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Posts Tagged ‘seafood’

50 YEARS AND STILL GOING STRONG!!

Forgive me if I seem a bit excited but Friday saw us celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary, yep we had made it.  Life is not all roses and chocolates, there are a few thorns and bitter almonds in there but if you truly love each other you survive.  So this is what happened:

“Two old codgers enjoying the event went to the seaside for lunch. Muscles then shell-fish in a savoury rice, washed down with Cava and sparkling water followed by postres (that’s pudding to you)  this was the life.  Sitting opposite the marina the boats in rows remembering when they sailed a long time ago.  Then replenished and happy they headed for home, and wishes on FB from friends, coffee and wine saw them put out the lights go to bed after saying Amen to that.”

Well what else can you do or say?  except that we are still going strong, mind you we didn’t get up till nearly midday it was Saturday and we did celebrate….

The Forest

 

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Well what a surprise we had the other week.  Whilst working round the finca – picking the olives – we heard this heavy machine on the track. Not being nosey (yes we were) we went to look and there coming up the track was a heavy tractor dragging a leveler with a blade behind it, our track was being made useable again.  The tractor took three passes to do its stuff and we were very impressed, all the loose stones had gone everything was smooth, the edges were very clearly defined wow!  However, knowing this place like we do it won’t be long before the quad and off road bikes get going then it will be back to normal.  We hope the bikes will stick to the top part of the mesa where it is rough and wild but we will see.

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The weather has been very misty so we have not had much sun, this is because we are in the Ebre valley so here we have our own little weather systems. But we are having a few ‘grey days’  lots of cloud, dampness but no sun and its cold. This means the fire is going full belt just to keep the house from feeling damp. Although its grey outside is quite pleasant so we can get the various jobs done, like restoring the original cisterna.

The Birds

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We have not seen much of the birds this autumn but the little Redstarts are here, and we know the blackbirds are around we have seen them as they are becoming rather partial to the leftover bird seed from the boys. We have therefore made an area especially for them with some protection and so far they are loving it.  The Song Thrush is back darting here and there, but no one has visited the tree perhaps we pruned it too sharply. So we have decided to let it grow again to give some cover to the water bar (which is being revamped) and the strawberries, these I covered with hay this morning as they still have fruit growing.

But its these Eagles that have our attention at the moment.  They are large things and look like tree stumps from down here but you can see the beaks are huge.  Thing is though they sound like ducks quacking and these two had two young ones, life seems to be thriving up here.

The Garden

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Well winters on its way and with the cooler weather comes a flurry of activity in the garden.  Our growing year starts in October when it begins to get cooler and runs till April/May when nature turns the heat up.  So there are always projects going  on – several at a time – which is probably why some are still being finished off in April.   This is the Lily garden before and after its makeover.  As you can see there is a water pipe running through it and the wall needed attention plus there were plenty of weeds at the far end. So I weeded then planted Sweetpeas around the oblix, next came a tidy up and covering over of the pipe with stones.  The wall was a little simpler. With a quick tidy along the bottom then cemented in to ensure that it stayed intact and volla job done.  I also moved around to the mint bed covering both the mint roots and pipe with stones making it tidy whilst providing the mint roots with protection from the sun and providing moisture retention at the same time. Although the wall along the path is not finished you can basically see the way it will look.  The other side of the rain gully has to be done that contains the Sage bed so I have a few other herbs to go there once I get to it.

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This was the start of Sams Garden which is still a work in progress.  Ideas change so often here that I usually find I am back to the original design and this is no different.   I had wanted to make the ‘water bar’ into a small two layered thing, but then Michael suggested that I build a larger bird bath under the olive tree by my sculptures and tyre garden.  But as often happens other things got in the way so that by the time it came to sort this out neither of us liked it so it was back to the original.  My biggest problem is how to make the tank (white bucket) work better without too much hassle.  After clearing everything away from the centre so I could see what was there,  I built a new bulb garden to one side here I have planted Freesias and other bulbs I am not exactly sure of then covered the earth with stones to – hopefully – stop animals digging.   Next the bucket was painted green in the hope that it will prevent algae from stuffing up the filter, I am currently looking for some tubing to replace the old stuff in the hope it will work better.  The plinth has been leveled and I am in the process of building it up to make it more secure. This garden has several aspects to it so I am not rushing anything.

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This was originally destined to be the new bird bath  but try as we might neither of us could decide what to do with it so we scrapped it and it is now being turned into another bulb garden.  When its finished I am hoping it will look different a bit of a seaside theme….

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday we visited the annual honey and olive oil fira in El Perello. We like this fira it shows the produce of the area and gives people a chance to taste both the honey and oil locally produced.

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amongst the stands displaying honey and oil were wines, breads, cheeses, a large herbal display and various other items.  I found old friends there

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Celler Pinell de Bre  which is just up the road steeped in the history of the Spanish Civil War and producing some very special wine of the Terra Alta  http://bit.ly/LJWX4V you can contact them here.

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Also in their usual place I found the Co-operativa Batea, displaying their magical wines. We were informed trade was going well and were asked if we would like to sample some of the wines – sadly their offer was declined driving and the Mossos – but if you would like to sample some of their magic http://bit.ly/QmshfT talk to them.

But this year the large hall was curiously barren. The honey sellers were there but even the stall where you can purchase bee keeping equipment was smaller.  Also missing was the herbal stand, here you could buy various herbal medicine and teas along with those for cooking.  The stand which demonstrated various massage chairs, the music stand where you could see fine instruments,  neither were there.  Even outside the stalls were muted and no wood carving demonstrations by young men with chain saws.

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We wandered around the town square for a while then as it was getting late I decided to take my wife for a meal in L’Ametlla de Mar, the little town just up the coast.  We rather like this town, it was the first place we stayed at when we arrived before buying our finca.  I parked the car in the car park by the marina and we climbed the steps to the town.  After wandering around looking for a restaurant we came across a small one down a side street called The Gramophone.  The inside is nicely decorated with tables enough for  28 people inside and 16 outside.  There is an old-fashioned gramophone and radio which have been converted to play discs and which played old standards whilst we ate. The food was excellent we shared a blue cheese and apple salad the dressing was superb and a plate os patatas bravos, followed by a plate of various fresh seafood all washed down by a bottle of really good full-bodied red wine from Marca http://bit.ly/KuRyC8.   We then drove home through the mountains, all in all it was a perfect day.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

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On Monday I took my wife to lunch in Ampolla a little seaside town about 35 mins away. We decided to eat at a beach-side fish restaurant which we had noted on our previous visits. We sat overlooking the bay and started with a fish salad which comprised of various shell fish and TINNED tuna on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes with a seafood sauce. Then came a very nice paella all washed down with a bottle of white wine followed by coffees. Unfortunately we will not be eating there again. On Tuesday morning we both felt rather unwell I had a bad stomach so had to leave the shopping to my wife. She was not well either and was sick while she was out, needless to say we have spent the rest of the week regretting our choice of eating place. We are taking it steady and hoping that by Monday we will feel a lot better, its sad really that a very pleasent little restaurant could be so haphazard about the cooking of its food.  It made a small dent in my pocket which had we not been ill I would not have minded. However…. a thought has just crossed my mind its our birthdays this month and we usually go out for a meal!!!!!

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