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Journey To A Dream

In May 2002 my wife and I journeyed from Huddersfield in England's industrial north to rural Galicia. Join us on our journey and immerse your senses in the sights, sounds, and tastes of this remote and little known region of Spain.

The Some-day Supplement - issue 9
26 October 2017

Note from the editor – In this week’s issue of the Some-day Supplement we take a trip abroad and hop across the border to Melgaço in Portugal and sitting in the author hot seat this week is Scottish author Les Cowan whose crime thrillers are set in Scotland and Spain. But first …

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Canabal Cuisine presents – Canabal Courgette Loaf

Ingredients
 

  • 250gms courgette
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 125mls sunflower oil
  • 250gms caster sugar
  • ¼tsp vanilla extract
  • 375gms self-raising flour
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 60gms walnuts (or you can use an extra 60gms of courgette)

 

Method
 

  • Pre-heat oven 180°C

 

  • Coarsely grate the courgettes, put them in a sieve and leave for about 30 minutes to drain.

 

  • Beat the eggs until light and foamy. Add the sunflower oil, vanilla extract and sugar. Add the courgettes and mix lightly until combined.

 

  • Sift the flour and cinnamon into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle, pour in the courgette mixture and stir to mix thoroughly. Stir in the chopped walnuts if using.

 

  • Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 1kg loaf tin.

 

  • Bake in pre-heated oven 180°C for about 50 minutes until firm.

 

  • Turn out onto a cooling rack.

 

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TRAVEL
 
Melgaço – A historic border town

Melgaço is one of a number of small towns that run along the border between Northern Portugal and Galicia in Spain. It’s dominated by a 12th century medieval castle and torre or castle keep.

 

 

Once a year, on the last weekend in April, the town hosts the Alvarinho wine fiesta. Tens of thousands of people flock there from both sides of the border to taste the deliciously crisp and fruity white wines. One our favourites was Toucas from the Touquinheiras winery.

 

 

For the rest of the year, Melgaço is a sleepy town made up of narrow streets and picturesque cottages.

 

 

The torre which dominates the town is now a museum. From its roof, visitors are treated to an amazing panoramic view of the town and the surrounding countryside. For an admission fee of one euro, it is well worth a visit.

 

 

There are two other museums of note, the Solar do Alvarinho (wine museum), where visitors get the opportunity to sample the locally produced wines and the Museu de Cinema de Melgaço (museum of cinema). This museum was established by the French film critic Jean Loup Passek who gifted his extensive collection of cinematic objects to the municipality.

 

 

My recommendation for lunch would be Restaurante Chafarix in Praça Amadeu Abilio Lopes (+351 251 403 400). They serve an extensive range of traditional Portuguese dishes. One of my favourites is contrafilé (tenderloin of beef) washed down with a glass of Pomares, a delicious red wine from the Douro valley.

 

 

Although small, we found it easy to while away the day in Melgaço but if you find yourself at a loose end, why not visit the towns of Monção and Valença just a short drive away.

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Author Interview
Les Cowan

Like many novelists, Les initially wrote just to see if he had that legendary novel inside and if it could be coaxed out into the open. What eventually became Benefit of the Doubt took about a year in first draft and was then improved on and off for the next six years before the fateful decision to send a few chapters and a synopsis to Lion Fiction. The response was positive and the rest is history...


The sequel to Benefit, All that Glitters was written in the second half of 2015, the third volume in the series over a few months in the autumn of 2016, volume four in the spring of 2017 and volume five is currently about half way through…


As well as the David Hidalgo novels, Les was a regular columnist for Orkney Today newspaper over five years (columns subsequently pulled together and published as Loose Talk Collected - available direct from the author) and has also written a cyclist's travel guide Orkney by Bike (available from the author in PDF format).


Les has been married to Fiona for 36 years and they have two children. Time is currently divided between Galicia in northern Spain, Edinburgh and Orkney. 

