Asturias is Galicia's next door neighbor to the northeast. It's supposed to be a landscape similar to Galicia's, very green, mountainous, coastal-but with the difference that it more untouched (Galicia has more villages than all the rest of Spain's villages added up-so pretty much everywhere you look here there is a house, a farm or a tiny village with houses and a church).
Asturias is famous for the Picos de Europa, an incredible mountain range
Oviedo-the city that Woody Allen calls his Spanish home and that the Princess Letizia of Spain comes from
Fabada-a white bean and chorizo stew
Sidra-Cider traditionally poured as pictured.
Fingers crossed that we can take a long weekend road trip to visit in December!
The society pages in Europe really are old old money, princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, counts and countesses. This week the society press was all a buzz for the wedding of a Duke. Seriously. The wedding and guests were all sooo fancy, and so different from the American standrad of fancy Hollywood weddings, that I had to share it with you. The magazine Hola featured the photos of the wedding, here are a few of the guilty pleasure, old money details.
The bride (above) was lovely-in a dress that was convertible from day to night. For day, a beautiful, huge brocade skirt went over the fit mermaid cut dress for the evening (photos of the bride are so exclusive I can't find a pic of the evening gown...You'll have to buy the magazine).
Mother of the bride-a muse of Valentino-wore the traditional Spanish peineta and lace.
And the guests were all a flutter entering the ceremony with hats, flowers, and feathers (guests who were hatless looked totally underdressed, ha!). Can you imagine??
Due to the economic crisis, European countries have been up in arms to planned changes to the rights of the worker. Spain (and other European countries) had a general strike on September 29 to show the government their dislike of new plans to change retirement ages (from 65 to 67) among other plans. France, has followed suite and the country has been on strike for over a week now protesting their government's plan to change retirement age from 60 to 62 years. Quite wisely, they started striking in different sectors step by step removing necessities until the country is paralyzed. The French have always been know for their solidarity-and even now in 2010 when it's become so easy to be passive it's inspiring to see the French on the streets.
I've been looking for a way to decorate our over the sofa area-a huge painting would be great and we have out fingers crossed that our friend Meis one day will complete one for us-but until then I've been thinking about a frame collage-the problem being the plaster walls (not fun to put nails into!). But, I think maybe an oversized photo or two may do the trick...much easier to make myself when compared to a painting, fewer nails to put into the walls, and a great way to keep loved ones who are far away close. Oversized family portraits (not the studio kind) have been showing up all over blogland-see some of the best at Little Green Notebook. I think I want to start with this shot of my sister in Northern Michigan-I love her joy!
But I'm always so late on getting things sent out and planned...so I'm going to make a deadline (December 8th) for myself (and a budget) and get working on Christmas presents! A beautiful little package...wouldn't it make your day? (Only rule, you little package should be put under the tree and not opened until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! The anticipation is half the fun!)
It's been a lovely sunny week and weekend in Galicia, so we decided to go to the country for a picnic, some chestnut gathering, and some fig picking. We came home with lots of loot for new recipes this week and plan to head back next weekend to pick the ripening kiwis and fix the old bike to go for a ride...I love fall.
I lovelovelove embroidery. Especially the Latin american kind. And I love this necklace (as seen in Lonny). Maybe a blanket is a bad place to start...but a necklace, that sounds realistic. I'm inspired.
There's not a big culture of magazine subscriptions here in Spain...I know-heartbreaking, especially for a girl who grew up in a house of magazine subscriptions from National Geographic to Newsweek to Vogue and evenings at Borders. But, I am enjoying subscription free Lonny magazine online. It's always fun to flip though a gift guide...and dangerous when a click on the item takes you right to the online shop! Happy 1st birthday Lonny!
My sister is always ahead of the trends, and about 6 months or 2 years after she's been wearing something, I start to use them. If you want to have a peek at her style follow her totally fantastic blog-not only her amazing style, but her boy's photography, and Detroit too. I've been seeing long skirts lately and loving the look with boots for fall and winter. Time to buy one and follow in my sister's footsteps, she's been using long skirts since at least May, and I love how she wears them. Isn't she lovely?
Congratulations to Mario Vargas Llosa! Peruvian writer and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Read his first novel The city and the Dogs, the novel that is called first Boom novel. It's fantastic.
I always feel inspired and a little sad when I see furniture make-overs. Here in Spain people don't really redo furniture...old is old, and new is new...well except for buildings-obviously Spain is amazing at redoing old spaces. But, used furniture and second hand shops are pretty much non-existant. To top it off, yesterday while I was waiting for the bus after work I saw a giant garbage truck filled with old furniture, including a leather sofa, all on it's way to the dump. So sad, especially when you know the potential of that old stuff. Isn't this redone dresser from Little Green Notebook amazing?
Ana Kiro, famous throughout Spain for her singing career in the 60's was a Galician, living in Barcelona, who became one of the first artists to perform and record in Galician in Spain during the Franco dictatorship when Galician, Catalan, and Vasco weren't permitted. Her record "Galicia Terra Meiga" included only one song in Galician, but made such an impact that after her many doors were opened to include the marginalized language in pop culture. She recently lost her battle with cancer, and Spain and Galicia is mourning her loss and remebering her pride.
The Real Academia de la Lengua- the authority on the Spanish language-has launched a new project that started on September 30th, to read the novel Don Quijote de la Mancha in its entirety on YouTube with the participation of 2,149 random people who will read and upload their video. An interesting project to bringing classic literature into the computer age, and bringing millions of Spanish speakers together to celebrate the book and the language, don't you think? Also, such a cool way to reflect personal contact and interpretation of literature. What book would you choose to for a universal reading in English?
My friends at El Patito Editorial recently showed me the cutest series of This is... travel books for children by M. Sasek. Originally published in English in the late 50's and 60's, they were republished in 2004 by Universal and are now being published in Spanish by my friends. They are the loveliest books ever-both the text and the illustration!
Back to the books teaching again is making me nostalgic to read Shakespeare, Hemingway, even Joyce again. I'm even really enjoying taking apart the structures of the language to teach them to my students. Translating has also been making me yearn to expand my vocabulary...so the linguist nerd that I am recently signed up for Miriam-Webster's e-mail word of the day. The e-mail is complete with a definition, examples of use, and a history of the word (my favorite part). I love it!
P.S. Another great word website is FreeRice.com. Challenge your vocabulary and earn rice to help the World Food Programme! Read more about it here.