On Tuesday evening the weather came charging down the mountain in a blaze of fury. It was the wind that caught our attention first. It came suddenly, out of nowhere, to assault the old pine tree in the garden outside, twisting the branches this way and that to the point where they seemed certain to snap. Then we noticed that the noisy seagulls had disappeared. The sky darkened, and we watched from our sitting room window as the swirling clouds came tumbling down to earth, obscuring the view and leaving an impenetrable white fog. A moment later the thunder crashed, then the lightening flashed and the heavens opened. Rivers of water cascaded down the street, the garden became a floodplain and fat, swollen rain drops battered the window panes like tiny, angry fists.
We responded by fetching some logs from the basement and lighting the fire. Cosy in front of the hearth, with the weather doing its worst outside, we watched Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. Have you seen it? She really rocked her role, and in my view she so deserved her Oscar for such a convincing performance. I absolutely believed in her character. Her stylists did a great job too. I know we're talking about a lady who'd still manage to look stunning if she were dressed in a bin liner with her face scrubbed and her hair in rollers, but she wore such chic outfits, which were then re-cycled continually as her fortunes declined. It felt like her frocks were a metaphor for what was happening inside her head.
This week they've been holding a second hand boat sale in our village. I'm not much of a one for messing around on boats; I'm a bit of a landlubber. The thing is I get horribly seasick once we start bobbing around on the waves.
If I could get over my nausea I'm sure I'd love to go boating on one of these, especially if the weather was calm, the sky was blue and the water was like a mill pond.
The fishermen have mended their nets.
And the folk who simply sail for the fun of it have puttered around as usual.
We had a great day out with Emi's cousins down in Barcelona.
They took us for a romp around Park Güell, which was sensational. Antoni Gaudí is one of my heroes. I read the other day in the newspaper that there's a pressure group petitioning the Vatican to have him beatified, and subsequently canonised as a new patron saint for architects.
As with all his other buildings there's a playfulness and a sense of fun in the design of Park Güell. If you ever get a chance, please go inside one of his buildings because they're as special once you're in them as they are from the outside. Gaudí really wanted people to enjoy being inside his houses. He introduced as much natural light as possible, and everything has a wholesome, organic feeling: a bit like living in some enchanted forest where life is perfect, the wind never blows too strongly and the sun never shines too hot.
As it was, we enjoyed the rest of the park even though it was crazy-busy with people. I made a mental note to myself that we ought to revisit in the winter on a nice, clear day when there aren't so many people around.
There's also a museum about the great Gaudí, but our time constraints meant that we weren't able to get a ticket to go in for a nosey around that either.
And the most important part of all was for us to enjoy a day with my sister and brother-in-law, and for Emi to catch up with his lovely cousins.