 

 

Les tells us more about his first novel.
 
Benefit of the Doubt is a love story, a quest, a puzzle, a challenge, a dilemma and a journey of self-discovery and restoration. What happens when life doesn't follow the script? In the midst of confusion does life still deserve the benefit of the doubt?
 
It was a warning. Back off. Stop helping the addicts. Stop undercutting demand. He had believed they would be protected. But they took her – the girl in the raspberry beret – and by the time they were done he was broken. So David Hidalgo flees Spain for his native Edinburgh. Now he must work out how to live again and lead others when his faith has been ripped away and all that’s left is doubt. In Edinburgh David finds friendship, disturbing and unlooked for romance, and respite from the pain. That is, until a young girl is abducted and it becomes clear that it’s not so easy to leave the past, or danger, behind. David knows he must set aside his doubts and act. But what will the cost be this time?
 

To order your copy of Benefit of the Doubt or find out more about Les Cowan, follow these links: -
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B072VR57FC
https://www.worldofdavidhidalgo.com/
https://www.facebook.com/worldofdavidhidalgo/

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And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for - Question time when our roving reporter asked Les ten challenging questions.
 
 
1.    If a movie was made of your life, who would play you and why?
 
I’m tempted by Groucho Marx since some misguided family members think the Groucho bit might fit. However, I’ll probably settle on Fred Astaire and make it a musical.
 
 
2.    If you won a million pounds/dollar/euros etc, what would you buy?
 
Since more time isn’t for sale I think intensive saxophone lessons. It would probably take all the cash to get me past intermediate.
 
 
3.    What is your least favourite thing about humanity?
 
The temptation to power and abuse. Also, fondness for country music.
 
 
4.    If you were 80 years old and had children, what’s the most important experience you could pass on to them?
 
I think from life’s experiences I’ve learned that don’t give up is pretty important. Also, you’re never too old for adventures. Finally, look after your parents.
 
 
5.    You’re a new addition to my spice rack, what are you and why?
 
Since I have a strong tendency to try to bring order to chaos I’d probably try to be the rack itself - but if that’s not allowed then oregano for more pizza, bolognese and lasagne in life.
 
 
6.    In fewer than 50 words, how does the internet work?
 
The internet is a repository of incredibly powerful information and ideas but also a soap box which seems to encourage abusive and opinionated rants regardless of knowledge or credentials. It’s a lift that often heads to the basement instead of the top floor where the view is very much better. 
 
 
7.    How can you tell if someone is a nerd?
 
They despise both Mac and PC users and insist that Linux will eventually rule the galaxy.
 
 
8.    If you could add one word to the dictionary, what would it be and what would it mean?
 
Rather than actually adding a word I’d like to redefine “civilian”, “civilisation” and all its variants to mean being at least civil to each other. This would become a basic qualification for employment, running for political office and communication with other human beings.
 
 
9.    What undiscovered technology will transform the future?
 
Probably the diet pill which will removes all consequences from gluttony. Hurray.
 
 
10. What is the one thing you own you wish you didn’t?
 
I’ve tried to dump my childhood teddy bear multiple times but my wife keeps rescuing it (sorry Roger). I think it’s all in an effort to grow up but since it’s not working maybe I should just try to enjoy it. Scalextric anyone?
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And finally - #normalwisdom

 

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This edition of the Canabal Chronicle, Some-day Supplement was brought to you by Craig Briggs, (with a little help from his wife Melanie) author of The Journey series of books.

 

 



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Canabal Chronicle - Issue 9
19 October 2017

Note from the editor – Here at the Canabal Chronicle we like to concentrate our editorial efforts on the lighter side of life. Occasionally, events dictate otherwise. This week saw devastating wildfires engulf large swathes of Galicia and Northern Portugal claiming lives and destroying property. The countryside will eventually recover but lives lost can never be replaced. Our thoughts are with all those effected.
 
