Thursday, 28 February 2008
We finally saw inside the little Teacher House today, over in San Nicolas. We found it´s not really a little house at all!
I mentioned the place before. It´s for long-term rent, to people who live either here in Moratinos, or over in St. Nicolas, the next village west. It´s been empty since winter started, and its availability has been posted publicly since December. We asked Estebanito, the mayor, to give us a viewing. We were the only people to express an interest, he said.
We thought we´d take a look at it. We´d peeked in the windows, chatted about all the "what-ifs." As far as Paddy´s concerned, it´s a clear "as if!" As if we didn´t have our plates really full right now with a lifetime´s worth of remodeling projects, right here at our own Peaceable Kingdom. (He´s not the DIY kind of guy, as you may have gathered before. He is not enthusiastic. But he likes me to be happy. And occupied.)
I know enough former pilgrims and hospitaleros who say they´d love to spend weeks or months living low to the ground in a Camino village, but there´s really no kind of facility out there for that kind of thing. Well... unless I am mistaken, this could be that kind of thing. We could pay the yearly rent, do some painting and fixing-up, move some of our redundant furnishings over there, and then let my creative friends Kathy and Edie loose on it for the really fine decorating and gardening stuff.
Then, if there was sufficient interest, we could sublet it to fellow Camino-heads or Hispanophiles or whomever. In the winter Paddy could use it for a painting studio, or winter pilgs or especially hardy hermit souls could hole up there if they wanted to. (the heating is somewhat, er... rustic.) There are two bar/restaurants in town, and all the rest of the mod cons about 6 km. away in Sahagún. ( I ask myself Where was this place two years ago, when I was looking for it??)
Anyway... what we saw was pretty scruffy, but lovely too. It´s a whole lot bigger inside than we thought... three or four bedrooms, and a really big, sunny common room, ceilings three meters high, yellow tile floors, a tiny bathroom, a useable kitchen (it´s still got a wood-burning stove under the counter!) and a nice little walled garden with a well. It is in dire need of paint. Obviously sometime in the past someone let the local youth paint "murals" in there.
But the plot´s thickened a bit in the past couple of weeks I think someone saw us peeking in the windows, and told the guys at the bar about it, and they got to thinking, too... And now our buds at Casa Barrunta are going to have a look, too. They have lots of relatives in for weekends and holidays, and their little house gets too crowded, and they know all about doing up old houses already.
And somebody else, a San Nicolas native who lives in San Sebastian, said he wants to see it too. He wants a bigger place in the summer, when he brings the family back home. I kinda hope they look at it and think, well... naah. Too much work for just occasional use. Too much money.
But if they look at it and say "yeah! This is for me!" I would not be heartbroken, either. Paddy is right about us having way too much work already, and if I´m going to write that "Eternity in Moratinos" book I´ve gotta leave myself some time to do it in. (...but this might make a good chapter, too. St. Nicolas is a much more lively, divided, and conflict-driven place than Moratinos. Conflict is what makes books really work. Not that I´m going looking for it!)
So I will put the word out here, and see what you International Types think of the idea. (This is a thinly veiled appeal for feedback comments, OK?)
I will leave the future of the Teacher House to Fate for now, as I´ve gotta be on the bus to Salamanca tomorrow morning. And everything here moves very, very slowly.