Clichésville here we come….well, the circle has almost been squared and with each week that passes the finish line would appear to be just around the next corner.   No, we are not about to announce a concrete opening date, but the changes that are taking place each week are palpable.

Most recently, holes have been dug for clean and grey waters, some windows with glass have been fitted and the first doors are now in place.  Internally painting progresses, the stairway between the main and first floors has been rebuilt, pointing and plastering of the walls in basement floor is ongoing and the solar tube that will enlighten our living room is under construction.

My neglectful absence of writing can only be forgiven by a plate that runneth over with things to do.  Never having learnt the ability to juggle, the one ball that has been dropped of late is that of blog writing and for that I apologize.

Away from the actual reconstruction of the house itself much else has been done.  Construction of the website is well underway and however it is finished, photographs will not be finalised until the casa rural is up and running for obvious reasons.  Other finishes for the house are being looked at and purchased and to that end we have just returned from a couple of days in El Delta de l’Ebre, part pleasure, part business.

The city of Barcelona marks something of a watershed in the landscape of the east coast of Spain.  To put it bluntly, to the north of the city much of the countryside would be more familiar to northern Europeans, remaining largely green and verdant more most of the year.  To the south one is quickly confronted with the grape vines of El Penedes and the arid and angular hills and mountains of the area.  Further south the vines give way to mile after mile of orange groves interspersed with olives.  We spent two nights in the somewhat forgettable seaside town of Benicarló, just south of the Ebre in Castello.  The hospitality and accommodation were good, let the visitor make up their own mind on the rest.

Being Good Friday, what else would one expect except cloud and rain.  Yes, good old british bank holiday weather.   That didn’t dampen our visit to El Delta de l’Ebre….flat as a pancake, traversed by canals and rivelettes and criss-crossed with roads and paths this is the rice bowl of Spain…..the ‘P’ in your paella!  A bracing wet walk along a windswept beach at La Tancada was followed by a hearty shell fish fideua -a pasta type paella – at Cal Faiges in Poble Nou Del Delta.   The birdlife of the area is impressive and I will certainly return to this remarkable corner of Catalunya.

The business part of the trip took the form of a visit to La Sénia, ‘Furniture City’ Catalunya….and tables, chairs and all things furniture.  I can only guess that the place is hanging on by its proverbial fingernails, given the current economic climate.  La Sénia lives or dies on the making of furniture.  Surrounded by ‘factory outlets’ and factories crying out for customers to call.  A tour of one was like a tour of every other outlet….’follow the arrows and let us know if you like anything’…country, neo-classical, glitzy, beige, simply garish to the outright frightening.   We struck lucky at the fifth or sixth outlet I can’t rightly remember which and left with an order for a sofa for the TV room firmly in Goretti’s handbag.  Good luck La Sénia and thanks for an amusing lunch time at El Trull.