Thursday, September 28

lovely barcelona

Well, I've got over 200 pictures, but so many would bore you, I'm sure, being details of this and that. Still, I must choose some to share, so I'll start with these.

Food was such a big part of this trip, and here is the most memorable meal of all, an incredible, delectable, fresh seafood melange (would be incomplete without the brewski, always delicious on tap) at La Boqueria, the huge market just off La Rambla, Barcelona's main drag:

And while we're at it, the mountains of food on display at La Boqueria were a feast for the eyes, particularly this stand of an unbelievable number of varieties of mushrooms:

Our second-best meal, and far more expensive than the first, was the requisite paella, seafood of course, at a white-linen restaurant down at Barcelona's Olympic Village area, by the new port -- served piping hot in the traditional paella dish:

and here on the pretty plate:

I'll post more Barcelona in a day or two, but for now here are a few taken on our bus trip on day two, to Montserrat and Sitges:

Montserrat, the town and monastery:

The awesome view from Montserrat:

And looking up into the cloud-shrouded mountains, there was a tiny cross peeping out, as if impossible to suppress -- very lovely, but I photoshopped it into a magen david -- (HA! crucify THAT, christian fundamentalists!) ... will post the original if there's any demand (I won't hold my breath).

And here is beautiful Sitges, the beach resort town that was sopping wet the day we visited, but I fell in love with it anyway.

This is one of the many side streets
leading down to the beach:

And this is Sitges' endless coastline, with 17 separate beaches:

Sunday, September 17

full-grown cats

Unbelievable how quickly they grow! Just a year ago, Pinky joined Sunny and the Squarepegs, and this is how the feline department looked:

Pinky was so tiny she fit in a shoe:

Well, the teeny-tiny princess turned into a queen.

Yes, she looks very dignified here, but she can be a feisty demon when riled.

Pinky before the exorcism:

Sunny the Siamese is in his 18th year now, has lost a lot of weight (from 5.5 kg to just 3), and seems to be perpetually constipated and dehydrated. But he's still plugging along. I try to give him daily subdermal injections of saline solution, having been schooled in the technique by the vet. He doesn't care for it much, but mostly sits still. Pinky would NEVER let me do that, I'll bet, no matter how old she gets. But she's a year old now, and much heavier than the little old man at this point.

Sunny keeps Pinky company while she makes a meal of herself.

And now, we've decided to adopt yet another cat to even out the human-feline population on our home. I would have been happy with just going to the cat shelter and bonding with some poor abandoned waif, but mr. squarepeg is a bit of an elitist, and decided to get a purebred. There's a Russian Blue breeder in a town not far from where we live, and we went out today to visit the Cat Lady there. She brought out all her kittens born in the past four months, and we played with them for about an hour.

Ms. squarepeg fell in love with one pipsqueak who was so docile she just sat on the kid without moving for ages, while mr. squarepeg thought her choice was too passive and really liked another, who was more lively yet also very friendly. They are gorgeous cats, but I still could've been happy with a homeless mongrel, so long as it wasn't too aggressive. The thing about these cats is that they are bred for their wonderful personalities, and supposedly don't bite, scratch or hiss. So what does that leave of cat nature, I wonder? A whole lot of self-entitled far niente, eh?

Anyway, purebreds cost an embarrassing amount of money, but that is catnip to the entitled classes, so we put a deposit down on the one mr. squarepeg liked. We're going back to get her in a month, after the holidays. No sense complicating our lives now with another pet that will need to be taken care of when we're away.

And how did our two furry babies react, upon our return home, to the smell of foreign cats on us? Sunny appeared completely oblivious, but Pinky wouldn't let us near her for hours, hissing madly in that snakey, open-mouthed, teeth-bared way that indicated her territoriality will not be challenged lightly.