It should´ve been a lot of fun, but it happened too late in the year.
My bones were tired out before it started, so I lived through it in a sort of haze. I need to sleep, for a week or so. I need everything and everyone to go away for a while. Or maybe I will go.
As planned back in August, Adam the guitarist came back on Tuesday with a violinist named Will and a recording engineer named Vince and a photographer named Teresa. They are young and funny and full of life. They came here to record an album of Spanish classical string duets inside our acoustically-fine parish church.
Day after day the weather was perfect. Treesful of birds sang their tiny hearts out. The road crews arrived to “recondition” the Camino trail. Every farmer with a tractor took advantage of the blue skies and dry ground to plow and seed their fields. Everything´s started turning bright green again.
Progress. Unless, of course, you came to this tiny rural village in search of perfect silence.
The lads and lass ended up shooting pictures and sleeping during the day and recording their album after 10 p.m. each night, after the tractor drivers packed it in. Many potato chips and choco-filled cookies were demolished. Wine consumption soared. Feats of cuisine were performed – the photographer doubled as a sous chef, and the violinist showed he knows his way around a can of coconut milk.
Days were long, so they vacuumed and washed windows, too. They practiced, and napped, and shopped, swatted flies and hashed-over web-page designs. The sound engineer tuned-up my computer, and installed a new wifi router. (it doesn´t work now, in the same way the old one didn´t work.) I dug up the garden beds out back and worked in some of our half-baked compost. The chicken girls feasted on new-turned worms. We operated at capacity, with a body in every bed but one.
Brian left Saturday for his first hospitalero gig in Ponferrada. Denis, the Scotsman from France, arrived a couple of hours later for his hospitalero training. The final bed was filled when Adam´s girlfriend Marta showed up.
In the middle of it all, John Murphy Cat walked out.
He has not been seen since Thursday morning. No body has been found. He is missing, and presumed dead—we think a fox must have got him. He was one of the best cats ever. He was too good to last.
Una Dog watches for him still.
Sunday morning, All Saints day, the church was full of locals returned for the annual cemetery-blessing ritual. The guitarist and violinist played beautifully at the Mass, a sort of thank-you for the use of the church.
Milagros, dismayed that we had put the sanctuary benches back into order and swept-up after the musicians´ week inside, scolded me all the way to the graveyard for not asking her to help out. After church, in an apparent effort to help feed the performers, she brought over a frozen rabbit and a great tray of homemade cream puffs. But the hungry throng had already gone on the 1:58 train to Madrid. The delicacies were left in the hands of me, Paddy, and Scottish Denis. We did our best.
Denis was duly trained. He mounted his big motorbike this morning and headed out for Bilbao and LePuy and a future of hospitalero-hood.
October finished, I heaved a great sigh and turned to face the wide-open spaces of November. I swept the kitchen floor and hung up the laundry and walked the dogs to the holy well at Fuente de San Martin. I felt tiredness in my bones.
I was home by 10:30 a.m. We needed to go to Sahagún, but I didn´t feel like going. “Go back to bed for a while,” Paddy told me. So I did.
I slept til almost 4.