By Norman Lewis
Within the past due Forties, Norman Lewis settled in a distant fishing village on what's now the Costa Brava, relishing a society the place males regulated their lives by means of the sardine shoals of spring and autumn and the tuna fishing of summer time, and the place ladies saved goats and gardens, prepared marriages and made frugal ends meet. Over the process 3 years he watches with sorrow and affection because the villagers fight to hold directly to a life-style unchanged for hundreds of years. How lengthy can their precarious economic system, their old feuds and traditions now not least the evenings of impromptu clean verse within the bar carry out opposed to the encroaching tide of package deal tourism, which sidles insidiously into the village with the arriving of black-marketeer Muga?
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Additional info for Voices of the Old Sea
In most years catches were a little sparser than the year before, but there were optimists who believed that the decline was not necessarily irreversible, and they awaited in hope the end of the cycle of lean years. The fishermen were totally absorbed by the sea, oblivious almost of the activities of those who lived by the land, wholly ignorant of the fact that only a few miles away a catastrophe was in the making. Three miles back from the shore the cork-oak forest began – hundreds of thousands of majestic trees, spreading their quilt of foliage into the foothills, and up and over the slopes into the low peaks of the sierra.
A lonely shore became for a day an animated one, with children doing what they could to dig castles in the coarse unsuitable sand, their parents paddling a little uncertainly in a few inches of water, hoping thus to absorb benefits supposed to be conferred by the minerals it contained, and picnickers doing their best to enjoy themselves although continually molested by scrounging cats. In this lively scene comings and goings that would have drawn attention at other times passed unnoticed. When the Curandero arrived by rowing boat a small party of fishermen waited to welcome him.
She passed her tongue very slowly in a clockwise direction round her teeth inside the lips, and said five pesetas a day. ’ This proved true, and to find the place had been an immense stroke of luck. I spent my first week in Farol, to which I had been drawn by its reputation of being the least accessible coastal village in north-east Spain, in the fonda – the village inn – being driven out largely by the smell of cats. The fonda was run by two shy, silent brothers I never saw except at mealtimes when one or other of them would bring the food, drop the plate on the table, head averted, and scuttle away.