Sunday, 8 August 2010
Pulling for Ben
The amount of support I’ve had during this illness has been overwhelming. Not only all the cheering comments from you lot out there (thank you so much, it really has made a difference) but also, now I’m out of hospital, the encouragement of local people as well. All those neighbours that, at times, might have been irritated or perplexed by OB’s presence in the garden have touchingly demonstrated their affection.
But one of the most emotional moments came when the rowing team, rather than do their usual training session, rowed up from the harbour and landed on the beach in front of my house.
There have been several moments during my 22 years in Catalonia when I’ve found myself lucky enough to be welcomed into the heart of Catalan culture and this was clearly one of them. Most of the team are fishermen or from fishing families and they have known each other since they were children. I mentioned to one that as a foreigner I felt fortunate in being admitted into what, it has to be said, is a tightly closed circle. He responded that I wasn’t a foreigner; I was a man of the sea, just like them.
I still haven’t wiped the satisfied smile off my face.