2016 Trip To Spain – Day 8

Yet another morning when my plan was thwarted. I was up at 04.55 and shortly thereafter I noticed that there was a spectacular full Moon set in progress, so I got dressed as hastily as I could without disturbing Garrath, got my camera and went out to capture it. Unfortunately Garrath had changed the lock on the gate and failed to inform me which colour coded key opened it and by the time I had gone through all the keys and found the right one, the Moon had gone behind the mountain. Grrrrrrrrr!

When I told Garrath about this he commented,

“Oh yes, I forgot to tell you, it’s the orange one.” Well that was helpful. I’ll hang around for another 28 days and get it next time!

It seems that this is not going to be a good photography trip what with changed locks, low cloud over the mountains and a road with fabulous wild flowers but no parking places. Of course, If I had brought only a compact camera with me instead of the full DSLR kit there would have been squillions of perfect opportunities! Such are the trials of the keen amateur clicker!

Today is a home based day, no multi course, elaborate lunches, just a light, salad lunch and light snacks, because tomorrow we are going to La Viña De Calpé for a really big posh nosh with our Dutch friends, Robert and Marijke. I think if we alternate between light eating in and eating out days I might, just might, fit into my clothes by the end of the trip.

We have done everyday business stuff, a trip to the garden centre to get a replacement gas bottle, a trip to Mercadona for a few small items and a midday stop at The Chicken Shack for free wifi. I am getting utterly pissed off with people making negative, judgemental comments about us being on our iPads though. This time It was an ancient German clown commenting to his mates sitting on the next table to us. So I deliberately embarrassed him by saying, loudly,

“It is amazing how much German I understand,” to Garrath and there followed a conversation between Garrath and I that included several insulting German words. It has a salutary effect. The Kraut Dummkopfs went very quiet and left shortly afterwards.

What is it with people though? Why do they feel free to be rude about what we choose to do. We don’t intrude into their space, we don’t fart loudly and produce disgusting smells, we are quiet, we don’t shout or make idiots of ourselves, we don’t interrupt their banal conversations with critical remarks, so why do they feel free to do so?

I suggested that they are technologically ignorant, Garrath countered by saying that they are technologically frightened. Whoever is right – and we might both be right – they are pig ignorant. My apologies for that last remark. It was very unkind to pigs. Pigs have much better manners.

While we were in The Chicken Shack a guy came around selling boxes of strawberries and after a little barter we bought a box. When we got back to the house I started the jam making marathon. This batch will be Strawberry and Seville Orange marmalade.

I hulled and weighed the strawberries, worked out the proportions of Sevilles and sugar needed, got the Sevilles out of the freezer, chopped the strawberries and mixed them with sugar, thawed the Sevilles (easily done in a bowl of warm water) then once that was done, started the really thankless task, de-pipping and shredding the Sevilles. It doesn’t sound too onerous to you I guess, but when I tell you that every Seville Orange has between thirty and forty pips all of which must be removed using the handle of a teaspoon, you might begin to understand. That took a considerable amount of time and patience and trust me, I am not strong on patience.

The Sevilles were cooked in the pressure cooker until very soft, and when we released the pressure valve we discovered the best house deodoriser ever. The smell was divine. I might well pressure cook Sevilles and release the pressure valve just before we next have house guests!

I added the requisite amount of sugar then set the Seville/sugar mix aside until I had heated the strawberries and their syrup until they reached a similar temperature. They were combined and boiled for ten minutes, Every time I leave this place I forget – then every time I do a jam or chutney making session I remember – these floors make my feet hurt like hell, so after the ten minute boil the mix was covered so that I can rest my feet, have a beer and resume the marathon tomorrow.

Tonight is our first staying in night. The reason is simple. Tonight is the Spain v Portugal football match and The Chicken Shack will be a Bear pit. Oops, I am guilty of speciesism again. Sorry Bears, you are much more civilised so let me correct that statement! Tonight The Chicken Shack will be a showcase for the loudest and worst kind of human tribalism! Frankly we can do without that so we are now settled in for an at home night of blog writing and expensive WiFi.