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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 8
12 October 2017 @ 14:30

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 …


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




  • 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.



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.


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-


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.


And finally - #normalwisdom



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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