Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Zorro en Zanja

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes." -- Song of Solomon, Ch. 2, v. 15, KJV

As we walked out this morning past the tenderly laden vineyards toward the Hare Field, Una found something fascinating in the ditch alongside the camino. Tim joined her. They yipped the yips that mean "Wow, a live animal! Let´s kill it!"

It´s past the season for big lizards, the field-mouse plague is history, and most of the rabbits and game birds are well hidden these days, as the weekend hunting season is going full blast. We backtracked to see what the hounds had cornered.

It was a fox, a young beauty, curled in the zanja, the roadside ditch. Its back end was useless and bloody, but its front end was lively with desperation. When the dogs came too near it flashed and gnashed its pointy white teeth.

We pulled the dogs away. The fox slumped down into the undergrowth, invisible again, panting and doomed. (this photo is not the same fox. I swiped it from someplace else, for those of you who require Visual Aids.)

Back in Moratinos Paddy told Alcalde Estebanito, the closest thing we have to Authorities. He phoned the Guardia Civil, the rural police force. They sent out their "Environmental Squad." A little while later Pad rode out with them to show them where the little fox was hidden. They looked. They agreed the animal isn´t going to make it, that it ought to be put out of its pain. And while they radio-ed for advice and backup, Patrick walked home.

We haven´t heard any shots. Maybe we should have just told Segundino or Justi, men we know are hunters, to consider going out and putting the animal down. They probably think we´re crazy to even bother with a wild animal, much less get the Guardia involved.

Out here in the campo, animals are tools or appliances or pests. We outsiders, raised with a different set of contradictions, sometimes find Spanish animal care quite questionable. I am speaking here in generalities, OK? There are some notable exceptions, but I can safely say that most local chickens spend their lives in tiny cages, and when a hen stops laying eggs she goes into the stew-pot. Unwanted kittens are drowned, or left to "go feral" in the fields -- cats that kill doves are likewise eliminated. Guard dogs are kept tied-up or confined in small yards, and are never let loose to stretch their legs. Likewise, hunting dogs are confined inside barns or corn-cribs or farmyards and fed stale bread until hunting season starts. Crippled animals are put down, or dropped off along a country road somewhere.

A great number of Spanish horsemen wear spurs on their boots and whips in their hands, and they don´t hesitate to use them. Horses are seen grazing in building sites, junkyards, and waste land, anywhere that´s fenced-in. Donkeys are tied up to stakes and left to graze for weeks in the same circle, without shelter or shade, their hooves growing overlong. Sometimes worn-out donkeys or horses are still found wandering the back roads, left to their own devices. (English writer Gerald Brennan, who lived in the mountains of Granada in the 1920´s, wrote of a village donkey that went lame. The creature was "broken," so it was "thrown away," aka shoved over a cliff... and it didn´t die. Brennan appealed to the owners to go down and shoot it, to put it out of its misery. They looked at him, shocked. "But that donkey was like family to us! Killing him would be cruel!" they said.)

Things are not so bad now. Old dogs are allowed to spend their golden years lying in the sunshine in the plaza. And the cafés and bars and lanes of Spain are alive with faithful lapdogs who spend their lives tucked safely within the family bosom. The caged chickens and staked-out donkeys and tied-up dogs at least have food and water. And the Julis, a no-nonsense farming family, have adopted Lucas, a duck, from a big-city family that realized an apartment-house balcony wasn´t the best place for barnyard fowl. The Julis have no use for a big male duck, but they keep him around anyway.

Those are the domestic creatures. Wild animals live around here, too. They are rarely seen, but their tracks are plainly visible on the trails: wild pigs, tiny deer, foxes, weasels, feral cats, quail, partridge, doves, rabbits and hares. So long as they stay out in the wild, (and it´s not hunting season) the locals leave them alone to make their own way. But if a wild creature is seen in town, he´s suspected of hunting for chickens at least, and carrying rabies at worst. He is summarily hunted down and killed.

We hear pilgrims complain about seeing skinny dogs and weatherbeaten ponies. We agree it is a shameful thing. We all say "tsk-tsk." Then we sit down to our tasty dinner of factory-farmed beef or pork or chicken.

We don´t know how the little fox ended up in the ditch. Maybe a hunter shot it, and it limped that far before it fell. Maybe it´s a car-crash victim, although it´s hard to imagine anyone driving fast enough along the bumpy old camino for a fast fox to fall beneath its wheels. Or maybe it got into the grapes, and the vineyard guys decided to destroy it.

