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Posts Tagged ‘rain’

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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Then It Rained!!!!

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Right now most of you who read the blogs will know, we have been bemoaning the fact that there has been very little rain this year, in fact as a local pointed out if the river wasn’t there this part of Cataluña would be a desert.   Well Monday it rained, yes it did  and how. It began in the morning with the sort of thing we have got used to, a sort of drizzle that can’t decide whether to go full on or bog off somewhere else.

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We had been into town to get the shopping when it  began to get wet and windy, very windy. The drive home was interesting loads of twigs, leaves, rocks and stones on the road plus the odd tree by the river blown down.  When we got back we unloaded the car then parked it and we just had time to grab a few logs and get the generator going before it hit.  First the rain came down sideways as the wind was so strong, this led to a puddle on the bedroom floor under the closed (I might add) window it was that fierce.  Next it began to come in under the front door so the mop was in action, then Michael looked out the back. We are glad he did but at the time I wished he hadn’t, it was just like a river  flowing. It was so strong that it was literally flowing over the sumps of the cisterna, all that water gushing away then the generator began to splutter.  So with umbrellas up jackets on we were out as action was needed and quickly.

 

Firstly Michael had to sort out the flow channels to get rid of the huge puddle that had formed in front of the house and was in the process of washing the sand away and had made its way into the generator shed where water was steadily rising.   I held the umbrella whilst he pulled the weeds up that had grown in the  channel and also blocked the runoff drain. Once this was done a deluge of water began to either rush down the slope towards the track where it continued its down hill run towards the river.  The water that came out of the pipe onto the lower level would not have disgraced the effect of a water pump had we used one.

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Next we tackled the shed. This was simple knock a hole in the back wall and the water came out with a little help from me and a broom.  Whilst I was getting the generator shed sorted Michael went and sorted out the sumps to the large cisterna.  Now this went on for around an hour and a half during which time the water from the roofs, gullies etc.,  filled the 5000ltr small cisterna, one of the 1000ltr cubes and 3/4’s of the large cisterna not to mention the wheelbarrow, buckets and sundry that were outside.  There aren’t any pictures as we were to busy getting rid of the water, but this morning the first saffron crocus appeared in the saffron patch in the garden, the ones in the field have also begun to arrive, says everything really.

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This is not how the track looks now, it’s full of gullies where the water dug it out rocks and stones everywhere, what was once a fairly smooth track now exists.  The road into town was strewn with rocks and mini slides which had come down but these were the usual suspects,  the really worrying bit is on a bend where there are two trees with roots exposed and they are leaning a bit. We have no idea what the top end of the track is like but the town hall has been out having a look at things so must be bad.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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The Usual Stuff

 

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These past weeks have seen some spectacular skies what with the moon turning red and the end of the world predicted.  We even had a partial rainbow but, of course, no rain. So these spectacular skies, the moon (and no we didn’t stay up) and the rainbow are our only reward. Then I discovered my camera wont work so now I can’t use it so have to rely on my phone and the tablet not good….

Olive Oil…

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Right as you will have gathered by now we own a small olive farm and over the years we have not had the time to tend it properly.  Most of the trees here are 100’s of years old some – so we are told – being  1000 years old, which I can believe as the trunks are like small oak trees. To get the trees to produce fruit they need to be pruned which means taking all the branches that are growing up right out leaving the centre clear with plenty of light, removing all the dead wood, which encourages new growth which in turn produces the fruit.  However, because over the years we have had to travel to back and forth to Michael’s doctor it became a bit difficult.  So this year after little rain we expected to be pruning but not pressing the olives  WRONG!!!! On inspection I discovered the trees were covered in fruit, not much rain at all here so yes Sods Law is alive and kicking…..

Normally picking olives and taking them to the commercial press is done sometime in the first two weeks of November with pruning in early spring.  However this year everything seems to be early and if we left them till then the olives would all have fallen and been no good,  so it was off to visit Keka (think that’s how his name is spelt) to purchase a small press.  Now we could get going.  We started on the first tree of the left side of the fields then moved to the small ones on the first level. Lots of pruning and picking later we had our first pressing, so Michael got his trusty pulper going and before long the first batch was ready for the press.

