Late Saturday afternoon, back in Madrid after four days at the Molino.
I never tire of the contrast between urban Madrid and rural Asturias. Madrid: heat and noise rising; Asturias: dampness and quiet descending. Madrid: large gatherings of people, swift mobility, heels on sidewalks, a whirl of lights at night, hard edges; Asturias: pairs and solitary figures walking tree-shadowed roads, leisurely paces, the soft earth below muffling all movement, endless darkness at night--introducing a billion trillion brightly precise stars when the sky is clear, easy curves.
This trip was relatively uneventful, in the sense that no catastrophes befell us. We rounded up the final permissions forms from neighbouring landowners and transfered the money to Viesgo, the electric company, with its assurance that work would begin within the week (or perhaps the week after...), so we should actually have electricity at the Molino the next time we head north. We've lined up an electrician to make peace between the new powerlines and the ancient and idiosyncratic wiring inside the Molino. And we learned just this morning, as we were preparing to leave, how to clean the pipe filters so that our connection to Oviñana's water supply flows with enough force to get the showers and sinks upstairs working.
The mold and mildew was legion, as always, and my guess is that we'll never defeat it. But can we somehow embrace it?
Except for the concern about how the place will look when family and friends start visiting in the spring, we enjoyed ourselves more fully this visit because our expectations seemed better matched to what we experienced.
No matter how bad things have been, or how forcefully Lisa has insisted we have to sell the place, I fall in love with the Molino every time I go. Whatever's wrong with the place, it's not the Molino's fault, I tell myself. Just because previous owners have made bad decisions about it doesn't mean I should hate it. If I got a pound dog who'd been abused by his former masters, it wouldn't occur to me to blame the dog. So with the Molino. In fact, I feel very protective of this strange, mysterious beast--moreso each time I go.
For good or ill, I think I'm a friend for life.