Suffering is suffering. This morning, just before I turned away, I looked straight into the fox´s hazel eyes. It looked straight back at me. It was dying in a ditch, but its face was full of dignity.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Home Alone

At long last, after a 9-hour drive north from Malaga, we are back at The Peaceable Kingdom in Moratinos.

We have no guests staying with us. There are no (cute! see Sam pic) grandchildren, nor children, nor relations nor friends nor family about. Nobody is speaking English, even.
There are no pilgrims at the gate, and no one to pick up at the train station.
There are no big plans for the coming days: no fiestas, parties, weddings, nor funerals. There´s not even a long drive, unless you count the trip to Leon to take my long-anticipated Driving Theory exam at the police station.

Tomorrow we shall go to Sahagun to buy lettuce, leeks, and a supplement to add to chicken feed so The Hen Girls will lay normal eggs again. (They´ve gone a bit Dali-esque lately, a condition the neighbors say is due to a calcium shortage, but I put down to the Spanish/Catalan Surrealist influence...or maybe the chemical stuff they sprayed on the fields last week that made everybody high.) While in Sahagun we will pay our annual property tax bill of 61 Euros, and our annual trash collection bill of 24 Euros. (We will do this gladly, with smiles on our faces, having paid in the past property tax bills literally 20 times these amounts, for the privilege of living in near-ghetto conditions.)

By my best estimate, it´s been a full month since Paddy and I have been alone together at The Peaceable.
Except for the inevitable animal sounds, it is very quiet. It may even border on boring.

And it is absolutely delicious.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Dispatch From Another Planet

We still are in Spain, but might as well be on another planet.

We now are in Torremolinos, a beachside resort town way down on the other end of Spain. Patrick has family down here, English people who expatriated back in the 60s and 70s into their own English-speaking enclave.

I wrote about Torremolinos before, so I won't repeat myself (I am not quite THAT old yet.) I think so far the most fun thing about this holiday is the little house a neighbor lent us to stay in. The neighbor's name is Horst, and we have never met. We don't have to, I think... his holiday house tells me so much about him and his tastes and passions that I can let my presumptions run wild.

Horst is extremely German, a Dusseldorf man with a Teutonic love for orderliness, heavy furniture, slipcovers, and bathroom humor. The house is tiny and exqisitely organized, but with little touches of holiday-home whimsy... the toilet seat is a dazzling work of seashells, marine life, and rainbows, all preserved for eternity in blue-green lucite. There are sheets draped over the protective slipcovers over the sofa cusions. And a lovely plaque is hung above the front door, carefully executed in decoupage: a portrait of a very serious tabby cat.

I am very happy and grateful to Horst for his hospitality. We will leave a bottle of champagne in his fridge when we go, and we'll make sure all the towels and sheets are washed and folded and returned to just where we found them. (A large portion of my family is German, so I can appreciate all this.)

The other fun thing is Jack, one of our fellow holidaymakers. Jack is Paddy's grandson, and he's now about 5. When I last saw him he was deep in the throes of being two years old, a painful condition for everyone within range. Apparently time helped him get over that, and now he is a delightful, bright, funny little boy. Jack and his family live in Ealing, in West London, so it shouldn't surprise me when he opens his mouth and English comes out.

But what English! It's clear, plummy London, with words straight out of a Noel Coward musical and said in a sweet little-boy voice: "Mummay, wheh's moi bathing costume?" he cried out yesterday across the garden (It's "garden" here, not "yard.")And it's "bathing costume," not "swim trunks.")

Jack is my step-grandson, a part of my family. And he sounds so foreign to me!

But in a place like Torremolinos, "foreign" is rather lacking in meaning. Here I am, an American, vacationing among the Brits and sleeping in Der Deutsche Haus, here in southern Spain. I wake in the morning to the sound of Spanish garbage collectors shouting in heavy Andalusian accents as they bash steel trash containers ("rubbish bins," I mean) down the concrete alley, a racket I'm sure brings joy to the black hearts of trashmen all over the world. Across the lane I can hear Jack singing an ancient English nursery song to his little sister ("Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, like a tea-tray in the sky"... but that tune? Mozart wrote that, I know. And in the background of his song Sponge Bob Square Pants chatters from the TV set. So good to know my homeland contributes so much to international culture.

