Yesterday was a bit of a shock to the system. It was cloudy for most of the day, with temps struggling at about 18 degrees or so. Luckily/happily normal service has been resumed today with glorious bright blue sky and sunshine: temp about 27 or so. Not too bad for the first week in October.
J arrived on Thursday morn having driven down from the ferryport at Santander. Her drive was uneventful and went smoothly, albeit taking about ten hours to complete! Tiring. We went down to the bar for a late breakfast of Toastada with Tomato and Cheese, cafe con leche and followed up with a few beers. The barman, Moyse was still in a fine mood. The dancing bug clearly holds him in its sway at the moment!
Like the rest of Europe, it’s harvest time here with Apples, Pears, Figs, Peaches, Lemons, Peppers, Beans and much more being picked and plucked each day by those locals who have a patch of scrubby campo/garden land. Wheelbarrows are the usual mode of transport for the proceeds. The next crop will be the Chestnuts – vast numbers of trees hereabouts – which some still gather for free food, then presumably the Oranges, which grow virtually wild in places, Olives and Almonds. The latter in the early New Year, I expect. Taking this as a sign of local climate change, I cropped our Chilli and Pepper plants, leaving the Toms on the vine to take fresh as and when needed:
There was a heated discussion on the bar terrace on Saturday evening about the prudence of picking grapes for wine now. Opinion seemed to be that it was a tad too early for this annual ritual though some weekenders who have a florist shop down on the coast are apparently picking this weekend. Their optimism caused debate and much clucking and dismissive tutting. ‘Nothing will come of it….mark my words……’ seemed to be the general view.
The strangest feature seems to be the second Spring look of the hillsides. They seem to be greening up again, almost Spring-like in their colours as Summer gives way to Autumn. Trees are also beginning to shed leaves or turn yellow as the temps drop at night. Still no frosts, though, unlike Sweden where our old stomping ground is already experiencing sub-zeros in the small hours:
The field behind the house has some lovely old Apple trees which are heavy with rich, red fruit. But nobody is collecting this bounty! The rest of the patch is farmed well by near neighbours yet they seem to have no interest in this crop!:
In a week or two the village holds an annual Castagne/Chestnut walk which starts at the Fuente just outside the house and wanders uphill, pausing briefly for drinks and snacks, before following the Acequias and Chestnut trees lining these Moorish irrigation channels high above the village. We have been on it once before some years ago and will probably undertake it again this time round:
Jack had an unfortunate experience a few days ago as we sat at the bar with our beer and Tapas: he was stung on the jowel/lip by a wasp. It didn’t seem to cause him any pain but clearly irritated or itched for a bit. His right jowel also became quite swollen for a few hours before returning to normal:
In addition, one of the Friday regulars at the bar, a guy who lives near us and who always has a cafe con leche followed by a stiff G&T chaser each Friday evening, offered to buy Jack – to our astonishment – but recanted when he learned how old he is (12 years) and that he was deaf! Not that he would ever be for sale! I’m sure Jack would have been unimpressed by the suggestion anyway!
Despite the general Autumnal feel of the place many flowers are still doing well on the verandas and balconies of many of our neighbours:
We have a good French friend coming down for a break next week. He’s currently en-route from his home in the Limousin to Blanes on the Costa Brava, where he plans to spend a week playing cards – Tarot, a much loved French institution – competitively before coming on down here. He is bringing me a load of Sirops – dilutable Froggo stuff that I cannot find here in Spain and rather like – and lots of French Vin Rouge! He’s a Guitar and Banjo player, recently retired college lecturer, and at times a quite off the wall sort of guy. Always good fun and not at all your typical Frenchy! We’ll take him down to Granada as, although a lover/enthusiast for Roman artefacts and archaeology back home, he will almost certainly want to visit the extraordinary Alhambra. We’re looking forward to seeing him again.
J is busy making more marmalade this afternoon, using some Sevilles we had in the freezer, though it will soon again be time to get another load. Maybe this time we’ll simply nip down to Seville itself and see if we can pick them up at a local market in January!:
And finally, I spotted another mug on a fellow bloogers site: http://gzandco.blogspot.com/
where Gwynneth has an online store for her splendid handmade pottery: Etsy
GwynnethRixon, and just had to buy it in case I damaged one I bought from her a short while back: