Monday, February 27, 2012

The Devil Makes Work For Idle Thumbs

Internet out since Thursday - the comedy Oscar goes to the jokers Movistar - the artists formerly known as Telefonica - is there a more utterly rubbish company? Answers on a postcard...

Meanwhile, we went for a walk, the kids lost their glass eyed laptop expressions, we found matching socks, we tasted food...

Stan bought some bricks and made an entire bookshelf and window seat in the Moroccan style our Berber house loves best...the whole thing cost about 20€, he re used old shelves. we painted the interior with Ochre mixed with sand for an authentic look - took about 2 days in all. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


It´s that time of year, I´ll tell you - Rio de Janeiro has nothing on Murtas!  While the rest of Spain dresses up and floats head down streets to cheering crowds - we have......nada.
 Until the other night, at least,  sitting in Bar Pinche having a natter when some visitors walked in.
 Let´s just say there were well oiled.
And dressed up too, hats, hair curlers, false nose warts - I think -  and wigs. They were joining us from Cordoba - here for a Matanza and decided to get merry afterwards.  A lovely group, really friendly and interested in Murtas - we need more visitors here to our little village - they were charmed by the traditional life here far from the madding costas, it really is the Real Spain!  
Come see for yourself - book Casa Duende for a few days in Spring and walk away your stress and.... relax!

Lent in Spain

Lent in Spain

Thursday, February 9, 2012

something for the weekend

Josh decided to stay over at a friend's house last weekend, their village fiesta was on and a party night was planned with lots, wait, I'd rather not know...!

The village in question was Cherin - a short trek of about 40 kms over the mountain on the other side of Ugijar, home to our 'local' supermarket so tied in with a restock of the fridge Stan took him.

I went along to pick him up on Sunday morning, we got to the bridge before town where we were flagged down by a young chap who asked if we were looking for Josh - I guess not too many guiris there then! He directed us to the 'venta ' and there we found Mr Bleary Eyes trying to look cool - and sober - so leaving him to gather his bags and his wits we decided to have a quick beer as we were parked outside the bar - rude not to after all.

The coldest bar I have ever been in was the scene - with a long marble counter and the whole village and local band grouped around it so we joined in.  Ordering our Alhambra especiales we were asked whether we wanted tapas, and what we would like, as the chap gestured to the blackboard.

There was a long list, from Cheese to Chiperones - we chose 2 plates of croquettas which were home made and garlicky, served with their own little olives.  Joined by Josh he ordered a coke - rehydrating?! - and a hamburger which came with chips, same for Stan, I had Morcilla - my favourite.  Made by the owners it was nicely spicy with more than a hint of Chili and Aniseed, a hint of cinnamon - yum.
Another 2 beers to wash it down.

I forgot about feeling cold as we soaked up the food, the beer and the atmosphere....and the bill? 4 bottles of beer, 1 coke and 5 plates of food....€9. I kid you not.  As if we needed yet another reason to love it here!

Morcilla - blood sausage
Chiperones - cuttlefish
Croquettas - potato with ham or cheese rolled in breadcrumbs and fried.
guiris - foreigners
venta - roadside inn
En Ocasiones Veo Bares

Monday, February 6, 2012


Five years have slipped by in a whisper.  Today it´s my father´s anniversary, and the sun shines warmly this morning as I remember him. 
An older Dad, 40 before I came screaming into his life, he was always the one on the block for shortening skipping ropes and fixing punctures, me his able assistant with the basin of water and the eagle eye for the telltale bubble.
Christening me Cinders on the many occassions I was let down or disappointed in childhood, on the 22nd June 1991 as I stood alone in the house with him in his new suit and me in in my wedding dress, he announced: `` You shall go to the ball...´´!
From him I inherited my bunions and double ankle joints - great for spraining - a love of books, Beefeater and a preference for animals over people.
My stubborn streak, short temper and solitude over silliness seems to be from the same gene pool!
Of the many hands shaken at his funeral, nearly everyone commented on the fact he was a quiet man, a private man.  One local auctioneer - estate agent - remarked he was small - in stature - my answer was to agree, but to add he left an enormous space...
Today, I´m not sad - life is for living and the final chapter comes to us all, but I miss sharing a good wine, making silly moustaches from burnt cork (try it!) and the ultra short conversations when he answered the phone - I´ll get your mother ...
So tonight, I´ll raise a glass...x