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Posts Tagged ‘building’

New Beds and Tiles

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The stones on the bulb bed are supposed to deter the wild cats…

Well summer is over, yes it is!  The fiesta has been and gone, most of the bars in town are shut – they made that much money? – and when THAT happens you know the summers ended.  Oh of course the sun still shines but it starts to get colder and when the schools open again next week you will see jackets on people, this is country life our style.  So whilst the weather has been grey and wet my wife has been in the garden building new bulb beds, weeding and laying a small patio around the washing line.  No it’s not hard work, we have some old floor tiles lying around the finca and she has made use of them.  They won’t be stood on so they shouldn’t break but they will keep the weeds down as well as making that part of the garden look nice and tidy.

To the side she has started to make a violet and miniature bulb rockery, and has built a wall behind the lilies and gladioli with some large stones she found in her ‘quarry’ (where the large pine tree used to be).  I heard a lot of shouting the other day and on investigation found my wife yelling ‘not that way or not there you stupid rock’ as the stones she slid down the slope kept going – she had forgotten the law of inertia – anyway, these are now in place so the small natural wall is finished I think!!

On the pump house side I suggested that she brought the ground level up to the height of the cisterna then she could plant bulbs in there.  So when we were in Bauhaus the other day she bought a 70ltr bag of compost more gladioli bulbs but forgot the black bags for the weed suppressant. As for me I have cleared out the ‘potting’ shed and tidied  my work bench,  laid a better floor in there just little jobs I had been putting off.  I didn’t realise how much small ‘might come in useful’ stuff we had hoarded so a trip to the skip was made and now you can walk into the area with plenty of room.

More Piggywigs

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I seem to have found the right place for this camera, we have several shots of this family but I would like a good one of the boar.  Every time I fetch it in to check the photos we get excited like children at Christmas the disappointment when there are no pictures is very real. We love our wildlife, and all we need now are shots of the goats.

 

Back To School

As I have said summer is over and school starts again next week, so I have been trying to get the book I will need for this term.  I just couldn’t get a copy anywhere, but the clever clogs I’m married to found the ISBN number and ordered it from the bookshop in town and picked it up this week.  She also bought me a new writing pad and pens – feel like I’m back to junior school – with strict instructions that these are for school not writing my stories in. Oh and yes I have my ‘satchel’….

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

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It’s 11.40 on a Sunday morning sun’s shining and for the past few hours Michael has been sitting in the fly free zone working on a new book whilst listening to the song of a thrush. As for me I have been busy in the garden putting finishing touches to the walled bed. Now you may be wondering why I am posting on Michael’s blog, well its like this. I have joined a garden blog on FB and normally I would just post on there or  Michael would write a blog about what I have been up to. This morning however he was up early and is now busy writing. But he did have a look round on here first and as soon as he had finished I grabbed my chance hehe.

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It is a strange thing but gradually over the years I have been putting the garden in place but only in my mind. But last year Michael made me steps up to the cacti garden and things just took off from there. I edged the steps with stones and made small bulb terraces, then if you look to the right of this picture that is where I built a small wall and re-planted my Saffron crocus.

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The next thing was to have a small olive tree removed as it was too close to the house and replanted in the south field. It was whilst this was being dug up that the large rocks were discovered so I decided to make a small walled garden for some of my roses.  Then Michael suggested that I make another garden behind the wall incorporating the stones so this is the result – it’s now finished – and I have planted two of my hostas – Bill & Ben – in it along with one or two other plants, covered the soil with gravel so it prevents the sun drying it out too quickly and I now have a classic little garden.

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The problem here is that we don’t get much water during the summer which normally runs from June till mid September so we have to collect water for the garden from the river. We store it in cubes of 1,000 ltrs which is strictly for the garden. But there is a little trick I learnt from ‘The Witches Garden’, and that is to get a lemonade bottle cut off the bottom say about half way up and insert the capped end into the soil and fill with water. Next get an empty 6 ltr water bottle cut the top off that and fit it over the  bottle in the ground, this will then produce a self watering unit and keep the plants moist. I have done it before and it does actually work although I have to place a stone on the top to keep the larger bottle from being blown away.

