Friday, 23 June 2017

Brick by brick.

The winter winds have arrived with such strength that we hung the washing out after sunset yesterday and by morning everything was cold but dry.  A few minutes in front of the heater and everything was ready to be put away.  The weather changes so dramatically here.  At the start of the week, when Indy arrived at school it was -2.  Then by mid-week, the temperature was in the low teens.

The majority of homes here are built using a red ceramic brick and then covered in render.  Larger buildings have concrete columns poured and then the bricks are used to create the walls.  We’re not sure how they are secured in place but we are thankful that we don’t experience earthquakes in this part of Argentina.  In some of the poorer parts of town, extensions are added onto houses using just bricks held together with mortar.  The main problem with this style of building is that there is no insulation and the walls become extremely cold.  Our bedroom is above the garage and the exterior doors face the prevailing winds, which means that our floor is ice cold in the mornings.  You can forget the floor is lava, the floor is a glacier is a far more dangerous game.  Every morning we leap from our bed, via a series of pillows, to the hallway where the gas heater is just so we don’t suffer from frost bite.  In spite of the cold floor the house is very comfortable and we are thriving here. 

Depp continues to soak up the Spanish all around him.  The other day, as I was arriving home from work, the following conversation happened…

Talluah said, “I can hear your dad.”
“Why did you say that?” asked Depp.
“Because, I can hear your dad.”

“No,” said Depp rather matter of factly, “why didn’t you say puedo eschuchar su papá?”

Further to this, a few days later a friend had dropped off some boxes with toys, kitchen utensils and other things she no longer needed.  When Depp came home from school and saw the boxes he was still in Spanish mode and started speaking to Talluah in Spanish, “Mama, look at the boxes.  Three boxes with toys.  Are they all for me?  Who brought the boxes?”  Then he started naming the toys inside and the books. 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Día del Padre

Today is the Argentine Father’s Day and we had been invited out to Silvina and Alejandro's house to have a father’s day lunch.  This was an opportune time to watch someone prepare an asado in a parilla that’s big enough to sleep in.  We are gathering a collection of plans to make the ultimate parilla for our backyard once we return to Australia.  There really is something about cooking with fire that makes you feel more connected to the event rather than putting something in the oven and setting a timer, maybe it's the smokey flavour.

Indiana enjoyed a little horse ride without a saddle.  Hopefully she doesn’t ask for a pony for Christmas, as our back yard is a tad too small.

We have been made very welcome here and it's was a privilege to spend Father's Day with such beautiful people.  The kids had a great time being able to wander around the farm exploring.  Depp most certainly had used up his weekend reserves as he didn’t quite stay awake for the car trip home.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Every dog has its day.

There are a few stray dogs that roam around the streets here and due to the small back yards, many owned dogs also live on the street.  As the weather cools we have seen owners show their love for their pets by dressing them in proper strap-on dog blankets.  Others improvise a bit and just use an old T-shirt, which makes any dog, look like it’s just come from the gym and can press 150kg. 

Then there are dogs like the one that is owned by the local photocopying shop.  Not only is this the cheapest photocopying shop in town but also they have their heating set to a level that would make a Jamaican surfer pass out.  It’s possible that this shop could be found using thermal imaging from above.  The dog is free to roam in and out of the shop as it pleases.  There are so many customers that it just waits at the door for the next opportunity to exit or enter.  When you see the fur on this dog it’s hard to imagine that it would even feel the cold.

We like to help the local canines by putting our dinner leftovers on the kerb.  This did however cause a small issue one day.  While Luli was dropping Truce and Depp off from school, a stray dog tried to come in through our gate.  We must have impressed it with our leftovers.  Talluah and Luli were talking at the gate and shooed the dog away.  They thought the problem was solved until Luli tried to get back into her car.  She had left her door open and the dog was sitting in the driver’s seat.  I don’t know what its plan was as the nearest drive-through is several hundred kilometres away.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

A day of colour and salutations.

Today was Talluah’s birthday and the day started with her receiving the gift that most mums want – to be able to sleep in till 9:30.  After that it was all Harpers squashed into our not-quite-Queen-size bed with its memory foam mattress (it remembers to leave a bum dent from the previous night), for birthday cards and kisses.

Winter doesn’t officially start for another ten days but we think our calendar must be a bit fast as we had to rug up with jackets, beanies and gloves to go for a bike ride.  We rode out to Parque San Martin to see the autumn leaves and walk around the natural lake.  This is one of the original three lakes of the area.  The other two were filled in to make more urban land.  Sundays are always pleasant days to ride as the streets are mostly deserted and quiet.

Lunch consisted of leftovers from the asado.  Apparently the plan of any good asado is to have enough for lunch the next day.  We must have planned a perfect asado as we have enough for the children to take to school for lunch tomorrow.