Picture of the Week

5 August 2018

Week 30: eating, drinking, cycling and cats

Filed under: — Administrator @ 06:38

This was my last week of work before the August vacation. So most of the photos are from the office (but not working…), from my outings on two wheels, and from being with friends. In other words, typical Alicante summer activities for me–I am not a beach person, so despite the heat the closest I have been to the water is when I have cycled on the beach road on my way to the mountains.

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The family of orange cats continues to visit; the mom is becoming a bit less shy but the kittens run away at the slightest sign of a human (me) approaching:
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Mom kitty with two kittens. Sadly, the smallest of the two died of unknown causes today (August 4th, the day I am writing this blog entry)–not an accident, perhaps he was just sick or maybe he ate something that killed him:
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This is my favourite image of these cats so far. The cat on top must be the father of the kittens. I have dubbed him the Lion King:
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Thursday was the last day of work for our Serbian trainee Aleksandar. He is leaving us about a month earlier than planned because he got a job at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, a great first job for a newly minted lawyer. Of course we took him out for lunch, and he chose Hostal Maruja (which he had visited a couple of times during his 10 months with us). From left to right, Aleksandar, Michał and Carolina:
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We enjoyed the usual seafood, starting with the grilled sardines:
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Sepia a la plancha:
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Being a Galician, Carolina got the task of carving up the squid:
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We finished the meal with a local dessert specialty called pan de Calatrava:
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On the way back to the car, I noticed that the restaurant had invested in new Spanish and Valencian flags. The old ones were pretty tattered by the strong winds that often blow here:
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A few pictures taken while shopping. First, my morning bread. The bakery is about 400-500 meters from our house. When Cheeta was alive, I would walk with her there in the morning. Now I take the bicycle to get the bread:
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The lamb butcher at the Mercado Central. I went there to buy a leg of lamb to roast. I normally buy most food in the supermarket, but for certain things, like lamb, I always go to this place:
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I also stopped at the fruit and veg section to buy some vegetables to roast along with the lamb:
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Another fruit close-up, this one at the office. I dubbed it the “pornographic nectarine”; it showed up in the daily fruit bowl (our office distributes fresh fruit to all departments in the morning). After photographing it and showing it to my co-workers, I unceremoniously ate it:
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Staying at the office, Friday was the last Friday of July (and the last working day before the summer break for many of us). This meant the usual snacks and drinks at noon. Stephanie is talking to Nicolás, a new colleague in our department, being introduced to our ways:
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Stephanie tries some interesting hooch:
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Massimo and Francisco:
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At the weekend I hit the road on my bicycle, as usual. I have been suffering from inflammatory arthritis most of this year which has limited my cycling a bit–I still go out almost daily but seldom exceed 50 km, and I had not been at the mountain passes around here for some time. But now I am getting better thanks to the treatment prescribed by my rheumatologist, so it was time to climb the Puerto de la Carrasqueta for the first time since January. I started early to avoid the extreme heat in the afternoon. There was some morning haze during the initial stretch along the beach:
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My legs were feeling good, and my first stop was after 32 km at a roadside bar called Venta Teresa. At this point I have just 6.5 km left to climb and I knew that I would make it:
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Venta Teresa is a popular stop and meeting point for the many motorcyclists who also enjoy this road, especially on weekends:
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I drank my Coke at Venta Teresa and spent the next half hour climbing the remaining 6.5 km and 300 m to reach the pass. It felt good:
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The view from the pass:
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In the afternoon, we went to visit our Argentine friend Eliot:
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As usual, Eliot fired up his BBQ:
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Then we went inside and ate–it was too hot to sit outside. As the afternoon wound down, I took this casual portrait of Eliot’s son. I normally avoid out-of-focus elements in the foreground but in this case I find that the wine glasses provide good framing of the subject:
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