Friday, 28 May 2010

Out and about.

It's something that only happens when you have someone staying, and this week Mat is down from Paris via a day working in Madrid. We have been out walking, (a bit hot for Pip and Monty really but they pottered from tree to tree waiting in the shade) we went to Trevelez yesterday and had lunch there too. Menu del dia in the square, watching the clouds getting bigger and bigger over the mountains towards the Sierra Nevada. There was a bit of rumbling thunder too, and as the temperature dropped we decided not to go any further on to other pueblos blanco. As it happened the clouds passed overhead and the sun came back out later on.

Down in Yator, at el bar Cubanito , Anna has started to do a Cuban menu at lunchtime on a Wednesday and if you buy 3 drinks you eat for free. A tubo (small beer) is €1.50, a glass of wine €1 so it's quite reasonable for lunch. Last Wednesday was her first day, so about 12 of us went to support her new venture. The food was tasty and just different enough - bowls of rice with ham, chicken and prawns in, bowls of salad with fresh pineapple and kiwi, sweet potatoes in pineapple sauce and fritters made of maize flour. Plus the usual basket of bread and olive oil. There was music too, mostly the pasodoble I think, a few people were dancing - photos available on request!!! We went down again this Wednesday with Mat, had a very filling lunch but not as different this week. Potato salad and lasagne, both things we all make ourselves.

Mat has a new camera and lenses that he has been trying out, taking photos of everything - flowers, clouds, sunsets, houses, trees, blue bees in flight....... Driving to Trevelez yesterday we stopped quite a few times so he could jump out to get a photo. It's a scenic drive, but not many pulling off places so I just stopped where I was - luckily not much traffic around.

If you think you can see snow on the mountain top to the right of Mat, you are seeing correctly. Berchules is in the background, it's 1320 metres above sea level. Trevelez is the highest village in Europe at 1510 metres above sea level.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Did it land?

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago and then forgot all about it, but I wonder....did it land at Mecina Bombaron, or is it just passing overhead?

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Fiesta update

It was a sunny but breezy day, unfortunately the wind was from the North so we were a little exposed up at the Ermita. But a good time was had by all, we eventually came back home with friends for hot food and cold drinks, others went for drinks at Paco's cortijo - we saw him yesterday in Yator and he was suffering somewhat with a sore head and was off to have some manzanilla tea.

But to go back a day - the previous afternoon a car passed by and didn't come back. This normally means that it's got stuck on the track, last week one was towed back up by a recovery truck, even though a neighbour tried to stop the car from going on towards Yator it carried on and then had to call for assistance. 4x4's don't have a problem reversing up from the collapsed section but cars do. Anyway, when the car didn't reappear I went to check all was ok, and saw a JCB cleaning the pista. He worked until nearly 9pm then finished it the next morning just before the fiesta traffic started. It's now super smooth - more like an autovia then anything we've had recently!!

So here is Santa Fatima, out of the Ermita, decorated and being carried (I was going to put being processed but that sounds rather like a cheese) but she is carried in a procession around the cortijada of Montenegro after the service.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Where did the last week go?

We have been out and about every day since last Monday, a variety of things but most of them involving cement, sand or yeso ( a type of plaster used here for internal rendering of walls). I did get a couple of days here to work on the vegetable plot, weeding and watering and planting more Borlotto bean seeds. Some things are growing well, the things we expect really such as different varieties of beans, plus peas, tomatoes, onions, leeks, garlic, courgettes, cucumbers, watermelon, sweetcorn, peanuts and potatoes. The red cabbage and brussel seedlings are growing well too, so are the cauliflowers. For some reason neither the chillies - 3 different varieties - nor the peppers nor the aubergines have yet to appear. I've re-seeded so hopefully in the next few days we'll see something happen.

Strawberries! All 30+ plants in flower and setting fruit, tomorrow John is going to strim some long grass from next door so I can dry it out and use it under the fruit as it's getting wet when I water them.

We've lots of herbs in the garden, some growing wild as well, but plenty for every day use and more seeds going in - especially coriander as we use lots of it, both fresh and dried leaf, dried powder and crushed seeds. Struggling to get cumin to germinate but we'll persevere and as the weather warms up, maybe it'll start growing.

Fiesta in Montenegro on Thursday....we're expecting it to be quieter partly due to the lack of car access from Yator but things don't always turn out as you think! The service at the chapel starts about midday followed by....well, we don't know for sure as every year is different but there is always food and drink somewhere.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

A busy Monday morning

We were in Yator this Monday morning helping friends sort out some upstairs rooms. Their house, along with most of the village, is very old and the plaster in some rooms needs a bit of work....this involves the guys chiselling off all the old render with large electric chisels, with us ladies shovelling the rubble into buckets, over the balcony and down to the skip in the Plaza by wheelbarrow - thanks to Antonio for lending the barrow.

Yator is normally a very tranquil village, but on Monday morning a JCB was up and down their narrow street sorting out a water mains problem (the water had been off since Sunday at midday and didn't come back on till Monday 1pm) then there were the 2 bread delivery vans and to add to the traffic, a van arrived with a generator/knife grinder in the back. He tried to park in the space we needed while the skip was being delivered then moved but blocked the panaderia - eventually he found a space out of everyone's way. Most of the daily delivery vans have a set way of letting you know they've arrived, basically they lean on their horns as they enter the village, drive around leaning on their horns and park, leaning on their horns!! Doesn't matter if it's the bread, fish, frozen or veg man, always the same. But the knife grinder had a musical whistle and one of the guys went off walking around playing a tune. It got a bit much after a couple of hours, but by then all the scythes and kitchen knives were sharpened and the water was back on - the JCB had gone and normal quiet village life resumed.