To help cheer us up, this week’s author interview is with Michelle Damiani whose passion for central Italy will have you dusting off the suitcase and searching for your passport.
But first …

 

A Chip Off the Old Block

Warm, sunny days and cloudless blue skies make it easy to forget that winter is just around the corner. The first appearance of Jack Frost is a timely reminder of what might be in store.

 

 

For many of our village neighbours, preparing for winter begins much earlier in the year. The noise of a chainsaw can often be heard drifting across the fields on a warm summer’s evening; followed by the crack of an axe as logs are laboriously split by hand. Not everyone follows this traditional routine. Buying logs is much easier.

 

 

In this instance, stacking them neatly in the bodega (cellar) is the only chore. With the help of willing neighbours, this pile of firewood will quickly disappear.
 

The Autumn Collection
Shorter days and cooler nights hasten the appearance of autumnal colours.

 

 

Before long, golden leaves will break free from their hosts and float to the ground like a tickertape parade. In the vineyards, decaying leaves breathe new life into natures colourful palette.

 

 

Creature Camouflage
It’s true to say that some creatures are more adept at blending into their surroundings than others. Take Slawit for example. Her attempts to hide on the back terrace didn’t go unnoticed.

 

 

The same couldn’t be said for several new arrivals to the village. Can you see him?

 

 

Later in the day two more were spotted hiding in the undergrowth. Locals were advised to mind their feet as they made their way through the undergrowth.

 

 

A Lucky Escape
For many residents of Galicia and Northern Portugal, the last few days brought anxious times as giant conflagrations ravaged the countryside. Here in Canabal we avoided the worst of it but the smell of wood smoke and blanket of ash eclipsed the sun for over twenty-four hours. The following two photos were taken on consecutive days at 2:30 in the afternoon.

 

 

During the day-long eclipse, an eerie silence descended on the village as birds took flight. Even village dogs fell silent. Thankfully, this corner of Galicia was spared and life has now returned to normal.
 

Messing About On The River
A trip to Galicia wouldn’t be complete without a cruise along the river Sil. Described in many travel guides as fjord-like, the Canyon of the river Sil is spectacular beyond imagination.

 

 

A number of boats ply their trade along the river but no one could ever describe the waterway as busy.

 

 

Our personal favourite and Canabal Chronicle recommendation is SilTrip. Owner/operator, Alex, provides a personal service which includes a history of the canyon, its people and their livelihoods. He even offers passengers a wine tasting as the boats drifts along the river.

 

 

The next time you’re visiting Galicia why not book a seat on this ten-person catamaran and treat yourself to an unforgettable journey along the great river Sil.

 

 

For more details of this special event or to buy a ticket, visit SilTrip facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/siltrip

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And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for …
 

Author Interview
with
Michelle Damiani

Michelle Damiani is a freelance writer, clinical psychologist, and food lover currently living in Charlottesville, VA. Her heart however, is in Spello, Italy. This is where she and her family spent a year growing accustomed to being fish out of water, grappling with the hardships of parenting on foreign soil, and ultimately cleaving into the soul of Italian village life. Before that year abroad, Michelle wrote short fiction - one of her stories was recently awarded first place in the Hook Short Fiction contest, juried by author John Grisham. While in Italy, she used the time that her children were in Italian public schools to write a blog about their experiences. The blog, Il Bel Centro, was awarded the bronze award for best Italian blog by Expatsblog. Once back in Charlottesville, she transformed the blog into a book, Il Bel Centro: a Year in the Beautiful Center, now available in print and e-book.

 

 

 
Michelle tells us more about her book.
 
Il Bel Centro: A Year in the Beautiful Center is the profoundly moving story of Michelle and her family's adaptation to the people and culture of Spello, Italy. Part searingly-honest memoir, part celebration of Umbrian life, Il Bel Centro is a page-turner with a beating heart. 
 
