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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.

Canabal Chronicle - Issue 8
05 October 2017 @ 10:00



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.



And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for …
Author Interview
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:        Newsletter Sign-Up:
Facebook: Twitter:




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
Barnes & Noble
Google Play:
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
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.

This issue of the Canabal Chronicle was brought to you by Craig Briggs, author of The Journey series of books.



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