Prowling my world, camera in hand

10 June 2012

Week 23: Eurocopa!!!

Filed under: — Administrator @ 16:16

The main event this week happened on Friday, when the European Football Championship kicked off. For many people (including me) this is a much more important event than the Olympics.

But (wo)man does live off football alone, so I have some of my usual slices of life to start off this week’s blog.

On Sunday, we went to the centre to have a look at the medieval market. This is a popular pastime in Spain during the spring and summer, involving vastly overpriced grilled food and vendors selling all kinds of “medieval” snake oil. A traditional feature is the pig being roasted, although I always get the feeling that many more people look at it than actually eat it:

If you are vegetarian, skip this picture:

I actually preferred to look at the passing señoritas:

We have these trees with blue flowers in our neighbourhood. As far as I know, the flowers are not edible, so I have no idea what they are called. But they are pretty, especially in late spring when the flowers fall off the trees:

A closer view of the fallen flowers:

We are a very international family. My origins are mixed Polish Jew, Russian and Finnish, my wife is Puerto Rican, and our children had already lived in five countries before they turned 18. This was brought home to me one evening last week when my wife made real Polish borscht with pierogi, following a recipe from a standard Polish cookbook, with translation help from me. It was delicious:

On Thursday we had a fire drill at the office involving the evacuation of several hundred people and participation by the emergency services. Good thing it was not raining:

The fire drill meant that we spent about 1/2 hour standing around in the nearby park, which gave me an opportunity to say hi to people with whom I do not work on a daily basis, like my Dutch friend Patricia here:

Christophe was in charge of the proceedings. Unsurprisingly, he fraternized with the female emergency personnel:

And now a picture from home. Since times immemorial, children have used “my dog ate my homework” as an excuse. In our household, it actually happens:

Here is one of the homeless cats that live on the golf course. He was guarding a large fish head that someone had left on the sidewalk, quite unusual:

And then Friday arrived, and with it the big event, the kick-off of the Eurocopa. Since the tournament is co-hosted by Poland and the Ukraine, the first match involved one of the host nations, specifically Poland vs. Greece. Since we are all friendly with one another and good Europeans, the Poles and Greeks from the office decided to watch the match together at a bar in the centre of Alicante. The bar was considerate enough to put a big-screen TV in the window so that we could enjoy the football while sitting outside.

The Greeks are blue, the Poles are red and white (and blond):

Poland went up 1-0, and to make matters worse for Greece, one of their players got a red card. Opinions as to the referee’s mental health were divided:

Despite being a man down, Greece scores the equalizer:

Pretty Polish señorita:

Concern in the Polish camp; the Polish goalie commits an offense that results in him getting a red card and Greece being awarded a penalty:

The Greek player lines up to take the penalty. The Greeks in our party are attempting to channel mental energy from Alicante to Warsaw:

Relief on the Polish side. The Polish replacement goalie saves the penalty and the match ends 1-1:


  1. Hi Nathan,

    Re those blue flowers on the tree and on the ground. No, I don’t know the name of the tree, but I think the same tree is in front of the California Theater in San Jose, CA. Phenomenon the same: around this time of year, ground littered with them. The CA Theater is an ancient movie house that has been restored, and, among other things, is the site of the Symphony San Jose concerts, to which my wife and I have subscribed for the past ten years, when the orchestra was founded. It’s membership consists largely of players from the defunct San Jose Symphony. This orchestra is remarkable in that it does not have a permanent musical director. It performs solely under the direction of guest conductors. One would think that would be a recipe for failure, but amazingly, it isn’t.


    Comment by Herb — 10 June 2012 @ 20:37

  2. I think the tree is a Jacaranda.

    Comment by Len Kapner — 10 June 2012 @ 22:43

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