Monday, August 22, 2011

Feina Terminada!

This summer was remarkably dull. I didn't fly to California nor did I travel locally in Spain, but I did get a lot accomplished by staying home and getting home projects finished. I sort of felt imprisoned in my own home by not being able to leave even when the day's job was done. I had to vacuum, remove dust, mop, move furniture, and sweep up dirt on a daily basis. On the up side, we have a new patio floor and had the inside of our flat painted --two enormous projects that entailed my constant presence to supervise and let workers come in and out of the house to bring and remove project materials. Along the way I made friends with Eusebio and Marcos, the two construction workers who appeared to be my house guests over the summer. I at first complained about their slow approach to work on the first day, but over time I really came to enjoy their presence. They chipped away, dug, stirred mortar, and set patio tiles while we casually talked about money, food, foul weather, hunting for rabbits, and their summer homes in Huesca. When the work was completed, Eusebio brought me three different plantes. In gratitude of the incredible work they did and their honest suggestions of how the tile would look better set a certain way, I baked them both carrot cake, an all American pastís de pastanaga they were unfamiliar with.

Quips from Eusebio:
Díos mio!  (as he set tiles)
No es rico el que más tiene, sino el que menos necesita. 
Ya casi tengo vacaciones!
Buying property is a good investment.
El que paga manda.

Quips from Marcos:
Buying property is not a good investment.
Los niños son una hipoteca.
Eusebio, you're making me do all the work while you talk to Patri.
Me siento mal, estuve en el bar viendo la Super Copa hasta las dos (and he had too many beers).

Do not know where to plant this one.


I can't remember the name of this one though I have seen it before.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Festa Major de Gràcia

The temperature today reached 35° C, and I deliberated with a neighbor in our small kidney shaped pool, if it was worth suffering the heat to go into Barcelona. Today was the last day to enjoy a neighborhood street festival in Gràcia, one of Barcelona’s 10 districts.

It’s a celebration that takes place every August in which neighbors decorate their street by hanging themed decorations. The festival begins August 15, on Assumption Day, and continues until August 21.

This year did not have as many participants as last year, yet streets were much better decorated than last summer. Thought and time was heavily invested in the street sculptures as was imagination. 

I tend to visit this festival during the early afternoon to avoid evening crowds and excessively happy people with one too many happy drinks. It's the best time to take pictures and avoid a thousand and one cameras trying to get the same shot you're shooting for. 

Democracy will not make us free

"Do not make noise in Gràcia"  

This is a window to a crafty jewelry store, see the round earrings on the left and the tablet necklace on the right. 

Estelada--independent flag of Catalonia.

Yup, that's Mozart on Mozart Street.

Church reflected on mirrored windows; picture taken at ferrocarril station.