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Sunday, 7 November 2010


While lying in bed with 'anginas', swollen glands I believe, I couldn't help hearing a debate that was emanating from the tele which was all to do with poppies and seemed to have been sparked off by one Jon Snow. Why anyone would listen to him in the first place I don't know as he is I believe a news reader for Channel four and once in a while is allowed to play with a swingometer.

Poppies aside, I realise that above glands are a result of recent revelling in the mountains and one or two parties down here in the town. This has become a bit of a recurring theme over the past few years as the weather changes abruptly and I find myself inside smoke filled bars rather than outside on the terrace. These and Henderson's insistence on leaving the windows open whenever we stay in the mountains regardless of plummeting temperatures at night.

We recently went to my favourite restaurant in the province, Casa Frauca and as always were not let down with dishes of potage, spinach crepes, wild boar, lamb shank and the best cheese cake and chocolate 'soup' I have tasted in a while. With a nice Enate I pondered a thought I had years ago that had the words 'come the revolution', 'fine dining', and 'I will probably be' in it. The chef came and sat with us a while and said they had been worried what with the recession and all but turns out they broke all their records that day despite the country being on its knees. Without any more information it could sound like the place was full of decadent folk or those up to their eyeballs in debt but if you do find yourself in the valley of Broto, head on to a village called Sarvise to above restaurant and for around fifty euros you can eat like a king.

We also had a few shindigs too, just to burn up some calories. Our friend Rosa put on a mountain of 'picoteo' for her birthday and invited a bunch of the nicest friends you could wish for. We all took turns in blaming the local 'mafia' from preventing the town from advancing, Especially the theme on shopping which we all seemed to agree on. Another topic was on how one must be careful what one says in Spain about folk as they all seem to be related. This led to a catch phrase of sorts 'hostia!somos primos!' which translated into English is even more disturbing, '*uck me! We're cousins!'

On the subject of family, Spanish women don't change their surnames when they get married. Traditionally children take their father's name before their mother's but now the Spanish government has decided in the name of equality to allow either parent's name to come first. The whole thing is explained better in today's Guardian and how some famous Spaniards would have had different names under this new rule like the architect Gaudi would have been Cornet.

I prefer the idea of English translations of Spanish names, famous or otherwise, like Dolores Fuertes, Strong Pains and Faustino Cebollero which might be Faust the onion maker, and not forgetting Domingo Malo, Sunday Bad.

Lastly, the rats. How could I have forgotten? I saw two last week in the same spot, running under a broken door in 'el Tubo' the grottiest bit of our street where all the bars are. This area is usually awash with vomit and a sort of treacly feel underfoot but the alcohol spills must surely keep germs at bay and the morning vomit cleaner does his rounds with machine and hose. Anyway, the following day there was 'mucha consternacion' when a photo appeared in the local paper with a rat in 'el Coso', the main high street, and a selection of locals looking on aghast. The 'audacity of the beast! Running along the main thoroughfare in 'plena dia!', the middle of the day! What next? Foxes? Fireworks in the middle of June? I'd like to think there was just the one rat running around town but we all know this is never the case especially if you have lived anywhere in London where por supuesto, the rats are the size of cats. The next day the same photo appeared but this time the shocked onlookers had all been airbrushed out. I have yet to get to the bottom of this but it must surely have something to do with being associated with the dirty beast.

Night night, Yours Miguel Campoviejo.

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