Apologies for not updating the blog sooner but reality has a way of sneaking up and needing attending to. Where were we?
We spend most of the week not straying too far from the village but exploring the streets and each night, taking a promenade around the village. There’s something restorative about watching a lovely sunset and also safe in the knowledge that the mosquitoes will have to dine elsewhere but coupled with the fact that your hands are now beginning to feel unnaturally soft. Always a catch.
Anyway, towards the end of our week, we drive down to Torre Del Mar and find that it’s market day…… After finding a place to park near the seafront, we wander back to look around the market. The fruit and vegetable stalls are a wonder to behold, so much colour, variety and again, non Tesco size and shapes. We find a lady selling all sorts of spices, as well as teas with little signs to say what ailments they can help with. I don’t look at too many in case I’m a hypochondriac but we come away with a couple of clear plastic bags of smoked paprika and Andalusian barbque powder. Luckily, neither is white, so we shouldn’t have any problems getting through airport security.
Walking back to the seafront, we find one of the ice cream shops and a friendly owner, who asks what we’d like. Well, the choices were almost endless and I managed to whittle the choices down to about ten but as any more than two scoops would be too much, I still had a problem and Mrs S wasn’t faring much better. The owner seemed pleased that we were having trouble deciding but I finally went for a scoop of Crema Catalana and a scoop of Dulce De Leche. Mrs S went for chocolate blanco and a Crema Catalana. Mouths watering, we stepped out and across to the seafront, having to start licking, as the ice cream was already beginning to melt. The taste was nothing short of sensational and having been given spoons to assist, we swapped a little of the ones we hadn’t chosen. For the me, the Dulce De Leche was just about winning but when it all tastes so good, there’s no bad choice. Until a later time, when, feeling reckless, I chose the turquoise one, only to find it was bubblegum flavour. I won’t be going for that one again. Anyway, there we were, sitting on the wall, on the promenade, by the beach, savouring the exquisite flavours and looking towards the sea and then back up to the mountains. It’s not a bad way to spend a little time and you can always watch the people walking on the prom, some of whom, accidentally (or maybe on purpose) stray onto the cycle path and get belled for their trouble. This seems to happen, even when there isn’t a bike in view but as soon as someone makes that mistake, a bike appears and the impatient ringing starts. The “bellers” on their bikes, then divert from their cycle path and onto the promenade but of course, the walking folk have no bells to fight back with. Anyway, it’s a great place to people watch, or if you like to do this with a meal or a drink close to hand, there are a number of places on the seafront and in town, that will fit the bill. Just a note that if you are unfortunate to leave the house without one or two of the following, a watch, sunglasses, belt, boxer shorts, wallet, handbag, scarf or dvd’s, you won’t have to wait too long until someone comes along the seafront, fully loaded and is able to replenish your forgotten items. At a price of course.
And so, reluctantly, we drag ourselves away and head off for some provisions, as Mrs S is planning to make a rice dish. In the past, I would have just said Paella but the seemingly international incident caused by Jamie Oliver adding chorizo to his paella recipe has put a stop to that. It’s ok to use the “P” word when we’re alone but as Jamie received death threats for his mistake, we don’t want to take that risk in public. We buy “P” rice but make sure it’s covered over by other shopping as we browse for more ingredients. Mrs S tends to go with the what’s available school of ingredient choice, which I think is pretty reasonable and adds variety too but she draws the line at mixing fish and meat in the same dish. Each to their own of course, I have no problem with it but Mrs S will not be dissuaded, not that I really try. One thing missing from the supermarket, which we don’t miss is the internet shoppers or dotcommers as we call them. It’s nice to walk around without being cut up or not being able to reach something because their shopping cart has blocked it off, as they chat to another dotcommer at length. Does anyone else just want to grab the trolley and take it off and hide it? No? Just me then. Sorry for that Meldrew moment there but it’s not good to bottle things up.
Shopping done and we find the car at the first time of asking, we’re getting the hang of things now. Off we go up the hills, windows down, not a care in the world until my eagle eyes spot the trail of goat droppings on our side of the road. Slowing right down, we turn the corner and there the goats are, making their way back home we suppose. I stop and the goat-herd looks and then waves us forward. I look at Mrs S, who’s thinking along the same lines as me and say’s “They’re all across the road, you can’t.” The goat-herd thinks otherwise and begins to wave more excitedly, urging us to drive on. “Well, he is waving us through” I say and press my foot down on the accelerator, only a bit of course, it is our first time after all. The windows go up, just in case the goats fancy a nibble as we get there. The goat-herd is nodding as the goats part, I say part but I think the fact that the car was nudging them aside as two worried people, heads on swivels, pressed on. How many goats there were, I can’t say but it was in the thousands. It wasn’t really but it just felt like there were. Despite the fact, we were interrupting their day, the goats didn’t mind at all and seemed quite interested in two pale objects in a box on wheels, ploughing through their ranks. Finally, we get past and the goat-herd waves as if we’re good friends, who knows, maybe we are now we’ve been loosely intimate with his herd. It’s nothing new to him of course but the first one for us and one that’s been repeated a few times since. I find it quite good because it stops you for just that short while and gets you right back into the pace of Spanish life in the country.
The rest of the journey passes without incident and we’re treated to a wonderful rice dish, a glass of red wine and the sun setting on another glorious day in Spain.
This is of course all historic but I just wanted to come bang up to date on something overheard in a supermarket in the UK.
Shopper to girl stacking shelves “Can you tell me where the sauces are?”
Girl (who is English) replies “Sausages?”
Shopper “No, sauces”
Girl “Yes, the sausages are over there.” (pointing somewhere other than where the girl was)
Shopper “No, sauces, like curries.”
Girl “Currys, that’s the shop next door.”
Shopper “Ok, thank you.” Exits stage left.
As you weren’t there, I should add that the electrical retailer, Currys, have a store around the corner from where the conversation took place.
No goats were harmed in the making of this blog and were not a part of the rice dish.
All Images © 2008- TheSlowWalkers