Thunderstorms, Food Processors and Being Poisoned.

The day started rather spectacularly with another thunderstorm so we stood in our jim-jams and watched the free fireworks show in an enormous, classic Anvil-shaped cloud. I managed to get shots of the cloud but I am clueless about how some people manage to get shots of lightning. I’m guessing that it involves tripods and long exposures and since I didn’t bring the tripod that would be problematic. Ah well, I’ll leave it to those who can and just watch the show.

It was a blood Moon last night but here it happened between 02.00 and 06.00 when we were safely tucked up in bed, I missed getting shots of that. There was also another factor involved here – I am useless at Moon shots! Again, best to leave it to those who can.

I did get a few rare-as-rocking-horse-pooh shots though. After a rather unsatisfactory lunch (more of that later) we took a stroll down the Partida La Fossa. It was raining so I got a shot of the completely empty beach! We have been coming here to restore my mother’s property twice a year since 2005 and I have visited many times before that. Amazingly this is the first time that I have seen the beach totally empty, even at night, hence my describing the shots as rare-as-rocking-horse-pooh. A few seconds after the rain stopped and the Sun came out the beach babes were back, essential beach kit in tow, striving for the best bits of sand.

Our first morning venture out was to the local watering hole so that Garrath could use their free WIFI to top up the data sim in the MIFI widget (technophobes skip this bit.) We took the umbrella of course, because it was still raining. Anyway, two cups of tea later the mission was accomplished and we moved on to the supermarket, minus the shopping list that we had left behind! It later became obvious that we had left something else behind – the umbrella! Garrath justified this with

“I’ve got a hole in my head,” but I have no such excuse for leaving the shopping list behind.

This poor weather week is when I will be making chutney and with the amount of fruit we have in the freezer That will involve the chopping of lots of onions, not a task to relished (yes that pun was deliberate!) Rather than do that by hand I decided that I need a food processor so we went into town to find one. For some weird and wonderful reason food processors are a rarity in Spain so it was quiet a traipse to find one. We did of course, and a really brilliant one too. It has the usual processor bowl, a blender goblet, a centrifugal juicer, a citrus juicer, metal and plastic blades, a cream whipper, slicing and grating blades of various sizes. It has to be the most all-singing, all dancing food processor that I have ever come across, so much so that I will replace my current one in the UK with an identical model when I get home.

After purchasing that we returned home to unload all the purchased goodies then back to the local watering hole to see if the umbrella was still there and, because Garrath fancied a pizza, to see if they could accommodate my needs. The umbrella was still there exactly where Garrath had left it but when we asked about the possibility of a gluten free meal for me there was an obvious lack of understanding which is always a bad sign. The waitress did offer to provide me with a meal of grilled fish or grilled chicken and lettuce. Unfortunately I don’t know the Spanish for “Jeez, have you any idea how many times I get offered that shit?” Her lack of understanding was such that it was obvious that nobody would think to clean the grill before cooking my food so we politely declined and left.

Why oh why do so many caterers offer me dry grilled chicken or fish with lettuce? I really cannot think of many things that are less appetising and there are no carbohydrates in there at all. I ****ing despair!

Garrath was still determined to have a pizza so we went to the beach front Italian place and went through the same bloody pantomime. I was assured that I would be safe with Carpaccio which is a raw beef dish so I chose that. It comprised of paper thin slices of raw beef, tiny sprinklings of Parmesan and finely chopped celery, four thin slices of raw mushroom and a glaze that I took to be balsamic vinegar. Hmmmmm, pleasant enough but not a lot there so I ordered a side of grilled vegetables. That comprised four thin slices of aubergine, one mushroom and half a tomato. It was less than satisfactory and stupidly expensive for what it was. Garrath got his pizza but that too was very disappointing. Not going there again.

We went for a wander down Partida La Fossa where I got the empty beach shots, and it gradually became obvious that the restaurant had managed to poison me. Either they hadn’t bothered to check the glaze and that contained modified starch or they has grilled the vegetables on a plancha that hadn’t been cleaned after bread or something floury had been grilled on it. There is even a possibility that the raw beef wasn’t simply sliced beef after all but some kind of composite glued together with modified starch. All the usual symptoms that identify gluten ingestion came and as usual steadily got worse, so that by 17.00 I was in serious distress. Deep joy, this will take aaaaaaaaages to clear.

One good thing did come out of the trip along Partida La Fossa though. Garrath said that we ought to look for other restaurants to eat at and not far from the one that poisoned me we came across one with an extensive and interesting menu. The patron asked if we needed a table and we explained that we had already eaten but were just checking the menu. There was something about his manner that inspired confidence so I showed him my explanatory card in Spanish and asked if they could accommodate my needs. His response was perfect. Roughly translated –

“Sure, no problem, we will make sure that your food is prepared in a different part of the kitchen.” That showed a level of awareness that we haven’t come across since we went to the AIC (Italian Coeliac Society) registered restaurant in Venice. We live in hope.

The thunder clouds have now gone, the sky is bright blue, the Sun is shining and I feel crap! Time to go to the local watering hole for liquid anaesthesia!