Horses drinking at the bar

¬†26th July 2012. “Not again !!” I thought as I was dragged out screaming for another night on the town. The Feria week, last week in July had begun. Five of us toddled into the pueblo (village) collapsing into chairs¬†outside the first bar we met. A couple of horses were drinking at the bar. ”¬†What did they put in my drink last night ” I thought.” Oh, well, we’re in wacky old Spain¬†where anything goes !!¬†“.¬†The wine and beer came. The white wine was so bad that it could be used to clean the toilet.¬†Replaced by red wine, satisfactory to the palette; the kebabs of chicken or shrimps which¬†filled a small hole; we wandered off one way leaving the horses to their annual night out on the town.

Finding another group of Expats and Spaniards in another bar we settled down for an evening of jollity, banter and refreshments. The band struck up a melodious tune straight out of a spaghetti western; drums and¬†brass: slightly off key they played with great vigour. One of the Spanish girls at our table was 8 months pregnant; that’s the problem when one has no television or lights in the house.¬†Feral cats and kittens found quiet spots to curl up and sleep as the band started up again banging and blaring out the same off key tune. The parade came past us. Well, the Civil Defence car with bright orange flashing lights, half a dozen children dressed up as lego men, a float of pretty girls and a very hygienic dumper truck with a blue barrel of sangria dispensed by a young man¬†who looked like he had just got home from a building site. So we sat and chatted as the parade and the following adoring mums and dads disappeared into the distance. Ten minutes later back came the band gleefully crashing out the off key melody which we were sure that we must have heard somewhere before.¬†So, as the last strains of the band disappeared back into the part of the village it came from, I called it a night. Others went on to watch the crowning of the queen, but exhausted and missing my WordPress “Dashboard ” I returned home vowing that tonight I am going to settle down on the settee with my two cats¬†and watch the opening of the Olympics and if anyone emails me this afternoon to drag me out screaming for another night out…….I may go !!

How not to milk a goat

25th July 2012. The night it rained with thunder beyond the mountains. Well, a couple of drops. Not enough to get the soap out, strip off and have a shower.

Out of the blue, that afternoon, I was invited to a friend’s house on the mountainside a few kilometres from here. The evening’s attraction was a local Spanish farmer’s wife demonstrating her art of goat cheese making, combined with a fiesta/party. The night was filled with fine company and fabulous food. I digress. Back to the goat cheese. She heated a bucket of goat’s milk¬†and let it cool to the right temperature. Of course, while the milk cooled a few cans of beer and wine were consumed and the conversation turned to milking goats.

It seems that the Spanish farmer has a relation living in the big city who visited them rarely. One particular visit the farmer was milking his goats and the young male relation walked into the milking shed. Being¬†curious of how the farmer went about milking a goat the young man pleaded to have a go. “Grab a goat and get on with it then, lad” said the farmer turning back to the udder he was milking. Suddenly, there was a hell of a commotion, goats were flying everywhere. Why? Because the young man had tried, successfully, to milk a male goat !!

Back to the goat’s milk, in a bucket. Now at the right temperature. The Spanish farmer’s wife while stirring the milk with a short bamboo stick added a few drops of rennet to initiate the conversion from milk to cheese. “It will take a few minutes for the contents of the bucket to congeal enough for the stick to stand erect, unsupported”. While the contents thickened a few cans of beer and wine were consumed and the conversation turned to making cheese.

It was decided amongst the group that rennet was the natural form of Viagra to keep the stick erect.

Back to a now erect, unsupported stick. The Spanish farmer’s wife stirred the “blancmange” and gradually the curds and whey separated. The liquid was poured off and the solid was squeezed to remove the remaining juices. The “cheese” was then placed on a large board with drainage angled grooves to¬†run off¬†the liquid¬†. She produced a trouser belt of woven hemp and curled it around and around to make a ring, a container,¬† which she placed onto the grooved board and filled with the “cheese”, pressing it firmly down with her fist to remove the remaining whey. Once the hemp ring was¬†full the Spanish farmer’s wife turned the “belt” over displaying a beautiful pattern of lines on the “cheese”.

“How did she do that !!” exclaimed one of the guests., “I didn’t see her make¬†THAT pattern !!”

So a handsome small cheese was created. Edible in a few days and if needed to be stored for longer, the cheese would be soaked in olive oil.

You learn a lot on my blogs. ūüėČ

I crashed WordPress !!!

Captain's bridgeOn the 21st July 2012 I took the plunge. I decided to construct a website. My amigos on a forum suggested two options and the one I chose was WordPress. Not knowing what I was letting myself in for… into WordPress I dived.¬†Fumbling around¬†my themes¬†and widgets I waded through the brambles of my ignorance in site¬†construction. I chose a theme but it looked wrong to me, so out came my credit card and loads of money later I almost had it right. But not quite. My credit card took a hammering. So, a dot com later I found a “Dashboard”. OMG….what !!!! I wanted the blog to look like a normal website but at the same time fill an area with my ramblings. Oh, I am a fuss pot !!

Not eating properly or stroking my cats; I clicked, scrolled and tut-tutted for hours. Then IT happened…….Sunday night the 22nd of July…..I clicked and crashed WordPress. I take full responsibility. Smack my wrist !! Couldn’t do anything¬†worthwhile for hours. Then I saw sense and peeped into the forums where dozens of members were banging at the closed doors of the WordPress office all shouting, “Fix me, we are¬†getting withdrawal symptoms “. But, the nightwatchman was asleep and no-one was home. I tiptoed out of the forum and went to bed.

Monday the 23rd of July 2012 I warily switched on my laptop, poked my nose around the forum door and people were talking about committing suicide. Suddenly, at lunchtime, shouts of, ” THEY’VE FIXED IT !!! ” resounded throughout the Halls of the Internet.2nd in Command of engineering dashboards

Not shaven or showered for days, I was again drawn under the spell of the “Dashboard”; where I clicked, scrolled and tut-tutted for hours. Eventually¬†Bluefish Way was born.

I still don’t know my tabs from my tags. It’s all magic to me !!¬† Ralph xx

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