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Posts Tagged ‘cold weather’

Bright Ideas!

gardens-2392

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!

1980

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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3A4E1C57 (640x387)[1]We had SNOW!!!  as you can see not as much as the rest of Catalunia but it snowed.  I will admit that this picture is not from last week but because of the weather the signal kept breaking and when I tried to down load the pictures they ‘got lost’, nothing new there….    Anyway it was sunny so I decided that what we needed was a trip out to the coast for a cuppa. So Sunday afternoon we set off towards Ametlla, a little fishing port, only to find when we got there that it was blowing a hooly and everybody had gone indoors.  No bars were open and when we walked round the harbour we both wondered who suggested the trip lol.

So we decided to go to the next town for a coffee, guess what that was shut and the wind was getting worse so erring on the side of caution we decided to head for home via the mountains. Ummm not sure it was the best choice, the scenery was fantastic but as we climbed towards the pass the wind was gusting and the snow looked frozen.  It was freezing up there and we could see where they had gritted so we kept an eye on the pass in case of ice.  My wife was never so pleased as when we started down the other side, when we reached town we called in at Ramon’s bar for hot chocolate and coffee then went home to snuggle up in the warm.

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Meet my wifes stalker, cheeky little sod but rather tame. I first noticed him following her round the olive tree as she weeded the garden, he was obviously looking for food but it looked so funny to see him playing hide and seek with her as she was totally unaware of his presence. She has named him ‘Stalker Sam’ as he has made a nest up under the eve’s of the little house and sits outside the kitchen window watching to see if she is going gardening.  We would be interested to know what he is, although he looks like a robin he has none of the markings anybody help out?  I have attached his water adventure photos:

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Wife is sitting in ‘ff’zone having  a coffee when Sam turns up perches on the watering can and starts tapping away.  The more he taps the more she ignores him but gets her camera. Next thing she knows he’s fallen in the watering can so she fishes out a soggy bird berating him for being so stupid.  Now she has a garden ‘helper’ when I walked round to the rhubarb patch the other day there they were wife weeding Sam by her knee looking for grubs etc., So if anybody can tell me what he is we would be grateful as we like to keep a tally of the different birds up here.

Now one of the things we really need up here in summer are Bats, insect-eating tiny bats.   We are going to see if we can get some bat houses installed in various places in the hope that along with the sand martins they will help keep the ‘black biters’  down, one thing is for sure they will get very fat up here.

One of the things we have noticed is that the forest dwellers are camera canny.  We have cameras around the place but only see signs of where someone has been in places they are not.  Rabbits, boar and, we suspect, goats have left their prints in various places but as is their want NOT where the cameras are.  We will keep trying and one day have some photos to show you.

©  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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