Michelle Damiani brings fresh perspective to the American-abroad story, and creates a sense of place so authentic that readers feel they, too, have strolled the pink-hued alleys of Spello alongside the Damiani family.
 
Vivid descriptions evoke the pleasures of medieval village life, from the scent of almond pastries curling into morning fog, to olive trees tossing glints of silver into the achingly blue sky.
 
At once hilarious and wise, this spellbinding journey will feed your soul and your wanderlust. Il Bel Centro will sweep you into the heart of Italy, where for bakers, pants are optional, and a good lunch will take you straight through till dinner.
 
"I was not prepared for Italy.
Luckily, Italy was waiting for me anyway."
 
To find out more about Michelle Damiani or purchase a copy of Il Bel Centro, follow these links:
http://michelledamiani.com/
https://www.amazon.com/Bel-Centro-Year-Beautiful-Center/dp/0692480110/

 
And now the moment you’ve all being waiting for when Michelle’s chance to answers our ten challenging questions.

1.
If a movie was made of your life, who would play you and why? 

Gal Gadot would be an excellent choice. Mostly because the majority of my life seems to be spent folding laundry and typing madly on my computer and she could make both of those dull activities appear impossibly fascinating. 

2. If you won a million pounds/dollar/euros etc, what would you buy? 

Easy! A cottage with a bit of farm just outside Spello, Italy. We’d buy ourselves out of our day jobs and raise goats and make plum jam and roll pasta. With leftover money I’d buy plane tickets. Sometimes it makes me breathless how much of the world I haven’t yet seen. A million bucks would go a long way towards alleviating that anxiety.
 
3.
What is your least favourite thing about humanity? 

The difficulty empathizing with another person’s experience. So many times we hear about people who have cold attitudes towards the LBGT community or drug addicts, only to “see the light” when their children are revealed to be gay or struggle with an addiction. It’s wonderful that they find room in their hearts to embrace their children, I suppose, but what would be truly wonderful, what would change the world in fact, is if we could treat everyone like family. If we could instantly empathize with each other. If we could assume a person’s best. Then maybe there’d be more outrage when Boko Harem attacks on the other side of the world, or more reaching out to families fleeing persecution in their homelands.
 
4.
If you were 80 years old and had children, what’s the most important experience you could pass on to them? 

The experience of walking down a street with the conviction that the world owes you nothing.
 
5.
You’re a new addition to my spice rack, what are you and why? 

A mixtures of ground kosher salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and porcini mushrooms. Adds a kick of umami to just about anything! Insipid soup becomes nuanced, boring chicken becomes transcendent.
 
6.
In fewer than 50 words, how does the internet work? 

I don’t want to embarrass others with my vast understanding of the internet, but since you asked. There are jibs and jabs in different pockets all over the world and there’s this magic sauce that connects them and when our computers utter the correct incantation, sprinkles of information fall then rise to the screen by means of sunshine-hued magnets.
 
7.
How can you tell if someone is a nerd? 

If they know the difference between Jango Fett and Boba Fett.
 
8.
If you could add one word to the dictionary, what would it be and what would it mean? 

Solvide: The feeling of being gobsmacked with surety that we are all connected and the world is an endlessly lovely place.
 
9.
What undiscovered technology will transform the future? 

Instantaneous travel. When we are able to see up close other cultures, with less cost and bother, I feel like we’ll deepen our understanding of humanity. I firmly believe that the more flavors we try, the more our minds are opened.
 
10.
What is the one thing you own you wish you didn’t? 

Cat allergies. My cats are allergic to something, no one can say what it is, and it’s made them groom the hair clean off their legs. They look ridiculous, like cats with chicken legs. I’m sure I’m supposed to offer a profound response here, but every night I’m distracted for hours by the sound of cats licking their fur clean off and to own the truth, I feel like I can’t be profound when my sleep is laced with aggravation.
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This issue of the Canabal Chronicle was brought to you by Craig Briggs, author of The Journey series of books.

