Friday, 20 February 2009

Way up there to way down here

It´s practically spring back here in Moratinos. The fields are crawling with tractors, which fling fertilizer and seeds and some kind of spray all over the place. Lots of strange birds are passing through, flying over on their way to Africa or Sweden. My little seedlings are almost all sprouted, and I am transplanting a few of the hardy survivors into bigger pots already.

Here are some pics of my sojourn in Gouda, Netherlands and Ghent, Belgium. I will go back there again next year, if not sooner. The herring alone is worth the trip, and the Dragon Pearl tea (it´s a little dry wad of tea that looks rather like a donkey dropping, but put it in a cup of boiling water and.. voila! I love these nutty, lovely, Chinese things!

... but the trip there and back was less than nice. RyanAir, the low-cost airline that links Valladolid to Brussels, was a big disappointment this time ´round. They charge people without EU passports an extra 10 Euro each leg of the trip, but they don´t tell you that til you get to the airport. Very nasty. I have written them a very mean letter, and warned them I will tell all of you in BlogLand that they are Snakes In the Grass. Cheap snakes, but reptiles nevertheless. Right down there with lawyers and journalists and lobbyists.

Back here in Moratinos we found the Final Answer to the Hole of Mysteries. Raimunda, the lady whose family lived here since forever, said she recalls talk of a bodeguita out back -- a little bodega. A man-made hole dug underground for keeping fresh the greens cut to feed the rabbits, and later the rabbits cut to feed the people. It was filled-in long, long ago. And now it is back again, sans bunnies, good only for stimulating the imaginations of New World invaders. (Gotta do something about it soon.) Carlos and Leandra were in town for a little while, staying at the Corner House on the plaza, home of the late Victoriana. Milagros, Leandra´s sister, was also buzzing around, so Paddy and I were brought in, sat down by the kitchen fire, given tea and pre-Fat Tuesday goodies, (it was a little early in the day for orujo!) and shown the bodeguita there, dug beneath the floor in what used to be the town tavern. Theirs is much more civilized, even with a foot of water on the floor.

Amazing things all around.

The only cloud on my horizon is inside my mouth. I´ve lost a piece of tooth, and today learned I may well need a root canal. A 300-euro, 3-visit job to the dentist in Palencia.

So now I will go and have a nap to think it all over.


Amawalker said...

So the dentist gets to drill little holes into your tooth! Hope it goes well Reb.
Those birds could be returning to Spain from Africa.
Spain is considered the ‘last bastion’ for Europe’s declining bird populations and according to Howard Youth, a Contributing Editor to ZooGoer, who lives in Madrid, all told, about 70 percent of Europe's 495 bird species either visit or breed in Spain.
The storks - ciconia (cigüeña in Spanish) have been building their nests on man made structures since the middle ages when the great forests disappeared in favour of agriculture. According to an article in AMIGOS (June 2004) they form monogamous pairs for breeding but do not migrate together. They reappear at the same nest site in late winter and early spring. The last stork nest in Great Britain was deserted in 1416. The Dutch name of the stork – ooievaar – comes from old German odobero – bringing luck (ode – luck, baren – bring).
In the Arab world the Muslims believe that storks incarnate the souls of those who did not manage to fulfill their duty of pilgrimage to Mecca. Thus they take this journey in the body of a bird. This is why Muslims feel great respect towards storks, and killing them is equal to killing a man.
Now you know!

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

hey... don't you go telling me there are signs of spring where you are, because then I would have to look for signs of autumn here, and I don't want to do that yet!!! Summer rules ok!

Elyn Aviva said...

Great photos! Sorry about the root canal. So there's a good dentist in Palencia? Just curious... Missing you, missing Spain.
Elyn said...

yes, a fine dentist was found, but am now waiting for the antibiotics to run their course before proceeding.

The photos in my Window are all jumbled up on top of one another. If you want to see them for real, just click on them.


Anonymous said...

And you left guitar makers off the list??

For shame!


Libby said...

I'm sorry that you have to have Spanish dental work, which seems rather like an oxymoron to me. I would suggest making an appointment with an American dentist next time you're in the US to have them check the work. Seriously.

Love you.

Barbara said...

Nothing wrong with spanish dentists, any more than american ones. I think some posters are not aware that Spain is not a third world country. Seriously.