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Posts Tagged ‘construction’

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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Hi my names Gilda and if I’m looking cheesed off then that is exactly what I am.  I mean how would you like it if you were out for an evening and ended up down a hole then had to wait till morning to be hauled out.  Oh you have done the same, hurts the old feet when you land doesn’t it not to mention how cold you get.  Still I found a soft comfy thing to hide under till the human got me out, then I was able to make a dignified retreat after the photo’s of course.

 

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The human found me in the hole but didn’t want to pick me up as he thought it might not be safe, so he placed this flat thing on the ground and gently nudged me on to it. Next thing I know I’m going up in the air never been in a lift before, then he set me down so I could crawl – I was too shattered to hop – off somewhere safe.

 

 

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Just as I’m getting warm and back on firm ground I come face to face with the female from the Forest News, so I had to tell my story and pose for photographs. I have to admit I was a little peeved as all I wanted to do was find somewhere quiet get warm and recover after my ordeal. Anyway I finally had enough and walked away, but my ordeal was not quite over.

 

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I found there was a piece of wood in my way first I thought I could hide under it but there was not enough room so I ended up having to climb over it, not an ideal thing for one in my position. But at last I was able to see the wall where I lived and got home safe and sound.  But I tell you this I shall not be going near that hole again, it was a very long way down. Now I hear you asking what was I doing near the hole in the first place. Well I was on my way across the garden and it was just there, mind you I am not the only one to fall in. My Cousin Bert did the same last night only being smaller and younger he was a bit more active than I was so the man had a job getting him out but finally he was safely on his way to the forest. I don’t know what the hole is for but I will be glad when it’s filled in.  Life here is nothing if not exciting. rivet rivet….

 

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 Oh by the way THIS is the hole and the human who got me out…………………………

 

© 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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El Celler Cooperatiu Del Pinell de Brai

I was wondering what to do today as it was one of my wandering days. The sort of day when you want to do something but don’t really know what.  I have been trying to get to El Pinell de Brai, a small village in the Terra Alta region of Cataluna, amongst some of the finest wine makers in the region.I was actually trying to visit the Co-opratieva there. This is a grand building which hides within its walls vast concrete vats. However when we arrived it was the wrong time and day so we have an appointment for tomorrow morning.  As we were leaving the building, my wife spotted a small cellar opposite and we wandered over to have a look.

Celler Serra de Cavalls

What we found was a little gem just like those small vineyards in the champagne region of France, excellent wines without the hype. This vintner uses five growers to produce excellent wine in the traditions of their ancestors but using modern equipment. The results, although with a limited production, are some very fine wines which, I might add although having drank them and been delighted with their flavour, I never for a moment thought I would find the cellar. The wines are, for their quality, reasonably priced from a very good 5€ up to  an excellent 12€.  I have not tried the Blac Barrel but it is definitely on my list. I now know where some of my Petanca friends go for their wine.

The vines used are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, white Garnatxa and black Garnatxa all of which are grown naturally, no chemical sprays, hence the distinctive taste and bouquet. However you will not find vast hillsides of vines, this is not the way we do things here.  Instead you will find small farms (fincas) dotted around with vineyards who, when the time is right bring their grapes to be pressed. It is  very much a farming community, and they are true to their history they speak Catalan which, as we have found out is a very hard language to learn, but if you live in the countryside (Campo) you have to speak the language.

The Shop

So this morning I returned to Pinell de Brai, to tour the La Catedral del VI, the co-operative cellar to you and me.

This Is Where The Tour Begins

After a beetle invaded the vines and caused untold damage, leaving farmers with little or no income. Some left and went to the cities, others decided to stay replant new vines and start over. Then they got together and decided to form a co-operative, they would grow the grapes and decided that someone who knew how to make the wine would run the cellar. This did two things: First it left the farmers free to concentrate on growing the grapes and second with someone who know how to make wine in charge of the co-op there would be no falling out. So they began to build..

Concrete Vats Each Holding 30,000 Ltrs

They installed concrete vats that held 30,000ltrs of wine, with four rows of these vats about 8 vats long and 2 deep. You can walk across the tops under the beautiful carved vaulted ceilings.

The Vaulted Ceiling

Where the caps of the vats sit like lids on the floor, and the railing which abound everywhere carry water for cleaning them.  The cellar was started in 1918 and finished in 1922, and built by a student of  Gaudi, Cesar Martinell i Brunet, who was passionate about the co-operative movement. The Spanish government was to pay for the commissioned buildings but as the bills got bigger and no money arrived the hand decorated tiles which Brunet had ordered were stored away so that no one could say the builders had been extravagant.

Further Vats and Arches

A Vat Lid

Then during the Spanish civil war, it was badly bombed but when it was rebuilt  the hand painted tiles were taken out of store and placed along the front at long last.

The Tiles In Place

As for the wines they are few but enjoyable. The Tinto is a pleasant fruity country wine with a slight sweetness. The Vi Aperitiu is a pleasant vermouth, with the distinctive taste.  There is also a cooking wine definitely not for drinking, and a white that is not exactly sweet but not sharp. The Mistela is sweet, warm and very drinkable.

It is an unfortunate fact but these days olive oil is the main product at this press with only the listed selection of wines produced. But this is a village that prides it’s self on it’s artists crafts and produce.  If you are ever in the Terra Alta region of Catalunia take a look at this Co-op it is well worth the visit and long may it be so.

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc  author

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