 

 



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The Some-day Supplement - issue 8
12 October 2017

Note from the editor – In this issue of the Some-day Supplement we take you on a tour around the rescued remains of Portomarin and interview one of the UK top crime writers, Diane Dickson. But first …

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Canabal Cuisine presents – Luxury Enriched Dinner Rolls
 
Ingredients
 
450gms strong white flour
15gms fresh yeast
225ml tepid milk
1 teaspoon salt
50gms butter
1 beaten egg

 

 

Method
 

  • Blend the yeast in the tepid milk. Set aside until it starts to bubble.

 

  • Rub the butter into the flour and salt.

 

  • Add the yeast mixture and the beaten egg, bind together into a dough.

 

  • Knead the dough for about 10 minutes.

 

  • Cover with the bowl and leave to rise.

 

  • Knead the dough again and divide into 50gm pieces.

 

  • Shape into rolls, knots or plaits.

 

  • Leave to rise again.

 

 

  • Bake at 190°C for 10-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

 

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TRAVEL
 
Portomarin – Rescued from a watery grave

 

Portomarin is the most northerly town in the Ribeira Sacra: a region in Galicia famed for its excellent wine, historic heritage, and places of outstanding natural beauty.
 
This bustling little town lies on the French route of the Way of St. James (El Camino Francés de Santiago). Throughout the year, pilgrims from all over the world arrive in search of overnight accommodation before moving on.

 

 

At first sight, the historic centre displays all the features you’d expect of a medieval town. The street leading to the main square is lined on both sides with ancient porticos. The square is dominated by the Iglesia de San Juan (Church of Saint John). This distinctive temple-fortress was built in the 13th century by the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. It’s unusual in that it has design features of both a church and a castle.
 
Look a little closer and you’ll see that everything is not quite as it seems. The first thing you’ll notice is a complete absence of urban dereliction: not one crumbling building or abandoned home. The medieval porticos leading to the main square are perfectly symmetrical; as perpendicular today as the day they were built.

 

 

Another clue to the town’s recent history can be found in the name of the main square: Plaza Conde Fenosa. The title of Count of Fenosa (Conde de Fenosa) is a Spanish peerage created in 1955 by the late dictator Francisco Franco. The first Count of Fenosa, Pedro Barrie de la Maza, was a Galician businessman. Along with other business interests he owned one of the country’s leading energy suppliers, Fenosa. But perhaps the biggest clue to Portomarin’s recent history is inscribed on the stone blocks of the Iglesia de San Juan: a sequence of numbers which helped builders recreate this life-sized 3D jigsaw in its current location. 

 

 

Despite appearances, the town of Portomarin is less than 60 years old. The original town developed around a Roman bridge which spanned the river Miño. In 1956 plans were unveiled to build a hydroelectric dam downstream at Belesar, threatening to submerge the town.
 
Preparations began in earnest to save its most important landmarks. A new site was chosen, several hundred metres above the existing town. Over the next six years every monument deemed of historic importance was moved, stone-by-stone, to its new location. Relocating Portomarin represents one of the largest architectural salvage operations ever undertaken in Spain.

 

 

After a long, dry summer, remnants of the old town reappear as water levels recede. The medieval bridge that replaced the earlier Roman crossing can once again be used. Towering above it, the new concrete bridge reminds summer visitors of the weather to come.

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Author Interview - Diane Dickson

Diane M Dickson writes mostly crime fiction with just the odd romance creeping in from out of the blue. Most of her work has been published by The Book Folks but there are some self-published things still available from the days before she was lucky enough to be taken on by a publisher.
 
Born in Yorkshire and grown up in Lancashire, Diane left school with no qualifications to speak of – (unless you count swimming certificates!) She worked as a veterinary nurse for the RSPCA in Liverpool and didn’t see the need for bits of paper – then again this was the sixties, things were different then.
 
