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Archive for April, 2015

A Time Of Freedom.

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049

The South Field

I thought  you might like to see one of the terraces we call the south field – for obvious reasons – just to give you an idea of how close the forest is.  We have olive trees over there and old almond trees dotted here and there but also here hidden in the banks of the terraces are nests of Sand Martins, and plants such as wild Gladioli and Orchids.  So as we have enough olives from the trees on our side of the Finca we leave this to nature, the best idea ever. We can sit out on our small terrace under the gazebo on summer evenings and watch the birds and bats diving for the insects ‘ believe me its a darn site safer there than up on the terrace roof, there we get dive-bombed and a swift in full flight goes at quite a speed.  As we have basically left the south field to nature we often see some of the larger birds they like to sit in the old almond trees watching for dinner so we don’t cut them down. Yep you have guessed it we love our birds, pigs, goats and puddytats even if some of them dig the garden up from time to time.

 

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Happy Retirement to Ramon & Eleanor

 Last week we had lunch at Ramon’s Bar Turu and he told us that he and Eleanor were finally retiring. About time too, they have worked hard in their bar for years and I told him that although I was sorry he would not always be there when we had lunch, I was pleased that they were finally going to enjoy themselves.  We will be sad to see them retire as ever since we came to Cataluña  they have made us welcome. Encouraged us when we went to Petanca competitions happy when we won commiserating when we lost.  The bar is not closing though their two daughters are taking it over so I am sure we will see them from time to time.  Happy days you two go and enjoy yourselves you deserve it.

Then there was that tree….

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I think I told you about clearing a fire break and the pine tree that would not fall down, then finally did.  Well here are the photos to prove it  and yes that is me pickaxe in hand making sure it wouldn’t stand up again…..

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Finally last Wednesday it rained and as is our want we decided to pay a visit to the nature reserve at Flix.  I know you are wondering why do something like that when its raining but hey why not..  Anyway when we got there my wife suggested we drove further on to where the storks were nesting  as we might just see the white horses from the Camargue.   We saw the storks some were nesting and one or two walking around as we were the only people there, but what really pleased me was that right next to the road were the white horses. I have always wanted to go to see them in their natural habitat and after this encounter that is my aim for this year. They are used to keep the marsh land under control and just looking at them I think they are not only doing so but enjoying it as well they certainly looked healthy and well fed.

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They did like the odd handful of grass and I could have stayed there for hours just stroking and talking to them.

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©  Michael Douglas Bosc

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A Little Moan…

Well here we are again in the wifi cake shop with a good signal so am able to use our photos.  I made the mistake of telling my wife she should put her photos on Google then we could access them from her tablet.  What I didn’t realise was that she has taken over 2,000 of them, Petanca, (however I understand she has those on disc) wines blogs, fiestas, garden, finca, Club Nautique and the birds etc., not to mention all the odds and sods. What I am not happy with is the length of time it is taking for Google to down load them all as she has taken to using my laptop (she’s feeding her dragons on her tablet now) anyway we are using the stronger signal here and it should only take another 27 hours?????  Not really.

 

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Yesterday afternoon I decided to go to petanca, so I dropped the wife off at the bar Casells so she could continue to down load the pictures and also get some work done (that didn’t work as the download was using so much of our wifi) plans of mice and men….   Anyway I had an enjoyable 3-4 hours at the club, we played several games with people coming and going every so often the sides went up and down but we had a good laugh I do enjoy my petanca.  Our president – second from the left front row – informed me that we had new t-shirts so this Saturday we will find out what they are like.  I am not sure if I will be playing in competitions this year we will have to wait and see, but if not I expect we will be visiting various places like the Camarque as I have always wanted to do that and it’s just up the road so to speak.

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 Criminalies Mentalies or Those Dam Piggywigs

Yesterday morning we took our morning wander round the house looking at the gardens and generally checking for signs of visitors.  The first thing I noticed was the flowerbed in front of the shed had large round foot prints in it and one of the violas had almost been up rooted.  This didn’t go down too well with my wife and when I suggested it might be the Wabbit  she pointed out Wabbits don’t root, worse was to come.  She had bought a new white rose to replace the one we lost and was so proud of the fact it had a really nice perfume, not all the roses over here have that.  Anyway we found the rose bush not only dug out of its spot but something had chewed at the roots, I quickly checked it over gave it plenty of water and re-plated it. Then turned round to find the bird bath I had placed in the Strawberry patch had been moved and the ground under it ‘rooted’ so I have now moved it up into the tree garden near the water tank.  Mind you they did dig up the ground in front of the tree but managed to knock some of the wall down.  My wife declared war on them and I set up a camera to try and ‘get the goods on em’ but the really are crafty little beggars.

 

 

Honey Candles

Honey Candles

This weekend was the annual Honey Fair at Perello so along with our friends we spent a pleasant morning wandering round the various stalls and exhibits.  I did not think there were quite so many stands/exhibits there this year as the main hall was really roomy.  I think it might have something to do with the cost of the plots which is 80Euros  a lot of money for some people.

