Sunday, May 18, 2008

Back from England and off to Montrondo

Hi again
I had just come back from England and was off again to Montrondo, my husband’s family’s home village for what was to be the 3rd anniversary mass to commemorate the Father’s passing away. It’s funny how Antonio carries on uniting the family long after he has gone. He was quite a patriarch and not a person to be forgotten easily.

My return was full of emotion from the centenary celebration of my school and it must have taken me a good 4 or 5 hours to summarise it all in my blog. I still have Haworth in my mind and would love to return some day soon. I even bothered to send a write up to Trip Advisor on the lovely guest house we stayed at: Trip Advisor Ashmount House review.
The 15th May was a Spanish bank holiday for San Isidro and as it was on a Thursday this year, we also had the Friday off. It is a date I shall never forget as it was when my brother George passed away, now 8 years ago. So my Father and I exchanged the odd knowing glance that day. But, happily, it was also Eladio’s youngest brother’s birthday: happy birthday Isidro from these pages.

On Friday, we left the girls behind to enjoy the house on their own (I imagine they will be having the odd party) and set off to Montrondo where we were to be staying with José Antonio and Dolores in their newly built house next to the old family one. The rest of the family was coming the next day, Saturday when the mass was scheduled. We took the trip in our stride, leaving early and stopping for lunch at the Parador in Benavente. The forecast wasn’t very good but actually when we arrived the sun was shining.

The obvious thing to do then was to go on a long walk and enjoy the wonderful scenery Montrondo offers. And this is just what we did with a walk to Murias de Paredes and back.

The 3 men on the walk

José Antonio, Dolores and Eladio on the walk on the first day
Thus we returned with quite an appetite and prepared a delicious dinner of Spanish tortilla with eggs and potatoes from the village.

We slept very well and in the morning I couldn’t resist taking a few shots of the view from our room which is actually the old family home.
The view from our room in the morning - the family house
Soon the rest of the family was here. When I say the rest of the family, I mean, Eladio’s Mother Ernestina and the other 4 brothers and sisters: Adela, Alejandro, Pili and Isidro with their partners as well as Marta and Roberto (Adela’s “children” – well they are in their 30’s!) and their spouses. So, all in all we were 18. At midday it was time for the mass and off we went down the well trodden path to the village church.
Walking to the church, Eladio, José Antonio and Isidro
Marta, filling a bottle with water from a stream on the way to the church.
But first we visited the cemetery which reminded me very much of the opening scenes of Pedro Almodóvar’s “Volver”. If you have seen the film, you will understand when you look at this picture. Cemeteries are much more cheerful places in Spain than they are in England.
The very Spanish cemetery
The mass was extremely short and exceedingly boring; no reading, no sermon, no music; just a monotone sounding priest who was totally uninspiring. I’m afraid to say I hardly listened and spent the time planning Oli’s up and coming graduation party in my mind.

Lunch was going to be in Murias de Paredes at theHolandés Errante and to work up an appetite most of us walked there.
The hostal in Murias, El Holandés Errante.
Here we were fed on local fare, the best dish being lentils. Oh, they were delicious. The Holandés Errante is actually a small guest house run by a Dutchman and his Spanish wife. My father stays there in the summer and I must say it has been built and designed with excellent taste.
Lunch on Saturday in Murias de Paredes
We walked back to work off the lunch and the afternoon was spent differently by different members of the family. Some had 2 hour siestas, some relaxed and spent the time chatting and others worked as you can see from the photos here:

Yoli and a friendly cat.
José Antonio getting ready to cut the grass!
Me relaxing and enjoying the company
Pili ready to treat the woodworm in the cow shed (now our dining room!)
The day was soon over and the family, except for us and José Antonio and Dolores, had to return to León. Before they went, however, I grabbed the opportunity of having the 6 brothers and sisters together to take a picture of them with their Mother.

The day was still long enough to get a late walk in and that we did, to Murias again, otherwise we would not have been able to face dinner, even the small left overs from the night before. We got back at 10 o'clock at night and amazingly it was still light.

Unfortunately the next day we were driven away by the rain. We woke up to heavy drizzle and we knew it was going to carry on like that all day. So there was no option but to pack our bags and leave. We had had a lovely time with José Antonio and Dolores, not least because of the more comfortable accommodation they offered us so we may well be going back soon.

And here I am at home now writing up my blog but a little sad as Henry, our cat, has been missing since Friday. Keep your fingers crossed he turns up.

Cheers till next time.

No comments: