Archive for May, 2011

Rosie oh Rosie why can’t I get to review your two books
Rosie oh Rosie I can not find the way to write my thoughts
I go to the right site and take a real good look
But still I find I cannot write about these two good books

Rosie oh Rosie what am I now supposed to do
Rosie oh Rosie they are so good it’s almost untrue
They’ve been sitting by my bedside and been read through and through
Just like a kid I think they’re great but what am I to do

Rosie oh Rosie please tell me so that I can get to write
Rosie oh Rosie my review is gathering dust and that’s not right
Kelvyn will be old and grey before I get this done
Thats not fair to him or me we both like to have fun

Rosie oh Rosie please answer this poor writers plea and then
Rosie oh Rosie I will be a much happier man

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A Moral Distance.

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A Purple Heron Lift-off

It’s lovely on the nature reserve at this time of year, I had heard about the storks but never actually been to see them for myself.  Then a friend took my wife to see it, she came back with all sorts of information and photographs that eventually I went with her to see for myself.  The nature reserve is in Flix, and runs along the river bank towards Riba-roja d’Ebre where they have now made a driveable road from the bridge at Riba-roja to Flix.

Entering from Flix you drive alongside the river for a while then come across the nature reserve information centre.  A small building where you can find as much information, literature as you want, see displays and purchase souvenirs, outside are covered parking places plus places for the disabled this is a well thought out reserve.  It is staffed by friendly, welcoming people, who are not only eager to get people interested in the reserve and nature, but also encourage people to come back plus all the written information is available in several languages.  Groups are welcome there are even guided tours in a horse-drawn cart so you can see the reserve  more easily.

Hidden behind the centre are the two hides. To get to them you walk along a path then raised duck boarding, this offers you views of the reeds, wild waterside flowers and trees. On the left you find the first hide, this overlooks a small marshy area surrounded by reeds with water running through. The best time to visit here is autumn through to spring, as the reeds are not tall enough to hide the view.  But even in early summer there is still plenty to see, if, you are patient.

The second hide is at the end of the duck board. This is facing a wide area of water, reeds and marsh. Here can be seen Purple Heron, King Fishers, Mallard, Osprey, Black Kite and if, our birding friend tells us, you are really lucky a Bittern or Spoonbill plus many more.  Then turning back to the Centre, you can walk along the road for about 3k  to the Storks,  if you have difficulty in walking long distances you can drive there. But either way do go slowly or you will miss an awful lot.

The Storks

Each year I stand and watch the humans as they wander by, ohhing and ahhing as they look at others flying in the sky.

I can see from here to there and watch my mate our nest repair, our neighbours stand tall and still.

With only the clacking of their bills, they talk and comment on the humans with their cameras poised.

School children adults some making lots of noise, but here I stand still as a stork my name Lork the Stork.

From our nests we scan the ground to see if danger is around, then off we fly in search of food to feed our mate or hungry brood.

The humans here provide nest sites and we build them here at certain heights, on one a camera can be found so they can see us breed.

How we rear our chicks and feed them, watch them grow who slowly turn from bundle of snow into a graceful fully fledged bird.

Then at the end when we depart all thats left are nests high on the perches until next season when we’re back our talking bills going clack clack clack.

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The News

The News.

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Dobe do da da da da, dooby dooby dooby da, da  tweety tweet tweet tweet tweet, tweety tweety tweety tweet tweet. I’m sitting here singing my song, come and sing along tweet tweet tweet.  I watched this play in the middle of the day,  who do we need NEST BUSTERS.
 Dobe do da da da da, dooby dooby dooby da da  tweety tweet tweet tweet tweet, tweety tweety tweety tweet tweet
When your watching a man knocking bricks from a wall, who you gonna call   NEST BUSTERS

Theres a nest in there from a Blue Tit pair  who you gonna call  NEST BUSTERS

He stopped and looked and got the stare  who you gonna call   NEST BUSTERS

Dode do da da da da, dooby dooby dooby da da,  tweety tweet tweet tweet tweet tweety tweety tweety tweet tweet

The parents come and the parents go who they gonna call NEST BUSTERS

Their little lad doesn’t want to know  who they gonna call NEST BUSTERS

What he wants is his food all day  who they gonna call NEST BUSTERS

There he sits in his nest in the bricks who they gonna call  NEST BUSTERS

To get him out they call and shout  definitely need   NEST BUSTERS

Cant get move that lad he’s fat that’s bad  who they gonna call  NEST BUSTERS

Dode do da da da da, dooby dooby dooby da da,  tweety tweet tweet tweet tweet tweety tweety tweety tweet tweet

Now come on son out you come or I’m gonna call NEST BUSTERS

Got to learn to fly way up in the sky  I’m gonna call NEST BUSTERS

This wall of blocks is coming down so you gotta fly   NEST BUSTERS

Bobbin Robbin
Dangerous McGrew                 The Nest Busters

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In winter deep and underground we wake anew