In 1980 Diane, her husband, son and daughter went to live in Saudi Arabia which they all enjoyed immensely. Though the children had to return to the UK for their education it was twenty years before Diane and her husband moved back permanently. During that time they lived in many parts of the Middle East, some more difficult than others, but all of it a great experience. She now lives for part of the year in the Dordogne and part of the year in the West Midlands in UK. 
 

Diane is an insatiable reader and writes every day.

 

 

Diane’s novel BONE BABY it is set in the present-day cities of Bath and Portsmouth in southern England and is the eleventh novel to be published by THE BOOK FOLKS.
 
It tells the story of Lily and her partner who for many years had kept a terrible secret. When her partner dies, this secret becomes her burden alone. Soon it becomes an obsession.

Having worked alongside her more flamboyant partner in the publishing industry in London, the more sensitive Lily was used to playing second fiddle in their enigmatic social set. But their nice life hid a dark truth, one that she does not want to carry to her grave.

Many years ago, Lily and her partner covered up a crime. They took something precious that didn’t belong to them and lost it. Lily has had to live with the consequences of her actions until she is given the chance to repair the damage she has done.

This leads Lily down a dangerous path into the past. Disorientated, paranoid, and scared, she uncovers a far graver crime. What she contemplates next is unthinkable.
 
To order your copy of Diane Dickson’s, Bone Baby, follow this link-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/BONE-BABY-chilling-emotional-suspense-ebook/dp/B073V1GRTT

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And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for - Question time our roving reporter asks Diane ten challenging questions.
 
1.    If a movie was made of your life, who would play you and why?
 
I have a horrible feeling it would be someone like Miriam Margolyes – I do admire her very much, she is outrageous at times and rather irreverent. For choice it would be Dame Judy Dench but I have a feeling she is much too refined.
 
 
2.    If you won a million pounds/dollar/euros etc, what would you buy?
 
I am very lucky in that I have reached a stage in my life when I don’t feel that I need to ‘buy’ much any more except for essentials.  I’d probably end up giving it to my children.
 
 
3.    What is your least favourite thing about humanity?
 
Cruelty in all its forms, verbal and physical and I include in that cruelty to anything that is alive, animals, plants, everything.  
 
 
4.    If you were 80 years old and had children, what’s the most important experience you could pass on to them?
 
It’s not that far away really and I hope I have taught my son and daughter that there is no point in worrying about little things because what seems like a problem today is only a memory very soon.
 
 
5.    You’re a new addition to my spice rack, what are you and why?
 
Cajun Seasoning because of the heat – I hate being cold and even the smell of that says hot!
 
 
6.    In fewer than 50 words, how does the internet work?
 
A web of electrical pulses carrying metadata through the stratosphere or it could be magic – yeah, I think it’s probably magic.
 
 
7.    How can you tell if someone is a nerd?
 
It’s very difficult because they sometimes hide under cover of normality and that’s how come I am often ambushed and have to feign intelligence and interest. Although I reckon my son-in-law probably qualifies and he’s lovely.
 
 
8.    If you could add one word to the dictionary, what would it be and what would it mean?
 
I think I’ll leave that for Sir Terry Pratchett he was the master of offering a new word with absolute conviction, and they were all totally logical.
 
 
9.    What undiscovered technology will transform the future?
 
Time travel – Oh but wait, maybe it already did!!!
 
 
10. What is the one thing you own you wish you didn’t?
 

A collection of crystal animals. For some reason people got it into their heads that I collected them and bought me them as gifts. So, because they were gifts I love them but they are a nightmare to clean and so I have to keep them in a cupboard and it all seems a bit pointless.

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And finally - #normalwisdom

 

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This edition of the Canabal Chronicle, Some-day Supplement was brought to you by Craig Briggs, (with a little help from his wife Melanie) author of The Journey series of books.

