Wednesday, 9 January 2008

No Unexamined Hog Shall Be Subject to Home-based Pig-Sticking

Behold, the old has passed away, and all things are made new.

...well, SOME things are. Like our windows. They´re almost all installed now. All they need to really be windows is glass. I wonder if we have to pay extra for such frippery.

But I´ll get to the boring building stuff later. In the bigger picture, there´s a couple of new edictos posted on the public board on the plaza. The first one forbids the butchering of pigs at home without having a state vet check them first for worms. Oh, damn! So much for my weekend plans!

Also fresh from the Junta de Castilla y Leon is the plan to plant new trees all along our stretch of the Camino, seemingly from Villaoreja all the way to San Nicolas.

There already are lineups of these saplings here, along the N120 bike trail/alternative camino path. They´ve been around for years along the camino just west of here, shading the path from Calzada del Coto to El Burgo Raneiro. Some of those are real trees now. But many, many of them struggle to stay alive. A whole crew of guys spends their summers trying to irrigate their roots, but I´d say just over half of the trees survive their first couple of years. So we´ll soon see a whole new crop of them, along the "real" camino. I am not sure how I feel about the idea, me being a lover of wide-open spaces. But no one asked me.

The next bit strikes me as a potential blues lyric. I wrote it originally as prose, but now I´ve broken it up for you musical and poetic/doggerel types.

Hiking along there this morning
in the fog with the dogs
I also saw
the latest crop of crap.
It´s them pilgrims again.
Even the winter ones, the hard core, the deeply dedicated
Can´t carry their trash to the bin in town.
They have to throw it on the ground.
Jesus wouldn´t do that.
Pilgrim sonsabitches.
I hope you get a vision.

New to the Peaceable Kingdom:
We have lots of new aluminum framing for drywall now stacked in the old salon. And scary as it is, the electricista came today. I like the guy, he´s got a good face. The scary part was having to tell him where we want the lights, all over the house... what KIND of lights, how many, and where. And where we want outlets, too. The whole time Jose Castro, the general contractor, was following us along telling us NO, you don´t want that, you want THIS. All in 55 mph Spanish.

Jose Castro is the general contractor. Jose Luis is his second in command, Jose Luis´s son is hanging drywall and generally is being kicked around by his dad. His name is Jose, too. Demasiado with the Josés, guys! Maybe that´s why I liked the electricista so well. His name is Juan.

Hardest of all was the kitchen. I know we´ve had MONTHS to mull over what goes where, but suddenly I had to say it: sink here. Stove and oven here. Fridge there. Lights right there, and there, and there. I know it´s not exactly public policy, but these are decisions I´ll have to live with for years to come. It still feels like I haven´t thought it through well enough! I kinda wish they´d just come in and do it all FOR me. Then if I don´t like it, I won´t have to blame myself.

So progress is being made, at long last! When these jamokes are finished we still will have to install the floor tiles all over the place, finish the wooden floors upstairs, and paint and/or plaster almost all the walls. I think we can handle that. Or find someone who can. By then it will be fully pilgrim season, and perhaps we´ll pull some willing workers from that constant stream.

Having workers working has lightened Paddy´s mood considerably. It makes it so we have to be here at The Peaceable by 9 a.m. each day to let people in, and it means we can´t really come and go as we please because the dogs may escape through the doors and gates left open by the workers. Tradeoffs.

So we´ll wait til a better time to go and buy a little TV set. Our lack of TV is a marvel to our neighbors and friends. We are told by experts it may help me overcome my mental block with Español. Paddy´s eyes don´t do reading so well in the evenings, so it will maybe keep him occupied.

And so goes the progress.

An unrelated thing: I read other blogs sometimes, and there are lively exchanged of comments at the bottoms of the posts. In this blog there are no comments posted, almost never. Why is that? Is it something I said? Please feel free. No junk email will arrive, no Death Squad will call. I kinda want to know who you all are, OK?


MaryJean_in_Avalon said...

Thnak for the prompt to make comments! I have just found your blog and being an American enamored with Spain and the idea of doing a Camino Santiago de Compostela am thrilled to find you.

My husband and I spent some time yesterday discussing your comments about the presidential campaigns. Interesting how Europeans probably know more about us than we about them. Sad really...

Thanks again!

Mary Jean said...

...And my Web Guru Tino advised me to open up the comments to ALL, so you don´t have to be a "registered user" now to say something. And you, Mr. and Ms. Anonymous, always have PLENTY to say!

Teri said...

Teri, from Utah commenting. I have your blog on an RSS feed so I know when you've updated! It's great and I applaud and envy you following your dream to Espana!

Anonymous said...

Hey! Nice to see you are making progress and your construction workers... work. Maybe it helps that construction work is slowing down in Spain... quite a bit. Anyway, good for you.


lillirod said...

Yes you do have readers albeit silent ones. Meant to make comments before and never came to it. Anyway, I've been reading your blog for some months now and like the sort of "A Year in Provence" similarity, this time in rural northern Spain.

I like your attitude, politics and connection with the camino so keep coming back for updates. Keep it up and good luck with your construction!

Lillian from San Juan, PR

Jim G said...

Greetings from Memphis. Like Teri I subscribed to your RSS feed; now if I can only become a little more consistent in reading my feeds!

You sound positively hopeful compared to only a little while ago. I hope your construction folk continue to be reliable and make good progress.

CarolineMathieson said...

Hiya m'dear!

You know me already and i've commented in the past, but here's another wee one anyway....

Caroline x.

Dave J said...

Nice one Reb. I think your constructadores are the ones who just went missing from our village! If you spot 'em tell 'em Cristina's in need of a front door pronto (or sooner)

Ann said...

Buenas dias.
Have been reading your blog (from the US- Oregon to be exact). Love it & can relate to your hacienda project as I once renovated a 200 yr.old barn in New Hampshire, w/ a former husband. Now we have a 3 bedroom
B&B with an Italian theme and meet
travelers from all over the world.
Our website is
I am planning a trip in May '08 to walk the amazing Camino, & promise to leave a clean trail.
I will look you guys up as I pass
through your amazing area.
Thanks for sharing your adventure,
Ann @

PL said...

Having lived in Colorado all my life (you remembered the winter of '67? I'm a year older than you and I don't remember it myself) and attended the 'People's Republic of Boulder' I always carried my trash with me through the day and deposited it in the first dumpster I spied as I came to roost at the end of each day. I agree though, I was saddened and angered both by the amount of trash I saw along the Way every day. - Regards, Nev