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Friday, August 31, 2012

Back again!


I plead the vicissitudes of keeping visitors happy as the transcendent reason for delaying all those key strikes that might have made my writing a little more exhaustive.

The intervening days between discourse and actual production can only be explained by the reliance on alcohol in one of its many forms and the necessity to make the most of conversation in my native tongue.  I feel the two aspects of delay mentioned there mayhap be linked in some way!

The Pauls now seem but a hazy memory with Emma being the second course.  We have eaten to satiety and sampled a couple of the “gourmet” meals that are advertised as Castelldefels makes its claim to be the Catalan version of Ludlow or Abergavenny.  [And it says much for the colonialist twist of the spellchecker on this machine that it recognized the first English jumped-up border town with no problem but baulked at a true Welsh place name.]

We have not done the touristy thing with our visitors this time round and haven’t been into Barcelona once!

Sunday sees the arrival of Ceri and Dianne and our expedition to Girona for our long-booked extraordinary meal in one of the great restaurants of this part of the world.

As a lead up to this gastronomic treat the meal that Emma and I had in the Don Jaime last night was more than acceptable.

Set on a hill overlooking the town and sea we sat in an outside terrace and had a meal for which the final payment seemed something of an insult.  The waiters were attentive without being intrusive and the Cava was well chilled.

My meal comprised an exquisite “cep” risotto, followed by steak with truffle and sherry sauce.  The steak was extraordinarily tender, but I must not let this exception encourage me to rely on the buying policy of most eating places where the meat may truly described as “sole food” – something which is more akin to the bottom of the shoe than the bottom of the stomach!

My sweet was a series of little cakes which were pure indulgence.  Forty quid for a meal for two like that in a setting like that seems like charity.  Almost.

It does encourage me to try out some of the other €25 offers in the Gastronomic Passport and, unlike the Ruta de Tapa which seems to have finished, this set of meals is available until the start of December.

Yesterday was the worst day of the holiday as far as weather was concerned but the adverse conditions were of little moment as I spent my time ferrying people to doctors and chemists for most of the day.  Nothing was too serious (I hope) but there is a different concept of time when waiting for medical personnel to do their stuff – especially as we were tricked into complacency by the first visit of the day when we were seen almost at once.  We did of course make up for that later in the day when the bloody-minded unhelpfulness of a particular member of the reception staff in our local medical centre ensure the waste of at least an hour of pointless inactivity.  Toni was incandescent with fury, and I was reminded of the line in Julius Caesar “Thus with a prick I damn him” as another traitor has a depression in the wax next to his name signifying his death.  I would not like to be that particular gentleman when someone like Toni is gunning for you!

The Paralympics has (have?) started and we have had the “relaxation gold” which means that I can stop worrying – but the target of 103 medals from umpteen different sports does seem a little ambitious as a target.  I fear that we can no longer rely on our having invented these games to ensure a flow of gold.  It is very disturbing to note that, at present, we lie in third play behind Australia and of course China.

It is frustrating that we can get none of the extras from British broadcasting stations on the net and I am getting tired of reading “Not available in your country” whenever I try to access some of the goodies on display on the web pages.

I do however have the official web page which lists the medal totals and that, after all is the important bit.
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