanish/ Catalan don’t go any where when it is raining but then it was 34€ a ticket and all you could see on the tele was the coverage of the general election. i liked it im not sure i loved it, i cant quite get my head round the sound of a female soprano, its dead clever what she can do with her voice but im still not sure it rings my bell, its certainly not Judy Garland, whereas i have no problem with the sound of the tenor and baritone singers also as always the words were in Italian but the subtitles as they should be were in Catalan  i  only really had a vague idea what was going on. It seems all the shows start round about 6 so one can get home in time for tea once it has finished.

i worked a whole day today, Jesus has found an Indian restaurant in Barcelona with an English menu, non of the explanations are in Catalan its all unashamedly in English. him and his wife went to see Bollywood musical as it is in Barcelona for the time being, they loved it.

Moira is home tonight, i hope i wont have to go to the airport again for a while, and Zapatero won the election.

show must go on

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Bruno has just been to check out the old kitchen and what he will need to do to turn it into a bedroom, he reckons he can do it in 2 or 3 weeks time but he is not sure, and he recommends ripping out the tiles rather then plastering over them as it looks all right to start with but after  a couple of years the plaster will start to fall of as it really cant stick to ceramic tiles as well as the manufacturers of plaster that sticks to ceramic tiles want you to think.

what did a do today? after taking Ian’s kids to the swimming pool, its a real shame that they don’t get to get hot chocolate from one of those vending machines after they finish swimming like we used to, or crisps, its back in the car and home again, where’s  the fun in that.  after a stint of shopping i got home and rang Moira far to early i forgot i should have called in the afternoon, idiot, but i have constructed a bench out of the old wooden mantle piece and a large stone that was sitting being useless in the garden, it doesn’t look to bad actually, and then i stuck one of the stone radiators to the wall, again that doesn’t look to bad either all i need now is another exstention lead.

thanks to the traumontana it was bloody cold last night, colder then its been for ages, it isn’t windy today though so hopefully its over, Ian thinks the wind will be back tomorrow though. it needs to be gone by Monday as its Easter in 2 weeks and there is gardening to be done before then.