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Sunday, 13 November 2011

VERY CIVILISED

When I'm not living in a mad house I like to get out as far away as possible from the town and its mad inhabitants. Recently we went back to the splendid village or rather small town of Benasque, which is close to Catalunya and France. There is nothing better than falling asleep to the reassuring sound of cow bells as opposed to the shrill sounds of the cow who lives next door at Primero D. That might sound uncharitable but try living next door to an animal who has driven her equally bovine husband mad. Dale Farm Latin style. Anyway, Benasque was a delightful escape and we had our fine dining in the restaurant Ansils in the village of the same name although it's also known as Anciles. If you like game and dishes like recao, potage and the fine wines that go with then this is the place to eat. Benasque is more upmarket and cosmopolitan than some of the other places we have visited in the mountains and has the highest ski resort in Spain nearby, Cerler, where King Juan Carlos fell down the steps on one of his visits. H and I were having a coffee outside the hotel Araguells in the sun, when we saw our lovely doctor who stopped to chat. I noticed there were no cars hogging the central streets and saw that on every entrance to the centre the council had put up signs saying no access to traffic except for the bleeding obvious. I think it's like this in most of Europe and most people obey the signs. It was a sharp contrast to Huesca were the 'easing in' is still going on poco a poco with a set of toy traffic lights permanently flashing amber, presumably so folk know that at some point in the future the bollards that are just visible underground will inevitably be up and running and no, you won't be able to crash into them as one idiot did recently when they installed them in the Plaza Lopez Allue.

I know it's a small world and that everyone here seems to be related one way or another but while I was away it was to my horror to discover that the imbecile who painted 'Marcos I will kill you' on the front door to the block hails from the village where we stayed. He had a bit of a reputation as a child, smashing things up that didn't belong to him and stealing keys with aplomb and he gradually worked his way to the bright lights and big city of Huesca where his mum thinks he is doing ever so well. He now lives in a rat infested squat on our street and continues to be a shitehawke.

I do have one regret during my stay in Benasque, that I didn't kick the man I saw hit and kick his dog that he had tied up outside the bar while he had a drink, just because it kept barking and crying. I have made a promise with myself that I will kick if I see this again, but I wonder how much my protesting and crusading will have any effect on the nobheads in this world.   

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