Picture of the Week

9 August 2022

Week 30: dogs, the office, pelota valenciana in Agost

Filed under: — Administrator @ 19:47

The last week of July offered more hot weather, but also a relaxed atmosphere at the office (few meetings, many people away). And I finished the week with a nice bike ride during which I witnessed a local tradition for the first time.

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But I start with four dog pictures. First, one of my visits to the bar Malatesta in the centre on my way home. I stop there perhaps once or twice a month for a Tripel Karmeliet. This little dog is almost always there; he and his human are certainly regulars:
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One morning, when cycling, I just had to stop to witness this portrait session on the beach promenade:
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During lunch with friends, a hot dog called Palta:
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Palta, joined by Balu, even hotter since he has more fur and it is dark. Both dogs are young, born in December 2019:
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Carolina got some really wonderful news earlier in July. Until now, she has been with us on a so-called 5+5 contract, meaning that she was initially hired for 5 years when she joined in 2013, and her contract was extended for a second 5-year period in 2018. After that, further extensions are not possible; either the employee is converted to an indefinite contract, or she has to leave at the end of the second contract (which in Carolina’s case would have meant March 2023). Fortunately, Carolina got the good news, and she wanted to celebrate by inviting us for lunch. The other woman in this photo is Marie-Hélène, whom we had not seen (other than on a screen) since March 2020. She has some health issues that would make it extremely dangerous for her to contract Covid, and so she has been teleworking 100% of the time. But she did join us for Carolina’s celebration, and we were all very pleased:
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Carolina with Michał; two very good economists, I am lucky to be their boss:
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Carolina is always good for a funny face and animated gestures:
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July 31st was the last Friday of the month, and we resurrected our tradition of a drink and a snack at mid-day:
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Claire, smiling:
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Tamara showing something on her phone:
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On Sunday, I did a long bike ride, starting early to be back before the afternoon heat. On the way to a mountain called Maigmó, I stopped for a break and photographed the nice cloud formations over the landscape:
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Maigmó is about 35 km from my house, and getting there involves riding uphill for close to 2 hours (it is at 650 meters altitude). After taking a short break at a parking lot used by hikers, I cycled home via the town of Agost, where I usually stop for a snack and a Coke. But this time I found the street that I use to get to the grocery store closed for a local event, a tournament of a local version of handball called pelota valenciana. A small group of locals were watching the action with appropriate picnic supplies at hand:
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I got off the bike and watched for a while. The sport has short bursts of intense action involving a small, hard ball the size of a golf ball. I never figured out how points were won or lost:
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But the players knew, that’s what counts:
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The men were commenting on the game; clearly, they were knowledgeable and involved:
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They were very friendly and offered me their snacks and beer. And when I told them that since I had another 30 km to get home, I did not want beer just yet, they magically produced my preferred refreshment, a Coke Zero:
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They also insisted on posing for a picture:
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To finish this week, a random piece of Alicante street art:
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