St Georges Day

Finally this morning the sky was blue and the sun sailed up into it. We headed up into Sant Carles for gas and groceries. After a discussion about which to go for first we headed to the gas chandlers. There were no lights on and to all intents and purposes it looked closed, but we tried the door and it opened. The shop was the same eclectic mix of goods stowed in covetable ancient cupboards. The same old guy served us and swapped us back our ratty old gas bottle. John lowered the rusting hulk carefully into the back pack. As last year we then went up to the square for a coffee.

Saturday morning and the place was buzzing, or rather singing, music was blasting out from speakers up in the trees. We only just managed to find an outside table at our usual café. Around the square were set a number of market stalls and as we sat waiting to order we noticed that most of the groups of people walking by were carrying roses, single red ones wrapped in cellophane with an ear or two of corn. The flowers were ties with ribbon in the colour of the Catalan flag and the variety of ages carrying often several bundles suggested they were more than just a late Spanish Valentines day. Then our coffees arrived with complimentary red heart shaped biscuits on the saucers. Perhaps romance was in the air. After our coffees we investigated.

The stalls were all selling roses for between three and four Euros each along with various handicrafts and lots of quite new looking books. The money was going to support various groups and charities manning the stalls. John bought me a rose from a posse of teenage baton twirlers. Then we saw a sign about Sant Jordi and a display from the primary school where a cloaked crusader guarded two Friesian cows made from an assortment of cardboard cartons with pink balloon udders. No damsel and no dragon, but this was our very own Saint George.


We headed back to the supermarket and Spar too had a large bucket of red roses bound up with wheat. No discernable charity was involved with these and they were a mere two Euros each. Back at the marina a consultation with Google reveals George is also the patron saint of Catalonia, libraries and lovers. Over here his day is celebrated by the exchanging of books and roses. We are not sure if the ear of wheat is a local tradition because the first crop has just been taken in before they flood the paddy fields for the rice. I should in fairness have given John a book, though he would have been hard pressed to read it as they were all in Catalan. From on board Lyra we hear a barrage of fireworks sound at midday and resolve to head up into town tonight to see if there are any more celebrations to come. This would also avoid the crowds in the marina where a regatta is due in.

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