Because of his hand I won’t let him use a chain saw up and down ladders with that in hand is not good, so until his hand’s sorted out it’s literally hand pruning. There is a lot of dead wood up there so we find it easier to using the hand saw. It is rather nice working away in the early morning suns just getting warm, birds are shouting and hollering at our two, conversation is good and when he’s cut enough branches we sit go and pick the olive together. We are obviously not the only ones who work like this, when we were out yesterday we passed another couple doing exactly the same.

Sitting in our kitchen/diner is the first container of oil which is resting to allow the water to settle on the bottom. Once this happens I will syphon it off then leave it to settle again before straining it several times into clean fresh containers.

Autumn Hunters

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October brings a new sound to the forest, the sound of dogs, bells and guns, the hunters are back.  The season is from October to March and only on two days a week last year it was Thursday and Sunday, not sure which days this year. I have to say that until the guns go off we don’t always know they are here and they do not hunt near the house.  Hunting is a subject that is full of holes, sometimes it is necessary to cull the wild boar because this is farming country and they do do a fair bit of damage to crops. However, being a National Park they have to get permission to hunt and the wild boar have not suffered, in fact they are beginning to thrive again.

New Additions

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This is Bluebottle. We were out shopping in the market last week and as always stopped to look at the birds.  Michael was particularly taken with a parakeet very pretty with a blue bum, so he’s called Bluebottle.  Twice he went back to look at him then I said “if you really like him get him and a cage” .  Next thing I knew bird in cage in front of car me sitting in back and sir having a conversation with a passenger who didn’t talk back…..  Well he seemed a little lonely so today we went back and bought another one a Grey this time named Eccles what else…..  Now I am not casting nasturtiums (I know what I wrote) but it has to be a male.  The chap put the bird in a box with air-holes and we started for home, calling into the supermarket on the way.  We opened the boot and loaded the shopping opened doors and got in. Drove along then all of a sudden Eccles was flying around in the car – good job the aircon was on –  Eccles had chewed his way out of the bird box so we stopped the car and when he landed on Michaels knee he caught him, replaced him in the box and with me holding the lid on and covering the hole Eccles had made drove home.  Once home Michael took him into the livingroom  opened the cage door placed the box against it and waited… and waited…. and oh you get the idea.  The result was that he had to up-end the box to get him into the cage.

Job sorted you might think but oh no!  They spent the next hour shouting at one another and every time Eccles went to feed Bluebottle chased him away. Same thing with the swing to the point where Bluebottle dislodged his swing then tried to commandeer Eccles, so Michael went out got some wire and sorted this out. Then I had to lay the law down to the pair of them.  Know what? it worked!  I re-hung the swing they had knocked down then we watched as they both sat on it, no squabbling no noise and when Eccles went to eat Bluebottle sat and watched.  Michael has made a hanging place for them in the fly free zone where they can sit and shout at the ‘gang’ who come sit in the olive tree and tweet, shout and screech back at them.  Believe it or not they are now under their cover cuddled up and QUIET!!!!!

Petanca Birthday Party

Last Saturday we had a really lovely day.  Now this weekend here it’s a bank holiday so we wont be petancing and next weekend is a competition so last weekend was the only one free. We bought the wine and our friends did the rest we played a small competition Michael won Beer and Olives and I won wine and crisps.   Then we went and sat down to  pernil, pan tomate, olives, crisps, several different meats with wine, beer, small alcohol wine (4%) Pepsi, lemonade and water.  This was followed by melon, then sweet cakes served with the coffee and either brandy or whisky.  I didn’t drink so drove home Michael just had a really relaxing good time.

Michael also had some good news about his operation on his hand.  He has a cyst growing on the tendon of his hand and it became infected so his doctor sent him to see a specialist who said they would operate but there is a two month waiting list so in December along with his scan it will be sorted. And no he can’t type very well at the moment.

 

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

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Party Like The Moon

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Now you may well be wondering what this has to do with fiestas, well as we are involved it has everything to do with it.   I have forgotten a little bit where I’ve got up to with the news so if I repeat myself its old age and late hours……

DSCF5210 (640x480)First there was the Petanca social in town so we went to that if you remember ham is very nice, we were home around 3 pm this time.

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Then we went to the seaside and found their fiesta going strong with fair ground and bands, we got home around 2am .

 

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Then we had a small party at the Petanca club which meant we played a few games I won a small bag of goodies then we sat down to eat under the flood lights.  All in all a very pleasant evening, we got home around midnight.

