Friday, 21 December 2007

Life in the Afternoon

It is Friday afternoon, December 21. Rebekah and Libby, her daughter, have gone of on a trip with the neighbours, to another local town. I am not sure which one, Saldaña, maybe. Clowns are threatened. I am here with a nice fire and the dogs snoozing in front.
Christmas is round the corner and Reb wants a canary. This is proving tricky, as there don´t seem to be any in Sahagun, and there is not much time left to get to Leon. And there is not much meat on a canary.
She may have to settle for the leg of lamb we bought this morning. It was, in fact virtually half a lamb, as it came with a side of ribs attached. The butcher lady chopped it all up into its component parts, including a kidney. We also bought a lamb´s liver which comes as a set with a heart and lungs still attached. More like an anatomy lesson than cookery. The bill was high, a tad over 40 euros, but the lamb did weigh over three kilos, about six or seven lb. It will be our Christmas dinner. Reb is going to look for a pilgrim to share it with. No doubt she will find one, although I haven´t seen any in the last day or so.
The lungs will make a fine snack for the dogs. Even I draw the line at eating them. (The lungs, that is, not the dogs.)
Along with the lamb stuff, the butcher threw in half a lamb´s head. Muy rico, she says.
We decided against a turkey, though the fact that Israelis eat more turkey than anyone else in the world had nothing to do with it. We just didn´t want one, I suppose because Reb and Lib cooked a monster in Paris for Thanksgiving (a turkey, that is, not an Israeli).
I didn´t go to Paris, but am making up for it by reading books by French writers. As well as Camus, I have re-read Chaos and Night, by De Montherlant and the essays of Montaigne. This all sounds rather poncey, I must admit, but for some reason French writers often seem more relevant than others to me. Same with French movies, although some Spanish one are coming on strongly.
As the first essayist, Montaigne, was really the first blogger, back in the late 1500´s. Every reasonably educated French person is familiar with his works, but in England and the States, only academics are aware of him. This is a pity. Pascal disapproved of him, which is always a good sign.
I don´t suppose Pascal thought much of canaries, either. In fact, I wonder if they had canaries in the seventeenth century in Europe. Will have to look it up.

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