Nestled in the heart of Catalonia is the tiny village of Sant Martí Sesgueioles. A single winding road leads there, and with 380 inhabitants, three shops, a bar, restaurant and school, Sant Martí is a rural enclave surrounded by wheat fields and undulating hills. Wind turbines guard the village from above.
The winters here are hard and people go into hibernation, leaving the stone houses standing solitary in the streets. But on a snowy day in Sant Martí the village square comes alive. Today, the same as every day, the grocery shop is the pulse of local life. This is what village life looks like to the insiders.
Starting off the day by making freshly squeezed orange juice with snow.
Even the tractors have come to a standstill.
At the local grocer's Cal Jordi, the mother of shopkeeper Mari-Angeles, Expi, has made"rosquilles" (doughnuts) and "xocolata desfeta" (very thick hot chocolate) to celebrate the snow.
Mari-Angeles' mother-in-law, Isabel, pops down to eat a "rosquilla" and have a chat.
The children are allowed to go behind the counter, and everyone stands around and talks.
Gradually, the shop fills up as more people —snowed in and unable to go to work— come to drink hot chocolate, do some shopping and pass the time of day.
And talking among the neighbours continues.
Meanwhile, the children lose no time in whooshing down the slopes on sledges to their hearts' content.
In the village square they shovel snow into their sledges and build snowmen.
Genevieve Shaw és copywriter i traductora freelance en anglès amb més de 12 anys d'experiència. És especialitzada en màrqueting, cultura, turisme, salut & wellness. www.genevieveshaw.com