Bonding, Bikes, & Parting With Loved Ones

Today, for no apparent reason whatever, the MIFI widget started working again. Phew, what a relief, connectivity again, or so we thought. In fact it is functioning erratically, sometimes at a pace that makes a snail look like Formula One by comparison. Add to that the fact that our web site is behaving very erratically and I had a frustrating morning trying to post my blog and upload my latest verse. Whatever, it took most of the morning and involved a lot of swearing.

At 12.00 I had to give up and slap my face on because we were being taken out to lunch by our Dutch friends, Rob & Marijke. We got to choose the restaurant – El Riu on the road between Callosa d’en Sarria and Guadalest – and best of all, we were chauffeured.

El Riu is for those who appreciate truly Spanish restaurants and in the case of foreigners, those who accept the right of the Spanish to behave as they do in their own country. I have heard English people in there bitch and fratch because the place is noisy on Sunday. Their arrogance beggars belief. This is a Spanish restaurant populated mainly by Spanish people, and Spanish families get together for Sunday lunch to share food, affirm family bonds, catch up with each other’s gossip and they do it NOISILY. That is their way. It is their country and their way should be respected. The English people who bitch and fratch about it should either learn to shout or choose another country.

Most of the main courses are cooked over a wood fire on the huge, open barbecue outside. The cooking is simple and good, the ingredients excellent. For starters we both chose the special salad while Rob had Mountain Sausages and Marijke had grilled aubergines. Rob, Marijke and I chose Conecho Al Ajillo (Rabbit with garlic) while Garrath chose Secreto De Cerdo Iberico (a cut from the Pata Negra pig that is located between the bacon and pork shoulder in the inner region.) The Rabbit was delicious and I made a complete pig of myself by continuing to eat it long after I had satisfied my hunger, simply for pleasure. Judging by Garrath’s silent dedication to eating during the main course and the fact that there wasn’t a scrap left on his plate I’m guessing that his Secreto De Cerdo Iberico was delicious too. While the others had wicked looking cakes and cheesecakes for dessert, I had a simple Flan Con Almendros (caramel custard with almonds) but at least it was a proper dessert. Chat was as ever, easy and free flowing even though it had to be shouted, a lovely lunch time.

We returned straight home because their much loved dog, Tikkus, is not well. Later, while I was taking photographs in the garden, a very tearful Marijke told Garrath that she and Rob were in dispute about what to do. Tikkus is 13 and obviously sick but still has an enthusiasm for living so Rob wants her to have the expensive tests to see if there is a way of prolonging her life. Marijke who has, like we have done in the past, hung on way too long after her dog should have been given a dignified exit, wants to do that for Tikkus right now. It is the eternal dilemma when we hold the power of life and death over our much loved pets – when to let go. I can see both their points of view. They are equally valid. We will have to face the same choices with our two before long and it will be heartbreaking. All we can do with Rob & Marijke is support whatever decision they finally agree upon.

On to more partings, this time Garrath and his much loved motor bikes that have been sitting in the garage in Spain for the last few years. Now that he has lost his driving license and it is unlikely that he will get it back, they are just sitting there, reminders of what once was and now cannot be. Our gardener put us in touch with a bike enthusiast of his acquaintance and he has agreed to take the Kawasaki Z1000. Garrath will get on to the internet tomorrow to see if he can find a home for the Honda CB 500T. If not it will be consigned to the great scrap heap in the sky. That will be a huge emotional wrench for Garrath because he has had it since 1980, but it will be better than the constant reminder of the losses brought about by his brain tumour.

On to more cheerful things, we are now in the local watering hole, Garrath has bought me roses again, the wifi here is free and I will be able to upload my blog in good time to keep the readership happy so life isn’t all bad!