Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Alone Again, and Sweetly So

Tamara de Campos, one of many places visited last week

Not much posting to be done today. I´m afraid I´m fried.

The past week was a lot of fun, with Miguel Angel around in addition to the usual round of neighbors, pilgrims, and other summer adventures. Kim left us a few days ago, and is off to the east to live her soulful camino. We met Federico and the guitarristas and some Americans for a feast of roast suckling lamb in Villacazar de Sirga. Miguel´s sweetheart Nathalie came on Saturday, and we all went off for a day in the Cantabrian mountains, scoping-out yet another spectacular old pilgrim path -- this one called the Ruta Vadinsiense. Massive mountains, switchback narrow roads, a very near miss on one bend...

Our pilgrims included a Brazilian fashion model, and the return of Frederic, the angelic Popeye lookalike. He is now hard at work over at the Italian albergue, having joined the pack of strong men from Brescia who are bashing up the ground and installing a septic system. Una spends hours there, bullying the men and keeping the worksite free of field mice and stray sandwiches.

One of these days we´ll have an albergue in Moratinos, but it´s a slow business.

Around us the fields are checklists of straw-bales, or great mourning congregations of drying, blackened sunflowers. It´s the in-between time now, after the harvest, before the plowing and seeding, time for welding and repairing the machinery that bought the farmers these quiet days.

Today is extraordinarily quiet, if not silent. No one but us is here at The Peaceable. Miguel and Nathalie left yesterday, and Frederic went this morning to join the Bruno Crew. Not even Kim is about.

It´s been about five months since Patrick and I were alone in our house. It is delicious, I gotta say.

We went to Sahagun this morning. I got a haircut, Paddy bought some more brushes and paints. The Kangoo got a much-needed oil change, and new brake-shoes.(we drove over that mountain and back with very bad brakes, I am told. I think brakes are a good idea.) They washed the car, too. I didn´t recognize it at first, until I saw the dog-nose smears on the inside of the window glass.

We sat at a terrace table outside Cafe La Rueda and drank Tonicas. The Plaza Mayor is heaving these days, full of leaping children, staggering pilgrims, fashionable folk from Burgos and Madrid and Bilbao come back in their summer frocks to visit the abuelos on the family farm. All the little pueblos are in full fiesta-mode, including ours: this weekend it is. We have a guitarist coming to play the Mass on Saturday... more company in the house. We´ll roast a leg of lamb and dance the neighbors ´round the plaza, under the leafy trees we trimmed together back in March.

Til then we are keeping to ourselves. I am sleeping deep sleeps. Paddy is out in the patio under the flyscreen, listening to radio broadcasts from the York horseracing meeting in England, playing great big Tchaikovsky on the stereo so we won´t hear anyone at the door.

Which is closed, for now.
We are tired right down to our bones.

Next camino starts up there someplace!


ksam said...

Lovely words under that last pic...Next Camino!
Till then..shhh enjoy the quiet!

Amado - the barefoot pilgrim said...

Hi Reb,
Arrived here in Cebu (Philippines) seven hours ago.
Reading your blog reminds me of my unforgettable overnight stay in the peaceable kingdom. I hope I can comeback someday (the next Xacobeo, perhaps, as I told Johnny walker - that 11 years from now). Regards to Paddy, the dogs, and Kim (is she is still there - I placed the stone she gave me on the monte de fiero).