First of all, may I say Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant hapus to all my reader. Normally I’d be cooking something Welsh for my supper, but I’m popping to my Club for an exhibition launch (free wine, that’s why we do art!) and who knows if snacks, restaurants or chippie on the way home will ensue?
Of course this year it’s also Ash Wednesday, so last night pancakes were the thing. I do like a bit of tradition, not least because it makes it easier to decide what to eat for one meal at least. Having said that I decided to go a bit elaborate, by reviving the old classic, crêpes Suzette. And then discovered I had no orangey liqueurs, nor could I find miniatures of the stuff in any of the plethora of booze outlets near the Abode of Stones.
So I invented Wee Susie’s Pancakes, by switching the Grand Marnier for a drop of Drambuie and flaming whisky in place of brandy. And verra nice they were, too!
But the tradition I most miss on this day is one I only experienced once. Carnaval de Cádiz. You can read about my life in Cai here and even see my snaps of the 2001 event here.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — in Spain they have Carnaval, in Brazil too, in Italy Carnevale, in France and New Orleans, Mardi Gras: celebrating the approach of Lent by saying ‘Goodbye, Meat’ or eating drinking and making merry on ‘Fat Tuesday’. Riotous fun, dressing up, parties … and what do we Brits do? We make pancakes. And squeeze a lemon on them. Thrillsville.
Today in 2001 someone rang me from Germany for a chat. Saying aufwiederhören, I added that I was about to go out and resume carnaval drinking.
——No, she said: it’s Ash Wednesday, carnaval is over now. This is Lent.
——Not here, I replied. It goes on to the weekend at least.
——But are they not Catholics?
——Of course, I answered: but they are also Andalusians!
And people wonder why I miss Spain (or why I don’t go back).
I’m waffling here, because I don’t feel like concentrating on producing anything in particular. My family (siblings and nephew) visited at the weekend to be disappointed at the rugby (I became a Scot sometime in the second half — I’m so fickle!). I have some (minor, I hope) health worries and my sleep patterns are more than usually random, leaving me tired and discomforted.
And I’m a bit stook on the book. I went to the library in toon on Monday, spread the paperwork out … and went blind. Well, not blind as such, but I got one of my occasional migraine auras, meaning that a loop of glittering lights appeared to be between me and the paper. As usual it refused to go away before I had a lie down in a dark room, so I came home.
And yesterday I had a look and a jot and found I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. These things happen. I’m sure thought processes are going on in the darker recesses of what passes for my brane, which will throw something up one day soon. I have a dénouement worked out and I need to get divers characters to a certain place by a certain time, so I think I should write down what they will be doing there and work backwards from that.
Meanwhile I should just scribble any old rubbish into a weekly blog to force myself to write something and keep the verbal juices oozing, if not exactly flowing. After all hardly anybody reads it, and they aren’t the most discerning lot anyway.
Only kidding. Have a great St David’s, Lent, Purim, Holi and whatever else you might observe in the coming month. Maybe I’ll have written something by next week.