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Friday, 30 July 2010

There is a merge coming up...

I've decided to import my other blog into this one.  It is totally about photography - so if your not interested, please ignore the following new posts - hahaha!!!

Now, having merged it it would appear that they have all gone in on the dates they were written - so this post may now be ignored!!

Home made Passata

So, my neighbour turned up with a carrier bag full of plum tomatoes, now whilst delicious in a salad, they were so ripe that I really needed to use them up quickly. A quick investigation on the old tinterweb, and yes, passata can be frozen.  So, I googled a few recipes and here's what happened.

 I chopped the tomatoes in half and removed the woody stem bit, chopped some garlic and ripped up some basil.  Chucked it all in a roasting tin and drizzled  drowned it all in olive oil.  Popped it into a moderately hot oven for about an hour and
 I then removed the skins and pureed the hell out of it untill I was left with this
 So very yummy, and the smells that were coming from my oven - delicious.

Batch two was roasted with onion and balsamic vinegar and batch three is still awaiting attention.  So, any other ideas please?

Toros 1 - Taurinos 0 - and other snippets of Animal Husbandry

After reading this post from my fellow expatriate, I felt compeled to write one of my own as this is something I feel quite strongly about

Very Bored in Catalunya: Correbous - A Load of Old Bull?

I watched the news yesterday, and was very pleased to hear that the Province of Catalunya have voted to stop bullfighting from 01.01.2012, and I feel sure that the rest of Spain will follow suit. 

In my local village they've not held an actual bullfight for the last 2 year's fiestas, although they did have this

Where the bulls are used as a sort of gym equipment.  Here, they also have a "playtime" (?) where they let very young bulls into the ring for the local lads to torment. One year there was outrage as one wannabe 'ardboy was unnecessarily rough to the cow. Although there is no bloodshed, I'm still not totally sure that correbous/corredores or this local "playtime" are necessary either. But then there are lot of animal welfare issues here that I'm not totally OK with either.

Animals here are either beloved pets 

Or tools - guard dogs are chained up 24/7, under fed horses and donkeys with over grown feet can be found pulling carts.  There are countless stray cats and dogs roaming the streets and lanes and I've even heard of people buying a puppy at the start of the summer and throwing it out once school starts again.  It's tough when you are an animal lover, but I'm starting to harden to it all, which is a real shame.  Not so much that I didn't find a home for these four

But enough that I tend to turn the other cheek at times - sad but true.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

This year's Jollys... Or Oh Lor how soon we forget!!!

So last Sunday the girlies had their bags packed and were off to Daddy's, ready to fly out Monday lunchtime to Granny's in Scotland.  #2 mentioned that her ear hurt a bit on Sunday morning, but not too much.  So I told her that if it was still huting Monday morning that I would nip over and take her to the doctor's.  Sure enough Monday morning found us at the doctor's and whilst I was busy babbling away about how lucky we were to get an appointment before her flight that lunch tme the doctor examined her ear - Otitis and sorry, but she can't fly :-(  So whizzed round to Daddy's to break the bad news, collect passport and suitcase and headed back to home.  

Thursday morning found us at the doctors again, and yes - she was OK to fly.  It was decided that it would be less hassle for me to fly out with her and return the following day. So warmly dressed, Friday morning at 6 o'clock we were waiting to board a flight to Glasgow Prestwick.  Shivering outside we were met by her Auntie - dressed in short sleeves - her sister and one of her cousinsI saw them off and made my way to the Adamton House Hotel (above) dumped my bag and caught the train to Glasgow Central.

I headed off to Buchanan Street and the St Enoch centre with haste - top of my list was new undies from M&S (natch), some new reading material and also a large supermarket to stock up on (unavailable here in Spain) herbs and spices.  First stop though, was NextI'd forgotten however that it was SALE time and yes, it was just like the normal jumble sale it ever was.  I did manage to find a lovely pair of trousers and a top in the non sale bit though - result #1.  

