August '08

Time off

After a hectic time in Boston and then a few days in England, it was good to get back to the village life and the the fact it didn't rain properly or drop below 28c for the whole month. Sorry. :) Basically August is too hot to do anything serious in, so most people relax and only work when they have to. It's a great time for Festies, Fira's and lots of other events to keep people entertained.

Fira Cultural

Mas has been staging a weekend Fira Cultural for 8 years. This was the first year we had managed to visit as we had been away last year.
There were stalls frrom all over europe demonstrating extremely high quality basket weaving. The village was reknown for its weaving of local palm leaves, so weaving has a a lot of significance to the locals.
There were also stalls making local sausages including "Baldana" (a sort of black pudding with rice and /or pine nuts). The butchers had made a video demonstrating "Mandongo" no its not when a large african impregnates the village virgins, but it is rending a pig into it's component parts and then making sausages out of them. Very interesting :¬}
Bread was being fired in tradional olive wood fired ovens just like in our neighbouring bakery. A local brewery displayed its wares and the womens association sold a ton of delicious cakes and pastries. A local minstrel band marched around. The guy in the lower picture with the drum and the flute was just amazing. I think the pipes are Asturian. Catalan ones get held down at the waist.

Paella Night

Later the next week the village had its second week long festes of the year. The main one being in April. This consisted of more cultural events with out door theatre, cinema, bands and of course a communal meal for around 500 people.

We went to the paella night with some Irish friends who have holiday places in the area. Richard helped out with the paella, before settling down to eat with everyone, while they displayed the first European Barca match of the season (which Barca won 4-0). Then they had bingo before a pair of denim clad songstresses came onstage at around 11.00pm and got everyone on their feet to dance the rest of the night away, including Richard & Mary.

Lunar Eclipse

The next week heralded a Lunar eclipse so a party was held at Richard & Mary's with a follow up party Ray & Mel's the next night to see the full moon..

Back to the UK (again)

Just to finish off what had become a hectic social month, we dropped everything and drove back to the UK to collect all our sons things and bring them back to Mas de Barberans, where he would join us for the next year. We took the direct route up through Lleida and the Veiehla tunnel, stopping overnight in Perigeaux which is a lovely town with a traditional old centre and Islamic looking cathederal. We had an outdoor supper in one of the squares in the old quarter in the last of the sun, before going to bed early to get a good nights sleep before the haul upt to the Euro tunnel and on to Henley.

Four days in England, getting our sons things, seeing friends and buying books, then it was straight back the way we came (our favourite route so far) and soon we were in the late summer sun again and ready to collect our boy from the airport.

So much for the quiet life.

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