Saturday, 9 February 2008
Two Very Good Days
We are just finishing up two very good days at the Peaceable, and I will tell you what made them so good.
First, the weather. It might as well be spring around here, except for the frost around the windowsills in the morning. By 2 p.m. the temperatures are well into the 50s in Fahrenheit, and about 16º C, with nary a cloud in the sky. What wonderful weekend weather!
Second was the company. Thursday evening we were sitting down to a plate of black sausage in the Taberna Miguel in Sahagun, celebrating Paddy´s birthday. And who should walk in the door, but the long-unheard-of Dominique, the builder/chef from Paris who helped make Thanksgiving work! He´d sent messages and phoned, but our magnificent Vodafone mobiles are very moody about delivering messages these days... sometimes I receive them a WEEK after they were sent. Anyway, he and Eliane, his sweety from Toulouse, had rolled into town and checked into a hostel and were just looking for a place for dinner, when...ta-daa! Who´s sitting in there at the second table, stuffing her face?
We had Toro wine and lechazo and a good time. Paddy ended up having ´Happy Birthday´ sung to him THREE times that day: Once by me in the morning, another time by the three of us in the evening, and a third time by a group of noisy young things at the bar, who were themselves celebrating the birthday of a mate. They gave Paddy his rendition in English, though.
Anyway, yesterday the pair of them spent the morning and afternoon here in Moratinos, inpecting the ongoing work, (the tiles are going up in the upstairs bath!) hiking to San Nicholas and back, and cooking up a marvelous meal which we had out on the patio, with the workers pounding away in the background and Jean Sablon singing Frog Music on the box. We grilled lamb chops and made spinach greens and a tomato salad, and had Manchego cheese for dessert! Wow!
Today dawned just as bright so we took the dogs on a long hike, from the Camino village of Fromista to the Camino village of Boadilla de Camino. This particular stretch of hike follows about 4 miles/7 km. of the Canal de Castilla, the same limpid line of water we walked a couple of weeks ago, but a lot farther north. Anyone who´s walked the Camino remembers that singular day spent with the waterway along their right, and a million-mile view across the campos on the left.
One interesting moment came when we encountered a field full of donkeys. Tim never saw a donkey before, and wasn´t sure what to make of them. They must look pretty scary! Una zipped right up to them, and so did I... I love donkeys. Donkeys don´t always love dogs, though, and Tim was rather concerned for my well-being. He stood well away and moaned and grumbled while I gave the big brown one a scratch between his magnificent ears.
We also found this very interesting machine parked in the street in Boadilla. It´s a roto-tiller/rotavator, tipped up with the tines removed and harnessed to a cart. My dad would get such a kick out of this vehicle!
We were starved by the time we got back to Fromista. The fabulous landmark Romanesque church of St. Martin (11th century!) was closed, of course, but we found a farm-hands´ lunchroom open right off the plaza, where a lady serves three-course meals in her living room for 9 Euros a pop.
Excellent food, nice company, a beautiful day, happy dogs. Two days in a row.
Life is good.