Friday, 9 November 2007

Cheddar Redemption

OK, so we were supposed to meet Mario Bozo at noon today in Mansilla de las Mulas, halfway to Leon, to discuss him coming back to work. (he´s our builder from Leon. He walked off the job in August with LOTS of our money and less than half the work done.)

He didn´t show up for the meeting, and he didn´t call.

Paddy got hold of him later. Car is broken, he said. Nothing about his telephone being broken, but hey. He´s coming over Monday, to Moratinos, he said, if we tell Jose the Milagro Boy to not beat him up.

We probably will not see him then, either. And if Jose beats him up, I´ll personally cheer. This Mario dude is not just a loser and a lowlife and a lying thief. He is a killer of hope.

Paddy is taking it hardest, which is why I am feeling angry.

Oh, and Tino, one of my favorite Spaniards, is moving in February to Minneapolis. Don´t ask me why anyone would do that to himself, but I think it must be Love. Nothing else could make anyone that crazy. This country will be a little less highly-flavored without him around.

A couple of good things, though. Libby, my daughter, is here with us. That´s not news, but it´s a real plus. She plays Scrabble with us in the evenings (and usually wins, ´cause she plays strategically while I go for the big long showy tactical words. Paddy just pulls the occasional 110-point 8-letter world-beater now and then.) Libby does Spanish really well, and is helping with tough language things like car insurance and Mario and writing legal letters.

In a couple of weeks is Thanksgiving, and Libby and I are going to Paris for a week. While there we are making a giant holiday feast for 14 people. One of them is a Parisian restaurateur. OMG. Anyway, I will just follow the good old Pittsburgh recipes and hope the crowd is OK widdat. (we won´t tell them about the Campbell´s soup, OK?) Most of them are expats of one kind or another, and the feast is at the fabulous Boulevard Clichy apartment of my best bud Jeanne.

We´ve been throwing Thanksgiving at her place for three years now, but before it was crammed into a tiny place several blocks away, in a kitchen reminiscent of a sailboat galley. This year will be different: big new apartment, new kitchen, and my family´s recipes! It´s been a very long time since I took on an entire monster feast, and it IS a little scary, especially with Jeanne´s high standards and lovely cutlery and napery... I kinda wish Ryan was coming too.(Ryan stayed with us earlier this year, and is a tremendous cook and raconteur, and he knows French, the perfect scullery maid.)

Libby and I have cute little matching aprons to wear, and a long list of ingredients to shop for -- shopping for food in the 9th arondissement is a feast for the senses! We can visit with Nicolas, my dear little godson, and go to art shows and museums and cemeteries after the party dies down. (I don´t have a thing to wear, alas!)

Patrick loves Paris, but he won´t go. Got to stay with the chickens, he says. At least while things are so up-in-the-air. I am not sure how I feel about this.
I hope he is OK.

Tim took a walk today in the sewer ditch. He is still peeved at me for bathing him. Una caught two mice. Even though it´s getting downright cold outside, the pilgrim tide just keeps flowing in.

We have cheese. Our Welsh Friends brought three types of cheddar: mature, more mature, and really old. OMG. I love my family, but it is very difficult for me to share real crumbly sharp cheddar with anyone.

Life is hard. But I have three pounds of cheddar in the fridge. I can cope.

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