Walk on: Lent 2021 - Episode Two
Well - welcome to La Hoya in sunny Spain As you can see it's quite a sunny day and we're going to go to Elche today We are - we're going to do the Palm Route walk around the palm parks that are very famous it's a lovely historic centre several of you who have visited have been there before we're going to have a look at the Basilica we're going to have a look at the town centre we're going to go into the ornamental park and as Julie says we're going to have a walk around the palm parks and i've even got my Elche Club de Football shirt on as well - Mucho Elche! Mucho Elche! well, we're on our way to Elche so we're going a different direction to last time and we've got different technology with us We've both got is it called 'lavalEE-er' or 'lavali-Ay' microphones well I can't pronounce either so I have no idea Because you don't call the vauxhall cavalier a vauxhall cavalier when i was looking online they called them lav mics now I think there's an important warning in that isn't there? i'm saying nothing to that because actually we're not going into toilet humour well the important thing with a Lav mic is to turn it off especially if you're being recorded well a lot of people ask us if it's 'Elche' why is it Elx? Do you know why? Because Elx is Valencian it is indeed we're almost the southernmost enclave of the Valenciana language some English residents of the local area insist on pronouncing it El-Chee and in fact frequent watchers of football (Spanish version) might also call it El-Chee I'm not an expert but it certainly isn't El-Chee it's something like Elche there's a 'tch' sound there isn't there I believe so Well, we're not driving into Elche Julie - is there a problem? Yes! Let's have a look at the car We have a badly burst tyre oh dear oh my! So this might slow us down just a little bit You think? Just a tad Sometimes stuff just happens Don't you think? So we had to change plan and wait ... Nothing else You can do Except enjoy the moment The next thing Will happen soon enough So we've arrived in the centre of Elche now with the Palacio de Altamira <or Alcazar de la Señoría> which is now part of a museum so if you're going to the main museum here, you come out into the castle. The museum is actually open today we've just seen and then as you sweep around you get a nice view of the Basilica you can see it's hat - you can see its blue hat you can see the main tower of the Basilica - you can indeed so let's go now look at the square then we have climbed up the basilica steps to the top of that tower we have been to the top of that tower and looked out it's several hundreds of steps more than 39 then? yes, just slightly we're walking right in the centre of Elche where a lot of the festivities take place which of course they won't be again this year as indeed they didn't last year all the different parades it's very quiet for a Saturday because all the restaurants and bars are shut This statue in front of us is dedicated to famous women - this statue of the world And so we're entering the public municipal park in Elche It really is quite remarkable the amount of species of palms that we've got in here isn't it really they're really quite amazing They also have some of the Cacti we have in our garden in here they've got a few more Palm trees that we've got yes but our cacti is nearly as big as that one It's a shame the children's play areas are fenced off isn't it , because usually this is a real hive of activity yes it's very sad except some of it is and some of it isn't by the looks of it Maybe people have just interpreted the rules differently Well there's so much to see in this park but we probably haven't got a great deal of time today Do you remember when we came and watched the the concert in the middle of the park in the the theatre bit? We watched the Three Tenors and it didn't start till 10 o'clock at night and everybody brought picnics and it was so hot yeah there's a series of festivals and and fiestas that culturally centre on Elche right the way through the year The main fiesta is in august when it's very hot and they make paella in the middle of the road How many is that for again? about four and a half thousand people get fed It is huge, they use a crane to put the big brick to get the Costra - the hot brick it's amazing i I like the guitar festival as well So, it's not just the park is it there's all sorts of things in Elche that make it the city that it is is We need to get a move on before the weather changes maybe well we're on walking on Ruta del Palmeras the Palm Walk in fact Wonderful that so many of these fantastic palm trees are virtually in the city centre because Elche is famous for its palms isn't it yes there's