Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Into August

Oh what a week it´s been.
The sun pounds down. The garden is burgeoning, full of glossy eggplants and fat green beans and brilliant red tomatoes.
I am neglecting the garden a bit, and the blog a lot.

Brian the Pittsburgh guy pushed his romance with Juli a bit too hard, and a great drama unfolded over a couple of days. He is now on the Camino, on his way to Santiago. (So nice, having a low-cost psychotherapy option/escape clause right outside the door).

Juli learned she did fine on her big exam, and in September she starts with a real job in a real school teaching English, out in Burgos province.

Paddy is feeling much better, after having a rather low period.

Una, on the other hand (or paw?) is feeling pretty bad. Yesterday at the Leon University Veterinary Hospital her left rear leg was amputated. We go to pick her up this afternoon. I am bracing myself for the shock.

In the middle of all this I took off in the train for Santiago, where I squeezed with 38,000 other people into an outdoor theater/cow pasture designed for 30,000. (seems the promoter got a bit carried-away with the VIP passes for friends and family.)There we watched Bruce Springsteen sing and cavort for a solid three hours. He was very fun. I was there with a couple of fine people, so it wasn´t a complete waste. And I got to have a long, leisurely, solo visit in Santiago, a very beautiful and moving place.

I am getting some thinking done. I am re-thinking the blog, and I wonder if you readers can help me clarify what I am doing with it. Should I focus on Village Life in Rural Spain, or camino things, or my own thoughts and experiences? Is this blog too personal, and/or boring? Am I losing you?

Tell me what you want. That´s what the "comment" slot is for, down at the bottom. I need to know.

And as for Moratinos Life, the Segundinos have harvested their garbanzo beans, and the plants are drying out on the era in a fluffy great pillow of stalks. On Saturday they will drag a heavy trillo threshing sled across them, to separate the beans from the pods and stems and leaves. (We have one of these trillo sleds in our dining room. Ours is decor -- and a great back-scratcher.) And then they´ll somehow separate the chaff from the beans by throwing them all up in the air.

I´d never seen garbanzo beans in their natural state before. When they´re green they look and taste like hard peas. I didn´t know that getting chickpeas involved such a great deal of time and effort. They are so inexpensive, so easily bought, all ready to serve from the jar or tin. It´s an eye-opener, seeing what goes into them.

So, if you should see a farmer today, tell him thank-you. Think about hummus, and give him a big kiss on either side of his smile.


claire bangasser said...

I don't think you could ever lose me (unless you really wanted to!).

I like every bit about your blog: the Moratinos life, the Camino stories, and your own thoughts. You seem to make a blend of the three that flows quite well, seemingly effortlessly.

I love to drop by there and absorb the vibes of your place. And when you don't write, I miss you.

Anonymous said...

About the blog--why worry? No matter what you think you're writing about, it all filters through you, so of course it's your experiences. Part of those experiences have to do with village life. Please, just keep on keeping on--I wouldn't be in terested in a carefully thought-out 'professional' series of articles. Much better to be allowed to see it as it comes.

Laura said...

I echo Claire's thoughts 100%. I don't even know you, except through this blog, and I check regularly for new posts, no matter the topic.

You invite us to think about life - about life in a small village in Spain - about the Camino, and you make me reflect on my own life. You write so well that it is a delight to read, whatever the topic. Don't change anything!

Glad to hear that Paddy is feeling better...I have missed his blog lately. And I know that all of your readers are holding Una today.

Anonymous said...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Hope all goes well with Una, infection is hard to differentially diagnose from other more nasty things with X-ray only, so hope for the beast!

Have been meaning to call with a recommendation for the roofing project. Consider turning the garage into a greenhouse instead, the costs won't be far off, you'll get the same rain proofing effects with the added benefit of having a veggie hut.


Darlene said...

I love your blog - I walked the Camino in 2007, trained as a hospitalera in London Ont, where I learned of your blog, and long to visit. Reading your blog is the next best thing. I enjoy all facets of it - Camino mentions, town events, visitors, and your thoughts on it all. Keep it coming.

