Mar 10

House-sitting highlights – Catalonia

Seven weeks down a 2km dirt track in the middle of nowhere may sound like a long time, but it went way too quickly. Here are some of our highlights.

Viva and BlueBlue walking Pets

Mel – I utterly adored going for walks with Marley and the girls, especially when BlueBlue made Viva go home with her. Those two are so funny together.

Nick – BlueBlue, Marley and Viva were all a joy to be around. Here’s a little taste of why Nick and Marley







Mel – Poble Vell. I love opening gates I might not be meant to go through. This one turned out to be a real eye opener.

Nick – A rocking chair on the first floor terrace at the house we looked after. With the sun shining on the valley below, it’s the perfect spot for reading on a lazy day.


Mel – The first time we saw the Ebre valley from the road to Tortosa, I’m pretty sure we said “Wow!” in unison. Nick, Mel and the Ebre Valley

Nick – The slowly dawning realisation of what we’d walked into at Poble Vell. We arrived knowing nothing of the place.


Mel – Trying my hand at painting for the first time since school. I definitely want to do more. Almond tree in blossom

Nick – When I arrived in Catalonia I’d somehow passed through life without reading anything by Jared Diamond, Bob Dylan, James Ellroy, Glen David Gold, Cormac Mccarthy or Haruki Murakami. This is no longer the case.

Food and drink

Mel – Crema Catalana and honey-olive liqueur, not together.

Nick – In trying my hand at a few Catalan dishes, I came to love picada. It can contain almost anything, but the basics are garlic, fried bread, almonds, parsley and olive oil mashed up in a pestle and mortar. Added near the end of cooking, it turns a ho-hum dish into something much better. Colman Andrews summed it up nicely when he said picada ‘seems to…plug all the gaps in flavor.’

It made me think…

Mel - Hasta mañana.. el mundo es mi hogar..

Nick – …a lot about water and energy use.

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