Thursday, 22 March 2012

Alcoholics Ubiquitous

A picture of bayonet training.A picture of bayonet training. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)It was a night of the full moon.

The dogs had kept me awake barking at the coyotes who prowled and howled along the river bed below, but, finally, peace reigned.

And then they started barking again.
I got out of bed to upbraid them and saw through the front room window a man standing under the street light outside the house. (Yes, these are the wilds of Costa Rica, down on the gravel tracks, but we do have a street light. Rural France take note.)
I shot back to the bedroom, put on a dressing gown and pulled down the bayonet from its home on top of the wardrobe.
Door open, lights on. dogs charging out out baying and mad woman advancing with bayonet at the high'd think anyone would leg it...but not my caller.
By the smell of him he had been sampling the contents of a distillery which, together with the dogs ceasing to bay and jumping up at him instead revealed his identity.

Don Antonio, coffee picker extraordinaire, snapper up of trifles whether considered or not by their owner and dedicated drinker of strong spirits.
Not only did he clearly have no notion that it was three o'clock in the morning, he couldn't have told me if it was Pancake Tuesday or Palm Sunday.

We sat down on the bench in the porch and he told me that he thought he would drop in on his way back from visiting his sister at San Antonio.

What do you mean, on the way back? We're miles down the road...

I didn't waste time on the road...I came across country.

This involved a precipitous descent from mountain to river, through brush infested with poisonous snakes and a steep ascent on the other side, with much barbed wire to negotiate. Having drink taken.
You wouldn't wish it on a jogger.

What about the coyotes?

I threw matches at them...

He probably did.

Don Antonio conserves his energy, so if he had paid a call it was with some purpose in mind, but, courteous to a fault he would not bring out the reason for his visit without first going through the formalities of asking after one's health, one's family's health - probably the dogs' health given half a chance - so it was a good job it was a warm night.

After we had dealt with  details of Mr. Fly's latest round of tests and I had enquired as to the progress of his brother's ulcer, he became confidential.

You don't have to worry about that  so and so up the road. The Neighbour. I put him right when I met him at Alcoholics Anonymous at the church last week.

For some reason -  a disturbed night, perhaps, or the full moon - this conjured up a picture of the church packed to the gills with crowds of men in crisp white hats with curly brims drowning the smell of incense with gales of the hard stuff. Perhaps that's how it was.

Don Antonio continued.

I told him that if he started anything with you again (I suppose remembering the time he tried to hit me with a riding crop through the window of the car) he'd have me to deal with.
I'm not frightened of him. I've had him off his horse more than once when he was riding past my place. Gave him a good kicking.

What had he done?

Nothing more than usual...he needs to be taken down a peg, that's all.

Didn't he say anything?

Couldn't really. The priest was there and the others all said they'd have a go at him too.

There was something odd in the reasoning behind this.
It was clearly not in order for The Neighbour to retaliate in the presence of the priest, but it was seemingly fine for the assembled Alcoholics to back up Don Antonio. Someone should do a study....

Well, that was most kind of you. Was that what you dropped by to tell me?

No...I've got a problem. My brother in law gave me a bottle of his guaro (home brewed alcohol) for my brother and I drank it on the way.

Light dawned.

So you need another bottle in case your brother in law squeals on you? I don't have any guaro.

No, but you've got that banana wine....your husband gave me a bottle once. Wonderful stuff. I woke up in the ditch and my brother said I'd been singing for hours!

Doubtless the censorious would say that I would be wrong to give more alcohol to a drunk....and doubtless the censorious would think themselves right.

As I got up to go in search he held up his hand.

Can I have two bottles? I want to take one to the next AA meeting to show the boys....

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From a long line of lovely bloggers....

Ayak, whose Turkish Delight blog is just what it says, has given me this Kreativ Blogger award...with no strings attached!

I would like in turn to pass strings attached to....

Susie at Desperate Anglo Housewives, Bordeaux who makes me laugh and who has wonderful recipes.
Don't read the 'Ouch' post unless you want to pucker up in a sensitive area.

The Accidental Farm-Girl, for the great way she describes her adjustment to a new life...and she has another blog too, rather wilder, which you can discover for yourselves.....


Grumpy Old Ken for whom the award - in whatever language - must have been created.

I know some bloggers think these awards are childish, or, in one case, given out together with cookies which track your path on the net with sinister intent, but I think they are a great way to share great blogs.

Monday, 12 March 2012

The steergoround.....

Cinnamon treeCinnamon tree (Photo credit: santheo)Yesterday we had a steergoround.
One would appear in the garden and be hooshed off to the corral.
Then another...same process.
Then another....

You would think that they were hobbits and we were Beorn.

Once gathered into the corral they would mooch off again and the steergoround would start all over again.

It was too late to find the break in the this morning we awoke to all five of them happily munching the grass alongside the fish ponds.

But not only the grass. Their midnight feast had involved plantains....plants knocked down to get to same....the leaves of several orange trees....and my one and only cinnamon tree.

Nowhere near the size of the tree in the picture above, only one year old, the poor thing had been torn to bits, stems lying all around as one steer after another had had a go at it.
I can only assume that cinnamon was not flavour of the month in steerland.

Still, it urged me on to have a go at harvesting what we had.
I took a kitchen knife and stripped the stems.....fine curls of skin with the most wonderful sweet scent.
My hands still smell of cinnamon hours after putting the curls of skin to dry.

Another first for me in this new life.
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