Monday, March 18, 2013

Asparagus festival has something for everyone

Our life is taking on the appearance of a day-in-the-life travel book, where the characters relocate to another country and have all kinds of difficulties with their house that require local trades people. The winds from the south caused us problems with the garage roof having sprung yet another leak along with two spots in the living room. All have been repaired before. The owner has asked the builder to come and fix these leaks. In fact it was supposed to have been done last week. We knew that it wouldn't be. Mr. Salvat, the builder works on his own time. When he does come he grumbles about the architect, who was crazy according to him. It is all his fault that there are reoccurring leaks and has nothing to do with Salvat himself.

Then last Saturday night for no apparent reason we lost all our power. It would come on for five minutes and then it would short circuit. An electrician came from the village and tried various things, including pulling a wiring access panel off the wall, bringing a little bit of the newly painted wall with it. He couldn't fix the problem. The builder's electrician then came and bypassed something so the electricity would work. This too was to be repaired last week but wasn't. Now we see we have a light hanging off the outside wall. This is probably the root of the electrical problem.

Of course we need the painter to fix the wall. Sisto, his name is, and he will come shortly. He is a very pleasant fellow, who speaks English that he learned from songs. His conversation moves from topic to topic with the speed of a disc changing the style of music. And conversation often lapses into German. All said and done all this is better than my Spanish.

Last night when we returned and turned on the heat not much happened except for many groans and clanks from the furnace. Josep from the agency looked at it, turned on a tap and managed to cause a flood. Someone was supposed to repair this again today but we are still without heat. In fact it is warmer out than in. I suppose this next few days will be a waiting in to see who turns up to fix what. This all becomes a bit of a scramble with much miming and phone and iPad translators working at full speed.

We were glad to escape the house this morning to go for our coffee at the Nautica. Once we arrived in town we found the road  blocked. It was Day 2 of the Asparagus Festival. Yesterday there were a number of activities including a parade for the children followed by face painting and chocolate.

Today we were lucky to grab the last parking spot in town. All kinds of local vendors were set up in the square and the main street. For 3€ you got 5 tickets to taste various foods. Unfortunately, I am still  lingering at the toast eating stage after my Sardinian revenge. Our butcher was sampling all kinds of local cheeses. I did have a little square of the sheep's cheese. Very nice. He was cooking sausages on a grill and sampling them on a piece of bread. Other foods that you could try were truita, like a quiche without the pastry, of course made with asparagus, oysters, little cups of anchovies, bread with tomato with anchovies, oysters as well as several cooked dishes with sea food, sticks with huge strawberries and fruit juices. Sadly, I didn't try anything.

There were lots of artisanal breads and we did buy asparagus empanadas, asparagus in a lovely pastry for later. Seamus sampled a pâté made by some men of the village accompanied by a little glass of Languedoc red.

People were selling clothing, ceramics, model boats and sculptures. There was even a Catalan independence booth, where you could buy flags representing the independence parties. They were even selling Independencia cava. I suppose you might have to keep it for a while though.

These days always have lots of activities for the children with an area for painting set up with boys and girls quietly concentrating on their art work. There were a couple of very busy, huge bouncy castles and a huge jungle gym brought in for the occasion. During the day there were various displays such as windsurfing. Finally, at six the Habaneros will perform in the ballroom and the older people will be dancing the traditional Catalan sardana. Something for everyone.

It was lovely to see the village so full of people. And best of all was walking over to the Nautica for our coffee and receiving a very warm welcome back to the Port.

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