So today I have made three of these water units and placed them next to the roses in the new garden. I then made a ring of stones which when it gets cooler tonight I shall cement in place thus making a ‘waddy’ which when I pour the  water in will make sure it soaks into the ground for that rose and does not run over the ground. I now have three more to make plus one for the lavender. So busy, busy ,busy.

Right I have to go need to get dinner I hope you like this I shall continue with another update later. I will post this tonight but if not then tomorrow when I have finished.

© C.A.Bosc

(Wife and Poetess)

 

 

 

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Well they say good things come in three’s and yesterday was no exception. The first came when I opened up my mail and found a note from Kindle I can afford to buy a coffee this week.

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The second? well that was an important discovery or a problem depending on which way it’s looked at. Yesterday it rained! not heavy but just enough to water the plants, dampen the ground and make my wall building go in fits and starts. Anyway, there I was standing in the kitchen looking out at the forest past the ‘Little House’ when a movement caught my eye. I was sure I had seen a bird or something go into the wall (hence could be problem), so I stood there cuppa in hand and waited. Yes sure enough it was a bird. Not just any bird, but Dangerous Dan McGrew punk crest included, now I know spring has arrived.  As I watched I began to define him and Mrs McG as they came and went to the nest. Every now and then Dan would perch on the wire that leads to the wind genny look around then fly to the wall so all that could be seen was his backside.

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So I called my wife, she was so excited that Dan had ‘moved in next door’ that out came the camera and these pictures are the result. I know they are a little hazy but they were taken from the kitchen through the anti Sid netting so all in all not bad. Mind you, she is convinced that Dan is camera-shy as there seem to be more of Mrs McG. We are not sure whether because of being busy they are building or there are chicks as it looks like there’s a worm in her beak.

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Now it has taken her a while but at last we think this ia a picture of Dan and we are hoping that this will be a regular yearly occurrence. So once the winter comes again I will have to make sure that the back wall is in good condition and not being invaded by the bird developers.

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As for the ‘Wall Walker’ we have not as yet seen him, but I have seen that Hissing Sid. I was going out to start my building the other day and there he was as bold as brass sunbathing in front of the flowerpots by the front door.  Now normally I say ‘live and let live’ but an adder is an adder and he has had a bite at my wife plus he was too close to the house for comfort and safety. So I picked up a length of metal and went to ‘see him off’, but he must have sensed me coming and whizzed off, nasty little git.  He has obviously forgotten his agreement with the gang – to stay in the forest not near the house or else…- really must have a word with Bobbin about it.

Living here has its good and bad sides Sid and the odd scorpion are the bad side Bobbin, Dan, Boris and the rest are the good side. Add to that the views from the windows and patio and well its a writers paradise.

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And this picture? well that’s another story. Oh and I almost forgot the third thing that happened was Vincent Dignan has placed me on his list of superb-authors.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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Well 2013 has drawn to a close.  So I thought I’d take a look at what has happened in the forest and on the finca this past year.

I will start with the finca as my wife has finally begun to layout the garden as she wants it.  Gardening here  is not like gardening round a house, there you don’t have a forest to keep at bay.  However her idea is to incorporate  or ‘smudge’ the edges of both garden and forest so that one blends into the other.

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So on the small terrace above the car-port she laid out a cacti garden with various plants given her by our friends and some we found on derelict buildings. As you can see some even flowered.  As this was a really stoney patch I gave her a hand to get started.

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The first thing we did was to clear away the weeds and rake as many stones as we could from the areas where the plants would go. Next we edged circles with stones and planted the cacti in them. This meant that the surrounding area between the circles could be laid with stones making pathways and hopefully keep the weeds down.

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Now to get to this garden we had to climb a small slope, and knowing us we did not fancy spending a hot summer with a leg in plaster, so I built some steps.  So now we can walk up and down in safety.  This was when my wife had an idea, uh oh….