For breakfast, sharp black linseed bread from the German grocery, and real Dutch Maasdammer cheese, and Colombian coffee, and apples flown in from Israel. Through the walls the duplex neighbors are playing Portuguese Fado music. I spent a relaxing hour copying out recipes from a Thai cookbook.

And now everyone else has gone into town. Me and the dogs are lazing here, contemplating nations and identities, accents and locales, enjoying the songs of cicadas and air-conditioning units, chillin' by the baby pool out on the patio.

Planet Moratinos is a long, long way away. I wonder what the chicken girls are doing today.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

La Fiesta de mi Pueblo

They´re still out there dancing at coming-on 1 a.m. We had some spectacular low-altitude fireworks this year instead of the same old skyrockets. The plaza is littered with shell-casings, the air is clouded with cordite, and dogs are cowering under beds all over town. Then, just after midnight, the little electronic keyboard man got going with "Girl from Ipanema" and "La Paloma Blanca" and "Beer Barrel Polka," and all the ladies started whirling over the pavement with their sisters-in-law. (The men only join in after the third round of drinks, when they hear some favorite old Paso Dobles and sambas.) The Plaza Mayor is bouncing and twirling and hopping as it does just this one night of the year.

Way overhead, the earth is eclipsing the moon. The night is full of wonders.

Rain fell off and on through the day, the first rain in many weeks, so the mood was a little dampened this time around. The Mass was a packed house of 60-some souls, but there was no pipe and drum to sing the saint around the square.

Alcalde Estebanito said it´s on account of "the crisis," the national economic strain he also blames for his ongoing use of a banana-seat bicycle he´s been riding ´round town from age 12.
He said that´s also why this year he passed on the fabulous old tuxedo-clad cross-dresser and her guitar-strumming "Orchestra of Strings" for the afternoon entertainment, and opted instead for a magician who pulled scarves out of Modesto´s ears. Instead of a live band with a sexy singer and flashing disco lights for the nighttime dance, this year we have Marcellino´s Mighty Wurlitzer.

I think, Estebanito being Estebanito, he used the money instead to buy the flashy fireworks. Men around here are mad for a good explosion, and they can buy locally-made fireworks as close as Becerril de Campos, about 30 km. from here.

Yeah, they had to set them up in the middle of the street, and yeah, there´s no super-qualified guy hired to electronically choreograph each one under cover of heavy liability insurance... it´s Manolo and Jose and Pin, our resident pyromaniacs, lighting each fuse with a well-sucked cigarette, then running away to a chorus of "Corre! Corre!" ("Run like hell!")

And I´m here to tell you, these fireworks are as good as anything I´ve seen on Fourth of July back in the US of A, except there´s more of a pause between each display... and they explode right above the tops of the trees. Burnt cardboard and soot showers down from the sky and cuts through the trees and bounces off the ground. My hair is full of little bits of confetti. Fireworks here are downright Interactive!

And at the end of it all, after the Grand Finale and the cheers die down, the mayor´s voice booms down Calle Ontanon: "The Coronation Rose Bouquet Tribute! What happened to it? Did you keep the receipt?"

The moon emerged. The smoke cleared. The little children chased one another across the darkened square, and the music started up again.

We did a polka and a samba, and were sucked into a furious Conga line of giggling ladies. This year we didn´t last long. We crept away into the darkness before Paddy could whirl a succession of neighbors round the pavement as he´s done the past two fiestas... We really were worried about Una, who is petrified of simple skyrockets. And sure enough, when we got home, we found her shivering in the downstairs bathroom, thinking the Apocalypse was Now. (Tim, the hunting dog, hardly notices the bangs.)

And to be truthful, we are tired. Maybe tomorrow I will write about what happened in the afternoon, and maybe I´ll come back to this post and fix up all the mixed verb tenses. (We gave a deluxe tour of the Peaceable to the family we bought it from. The people whose family lived and worked here for generations out of mind. It was hard on everyone, I think.)

So we are pooping out early. Now that we´ve become part of the local scene we have nothing to prove...but we can play the Foreigner Card when it comes to staying up til 4 a.m. dancing Where we come from, you don´t do that when you´re over age 30. Or your dog is scared. Or your lungs are on fire from all that gunpowder!