between 250 000 and half a million palm trees all in the city centre and it's been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is quite exciting It has. It's not just it's not just because of the palms themselves which is fairly spectacular as you can see all around us it's also the history of the communities as well because Elche is an old Roman town Before Roman in fact But the first title of the city was Illice, which was Roman And then it became Elche and then it had a strong history in the Islamic Era in Spain and there was a time when Muslims, Jews and Christians lived relatively peacefully in this city and the city owes a lot to the different pieces of heritage of each community which is great and in fact the palms themselves came across from North Africa and there's quite a few of them as you can see multiple species I get confused by ... A lot of them are date palms but not all of them are they really No, the odd ones are Washingtonia well most of these are dates around this area - looking Because there's some dates that haven't been harvested right up the tree up there to the top it's lovely to be able to be in the countryside but be in the city at the same time actually which is what we've got we're going to go into Hort de la Mareta nd this is where you can see here that date palms are not trees they're little bushes and things that eventually when you cut the fronds off and from here you can see the layers if you cut the fronds off it makes the trunk - do the fronds - but they're not naturally called a tree i used to like The Fonz when he was in Happy Days that was one of the favourite TV programs of mine these ones here definitely need pruning whereas these have been pruned yeah looking up a bit They're last year's dates and to have a date last year is just so 'Last Year' really isn't it? but yeah the reason i was able to do that is because I'm carrying a camera on the end of a big stick And the stick is actually a monopod that used to belong to your dad Julie didn't it? Yes when my dad retired he took up 'Videoing' as he called it we are talking 35 years ago now because he would have been 90 last year so we're talking 35 years ago he retired and he took up videoing and he had this monopod thing as part of his videoing kit which we inherited while the video camera is big and clunky and very old, some of the other attachments still are useful yeah it's actually rather nice for him to be , in a way, on the journey with us really and the same can be said for my Dad as well because it's quite heavy to hold this thing and I'm holding it in a like a holster thing with a belt around as you can see on the shoulder and it's actually the one that's intended for use with the the Flag and Standard of the Burma Star Association which my Father was a member of because he spent time in Burma in the Burma campaign in the 2nd World War and so 70 years after the Burma Star Association was founded and 75 years after the Burma campaign finished several years after both our fathers have passed away we remember them, we remember them and it's nice to have them with us on the journey They would have liked to come to Spain What would your Dad have enjoyed about it do you think? Sitting by the pool listening to the birds definitely - the countryside the mountains and then sitting on the beach with a cup of tea he would have to have a cup of tea still or a beer or a whiskey as well possibly He wouldn't have had a whiskey on the beach - that's for nighttime but a beer sitting on the beach of the beer would have been nice so you haven't got your father physically with you what did you learn from him do you think? oh that's a big question isn't it? what did you learn from your father? my first memory of learning anything i reckon was learning how at the age two to bend copper pipe there's not many people would have expected you to say that well he was a plumber and we were one of the first houses to have central heating put in because that was his job in the late 60s and he'd put this coil spring down pipe and would bend it and so i used to go and help him in the garage to try and bend this pipe I mean whether i ever managed to bend it myself but he used to pretend i did so I remember bending copper pipe i have to say that you've always worked well with the plumbers that have been in our house and you've always known what techniques to talk to them about and and if they've been saying to you 'Uffff, don't know about that', you've been suggesting other ways of doing it which is which is good but what did you really learn from him though? yes you can have that one, but it's a bit of a daft one really okay what else did I learn from my Dad? I don't know if what you'd call it ....
