During our visit to northern Castello over Easter we contacted an Antique dealer we had met at the local Antique fair here in Cardedeu last year, our principle aim being to secure a bench for the main hall.  He met us in a somewhat forlorn village that will remain forever forgettable and followed him in his somewhat knackered transit van to his somewhat ingratiously named ‘warehouse’….shed.

At first glance on that cool and very wet Good Friday afternoon my heart fell as the doors were opened.  Like a number of other such places we had visited the scene was one of disorganized abandon.  Furniture stacked with no seeming care or order – old doors, sad looking chairs, a wardrobe with its detached door to one side.  We were shown three benches.   One restored and in quite fine condition and two longer old church benches in need of a considerable amount of TLC.  We have reserved judgment on whether we will purchase one of the two.

I continued to circumnavigate the scene and gradually the odd item of interest somehow shone through the gloom.  A sturdy looking ‘carver’ type dining chair with a seat woven from cord.  A half dozen or so wooden ‘buckets’ with stunted horn like handles which once served to carry olive oil.  I was on the point of leaving, resolved that our wee detour had hit yet another metaphorical brick wall when I noticed a number of plastic boxes stacked by the door.  On closer inspection each held tidily arranged rows of ceramic tiles, a box or two of each design.  On enquiring we learnt that the tiles had been lifted from the floors of old masias or other such properties and would otherwise have just been thrown out. Over the next twenty minutes or so and with the help of a few rain drops to wash away the dirt and clay dust we selected four different designs.  The idea being to use some to provide ‘bed heads’ in some of the guest rooms.  So a bench we may or may not have, but some tiles may be adorning your room in future.

From the anecdotal evidence I have had over the last few years, so many such items and those of considerably greater value have just been discarded without any thought of reuse or whether they had any value…..I suggest much has probably been lost in the tragedy of mid 20th Century Spain and the subsequent land grab, property speculation boom and bust and the pursuit of the goal that what is ‘new and modern’ is best.

Back at La Rectoria cool spring weather and somewhat overcast conditions have been bathing the house in soft spring light, something more akin to a typical British spring day.  Our new lawn has taken well and the sward has thickened nicely.

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