Thursday, 17 June 2010
Just look what happens when I go away for a mere ten days. An All-Star lineup of Camino Personalities passed through here, most of whom I love and enjoy deeply. Kim and Paddy fed and accommodated them, and things only got a bit ropey once that I heard of.
The fun began before I even left, when Frederic from France showed up – only moments after Federico the Guitar Guy left with his latest crew of guitarristas. Last year both Freds were here simultaneously, and managed to make the chicken-hut door work. The two of them have nothing in common except both their names are Fred and both turn up here at the same time. Eerie. Frederic went to work cementing the cracks on the front of the bodega (he likes to work when he visits, God bless him!)
I left. Then the fun started. First came some Dutch and a Kiwi (a person from New Zealand). Frederic left when they did, heading out for Fatima in Portugal. A German man who stayed here two summers ago returned: Rainer, the guy who thinks he is Jesus. (A second coming of Christ?) We get lots of saints and True Believers here, but this one takes the prize. Paddy lost patience with the Son of God when he didn´t offer to help with washing-up. (I don´t think anyone was told to Go to Hell, thank God.)
That evening, Frank arrived – Frank the Scottish hospitalero. He stayed a couple of days and helped Kim make our dog-dug front patio into this: A lovely little herb garden!
You can see he finally got Nabi to cuddle up, too!
After Frank came Sue Kenney, a charismatic pilgrim from Canada. Sue´s life changed radically after she walked The Way, and she´s since produced inspirational books and videos, gives talks all over Canada, and hosts a website and Camino walks aimed especially at women who would probably never dare to do it alone. This summer Sue is walking the Camino back-to-front. She started in Santiago and walking eastward. (that´s her in the top photo, doing just that.) She stopped into The Peaceable for a night, and charmed them all with her many stories.
And then came George, accompanied by his godson Jake.
George Greenia is another Camino Personality, a medievalist and Spanish professor at College of William and Mary in Virginia. He and I produced a magazine together many moons ago. He´s a witty speaker and a top scholar on all things Camino... we had a quick visit in Burgos a month or so ago when he was there to address a conference on world pilgrimages. George´s present pilgrimage might look like a penance: he´s accompanying a group of 21 American pilgrims for five-plus weeks, many of them in a “high-maintenance” category. He´s pulled a muscle. A close family member died suddenly in an accident. But George keeps on ticking.(that´s George in the photo in the red jacket on the left, and his godson up there in shorts.)
I am happy to report that he and Sue and Jake went with Paddy and Kim and assorted other pilgs over to Carrion de los Condes that evening to hear yet another set of Peaceable friends perform at the beautiful Iglesia Santa Maria: Adam and Will, the guitarist and violinist who recorded an album here last October, are back on the camino, part of Fred/Federico´s concert series. Jake did a reading at the pilgrim blessing. And afterward, everybody came back to Moratinos for a great feast!
Once that great event passed, the Japanese arrived: Sonomi, Chisado, and Arigato. They were fascinated by the dogs, and Tim and Una allowed themselves to be petted and fussed-over endlessly. And our hard-boiled eggs, usually distinguished from the raw ones with smiley faces or a letter H drawn on the shells, are marked with beautiful Japanese characters. The ladies were here two days, and were succeeded by Hom Sung Bae, a Korean accountant and blog-follower. He stayed two days, too – he wanted to meet ME! Jet-lagged as I was I don´t think I made a great impression, but he seemed a lovely man. He bought Kim a birthday cake and huge candles to decorate it.
Scattered among those days was a Murphy disappearance and reappearance; creation of an isolation ward in the chicken hut, courtesy Milagros; a big loud “discussion” at a town meeting over what to do with money earned keeping the church open last summer; four days of rain; and another film-making triumph from Kim.
I missed it all.
Now that I´m back, nothing whatsoever is going on. No pilgrims, no guitarists, no messiahs. Just a whole lot of weeding to do in the garden. Laundry, and dogs, and reading, and writing.
Here´s the movie. Hope you like dogs!