    Poking our leaves through tepid earth

We push our way into a cold world

  Sometimes there is frost around or a heavy dew

But on we go our growth renewed

All through winter into spring we spread our new leaves

Fed by the winter’s sun watered by the heavy dew

 On we grow we gallant few growing fast we make a crown

With rosette shaped leaves it leaves the ground

On leafy stems we start to grow with heads held high

Taking the flowers towards the sky we stretch and grow it is such fun

           Now with bowed heads in a state of grace we lift our blooms to face the sun

        A breather first before we’re done then each bloom begins to to bend

Now one by one we open out our trumpets white and proud

Our perfume is taken on the breeze to scent the evening air

Here we stand in drifts of white a delight for all to see

In open ground or in the trees we sway and to the movement of the breeze

So here we stand in drifts and clouds of perfumed white

Eventually we fade our show is done now we return to earth to rest

To sleep, replenish and renew till winter returns and calls anew

Then we awake and grow for next year is another show

(c) C A Bosc

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The Worlds Hottest Destination.

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Bogged Down

Bogged Down.

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The village of Corbera D’Ebre is in the Terra Alta wine region around 3 kilometers from Gandesa.  It is here that the last battle of the Spanish Civil War in this region was fought. This is not only a story of war but also a story of wine, regrowing out of death, destruction, and hardship. Of the people’s struggle and determination to regain their lives, to produce the wines that are enjoyed today, it’s about a village, a co-operative, a band of brothers, a celler born out of austerity.

It is July 15th 1938. The Republican armies have stormed across the river Ebro in small boats, all the bridges having been destroyed by German bombers practicing their skills for the blitz on England.  The fighting was fierce.  It ranged across mountainous terrain, through the valley’s and passes. The infantry based attack pushed the Nationalists back inland onto the flat ground of the Terra Alta. Here, Corbera D’Ebre is sited in a perfect defence position built on one of three hills, good all round views overlooking land that funnelled towards Gandesa.

The battle was intense and total, the village destroyed, most of the people had left for Aragon or Miravet to escape the destruction. Today the remains of the original village are tended as a memorial to those who fought and died, a monument, a grim reminder of war and death. The original church stands proud against the skyline a marker to the memorial.

Today the people have started to restore it using it as an exhibition and cultural centre if you look carefully you can still see the bullit holes made by heavy rounds.

The battle of the Ebre lasted four months, destroying Republican forces and effectively ending the Civil War, although the war continued until April 1939.  Many people left Spain, entering Southern France as stateless refugee’s. But their suffering was to continue with the fall of France and a Vichy government.  These people were eventually deported to concentration camps in the east as slave labour, some survived…

On your way to or from the church you will pass this plaque, a remembrance to those who died, a wall of small plaques each with the imprint of a child’s hand a poignant reminder…

Ernest Hemingway was a war correspondent and reported the battle at Corbera D’Ebre for the North American Newspapers being one of the last to cross back over the Ebre. George Orwell was among many who made up the International Brigades and fought for the Republican Army which were all disbanded shortly after, this was the longest and bloodiest battle of the Civil War, a final loosing throw of the dice.  It is quite likely that both these men drank and enjoyed the local wines.  After the battle people began to return to Corbera beginning to pick up their lives again, replanting fields that were destroyed,  finding unexploded bombs or shells which cost lives. Replanting where needed, tending olive and almond trees, but more importantly the vines.   The village built the co-operativa brick by brick, dug the large holes to contain the concrete tanks to hold both olive oil and wine. The people who whilst this was being done still produced their wines in the traditional way.

The celler kindly allowed me to use these pictures, they can tell this part of the story far better.

                                        The Begining


The Celler like others in the area has underground vats which can hold 450 ltrs of wine, plus a few above ground which are still used today for the wines they produce on site.  Because these vats are naturally insulated by the earth they allow the wine to stay a constant temperature thus many years ago the vintners were way ahead in the green stakes. Also found in the celler are the maturing barrels, stacked here and there.

They have also used some of the underground vats, opened them to make a wine celler.  Here because of the temperature, they can store bottles and barrels.  The vaults are constructed from a few of the underground vats which have had arches built into them, the walls cleaned, to make the perfect celler.

In the next building are the stainless steel vats. From here this wine is placed into tankers and carried to the Celler UNIO where it is blended and bottled.  Celler UNIO is a large celler. Corbera supplies bulk mature wine for bottling, this is available in Tesco’s, and many restaurants in the Barcelona area.

My wife was shown round the celler by two young ladies Montse and Elizabeth.  Montse works in the main office of the Celler and it was she who showed us the pictures.  Elizabeth speaks English so she accompanied them answering questions, she is also the Wine Blender. Then there is Carlos, he is the man in charge of the Celler. Nice people who love their work and take a pride in it.

As you enter the co-operativa, you will find facing you barrels which contain the wines. This is where you can take your own containers, have them filled with your preferred wine, something which I think is most civilised as does the village.  In the display you will also find the Olive Oil sitting as they should be side by side as if at the dining table.

The local wines sold here are Mirmillo and Mas del Tio, both of which are pleasent to the palet and very resonably priced. These wines are mainly for local consumption, and can be found in bottles or it can also be purchased in bulk from the barells in the entrance  hall.  Yes we do go there for some of our wine, we are made welcome and they know what we like.

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