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.


PL said...

"...there´s nothing Spaniards love more in a hot crowd than a good noisy argument." Hey! I resemble that remark. ;)

Even when they agree upon something my father's family go at it tooth and nail. Never understood that 'til hanging out in Spanish bars every night for a few weeks and then realized we're (oops), errr...they're all like that.

claire said...

Simply enchanting.
Thank you!

nirvana said...