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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Finishing Touches (ha ha)

Ed has had a go at rendering the pump house. The first coat has made a huge improvement to the overall look of the construction and today he has put the second coat on two of the walls. It is very hot, so he didn't even start until after 7pm. Hopefully the render will still be on the wall in the morning! (I'm sure it will)

Ice Cold Drink

Needless to say, it's been very warm for the last few weeks. Max and Paddy seem to be going nocturnal again. Not too suprising really, it is far too hot for them to do anything during the day, with their fur coats on. (Although in April and May I'm sure there was enough fur under the furniture to make a third dog.)

As a treat, we occasionally give them a separate water bowl with a very large ice cube in it. The ice cube is actually made in a plastic storage container, about 5 inches across. Paddy finds it quite interesting, but Max will then spend the next 15 minutes trying to get the ice cube, and spilling all of the water in the process. It's a good job we have an automatically re-filling water bowl for them, otherwise we would have to spend all day topping the bowl up!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Hissssing Sid

A couple of day's ago, while Ed was on the terrace, he noticed something strange next to the pool-house. As he looked, he wondered why the hose pipe was laying alonside the house, rather than coiled up around the back. Then, he realised that the 'hosepipe' was coming towards the house, and was about a foot off the floor! He came to fetch me, but as he did so, the snake escaped and we didn't see it again.

Today, however, the dogs were greatly disturbed by something in the garden. Ed assumed it was something down the bottom and went to investigate, but couldn't see anything. On the walk back, Paddy stopped, and wouldn't pass a specific point. Ed turned to look, and then spotted the problem. A full, shed, snakeskin, which had been discarded overnight. It was about 4 1/2 feet long and fully intact. I carefully removed it from the plants that had been used to help shed it. The dogs were not very happy with it, so after taken a couple of photos, we had to get rid of it. (I wanted to take it to school and frighten everyone, but sadly term has now ended!)

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Feeling Fruity

In the last 2 days, the plums have suddenly changed colour and are nearly ready to be picked. They are lovely and juicy (having tried them already) so now I am looking forward to; plum crumble, plum jam, etc... Looks like a busy weekend ahead, harvesting the crop. yum yum

Wednesday, 17 June 2009


Last summer, I heard that there was a swimming pool for the townsfolk, but to my shame, I didn't know where it was.

This year, I have put that to rights. The pool opened on Tuesday for the first time, for it's 12 week period of operation. In preparation, I had already acquired my season ticket - no mean feat in itself.

I trotted along on Tuesday morning, along with a friend, and discovered the delights of the open-air 25m pool - with just one other person in it. We both swam for a good while, before changing and going to the cafe. While there, we were invited to their 'grand opening' night, with free food and drink. Needless to say, that was the evening's entertainment organised.

Sure enough, we were plied with food and drink, and had the oportunity to speak to some of the lifeguards as well as the cafe owner. A good introduction for the summer. A stroll around the entire facility led to the dicovery of tennis, badminton and squash courts, five-a-side football pitches and basketball courts. I couldn't see the offices, so I asked about hiring the courts, or was it necessary to be in a club... No, the facilities were entirely free, and if you wanted to use them, then you just turned up and did so. If the part you wanted was already taken, then you just waited. I was very impressed. Although a little rough around the edges, for such a range of sports to be available for no charge is something the UK should consider!

I then realised that the charge for the swimming pool (41€ for a family of 4 for the entire summer), was primarily to cover the cost of the lifeguards.

Seems like a bargain to me!

New Line in Swimwear

Whilst taking photos of the local pool, a lady who was 'swimming' said that she would be happy for me to take her photo.

She was evidently not a strong swimmer, as, although she was in the deep end, she had a bouancy aid. In this case, it was a long foam tube, which she sat on, and, on one end, was tied a delightful parasol.

A wonderful creation - floating around in the pool, needing no effort, and not getting burnt in the summer sun. Perfect!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Try your wings

Yesterday, as I was on the terrace, I spotted that one of the swallows constantly flying in and out seemed to be struggling a little. I quickly realised that this one was actually one of the babies, trying it's wings out for the first time. It was flapping away madly, rather than swooping like the parents.

It fluttered around in circles, and then finally landed on a wire for a rest. The parents were nearby, keeping an eye out. A little later, the next one left the nest and then a third. The juveniles from last year came too, to look after the babies and soon the air was filled with swallows chattering.

It is quite humbling, to see how quickly they take to flying, swooping and gliding around. By sheer luck today, I managed to catch a photo of all six babies having a rest. As you can see, they no longer fit into the nest at once - although I suspect that at night time, they simply squeeze in!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Flower Shower

At last, I have got the tiles for the poolside shower done!

I'm quite pleased with the effect, although the trunk is slightly out of proportion to the top of the tree. Still, when it grows, it will balance out! (After all, it will get watered every summer)

For the less observant, you can just spot the shower head projecting from the top of the wall, just under the tiles. The pipework is running through the wall, and the black horizontal part on the tree trunk is the shower on/off handle. The bottom inch or so are below the level that the slabs will be, which is why they look a little uneven (they won't show). The drainage is already in place, behind the wall, ready to be connected up.

Now all we need to do, is get the pipework for the pool, then lay the slabs... buy the pump... filters... pool tiles...

Friday, 5 June 2009

Casa John

John's new house is a lovely little place, in a nice quiet road. Close to some big shops a bar and a nice restaurant and only a 15 minute walk from the main High Street and all of the amenities. Should be perfect for him, if he doesn't upset the neighbours!! x

Lunch Date

Had a nice day out at Rojales yesterday, helping John move house.

What can I say, you can't take him anywhere, without him chatting to the birds. He got so familiar with this one, that he even invited his new friend to join us for lunch... As you can see he soon had his new friend eating out of his hand!

Mind you - seemed a bit flighty to me!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

It's a Dog's Life

When taking them for a walk in the mountains, we usually pop them into the car now, so that they get a nice trip out, not just a trip to the vet! At last, Max has mastered the art of jumping into the back of the car himself (not just waiting to be lifted in!). As you can see, life for Max, is usually laid back!

Plum Pudding

Well, they are not ripe yet, but after 2 years of harsh pruning, the plum tree is full this year. Thank goodness I persuaded Ed to leave it in. He was convinced it was dead! Hopefully, we will be able to eat them, before the birds and the bees do!

Not so 'Baby' swallows

Ed thinks that they are ready to leave the nest. If not today, then certainly very soon. Looking back, they are about 6 weeks ahead of last year. Of course, this year, they haven't had to make their house, simply move in!

Today, when I took this photo, there were about 5 or 6 adults shouting at me, so it seems that the juveniles are going to help them fledge.

We missed the baby bluetits, and missed the baby sparrows (Max caught one, so he obviously had more idea than us - then again, his hearing is sharper!), but at least we know we will see these take to their wings.

Happy Birthday to Ed

Well, he's 21 again!

Thank you for the presents and cards! We have nothing planned for today, as we will be busy tomorrow, with John.

After much searching, I finally found the perfect present for Ed. As you can see, he seems to be quite happy with it!