Sunday, January 14, 2007

Barcelona, Catalan history museum, laundry, books and divorce

Christmas tree came down today, I know some of you are groaning...we got it all into the box, and managed to fit it into a closet. Only had to unpack, resort and repack two closets to get it to fit....

Got the younger daughter clean and combed out, then found myself facing a largish tub fairly full of pretty warm slightly soapy, slightly dirty water. What to do? Well, after living on the boat for three years, where warm water only happened on hot days, and the four of us lived on 30 gallons for a month, that is, by the way, 5 flushes, I couldn't quite bring myself to just pull the plug. In went the laundry. We still don't have a washing machine. (yes Mom, I am getting to it this week.) so all the laundry is done in the tub. Put it in, soak it over night, everyone stirs it when they're in there, then hang it out tomorrow. One slight miscalculation. The husband hadn't had his evening shower yet.

Being of the same parsimonious frame of mind as me, he elected to shower with the laundry, mid-calf deep in lukewarm water. I hope I'm not grossing you out with this. The tub is now very full, the clothes have been thoroughly sloshed around, all I am left to do is drain, rinse extremely thoroughly this time and hang them out. Must have been a weird shower. Don't try this stunt at home...only for professionals....

This is an incredibly cool virtual tour of the museum of Catalan History that we went to today. It has close ups of the display cases if you click on them, and you can 'walk around' in the rooms. Very very cool site. We were here today needless to say. It was extremely well done. The museum is set up so that you follow a time line of human inhabitants in Catalunya from 450,000 years ago on. There is an enormous amount of information, plus lots of buttons to push for the kids. There are also lots of interactive activities as well. Dioramas, and life size mock ups of houses, there were hand mills for grinding wheat that the kids could use. Amphoras on staves to lift, a sundial with lights that shifted simulating the sun, a giant horse that a knight would use in battle that you can climb up and sit on, wood of course. Castle rooms to enter and sit in, Romanesque churches to tiptoe into, broadswords to lift. They had a net with all the armour that a knight would wear in it. There was a rope fixed to it that ran through a block in the ceiling so you could try to lift it off the ground. MY GOD it was heavy. There was armour that you could put on, stone scrapers with leather to work on, the kids had a ball, and learned something too. We enjoyed it as well, unfortunately we didn't realize that it closed so soon, so we only got about a third of the way through, although that probably suited the kids.

A friend in Philadelphia described the weather that some of you have been getting. She said that it was up to 21 degrees, but was forecast to drop down to normal winter lows. She called it thermal whiplash, which I thought was brilliant.

Great weather for getting colds. So sorry.

I may put down Jane Smiley's Moo altogether. It is driving me nuts, and I have got Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia which is a brilliant book. I know though that once I walk away from a book in disgust, I am extremely unlikely to ever pick it up again, so I like to give them a good run. The author presumably worked hard on it, I feel obliged to give it a go.

On the other hand, I am reading Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals to the kids. Love his books, and this is one of the best. Love what he stands for too.

Has anyone else noticed how much Ronaldinho looks like Dr Frank-n-Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show?

The younger one came up with a funny line this morning. They do this at the oddest time. I was sitting semi-conscious at breakfast this morning, and she looked equally somnolent, but no. She had apparently been pondering my wedding ring.

"Mom?"

"Mmmmm?"

"If you get a divorce, do you get a new ring with a skull on it?"

I didn't actually snort my tea out my nose, but it was close. This could be a whole new market... divorce jewelry!

10 comments:

traveller one said...

Oh my! I remember doing my laundry in the bathtub when we first got married but I can't imagine having to do it at this point in my life. Please do get a washing machine!! A dryer we can live without of course.
Glad you got the family all cleaned up and ready for the week :)

Dorky Dad said...

Today? You took it down today? Well, at least you don't leave your lights until -- honestly -- June, like some people around here do. I mean, I like Christmas and all, but JUNE??? That's lazy. And if I say it's lazy, it's LAZY.

Beth said...

a ring with a skull on it? I think she might have something there!

laundry in the tub? I hate laundry, in the tub or not. It all sucks to me.

Beth said...

OMG. Laundry and bathing in the bathtub. You sound like a pioneer. You brave, hearty soul.

Love the skull on the ring concept. The minds of children are utterly fascinating.

oreneta said...

Traveller one: Yes, the kind Chrstmas ferry has donated a washing machine, I just have to get organised to get it...

DD: I too am mystified about the lights that are still up in June, unless they are in some profoundly impossible region of the house...as in it requires a crane rental.

Beth: Yeah, I thought the death symbolism pretty apt myself.

Beth: It's better than on the boat...there I only had one bucket, so nothing could soak, and the water was hauled by yours truely or the husband - row to shore, find the water, carry the jugs to water, fill the jugs, carry the full (and very heavy) jugs to the boat - sometimes quite far down twisting and pitted paths if we were using an old natural well, row the jugs to the boat, heave them aboard, stow them...the laundry water also did not come out ot the tap, so doing laundry involved heaving 5 gallon jugs around as well...I had great pipes though...

Strange as it may seem, there are large elements of this I miss. The scenery for instance was stunning...and it was lovely and warm. Then there was the day I had to leap over naked to catch flying laundry..the dingy wasn't there...in fact the man was off in it getting water...see above.

High Desert Diva said...

Ha! All I put up for Christmas decorations were a few stockings and a 1 1/2 ft Charlie Brown tree...and I STILL haven't put any of it away yet.

oreneta said...

HDD: No question...you rule!

Nomad said...

Hey there...
SO great to catch up, looking forward to seeing you...

Ha!! Re the laundry and the man...oooh I can picture it...Conjures up the image of a winemaker...did he feel like someone stomping on the proverbial grapes...LOL!!

Thar museum looks and sounds amazing...just right up our alley..please mark it on the calender for our visit...ooooh so cool, and hey cudos to you for all the cool web links, the translation links, the web album...very slick and VERY impressive...

Talk to you soon...

Love

Nomad said...

BTW The Black Hill and Songlines are exceptional and AMAZING. Love Bruce Chatwin...too bad he died so young...

I hear ya giving it a good go...I am like that with movies...

oreneta said...

It was so cool to chat...we've got to make it happen with meeting up.

Never asked the man about the shower, the kids thought it was hysterical though, especially when I told them that I washed the mop in the dirty laundry water after the clothes were out. To quote.."that water didn't owe us ANYTHING"

Thanks for the compliment....

Did you know Chatwin died of AIDS? Such a shame..if you get a chance, there is a book of his photographs out and they are phenomenal. Like so much else in my life, they are stored in the basement..ah well. His photos are amazing.