We have arrived safely at Don Ramon’s home, just in time for El Fiesta de Adiestramiento. After all the worries of the last weeks, a few days of carefree celebration was just what we all needed and I enjoyed myself immensely. It has ben far too long since Javier and I danced with each other and we made good use of the opportunity. As did Alba, who thoroughly enjoyed the attention. Javier needs some time to get used to the fact that his little girl is old enough to be courted and to marry. I am not entirely used to it myself, but at least I watched her grow up. When he last saw her, she was only ten years old. It took every ounce of self control he has to just sit and watch and not say anything, but he did just that and let he have her fun.
The long distance race was a much awaited part of the festival and Alba was eager to participate. She did not have much convincing to do on either Javier’s or my part, but we could not get a word in before she had finished to make her case. Lucia let her ride her mare and no-one seems to be quite certain where Lucia got the black stallion she rode in the race. The race was decided between Lucia, Esmeralda and Alba and Alba won. Javier, who taught her to ride as soon as she could walk, was more than proud of her and he did not even mind that it got her even more attention.
I have been reading about all those people for years now and it is strange to finally meet them. I could not resist asking Don Ramon what he had been thinking, getting Javier into all this trouble? I know of course that Javier does this perfectly well just by himself and I am the last person who should say anything, I have gotten him into trouble more times than I can count. Don Ramon’s rather dismayed expression was priceless, before it dawned on him that I was winding him up. He got a small revenge by asking me if it was not rather unbeseeming to embarrass my husband’s friends like this. But women of my age – I think embarrassing young men is our privilege.
Regardless of my age, I can very well understand why women everywhere seem to fall for Don Ramon. Old I may be, but blind I am not. He does rather well in the role of head of the household, too – his father is in ill health and people quite naturally expect Don Ramon to take over. He’s not entirely comfortable with it, that much is obvious, but I think that is more because he is not quite ready to give up his freedom to travel and do as he likes with his time.
I have not had much opportunity to talk to the others, but I intend to do so.