Saturday, January 20, 2007

So and boats and walks and crowds and sea glass again

OHHHHH, so much to say, so little time....this might be looooooonnnnnnggggggggg. Even by my standards.

The little one got up early this morning, and like kids everywhere wanted to watch Looney Tunes! The hilarious thing about this is that she has NEVER had the chance to before. I think Warner Bros. must have some sort of kid drug, they are infused by a knowledge of these is in the air. Well, the amazing thing is...we found it! On the internet! Sure enough they were all sitting here watching it. The husband and all. The internet is an amazing place. Just amazes me what you can find. Some of it's a little scary though. NB. never type the word rough into Youtube, even if you have the word sailing before it and weather after. Never.

Went for a long walk with all of us, the aim was to walk over to a nearby town, then down to the beach to see some traditional boats, then catch a bus home, and this is mostly what we did. The walk was fun, we went past a house that most of my extended family had rented in November. We all had a blast if I say so myself. We continued walking down a frankly ugly road, but there were some fascinating bits and pieces here. There was a working farm with eucalyptus trees. I can only assume they will be processed for the oil... Also saw a banana tree growing in someone's yard.

The exhibit when we got there was good. The artist, Fransesc Artigau, had some interesting pieces. I liked his watercolour work, and his colours were delightfully, and boldly bright and brilliant.

The bottom one doesn't have the best resolution, but I wanted it in. He had a whole bunch of paintings of women tracing the shadows of men, often while being embraced by them. More often than not, the women did not have any shadows of their own, despite the light being blindingly on them. Still pondering this.

He also had a lot of women in red shoes. I like red shoes to, I must say, but I am not sure why they make it into his pictures so much. Good art should leave you thinking, and while the red shoe question isn't very profound, there is something to gnaw on with the woman/man/artist/shadow/lit/unlit/embrace/embraced question.

We left the exhibit and wandered along a little further, found an old tower that was used to keep an eye out for pirates - no kidding - up and down the coast. Presumably they could hide in these as well. You find them further in land as well, so they must have been marauders on land too. Behind it was the prettiest little narrow walkway. No camera still, it had a large beautiful stone wall up one side, and on the other, skinny little stairs going down, and the building there had pots mounted all over it, with flowers and greenery in them, beyond it widened, but you could see the different walls, all at slightly different angles, and with slightly different coloured stones, the sun skittering and playing over them. In the foreground, someone had hung out a small pink sheet. It was so achingly beautiful.

The beach was a little chilly. The wind was a bit cold, and we were all in sweat shirts. I never got cold, but I am still a little chilled inside, if you know what I mean. Found TONS of sea glass on the beach. Nothing like having the kids looking too. Lots and lots of yellow, including some biggish pieces, one marbled, the little one found a big hunk of red, I found some by coloured blue and white pieces, and a tricoloured red, white and clear piece. I am afraid to mail these. FedEx? I think not. So my friend we have a HUGE package of gorgeous stuff coming your way. Those girls are GOOD. We were walking pretty fast, there must be a ton we missed. The yellow is downright common here! Wish I had a camera to show you all what it looks like.

As we were munching our sandwiches, one of the traditionally styled fishing boats came into the beach, and I was fascinated to see how they managed this. Beach landings are always a little tricky, and these boats are pretty big and heavy, like this:

I had trouble finding better pictures, which amazes me, but then again, not everyone is as boat mad as me. Anyway. He drove the boat straight up the beach, while a friend hooked a cable to a point low on the bow, and operated some sort of electric winch, probably a bit like what you would find on the front of a jeep. He tighten that up, while the man in the boat took off the rudder, climbed up over the bow, and placed a round timber under the bow. Then they tightened it up, pulling the boat up onto the timber. Another was placed about 6 feet in front of that, and they moved them up the beach as the boat moved, until it was far enough up! Isn't that how the Egyptians built the pyramids? Still works.

