Thursday, 30 July 2009

Seems to be a lack of photos recently and as the capers have nearly finished flowering and the seed pods are opening I picked some this morning to take pics of. The seed pod starts off in the middle of the flower on a stalk, grows and grows to the size of a plum and then starts to split open. It's full of seeds and is surprisingly bright red. The capers that you buy to eat - either in brine or vinegar - are 2 different kinds, you can either pick the unopened flower bud or wait and pick the seed pod at whatever size you prefer. We've only ever brined the bud, not sure of the difference in flavour.

On a different subject, we woke the day before yesterday to the sound of an aeroplane and helicopter and the sight of a large column of smoke from the hill behind us, towards Berchules we think. The plane is like a crop sprayer but contains fire retardant foam and the helicopter had it's water bucket down ready for dumping water on the fire. They were circling round, collecting water and then another plane came, a spotter plane we think as it went round much higher up. They moved further away after a few hours, to where we could just see grey haze on the horizon, perhaps nearer Cadiar although it's difficult to tell with so many rolling hills around just which valley they had gone into. We heard aircraft until about 8 in the evening, but only saw the 2 lots of smoke. Yesterday, again very early, the fire plane flew overhead and as I write this a helicopter has just gone over. We get very little aircraft noise and in the summer it usually means a fire - just looked out and the fire plane's gone over again too. Luckily, gone straight and high so where ever it is, isn't that close. (fingers crossed!)

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Friday last week was the 13th birthday of Dale, eldest grandson of friends of ours who have a house in Yator, come over for all their holidays and bought Dale with them this time. We had his birthday party here, spicy food that he loves and lots of people that he has met....he was head chef in charge of rolling out and cooking the wraps for the fajitas, we also made chilli and spicy albondigas plus lots of salsas and dips. 8 children came who spent most of the day in the pool followed by the 11 adults who had their swim later on at 5.30. Although I think the children were in as well plus every float/ball/lilo we had!!

So for Dale, this is you as chef; for Simon, Andrea, Poppy and Charlie, fame at last!!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Last post was apparently on June 30th so to update things use the following words and phrases in any order to fill in the missing 18 days!

watering, weeding, picking, freezing, drying fruit, sweeping and mopping floors, washing, (minimal) ironing, dog walking, sewing (mostly altering clothes due to a 6kg weight loss:) ) pool cleaning, entertaining and/or visiting neighbours and friends from Yator over here for their holidays, shopping, relaxing - yes, I try and get a 2hour rest in the shade of the olive tree every afternoon and have a swim as well, cooking - although that is minimal due to the heat, mostly a quick salad and something on the barbeque, and if I'm lucky about 7 hours sleep a night.

J has been making extra shelving, that has used up bits of wood that have been waiting around for yonks, he is now making extra space by one of the sheds to give his work-benches a new home. They have lived on the terrace for too long and it's nice and spacious now it's not so cluttered with stuff.

Pip is growing, at least her legs are and we are beginning to wonder if she is related to either a greyhound or even a kangaroo as she is so bouncy! Eats anything given to her, even fruit and vegetables, the downside being that she likes cucumbers and we found her this morning lying by the pool munching her way through a freshly bitten off cucumber! She'd taken it off very neatly at the stalk and was half way through eating it. Monty is very tolerant of her, as she wants to play when he wants to lie down, but he can still out run her and they quite often run round and round the pool in the evening with her desperately trying to catch up. Last night she got too close to the edge, either trying to get a drink or fish out a cicada, and in she fell with a big splash. She probably can swim but instinct was to pull her out and dry her off a bit. It made her a bit excited and off she went, running and bouncing round and round again.

The temperatures of 35/36 degrees seemed to have cooled a bit, it only reached 33 yesterday! The pool water is registering 29 so it does seem refreshing when you get in. It's very strange, and I don't know why it happens, but there are always hot-spots in the water, and as you swim round or across some bits are much warmer than others! I'm sure there's a very good reason for it, maybe I'll have to swim round and round to stir it up and even it out. Talking of which, I'm going for a pre-lunch dip right now...