My Spanish Christmas
Christmas starts early for me here on the Iberian Peninsula, on the Friday before to be exact, let me explain. You lot are probably all thinking “hot sun, blue skies. Christmas on the beach etc”, well let me dispel that thought right away. It’s freezing! And it looks like its going to stay that way over the festive period, so I need wood for my stove, forgetting my carbon footprint and only worrying about my home comforts, I got on my warm clothing (thanks PEZ) and went into the hills to scavenge/steal some wood.
OK, so I’m Scottish, this has nothing to do with tightness or money saving, it’s looking after the environment and recycling, the wood has to be cut so that the trees will grow and produce more fruit, honest! It didn’t take long for the boot/trunk of the “La Vuelta PEZmobile” to fill with a mix of Almond, fig, lemon, orange and nispero branch cuttings to last me over Christmas, all just the correct length to fit my wood burner and I didn’t even have to fire up the chainsaw.
With all that work I needed to visit my local (Bar Pol-Mar, this is the place I usually do my Vuelta review from), for a cafй con leche and a wee something to eat to keep me going until lunch, and have a look at the Pez favorite Spanish Sports paper, AS, to check out their distraction, mmm nice.
The only cycling news was about last year’s Tour winner, Alberto Contador and the 2006 Tour winner, Oscar Pereiro competing in a malaria charity competition of indoor football and tennis set up by tennis player Rafa Nadal and Goalkeeper Iker Casillas, they made 100,000 euros.
The Pol-Mar is probably my second home, I get mail sent here and they have my wedding photo above the bar, but it was still a surprise to be given a present of 3 bottles of very good wine from Javi, mmm very nice. One drawback, he wants me to help out at the annual village cross county run, but I guess “every man has his price” and mine seems to be a coffee and a plate of sepia!
The BIG happening in Spain on Saturday is the ‘El Gordo’, the biggest lottery in the world. All morning they show children picking the numbers which they then sing out with the amounts of money won. Then after that the news is all about it, basically hours and hours of TV time spent looking at people winning money and opening bottles of Champagne. No, I did not win anything!
Talking of food, what will we be having at Christmas? In Spain we celebrate Christmas Eve as this is the time the kids get their presents (and again at the Kings in January), so it’s lots of food on Christmas Eve and then again on Christmas day. Jamon Serrano (cured ham), dates wrapped in bacon, sausages of all shapes and sizes and cheeses to start, then chicken with vegetables and a crиme Catalan to finish and wine of course.
Christmas Day will start the same then stuffed squid followed by a leg of lamb and by that time, who cares what is to follow! Mistella is a local, sweet, strong white wine, much like Muscatel, but smoother, will play a big part at the end of the meal as much as the deep red wine from Rioja.
After all that I’ll have to start riding my bike to get the fat off before we start on the big meal for New Years Eve…..Merry Christmas !
Stay tuned for more postcards from around the world of PEZ!