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Archive for July, 2007

WOW! What an AMAZING music festival that was! 40 degree temperatures and the likes of Muddy Waters & Eric Clapton devotees playing the most brilliant blues music all day deep into the night and out the other side! During the day there was an endless haze of cigarette smoke (and heaven knows what other kinds of smoke too for that matter) together with Heineken cans and bodies being thrown into the fountains to cool off from the blistering mountain mid-day heat while the bands took their turns and their lives in their hands playing on the rather eccentrically wired up stage in the Plaza de Santa Maria.

The musicians were brilliant, although I have to say that I think that Jerry Portnoy´s facial expressions were rather lost on the Spanish devotees from what was being muttered around us. He was talking to Bob Margolin (they did a duo set in the crippling heat) effectively saying it was the longest day of his life – but he looked immaculate even if he was sweating buckets on the inside. To be fair to him, the electrics did explode during his and Bob Margolin´s act on Friday after having been giving them low grade electric shocks throughout their number, so perhaps by then he was a bit cheesed off with it all, but it cracked me up when he was speaking through the mike to the sound techs about needing less reverb and simply said in his strong american drawl “pocito reverb” !! I guess reverb must be a universal word! When the system finally blew, he muttered something under his breath and started packing away his harmonica while Bob, ever the utter professional, came to the front of the stage and finished the number miming all of Jerry´s harmonica bits which everyone found hilarious.

The show stoppers for me though, had to be the Barcelona band Txus Blues & J Bluesfingers – their song called Tango which turned into an Ode to the Tanga (yes ladies, Thongs), had the crowd eating out of their hands, but the finale to end all, was their song called “Soy harMonica Lewinsky” – I have never in my life seen anyone play a harmonica as pornographically as that and it was sidesplittingly funny!

So put it in your diary – Blues Cazorla – you can find their website always at www.bluescazorla.com and book your accommodation VERY early – it is a Cult Show and apparently one of the largest blues festivals in the whole of Spain!

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I screamed today – a proper, genuine, head turning, embarrassing scream at the top of my voice. Where? Cazorla – the MOST beautiful whitewashed pueblo to the south west of the Sierra de Seguro, Cazorla y Las Villas mountains in Jaén, one of the unknown provinces of the huge and beautiful Andalusían area of Spain. And Why? Well, I was deep in conversation with a NOT especially nice or forthcoming Spaniard while my son was crawling around on the floor doing what he does when he spies a cricket – and that is being intent on catching the critter and bringing it to me for due inspection in great and fascinating detail before the thing leaps off to live another day.

However my son is now seven and understands that interrupting is NOT cool, especially when Mum is trying to get to grips with pretty complicated Spanish facts, which I was. Replaying the tape now, I remember him tapping me gently on the arm saying Mama, but I rather ignored him as I am working at gently but constantly suggesting that he DOESN’T BLITHERING WELL INTERRUPT UNLESS THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE ….

Mistake ….

Because he finally said “Mum I have to interrupt because I think there´s a huge cricket going up your trouser leg ………….”

That did it. I threw my papers onto the floor (not surfaced, an ocean of dust in fact), and started to undo the zip to my white trousers oblivious to the fact that the man I had been talking to started to snort back the giggles. THAT made the cricket move, and THAT drew my attention to where it was – WELL ABOVE MY KNEE – at which point I SCREAMED! Trousers were down in a second (man decent enough to pull a door past me so that I could strip off in some semblance of dignity) and find this 3-4inch monster of a cricket inside my left trouser leg!

HELL there are times when you realise the advantage of living in Tiny Critter Country!!

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Shooting Stars

The adventure continues! My son and I have escaped the humdrum of our school term life for a few weeks with our wonderful although less than reliable campervan! Bless her she is 12 years old after all so I can´t complain, but it is a little tiring when we have no means whatsoever of cooling our fridge! So we have stayed put in one place for 3 weeks, and I have to say I am loving it. Loving it for a zillion reasons, but most of all because it is the first time since I met my ex husband thirteen years ago that I have been truly having a holiday doing what I want to do, rather than going along with someone else´s idea…..

So here we are, on the most beautiful campsite in Jaén, Andalucia, on the outskirts of a very typically southern spanish village called Cazorla (Cathorla). Cazorla is a gateway to the immense, breathtaking and HUMUMGOUS national park that spreads up and all around Cazorla. It offers something for everyone, from hang gliding, to 4×4 mountain trails, to horse riding, to river swimming, to rock climbing, to natural health holiday retreats (visit my lovely friends Diana & Roger Birch´s website http://www.losabedules-cazorla.com/ for the MOST magical location for a holiday out here with everything available that you could possibly want including the most gorgeous salt water swimming pool ….).

We have been enchanted by this village / town with its lanes that are only JUST wide enough to get a car through with an inch or two to spare on either side (used only for donkeys laden with their baskets on either side), with the balconies overhead heaving with geraniums and asparagus plants to name a few of the leaves I recognise!

It is a painter and artist paradise here with the nearby beautiful cities of Úbeda and Baeza, and we haven´t as yet got much further! But what I have done, after lights out, is quietly creep out of our lovely wagon up the terraces of the campsite to where the sky opens above your head – and on my first night here, the sky honoured me with FOUR shooting stars ….. Beautiful.

More to come …..

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