Friday, 15 August 2008

Peak Week

One of our pilgrims has posted about us on the Internet... Margaret the Kiwi Nomad wrote about a day in the life of Moratinos, and even took pictures! Her blog takes you all the way from central France to Santiago. It´s an easy read, with lots of photos, too, if pilgrimage is one of your yens. ("Kiwi" is non-offensive nickname for somebody from New Zealand, by the way.)

It´s tempting to just send you to her for your blog-fix, but I´d be remiss. Things are hoppin´around here so hard I feel pretty whacked... (I slept in til after 9 a.m.!) and the Moratinos fiesta starts up today! When will all this fun ever stop???

Back to the narrative. The Vermut/Housewarming detailed in the last post was topped-off later Sunday evening, when my dear friends Dick and Filipe arrived. Filipe, a brain-DNA expert from Portugal, lives in Belgium, home of the world´s finest chocolate and beer. Dick lives in Gouda, Holland... home of some mind-bendingly amazing cheese, and peanut butter, and gin so smooth you drink it straight up. They brought some of each, except for the beer. They stayed around til Thursday, showing us how to roast chicken in a clay pot, "drown" octopus in red wine, and infuse pasta with the flavor of the sea. (Portuguese are amazing cooks, btw.) We stayed up really late every night, and took road trips in the day to see strange castles and buy more vino for bodega stockage.

Did I tell you I love these guys? I met Dick in 2001, when we walked the Camino, I met Filipe at Dick´s house in Holland a couple of years later. We´ve exchanged visits ever since, usually in some cosmopolitan international setting. This is the first time I´ve had these guys both to my home. It was a real celebration for me, as they´ve been believers in this Peaceable Kingdom dream since its inception.

Two days into their visit, Deirdre the Pilgrim stopped in on her way back to Connecticut. And that same evening, three just plain pilgrims showed up very late, looking for a place to lay their heads. Somehow it turned into a big, mellow party out on the patio, with twinkle lights and hand-rolled cigarettes and talks about Faith, Hope, Love, and Ambition. It was good having Filipe there, as he has never walked the Camino, and still looks at the whole phenomenon with a cocked eyebrow. He is a healthy injection of "real world" here in the middle of the Way, where mystical fancies and myths and dreams and self-absorption can run away with themselves.

By Thursday afternoon everyone went away. Suddenly it was just me, Paddy, Una, Tim, and Bob in the patio (Rosie, Gladys, and Blodwyn keep to the back yard these days.) I sat down, and noticed the swallows in the barn have their babies out on the clothesline, teaching them how to catch insects in flight. I felt good and sleepy.

That´s when we heard the church bell tapping light... a signal to each family to send someone downtown to hear some important news. We walked down. It was no time to feel tired.

The bell was a summons to all the women to snip some flowers from their gardens and bring them to the church for arranging. The men were expected to bring tools to help set up the temporary bar on the church porch, and maybe pay their water bill if they missed the announcement last Saturday. (We pay our water bills once a year. Moratinos residents share the produce of an artesian well and three other aquifers that flow beneath our streets, fed by the mountains about 30 km. north of us. The water here is of great quality and is very cheap. We didn´t pay our bill last year, due to some cutoff-date glitch on our property deed transfers. Yesterday we paid for two years´worth of water usage: 38 Euros. About $50. I love this place.)

Anyway, Paddy paid bills and watched while skilled men hammered the bar into shape. I was inside the church with the wimminfolk, watching while skilled ladies arranged zinnias, gladiolas, and roses into pleasing floral tributes. We have no flowers blooming at our house, and I know little about floral arranging, so I made myself useful by sweeping up the clippings and playing with the kids.

There are kids in town, three little scamps called Christina, Joel, and Annuncia. They assume I speak fluent Spanish, and very patiently correct me when I don´t (which is often, but I appreciate it.)... they love it when I "sound like the people on TV!" More kids are on their way, as this is the biggest weekend on the Moratinos calendar.

Today, Friday, is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the first day of our annual three-day fiesta extravaganza. Houses are opened up, linen is airing-out on windowsills, and the church bell rings periodically to announce the start of a Mass, a magic show, a procession, card game, vermut, or concert. Soon the rockets will begin booming, and Una Dog will freak out and hide for a couple of days. Una loathes fiestas. I have mixed feelings. Read back on last year´s three-part bloggery, and you´ll see we are in for an exhausting couple of days and nights.