Well that’s about it for this week, I shall keep you informed on the Piggywigs situation and who knows I might even have a picture or two hey who am I kidding.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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I have been looking at the ground on the lower terrace and decided that it is a good place to have an orchard, a small orchard. So this morning I planted out one of the Lemon trees our friends gave us to start our orchard. Now my wife is looking at all the fruit trees lol.

 

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Now its that time of year again FIESTA’S and the start of the Petanca season yessssssssss! We are not sure if we will be playing this year as we have not formed a team but hey everything is sorted by El Presidente.  Ripoll our petanca playing artist friend,  is as sprightly as ever and has had several shows in Barcelona.  We now officially play for Tivissa and we all look really good when we turn out in matching t-shirts and jackets.

 

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My wife’s garden is coming along nicely. I have found some more large rocks so we are building a double wall round the rose garden in the hope that when the pigs/goats come marauding they won’t knock it over (again).  She is thinking of  planting a few ground covering plants in the top to make it look colourful.  When we were at the market yesterday I spotted a ground covering plant with daisy like flowers to start off the idea which she bought along with a peach geranium.   Now all I have to do is help her carry the bags of compost – me Tarzan her Jane???? lol. But I am quite impressed with how she has  dealt with the old bench which has been here for ever, I actually had my eye on it for the wood pile.  However, a lick of paint some colourful pots – painted – with geraniums in plus two ceramic pots from our local pottery have transformed it from very dull to typical Mediterranean.  The Rock Rose is blooming again as are the Iris and as you can see the poppies are doing their usual thing making a weed covered slope look wonderful.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vote For Mini Me!!!.

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R.N.L.I. To The Rescue?.

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News From The Forest 6.

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Well its been an interesting week up here but first a few muses.  The weather has changed for the better, lots of sun with some lovely sunrises even if it’s still a bit chilly and windy.  I think this picture of Sam says it all soft early morning sunlight doing us and the forest a lot of good, although for one small hissing sid  not so good.  My wife had just planted her Gladioli bulbs and was walking round from the back of the house to make a cuppa, stopped to pull a couple of weeds and this ‘sid’ wiggled between her feet into the pump house.  Needless to say it’s not there any more.  Since she was bitten a few years ago we have this rule about sids:  In the forest fair enough that’s the wild part but not near the house or in the pump, gas or battery houses. So out came the spray, big stick and mask then after a check for wind direction a good spraying ensued.  As she has made it quite clear that as far as she is concerned once bitten is once too often so war was declared. Therefore my observation that we do live in a forest was not timed well, but I suppose she is right, after all she was the one bitten and they are vipers after all.

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Monday is pension and shopping day so we went into town taking the laptops with us and after the shopping we ended up in the wifi cake shop.  Now this cake shop makes typical Catalan cream cakes, ie., lots of cream and chocolate with a sponge cake in there somewhere. This being Easter you can add hand-made bunnies, chickens, footballs and of course eggs.  Guess what, because I was a good boy and waited till my wife had finished her writing she bought me some healthy white chocolates shaped like a half walnut-shell with a real walnut on top yummmmm,  That’s my Easter chocolates sorted, well not quite as it turned out:-

 

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On Friday I had decided to go cut some more of the old olive trees that I had pruned so taking my trusty? petrol chainsaw off I went. Now I don’t know about you but there are some things I do not have a lot of luck with and petrol driven chainsaw’s are one.  Up to date I have had four all of which have, after a while, turned up their toes this last one was no different.  It started cut a few logs then would not stop, making funny noises and metal sounds.  I finally got it to stop took it back to the shed dismantled it – felt like being back at work – only to find that the bar for the butterfly on the choke had broken, the nut holding the butterfly had come loose and fell into the carburettor and game over.  So Saturday morning it was off to Reus for some shopping.  We ended up in Carrefour ( which is a big version of Asda and B&Q combined ) where I purchased a new Electric chainsaw, two wifi mice – guess who wanted a pink one – and some oil. Very strange but when we got to the counter I also found two pillow cases, bread and two easter eggs lol.  But my wife made up for it when we got back to town she bought us lunch way to go girl.  So Sunday was a day of relaxation and eating chocolate eggs yummm.

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Well as for the garden all is coming along quite nicely. The flowers are out and as always after visiting our friends we have come back with plants and a few ideas for pots.  Gardening here is all about being able to cope with drought and very hot summers, so most of the flowers in the garden are bulbs and cacti.  However, there are a few shrubs such as lilac and bourganvillia  that are able to survive the only problem is that so far our lilac bush has not flowered but as its only just leafed we live in hope.

The other piece of news is we have finally seen the wild cat.  It was sitting by the sand pile watching the house.  I have never seen such a handsome cat, large pricked ears, serene face and when it finally moved – wife went to get her camera – it was almost as big as a Lynx  but we knew it was a wild cat as it had the typical ring markings down its tail.

 

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

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