 



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Canabal Chronicle - Issue 8
05 October 2017

 

 

Note from the editor – For those with a penchant for passion, the Canabal Chronicle is delighted to bring you an interview with one of New Jersey’s leading romance authors, Jessica Lauryn. But first …

 

 

Galicia Warming
When it comes to climate change most observers are singing off the same hymn sheet. It’s the causes that create division. As a long hot summer in Galicia finally succumbed to autumn we too are seeing a change.

 

 

It would appear from the lack of rain and daytime temperatures that no one told Mother Nature of the change.  
In a year when local wine producers started harvesting grapes earlier than at any time in recorded history, perhaps it’s time to take note.
 
“So what?” some might say.
 
With a 2000-year history of local wine production, the sample time period would seem long enough to make a reasonable assumption.

 

 

Here in the village of Canabal, the vine leaves are still green, flowers are in full bloom and cloudless blue skies accompany unusually warm days. Wells have run dry and many villagers are praying for rain. Only time will tell if this is a unique year or the new norm.

 

 

The Gate Escape
When our neighbour Meli takes a break from village life, Melanie and I are recruited to act as chicken-sitters. For those unfamiliar with the role, chicken-sitting is the ornithological equivalent of babysitting. Needless to say, the task has its rewards. Fresh eggs every day never go amiss.

 

 

Everything was going fine until six days in to our twelve-day posting, we faced a rooster revolt as the chickens made a bid for freedom.

 

 

The cause of this unexpected breakout highlighted the shortcomings of using a recycled gate secured with half a brick and a broken broom handle to enclose the otherwise secure chicken run.

 

 

Once free they headed straight for Meli’s kitchen garden. Persuading them to leave fell on deaf ears. For those familiar with the Hollywood blockbuster Rocky I’m sure you’ll recall the scene when Rocky’s trainer developed a programme to increase his speed and mobility around the ring. I can tell you from personal experience that chickens are undoubtedly the most difficult prey to catch.

 

 

If the sky hadn’t been blue when I started, the air was by the time I’d coaxed them back into the chicken run. Forget wearing a Fitbit and buy yourself some chickens.
 

Fiesta Feast
What could be better than delicious food and great wine? I know, free delicious food and great wine.
 
The final evening of Sober’s four-day fiesta produces one of the rarest sights in Spain – an organised queue.

 

 

When free food and wine is on offer, everyone is happy to wait their turn. At the head of this patient assembly was Sober’s mayor, Luís Fernández Guitan, keen to ensure that everyone got their fair share of local red wine, either that or he was jumping the queue.

 

 

The main event was billed as Gran Paellada Xigante (Gigantically Big Paella) and looked like it could feed the 5000. However, this was Galicia not the Golan Heights and Galicians know how to eat.

 

 

The cost of staging the event was reflected in the evening entertainment which ran to a duo called the Witching Hour belting out tunes from the back of a converted transit van.

 

 

But even they couldn’t dampen the spirits of the locals who enjoyed all the fun of the fair.

 

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And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for …
 
Author Interview
with
Jessica Lauryn

Jessica was born and raised in New Jersey, where she lives today. “Coming back from a vacation, NJ always feels like home” she remarks.
When Jessica isn’t writing she likes nothing more than spending the weekend browsing antique stores in search of pretty, Victorian treasures.  She’s worked in a variety of jobs and incorporated some of the characters she’s met into her stories. She’s also obsessed with 80’s music but chooses to listen to classical while reading and writing. “I find it less distracting, and also, greatly inspiring!”

To find out more about Jessica, follow these links:
Website: www.jessicalauryn.com        Newsletter Sign-Up: eepurl.com/ck5-O9
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5081732.Jessica_Lauryn
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicalaurynauthor/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaLauryn_
 

 

 

 

Jessica tells us more about her novel, An Amorous Dance.
 
When Hannah Rabourn, daughter of Rabourn Theater's late owner, is attacked, a surge of flashes prompts her to consider that her father may have been murdered. Hannah's antagonistic stage director insists her subconscious is merely seeking closure. But as she and Evan become close once again, Hannah's suspicions about the past deepen, and she wonders whether the man she’s falling in love with for the second time knows more than he’s letting on.

