Another hot – very hot – day yesterday. 47 degrees in sun, 34 in shade at 18:00. Stifling and unpleasantly warm! Much the same on the cards for today. Beginning to dread the prospect of August, when temps reach their summer highs hereabouts!
Charlie seems to be on a roll right now. Each night he is out on the razzle hunting. And each morning there are the feathery or furry remains of his overnight snacking to be found in the bottom, downstairs bedroom where a window is left open for his exit and entry. Both he and Jack were Frontlined yesterday because both J and I had been bitten by, we assume, fleas! So, time for a dose of anti-fleabie stuff. Not a problem with Jack but Charlie doesn’t take to it well, struggling and writhing, making it an effort to ensure he has the full dose in the right place! Little booger!
The Norwegian madness is of course hard to ignore, especially as we used to pop in and out of the country from Sweden fairly regularly and know it fairly well. It will no doubt have caused great trauma at a national level. Already, there is the usual hand-wringing and apparent shock and surprise that such a right-wing terrorist act could take place in such a reputedly liberal, stable society. Frankly, and I’m sure many will dislike this comment, I’m not enormously surprised. Weapons are easily obtained and kept (legally) in much of Scandinavia, and there is a general prevailing belief in
their national/regional superiority over others that is quite abhorrent at times. Xenophobia is widely practised and the very idea of liberalism is a sick joke largely limited to the common use of quaint Anglo Saxon language in public, on posters, TV, Radio and speech! Swedes are perhaps the worst exponents of the ‘We’re the best in the world’ nonsense, but it prevails widely in the region. There is also a frightening and dreadful degree of State control certainly exercised by the governments of Sweden and Norway (and (I believe) Denmark) that encourages and permits the growth of a ‘we’re superior’ mentality. A sort of undercurrent of ‘Master-racism’ can be seen and experienced throughout the region. It is, typically, an element of life in the region that is kept underground by the respective governments and only comes to notice when living (as an outsider) in the countries concerned. After about six years in Sweden, we were used to, and expected it. Our favourites were when asking for a much heralded internet phone service, we were refused on the grounds that, quote: ‘You’re not Swedish.’ When we complained to the oft trumpeted (and largely useless) Swedish Ombudsman system (in this case the Discrimination Ombudsman) they saw nothing wrong, discriminatory or abhorrent in this comment or behaviour!
We have a House Sparrow nest in the beams above the Azotea/Outside covered terrace. One of the young ‘uns either decided to leave home early or was pushed out by its siblings. For a day or so it hid behind plant pots, appearing for food from its parents, before succumbing to some’at or other and passing on. Keeping Charlie clear of it was a bit of a trial in this heat, and I can’t help wondering if he resents my intrusion into his hunting territory. It would have saved him the effort and travel, if I’d simply left the door to the Azotea open for him, I suppose. And he supposes, too!
Dorin arrived yesterday evening with the Satdish, which we think is huge – certainly bigger than anything we’ve had before up in Sweden. Unfortunately he had difficulty locking onto the signal so will be returning later today to complete the installation. We only want the Freeview channels and most importantly BBC Radio. Hopefully it won’t be much longer:
The veg on the terrace is coming along nicely: We have loads of Toms, Courgettes (is it possible not to have loads of these? I ask myself), Peppers and Chillis and Aubergines. The Cucumbers have been less productive – following the journey down here from France – but are once again doing well, with five or six rootling along nicely:
Dorin expressed surprise at the amount and variety we are producing in pots on the roof terrace. It seems, he has never thought to try the same himself.
In the early evenings, usually about 19:00 or so, it cools down a bit to tolerable heat levels and we now use the other roof terrace for BBQs etc:
Being in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, (the village is at about 4000 ft), it is a pleasant spot to sit in the cool of the evening with a glass or two (or three or….) of plonk and the sound of Crickets and Swallows, House Martins and Swifts as they exuberantly duck and dive in the gloaming sky. We oft sit till about midnight in the still of the evening, with the occasional, welcome breeze.
The couple who live along from us and work the fields behind the house on the hill, are out from before 08:00 until 21:00, with the mandatory Spanish Siesta-time break in mid-afternoon, digging, weeding, messing around in their garden. We watch with interest and uncertainty as they toil. A day or so ago, J caught them playing with a bucket and a barrow. The woman was clearly doing the heavy, hard stuff, while the guy held the bucket above her and dropped/sprinkled something or other (God knows what – doesn’t bear thinking about here in Spain) over her head (it seemed) and into the barrow:
We’ve no idea what they were up to or hoping to achieve. Perhaps all will be revealed in due course. We’ll see.
Today we must go down to the house of old friends in the Village and tidy the entryway/terrace for them. They currently live and work in London but are coming out with their kids and grandsprog etc., on holiday, arriving early next week. Their potted plants and much else have withered and died and there is Ivy growing over the front door, after their absence of over a year. So, we thought it might be easier and nicer for them to arrive – especially if they arrive late – and be able to access the house without having to hack their tired way inside!
We’ll just have to wait until it cools down a bit before venturing down to their place later this afternoon!