It is now 2012, just in case somehow you have managed to avoid all the fireworks and news stories about the celebrations around the world. And with most new years, this one is chocker with opportunities. Stress for some, but opportunities none-the-less. I actually began with the opportunities a few weeks before Christmas by cranking up my computer – this assumes that you might actually believe that I turned my computer off for more than a few minutes over the past twenty years. What I did with my computer is write an article. Yes, it was a business article, but that is what I do. Then I wrote another one. And another one. And another one. And then yet another one. Five articles on substantial business issues in about five weeks. I sent one of them to an editor I used to work with at a business journal in New York, and they picked it up. Then I sent another one to a friend who works for a UK-based publisher, and they picked that one up. And if all that wasn’t enough, last week I whipped out some loops that explain the dynamic complexity of the Global Financial Crisis and its impact on local businesses. Hmmmm, nice loops. It has been a pretty nice start to the New Year.
And on a more cultural note, the other day I had been invited to go to Bunyola to a friends house for a traditional Catalan dinner. It is the middle of January, and Bunyola is almost in the middle of the island, which means smack next to the mountains. Brrr. I was told that the meal was going to be a barbecue, so I knew I would need to bundle up a bit. But, being Dr. Adventurous (once every ten years or so), I accepted the invitation. After bundling up in enough layers to closely resemble the Michelin man, today I drove Miranda to Marta’s house.
She had made Calçots (kel-shots is more or less the way to pronounce it), which are sort of like massively long sofritos (which look a bit like spring onions on steroids). As I had never had them before, I mustered all my adventuresome chromosomes and did as everyone else did. What you do is take one of the Calçots off the barbie, peel back the thin film-like skin layer that took the brunt of the heat from the coals, and then dip them into Salvitxada (a romesco sauce) before eating. Whilst eating calçots can be a tad messy (within seconds all my fingers were pitch-black from peeling off the outer-coating layers), they were quite good. Yes, even I thought they were quite good, and I have been known to be a bit picky about foods (I seem to have an aversion to vegetables that are green and whose name begins with an “A”). And if the Barbie wasn’t producing enough, Marta had also made quite a few Butifara (a spicy sausage that I found to be quite good if also dipped in the savitxada salsa, that were exceptional, especially after dipping in the salvitxada as well. After we had annihilated the local calçhot population, Marta announced that for our postre (dessert), we would walk across the road to an orange grove and continue our feasting on oranges straight from the tree (that we picked ourselves). A good afternoon, with good friends, and an increased cultural awakening. Loved it.
Monday it is back to the physio for more treatments to help get my shoulder to stop being a bit wonky. There is no doubt that the operation did wonders. There is equally no doubt that the physio-therapy I have been enduring has increased my mobility in that shoulder a huge amount. But last week when I visited the doctor to get a review, she was astonished at the mobility I now have. As I moved my left arm into every possible position I could think of, she kept saying my progress to date was ‘phenomenal’ and ‘incredible.’ Then she asked if I had pain when I was doing this, and I said, ‘of course.’ Right. Fifteen more sessions were put in the diary, so Monday it all begins again. Now to be fair, I really don’t mind the fact that I have to go for the rehabilitation work. The reality is that I know it helps, so I am happy to do it. What irks me is that the first fifteen sessions began at 1400 each day, and this really would muck up my days. At least this second tranche will begin at 1030 each day, which will leave me most of the day to do something else. Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with my afternoons.
sunset at Sol y Mar, two days ago
it all makes sense now, doesn't it?
cooking the calçhots over an open fire, as you do
dipping lessons from Marta and Kim
remnants of a good Catalan meal
copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 James B. Rieley