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Last year she bought some Saffron crocus and planted them under the olive tree, however there was not much of a harvest.  What she should have done was plant them in full sunlight, you soon learn these things.  But this year nothing happened until I started to give the tree a loping then they all came up and she has had a bumper crop of saffron.  So to her idea. Well it’s this, as soon as the green starts to die back on the bulbs she will move them to the garden she has prepared beside the steps which is in full sunlight.

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The next thing to be sorted was the rose garden, but where to put it was the thing. The one we had was getting to small for her collection as a friend has given her some old-fashioned English roses, so I suggested the end of the house outside the bedroom.  This is now done with lavender planted in amongst them as it is supposed to keep afids away.

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The other thing is we have found and old ‘boot’ and a ‘bear’.  So my wife is busy laying out the edging of the garden which incorporates these two and her Xmas present is now defined she wants a small sculpting set, apparently the ‘bear’ needs a little bit of definition…..

As for the forest, well we still have not seen any wild boar yet, it’s nearly two years since we saw the last one up here. Even the hunters have not found any.  But we have hopes that they will return, the goats are back on the mesa and the birds don’t  like my pruning, mind you they like the digging my wife has been doing so swings and roundabouts, swings and roundabouts.

We are keeping a watch on the wildlife a usual because when we were in the UK for my medical in 2012 we returned to silence and no birds.  We could not work out what was wrong but after a while they began to return.  We think it was the hunting dogs drinking their water as once we had restarted the flow they were happy again.  Some of the trees have been blown down during the winds but they are safely on the wood pile.  So I am looking forward to a quiet 2014 in the hope of things returning to normal and the garden getting finished.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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3A4E1C57 (640x387)[1] Well looks like winter is arriving, nights are getting colder up here. Over the past four days we have gone from both windows open and just a sheet, to big window closed, plus duvet, light blanket and bedspread brrrr.  If you consider the days which are warm and sunny it says a lot about mountain living.

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This is the view of the maser from our back garden in the last of the evening sun, it is lovely at this time of year with the light throwing shadows it can sometimes look like a scene from an old painting.

So what happened? I’ll tell you.  We had decided to re-locate the wood-burner so when we came home and spent a cold evening I decided to get the job done. Out came the hand-held jack hammer, a few minutes and the hole was cut then came the shaping and fitting of the chimney pipes, followed by the cementing in of same.  So with hole duly knocked in wall, pipes fitted and cemented in (know I did a good job my wife inspected it to make sure there were no gaps for wasps or anything nasty to creep through) I smoothed the outside wall and went to have a rest. I felt really tired and had begun to sniff, It seems flying does not agree with me too well, although the flight was good and the crew were very cheerful and pleasant, I have caught a bug which is not good. DSCF4363 (640x480)

The Villian

It was at this point after making me a cuppa, putting away my tools and telling me to sit still for a while, my wife went off to her potting shed to continue re-potting her plants. However, I decided to finish the job and went to re-place the  whirly gig top on the chimney pipe. Now as you can see it is metal and just sits over the pipe so nothing hard about it except…. it slipped slightly and attacked my finger.  So a few minutes later there I am standing on the patio arm in air with thumb pressed hard against the finger blood dripping from the wound forming a nice little pattern on the patio NCIS would have liked that.

When she saw this my wife didn’t know whether to get the car out or sort it herself, but seconds later she appeared with a bowl of water and walked me into the kitchen hand in bowl.  Then disappeared to get her medical basket, by which time I had managed to dry the cut – which is quite deep – and she proceeded to bandage it up.

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Now for those of you who remember my other events with the ham knife – this is the only one left and its a small one – I can now tell you that unless I am wearing gloves I am BANNED from touching anything with a sharp edge….  I am currently sitting in my chair typing as I have developed a rather nasty cold and bad tummy, not really my weekend.  Still I am being well cared for and get to watch as much sport as I like hehehe.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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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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Over the past few days I have woken to the sound of a bird singing it heart out. No, not Boris but a Blue Tit.  This member of the community has decided to join in the spring fever. There is another visitor that it’s a great pleasure to see, the Wall Walker and his mate.  This pair arrive each year and repair the nest in the roof and we enjoy watching them do what they do best Walking the Walls.