But our annual visit into town for the correfoc meant that in true Garcia style we wound up getting home at 3am.  This is a big night in town as they close the streets, set up stages for the bands and shows. Then tables come out in front of bars and restaurants, chairs are put for people to sit and watch the shows and a dance area is made. Lights are on, bunting is hung, bands are ready and everything begins.  We always go to the river bar which is run by Ramon’s youngest daughter. Here there was a singer, all the songs were from the 80/90’s, and the minute the correfoc was over he started and we were dancing.

There are no pictures of this event as we were with friends and dancing plus with so many people about it was not practical. But I can say that when our friends left around 2am – they had been travelling for most of the day –  we danced on.   Two happy but tired people who wended their way through the crowds towards their car and home.

It Rained – Honest!!

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You will have gathered by now that the weather and climate change in our valley has been one of my oft mentioned gripes.   I look at the weather outside, watch the weather on tv and wonder why the hell they don’t match up.  The weather chart shows a cloud with rain coming from it and out of the window I see…. sun ….  So having said my usual “oh look it going to be sunny” bit to my wife I decided we would go to the club for a few games then on to the coast.  Then along comes the clouds!  “you going to take in the cushions?” I asked “no we’ve seen it all before, dark clouds no rain” came the reply so off we set.  We were playing nicely when the first rumble was heard then a few flashes, game ended just as the rain came.  “where the hell did this lot come from it certainly wasn’t forecast” was heard from the lady running ahead of me.  So we headed for the coast by which time it was really raining parked up and went for a coffee.  I didn’t fancy driving around in this lot so we headed home as we came out of the pass we could see – wait for it – sunshine….  It had rained and yes the cushions were soaking but the garden looked refreshed and the forest smelt renewed. So that’s about it, I will have to make sure I write about our adventures as they happen otherwise I forget or repeat myself, the  weed killing – no that’s for next time.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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Club Nautique

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This is my friend Pep like me a sailor at heart.  He is on the committee of Club Nautique and does the races.  Now a while ago the local council decided that they would construct a cantilever walkway down river road. This has meant the road has been impassable for several weeks now with, as far as I can tell,  only the paving actually done.  As you have to traverse this small road to get to Club Nautique it obviously has an effect on them and their training hours.   We visited the club one evening to see how things were going and although there were a few people there, it was nothing like it used to be, we could pick our table with no problems.

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It was good to see Pep and his family again plus hear about how the club was doing in the various competitions, he has invited us to go with them to see for ourselves, and as soon as I have a free Sunday (no Petanca) I shall do just that.

The Garden

 

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We had a nice surprise the other morning one of the roses that had not flowered before had done so and two blooms at that.  These are roses that a friend of my wife had dug up and was going to throw away, but before doing so she asked if we would like them. So duly planted last year we lost two but although the other survived no flowers.  Then came this drought and taking in to consideration our water situation I did not expect them to survive but not only have they but bloomed as well isn’t nature wonderful.

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As you can see from this photo it’s not only the roses that have ‘gone for it’ our grapevine has taken off like a rocket and is attempting to become a triffid.  There are bunches of grapes on it but it has, despite my endeavours to curtail it, clambered around the fly free zone and into the walnut tree.  Not content with all this it has stretched out to the door and is now attempting to grow across the FF door and on to goodness knows where.  I often wonder just what we grow up here plants or things from outer space….

The Weather

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I used to think that talking about the weather was an English thing, not any more.  Because we have had so little rain this year and it has been hotter than usual from around the end of April, everyone is talking about the heat.  There is no common ground here though, it’s either very dry and very humid or thunder, lightening, loads of rain (we should be so lucky) with the accompanying floods. The sky still does its ‘look we’re storm clouds’ over us and still bugs off somewhere else, I’m not greedy even a little tinkle would be appreciated.