If things go wrong get back up and fight it.How would you call it? Facing your fears? Some would call it 'bouncebackability' but Facing your fears is probably better When I crashed my car when i was 18 - badly - it was the first year seat belt laws came in and it's a good job they had because i would have been dead and we wouldn't be having this conversation that's very true so i wrote my car off and was very very fearful - it was a little red Mini the week after I came out of hospital he insisted that I got in his big car which was a great big brown Humber Sceptre like a tank with no power steering those days and i was only about six stone wet through and he made me get in every day for a week and drive his car so that i didn't fear driving because i was frightened to drive after having the accident yes he definitely taught me if you face your fears that's good because the longer you don't face them, the bigger they grow, so have a go at least that's a good lesson oh have a nice sit down I've got a surprise for you oh that's good that's exciting I've packed some date cake oh excellent i suppose it's appropriate for when you're in palm trees but it's homemade in my new bread making machine okay you might have to go and show it to the cameraman Can he not see from here? He can't see very much so go and show it to him so we have Date and Walnut cake that i made so there you are tasty thank you Do you know I always thought date and walnut cake was from a place called Dayton, I actually did I haven't just said that - it's one of those things You're talking with your mouth full now I asked you what you learned from your Dad What I learned last week was YouTube puts automatic subtitles on That it takes from the voice recognition but it couldn't cope with some of the the accents that i've got and you've got, and also some of the words so Tabarca, what was that? Tobacco Tabarca was 'tobacco' The man running 'with a mask on' became the 'man running with a mascot' i had visions of of like a man running next to a Wookie during the london marathon like in the Four Lions film We had Fanta Cola instead of Santa Pola which which could be useful if you're thirsty and the best one was Balearics was Ballet Erics This is beautiful Date and Walnut cake from Daytona Beach my mother taught me to make this, see we haven't mentioned mothers this week My mother taught me to make cakes. My mother's a cake maker so but I have butter on mine because we traditionally have it with butter on but you don't like butter well it's a useful pick-me-up when we're working so hard walking through the palm walks of Elche And it might be a bit high to go and pick some dates but this Date & Walnut cake is from our tree dates so these are homemade homegrown dates in my Date & Walnut cake So what about you? What did your dad teach you? Touche I suppose, i need to stop and think about that Erm - think he taught me how to be sociable no i don't mean that i'm not saying anything It was when my dad famously said to my mother "I only drink to be sociable" To which my mother replies very very quickly "well it doesn't work then does it? which i think i quoted at my dad's funeral to be honest yeah that's a silly one He had a tough childhood, my Dad he lost his mum when he was four he had a rough time in his teens - very rough time - and he volunteered to get in the army as soon as he could and he was in the second world war all the time it was on - even into extra time and was away from the uk the whole time and went through quite a few stories that he didn't really embellish unlike some people possibly, but what did i learn from him? well as a dad he was always brilliant working hard quite chirpy at one level and then angry about something the next level but i think it's just resilience i think it's this you keep going you don't let things grind you down you get on with it you do the job he never claimed to be brilliantly practical and he never really liked doing it and he complained about it but he did it that's resilience - keeping going quite a few people who had gone through what he'd gone through they would pass it down to other people and he didn't and i will forever respect and love him for that well we've come to a quiet spot on our walk now and i've managed to take my mask off and get a bit of fresh air and uh it's been great to have you with us we're almost we're almost finished and uh just a few meters before we go start making our way back home hopefully that the tire on the car is not going to burst again on the way home but uh thank you for joining us but we've been thinking about our dads with us today actually with the with the monopod and the holster that that my dad had I remember one of the stories that my dad had he spent time in the middle east during the war and he finished up in nazareth and he once he got to nazareth he wasn't a religious man my father at all he never went to church and he didn't really have that religious jargon that people use but he said when i got to nazareth there was a dusty main street i'm sure it's not like that today he said what i'll do is walk with one foot in front of the other, with one foot touching the other and i'll walk right away across the road he probably did it without wobbling like i am and once he got to the other side of the road, he came back and he went the other way putting one foot in front of the other and what he said to me was, basically i knew once i'd done that that I'd walked where He walked and i found that really profound That my father who obviously understood the mystery of faith but didn't really express it in a tangible way but he was able to say i'd walked in the footsteps on the same road that He walked And last week we talked about a quote from Justin Welby of sharing the journey of Lent with Jesus and I suppose that's taking it one step further is if we follow the footsteps of Christ as well and if we let that inform us in our journey through this complicated world Where are we going next week then? We have a choice. We could go to the bird reserve or we could go to the dam - which is the Pantano Yeah the Pantano of Elche I think there are two choices It'll depend on the weather We won't be back to the seaside again then will we? No, the week after maybe we must admit the weather's been changeable today no it hasn't! It's only 17 and a half degrees yeah #blessed no i can't say that . . .