What a ride yesterday turned out to be. In more ways than one.
We took a run into both Santiago and Lugo yesterday. We had a long list and Brickomart and Leroy Merlin are the only solutions. Well, and Amazon, but we try to shop locally and pump our money into the local economy, as much as possible.
The drive home was pure Galicia. In Arzua, we happened upon a band of roving bagpipers. As you do.
And down our own little lane we had to stop for a passel of horse-riding Peregrinos. Yes, you can do the Camino on horseback. I would like to do it sometime. There are mornings I wake up to the sound of hooves on the road. And I can see the riders over the hedge bobbing up and down.
Last night, we had a surprise visit from Marie Carmen. Jeff is now taking care of her landscaping on a weekly basis. She lives with her husband, who is wheelchair bound after a massive stroke. So Jeff took the mower and the weed trimmer over this week and cleaned up her yard. He said it was pretty bad and nothing like last year. It’s getting away from her. She needs help.
He told her he will come every week and make sure it stays looking good. She is so grateful she wanted to pay for the gas in the mower but we both said No! So she brought over vegetables and some other things she canned last fall. Totally unnecessary. I had told her about our plans for fencing the property and thought nothing more about it. I was in the shower when she arrived with a guy last night. Just when the Eurovision Grand Final was starting.
Jeff went out and it seems she wants to hook us up with a guy who will fence our property at a good price. ‘So they don’t take advantage of you.’ We have heard of this from others. There is a term for foreigners in Galicia. I don’t remember the word but it’s sort of like Gringo. Its not meant as a compliment. And it means you are not from here and will pay through the nose because of it. Jeff isn’t helping her for some kind of payback. But it’s nice to know Marie Carmen is looking out for us.
Finally, we were able to get back to the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final. For the uninitiated, this is a phenomenon that grips European television for a week each year, and will be filled with the usual controversy. And the selection process in each country lasts even longer and is fraught with even more. Jeff ran out to the barn to get the ice cream out of the freezer in time to hunker down for a very long night, as the hosts this year were the worst in television history. They dragged it out excruciatingly. Well past midnight.
We were in the midst of an electrical storm – a stunning display. But Jeff braved it and ran for the barn. On the way back I heard a yelp. Omg! My worst fear had come true. He had been struck by lightening! So I ran to the door and met a soaking wet Jeff running in, clutching the ice cream to his chest.
‘What happened?’ I asked. Very concerned.
‘Oh my God! Our yard is full of javalies (wild boars). I was coming back from the barn, and was just stepping onto the patio when I heard snorting. Lightening lit up the sky and I realized there was a javalie right in front of me! Maybe five feet away. I yelled because of the lightening and then because a giant scary thing was so close. It freaked out and ran towards the wood shed. Then I looked out across the yard and they are all over the lawn. I couldn’t tell you how many but there are a lot out there!’
We turned on all the floodlights around the house. I’m not sure what we thought this might do. But it made us both feel better. After breathing returned to normal, and with a bowl of ice cream in hand, we sat down to Eurovision 2022.
The winner is determined by the 40 member countries of Europe – wait! Why is Australia in this thing? Aren’t Azerbaijan and Armenia in Asia? – who each have a jury who awards 12 points to a contestant from another country, as they can’t vote for their own. Its a bit like shades of the electoral college in US elections. Seems like a purely popular vote would be a better system. Today, the public can vote but you have to pay to do it. Whatever.
Moving on. I know I’m likely biased. I thought Chanel, our entry from Spain this year, was the most talented. To me, Eurovision should be big performances. ABBA won in 1974. The costumes should be over the top. The production values should be off the charts. Dancing is a prerequisite – or it should be. Jeff was rooting for Moldova. Well, we both loved them and their strange Gangnam-style oompah rap. I would have been pleased if they won. Serbia was so bizarre with their hand washing song, as to be super cool. We loved them, too. I couldn’t believe the UK entry did so well with each of the 40 countries juries. The song and the singer didn’t have that special something required to truly compete in Eurovision. But they just barely edged out Spain for the number 2 spot, anyway.
Finally, the whole thing was won by Ukraine, because the global voting audience put them over the top. Not the most talented, but the most loved in the midst of this crazy war. But, sometimes the unexpected stuff is the best thing, after all.