Friday, August 20, 2010

A tiny lost village... full of surprises

Most of my childhood holidays were spent in this Andalusian tiny village which doesn´t even appear in some maps... My mother is from there and my grandparents and a big part of my family still live there today. For a foreigner who does not know the "real" Spain, visiting this village is a surreal experience... Everyone knows each other (there are less than 200 inhabitants after all!).

During the winter, the harvest of the olive trees takes place. The whole village is busy picking up olives and taking them to the factories, where some of the best extra virgin olive oil in the world is produced. In May, they all celebrate the popular fiestas, where people spend all day outdoors, enjoying free food and drinks, and dancing the night away in the village square to the sound of local bands... During the hot summers - sometimes temperatures reach over 42 degrees! - the streets are empty during the day. The locals, most of them in their 70s, don´t venture out of their cool stone houses until the evening, when it´s a bit, just a bit, cooler outside. Then they go for long walks, chat to each other in the central square, or sit outside their houses, having dinner and watching telly through the window... I still remember when I was a little child, it was so hot inside the houses that some people would sleep on mattresses outside their houses... there was not danger of traffic, as you could count with the fingers of one hand the number of cars in the village... things are a bit more developped nowadays, but there is still a flavour of the old Spain...

Now that I am in Spain looking at the new collections for Nectarina , I usually visit my grandparents there... It´s funny how after such long periods away in England, people still come out of their houses to give me a warm welcome, to kiss me and the girls and to ask about things... It´s like time has never passed... The other day this lady came to say hello and she gave me and my daughter these cute flower rings which she had knitted out of cotton. They were so beautiful and perfect, my daughter was delighted... I thought they would be perfect for Nectarina, it´s the kind of thing British little girls would love for its bright colours and originality... So I asked the lady if she would knit a few, many more to take home with me... It took her for surprise, and she didn´t know what to answer... She has been making them for fun so far, giving them away to friends... But making them in large quantity for money... It took me a while to convince her, but she finally agreed... and today I am going over to pick them up... I am not sure what to expect, but I hope they are as beautiful as the first ones we saw... I will let you know! And better of all, you will hopefully see them on our website soon!

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