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Robert, Lindsey, Magda  and I were invited to have lunch with our teacher friends at their house in Sotoalba; about 25 minutes from Segovia, in the foothills of the Sierra de Madrid. Pilar, who works with Lindsey  and Robert at a secondary school and her husband Fran, who works at  the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, are pretty distant from me in age but we share many interests and values.

On the way to the bus station there was a 3 on 3 soccer match sponsored by NYC sports in the plaza by the aqueduct but after getting nutmegged by an 8 year-old the other day I had no interest in joining them.

In about 2002 they went to visit a friend of theirs and found a piece of property  that they liked but couldn’t really afford to buy a bunch of dirt rocks and trees until they found a friend who was also looking for a site to build on. A few years later they broke ground on the two story southern orientated, Segovian, Spanish style house. Segovian style refers to the strange tile roofing style which uses only a single layer.

The L shaped porch wraps around the back half of the house but really there is no clear front or back.  In the kitchen there are local fire baked ceramic tiles  and massive windows that look onto the porch, out to the organic garden which is guarded by a border of apple, pear and and other fruit trees and raspberry bushes, all backed against the mountains.

Pilar and Magda made a delicious lunch but one thing really stood out. You may recall my attempt at making hummus that its one of my favorite snacks but Pilar made something even better. She pureed broad beans and artichoke hearts added garlic and a few minor spices. The texture is a tiny bit more liquid but way tastier.

After lunch Robert sang many songs including his original “Lindsey,” which he wrote after his soon to be wife complained that there were no songs written after her name.

After a while it was time to go but with all the extra beds in the house they invited us to stay the night; Magda was the only one to object. Pilar had to go into Segovia anyways to pick up her 16-17 year old daughter so she dropped Magda off too.

I started learning how to make a tortilla de patata but I was called to help water plants by hand with rain water collected in huge trashcans. We had to use up most of the water to make room for the rain that was impending. Lindsey and Robert helped cover a strawberry bed with a net so birds won’t get the berries.

Minimal time was spent in the house with such nice weather and scenery but as it got later the temperature dropped a bit. I almost packed a bag just in case but ended up going in only shorts and a t shirt and sandals; luckilly they had a pretty groovy, multi-color, indigenous inspired, wool sweater that was a gift from mexico, which I wore for the night. Pilar and Robert continued the entertainment singing some song “Clavito” and a few others.

I think I have found part of the solution to my insomnia; don’t have internet in the house. I had nothing to do besides lay down and listen to the. Even at ten in the morning  the study was pitch black until I raised the persianas.