Evan Masters's dreams were shattered when theater-owner Baron Rabourn destroyed his budding acting career. Having forged an alliance with Rabourn's former partner, Evan assumed a mission to transform Rabourn Theater into what it always should have been. Fellow conspirators believe Rabourn's daughter is the key to power, and Evan is the means by which to achieve their ends.

But Evan's feelings for Hannah are stronger than he believed. And when he realizes Hannah’s life is in danger, he must decide between his passion and his heart. 
 

Follow these links to purchase a copy of An Amorous Dance
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Question time – our globe-trotting reporter asked Jessica ten challenging questions.
 
1. If a movie was made of your life, who would play you and why?

I think Anne Hathaway would have to play me.  I’ve had so many people tell me I look like Anne that we’ve become cosmically connected.  Of course, I’d be honored if Anne would play me – she is an incredibly talented actress.  I can easily relate to the majority of characters she’s played.
 
2. If you won a million pounds/dollar/euros etc, what would you buy?

That would certainly be a nice thing to have fall into my lap!  If I suddenly found myself with a million dollars, I would purchase my dream home, a large country-style mansion on a mountain and/or in the woods, complete with in-ground pool and backyard that looks as though you’ve just stepped inside Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden. If there was anything left over afterward, I’d save it.
 
3. What is your least favourite thing about humanity?

I probably would have answered this question a little bit differently at each point in my life, however, my answer would have always revolved around the same point.  First off, I’ll clarify that I do not believe that any of us were put on this planet to judge others.  I try to meditate on this idea every day and if I find myself doing it, I’ll stop.  (IE Don’t judge lest you yourself be judged.)  That said, I think there is one thing that we could all use a bit of work on, that being, we need to appreciate the joy in life, to celebrate it and to look for the best in those around is. A quote that illustrates this nicely, which I keep with me always, is, “When you look for the bad in mankind, expecting to find it, you surely will.”
 
4. If you were 80 years old and had children, what’s the most important experience you could pass on to them?
 
That’s difficult to predict at this point in my life as it probably hasn’t happened yet, but I hope to pass on to my children and grandchildren the values of family, play, passion, hard work and most importantly love.  
 
5. You’re a new addition to my spice rack, what are you and why?

I must be ginger – some combination of sweet and spice, which probably describes, not only me, but many of the authors I know!
 
6. In less than 50 words, how does the internet work?

Sign on and search.  If there’s a problem, contact IT! 😉
 
7. How can you tell if someone is a nerd?

I’ve never been a fan of this label, though in this day and age many consider being called a “nerd” to be rather like a badge of honor.  I suppose in this sense that anyone who has a passion that they pursue and might be labelled as such.  In my humble opinion, passion makes the world go ‘round!  It isn’t hard to spot those who have it either – they wear their passion with everything they say and do and they are often the happiest people you’ll meet.
 
8. If you could add one word to the dictionary, what would it be and what would it
mean?
 
No particular word comes to mind, but, as I’m writing, I’ll often think of words that don’t really exist, variations of words that do exist and are better suited to the sentence I’m crafting. I sure would like to add a few of those to the dictionary – it would make my writing life a whole lot easier! 
 
9. What undiscovered technology will transform the future?
 
I’m often saying that it won’t be long before we can teleport from one place to another, which would eliminate the need for all transportation vehicles and probably, exercise as we know it. Considering how quickly things are evolving, I imagine I might very well see something like this happen within my lifetime.
 
10. What is the one thing you own you wish you didn’t?
 
I’m great about purging what I no longer need, so I’m pretty happy with what I currently own.  But, if I came across something I wish didn’t own, you can bet I’d put it aside for charity.
 
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This issue of the Canabal Chronicle was brought to you by Craig Briggs, author of The Journey series of books.

 

 



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