Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ponç, the Saint of Herbalists

I never tire of the endless Saint celebrations bestowed on this fading Catholic country. Today was the celebration of Sant Ponç, the patron saint of Herbalists. Today’s excursion was planned weeks ago by my friend Teresa, who I think will become my official informant of all relevant activities of special interest happening in Barcelona. She took Ace and I to Carrer Hospital and we found stalls selling herbs used for remedies and cooking, dried fruit and fruit in syrup, and honey sold in different forms. This fair was  consigned to  Herbalists more than six centuries ago who every spring sold their healing herbs to the sickly.  The celebration became Christianized (surprise) in the 1600s and is now dedicated to Saint Pointus. 

I reveled in the colors and pleasant wafting aromas of herbs sold on the street. The official herb associated to Sant Ponç is rosemary. There will be a procession tonight that I will miss because I will be writing critical reviews and other assignments due this month.

Feliç Sant Ponç!

I burst out laughing when the vendor told my friend Teresa not to tell lies in front of the customers when she remarked that she thought the licorice root was to dry to buy.

Snake ointment for burns and other skin afflictions. 

Licorice root ready for chewing to settle digestive problems.

Licorice sold in gelatinous form.


My candied fruit ready to go home.

We ended our excursion at Plaza del Rei where Teresa and Ace engaged in deep conversation.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Since my move from the great cosmopolitan city of Barcelona for a quiet neighborhood in the outskirts, I have seen Venus at night, a shooting star, and lollying clouds. Today after lunch my husband and I had our coffee in the terrace. It was a national holiday today, Labor Day, so we enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and excellent temperature. Then the sky clouded over. As I looked up and stared at the sky I was taken by the beauty of the clouds. I leaned my head back and looked at the núvols hanging so low above us it felt as if we could reach out and and tear off a piece. The clouds looked like giant spun cotton candy twirling slowly in the sky. The moment was so beautiful. I could see how the air pressure spun and pushed the clouds in opposing directions. I had never noticed this before. Enjoy these magnificent núvols!