Friday, 31 July 2015

Summer news

It's been a while!  And it's been a very long hot summer so far and it's not over yet, although today is hazy and only 25° at the moment.  We've had temperatures regularly up in the mid to high 30's,  the worst  was 38°.  It is now officially the hottest July since the Spanish Met Office started keeping records in 1942,  this article relates to Malaga province - we are in Granada province but the whole of Spain has been extremely hot. 

At the end of June we picked the pears from our tree,  they were beginning to drop and although this looks like a decent bowlful, a lot were bad inside.  I peeled, sliced and cooked them with a bit of sugar and water to freeze for a winter pudding.  Probably only enough for 1 pudding though. 

 Tiny, aren't they??

For a couple of days at the end of the month,  the big thunder clouds grew and grew during the afternoon,  the thunder rumbled around to the north but it didn't rain down here.

Sitting in the garden late one afternoon and John spotted a lizard climbing up amongst the plants, 

Can you see it in the rosemary?

So to July,  8.30 in the morning of the 1st don't often see a swimming pool going past your house!

July 14th in the afternoon,  I was just about to go for yet another swim in an effort to cool down, when I heard a rumbling of something truck-like,  looked out to see a JCB coming down the pista doing the annual-ish cleaning.  Very hot dusty work so when they stopped outside for a break I offered cold drinks.....small price to pay for a smooth road. 

Man and machine
his helper waiting to smooth out the edges

all done and off up to Yegen
Market day in Cadiar,  July 18th,  coffee and churros with friends

July 23rd - the first  peaches and proper big pears - from tree to breakfast table in 2 minutes,  lovely and juicy and warm from the sun.
The next batch of peaches I've peeled and diced and frozen with the spices that go to make mango chutney.  When we ran out of mango chutney last time it wasn't mango season,  John's idea is to use these super-ripe peaches instead....when the weather cools down enough to be indoors,  we'll do some chutney making.   Right now it's 27 or so in the kitchen and we don't need it any hotter!

July 25th:
Wild fruits and flowers...



the first blackberries
A regular afternoon visitor to the pool  is a pied wagtail which runs round the outside, sometimes flying over the surface for insects,  sometimes it hops onto the chloro float and bobs around before hopping back onto the concrete edge.

As I said, a long hot summer - early morning walks,  anything that needs doing gets done as soon as possible but not too quickly as that makes you hot!   We are watering alternate days in the late evening,  a lot of the fruit trees haven't produced much this year - no apples,  only 1kg of strawberries, hardly any mulberries,  the figs are all hard and green and even their leaves are small and shrivelled looking,  but the chilli plants now in their 3rd year are doing well.   The lettuces, basil and parsley bolted and went to seed.  The Jerusalem artichokes haven't appeared at all!  John has got more chilli plants growing which we will over-winter and plant out for next year. 

Hot now!  Going for a dip, although the pool water is 28° it still feels refreshing compared to the air temperature and my hot skin.