Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Great White Morning
Yesterday was my outside day. I traveled down to Palencia, our provincial capital, for a big pre-Christmas shopping trip. I bought heavy cream and Brussels sprouts and leeks, yerba maté and Oloroso sherry, a mobile phone for Paddy and little goodies for all the neighbors. The crowded streets were lit up with the complicated, lacy decorations the Spaniards do so well, and the arcaded Calle Mayor was charming as a holiday card. (There were even carolers, and a guy roasting chestnuts!) I wish I´d brought the camera, so I could show you.
Then I met with Marta, who wants to do a Spanish-English "intercambio" with me. Her English is about as good (or bad) as my Castellano, and she is about my age, and we just like each other. It should be fun. She wants to work on her written English. I need to work on my spoken Spanish. It is already productive, as my adjectives and pronouns are beginning to match up a bit better, gender-wise. I think. El, ella, sí, se, lo, la, las, los, este, esta, ese, algunas, toda, esos todos -- All those. Them.
And then there are the real challenges. What does "dawn´s tumbling brightness" mean? What does Kenny Rogers mean when he sings, "You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em"? All answers in clear, concise Spanish, please.
The sun was set by the time I was done at her house. (In Spain the sun does not "set." It "puts itself.") I tried to hurry back through the pretty streets to my car, but the temperature had dropped. Breathing in was like a knife to the chest. Ducking into a warm, crowded tavern wasn´t a great idea either, as the sudden temperature change and the cigarette smog sent my lungs into spasm. And so I had to just walk very, very slowly, and concentrate on not panicking. What a bore.
When I made it home I was whacked. I think I pushed too hard, too early.
When I woke up this morning the snow was falling, thick and heavy. (these are photos of the views from my bedroom windows: front and back. Gotta do something about that garage door!) I felt good, and the house was a cluttered mess crying out for a cleanup.
And so that´s what I am doing today. Indoor things. Girly stuff, mostly: thawing fillo dough to make baklava, putting away piles of folded, clean clothes that clutter our bedroom so, stacking the towels in the bathroom a bit more neatly, discovering treats I bought in Belgium languishing in the bottom of a bag. There´s so much good stuff here I can´t even remember what I have!
I am trying to plan a Christmas dinner, but so far we have only two confirmed guests. So... If you agreed to come here for the feast, please let me know ASAP so I will have enough food for you. Or invite yourself.