Tuesday, 26 February 2008

That Wonderful Glazed Look!

Something really significant happened today at The Peaceable. You feel it before you can see it... the workers are laughing and kinda punchy, singing along to the pop tunes on the radio.  
A man came today in a big truck from the ´carpenteria de alumino´ shop, and tucked into work. And now, among all the trash and wreckage and scaffolding and tubes...
We have WINDOWS! With GLASS in them!  
I am not so sure why this feels like such a magnificent achievement, but it surely does.  I look at the front of the big house, and it looks back at me now. Where once was an empty shell, sunlight now shines. Amazing. 
It feels more snug inside, and maybe that´s the biggest difference. If we really needed to, we could now sleep inside the house. It would be cold at night, and we´d have to run across the patio to use to bathroom, but that pretty much describes how we lived here last winter! 

Aside from that, the tubing is finally threaded through all the insulation boards on the downstairs floors, and I´m pretty sure the whole boiling will be buried beneath a big cement pour within the next couple of days. (God knows what we´ll do with the dogs then... I have visions of them wading joyfully across the kitchen floor, knee-deep in concrete. The stuff is absolutely irresistible to Una.) 

There´s lots more going on. We discovered a great walk just south of here, along a country road that´s dotted every 100 meters or so with a tall concrete cross. They lead to a beautiful old hermitage church, out in the middle of a field. And beyond that is Pozos de Urma, a tiny, dying adobe village of about 30 people. Ruffino, the 80-something mayor, introduced himself out on the road and chatted with us on the way in to town: about "that Negro boy running for president," about life the way it used to be in Pozos, the bodegas, the civil war, pilgrims (Pozos is on a little-used alternative pathway).  He was amazed to learn we live in Moratinos year-round... He´d never met an American before. It´s still fun, being exotic without even trying!
And on the tractor path back we found a stone marking the spot a 1936 execution.  So much to see, on 10 km. of farm tracks.  We live in a very cool place.   

I´ve been busy this month, blog-wise... I am not sure March will compare, as I am off on the train on Friday to Salamanca to do my two-week bit at the pilgrim hostel. I´ll try to post from there, as I know some of you readers are interested in the Daily Life of a Hospitalera.  I don´t expect too many pilgrims or too much hard work. I am bringing along my new Spanish Drivers License Exam study manual, and The Brothers Karamazov, and The Ultimate Spanish Grammar Practice & Review book. Fascinating, ain´t it? That oughtta keep me off the streets, if not out of the most wonderful Plaza Mayor in Spain! 

(I think the best part may be coming back and seeing the progress made over those two weeks. I LOVE surprises, so long as they don´t involve paint.)
Hasta pronto


Elizabeth said...

There's a new movie out in the States that I haven't seen yet (but want to) called Vantage Point. It takes place in Salamanca. Neat, huh?

Rebrites@yahoo.com said...

you oughtta. I don´t know the movie, but I´m acquainted with Salamanca. It´s one of my tip-top favorite cities, as cities go. Maybe right up there with Pittsburgh!

Melinda said...

I read your blog with envy everyday. I am an American who fell in love with Spain on my camino in 2006. I would love to live there but can't seem to find a way. Anyway, I really enjoy reading your blog.

Rebrites@yahoo.com said...

melinda, c´mon over and hang out when you want. Try out what it´s like before you commit to anything, because moving here is like getting married... everything changes the minute you say "I will!"

Melinda said...

"I will!I will!" Change is exactly what I want. We spent 2 months there and were not ready to leave at all. I think about Spain everyday and talk about it to the point of boring everyone to tears.
Your blog reminds me of a book I read lately called "A Year in Provence". It is about an English couple buying and remodeling a house in France.

Rebrites@yahoo.com said...

well... maybe I can interest you in a time share, in a rattletrap little house in the next village...?

film at 11

Melinda said...

Rattletrap? The pictures don't look bad. In my imagination you have already bought it and are opening a private albergue that I can run for you. Painting is one of the things I do best, in fact I was just painting at my sister's house this afternoon so no problem there. I cook, clean, paint, decorate, garden and even do massage. No plumbing or wiring experience I am sad to say.

CarolineMathieson said...

Salamanca is one of my favorite Spanish cities as well. I spent 3 months there at one of the language schools at the end of 2003.

When ever I have walked the Via, I have either arranged to go there at the end of the holiday or stopped there for a few days en route.

I hope you treat pilgrims like me better than the person who was there a few years ago. She was French and shouted abuse at me when I tried to get my credential stamped because I was staying in a pension.

Caroline x.