Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Memorable meal

I was given a special treat by the Chaplaincy wardens today. Ron and Jenny called and took me out to L'Antic Moli, a fine Catalan restaurant just outside St Rafael de Riu, where we met with Paul and Beryl for lunch. I came here once before with Michael and Pamela eighteen months ago and was impressed by the high standard and variety of the cuisine.

I had a sushi style marinaded tuna for a starter followed by braised rabbit and alubia beans. The rabbit was covered in a light olive oil, which made an otherwise dryish meat succulent and didn't overwhelm the flavour. Reading the menu beforehand, I noticed that as part of the restaurant's signature gourmet supper, an olive oil tasting course is offered, with seven different local varieties to try. There were some excellent green olives on the table to share as well, though I was the only one to eat them, and ate more than my share during the first two courses.

Then there was blood orange and strawberry sorbet to follow for postre, and the meal was washed down with Catalan vin negre or vin rosado. Normally I don't eat bread with a cooked meal, but the roll was offered was so crisp fresh and light, it was worth making a exception. These were all splendid tastes to remember, and it was a good occasion for the five of us to share, ahead of my final service on Sunday which will be the fifth Sunday united chaplaincy celebration in Vinaròs Fishermen's Chapel. In July 2012, the first time I was here, the fifth Sunday celebration was in Vinaròs, but that time it was at the Ermita, outside town, with its wonderful views of the sierras and coastal plain. Which reminds me, I must re-visit there before I leave. It's a special place.

On returning to the house, I took a brief siesta, then walked up the Costa Norte, enjoying the slightly cooler weather and the breeze coming in off the sea. There are more holidaymakers now than when I arrived in each of many pebbled coves along the Costa, and the sandy beaches along the town sea front are quite busy, as they have been for several weeks. If my memory serves me well, it'll be even more crowded in the first three weeks of August, when the French as well as the Spanish fill the hotels and holiday lettings all along the Mediterranean coast. Even so, traffic and pedestrian crowds in Vinaròs are not nearly as heavy as in Benicarló and Peñìscola, both of which have many more high rise hotels and apartment blocks, such a contrast to how it is in winter and spring.

This evening, there was work to do on a briefing for the BCRP Board about the challenges of the recent enforced upgrade of RadioNet equipment, and how they have been successfully tackled, without need for a crisis loan. Perhaps its something to do with the age that Ashley and I both have in common, that we know how to conserve and not resources, and are quite risk averse when it comes to costly credit. It's good to think that we put old fashioned principles and business ethics to work, and continue to develop our voluntary enterprise, albeit slowly and carefully. Very satisfying.

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