Thursday, 29 May 2008
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
We've had loads of storms lately. A few weeks ago, they were simply good old rainstorms, but this week, they have been impressive electrical sorms, without any rain. Even yesterday, the sky clouded over, and we could hear thunder, but I only got about 10 raindops on me before it stopped again. In the photo, you can see both the forked and sheet lightening as it came over the mountain. Impressive stuff!
Monday, 26 May 2008
Monday, 19 May 2008
Well, we had the garden tidy for a few weeks, so it's time to mess it up again! We have arranged for a stone-waller to come in, and continue the wall near the house, and take it right down the garden, around the walnut tree, and slope down to create a ramp. He will also build us a wide set of steps, as well as a pump house, to locate the machinery we need for the pool. By co-incidence, it is actually the same man that built the original wall (so he said!) so he should have no trouble matching up.
He is due to start the work in the first week of June, but we have had to do the foundations. Not a problem for man or machine (and I even barrowed some of the cement too). Within a few hours, the job was done. Completely. I can't begin to imagine what it would have cost us, if we had needed to hire in any equipment when doing these jobs, or if we had had to pay someone else to do them for us.
We have had so much rain in the last two weeks, that there is now more water on the patio, than in the pool (not that there are any slabs on the patio either)! We can't really complain as there has been hardly any rain for the last 5 months. In fact, in Barcelona, the reservoir is down to 18% capacity and they have been shipping water in, in tankers. (Thankfully, Valencia has a massive underground reservoir system, so we are relatively safe here.)
This photo is of our nisperro fruits. They have just got ripe now. They are a little more orange than when the photo was taken. Simply pick from the tree, bite off the top, and suck the loveley sweet flesh out. There are 2 large stones / pips which are easily avoided! However, Paddy and Max quickly cottoned on, that these things are edible, and within 2 days, any hanging lower than 5ft had been eaten!
Max had also realised that other trees might contain fruit! Ed has seen him trying to climb the nisperro tree more than once! He has also dug up one of the lemon trees (which has now died) so we have bought a new one, as well as a necarine tree. However (again) Max spotted the single necatrine growing, and promply ate it (damaging several branches at the same time). Thankfully, the new lemon tree still has all of it's spikes attached, so he leaves that alone! Maybe next year we will get a proper fruit harvest! (Nisperros, lemons, oranges, nectarines, olives and almonds. Yum yum.)
We went out for a ride out, to a lovely pleace we have found in the middle of nowhere! A converted mill, now run by english people, with a 3 course sunday dinner (carvery) for just 10€ each. The food is absolutely superb, and the staff are really friendly. It is probably about 30 miles away, but perfect for incorporating on a day out. (Especially if you go via the seaside, for a cup of coffee first!)
We are really lucky, in that less than ½ mile from here, is a small woodland area, sweeping the bottom of the ‘mountain’. The weather has been very up and down, so we haven’t been up there much recently, plus of course, we needed to be certain that the pesky processionary caterpillars have finally gone.
Thankfully, we have had a few nice days, so we took the dogs for a nice long walk. They really love it. There are many pathways, but it is perfectly ok to walk anywhere, unlike most of the
We cannot see our house from the top, as it is hidden by pine trees, but anywhere along the trail there are breaks in the pines and it is possible to enjoy the view across l’Olleria or to the far sides of the valley, 20 or so miles away.
The dogs behave very well. They rarely run more than 10 feet away. In fact, when we met someone coming the other way and they asked ‘¿estan bien?’ (are they good) before I had answered, Max had run back to Ed, and Paddy had gone round them! Later, when I put Max on his lead as we neared the road again, I accidentally dropped it, and he simply trotted on regardless, rather than race off.
Last week, I noticed that Max had a swollen eye. I thought he probably had some sand in it, but I wasn't sure. I boiled the kettle, and made up a salt solution. Once it had cooled, I got hold of him and bathed his eye. He didn't like it much, but since he got a cuddle at the same time, he didn't run away! He ended up with a very wet face!
A little later, I then noticed that his other eye was swollen, not the one I had bathed! Ed had a look, and his whole nose and snout was swollen too. Ed was all for taking him to the vets, but I had just prepared his tea. He munched it as happily as usual, so he obviously wasn't actually ill.
As we watched him, both sides of his nose swelled up, and one eye nearly closed. Poor thing. We have no idea what he had an encouter with. He could have dug up some nasty ants, or got prickled by some toxic plants. He looked as though he had been beaten up.