My village still has a taste of innocence and.....i've been tagged

My village is not exactly pretty. It doesn't have the charm of the small picturesque villages nearby in the valley, surrounded by lemon and orange groves, but I call it home now. "But you are too parisienne to live here!", say my friends. I thought that too when I first moved in the village and little by little I came to like it and even miss it a lot whenever I'm away.

I have a weakness, I'm a sentimental person. It's in this village that I met Monchéri. Of course, meeting in Paris would have been romantic. Here, I like wandering through the narrow streets, smiling when I recognize a special spot where we kissed or had a stupid lover's quarrel.

Monchéri thinks we should move. We were discussing it the other day and he asked me what is it I like exactly about the village.

The first image which came to my mind is my neighbour next door wearing an apron and carrying some food to her daughter who lives two streets away. At lunch hour, between 1.30 pm and 2 pm, there's not a soul in the streets and most often there's a wonderful smell of grilled pepper or puchero (Andalusian stew) floating in the air.

I like this tranquillity, the absence of rush which sometimes is comical or absurd. Last week, as I was queuing up at the bank, one of the clerks got up and left his desk, saying placidly to the people waiting: bueno, ahora voy a desayunar, vuelvo enseguida. (I'm going to have breakfast, be back in a little while). And nobody protested. The man got hungry, it was 11 in the morning and the sandwich hour is sacred.

The siesta hour also is sacred. I must say I love it.

At the beginning I found people quite inquisitive. It often happened that someone would stop me in the street only to ask where I come from. Especially elderly is quite touching in fact. When I tell them I'm French, most often, they would say , ah Francia, estuve alli para trabajar...(ah France, I went there to work) and then we would start some conversation in French.

Like in most Andalusian villages, people say hello in the street, usually with a smile. It does make a huge difference.

I like this friendly atmosphere even if it remains superficial.

It is still very rural here although there is little money to earn for the local fruit producers. Now and then I see one of my neighbors, an old man, carrying wood or vegetables, on his mule, from the field. It moves me in a way as I realize he might be one of the last persons trotting on his mule through the village.

Mis queridos, I could go on a bit more on the subject but it's getting late and I need to eat !

a neighbor last summer in my street

another neighbor on his mule

Also Cynthia tagged me and I thought at least I should show some blogging good will before the end of the year…I actually feel bad, because I’ve been tagged before but never did my act. I promise to the people who tagged me to do so in the next year (I just have to find out what the tag was about)

Cynthia’s tag is easy and amusing : quote 6 random things about you

1) it’s nearly midnight here and until now, I keep "reliving" the dream I had last night. Do you know this sensation, when you're having a pleasant dream and don't want to wake up? Briefly, in this dream, I walk in an empty city street. I can see myself and I wear a very pretty white lace night gown and one white glove on my right hand. I pass by an imposing white building (palladian style) which is a very chic store displaying enormous sculptures all in pale green shade. Why only one glove ? It feels both pleasant and unpleasant to walk outdoors in a night gown. I feel like being in a Chirico painting. There is no brand on the store but in my dream, I tell myself it's a Hermès shop. Then I find myself in some very large stairs which are in fact like miniature houses. Each step has a flower garden and I slowly descend this amazing stairs in ravishment until the alarm clock starts to ring. Shit..

2) when I was a student I used to write down my dreams and send them to a dream analyst. I have very vivid memories of some dreams I made in my childhood. Here is one : enormous pink bubble gums bursting in the sky.

3) I thought I was a foodie. Well I am, but in reality I prefer to eat a simple burger prepared by Monchéri with an ordinary beer. We still contemplate making a reservation at El Bulli though. I know…it’s a snobby thing..

4) I love learning languages. I still have to improve my Spanish though, I'm trying to read La Casa Verde by Mario Vargas LLosa and find it difficult. At school, my 2nd language was German, after English and Latin. I love the words das Schicksal (fate). I also like to scare people, saying : ich bin Teüflich (i'm devilish)….rolling my eyes and waving my hands high in the air. But that's about all alas for German, I wasn't too good at it. I also think Latin is a must.

5) I realize I never told you about my design activity. I will in a proper post. (sorry, now i'm hungry and sleepy!).

6) From the blog, you would have guessed that I’m very much in love with my boyfriend. He inspires me a lot. I even thought of creating a blog especially about him but naturally, it’s a total no-no…and who would be interested anyway? just me I guess....ain't I pathetic...

