Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mama bear, birthdays, San Antoni, horses, the husband

Ok, feeling a little more balanced today. Mama bear can be a nasty woman. I am sure the teacher is a lovely human being that has a sick and aging parent at home and must get there at the very first second she can after school, and at lunch (though I have seen her in restaurants) Yeah, I know, this is Spain, things are different here....We chose to be here, and this is part of the normal process of being expat, and the normal frustrations...just don't make my kids cry, alright?

On that note, the little one went off quite cheerfully to school, she has art, gym and math, two of her three favorite subjects, and she actually managed to get the math homework completed. She's a better person than me, just lets it go. I'm pretty sure she figures it was a misunderstanding. I'm just frustrated as all get out. Ho hummmm.

The older one is still worried about the sheep heart dissection on Friday.

Today is the festa de Sant Antoni Abat, Saint Anthony the Abbott, and today is the blessing of the animals. They are having, I think, horse races in the town!!! There are horses that are going to go around the town three times, I think the last time fast...everyone is telling me this in Catalan, so we'll see what actually happens. What lovely people, they all want to be sure I know what is going on, I have been pulled over and had information poured into me at least 7 times. Sometimes in Catalan, and sometimes in Castillian. Once in English. Although her English is good, I was a little unsure still of who was doing what when. Lunch will be late though. All the dogs and cats etc are all blessed today as well. I think, the operative word, that the blessing of the animals and the horses will be at 1

No PC here, one of the riders is dressed up as an Indian, although maybe it is just generic western, suede jacket with long fringes, and a red tie around his head, long dark haired wig, and face darkened down. Who knows. Church bells are ringing AGAIN. This is a religious feste, or fira in Castillian...

Saw the little one on her way back to school from gym, they do that up at the community center, she looked reasonably cheerful.

Later.... here's the skinny on the festival. Everyone gathered gradually at the placa de vila, the main square, with their dogs, no cats, rabbits and guinea pigs...then lots of horses show up. LOTS. There were a lot more white horses, and quite a few more dappled/painted/whatever it is called when they are lots of colours together. They were also much shaggier than horses I have seen in barns in Canada, although they are large...could it be that we groom off their winter coats? Anyone know? Well, the horses did circle the upper town three times, although thankfully not at a racing speed. It was hairy enough as it was...one woman, the only one with spurs, had her horse bucking and backing and circling while surrounded by a crowd of seniors with canes, baby carriages, and children. Didn't seem to bright to me. Most of them were more restrained. Then after the horses had done their thing, the people with the pets all lined up to get them blessed, and most of the crowd dispersed for lunch. However, there was a church service before, that I was prepared to attend, though I am far far from a Catholic, however, there were only a few seniors going and no animals so I bailed.

Having done a web search, this appears to be a very localised tradition...they don't do it in Barcelona I was told, and the tortells are not present anywhere. The horse riding through the town, and the animals being blessed seems to be larger, some have a parade with the geants out...giant figures wandering the streets...

The town is certainly efficient...All the Christmas ornaments came down this morning along with New Years lights. New drapes were put up on the ajuntament balcony, sand went down in strategic spots....it all started at 1, by 3 all the horse crap and the sand were gone...wow. Very very efficient.

There was also a band playing, and there is going to be a dance. The local restaurant/bar had a special menu up for the day, at about twice the normal lunch menu price. There is also a tortell that is traditional for the day, which we will be having for the husband's 50th!!!!! birthday party tonight. The kids, very kindly, told him that they wouldn't tell anyone how old he was if they didn't want him too. His wife cruelly hooted with laughter, and posted it. Can't believe it. He does NOT look it at all. If he'll let me, I'll post a recent pic.

 
Posted by Picasa


Here he is, the pic is from about 6 months ago...looking pretty good for 50, or at all I think. Though I am biased as hell.

The tortell de Sant Anthoni Abat is a large round donut shaped job, but instead of fruit on top, it has an almond based filling...not a jam, more viscous, not as sweet, not an icing..I'm not sure what...marzipan? That conjures up yucky thoughts though and it isn't.. anyway we had a nice time, I have to write out recipes in Catalan for my class...at last, something that is not just more vocabulary!!!

Life is good. And challenging, which is also good.

11 comments:

Beth said...

So life is good today. Glad to hear it. It all somehow balances out...it's just hard to see that when you're in the "down" part of the cycle.

Very nice picture of your husband - and you're right, he does not look 50. Of course, I'm beginning to lose all sense of what people should look like at certain ages. (And that comes with aging!)

Dorky Dad said...

Where are the horses? And did they wear horse diapers or was some poor sap following behind with a broom?

oreneta said...

Beth: Yes, life is much better, and the blog is a good place to vent, especially here where there is no one to vent too, and in a small town, I would have to be fairly careful who I said what to anyway.

DD: Some poor sap followed behind with a broom, although he got to wait till it was over anyway.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
oreneta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Boo here again.
I think the husband isn't the only member of the family with a significant birthday this year or is my arithmatic wrong?

oreneta said...

HI Boo, your so right, you must be getting near the big 50 as well. I am a meer pup approaching 40 at mach speed.

Beth said...

Good Lord, that is one gorgeous man!!! 50? no way!!! Oh, you lucky girl, you....

Hey, don't make excuses for that teacher...give her hell...someone has to! But I'm glad the little one can bounce back so quickly..she'll get through life just fine, I think.

I love it when you describe what's going on in your town and everything..I feel like I'm there!

oreneta said...

Beth: Thank you very much, I can't beleive he's fifty either....I am glad she is ouncing back fast too.

Nomad said...

HA!! That old coot is 50!!! (NO WAY!!) :-)

Gawd I didn't realize he was SUCH a cradle robber... another :-) *sheepishly* guess I had something to do with that tho didn't I...
Yeah..he DOES look good..!!

Happy Birthday Husband!!

Hey how do you say that in Catalan?!

oreneta said...

Nomad: Yeah he had to wait around a long long time for someone as special as me....and I do hold you accountable. It's ALL your fault.

Bon Completanys, or something like that, I can approximate it in speech now, but write it.....