Mist and Shadows

Niebla is the current buzzword in Extremadura. The Spanish being a practical people with less than half as many words for the weather as the British (surprise surprise), that could mean one of two things: mist or fog. It’s most definitely fog. For the last three days it’s swept across the region from north to south, causing confusion, car crashes and much complaining from the extremeños themselves. On a more local point of concern, it’s also seriously screwing with my body clock. The mornings have suddenly gone dark again!

It makes for some seriously gorgeous walking to and from work. With the local park floodlit, the place is lit up like something out of E.T.; coincidentally, the floodlights bear an uncanny resemblance to a UFO…

One of the floodlights is faulty, which just makes the park look even creepier with a primal, Jurassic glow.

Understandably, I was just about the only loon in the park at night.

Which, in itself, is actually quite odd, as the town’s malotes are usually loafing about with their German shepherds.

As if floodlit fog wasn’t already a photographic treat and a half, tonight Villafranca celebrates a low-key, familial festival known as Candelas. An English equivalent might be Bonfire Night, as it involves the lighting of several bonfires about town, but the comparison stops there.

There’s no loud music, no riotous drinking, no dazzling fireworks displays. It’s just a humble collection of small bonfires lit outside houses, inside courtyards and in squares served by local bars, all of which deal a roaring trade in grilled meat. It’s just a lovely excuse for gathering family and friends about the fire to chat, eat and stay warm in what is usually the coldest month of the year.

The festival goes on all night, and I think I heard some fireworks going off a little while ago, but nothing big enough to break the night. Villafranca remains, in the way that I have long cherished it, perfectly tranquil.

Just a short update today. Breathe that sigh of relief. Until the next time, world. BB x

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