Monday, January 1, 2007

Lots of pics thanks to the sister, a walk in the hill and technology

This is the Polish tree at the sister's house, not the Spanish one.

The younger daughter skating! She managed to stand on skates once at age 3 before we left Toronto 4 years ago, and here she in about 10 minutes into her next try. Pretty impressive even if her doting mother does say so.

The 10 year olds drawing, not a copy. Should be an interesting decade we all have coming up. Again, a certain amount of maternal pride here.

Again, the elder daughter. These are the two characters Pat and Mat that made a constant appearance in our Christmas. See previous post about the theme song of Christmas 2006. Allow me to continue to gloat by pointing out that she did this from memory. Her sister's drawings are also, to my mind, quite excellent, but the only one we have a photo of has a name on it, so I am reluctant to post. Sorry folks. The Grandparents would murder me.

This cat came by the first time on Christmas Eve, and brought great good luck as there was a visitor. A place is traditionally set for a visitor, and we got one. He or she came back a few days later, and got fed big time. He or she looked quite gaunt.

More pictures from the exhibit of Jozep Wilkon. I think this is the last, he is amazing. We could identify a number of the species. He has managed to create art and expression and still retained the character of the animal. Loved this guy.

Walked in the hills behind the town today, uphill out and down on the way back - obviously. We were ostensibly searching for fragrant fronds for our aromatically challenged artificial Christmas tree. We managed to gather some eucalyptus branches and pods, which are traditional here and you can buy them in the market, and some pine branches, that I laid in the fake tree. Also found anise seed growing wild, and pine nuts, as well as a dazzling array of differently shaped very small oak leaves. (Oh for a camera)

The kids have a favorite spot in the hills where they have created a miniature drystone walled house that has so far been left untouched by other park users. Last time the little one found a stream of catepillars working their way up a tree, today I spotted a stick insect on a tree trunk. I was actually pretty excited, first I had seen outside of a zoo.

There are a fair number of pessebres up in the town, the Catalan name for Nativity scenes, one even includes two yellow cars. Modern day three kings can hop into their mustang to go visit Jesus a little faster I guess. There are even some live ones. Suprisingly, the caganer has not been visible in any of these scenes. Maybe he is more popular in the private ones. I read in one book that the caganer is supposed to bring fertility (presumably to the fields) in the coming year. It was a largely peasant culture for a very long time. As the husband likes to phrase it, Catalan did not go through the ringer of Victorianism, and due to frequent repressions has been most strongly maintained in isolated peasant farm communities, which may explain some to the baser elements to the language.

On a techno note... two things. First, I am getting a little ticked off with google these days, starting to feel a little like shopping at Walmart so I have gone over to sometimes. They don't always work as well, but, unlike at google, some of what comes up is not a .com.

Here's a question now, came across a site, pandora, that lets you play music for free as much as you like, and they create your own radio stations based on your taste, you can have up to a hundred. Sounds a little too good to be true. Anyone heard about them? We don't have a radio here, and although that is the husband's Christmas gift, it looks like the cost of the kids text books for school is going to defer that present for a bit.

Happy New Year everyone.


Beth said...

Your ten year old is an extremely talented artist. Wow. Impressive.
As for her skating - keep it up. She can play hockey! (I did.)

Beth said...

a 10 year old drew that? Crazy!!! that's really good!

Pandora? Never heard of it...let us know what you find out. I love reading about your adventures...

I want a picture of the tree too! I love looking at pictures.

oreneta said...

Beth: Read your comment to the kids, they were delighted. Thank you.

I like playing hockey too, although I was never a great skater.

Beth:Sorry, no pics of the catalan tree this year, maybe next...I'll post about pandora maybe.

Nomad said...

Hi There!!
Just trying to get caught up with you- you prolific typist you!!

WOw, I can only imagine those fingers going like stink. Great record though of everything as well I guess.

Loved the photos and the Butterfly-thong-thing...go for it!!!

Love me

oreneta said...

Hi Nomad: Yeah, I'm starting to type faster. No one here I can talk to but the man, and you know him, not a really chatty guy, so here it is..I didn't get the thong, left it in Poland, where I may add there is also an AWESOME selection of the sluttyest slut boots I've ever seen. Working girls might be astonished by them!