Paying attention

  1. Paying Attention… Being Fully Aware and Intentionally Present Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life. WU-MEN-KUAN
  2. My exercise: walk around the village where I spend my fall vacation with the family (husband, children, sister and grandpas) While I go though my daily activity consisting mainly in having teas and coffees in between of food and winter clothes shopping. I have done my best to look at everything as I did the first time I arrived in here. See what I have found….
  3. Ana Mari’s place…the best café for pastries and breakfast
  4. Ana Mari’s place offers the best including of course homemade products from the convent nuns (masters of universe for pastries)
  5. Tuesday’s Marketplace
  6. Tuesday’s Marketplace
  7. Clothes for work, shoes, slippers
  8. Colorful luxurious fruit and vegetables in a very cold morning These people do know their business man. They know how to best place the products how to “create” an eager want for a beautiful cauliflower and how to fill and weight the bags incredibly fast leaving previously suspicious customers with the feeling of having made a wonderful bargain or even better as if they were carrying jewels instead of vegetables.
  9. Legumbres de la tierra (pulses) of course, Castilla and Cantabria, one of the most crowded parades, managed by the third generation of the same family Magic phrase is “¿quién da la vez?” or who’s next ?...if you do no not know how to use it you are heading into serious trouble… The family in charge knows their customers extremely well, even if, as myself and my family they show up just once a year. They fill bags and offer great advice at light speed . It is just paramount customer service on top of great quality and reasonable prices.
  10. True beauty and meaning in legumbres (pulses) from Castilla and Navarra,it is a pleasure to dig with your hand and feel and touch the grain
  11. Codfish on display. This is when the product does its own advertising. No need for printed sinage or banners.
  12. CHEESE, REAL CHEESE, NO JOKES. A parade as crowded as the legumbres one…there are other places where you can get cheese at the market but only this one has such a queue that is a signal more effective than one million Google Ads. The buying process leaves your tummy full since you need to taste throughly every possible cheese you want to buy. Children get special tretment with ham and chorizo for free…Great quality and great service.
  13. Awesome Romanic Heritage
  14. Shop of the cookies’ factory …very fresh cookies although the perssonnel are strangely bad tempered and unkind. As if they were making you a favour letting you buy there. Cookies manufacturing is the key industry in the village, actually in working days there is a sweet vanilla smell in the air.
  15. Kid’s friendly pharmacy
  16. Soportales, bars and cozy old fashion shops in a freezing cold evening
  17. Todos los Santos
  18. Don Juan Tenorio Todos los Santos
  19. Testimonial Halloween: just to try and drive people to bars or entertain the little ones at school. This is still the Tenorio and “Los Santos” land. What on earth is an “olla ferroviaria” ? ferroviaria.html
  20. The Library: a magic environment for imagination
  21. Snapshot of life at the library board
  22. Autoservicio Domingo…going back 20 years and still making sound business
  23. Autoservicio Domingo…like going back 20 years and still making sound business. Not really compelling to start with and the shelfs are occupied to the fullest in a baroque way but the excellent quality of the products and friendliness of the owner makes you forget anything else
  24. Soportales, bars and cozy old fashion shops in a freezing cold evening
  25. Reflexions and outcomes (i) In this village, at the north of Meseta Castellana in Spain even summer is chilly but this week with Los Santos coming up its is already freezing cold with merciless wind. Incredible Romanic architecture, best in class in Europe, surrounds you with curches, convents, abbeys and traditional houses breathing everywhere. Pisuerga river embraces the place with a calm, peaceful and confident atmosphere. Financial Crisis is far, far away. Key industry is cookie’s manufacturing and also tourism. Additionally people grow wheat and breed sheep flocks to make cheese or to eat the young ones as “lechazo” The village is designed for business and for that it is key to allow people go around comfortably even in the most inconvenient weather. All commercial roads have “soportales” which are like an extended ceiling to shelter people while they go from one place to another from one errand to another. The outlook of most businesses is quite traditional but the most important feature is to deliver the promise of a warm, cozy and comfortable atmosphere inside. It is clear that all businesses be it cafeterias, bars, groceries, clothes or even the public library send a very clear message that says “come in and you’ll be a lot better than you are now, with frozen ears falling to pieces”
  26. Reflexions and outcomes (ii) Overall all businesses have a traditional or even old fashion decoration which give a feeling of trustworthyness, respectability and comfort which combined are very compelling. Interestingly enough the only bar that has been refurbished recently with a modern look feels oddly cold . After a few walks up and down, and a lot of shopping on my side since this is the only occasion I have time for thoughtful purchases, it seems that except for the chineese bazaars all businesses rely on quality for their products. There are very few things for selling that could be classified as poor or worthless. This has of course a price but still that price is reasonable. Besides that quality the other essential element is the service and the incredibly good attention you get from sales personnel. I wonder if one of the reasons is that most of the businesses are family businesses where the owner and relatives are there taking care personally of everything. They provide excellent advice on how to buy, what you would need for what and which are the prices most adequate for what you need and any possible piece of infomation that you can think of.
  27. Reflexions and outcomes (iii) The weekly market is a different story since it is very chilly there and uncomfortable since you need to que and stand in the cold while the coldness gets into your feet from the floor up. Still the parades, at least the ones for food are so incredibly good that people wait for the market day with a bit of excitement. Again for food (although not for clothes) quality and customer service are paramount . These are family businesses that flow from one generation to another, Personnel are amazingly efficiant, know the products, and know how to sell and how to deal with people. I wonder if it is possible to do somehting about making the shopping experience from a weather perspective more comfortable. You can find people from many places shoppping, even from other provinces.
  28. Reflexions and outcomes (iv) Since is it is arelatively small village any shop or any queue at the marketplace turn into a fantastic source of information for almost anything…and in a sense complementing that that you cannot find in wikipedia. How could we tap there I wonder? These people are not exactly putting their thoughts on Twitter of Facebook. What I have loved most is that Halloween hardly exists, there are very very little Halloween decorations if any at all. Instead you find the signd of Todos los Santos tradition, in the form of flowers for the deceased loved ones, traditional sweets such as “saints’ bones”, Don Juan Tenorio Theatre representations and conversations everywhere abour massses for the dead not forgotten or about going to the cementery to put the flowers.
  30. Don Juan Tenorio de José Zorrilla ¡Ah! ¿No es cierto, ángel de amor, que en esta apartada orilla más pura la luna brilla y se respira mejor? Esta aura que vaga llena de los sencillos olores de las campesinas flores que brota esa orilla amena; esa agua limpia y serena que atraviesa sin temor la barca del pescador que espera cantando al día, ¿no es cierto, paloma mía, que están respirando amor?