Hello I’m Bill the Walker

Oh boy I really hate this time of year, build, clean, repair, go, go, go.  Sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, but I am so busy, this nest needs a makeover every year. My name is Bill, and you’re the first human I have talked to.  Somewhere around, probably looking for the soft bits is my mate Muffy. She is always shopping or changing the furnishings is your’s like that?  Still as I said this time of year is all go for me, and it won’t stop when the eggs arrive I will have to bring food and share the sitting.  Just now I am concentrating on repairing and rebuilding where the weather has damaged it, making it Hissing Sid proof as far as possible, generally making good.  As for Muffy, she’s getting broody, started moaning about the fact she can’t find enough stuff to make a nice warm soft bed for the eggs, so she is off searching leaving me to do the work. Well must go or I’ll never hear the end of it if the nest isn’t ready in time.

Where’s the Wife Gone?

Hello you back? haven’t seen Muffy anywhere have you? I’ve been working away here and she’s been gone ages, I’m beginning to wonder whats happened. Yes I know women take ages when shopping, not like us, we know what we want, go there, get it, all done and dusted in a matter of ticks but hens well…. ah phew, here she comes laden down with soft bits.

Hello Muffy glad your back I was getting worried, did you get what you wanted? Pardon?  You cheeky bird.  Here I am working my wings off repairing the nest for you while you’re off hunting soft bits.  Then you come back here wanting to know where your grubs are. Ohhhh hens….  Now, now don’t tweep I’m sorry.  Hang on I won’t  be a mo.  Here you are, look here’s a juicy grub, you just settle down in the nest and I’ll look after everything.  Strange mood she’s in, she tweep’s for no reason must be getting near to laying.  Well have to get on nice to see you again will have more time when the young have fledged.

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc – author

 

 

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As I think I have mentioned before up here in the forest we have to be self sufficient. Our electricity is supplied by solar so we only have to get our water delivered.  Now we have lived like this for over 6 years and are quite happy, we chose this farm for its location, charm and peacefullness, knowing full well that we would have to have delivered 5,000 ltrs of water every 3/4 months. When we first moved here we were told about Mannell the local `mad tractorista’, a jolly chap always smiling and ready to help.  So Mannell has delivered our water since then with many a laugh and the odd whoopsy. 

He drives a rather smart blue tractor that pulls the water bowser around, and he like all our neighbours does not go slow.  The first year he tried to deliver water he had a puncture at the start of the track and ended dumping all the water. The next day tyre fixed he delivered our water during a small storm water, water, everywhere, laughing at the  situation. But had a friend with him in a van with a spare tyre just incase, the track was not as smooth as it is now.  Mannell has become a friend over the years and nothing seems to frazz him, if we are out when he delivers (as has happened) he simply fills the cisterna leaves then we have to wander round to find him and pay for it, knowing I am at the Petanca courts nearly every afternoon he waits for us to find him.  

Take last winter. We had snow here which normally lasts around a day or so, this time however it lasted for nearly a week and was several inches deep.  We had ordered a delivery before it arrived, and Mannell was not surprised when we cancelled it as the cisterna was full.  Then last year on our last delivery there was a small whoopsy, backing up to the cisterna the bowser caught the edge of it and partly demolished the corner.  It was an accident no real damage done, I have since rendered the corner and all is well. 

So when Mannell delivered the water this time I let the wife direct him in, no problem, a big grinning face greeted us with the words “sin nieve” and lots of chuckles, he had not forgotten.  As the water was pumped in I talked to Mannell about the new cisterna I was thinking of building.  “No, no, no need to do that cost you a lot of money. I would simply get two more tanks like this (we have a 2,000 ltr header tank) and place them side by side, link them with a pump and all will be fine”. We went on to discuss the pros and cons of this and  where I might better place these extra tanks. I like Mannell he is pleasant, cheerful and always waves or speaks when we see or pass him in the car.

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