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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

WSBK Valencia

Having got the bikes back on the road, we took the opportunity to go and see the World Superbike Championships in Valencia this weekend.

It was a lovely blue sky that greeted us as we set off and remained the same colour all day. The ride there was quite uneventful, most of it being along the A-7. However, for several miles, we passed through acres of blossoming orange groves and the heavy scent of the blossom was wonderful. (Probably missed by the car drivers, in their little boxes.) We arrived in plenty of time and there was no queue to buy tickets. Even the security check was little more than cursory. (Unlike the MotoGP, where there may be 10,000 people trying to get in at 8am, when the gates open.)

We had a really good day, with great grandstand seats. There happened to be 4 Brits in front of us which was nice and the Spanish chap beside me was very pleasant (although not very forthcoming, when I tried to chat with him in Spanish! Maybe he didn't understand me!)

I got lost on one of the roundabouts on the way out, making the 3 Guardia laugh as I went passed them twice, with Ed following, but we had the last laugh a little later, as we filtered through all of the heavy traffic on the motorway.

We got home just in time to watch the MotoGP on TV (which Rossi won), making it a perfect day out.

Monday, 5 April 2010

The Caterpillar Plant

Who hasn't, as a child, cultivated the wonderous caterpillar plant (otherwise known as a nasturtium)?

This year, I have planted lots of them, but I was determined that mine wouldn't be eaten by the infamous Cabbage White. How wrong can I be? Close inspection has revealed a host of tiny eggs on the leaves. They may be only 1/2 a millimitre long at the moment, but I know they will decimate my lovley flowerpot man.

So far, I have picked off 4 contaminated leaves. (Although, as Ed rightly pointed out, I could have simply washed them with mild soapy water!) It is easy enough to keep track of the ones in the tub, but the one's planted in the front garden may be harder to control. The neighbours would have a field day, if they saw me sat in the garden, washing the leaves of the plants!

Oh well, fingers crossed that we don't have any new eggs laid, or none that hatch and soon we will have a wonderful show of yellow and orange flowers.

The Judas Tree

This is the view I have from my office, or from the balcony, looking down towards the coast.

The beautifull pint tree, is, apparently a Judas Tree. A small sapling has appeared in our garden, but as it is so pretty I have decided to keep it. I will keep it trimmed to a low level, as the one in next door's garden is so tall, last year it blocked our view to the mountains (we managed to persuade Geordie to trim it for us).

It is called a Judas tree, as, after Judas betrayed Jesus to the romans, he hanged himself on one of these trees, and since then, at this time each year, the tree blushes with shame.

MultiCultural Day

Lat year, the local town concil decided to have a multicultural day. Everyone at the school was asked to participate, but not enough people were willing to. Even though there is a great mix of cultures in the town, there was not enough intergration to make the day work.

This year, they tried again. Each country would have a stall, and could fashion it in any way they wanted. Banners, flags, maps, whatever. The main suggestion, was to provide taster food from the relevant country. The cost of the food would be met by the council. Tickets would be sold, and people could sample the wares, on production of the ticket. (5€ each)

Thankfully, this year (probably down to Marie-Jose's persuasiveness) the event went ahead. There was an English stall, with lots of buffet nibbles, such as sausage rolls, cheese and pickled onions on sticks, tiny pasties, and a selection of other savouries and then another table full of gorgeous cakes (including lovely scones with jam and cream). The town had a table of it's own, with a selection of Spanish cakes and savouries, and there was also a separate table with colouring for the children. Then, there was a stall for the Morrocans and another for the Bulgarians. The Morrocan stall did very well. As well as some lovely sweet cakes (made with lots of honey and sesame seeds)and Morrocan tea, they had a lady doing hand painting with henna. They only charged 1€ each, but the queue never seemed to go down. One estimate, was that they must have painted over 200 hands! The Bulgarian stand had lovely food too, all made by one single lady. She must have been exhausted. Thankfully, they found someone else to help her run the stall on the day.

The council also organised some entertainment for the day. There was dancing by various 'local' groups; Spanish as well as Bulgarian. There was a folk group and also some drummers. It was all very entertaining (especially the man who turned up dressed as a horse!).

As normal for a big event, there was a giant paella for the guests (which was included in the price). We all sat down to eat, and discovered that there was a selection of tapas on the table, along with water, fizzy soda and a bottle of wine for every 6 people. Then, when we went to get the paella, there was extra pop or beer for each person! The paella was very nice, but after sampling all of the other wares, I could hardly eat it! Then, to my horror, we were presented with a tray full of various cakes, for dessert. The worse thing was, I only had a small handbag, so I couldn't take any home with me!

The weather was glorious, I got a month's worth of sun-tan in one day, and everyone afterwards complimented everyone else, on the wonderful day. Doubtless this will be repeated next year. I certainly hope so.

Feliz Pascua

We had a nice Easter this year, although we didn't go to any of the Easter parades this time.

The weather was very nice and we had a friend from a nearby village visit us for lunch, with her 2 dogs. Paddy and Max were overjoyed to have 2 playmates. They behaved very well and simply spent the whole day running around in the garden. At one point, the little visitor had disappeared. I was very concerned, as he was possibly small enough to get out through the bigger fencing at the bottom of the garden. We called and called, but he didn't appear. Quickly (but casually, I hoped) I walked to the poolhouse. Sure enough, the poor little thing had been shut in the unfinished bathroom, and none of us had noticed.

She left late in the afternoon, but by 9pm, Paddy and Max had already taken themselves off to bed!