Monday, 28 January 2008

Sense and No Nonsense


The last few days have been a delight, to both the sensible and no-nonsense sides of me.

The sensible, sensitive, sensuous stuff: bright blue skies, soft breezes, temperatures way up into Springtime levels. Veg grilled over a wood fire, eaten out on the patio; fresh cheese, a really good new pasta recipe, perfect for feeding to pilgrims. Chickens wandering through the yard and house, singing their odd songs, getting underfoot, just generally wanting to be in on the action.

And the walk... on Sunday we discovered a delightful new place for long or short distance hikes... the Canal de Castilla. It´s a couple of hundred kilometers of 18th-century canal that snakes down from the Palentine mountains near Aguilar de Campoo (yep, that´s the place´s name) across the Camino at Fromista, and on down to Valladolid and Medina de Rioseco. It spans the treeless Tierra de Campos region with a ribbon of greenery, and the trails are pounded down on both sides by horses, sheep, and people. We drove south to hook up to it, to Becerril de Campos. We walked about 5 km. to Villaumbrales, where the main canal forks into two smaller ones. We and the dogs had a beautiful walk, and checked out two beautiful, neat, ancient towns, one at either end of the hike. We live in such a cool place, even if it really IS fly-over country!

My practical side was well sated on Saturday, when we worked/toiled/labored for about six hours straight, moving piles of scrap and crap from where they were to somewhere else. It was heavy, dirty work, but the place looks marginally better for our efforts, and now we know where to find some things that were scattered akimbo before.

I think, now that the house is coming along so well, our nesting instinct is kicking in! (Paddy is actually taking an active interest in choosing tile for the bathrooms and kitchen, and all the floors downstairs. It is amazing! And lovely too, because choosing so many things at once, with such a long time to regret it if you make the wrong choice, is too much for one person to have to do, methinks. Even if it IS girly girl stuff.) In any case, my Protestant Work Ethic got a nice fill-up. If I die today I will go straight to Calvinist heaven, where the sun always shines and the righteous work never ends.

And we are off again today to Palencia, to choose the tiles for all the floors downstairs. Seeing as we´ll be in the Big City, we will stop at the hipermarket where we can find Rooibus tea and taco shells! And if there´s time, we´ll stop again in Becerril and see their museum of religious art. (It is Monday, The Day Without Museums. But you just never know.)

Life is good, out on the perimeter. Especially when Springtime happens in January.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Aha, I crossed the Canal today! It was beautiful, so still, like a huge long mirror!