Monday, July 28, 2008

Andalusia where summer days are easy and slow....

Lazy and drowsy…this is how I feel today while trying to concentrate on a translation due tomorrow. The heat defeats me and my will of being active and productive. The long summer days weigh on me like a heavy velvet coat.


Mornings are usually quiet. Lunchtime around 2 o'clock is the revival hour. At times, flavors of grilled sardines and green peppers float in the sultry air. Siesta follows lunch.


We bought a hammock yesterday at Gym's shop. Monchéri is about to set it up, while I’m writing this post. That is, he just made some lemonade and picked up a book while waiting to get into action....I would love to wind the clock back so that it would be sunday again.





Yesterday, at this precise time of 6 pm, we were wandering through the narrow streets in the village where I lived before. Its name is Restabal and I was telling Monchéri it sounds like the French words reste au bal, meaning stay at the ball, one of the reasons I like its name....



It seems the village is being slowly deserted as more houses are for sale now. We sat on a bench like the old people do, in front of a former "lavadero", a public place where women used to wash, and watched 2 kids playing.




When I lived in Restabal, an old man intrigued me who lived right at the entrance of the village. Except during the cold and rainy days, he would sit under a tree facing his house, every morning and afternoon. He was still there yesterday. His hair was slightly whiter and neatly combed. He looked as "tranquilo" and serene as ever and it rejoiced me to see him in good form. Contrary to the other people in the village, he'd never uttered a proper "hola" to me but only acknowledged me with a faint nod. His contemplative behavior always subdued me and I often wondered what his thoughts could be.

The hammock is still not installed. Monchéri doesn’t have the right drill or bolts and had to go to the ferreteria. I pick up the book he left on the table. I like what I read:

Respiro,

Y el aire en mis pulmones

Ya es saber, ya es amor, ya es alegría


***

I breath

and the air in my lungs

is now wisdom, is now love, is now happiness


(from an antology by Spanish poet Jorge Guillen)

.......

and by the time, I struggle to publish this post because Firefox crashes down and it takes ages to upload the photos, Monchéri comes back from the ferreteria. The hammock is half installed now but still the hooks are not strong enough...so I guess, it will have to be mañana...!



photos by your devoted blogging hostess

18 comments:

willow said...

Such peaceful village pictures! I love the white buildings. Your story of the old man reminds me of the old man in "Under the Tuscan Sun"...you know, the one who leaves the flowers at the shrine every day?

A Cuban In London said...

Hello and thanks for popping by my blog. I havebeen to Granada a few times as one of my brothers-in-law lives there. My wife and our two children have stayed near Bubion. As a Cuban I find the Andalusian accent so close to mine that sometimes I forget that I am in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and not in Havana! The lazy afternoons are a phenomenon I can relate to as we have just hit 30 celsius in London for the first time this year. Methinks that we will be going back this year (usually travel in October as it's less hot) so we might run into each other. Does your boyf play in a band? When we were last there we went to various places where there was live music and local bands were performing so we might have come across you already.

Good pictures and agree with willow, those white buildings are magnificent!

Greetings from London.

Vanessa said...

Lovely words from that poem!

kyh said...

oooh lovely lovely!! so peaceful and beautiful. :)

I wonder whether u've been to the northern parts of spain?

Mari Carmen said...

¡Qué placer haber encontrado tu blog! Me gusta mucho, y más al saber que vives en la tierra de mis parientes maternos, esa Granada que tanto me gusta.

Te leeré a menudo :)

Saludos desde Madrid.

willow said...

Lala, your olive cake is making it's debut over at the manor! :)

tangobaby said...

Somedays I think I must be crazy for not living life like you do...even without the hammock! Perhaps I am not as much of a city girl as I think I am.

Here's wishing I was in Andalusia, too. Thanks for sharing your summer images.

Lynne said...

i just love the remnants of the moorish rule - like time traveling.

M.Kate said...

Lovely poem and I always love village photos :)

timf said...

I know the man you mention. Very elegant, nice clothes and always walks with a dog. Why don't take his portrait.

Tim

LL said...

I like the last photo especially...so colourful.

You know, Lala, I think every neighborhood has men like the old man you describe. If a neighbourhood does not have such a man, it should find one!

Relyn said...

I've been away for a while with our family trip and then immediately needing to prepare the classroom for a new year. Oh, how I've missed you. Your happy, beautiful days are like a mini-spa for me. I love how much you love your magical life.

Sue said...

After my holiday, I must now write to thank you for the orange and almond cake recipe. It's such a different way to make a cake, such fun and sooooo delicious and refreshing. I made one and took it with us to Wales, where it disappeared quickly. Mmmmm! Did I do right in cooking the whole oranges, peel and all? This gave it a wonderful, tangy, marmalady flavour. I'm going to have to do another one! Thank you.

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