About Us

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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Ride Outs

Yes, of course we have been out – I just haven’t written about it yet! We have been out with the local Spanish guys as well as with some English bikers that we have met.

The Spanish guys do a ride out every Sunday and fiesta without fail, simply be at the cafĂ© at 9am and follow. Get there at 9:15 and you will be too late. It’s a great ride out, but the tankards of beer, and bottles of wine, followed by brandy were a bit too much for us for breakfast!

We have done a few trips with some ex-pats and had a good time too. The only problem, is that some of the roads are a little too tight and twisty for the busa. Keeping it in 2nd only works if the guy in front is doing the same!

We had a really good day out on Sunday; some poor waiter asked what we were riding, and one of the girls replied, “We’ve got a moped, they’ve got a 125 and the couple on the end have come on the bus, they just like wearing the gear”. I nearly wet myself laughing!!!

Palm Sunday??!!

Whoopee – time to move the palm tree. From the very onset of finding the house, we wanted to move one of the palm trees at the front, to the pool area. Now that the builders have finished, we could finally do it. Ed dug a huge hole out, ready to put it in, and then had to dig out the palm tree. What a job. Thank goodness for the mini-digger. (I don’t know how we would have done anything without it!)

He dug around 2 sides and the tree appeared to move quite a bit, but it wasn’t until the 3rd side had been dug away, that the tree really wanted to move. However, when it came out, it left all of the soil behind, and the roots were bare.

I filled the hole up with water, leaving the hosepipe in the hole, then went to help Ed guide the tree to where it was needed. As I turned around, I saw the top of Max’s tail, sticking out of the hole! He had spotted the water, and jumped in the hole!

It took quite a bit of manoeuvring, but we managed to get the tree in place. Sure enough, it looks great. A palm tree, next to the pool – what could be better?

The Tidy-Up

Ed did a huge clear up as the builders finished. We got the local merchant in, to delivery skips for us and remove the rubbish. He obviously wasn’t tipping it very far away… when he realised that Ed was filling the skips using the machine, he said he would be back in 5 minutes… sure enough, in no time at all, he brought the empty skip back, Ed having only just filled the one he left behind! Within half a day, we had got rid of 8 containers of rubble! Where did it all come from?!

He then moved the left-over tiles/blocks/cement etc, and now, at last, we have a tidy back garden again. It is a pleasure to sit on the terrace again, rather than having to look at a bomb (sorry building) site.

Building Work Completed (for now)

At last, we have got rid of the builders. The standard of the work is very high, so we are pleased really.

It was funny when they finished; I was glad to see the back of them, as I felt totally housebound, having to be here to let them in/out and supply anything they needed. Ed is so used to seeing things being built, it meant nothing to him, just another building. Also, we were fed up of having to find the cash each week to pay them. As they left, they expected us to be effusive with our thanks – we weren’t! We just said goodbye, as if they would be back the following week! (We did get them some other work lined up, so we knew they would be ok.)

Ed has fitted a tap around the back already, so we can water the bottom half of the garden more easily. Now we just need to get some tiles, so we can do the floor, and then fit the toilet. Oh yes, then we need to buy about 10 huge tubs of paint…


We have a bird here, which is called a hoopoe. It is bigger than a thrush, but smaller than a magpie. It is pinkish in colour, with black and white tips to its wings. When it flies, it is not very graceful, but, it does have one redeeming feature; it is the only bird that eats the pesky processionary caterpillars. Apparently, it picks up the caterpillar in its long beak, and then wipes the poison off on a nearby branch, before eating them! Excellent. I know the picture is not very good, but they are easily frightened, as they spend a lot of time on the ground, digging out insects (and caterpillars).

They have quite a distinctive call, so we know they are around, before we even see them. Sadly, they are not here all year, otherwise we might have less of a caterpillar problem!!


Thursday, 10 April 2008

The Olive Tree

When in Rome… I fancied an olive tree. I do actually like olives, and we didn’t have a tree. We certainly had offers of neighbours olives, but the trees are so pretty, with their soft sage green leaves, that I thought a tree of our own would be nicer.

Last weekend, Ed was asked by a (Spanish) neighbour to take out 11 olive trees. He happily agreed, but asked that one could be saved, so that we could have it. On the morning in question, Ed heard the neighbours chainsaw buzzing away, an hour before he was due to go around. He jumped in the digger, and tracked up the lane. After the first junction, he had a sense that he was being followed. He looked ‘round, to see two Guardia Civil cars behind him. These are the national / military police, and they won’t stand for anything wrong. Oops. He pulled over into another driveway to let them pass, and thankfully they both went by. Perhaps the GB sticker on the back of the digger put them off a long and complicated conversation.

Ed got to the neighbours garden and of the 11 trees to come out, 10 had been chopped to stumps, ready for Ed to clear, and one had been left for me. The biggest of them all. It was about 8ft tall and 10 feet wide. Ed cleared the garden, then had to dig out the olive tree. Finally, he managed to get a good root ball out, and get it on to the back of Juan’s little rotavator trailer. Juan was happy to bring it to our house, but it was too wide to fit down the lane! What about the other people’s hedges and gardens? ¿Que? What’s the problem. He chugged off along the lanes, followed by Ed and his machine. He brushed both sides of the lanes and barely got through the front gate. Thankfully, he didn’t meet anyone coming the other way.

A bit of deft digger work from Ed, and I now have my own olive tree, on the top terrace, behind the pool house. Just far enough over, so that the lovely sage leaves can be seen from the terrace. Perfect. (Just need to save up lots of jars now, to preserve the olives.)

Mucky Puppy

All dogs like to play in the dirt. Max is obviously no exception. We put in an olive tree, and watered it - so max had to go and investigate the mud. Lovely.

For Wendy

Hi Wendy, This blog is especially for you, since you always want to know what the dogs are doing, as well as us!

This is the scallywags at their watering dish. It is fixed to the wall, and connected directly to the mains water supply. The bowl has a float hidden at the back, and as the dogs drink, the water is automatically replaced. This have several advantages; they never run out of water, no matter how much they drink; the water won't evaporate in the summer; there isn't a big pool of water, for mosquitos to lay their eggs in. Also, there isn't a puddle of dirty mud for them to play in!