Anonymous said...

I too enjoy, and look forward to, the entries just as they are. The minutiae and the big picture. And I bet there are many like me who don't normally write or comment - we just appreciate. Trust. What you are offering is lovely.

Anonymous said...

I like reading about how life is for an expat in rural Spain, how you integrate with village life, stories of the pilgrims you host and the caminos you walk. Thoughts and feelings sure, sermons no.

JMH said...

Everyone's right, this blog really doesn't need to change.

But as long as I'm here...

I've only been reading since the slaughtered lamb post (maybe all my suggestions are in the archives), but I like most to read about the culture gaps, the misunderstandings, both in the urban/rural sense and in the expat sense.

Certainly if you feel it's ethical, I wouldn't mind having the characters who visit you sketched out in more detail, their dramas, what makes them beautiful and/or awful.

Also, more you. Physical things are not so necessary, but I'd like to know what you think about big-picture stuff. And a diatribe every once in a while I think would really be fun.

Again, though, these are my personal tastes, and sometimes I will push for more up until the breaking point. I'm not offended if you ignore me.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog as is. I check often (actually I'm the sole blip on your little map thingy located in Asia- Korea to be precise!) and especially love your pilgrims tales. I walked the Camino in 2006, and it is not far from my heart and mind. Your blog has helped me stay connected to my experience there. Thank you and keep it up!


Rita said...

You're doing the perfect job on the blog now. I love it all. So as everyone else seems to be saying, Why change a good thing?

The only thing you could do different is maybe respond more in the comment section to your commenters, but then that is just a thought.

As for Mexico they cook them in the pods and serve them up in open air markets in little paper cones, sometimes with chili pepper, salt and lime on them. YUMMY!!

Ryan said...

I'll only echo all your other dedicated readers. Keep on with things the way they are - nothing needs improvement. Real life is far too interesting.

Much love!

Johnnie Walker said...

well sweet Rebecca you did ask and the people we say "write about whatever you want, we love reading it"

Back to you - get on with it



Gareth Thomas said...

Yep, I'll echo John and the rest of them! I'm still in the USA, but I'll see you in a fortnight on the 19th. Get those practical jobs lined up! I'm bringing overalls...

timgray said...

I too agree with the other comments - keep on keeping on. I hope to walk the camino next year and visit your site to keep my interest focused. said...

Wow, people! Thank you! Great suggestions. (except for the sermon one... I LOVE preaching, I went to a tip-top sermonizing seminary, and I´m really quite good at it! )

So I will stop thinking so much, and start writing a bit more. Especially once summer goes, and the outdoor work slows down a little.

AnnieSantiago said...

I love your blog the way it is... with bits about village life, the Camino, and even your personal life.

You're doing a wonderful job and I love coming here and reading.

We still hope to meet with you late October/early November for training. We'll be in Santiago beginning Aug 17 and still haven't made up our silly minds which Way to walk. It'll depend on the heat.

Anyway.. keep up what you're doing.
So sorry to hear about your pooch-friend but I"m sure your great love will make recovery easier.

verena said...

the blog is fine! hope you go ahead writing wearing your heart on your sleeve, that's beautiful :-)

Anonymous said...

Much better to be allowed to see it as it comes.
Getting a Payday advance is just a few steps away

Annette in Barcelona said...

I also think that your blog has be good blend of it all. No need for change... just keep doing what you do best - write. (well I don't know if this what you do best, but I enjoy reading it... so don't stop)

Kelly Codd said...

I like it all and I look forward to hearing about all of your adventures. Your blog takes me back to Spain, to the Camino and I think you and Paddy have a wonderful, fascinating life that I love to hear about. I check it regularly and will continue to do so.

Cheers, Kelly

PL said...

What they said.

- Nev

Timecheck said...

Here I am weeks late due to a hiking trip, but don't change it. Words from the heart are what matter.