Thursday, 24 May 2012


Ensconced at the foothills of the Pyrenees is the Sierra Guara where there is often an overwhelming sense of prehistory. Stop the car, get out and all you can hear are insects buzzing about and getting eaten by the many beautiful bee eater birds who turn up at this time of year. If you are lucky you might get to see a couple of Quebrantahuesos, bone breaking bearded vultures, flying above. We stopped for coffee in the Hosteria de Guara in Bierge and were instead tempted by the smell of ternasco, ternera and entrecote and the sight of the Somontano wine. At three o'clock there were a couple of people dining quietly, a French family and a Spanish priest and I wondered if this was a reflection of the recession but half an hour later loads of people turned up screaming and shouting for food and drink so no change there. During the meal the heavens opened and gave us one of those fantastic storms we get here which are great if you are inside but not much fun rambling through the mountains. The French kids were running in and out aghast at the size of the hailstones while the rest just ate on.

On the subject of prehistory, UB40 are coming to Huesca. I never liked them the first time round and am amazed when people ask me if I am going to see them at the Plaza de Toros and they are amazed when I tell them I am not. There is still the old joke 'where do you run to when the world ends?' Huesca. People here are still talking about the time Bob Dylan played in the plaza back in 1993.

On the subject of bone breaking bearded vultures, I see my sister and her beau are up to their usual shennigans with my elderly parents. The latest stunt to drive my folks crazy or out of their home so my sibling and her other half can move in concerns a dog my parents recently required. Said sister claims it bit her and then she, my sister, rang the love of her life to come and get her as she thought she may be scarred for life and need a tetanus injection. When her sweetheart rolled up my twisted relation apparently let out a scream that could be heard across the Hampshire borders, even thought the dog had 'bitten' her an hour before.. Just thought I would write that for the record.

Here she is............

Saturday, 19 May 2012


I admit to being far removed from reality at times. I thought I just heard someone on the TV say the Olympics have been torched. In anticipation for more summer riots maybe where the Brits will win Gold for thieving and looting. H wonders why so many people are happy to pay for Seb Coe's auto fellatio. 

Friday, 18 May 2012


Should I be worried? Should I draw out my last 40 euros from the Caja Inmaculada bank and watch Europe fall to its knees. All I hear or read about in the press is that it is all about to collapse and  last night I had a uncanny desire to rush out to the LIDL supermercado and stock up on seeds in case it all goes to pot. I was spurred on by Robert Peston's exit from my TV screen. He sauntered off out of view, stage left, with the words 'not seen since the 1930's' echoing in my ears, after educating us all on what we already know about the state of the Euro. I'm not sure if he thinks he is Nostradamus with his 'I told you so' look in his eye or a modern day soothsayer journalist who can't wait for war in Europe.

Meanwhile hybrid cars are still near silent and so threaten blind people and folk like me who don't expect to find one running them over on a pavement like I did yesterday. Henderson tells me there are technicians working on the problem now creating a noise making device for the hybrids. He came up with galloping horses or the sound of broken glass while our Basque friend Jon said it would be better if the car cried out 'ahi va la hostia!', a Basque exclamation of surprise just before it hit you. On this subject I did hear an incredible sound coming up our road the other day, something so loud that it drowned out the expletive roaring from my gob as it screeched past. H told me it was an electric pick-up van of sorts, Spanish style, which makes me think they should just put this noise in all those hybrid cars as you would get out of the way before you saw it.

Finally, a friend asked me how to pronounce the name Michael Douglas and then told me that whenever Michael's name is mentioned on the television it is pronounced more or less the way I said it but his father Kirk is pronounced Kieeerk Doughglass even when the pair of them are mentioned in the same sentence. Is there no end to all this madness!