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Meeting the family of Bodega de Pou Píques

What a day with the kids!

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The pleasure of food and family
The pleasure of food and family

Slowly it seems things Covid-wise are returning to some kind of normal. Please do not say the new normal! For instance, Pou Piques commissioned a sculpture from Miguel  and in line with this a lunch.  Before, this would not have been permitted, what with these “bubbles”.  This defo was not a bubble. The event happened to be on the hottest day in El Maestrat of the year so far, and a day after the hottest day ever recorded in the history of Spain – 47.8 in Cordoba.

The vines and a soaring bird
The vines and a soaring bird

Needless to say we arrived in a pool of sweat and left in one too.

The house interior was very enviously cool at first
The house interior was very enviously cool at first

It was cool in the big old house at first due to its extremely thick old stone walls, but with the family and children going in and out, the doors open and the heat rising like a phoenix, by the end of the afternoon even the house interior was steamy.  At least our skin had a healthy smooth sheen. And the horses seemed happy enough. They even placed themselves nicely within the drawings on the wall behind them.

The horses were happy enough
The horses were happy enough

Right now, back home and sitting in my underwear, I am too hot to write much more. There is absolutely no air movement and the air that there is, is about 40c.

Still I want to finish this. Though I know it will be probably about a week. It’s the fiestas after all! Well..

A beautiful child what can I say! They all were
A beautiful child what can I say! They all were

I was very happy to meet Domingo’s wife at last and his daughter, 4 year old Julia, after which my favourite wine is named. They are both as feisty as each other, though both in different ways due to the obvious age differences. I had a good chuckle. Also there was Domingo’s brother, Martin, his fabulous wife, three children and the mother-in-law.

I'm not very photogenic, she said
I’m not very photogenic, grandma said

It felt very intimate and I enjoyed all the children running around.  The erection of the sculpture took quite some time with the aid of luke- warm beers from the vans. I found that quite funny. In the end the sculpture was placed in a provisional space due to the extreme heat.

The bell installation group
The bell installation group

We ate heartedly and of course we bought a few crates of wine before leaving – not as cheap as before but still a total bargain in the scheme of things. This time beautifully roasted meat was served.  Far too hot to do the traditional paella!!

Preparing a meal to cope with the heat, El Maestrat
Preparing a meal to cope with the heat, El Maestrat

Domingo let drop that he is still trying to become ecological and a solo tour of a few of his vineyards backed this up. More leafs had a few nibbles in them and there were some strange bubbles here and there too. What a scandal!  But it looked better and to be honest I aim to buy imperfect veggies when I go shopping. ! I have these “defects” in my oleanders and cannot say it impacts the plants or flowers at all. If anything it seems to make them aim for the moon. Hello! Embrace defects.

Domingo and Julia, Bodega Pou Píques
Domingo and Julia, Bodega Pou Píques

Next week Domingo will be harvesting some land further south that he has sadly become responsible due to the death of a young relative of his. Then he is up to Tirig due to the divorce of good friends. I’m knackered, he said, and I believe him even though he looked as always, just fabulous. This wine thing is clearly a labour of love. With a little help from his friends…

A little bit of help from my friends
A little bit of help from my friends

4 Comments

  1. carol charlton
    August 24, 2021
    Reply

    Lovely piece and photos Steph and yes, as a guest there myself that day, I can vouch for the extreme heat. It didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the project one bit though, as sweat pouring, Miguel, the artist, slotted the finished metal sculpture into the concrete base. Bravo!!!

    The ensuing lunch and company, not to mention Domingo’s fine wine, were an added delight.

    Bravissimo todos

    • stephanie de leng
      August 24, 2021
      Reply

      Indeeed! As always, thank you for your positive comments. i should post more…

  2. Charles Roger Butterfield
    August 23, 2021
    Reply

    Lovely to get your blog Stephanie and to know that,like Pauline and I, although a little damage done mentally!!! no physical damage done physically by the virus. We have both had our second jabs which makes us feel less vulnerable and know that we are privaledged to live a country life style away from the maddening crowds and surrounded by health giving olives trees and mother nature.
    Pauline at 83 keeps very healthy with yoga twice a week and a healthy lifestyle plus a positive attitude to life and health. We surround ourselves with likeminded positive people and are blessed with our son Richard, who despite living the other side of the world, in Germany, is constantly in touch checking on the well being of his best friends(mum and dad). He just phoned 5 mins ago as he is on his way from Munich to Murano (Venice) to collect Murano glass for chandalliers that he and his partner sell in Germany.!
    We had hoped to grab a flight to Spain last year to catch up with friends in Andalucia and new friends who have bought a cortijo Near Anduja in Jaen province.He is introducing Bison to the farm ,growing truffles and hoping to encourage and protect the wild Ibex from extinction.We were really looking forward to see his plans in operation but sadly it will have to wait until we can safely leave(and get back) to South Africa.
    We have just finished making our second batch this year of Limoncello from home grown lemons, and are in the process of bottling our olives.If nothing else we will not go to bed thirsty or withoutout our daily rations of olives and olive oil.

    Miss our trips to the bushveldt inthe old Landy but like so many things on the to do list,it will happen, just don,t know exactly when.
    We are currently busy preparing more ground on Finca La Colina to plant buchu and proteas.Both are relatively immune to drought(not that we are short of water this year as the rains have been good) and do not require much labour.
    Well,take care of yourself and stay well and safe and please keep writing the occasional blog!!

    Hasta la proxima.

    Roger and Pauline.

    • stephanie de leng
      August 23, 2021
      Reply

      Hi Roger,

      What an inspiring comment and a blog in itself. You are so busy and it gives me hope that I will not fizzle out with age! I really should take up yoga. I have to be honest, this crisis has made me a bit lazy but I promise to publish more blogs. Without creativity, what is life? Life has to mean something. Hope you make it to Spain one day and pass through this lovely El Maestrat. Un beso muy fuerte Stephanie

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