I´ll take pictures, and try to find a new angle on the annual story. But right now, I am ready for a nap.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Peaceable Party

The weather was perfect, the people staying with us were beyond helpful, the vermouth held out, and the goodies and tapas were wiped clean. About 40 people (including kids!) thundered through the house after Mass on Sunday, some of whom we have never met. (they are friends and relatives of people who were invited. We didn´t even know we have a hippie biker dude living in the next village till he showed up here and showed us his Harley tattoos.) We put the dogs out back, but someone let them back in the house anyway...and they behaved wonderfully, playing with the kiddies and working the crowd for snacks!

So now we have standing invitations at a great lineup of houses, from San Nicolas to Vittoria. Everyone cleared out by 2 p.m., and we got the place all cleaned up and back to "normal" straightaway. Except it is awfully clean and neat. And there´s an awful lot of potato chips and jamon and queso Cerrato and nuts left, as I forgot to put them out on the table.

Here are pictures, taken by Adriana, our architectural historian bud from New Jersey:

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Sweet Summertime Saturday

If I was sophisticated I´d have some music playing in the background of this post. On my ITunes program I am finding all kinds of music I didn´t know I had, left behind by kindly and/or negligent pilgrims. This is Jack Johnson, singing "Private Concert." Nice!

I was going to wait til Sunday to post, telling you all about the Vermut party, but today, Saturday, is so fine I am going to post anyway. The weather is cool and breezy and beautiful. Bob the Canary is singing along to the above acoustic guitar. Thomas the Dutch Pilg Handyman, is working miracles outside and in... Paddy in the kitchen is working wonders, even with wierd lamb alimentary canal meat for €1.25 we had for lunch; and this afternoon Estebanito pulled up with a great armload of decorative gladiolas for tomorrow´s big Vermut. (And we have a summer kitchen with an unused kitchen sink to put gladiolas in til tomorrow morning!) We tried a bottle of the cheap vendimia (aka this-year´s "green") Rioja wine I bought for 1.60€ a bottle for the party, and it is AMAZING. I am going on Monday to buy every bottle of this stuff they have in the cheap warehouse store, to put in the bodega.

Talk about miracles, (aka Milagros)... Life is good!

Two German pilgrims stopped this morning, animal lovers who raise alpacas on Lanzarote... they had the leftover bones from the steaks they ate last night, and quickly bought their way into the cheaply-bought hearts of Tim and Una. We are expecting our Grenadian architect this evening. And tomorrow... the party. And Dick and Filipe, two of my best amigos ever.

How can anyone not like summertime?

The house pics are "before" and "afters." We´d have waited indefinitely to paint the outside of the place if Thomas hadn´t rolled up to the door, looking for work. Might as well!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Hot Work

Now that I´ve recovered from the clothing pique, there are Developments Afoot.

Thomas the Dutch handyman is back, and he´s cutting brush and scraping paint and repairing concrete for us, God bless his workaholic little heart.

We are scrambling to get ready for the weekend. On Sunday after Mass we´re having a "Vermut," a gathering of all the neighbors at our house. They want to see what´s changed, and we want to say "thanks for your support." So we need to buy some Vermouth and other goodies. And we´ve got to clean up this place to within an inch of its life. I have seen inside the neighbors´ houses, barns, and gardens, and those that have not been abandoned to utter ruin are ruthlessly clean and neat. Corners will be examined. Notes will be taken. Smears will be discussed in coming days.

We are also expecting an architecture student from Granada this weekend, and a four-day visit from Filipe and Dick of Holland. So the plate is full.

And the sun is hot. Flies the size of Buicks are taking over the kitchen. Paddy´s work table out in the patio is layers deep, and he shows little compunction about clearing away some of the worst of it. We can achieve some things in the cool of the morning, but about 1 p.m. the heat descends like a great blanket and stuns every living thing into silent torpor. Siesta time! And nowadays, with the blinds lowered, our big bedroom´s become a lovely nest for napping.

I like to think I´ve adjusted to the slow pace of life here, seeing how visiting the USA just about killed me a month ago. But a jaunt into Sahagun yesterday reminded me I have a way to go. Sahagun is heaving with people right now, as August brings waves of pilgrims as well as city-dwellers come home to the old pueblo for a month in the country. They´re opening up their summer places and finding them old-fashioned, leaky, tatty, ratty, or generally not nice enough. So they all are going into Sahagun with the wife and kids and granny to get shovels, tacks, mousetraps, poison, fenceposts, bedspreads, chainsaws, and casseroles, each of which requires many long minutes of discussion and argument with salespeople, granny, and passers-by.

