Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lazy Weekend

Yes, spring is, slowly, coming to us.

This is what it looked like when I got back from the market yesterday. First, there's a basket of strawberries, clairettes, I think they're called, which look mighty good. Larger than the garriguettes which are our usual berries. Then, two bundles of asparagus, bought from an old guy who sits on a box next to a fish-seller's trailer. He always has one or two miscellaneous things and a pot of luques olives, and I think he must do it just to have something to do. At two euros a pop, though, I couldn't say no, and one of them became a salad last night and was just fine. Pretty lousy photo, though, so let's turn it around.

Hm. Even worse, but it does show the bag of pine nuts and the basil plant, the latter of which was already in the house. The pine nuts will combine with the basil to make pesto, and I'm very curious how it'll taste. This tiny-leaf basil, sometimes called "Provençal" basil, is far more peppery than the "lettuce-leaf" kind, which tends to be sweeter. But as you can see, things haven't really jumped off yet. Patience.

* * *

As I was walking back from the supermarket yesterday, I just missed the human tower. I've always wanted to see one of these things, and here was one dismantling before my eyes. It, like the medium-sized orchestra and folk-dancers, the miniature buildings, and the free soup, were all parts of the Catalan Tourism expo on the Place de la Comédie this weekend. Countless young Catalan folk ran around doing things, and there were a few kiosks where you could pick up brochures about stuff to do in Catalunya, which apparently includes golf and gambling. I picked up some of the brochures, but they're not very informative. For instance, I don't equate "language school" with either "tourism" or "vacation," let alone "culture."

But, after my couple of days on the Valencian coast in late January, I'll admit to being curious about the nearby bits of Spain, and having discovered through this shambling exhibition that one of my favorite Romanesque paintings is in one of the churches in the Vall de Boí there and that they're UNESCO sites just makes me more eager to get over there and to Catalan France north of Perpignan. Won't happen until a buncha money falls out of the sky, sad to say, but I bet it'll happen sometime.

This all got me whipped up to get on the tram out to the Chateau d'Ô for Hérault Tourisme's presentation of the region around me, but then I realized it'd be a tram ride out there and back since it was too late to walk, and, by the time I finished the day's work, even that wasn't so alluring. I'm sure they'll have another outing for the press soon, and I promise I'll write that up. The local travel bug's been annoying me ever since the aborted trip the other day, and I'm itching to get out of town at least for a day. Today, however, was not that day. Stay tuned.

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