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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Good Favour - Raw Deal

Having bought a wonderful new mower recently that drives itself (we only need to steer it) Ed wondered what to do with the other two.

One had a drive system, but needed some repairs and the other worked ok, but was a bit heavy to push. Both of them, needless to say, have had many years of service.

He offered one to a friend and decided to be kind, and give the second to our neighbour. They have a lot of land, and the husband only has a strimmer, which is not enough to keep the grass in check.

On Sunday, the neighbour was near our boundry, doing some work with a chainsaw. Ed shouted him, and then passed the mower over the fence, climbing over himself afterwards, to show him how to use it. After a quick demo on how to start it, Ed decided he may as well mow their lower terrace for them, as it is ajacent to our drive. I popped into town for a gallon of petrol and Ed quickly set to, making a huge job look really easy.

A little later, I heard him shout me. As he climbed back over the fence he said, "I've run over my foot". I felt sick. I couldn't see anything and his foot was still attached to his leg, so it wasn't too drastic! I ran and got a bowl of clean cold water as he carefully took off his trainer. There was a cut through the protective toe area and the soft area aroud was battered. Thankfully, his toe hadn't been cut, but it was very swollen and going black, along with the next 3 toes.

As he mowed around the telegraph pole, the mower had snarled on some metal buried in the ground. He lifted it up a little, to see what the problem was and in that moment, he slipped down the little bank, sending his foot under the mower and into the rotating blades. As they are rotating so fast, they have cut about 30 times, before you can even move your foot.

It was astonishing that the skin hadn't been broken on his foot, let alone the fact that his toes were still attached. Thankfully, he had had a rare moment of 'can't be bothered' before hand. He was going to sharpen the blade before passing it on. If he had, it would have been a very different story.

After a short rest, he jumped back over the fence and finished off the job! (Only the bit that we can see.) About 4 hours later, the neibour and his brother-in-law came and took the mower back to their house. They tried to start it, but couldn't. In doing so, they managed to break it! So, after all of his hard work and injuried, Ed now has to have the mower back again, so he can fix it, just to give it away.

They do say, that "no good deed goes unpunished". I'm sure it's not meant to work, that that the person doing the good deed gets such a bad deal!

Needless to say, his toe got more and more painful. Without any doubt, it is broken, but there is nothing that can be done at the hospital. Lots of soaks in iced water have helped, but it will be a long and painful healing process.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Run for your lives

End of July and early August marks fiesta time in Aielo de Malferit, the nearest town to us. We are not particularly interested in their parades, since they are the same as ours, but we do love to watch their bull running.

There is a stretch of road closed off, giving about 400 meters by 40 meters for the cows/bulls to run about in, along with the fools that dare to enter. For the first two days, we played safe, and sat on top of one the A-frames, but on the third visit, we joined in - never straying too far from one or another of the safety cages.

On day one, the first bull ran the full length of the course, along the back, where we were and then back to the beginning. I laughed and said to Ed, "that might be the last we see of it" and it was! As it ran back, it caught someone, threw him right into the air, and he came down on his head. Everyone ran to save him, and the bull was taken back out for safety. Thankfully, although hurt, he will live to fight another day.

Later on, Ed saw one of the bulls 'ragging' someone, and said, "it's got someone". I didn't think so, as, usually, everyone screams when something bad happens. It turned out, that someone had made a scarecrow for the bull to play with.

We saw lots of funny things;
1. One big bull managed to get his head under an A-frame, and lifted it off the ground, even though there were 20 people on top.
2. Two lads, running from the bull would have given Usain Bolt a run for his money. They were running really fast. As the one with the lighter t-shirt managed to get ahead of his friend (leaving him as the potential victim), the second lad ran even faster. Very funny. They ought to have tried out for the olympics.
3. One lad jumped up an A-frame, but only had 1 leg on the 3rd rung - the other leg being on the second rung. The heiffer hooked his leg and pulled him off. He actually rolled over the back of it, before landing on the floor. Thankfully, it was then distracted, so his only injury was from landing on the pavement.
4. When we were in with everyone, whenever the bull came close, 3 lads kept shouting 'quick' 'run' 'lookout' and things like that, to panic everyone. It was really funny. If you looked at them when they shouted, they were trying rally hard not to laugh while the girls would scream and run into the cages, even though the bull was still quite far off.

This was the third year we've been there and we have just discovered a stall underneath one of the stands selling drinks and crisps. He did a roaring trade throughout the night. The prices may not have been Lidl prices, but they certainly weren't Ryanair prices either!