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Archive for November, 2016

Bright Ideas!

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So it’s raining! squalls coming and going thunder rumbling can’t work in the garden or on the finca, and looking out of the window does not help. All is grey and – if you can see anything – it’s even grayer, and we are getting bored what do we do????  Go to the SEASIDE of course. Well usually its go shopping in the hypermarkets where you can wander round looking at things and be warm and dry all at the same time, well that’s the theory but Michael says we tend to spend money on things we don’t really want but think are a good idea at the time – we have a few of those purchases knocking around.

So with the shops in mind I did not take my camera, tablet or phone, as who wants to take photos of shops??  So off we set in weather that by rights should not be allowed, and headed up out of the valley towards the mountains and the pass to the coast. We had not been going long before the rain came in again window-wipers going fast we began catching up on others heading the same way, then we found we had a convoy with a lorry in the lead.  Nothing we could safely do so we sat in the convoy as we weaved our way towards the mountains.  Then the rain lifted and we could see a clear stretch of road overtaking was on.  Three of us managed to get past the lorry before a car without lights on came hurtling along the road towards us, (obviously some people like dicing with death). Every car on the road was lit up like a christmas tree but not this one, he was almost up to us before we saw him and the cars colour made him almost invisible. But we didn’t have time to ponder on his stupidity, the rain came down again so holding onto the tail lights of the car in front we drove on.

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This is not the worst weather we have been in, I remember the journey home from St.Marlow one winters night. We had returned from one of Michael’s medical trips and I had driven down France in torrential rain with thunder and lightning (of which I am terrified) going off. We finally made it to the Pyrenees then it began to snow!!! So Michael took over the driving and the higher we went towards the pass and tunnel the harder it snowed.  When we reached the pass we found it was blocked there had been an avalanche but there was a hotel….  We stopped took a good look and both thought of the ‘Bates Motel’ then turned round and with another car who’s occupants had the same thoughts returned to the town and spent the night there – but I digress.  As we approached the uphill climb to the pass there was a 40fter in front so we were all thankful for the crawler lane and sped past him once in the pass we were back in a convoy with a 40fter in front and behind and 6 cars in the middle.  It was when we arrived at the tunnels we saw the snow…..

The Seaside!

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No this is not where we went but its a better picture than we saw that day. SO, on the way into Tarragona Michael said you know I’ve always wanted to see the beaches the other side of the city and the Roman ruins, we can shop later..  With that in mind we headed off towards the north side. Now we thought that the squalls over the mountains were bad enough but boy you should have seen the ones that came rolling in from the Med.  By this time we wanted a cup of coffee and found this beachside café/restaurant open with a covered in area. There was a good surf running but no takers we soon found out why proving that not all surfers are daft. So as it was lunchtime and wet we decided to hell with it we would eat there and watch the seagulls and the surf. The food was really good we had a cheese and jamon pizza with a seafood salad followed by the most delicious cheesecake. Whilst eating we were treated to a grandstand view of the squalls speeding in. There were large ships anchored outside the port and one minuet you could see them then a squall hit and they vanished whilst the rain shook the covered area as it beat against the windows.   So that was our day out.

 

DSCF2434 (640x480)[1]There was some more good news the robins are back. we thought we had lost them as we didn’t see one last year but this week we saw two.   Oh and don’t forget Clearing in the Forest by M D Bosc –  a book for Christmas.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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Fighting Goats!

Well it rained (stop laughing) so we went shopping rather later than usual, didn’t rush and got back just as the sun came out (briefly). After unloading the car I went to look at the cisterna to see if we how the water level was going. However I didn’t get there as rounding the corner of the house I heard this THUMP CRASH! I wasn’t sure what it was it sounded a bit like a gun going off but the hunters weren’t out. Then it came again only this time it was louder and more defined.  Looking up at the masa I first saw two eagles circling then I  saw the cause of the crashes, there were two large goats fighting it out on the edge of the masa with one using a boulder to gain height over his opponent.  I called to Carol and she came out with the camera so up to the terrace we went and these were the shots we got. the story went something like this:

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So you want to be leader do you well lets fight it out. Winner is leader of the herd looser goes over the side ok? Ok except I’m not going over the side. CHARGE!!!

