Monday, 1 February 2010

42. Basque primer

1st February 2010. On Saturday I went down to the rowing club at around the time that the crews normally return after their morning outings - just in time for a torrential downpour. It looked very wet out there on the river. They were all soaked to the skin but in good humour. (It's only water innit!) I remember one outing last year when I went out with F in a double sculler and as we left the pontoon, the sky had looked dark and vaguely threatening. We set off up the river when suddenly - from nowhere - a hailstorm started. Each piece of hail was about the size of a marble and was it ever painful. And with being in a boat and having to keep hold of the sculls, we didn't have a free hand to protect ourselves from the worst of it. Luckily we'd only rowed about half a mile upstream so we dashed back. Ouch ouch ouch! Felt as though my head had been shot-peened..

Glad to see the back of January - while it's been very cold down here we were lucky to escape the snow. Been out in the car this morning and I was intrigued by a road sign I kept seeing (don't start me off!). It said "Norabide Guziak". At first I thought it looked like one of my nightmare Scrabble hands.. but it's Basque for "Toutes Directions" - or "Through Traffic" in yer Anglo Saxon.. There's just nothing there to give you a clue is there? While we're on the subject, I'll run through my Basque language repertoire for you.. Milesker is please. Bai is yes. And, as you now know, Norabide Guziak is Through Traffic.. And that's it after living here for over 2 years.

I nipped over the border to pick up a few things (inc. a 2 litre bottle of Scotch for 16€) at the Venta supermarkets on the other side. Well worth a visit if in the area.

2nd February 2010. The car thermometer reckoned it was 15C.. And, as it was Pancake Tuesday, Madame made a stack of them with all kinds of exotic fillings - think the highlight was the chocolate & banana one, flambéed with rhum.. We went down to the beach at Anglet this afternoon and for the first time this year, it felt like spring was on the way. A silver mist hung over the Biarritz beach and the Pyrenees were white with snow.
Think Pancake Wednesday could be a good idea!

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