Boal Blue House

In Boal, the nearest village, there is a light cobalt blue and maroon house. Antonio explains it was built by one of the Americanos, locals who went off to Cuba to make their fortunes. You can tell the house of an Americano by the palm trees in their gardens.

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And Now

On their return the successful ones would build local schools and wash houses, where the women could come to chat over their washing. Women could not congregate in the cafes and bars, so the wash houses became a focus of life for them.

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Otillia Working In Her Mill

Otilia, a local water-mill owner in her ’80‘s,says she doesn’t have a television, a phone or a computer and isn’t sure how exactly old she is, but she believes in conversation. She is wearing a very old jumper and head scarf from which her grey hair escapes at the neck. She smells of the country, not freshly washed but not unpleasant.The mill is on a very pretty stream, running through a valley in the hills. On one side is an orchard of white blossoms, old mill stones rest against ancient stone walls, and rusted farm implements are tied up with faded, coloured string.

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Otilia shows us her mill, her winery and her piggery. Two pink snouts appear through a hole in the wall when she throws some freshly milled cereals down. She keeps a cockerel and hens, and makes honey. Legs of ham hang from the ceilings of her farmhouse, they take about a year to mature. It’s 11.00 am but she insists we drink a glass of her wine; it’s awful but her hospitality makes up for the rough taste. She is a wonderfully animated and chatty person, genuinely friendly, despite our lack of Spanish, and she doesn’t slow down her speech for us at all.

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Still Life At Otillia
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Oh, So Delicious!
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