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Saturday, 12 December 2009

QUE CRABONA ERES

I always look forward to going to my favourite village in the mountains but it can be a dangerous place with all the excess that goes on once I arrive. I don't need any encouragment but there is something wonderful about being in the womb of the valley and nurturing a few 'sharpeners' in a bar at the foot of a waterfall that has recently taken on Niagaran proportions. I must add that Henderson and I are not tourists or 'vacacionistas' as he calls them but are slowly becoming less the 'foreigners' and more part of the scenery in a village that has captured my heart with its river which lulls me to sleep and healthy dose of irascible locals to wake me up. I'm reluctant to let on too much about this place as I don't want too many people hurtling up there in search of something that only exists if the village adopts you.

While I was up there I learnt that the word for goat in Aragonese is craba as opposed to cabra in Spanish. Along with dogs and pigs I do have a certain admiration for this animal and saw quite a few loitering along my walk to the next village. My walking partner and friend Elena who lives and works in the valley knew everyone we passed as well as the names of the herbs and flowers. As a would-be ornithologist I delight at the amount of vultures, eagles and red kites I get to see as well as Gold and Greenfinches. We met a young man who is new to the valley and he works in the national park nearby. He has his own area to look after and for the first time in my life I knew what it was that I wanted to do but had never realised until now. I want to be a park ranger and spend the rest of my working days in nature and at one with it all. We all know this is never going to happen as I am not sure I can spend my cake years years studying for this and then my twilight ones going through my 'oposiciones'. I guess I will have to be a would-be everything for the time being.

Finally, Jeffrey Bernard was asked if he felt drinking interfered with his work and he replied that on the contrary work interfered with his drinking. I wouldn't go as far as this but I did manage to not drink for a day but then found myself at one minute past midnight trying to undo a bottle of Blandy's Madeira Wine which is not easy when you are sober.

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