We did have some rain a few days ago but not enough to mention really, but I have, plus its so hot that you really don’t want to go outside, even the fly free zone is too much.  Any breeze we have is the equivalent to a steam room and the humidity, well that hangs over everything in a cloud of mist you can’t see down the valley.   Believe me I do not need to take the car to the wash, early morning with a clean cloth and its washed then sun-dried. I suppose the only thing

Survival Of The Fittist

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You may or may not remember Buzz the humming bee who got stuck in the false apple, well a little while after that happened the wind gave a great puff and the supports – old wooden beams – gave up the ghost and fell down.  The result was that I had to dig the plant up cut it right back and find somewhere else to plant it.  The car port was the answer, so it went in at the back with its feet in the shade tied the stem to one of the poles made it a water dropper and left it to get on with things.  Last year it made a feeble attempt to get going but this year its on the rampage again.  Up and off over the roof of the car port which is what we wanted, it has actually flowered not as prolific as it originally did but the fact that it has done so is a bonus.  The perfume in the evening wafts into the bedroom and is very much like Jasmine.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

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We would normally spend a petanca paella, sitting down to eat in good company and sunshine, however, today was to prove an exception of sorts.  For a start, we had been looking at the weather – el tiempo – for the past two days and according to the tv we would be up to our armpits in water oh yeh???

This morning arrived in full sun warm and promising a lovely day with no clouds in any direction and as we could see down the valley we made the usual remarks about pity it was raining so much or we wont have to drive down with all this rain we can float…. should not have said anything.

We spent the morning tidying up and fiddling about to pass the time – we did not get up until gone 10 o’clock as I was watching the football on tv then the Godfather 2 till late. Anyway I decided to have a lie down before we left – it’s a requirement as there is plenty to eat and drink and a few games afterwards – so I was a little surprised to find it getting cloudy with large white clouds that were giving way to varying shades of grey appearing over the mountains. Still we have a club house so I was not worried we have had the paellas in there before, we are a versatile lot here.  So once rested and washed I was handed the bag with our dishes, forks, glasses – for vino – a bottle of wine and lemonade plus the obligatory roll of paper towels -and we set off for town.

It was getting grayer as we drove into town but the tables and chairs were set up out under the trees then the sun came out.  This was more like it, however this did not last long and I think the weather report might have put quite a few people off as there were not many there, but those who were were good company and  good friends.  We found our spot at the table and whilst I went to chat with my friends my wife went to the shop for one or two bits to go with the lunch, crisps, cakes and apricots.   Then we all settled down to the traditional country paella of rabbit, chicken, peppers and rice cooked to perfection as always by Hosea.  It was whilst we were on the last course the water melon and coffee – the coffee was passed round from various flasks – that the first spots of rain were felt.  During the conversation no one had noticed the clouds getting thicker and darker, but just one not so dark and dense was the one that tinkled on us.  Well that was that, we went from laughing at the remarks of the women about our petanca prowess to being told by an army of female  organisers – my wife included – to get out of their way and with in a few minutes the tables were cleared so we men could stash tables and chairs away all neat and tidy.   I looked around but everyone had basically gone, so it was really annoying to find that 10 minutes later it stopped raining and as I write the sun is out.  Can’t trust the weather man can you lol.

So no pictures were taken however here are some of the best from past meals just to give you an idea of the fun we usually have.

 

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So hopefully the next one will be like this good company and  friends lots of sun and a few games after, oh and I must remember to take a flask of coffee next time…..

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

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Well what a strange night and day we are having/had. I blame the wife myself.  Yesterday she was out in the garden in the sunshine 15dgs watering and looking at some rather dubious clouds that were skirting the valley whilst mumbling  we need some rain get over here……

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Later on the drumming of a good rain storm could be heard she had got her way BUT when I got up this morning SNOW! SNOW!  The forest looked really wintry with its light dusting of snow maybe not a lot, but there it was. A bleary eyed bod got out of bed saying your daft “where’s the snow” wandered to the front door opened it looked outside closed it came back to bed snuggled down saying “yep that’s snow”! Not the normal response and no dash for the camera, but still it was around 4am…..

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True to form she who watches the weather – did not see this coming – was out before brekky getting the logs and starting wood in – thinks saws, axes and me don’t go well together – wonder why? any way words of “we will not be cold”  were heard and she was enjoying herself so I made the tea and got brekky.  We are having a curry for dinner the pan is on the fire and we are cosy and warm  not bad.  Just going to see what the weather is going to do tomorrow then a glass dinner and Rugby.  Ohhh  dont like the look of this  more snow could be on way guess who’s off to the wood pile, girl scout or what…..

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It may not look like much to you but believe me this is an event.  Usually when it snows no matter how deep its gone by midday so to us its something.

Keep warm and safe everyone,  “Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow”  Keep warm peeps

 

© Michael Douglas Bosc

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