We got a chance to see more of the boats further down the beach, and to talk briefly to one of the fishermen. I tried to chat him up, but my Catalan isn't good, and fishermen are more responsive to a blonde's questioning, if it isn't done through her husband with two small kids in tow. The boats we are seeing on the beach here are used by amateur fishermen. The pro's also have some, but they are bigger and they are kept in the larger ports. The ones we are seeing here are an old traditional design. We have certainly seen some very large steel fishing boats with huge capacity. We have also been told that the boats are getting bigger, although the catch is about the same. Sound's ominously like the cod fishery. Lets hope not.

As we reached the end of our beach walk we were at an overlook for a harbour. We saw a 470 coming in. Sweet boat, but they didn't seem that hot. Kinda, you know, well....rammed the dock. *embarrassed hmmmmmmmmm*. Then once the boat was out, they left the sails floggin in the breeze forever and a day. If they were salty, they never rinsed them, and if they weren't, why didn't they take them down? Then another fellow came in sailing his BEAUTIFUL little picnic dingy. It was wood, high-sided and tubby, clinker built with oars stored on each side. The main was cut a little strangely, large roach at the the second batten, then a dead straight line down. No jib. He had lovely blue and white striped cushions inside and an outboard that must date to the 50's. He sailed it in so neatly, just kissed it up to the dock, and he had a tail wind too. Lovely little boat.

On the walk back up, the girls started asking about the relative size of Spain, and Canada, Ontario and Catalunya and Europe as a whole. The stats were quite amazing when we came to look them up at home. Comments about the wonders of the internet could be inserted here. Canada is about 10 million km square to Spain's 500,000. Canada's population however is about 32 million to Spain's 44 million. What that means is that in Canada, were we to spread out evenly, we would each get about 14 square km. In Spain, each square kilometer would include 88 people.

I looked up Europe to compare with Canada, and used the Wiki Europe entry. There are 728 million people in Europe, and a land mass ever so slightly larger than Canada. This is the broadest geographic description of Europe that you can make, and is based on the geological definition as well as the geopolitical. So includes all of western and eastern Europe, Russia, Iceland, Spitzbergen, and well over to the Urals. This leaves 68 people in each square Km.

For comparison, the US has 300 million people in 9.6 million square km, with 31 people per square kilometer. It would tighten up a lot with out Alaska too.

No wonder Europe feels claustrophobic sometimes.

Geez, a busy day, and we probably walked about 12 kilometers to boot. No wonder the little one is a touch cranky. They are on the terrace again playing. A little cooler today, they're wearing socks and shoes and sarongs as well as bathing suits.

Quiet evening, kids off to bed. The husband made a great dinner. Watched an amazing video of a laker hitting a lift bridge. I may post it tomorrow. I doubt anyone got hurt, the guys on the bridge of the ship would have seen it coming in time to get out of the way. I hope. Though they must have been thinking immovable object vs irresistible force thoughts. If you want to search for it, I think it was titled ship vs bridge, although we typed in ship crash.

Have a lovely evening. Oh, and I think the little one has the eye-infection now. OH JOY. At least they waited till the medical cards came through.


Beth said...

hey, at least she did wait for the medical card, so that's one good thing! Pinkeye? that stuff is nasty!

I just love sea glass. I founf a few pieces on the Outer Banks last summer, but nothing like you find.

I love your posts....

Beth said...

Lovely, educational and healthy day for you and your family.
I feel like a slug in comparison.
As to the warning re: Youtube and the word rough - I've been very surprised by some of the results I get googling. What innocence! What naivete!

traveller one said...

Sounds like a wonderful day... I just love the phrase you used "achingly beautiful"... somethings are really just that. Like sleeping children :)

oreneta said...

Beth: We seem to have lucked out...she woke up clear this morning!! YEAH

Beth: Today is a slug day...going to the grocery store, that's about it.

Traveller one: Your so right, sleeping kids are achingly beautiful...