Thursday, 30 April 2015

End of another month

After the cyclists and 4x4 off-roaders that came past recently,  last Thursday we had horses and riders.  I think they are based in the high Alpujarras,  one of the top road white villages,  and last week 9 horses and riders went past us early afternoon.

Yesterday we went to Berja for a shopping trip, by the time we'd finished it was lunchtime so we stopped at a bar we'd been to previously for beer and tapas..  It's called La Tejilla if you are passing through....

 Not really a local beer,  Estrella de Levante is from Murcia and not every shop or bar sells it,  it's much more golden in colour and hoppy - if hoppy is a word!!  Maybe I mean tasting of hops.  Estrella = star    Levante = east     so Star of the East.

While we waited for the tapas,  a bowl of garlicky green olives.

 John's first tapas...  boquerones = anchovies.  Fresh and fried,  on a bed of salad.

My first tapas....cubes of pork in a tomato and garlic sauce with a chunk of bread.

My second beer and tapas... bacalao = cod,  fried and on a bed of salad.

John's second beer and tapas....a slice of lomo = pork loin,  in a roll,  with patatas bravas = potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce.

The bill?  8 euros,  which at today's rate is only £5.85. 

The trees along the road by the bar are now blooming,  they look to me a bit like a hibiscus - what do you think?

Now, flowers from the garden...

 More Ice plants,  the yellow ones are out and some are mingling with the pink ones too making a wonderful colourful bed.

Star of appeared outside the house a couple of years ago,  in hard dry soil near where we park the cars.  When it had finished flowering I dug it up,  found lots of bulblets,  planted them all into a big pot, and this year we have the first flowers.

One of our many sage bushes, with some purple sweet peas in the background.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Traffic?  Normally not much goes past our house,  the  occasional tractor off to do a few hours ploughing,  someone going out shopping,  people visiting friends and relatives who live in Yátor or Yegen,  but we do have groups of walkers and horse riders passing by on organised trips,  and quite often cyclists.  They usually are going uphill,  slowly,  sometimes the word "pushbike" is the more accurate!!!

Spring brings sunshine and for the cyclist and walker,  a better time of year than the heat of summer.  Last week a Land Rover support vehicle  plus trailer went past, going downhill,  followed a short time later by bunch of cyclists, maybe 8 or 10 or more,  going very fast!!!   The support vehicle was from PureMountains based in Berchules (I think!)  If I'm wrong let me know....

A couple of days after that a convoy of 6 very dusty VW Touareg's went past,  they were from Volkswagen driving experience and were at the end of a 3 day off road driving session,  they ( not the car!)  fly in to Malaga, then take part in an organised drive up and around this area of Andalucía  - from Yegen to Yátor was part of the 3rd days driving.

Since then we've seen various small groups of push bikers and cyclists, plus of course today's tractor :)

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Rockery plants.

Thursday was an odd day weather-wise,  warm but cloudy,  sometimes we had a view then realised that the clouds were right down low.  A bit like today really!

But ideal weather for a longer than normal walk with the dogs,  they really don't like going too far when it's hot and sunny,  up to the fuente so they can paddle and drink but not to Yegen.  So after lunch on Thursday afternoon we set off to Yegen in the warm cloud with an umbrella just in case,  and sunglasses just in case,  and of course my camera.

The hillsides are very rocky and craggy - I'm amazed at the amount of plants that grow and thrive -  growing in tiny nooks and crannies now are....

Common White Rockrose..
I think that is correct,  it looks very much like rosemary without it's flowers.  White cistus has very similar flowers but fat leaves.  But they are both Rockrose and Sunrose family,  according to my book.

French lavender

Curry plant.
We had a curry plant in UK,  this looks so similar and does grow here:  Pepétuas silvestre but this, although the leaves have a smell,  I don't think it's like our old curry plant.  Maybe a different variety.  Ours was a garden plant,  not a wild plant,  maybe that's the difference.

Our sage plants in the garden are just starting to flower,  this Jerusalem sage grows amongst the rocks, not much if any flavour to the leaves but it has pretty flowers.

Snapdragon plants grow in the most unlikely of places,  out of cracks in rocks,  where there wouldn't seem to be any water or soil but they are there every year

White snapdragon

Snapdragon and rockrose in these rocks.
There are some  lush patches by the side of the pista on the way up to Yegen,  from the stream where the weeping willow grows,  for about 400 metres or so,  the side of the road is a carpet of wild rocket,  now all in bloom.

Also growing are lots of clumps of wild thyme,  clambering through this one are sweet peas.  There are at least 3 different sorts here,  from these tiny pink and lavender coloured ones,  to one that is dark pinky-purple, with a much larger flower.

A constant splash of colour on the hillsides in the Spring are bushes and bushes of broom
yet another plant that seems to be able to grow anywhere.

I did say at the start that it was a cloudy afternoon when we walked,  when we set off the clouds were really high up but as we approached Yegen,  the clouds came lower to the point where this was our view of the cemetery...

 it's up there somewhere, 

and on the way home,  not much better.  It did lift again though.  It never got cold, there is  just a damp feeling walking in the cloud. 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Flowers in the sunshine.

Pictures rather than words....

colourful flowerbeds with clumps of white iris, daisies and ice plants,

the view from the sun lounger on Saturday afternoon,  of course since then it's turned cloudy and cool,  but up till yesterday we had blue skies and sunshine.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Hot Cross Buns

While we were pool cleaning this morning the bread machine was whirring away making dough,  multi-tasking today!   Spices in the basic mix,  sultanas and dried fruit later on,  when the mix was done I kneaded it and cut into 12 buns,  I made a  very small batch of pastry for the crosses and then a  hot, sticky, sugar and milk glaze to brush on as soon as they came out of the oven...

One on a plate, just to show how big they turned out!

Happy Easter!