I actually enjoyed this tag !! thanks Cynthia !!


Edi Style said…
:-)) not pathetic. Alive with love and a functioning intelligence all together a very fine, fine specimen
Edi Style said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edi Style said…
that was me twice... oops Charlie has me walking a mile ever hour
Staci said…
I want to live somewhere that is quiet and tranquil. your village sounds perfect!!
Ana Cristina said…
Hello, I come out of lurkdom to say I am jealous. Yep, that's right. I am jealous of how people in your country are able to leave work at 11 am to take a sandwich break and are able to take siestas at all. I live in the U.S., where lunch breaks are a regimented thing and there is no such thing as a siesta.
Despite my jealousy, I'm quite enjoying your blog. I spent two weeks traveling between Paris and Spain (mostly Madrid and Barcelona) some time ago, and your blog helps me relive my time there.
Cynthia said…
Cute as always. You've charmed me with your "boyfriend" stories! I'm in love with your village, but I have to admit that when the bank clerk, store clerk or any retail clerk takes off while I wait, I do get impatient. Sometimes the clerk starts putting stuff away, or turns his/her attention to a friend, favorite customer, or a phone call. No excuse provided. Did I mention I'm in Puerto Rico? Still, I feel as if I have to deal with it because we've been somewhat rude guest here...(the US didn't exactly ask permission to move in!) Still I love it here.

You have given me the gift of responding to my tag, and now I am your loyal blog girlfriend. I'm going out to get one of those big pink straw hats that those French girls wore in the YouTube video (You posted that a short while ago) since that's the personality I picture you with -and I'm going to brush up on my French and begin to seriously practice Spanish so I can appreciate your Moncheri dialogue. And now, in honor of your year-end gesture,I'm going to patiently wait in line when I've been abandoned and simply reflect on sandwich hour in Spain at your little village.
willow said…
Your village is absolutely charming. I would love to live in such a friendly little place!
rochambeau said…
Happy New Year Lala!! To you and your Cheri! This is a great post! Like you, I now live in a small town now filled with lovely people that care about one another. It is beautiful, quiet and charming here. I like it very much.

For me it is important that I have had the experience of living in many big cities before ~ inspiring places, now I can bring all the past inspiration with me and enjoy peace just like you!

Really like the dream you were having! I too am fascinated by dreams.

Well all for now sweet one!
I grew up in a small village. It was not charming as a child, since everyone knew who my mother was and would report my every misdeed, no matter how trivial! However, I do sometimes miss it as an adult. I pretend I am still in a small village (I live just outside Washington DC) and when I walk outside I smile and say hello to everyone I pass. I usually wave to those who pass me in cars when I walk in my neighborhood. My husband will say, "Do you know them?!"

They probably think I'm the local crazy lady, but they usually wave back.
Sara said…
I think it's wonderful to be so in love....give it all you've got!

Your village sounds very idyllic. A very special place that so many of us would love the chance to enjoy as you do.

Happy New Year to you.
Sabrina said…
It is hard to believe this kind of life really exists, so different from my life! I went to France once when I was a teenager, to a town called Cogolin I think, near St Tropez. It was a lot like you described. The smell of fresh bread seemed to permeate the whole place. I have such fond memories.
What a lovely post! I like your writing - and the photos! Makes me want to come back to Granada...
luna miranda said…
i have this visual image of your village, and it's perfect. i love how you describe your life.
Yoli said…
Lala if you can't avoid it, never leave. It is a lifestyle that few in their modern day lives will ever experience as a way of living. As always your words move me.
I like slow, small town life too...although I've never seen any of my neighbors on a mule.

Cynthia tagged me, too...must think of something interesting to say...
dutchbaby said…
I love your dream, especially the stairs with a garden on each step.

Beautiful post!
tangobaby said…
Lala, I agree with Yoli. Stay in that beautiful village as long as you can. You have the chance to enjoy a life that most people will never be able to experience, yet still be connected with all of us.

