October 4, 2004

Fin del Verano

Our dear friends Gilbert and Daryl have been here and now they are gone. They went to Barcelona for the end of their travels and we begged off seeing Gaudi buildings with them, feeling a little guilty but also a little worried about juggling the "have-to-do's" that are piling up (art-wise and otherwise).

We wouldn't have been able to spend but an afternoon with them there anyway, since we have a dog (Juno) who is house bound when we travel. The bad news is that Juno is beginning to show signs of her terminal illness, she was diagnosed a year ago by a vet in Dallas, whose diagnosis gave her six months to live. So since then, we've been cherishing every day with her, spoiling her a little, calling her the perra milagra (miracle dog), hoping that the last days won't be horrible. This is our second dog who has had cancer (Index, our first male Beauceron had lymphoma and passed when he was five years old). Unlike lymphoma, mast cell tumors won't sieze vital systems and shut you down, it will just spread like weeds in the garden. Well, enough of this here. Right now, Juno is still ok by and large. Today.

And the weather has been incredible for the past few weeks. People here have said that September October are the best months in Catalunya and this is exactly correct. There have been several exceptional moments sitting in the dappled sun with a sweet wind that is fresh and not yet cold, the nights still warm with a clear sky splashed with stars. We are still wearing the summer shorts, but the time is coming to break out the boxes of winter clothes. Our nieghbors are keen to tell us that this is the last time to jump in the water as they do themselves. Bear in mind that they are all elderly, mayoras (ladies). One is nearly eighty, and they like the Autumn water. They say it's dulce but I still feel too much like a wussie to jump in. I claim that I've been scarred by the chilly Pacific waters of SoCal.

Winky Emoticon! ;-)

This morning as I walked Juno back from the beach for her morning excretions, I bumped into Kiko at Bar Josep and he bought me a cortado. He was in shorts but wearing a light jacket. He invited us to go with him to a festival next week called San Grau, where the townspeople gather on a local hilltop and party all night, bonfires, cooking paella and dancing sardanas, I imagine. Kiko says we will sleep in a tent or in a car overnight... and while he is planning to do this for one night, some people carry on for the week. Party people! We shall see what this is all about soon.

And this morning after our last guests depart, marks the beginning of the seriously immersive phase of living here in Spain. For the next five or six months, we will be alone together, Stephanie and I... and us with this town. We have just had the first delivery of firewood (lenya) to the house (66 Euros for what looks like a quarter of a cord). We will be thinking about keeping the warmth inside the house. This is a three hundred year old stone house that sits atop a shallow water table by the sea with walls that have a tendency to wick the moisture up into it by capillary action, no central heating and the only heat sources are a fireplace, three electric heaters and a couple of butano (gas) heaters that have reputation of increasing the humidity so much inside that the windows condensate puddles of water. I try to ease our anticipations by bearing in mind that this place has the history and reputation of being the first bar in Tossa and a place where the fishermen would hang out at the end of a day, roasting their sardines in the fireplace as they sip their wine. I hope this famed fraternal glow is an intrinsic quality that we can recapture in the coming colder months.

So with all this, an intro to a few pictures gathered from Gil and Daryl's visit that will follow in the next few posts.

Posted by Dennis at October 4, 2004 10:53 AM

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