The swallows arrived early, prompting our friend German to predict the end of the world -- they never, ever come before June, he says. The air is full of them.
Fred the guitar-builder came back too, which is always somewhat apocalyptic.
Malin and David went back to their mountain. Our house is very clean indeed, the under-floor heating is working now (at last, after 5 years!) but we still have a great deal of putting-away to do.
Bruno went to Italy for a few days, and me and Elan volunteered to run the pilgrim albergue for him. It was a big job, exhausting even. We were not overwhelmed with pilgrims, but there was a steady stream. We had pilgrims here at The Peaceable, too, including our first Siberian.
We get the ones who can´t or won´t pay Bruno´s price. Some would say they are the bottom of the market. But I think, with the exception of the hardcore skinflints, these are the cream of the crop. They aren´t looking for a big bang for their buck, because they don´t have one. They just want a bed to sleep in, and a shower... a meal is a big bonus. They are happy people, and gracious, and grateful.
Which is more than I can say for some of Bruno´s better-heeled clientele.
Anyway, this week I got to use my tendinitis and blister-treatment juju a couple of times. Some lovely Canadian ladies stayed, fans of this very blog. Pilgrims bought some "Moorish Whore"s. I washed floors and feet and carrots, and I made a killer plate of spaghetti carbonara.
Elan did most of the real work, but I was reminded of how hard is the hospitalero life. The life he wants to live. God bless him. He is doing the right thing, looking around first, seeing what it is.
Bruno came back. We said goodbye to Elan this evening.
Two days ago, Paddy´s computer screen went fatal blue. I read up on computers, and we went to Leon and bought him a new laptop. I brought it home and opened it up, and found it utterly incomprehensible.
I am not a stupid person. I have been using PCs and the Internet since they appeared, but evidently the technology has now outstripped my abilities. We will take it back to the store and ask for a refund, cry for a refund, shout and dance around for a refund because I cannot have something this incomprehensible in the house unless it is God. And this is definitely from Satan.
I pray that all computers in the last three years have not "evolved" so far that we cannot use them. Otherwise, we are in big, big trouble. My little netbook can´t last forever. Paddy is a heavy user of the internet. We do not have a television. Reading newspapers and magazines, arguing with stuffed-shirts, and watching live horse races are important parts of Paddy´s day, and he needs a computer to do it all.
And so he has my netbook to use, until I can get the Windows WhizBang model back to the store and find something a bit more obsolete. Which will have to be after this week, because I am off to Santiago de Compostela tomorrow for another of my Acogida Christiana en el Camino meetings. This is a big one, they´re rolling out the archbishops and canons from the big Cathedral of Santiago Apostle itself to discuss how we can better welcome pilgrims to the great shrine.
It is an interesting project, a lofty dream. I do not know what part someone like me might play in it, living as I do in isolation, 350 kilometers distant. But I love to see history happening, and Santiago de Compostela is lovely in the spring.
It´s my turn to be the one going this time.