cycles fireworks and madonnas

so in less than one week we have had cycles, madonnas and fireworks in our streets of vejer – it truly is a festive and active town;  the last nights of vejer ended with the final of the flamenco dancers, a procession through the streets with the statue of the madonna and a midnight finale of fireworks, which we watched from our roof terrace.   the next morning the fair with its bumper cars and popcorn stands were gone and the barriers for la vuelta – spain’s biggest cycle event – were erected.  robert found us a good spot to watch the tens of cyclists arriving into town for that days last stage – at the top of the steep winding hill – which meant that they were a little bit more spaced out and at a speed that we could actually see them.  i never thought that i would ever be so excited seeing so many fit men in lycra!

figs from my tree

my friend Garry, who used to have a flat in vejer, planted a few trees in our garden in spain – one of them being a fig.  its taken a few years, but now we have fresh figs for breakfast.  it really is true that the taste is so much better when something is freshly picked.

did you know that the fig was one of the first plants ever cultivated by humans, possibly as early as 9400bc. figs were also a common food source for the romans. i find that people either love or hate figs – i think that they are not only delicious, but one of the most beautifully formed fruits.

heres a simple recipe from nigella for a perfect fig dessert.

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one of our neighbours grows pomegranate trees in pots – as we are in a town, garden space is minimal and this was a tiny strip at the front of the house, but they look so beautiful and perfect i couldnt believe that they were real.  i think that i may try to grow one next.

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la vuelta

so not only did we arrive during the big 2 week feria festival of vejer, but also to a stage of la vuelta, the big cycling event throughout spain.  feria ends tonight and then the crowds arrive again for the cyclists tomorrow!  so much for a peaceful quiet holiday!  it can be fun, but i love our town out of season when its sleepy.  we always visit restaurant casa francisco in el palmar and have watched it change throughout the years – from simple rustic spanish seafood, to more elaborate dishes, but it seems to have reverted back to a more simpler seafood menu, concentrating on the local tuna and paella.  i think that paella there is one of the best in the area.

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clothes clothes clothes music music music boys boys boys

just finished reading this memoir by viv albertine – formerly guitarist of the punk rock band slits – it traces her life back from teenage all the way through to middle age.  its a brutally honest recollection of life from her first boyfriend through to marriage, motherhood and change of career – describing in full frankness the pain, the joy and the mundane.  i have to admit at first i thought that i wasnt interested in her life – some descriptions a bit explicit and raw, but its addictive reading and i ended up admiring her honesty;  the words are very simply written which makes for an easy read and lots of her thoughts, emotions and ramblings are exactly what you wish you could admit or utter, but are too embarrassed to.

malaga

so to make our visit to vejer slightly different we flew into malaga for a change, booked a night in the old town and spent a whole day exploring the beautiful and authentic old parts of what is recognised as the most tourist destination of spain.  like many others, malaga is the airport for commencing your sunny holiday- you fly in, you drive out.  we stayed at the hotel Molina Lario, which was perfectly situated, in the old town, by the cathedral and near the sea – there is a little swimming pool on the roof terrace too.  all these hotels look pretty much the same, but the rooms are very clean, the beds comfortable and the price affordable, especially just for one night.  august is feria time in spain and malaga’s feria is unusual in that its held within the old town – in the many squares, streets and bars – so it was music, dancing and much laughter in the air.  malaga still has beautiful old shops and bars, including the wonderful antigua casa de guardia which is 175 years old and still serves its wine from the barrells.   eat lunch or dinner at restaurant los melizos, just around the corner from the hotel – very good seafood and best salad that i have had in spain.  they have several restaurants in malaga.  we visited the museo picasso and also the house where he was born, again a short walk from the hotel.  i would definitely choose malaga as a starting point to our holiday in vejer – not only is it authentically spanish and cultural, but only 2 and half hours from our house.   there is so much more to explore!