Thursday, 4 February 2016

Seeing a giant sickle and learning to change an MR11 lightbulb

I bet you have never seen a sickle as big as this one which
Estela Falc by Enric Pladevall 
is situated just outside the old walls of Cambrils? It's actually a prize-winning sculpture, created by Enric Pladevall and entitled Estela Falc. Estela Falc won first prize for Sculpture In Public Places in 2005. The work harks back to Cambrils agricultural heritage and commemorates the siege of the town by Philip IV in 1640 - the lower part of the blade is planted in the ground and its almost closed circle symbolises the encircling troops. In my photo here you can just see the edge of a stone archway behind Estela Falc. This is important evidence of the wall which surrounded Cambrils since at least the fourteenth century. The wall was built with stones from the nearby river bed, bound with lime mortar, and this gateway is now the only one still preserved.

Cambrils historic wall and gateway 
We had walked from Camping La Llosa past the railway
Window in Cambrils old town 
station from which we shall travel to Tarragona on Saturday, and through the weekly market - lots of clothing and a few local produce stalls - to reach the old town. It only covers a small area and is an atmospheric mix of narrow streets, huge wooden doors and occasional peeps into beautiful cool courtyards. The local authority has installed information plaques outside particularly significant buildings including one town house used annually for the storage of the festival giants. Cambrils festival is this weekend so we might catch some of it on Friday and Saturday morning - Tarragon festival is this weekend too! I loved street details such as the coloured glass bottles in one window display and a series of tile images depicting local work and industry which surrounded a water tap.

Cambrils suffered during the Spanish Civil War and
reminders of this time are still displayed in the town. Right-wingers were persecuted during the early months of the war, then opposing forces were victimised in later years when Franco's forces gained the upper hand. Carrer Mn Isidre Fabregas is named for Father Isidre Fabregas, the rector at Santa Maria, who was detained on a prison ship moored off Tarragona along with many of the La Salle brothers. Many of these detainees, including Father Isidre, were killed purely for their religious beliefs.

On a lighter note (pun intended), how about a variation on the changing a lightbulb joke? How many Bailey caravan owners does it take to change the bulb in the MR11 spotlights? It turns out to need quite a few of us! My bulb blew yesterday (yeah, yeah) and we could not figure out how to remove the bulb so have been googling today. We certainly aren't the first to have needed advice! Successful advice was to slide two dinner knife blade tips in through the horizontal slots, one from each side, and press downwards. The bulb then easily pops out. Obviously make sure the light is switched OFF before attempting this manoeuvre.

And finally, I have been guest blogging again! Today my
Top Ten Books of 2015 post has been published on the A J Bookreview Club website. If you missed it here, please do click through and take a look. I can almost certainly guarantee book choices that you won't find on any other blogs!

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