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Showing posts from May, 2011

A roundabout story

Some years ago we were somewhere in Spain, Bilbao I think. All over town there were fibre glass cows. Each plain moulding had been assigned to a different artist and each finished product was different.

As we drive through Salado Alto there is a roundabout which features a stone circle a la Castlerigg or Avebury. I'm sure that in the future some clueless archaeologist will label the site as being of religious significance. In Abanilla the roundabout boasts an artificial lawn and a stone statue of the One True Cross. In la Romana it's twin towers, like two rough versions of Cleopatra's needle. Roundabouts as individual statements are everywhere in Spain.

Often, when I drive out to San Javier I see the Patrulla Águila, the Spanish Red Arrows, practising their routines. They fly out of the military airfield which currently doubles as the Murcia destination for Easy Jet and Ryanair. They trail red and yellow smoke and fly Casa C-101 Aviojets. On the roundabout by the Dos Mare…

All that power

As usual on Wednesday morning I was doing a couple of English classes at AES Cartagena. Somewhere in the conversation one of my students assured me that the three power stations in the Escombreras valley, one of which is operated by AES, are responsible for 17% of all the electrical power generation in Spain. Escombreras is just around the headland from Cartagena.

Chicken Surprise

We've been living in Spain for over six years now. We've eaten as much rice, or paella, as anyone could reasonably do in that time. I still get slightly annoyed when Spaniards ask me if I've ever eaten rice as though we eat Roast Beef and Yorkshire pud all the time.

One of my standard meals is something that resembles a Spanish paella in that it has lots of yellow coloured rice. Maggie calls it chicken surprise because no two are exactly the same. She also says it smells and tastes a lot like a Vesta Meal because, rather than using saffron, I use a packet of some sort of commercial paella flavouring and colouring. Normally I cook it in a standard saucepan but I've begun to think that it's maybe coming out a little too moist.

On Friday as I popped into Carrefour to get the ingredients I went wild and spent 7€ on a proper paella pan.  No Spanish home is complete without one.

I'm wondering about giving Maggie a real surprise next time. One of the traditional rice …