Immaculate conception

Today was a national religious holiday, and the second of this week. After ‘Constitution Day’ on Tuesday, today saw the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. In a week of holidays many schools and public offices are also taking tomorrow off as a ‘puente’, literally a bridge to the weekend. It all seems very convenient to have so many holidays around the time when everyone is expected to be out buying Christmas gifts.

I may be misunderstanding things a little, or vastly over-simplifying, but if the immaculate conception is celebrated today, and the birth of Christ on the 25th of December, then was the pregnancy just seventeen days long? I can’t be the first to ask.

After losing all of yesterday to car troubles I decided that I’d vent my frustration by spending the full day removing the old plaster and mud pointing inside the barn. Expecting a day of solitude, peace and quiet I’d charged my iPod to full and was all set for a mix of podcasts and music, until I arrived on site and found Vladimir already ensconced and putting in some overtime in the barn.

Miro paid a visit mid-morning for our usual chat, then we saw Carlos (asking me to move my car as I was blocking his egress from my garage), an old friend Julio showed up at lunchtime to see how works were progressing, and when Vladimir returned from lunch with Pepe in tow I knew that music and podcasts would have to wait for another day.

To complete our Galician interpretation of ‘Piccadilly Circus’ Carlos’s Mum put in an unusually chatty appearance, (mostly in incomprehensible Gallego)  as did another neighbour up from Madrid for the holidays, and finally Carlos asked me for some help loading an old wardrobe into his donkey cart. At least this final visitor enabled me to verify that Enrique is still alive and that my attempts to electrocute him a couple of weeks ago hadn’t caused any lasting damage.

With the roof being finished yesterday, while I was waiting patiently in various other parts of Galicia and Asturias, today was the first chance that I’ve had to take photos of the finished article, and mighty fine it looks too. To say I am delighted would be an understatement.


Interlocking ridge tiles and quartz stones (for decoration)

Chimney in full glory

From a distance

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