So, on to M&S and their knicker department - a lovely lady guided me through their bra section and I actually managed to buy 3 new bras that actually fit, and were not so stuffed with filling that I would be contravening the Sale of Goods Act.  Fifteen (yes 15) new pairs of cotton (not easily found) knickers and - result #2.  Down the escalator once I'd eventually found it and into the Per Una section where I found a lovely vest top and over shirt reduced in the sale - result #3.

Now then, here is where we go for niggle #1 M&S, what have you done?  It was always so easy to find things.  All tops were together, all trews, all dresses all skirts... you get my drift.  But now?  Now they've got this department store thing going on, where by they have all these different "collections" going on, didn't like it one bit.

So, time for a bit of lunch niggle #2 - jeezo how much do you have to pay for a cup of watery liquid masquerading under the name coffee?  Honestly, I slung most of it away.

Rested I continued, down to Dotty P's where a rather pretty ruffled and ribbed vest top was mine - result #4 and on to Waterstones where I managed to bag 3 for the price of 2 and Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol for a bargainous 3.79 (sorry can't find the pound symbol) - result #5.  A very helpful sales assistant directed me to the local Somerfield and niggle #3 it was carp.  I'd forgotten that supermarkets in the UK have now mostly moved out of the city centres, so I'm still herb and spiceless.

Train back to the hotel in time for a shower and dinner - the dinner was gorgeous - warm bacon and black pudding salad - soo good I tried it at home to great success - chicken breast in a creamy tarragon sauce - to try if only I had tarragon and the most delicious sticky toffee pudding and ice cream for desert.  But how expensive is alcohol 1.75 for half a lager and 5.75 a glass of wine!!!  For that I could buy a litre of beer and 2 or 3 exceedingly quaffable bottles of wine here!

After a lovely nights sleep under a duvet - bliss - I made my way back to the airport for my flight home.  'Twas a lovely trip albeit a little short, but I'm glad to be home and warm again.

Ps Glasgow cabbies are really friendly and helpful.  And sorry for the lack of photos - far too busy shopping to snap!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Festival de Baile

So, the end of June brought the end of term dancing show.  It was #1's first time on pointes, and she was just beautiful :-D  Very, very proud mummy moment.  She also danced a duet, which again was just gorgeous.  Must work out how to get my videos on to You Tube.

The first half was The Sound of Music.  Danced by the littlies

They were just gorgeous, then the older girls danced to Caberet

Then it was the turn of mine again.  DD1 was not happy about dancing in this dress!  It was too short for her comfort and she felt really self concious.  She really didn't give it her all at all.

She was much more comfortable in this number and danced a whole lot better :-)

They both thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and made me very proud.  A fabulous night.

The only downside is that the quality of these pictures shows that I really need to upgrade my camera.  The noise levels at ISO 400 are shocking.  Although I have beeen assured by various far more knowledgeable than me photographers, that I couldn't really have done better with the equipment I have.  I am still rather disappointed with these shots.  Hey ho better hope I get a lottery win sometime soon!

Romeria San Isidro

Just had a little reminder that my blog's not been updated for some time, so thought I'd better make the effort and get my ever expanding alioli @rse into gear!!!

The Patron Saint of our village is San Idsidro, so way, way back in May they held a Romeria in his honour.  A Romeria consists of getting up an indecent hour, taking the Santo from the village church and accompanying him to a nearby hermita.  Where once the mass is held, sausages are sizzled, beer and wine is consumed and the kids (and some adults) indulge in a bit of a water balloon fight.

San Isidro leaving the village accompanied by...

the band.

The villagers accompany the Santo on foot or in their carrozas - that would be a trailer, generally a bit magged up to you and me!!!

And even...

the obligatory shopping trolley!!!


and skipping

is obligatory on the trip to the hermita, where the mass is performed

Before the journey back, I managed a quick shot of these two stunning cousins

Fortunately there was also help on hand for this guy...

 who not remembering how much it had rained recently parked in a recently ploughed field.
This was followed by paella back in the village and bouncy castles and a zorb ball for the kids.

All in all a good time was had by all.