Winter has but flirted with Catalunya this year. Last Sunday we spent a sun splashed day in the garden continuing to cut back the neglected hazel trees which line the edge of the lawn. In the bright, warm and intense ‘winter sunshine’ I had to strip down to my T-shirt as temperatures touched 20°C. Not hot, but then again it is only the beginning of February. And as I drove home from work on Friday afternoon spring spoke by way of pink and white blossoms burdening trees in the majestic splendor that says that a new year of growth and vitality is all but here.
Talk of Spring may well be premature but our evident and continued impact on this fragile Earth was illustrated further this week by pollution laden (sm)fogs both here in Barcelona and in Madrid; exasperated by an anticyclone hanging over Iberia. We await our flight to the hills of Catalunya!
La Rectoria is something of an old darling of a relic and we want to keep as a much of her idiosyncratic character as we can. Stones, beams, wooden pegs, nooks and crannies are being left as far as possible to tell her story. And so this week a seemingly small and insignificant window has been retained on the main stairwell, looking out on to the terrace between the house and church. We surmise that in the past it enabled occupants of the house to scrutinize would be visitors prior to bidding them in, or not as the case may have been. We want to keep this vista as one of a number of oddities which adorn the house.
In turn, with thanks to the design gene of our architects we are adding the occasional quirk of our own. The latest of which can be seen in one of our bedrooms , where a series of random openings have been made in the bathroom wall. The idea is not one of voyeuristic opportunism, but is to enable natural light to enter the only bathroom that will not have a window. The ‘windows’ will be screened with adhesive slides that will depict varied scenes that may be seasonal or otherwise. These will be changed at intervals depending on our whim. Thus, while sitting on the ‘John’ you might be distracted by, photo’s of landscapes, people or places, poetry or whatever. I remember BBC Radio 4 used to have an early morning slot ‘Pause for thought’. We hope this might provide a similar distraction to future guests in bedroom 4.