They all were crammed into MY hardware store, where I just wanted pick up some paint. It was hot in there. Deodorants were failing, tempers were fraying... and there´s nothing Spaniards love more in a hot crowd than a good noisy argument. There´s a lot of that going on. The parking lot at the Dia Supermercado was massive histrionic melodrama, like a WWF Smackdown match, or a Ben Hur chariot race, but without the physical violence and rippling muscles. It would be wonderfully entertaining if the asphalt wasn´t bubbling underfoot.

We came here seeking peace. So we shall, so much as we can, stay in Moratinos, far from the madding crowds of Big City Sahagún. We´ve got flies to swat and corners to dust and dogs to walk... out there among the sunflowers.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Rant My Garments

I hate clothing. I hate shopping for it, I hate washing it, folding it, putting it away. (There´s no way in hell I´m ever going to iron it again in this lifetime, so help me God!) I do not dislike wearing clothes. I just hate dealing with them when they are not on my body.

The past couple of days have been chaotic and overwhelming, and like the crippled old wardrobes that lean crazily against our bedroom walls, piles of unworn clothing lie at the bottom of it all.

While we´ve worked hard and had some success at organizing the rest of The Peaceable, the big bedroom where Paddy and I sleep is the last holdout of the Living Out of Cardboard Boxes period of our lives.

In piles tall and short are fat winter duvets, pretty quilts, American sheets that don´t fit Spanish mattresses, curtains that don´t fit any window known to man, gym shorts that would get me arrested, pants the color of a robin´s egg, nice skirts and jackets I used to wear to the office, thick wool sweaters, a dozen winter hats and scarves (the dogs have hidden all the gloves in the barn), doilies, tablecloths, a Goodfellas-worthy pinstripe suit, beautiful silk scarves, and several hundred unmatched socks. Much of this came over from America more than a year ago.

Most of it is useless here. We both wear the same four or five simple outfits, over and over. The rest is just silly.

So sorting through all these clothes and fabrics is overwhelming and depressing. Where should it all go? What do we do with it? Why do we have these things?

They don´t have closets in Spain, at least not in 500-year-old former cattle sheds. People here have old-fashioned wardrobes to hang their jackets and dresses in, and dressers for their folding clothes. When we moved in we found three huge, cheaply-made old wardrobes in the house. We put some of our stuff in them, and as the house evolved we shifted the wardrobes from garage to barn to house again. They did not take it well. Their veneer peeled. Their legs buckled. Their latches let go and they spilled their innards onto the floor. (Believe me, I know how they felt.)

So off we went to Oviedo Ikea (again), me and Paddy. We set up ground rules first. We agreed not to speak unnecessarily to one another until we finished shopping and arrived at the sushi place for our reward. We drove over the mountains on the expensive toll road (“Way too much scenery up here,” Paddy grumbled, breaking the rules), and the toll-taker who welcomed us to the Autonomous Community of Asturias short-changed us by 5 Euro. It was not an auspicious start.

We managed. Two cartloads of wardrobes, enough to fill an entire wall of our big bedroom, as well as needful household items with amusing names like Lersta, Spamvörk, and Söt Barnsvig. We squeezed it all into the Kangoo, but only by having Paddy ride in the jump-seat in the back.

We finally got to the Japanese restaurant. It was closed.

Anyway… clothes.

Back here at The Peaceable, we wrestled the giant wardrobe boxes into the bedroom, where I spent my weekend. I assembled, disassembled, dissembled, cursed and swore, and finally, ta-daa! Two Liksvek Aspelunds!

To make room for the new we had to move the blanket chests and the lurid old wardrobe we´ve been using. To make room for the old we had to move the dresser from the Apple Green room into the hallway. The upstairs bathroom is full of boxes and bags of clothes and shoes, and two baskets of clean clothes are still waiting downstairs. We have to assign everything a drawer, a hanger, or a hiding-place, and put it there. It is hateful and boring, but when it is finished I won´t have to do it all again. At least until the next round of laundry.

I hate clothing. Shoes, too. And Ikea. And sheets.