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Stop pushing and get off that rock that’s cheating! No it’s not I’m king of the masa you’re the one I chase sir..

dsc00068-640x480Owww that hurts mind where you put your horns and stop pushing me towards the edge, fight fair.

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Ok that’s enough time to go home. Did you see them down there with the camera? think they have any good shots? No humans are all the same they see us and the cameras come out and they start trying to get closer. Either way we will finish this later on.  Then all was quiet on the masa front.

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

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Christmas is coming winter is already here turn off the i-pads, phones and laptops shut the doors turn off the tv, and gather the children around your knee. Take up a Kindle or open the book and be…

Source: A Book For Christmas

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Updates

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Since writing the last blog we now have 3 bottles of olive oil, not bad going for a heath robinson operation.  It really is surprising what you can achieve with a little thought and ingenuity.  Part of my kitchen looks like a small factory but its well worth it for 7 bottles of our own olive oil especially as we never thought we would get any this year.

 

IMG_0019 (640x480)As for the saffron well I have planted the bulbs I rescued in the flower pots in the ffz they are shooting so I am hopeful.  But it is the from the small walled garden that I got my biggest surprise, saffron!  I had forgotten I had planted some there, the bulbs have multiplied and provided me with saffron, not as much as the main bed but certainly enough for a couple of paella’s. Then Michael began to find the odd bulb here and there so I am getting a fair bit which is more than I anticipated.  It seems that in my usual way of digging things up separating them and re-planting I have spread the saffron all over – wow!!

Cough Cough!

Well winter is here and as usual we are coughing. Poor old Michael has been quite rough but, I am glad to say, is now on the mend, I was a little worried for a while. When we were both really really ill we didn’t get any work done either on the computer or the farm and the olive oil had to wait.  But after a bit of a spell in doors, lots of lemon and honey with lemsip before bedtime, we not only felt a little better but began to get twitchy, the need to be active was very strong. So weather permitting we were wrapped up and out side fiddling around then as the sun began to return ( In the mornings it is so misty, damp and nasty) we started picking the olives again.  This time  mostly from off the ground as the wind had been playing knock the olives from the trees.  After two days of gentle picking and creaky knees despite kneeling pads, there are enough olives in the crusher/mixer to prepare another pressing.

 

Green Living???

Now I have heard loads about ‘Green Living’ and seen the tv programmes most of which show the latest technology but also have the benefits of mains water, electricity etc., on stand by – just in case and this is called green living???  yeh well we live the real green living life!  We chose this farm because its away from the town in the mountains in the middle of a forest (now a National Park) halfway up a valley and its tranquil.  We have learnt to live with the birds and animals ok and snakes, without a mains anything.  WE WENT GREEN – big time!!!

Over the years we have installed a solar system which works well with a generator as back up for when the sun does not shine. This system runs the fridge, freezer, computers and tv, now that is being green.  The water system is simple: it rains the rain water runs into the cisternas then as needed its pumped to a header tank to give pressure and is fine.  I have a washing machine, shower, and hot water via the gas water heater (if it does not rain and we are low on water we have to buy it in) and NO this is not mains this is bottled gas.  Michael had to build a gas shed to keep them in and it was inspected and ok’d. then I had to get certificates for each gas bottle, there is no way you can get round it legally, the new gas bottle (which you can then replace when empty) comes from a registered supplier so as long as you obey the rules you are fine. The gas also runs the cooker and when we first came here the fridge/freezer, but once Michael had the solar system fully up and running we exchanged it for a small fridge and freezer – you need somewhere to keep the ice in summer.

We are not the only people who have done this but most of them have access to agricultural water we don’t.  But hey that’s how we roll up here and we love it.  Some nights we stand and look at the stars they are wonderful we are also looking for the mother ship!!!!!!!  Oh come on, what humans in their right mind would live in the mountains, in the middle of a forest halfway up a valley with no amenities, wild birds (Owls, Eagles, and a large range of smaller  bossy birds) wild boar, (all of who have names) and Sid the snake??????

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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