During childhood and youth my life revolved around two opposing worlds: one in Barcelona, where I basically just studied and where my father carried out his workweek as an employee in a large company. A man who was forced to move to the city, because his trade as a saddler was no longer providing him any work. Tractors had replaced the animals in the field and cars brought trucks to an end. Nobody needed harnesses, saddles etc. for animals.
My mother, Florens, was a person full of sensitivity. She never knew her mother, who died during childbirth; she was essentially a survivor from the first to the last minute of her life. Since she was 13 years old, she worked hard in her father’s bakery without any recognition. It was the post-war, hard times. In Barcelona she was an exemplary housewife with a special flair for gastronomy, inherited from her ancestors. She called it “cooking gladly”. If it rained, we would go snail picking and then, after three days of work in the kitchen, everything slowly …Wonderful snails!!
My other world, where my parents were born, was rural. Every weekend, every holiday, every vacation was spent there. Everything transformed and was perceived differently. The experiences, food and cooking were even more intensified. My father was no longer the worker; he was forever the adventure creator.
In my mind the same childish question always arose: Why 100% of our lives were not spent there ?. We loved the place, we had friends, we were happy.. All of us. Soon I realized that some people had trouble earning a living there. There was work at home for my parent’s siblings but not for them, and their love withstood any stake. And so that was life, also for the small vineyard in Sant Marti had Sesgueioles . Vineyard?, Why did we call it a vineyard, if what we had planted was wheat ?.
After phylloxera, the vineyard had died and the landowners decided to find a more comfortable cultivation, less suffering, more machinable. In short, wheat was much better than the vineyard operationally and the vineyard was never replanted. The wine heritage was forgotten, and the old presses of the houses were no longer of any use.
The green spring landscape changed to yellow, and certainly people also changed. Essence was lost. And one only made a living from the field if he owned hundreds of acres that allowed him to recoup the large machines. Life was rural, but not in the field. The field was only for a few and they lived it their own way.
And one day I discovered the Priorat, a similar climate, a much more tortuous terrain and I saw that not everyone had given up, some replanted the vineyard after phylloxera and also returned to work from sunrise to sunset on slopes and terraces.
I thought: “This area is inhabited by stubborn people!”
Obviously, I stayed