Monday, July 25, 2022

Galicia - Timeless in Our Hearts.

We are in Galicia right now, "resting up" from all the last intense days of preparing for the shippers to come and pack up in Braga and to prepare for the move itself (i.e., clean the flat, say our goodbyes for now, etc.). We came up to the little apartment we rent in Monforte, a charming small town with a castle, no less, and we have been visiting friends here - saying more goodbyes until next spring.

Why next spring? We had really hoped to come back in October, but the tentative date for the shipping to arrive in Oakland is September 28, and then it will take a few more days for it to reach Sacramento, so that wipes out any fall trip. We'll need the time to place furniture, unpack things, find new places for pots and pans and dishes. Whew! I hope this is our last move ever!

Meanwhile, it's lovely to be in Galicia again. Above are pictures showing what a walk by the river looks like at night. And while the heat has been suffocating, in the evening it does cool down enough with a soft breeze that the air is quite pleasant. So we took a walk to the park that edges thte river and then sat on a bench and talked for a while.

We just finished having the perfect week-end, too. Saturday we went back to our beloved village of Trasulfe where we had a house for so many years and grew so fond of our neighbors. Many of them are gone now - one by one, they have passed on. Earlier in the week we had met out previous neighbor Miguel at the Feria in Escairon for pulpo - our first Feria in three years. Here are two picture from earlier days: They drizzle the pulpo bites  with olive oil, give you a loaf of bread already slashed for tearing into bits to dip in the juice and a bottle of red wine. Heaven.


Miguel was our immediate neighbor across the lane and used to bring us coke bottles full of his home made wine and sometimes full of aguardiente. The feria was just as remembered in a poem I wrote - so much community! Everyone greeting everyone and catching up on news. And the two daughters (and one of their husbands) of our dear neighbors, Manolo and Eva were there, so we caught up a little with their news, too.

Then Saturday we returned to visit neighbors at the farm down the road - Maria Elena and Antonio. Neighbors from afar, as we used to call each other. (Even though we were in Sacramento, they were still our neighbors.) Maria Elena has health problems now, and walks with a cane but her personality is as sweet as ever. And Antonio is as full of life as ever. It did our hearts good to see them again. 

Here is a picture from a few years ago — when I was still taking pictures of everyone. 

After our visit with them, we went across the road and visited a with other neighbors, Jesus and Milagros —  whom we met again yesterday in Monforte for lunch at a pulpo restaurant. (They have a flat in town where the spend evenings, and then they stay at their original home in Trasulfe during the day. They have quite a large farm and a dog to take care of.)

After we left them, we drove into Tuiriz, planning to go to Escairon for lunch. But we passed the home of Julio and spied him in the yard, so we stopped to visit with him - and his neighbor, Pepe. Before we knew it, we were in the bodega, enjoying a glass of homemade wine, a slice of terrific cheese, and a slice of bread. (So we considered that lunch!) But it was so great to see them all again. What wonderful memories the day brought back - days of walking the dusty roads and taking pictures, stopping to talk with those we encountered. A lovely day altogether.

On another note, here is a link to the trailer for my new mystery, Deadly Verse, set in Braga, Portugal, as was the first book. Just click on the title. This is a promotional video my publisher put together, and I think they did a really good job. Deadly Verse will be released August 4th (the very day we are flying home! Isn't that weird?)   Enjoy. Comments about the video are welcome, and if you are motivated to buy the book when it comes out, reviews are always welcome, as are opportunities to guest post or be interviewed. 😍 Right now, a blog friend has a nice shoutout on her blog, Vicki Lane Mysteries. She is a mystery writer, teaches writing, wrote a terrific historical novel, And the Crows Took Their Eyes, and shares good photos of the countryside where she and her husband live in western North Carolina. Well worth a visit. 

Meanwhile, how about you? Do you have a favorite food that you only have now and then in special settings? Are you nostalgic about places you've lived? Do you keep in touch with neighbors even after you move? 

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Shipping & Packing and The Feira do Livro (Book Fair) in Braga


What's on my mind? Packing and the Feira do Livro (Book Fair). The packers (7 of them!) arrived this morning at 8:30 and have been busy since. They are scheduled for two days, but they are so efficient, it could be over this evening. We have rented a room, since we won't have any furniture. It will be sstrange to see the flat so empty. Meanwhile, the Book Fair has stalls all along Rua Dr. Justino Cruz, Rua Francisco Sanches, and Largo São João do Souto, where the stage at Artesan Square is being used for author readings, musical performances, poetry readings, panel discussions. I tried to get a picture of one of the discussions, but it didn't turn out. I did get pictures of the events schedules, and here is the link to tell you more about the fair - all in Portuguese, but Google does wonders. ( )

The picture of young musicians dressed in what looks like Renaissance attire we took on Avenida Da Liberdad just before Praça República. We think they were university students because school is out and the students do all kinds of performances around town. But they also might have been one of the Book Fair performances. Enjoy.






How about you? Do you enjoy book fairs? Have you ever gone to one?