Wine and Tapas

Following yesterday evening’s news of the death of my mother’s close friend and companion, Tony Hodsden, our mood was naturally subdued. easyJet has stopped its Thursday flight between Luton and Alicante but I had managed to get a seat on the Friday flight (tomorrow) to return home and do what little I could to help. Regrettably, that meant leaving Carol to her own devices in Spain with the house, two dogs and three cats to look after. She would, at least, have Steve and Rosemary for company until Sunday, when they fly back. It was also becoming clear that she would have the support of several expat. friends in the region, who were rallying around to help in whatever ways they could.

Before this hiatus, one pair of our friends, Chris and Yvonne, whose house and dog (Scamp) had begun our enjoyable round of house-sitting adventures in Spain and California, had organized a wine tasting with some tapas accompaniment at a small boutique winery called La Bodega del Garroferal a little further up the Jalon Valley near Murla. The winery is run by a German gentleman called Peter Arnold and his English wife, Helen. Peter grows a small crop of Shiraz grapes on his own land, sufficient for roughly 600 bottles, but supplements this by buying in grapes from other growers. He currently produces a rosado, three tinto’s and three blancos, although one was sold out so we tasted just two of the whites. Having been trained in viticulture in Germany and, having worked professionally in Germany, South Africa and, now, Spain, Peter is able to give entertaining explanations and tours in multiple languages, sometimes in one sentence. 🙂 His wines are quite entertaining, too.The weather was set fair and this interesting diversion made a pleasant end to what would hopefully be only part one of my Spanish experience, 2008. I am anxious not to leave Carol alone for the remainder of our original trip (until January 11th). We headed back for a coffee with Chris and Yvonne following the tasting. Even though we had paused en route at a local spring to replenish Carol’s fresh water supply, we arrived back at the  house ahead of Chris and Yvonne. Curious!  Maybe they had called in to the local supermarket for some supplies? Regrettably, that was not the explanation.  It transpired that Chris had stopped at a local single track bridge but the taxi behind him had not. The exchanging of insurance details had been responsible for their delay. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the damage, whilst being more than superficial, was not severe. It’s time for things to stop going wrong, now.

it was soon also time to head back via the supermarket to our borrowed house and pets for me to pack in readiness for Friday’s flight back home. Chris and Yvonne had very graciously offered to drive me to Alicante airport but Carol elected to use the journey to familiarize herself with Geoff’s car and do so herself. She would, however, be having dinner with Chris and Yvonne after her Sunday trip to Alicante for Steve and Rosemary’s flight home.

She’ll be an expert expat. in no time.

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