People and places are always in such transition. Perhaps you can hang onto your village life and plan to be in cities more often to give you the best of both worlds.

ps. julochka and I have shopping mall dreams. Although we have planned to meet up in our sleep and go shopping together, it hasn't happened yet. ;-)
Alette Siri Ane said…
You will leave when it is time.So simple.
I am for the 3 year at a quiet place.Became member of the farm womens club with not even knowing it.Went to the meetings trying to figure out what we do.Meeting after meeting singing songs that have been sung for 50 years or more.Got frustrated,finally I found out we are just meeting each other .To slow down takes time.

I am at the age where getting used to grey hair takes time.My daughter was to color my hair.tried blond to go with the grey.I looked like a angel.At 3 in the morning I cut it all off.Looked like a sheep without wool.The hairdresser had to use a motorised thing they use on menn.My head was shaved to 3 mm. because my scissor had made a few deep groves.Now I am a tall woman with a large neck!My husband came home from the oilplattform and yelled what the h... have you done now!I yelled you are to support me and encourage me!You are my husband!He said from the front you are beautiful,But I cannot have that vision all the time.
Well I came to Baletrand where I am now.The women said Alette we have to like you we are so few here!You look fine.
To put lotion all over my head bliss. I now have long black hair!
Vanessa said…
Lala, I would love to someday visit you in this Andalusian village of yours. It is as charming as you are and the people sound lovely. I hope 2009 will bring about such an opportunity!

Much love and Gute Rutsch,
Helena said…
I wish I could find my Moncheri in a charming village where it's possible to make a living. I do like London but after 13 years of living here I could easily give up the buzz for tranquility... but not on my own.
Gabbi said…
Your village is lovely :) especially the donkeys!

Also, your love sounds beautiful. One of my favorite film quotes on love is from the film 'Punch-drunk love':

'I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine.'

Isn't that perfect and true?

Happy New Year to your and your Monchéri! :)
I love your village. It sounds picturesque :-)!

Greetings from London.
Dakota Bear said…
Your village sounds perfectly divine. It sounds like the places I like to see when I am traveling.

Thank you for stopping by my blog for a visit.
You are so lucky to live in such a charming village. That's my dream.
I loved reading about your life there. Happy New Year Lala! How much fun it would be to be in Spain on New Year's Eve!
Beaz said…

you´ll miss this village of yours if you move. You´ll miss the rest of the world if you remain there. That´s how it works.

Places are not important. People is. Good people make good places to live. Other kind of people make good places to visit.

Go around a little bit and back to your nest! It´s very nice to have a nest to go back to.
Beaz said…

you´ll miss this village of yours if you move. You´ll miss the rest of the world if you remain there. That´s how it works.

Places are not important. People is. Good people make good places to live. Other kind of people make good places to visit.

Go around a little bit and back to your nest! It´s very nice to have a nest to go back to.
Beaz said…

you´ll miss this village of yours if you move. You´ll miss the rest of the world if you remain there. That´s how it works.

Places are not important. People is. Good people make good places to live. Other kind of people make good places to visit.

Go around a little bit and back to your nest! It´s very nice to have a nest to go back to.
Beaz said…

you´ll miss this village of yours if you move. You´ll miss the rest of the world if you remain there. That´s how it works.

Places are not important. People is. Good people make good places to live. Other kind of people make good places to visit.

Go around a little bit and back to your nest! It´s very nice to have a nest to go back to.
Susana said…
Hi there, I bumped into your blog just a few days ago thanks to the "blogs of note" mention. I love it. My husband and I met in Asia, where we used to work for many years and got married this year. We decided to quit our mad city and work lives and moved to a very small and quiet village in Teruel (your post about the innocence of your village sounds very familiar!), and we are loving it. I am Spanish (from Barcelona), but hadn´t lived in Spain for almost 20 years so it's great to be back. And don't be shy about telling the whole world about your love for your boyfriend... it´s beautiful! I always talk about my darling husband in my blog and he gives me all the inspiration! Thanks for your blog...
Susana said…
Gracias Lala! Eres un encanto... feliz año nuevo y seguimos en contacto!!! Besitos a tí y a tu Monchérie
Claire said…
lala you inspire dreams...
andrew crvz said…
very lovely.. your village gives you the pleasure to be you.. and enjoy the surroundings and most especially the people, the same way they like you.
Lulu LaBonne said…
Funny that the Andalusians are inquisitive, as an Englishwoman living in France I'm struck by the lack of inquisitiveness, is it considered rude to ask personal questions?
Christina said…
I would love to visit your village one day. ; )

Happy New Year, Lala.

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