Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Tackling matters

Last Friday, we went on a biggish hike from Calzadilla de los Hermanillos ( which may mean Path of the Little Brothers) to Mansilla de las Mulas (which may mean Hand on the Saddle of Mules, or it may not) A walk of some 12 miles or so. Reb drove the whole way, parked the car and walked back, with Una, to meet me about half way, then turned round and we walked the rest together.
Had a bad moment with Tim before we all met up. At one spot the Camino meets a level crossing and at that point, I was confused about the route. There were some men fixing the track to accommodate the famous high-speed train promised soon. They had a bulldozer working and Tim was frightened to go near it. As he backed away from it, his head came out of his collar. Right then the men pointed out a train coming on at about eighty miles an hour. Tim began to panic, and I had to rugby tackle him and hold him down as the train passed about 15 feet away.
He would probably have run away from the train, but who knows with dogs?

We were all pretty tired when we got to Mansilla, but it was a nice walk, bleak - no trees, no shade, no water - but over a good deal of Roman road, which is standing up pretty well after a couple of thousand years. Reb saw two foxes. Tim and I saw nothing but the train, and we could have done without it.

My one contribution to the house project has caused some problems. I noticed we had what seemed like a lot of floorboards left over and suggested they be used instead of plasterboard for a ceiling in the kitchen. Turns out that there were not enough planks, so we then had to go scouring North West Palencia for more. Still, it does look better so far.
Reb has gone all Zen about the whole thing. Que sera, sera, she says, submitting utterly to the inexorability of ineffable fate. I am reminded of a scene in a Truffault movie called Day for Night, in which the director, playing the role of himself more or less, explains how he works.
¨I always start off intending to make the greatest film ever. By the time I am half way through, all I am trying to do is get some sort of plausible ending on it.¨( I paraphrase his words)

I feel like that about practically everything, these days, the house particularly. Just make it warm and dry, please.

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