Yesterday was the first day that we could see the Med in the far horizon, beyond the hills to the South, from the roof terraces. Since arriving back here, in high Summer mostly, there has been a haze on the horizon over the sea. But that seems to have evaporated/lifted today. As a result we can see boats, merchant shipping of various sizes, seemingly cruising between the hills! Bizarre outlook and one we remember from our previous time down here. I doubt I can capture the image on camera because of the distance and the poor quality of both the camera and my own photographic skills!:
The tiny white speck near the centre is a boat, taken at about 18:00 yesterday evening:
In winter, when the air is clear etc., we used to be able to see the Riff Mountains in northern Africa in the far distance. So this clearing of the air must be something that happens each year as winter approaches, whereas the heat haze over the coast builds up throughout Summer and creates a veil of something or other.
Given that down near the Costas, there are acres of plastico, invanderos, used by farmers to grow fruit and veg crops in high quanitities, I’ve always believed that they are a significant threat to the environment and their continued use should be outlawed by the EU. In effect, I think – but I’m no scientist!! – they create smog and cannot be good for the much bedraggled ozone layer:
Plastico in abundance:
Flying into Almeria, and to a lesser extent, Malaga, you pass over acre upon acre of these shimmering but dusty heavy-duty polythene affairs. From the air they can appear quite entrancing, sparkling in the sun. In reality they’re dusty and unpleasant, real blots on the landscape. Those who buy their cheap(ish) Spanish fruit & Veg from UK supermarkets will undoubtedly be feasting on the stuff produced in vast quantities here. There’s always a price to be paid, I suppose!
We had a quiet day apart from catching Charlie, who was due his update shots at the Vet. Over the past few days, he’s had a hard time of it: two other cats, who live around the area, have twigged that there’s a window open (for Charlie) and the prospect of grub held within the house. His Nemesis has been seen indoors, and chased off by J, while Charlie himself hid at the furthest reaches under a bed in one of the spare rooms. And two nights back, I got up for a Pee, found Charlie had returned so fed him and closed the windows at about 3.30 am. Later, at 06:20, I awoke to the sounds of a cat growling nearby and, recognising the sound as not being Charlie, got up to investigate. In the lower bedroom, I found Charlie having a stand-off with an unhappy looking Siamese Cross, a local cat that has a strangely truncated tail. I had to force it into a corner then grab the thing to release it outside. So Charlie had probably been feeling a tad threatened all night as I slumbered peacefully. The cat food had certainly taken a bit of a pasting!
Charlie hissed at the Vet and J, who pulled him from his cage for treatment, but was pretty placid for the rest of the visit. He seems always to be the same in these circumstances. But he was glad/relieved to be back home and free again, I’m sure:
The weather here seems set fair for a while to come. It’s all so different to life in Sweden. I can see why many Brits do become seduced by the thought of living in Spain. Blue skies, wall to wall sunshine and pleasant temps, make for a tempting lifestyle. We, however, still prefer France so hope to return to the Charente whenever we can afford to make the move!
We did a major shop down near the coast, so are now well stocked with fresh milk and decent bread, plus lots of other useful gear, including cheap Brandy. I’ve become very partial to a cafe con leche with a tot of brandy each mid-morning. J prefers her Brandy as a tot on the side, I like it in the coffee – much more civilsed for a morning drink! And at about 5 to 7 Euros a litre, who wouldn’t! I’m sure some of the Hebrideans could take to this sport happily, especially in winter!
On the way down to the shops, we pass this weird confection, with cars etc., as sculptural parts:
And a bit closer to home, in the hills near the small town of Ugijar (don’t try saying this with a mouthful of fruit and fibre), we occasionally see this little beast. An original survivor from the 1960s:
The day was rounded off by our nearest neighbour, Jose Torro – what a name! – preparing to make his wine. After the recent debates down at the bar, we were rather surprised to find that he had set up his squideging processors in the area where we usually park the car in front of the house. Having watched the operation and the processes involved, particularly the cleansing aspects of the containers, we can only hope he doesn’t offer us a drink in the near future!: