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Posts Tagged ‘wind’

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Sunny Torquay? whose kidding who? lumpy sun the humans call it, Christmas is over and its STILL raining.  Oh well I suppose we will have to get used to it, but personally I really am fed up getting wet all the time, so with this in mind I decided to go to the harbour and find Wizz Gull. Whilst sitting under an abandoned shed roof I decided to write and perform a song for Mother Nature, who knows if she likes it enough she might just turn the tap off.

Where does Wizz Gull come into this? well he is a music writer and I needed a tune for my song so down the harbour I went to find Wizz.  He normally sits near a rather nice pub/eating place which over looks the harbour and ferry that goes to a fishing port called Brixham,  I was surprised not to find Wizz sitting in his usual place watching for the fishing boats to come into harbour.  He likes Torquay, its open, lots of humans about and they play some cool music, must be where he gets his ideas from.

Anyway, it took me two days to find him, but I eventually got him by the restaurant,  then we went and sat on the roof where we had a short discussion.  “Look I want to sing a cheer-up song not just for us but for the humans.” I said, “But I need a tune can you help Wizz?”  Wizz took a few paces backwards and forwards then stopped. “Yep man, I think I know just the tune”, then with his head on one side he began to hum it.

Whilst he was humming it I was busy writing down words, it’s called Lumpy Sunshine and goes something like this:

Lumpy Sunshine

Verse

Torquay is the town where the sun always shone down

The people they would sunbathe all over town

Summer was grand the people were tanned

But turned out Mother Nature had other plans

Chorus

Then it started raining

Only lumpy sunshine now

Verse

We birds are getting wet and the people getting sad

Don’t feel like singing feel so drab

Glum faces appearing all around

Nowhere is there a piece of dry ground

C:

Then it started raining

Only lumpy sunshine now

Verse

So come on Mother Nature give us all a break

Stop this rain for everyone’s sake

Put on your smile and dry us out

Then we’ll feel like singing and flying about

C:

Now we all need sunshine

Don’t want no lumpy stuff no more

Now we all need sunshine

Don’t want no lumpy stuff no more

Well I sat in my tree and sang it to her,  Wizz and his group provided the backing, I thought we did well all the others came out and chirriped along.  Wizz said if it works we might make an album,  well the humans do it and he thinks we are better movers than someone called Jagger???

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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As you will be aware I have been waffling on about the fact that it has finally rained, well ok, not waffling more like ecstatic boasting.  Well this weekend was the Agricultural Fira in Mora la’Nova.  We like this fira (yep that’s how its spelt here) it has lots to offer and plenty of rides and side shows for kids both young and old.  So whats this got to do with the weather? I’ll tell you.

On Wednesday it rained, not just any old rain but heavy English on and off showers through the night. I know that because I had some buckets outside and I measured the depth, 4inches a lot of water.  All through Thursday it was grey, dismal and wet, the cloud cover making it dark and feeling like evening.  It continued like this through the day and this was supposed to be the first day of the fira.  It was so damp and cold that we lit our first fire of the year.  If this is an indication of things to come we will be wooding for the next two weeks.  Anyway, Friday was, according to the weather people, supposed to be the last cloudy day till the middle of next week.  WRONG……

I had said to my wife that we would go and have a mooch round late afternoon on Friday, then go again Saturday night as we normally do.  We both looked at the sky and thought if we don’t go now we may not get there at all. So around 5pm we set off for the fira, arriving in time to get a parking spot.   Now this fira is spread around the upper streets of Mora la’Nova with everything a farmer needs to look at on display. Tractors, farm implements, plus cars, the latest in fires, plus the newest thing for burning in them. Not forgetting the cheeses, breads, and of course the wine section.  However, the first place we make for is the shed that containes the horses at one end and ducks, chickens, quail and ornimental birds at the other.  This year there in one of the pens was a foal with its mother, which looked as if it had not long arrived.  The horses looked well and would stick their heads out for a scratch or just to be stroked, I like horses.  Next we had a look at the birds but I am not a lover of chickens and such, mind you there were some really weird looking ones there and expensive.

When we came out of the shed we were opposite the  first rides which were for the youngsters. One was a line of bulls which you sat on then they were moved side to side in the hope you could not stay on, lots of squeals and laughter from those on board. Next to this was a very gentle ride called Formula 1 which took a gentle course up, down and around a small scenic track. We spent a few minutes just watching these two rides no we did not go on any too much pernill and cheese.

We strolled round the streets towards the top of the town where the bars and eating places are. Mind you there were plenty of places to sit and snack or have a coffee.  I say coffee as the place was crawling with Mossoss (state police) NO drinking and driving here.   At the top end there were plenty of smaller versions of the large rides for the children, most of the youngsters seemed to be after the bungy jumping ride. Here they were strapped into a harness then the elastic pulled taut, told jump! and they were away, well they liked it and some were quite acrobatic.

We continued to wander up and down the streets, saying hello to our Spanish friends when we met them, it was a nice evening a little breezy but not cold, and the rain stayed away.  We then bumped into an old Catalan school friend Thomas. Very nice to see him and catch up on things, he looked well and insisted that we sampled  wine, ham and cheese.  I was driving and tried to explain to Thomas that I could not drink – just as some policemen walked past – but he was insistant so I had a small glass whilst Tom and my wife finished the bottle – I was definately driving……

After leaving Tom we wandered over to look at the stalls by the large hall, we did not go in as it was full of building stalls and I have done all that.  But what I did notice was a stand with fires on burning away, but they were burning alternative fuel.   It seems the Co-operativas have found a good use for the husks, shells and olive residue – they have recycled it as fuel for the fires.  Good thinking you might say but they mixed the bits with diesel then press it into small pellets so I am not so sure.  What they were actually selling was a machine to make the fuel. So trying to go green and disposing of unwanted bits and pieces like this is the way to go but using diesel?ummm.  My wife picked up a sample of what was on offer it contained bits if almond and cob nut shells and grape stalks, mind you the fires threw out a lot of heat.  We are going to try something similar out on our existing fire and will keep you informed how we got on.  Isn´t science a wonderful thig.

We then made our way towards the wine area. Just before we got there we passed a bread oven where different types of bread were being baked so we bought a cheese and herb loaf, very tasty. Then we were in the little square were the local Cellers showing their wines. It was nice to see old friends, Masroig was there, as were Pascona, and one or two of the others.  I was able to catch up on things and arrange a couple of visits, the Pascona Celler under Vinter Toni Ripoll is one of my next visits they make purely Tinto vino, I really have to visit that..

On our way back to the car we stopped to watch two very large rides that took you high up then dropped you back down, all lit up with happy screaming young ladies on board, however I doubt if they will be working today.  This morning – Saturday –  dawned grey and dark. Where was the sunshine that was promised? I was beginning to think I would have to put the generator on to help charge the batteries but around midday the sun came out.  However, it is the wind that is so fierce.  It has been roaring down the barank, gusting round the house and generally sounding unpleasant. We did notice when we went out last night that a tree had fallen from the railway embankment so in the back of our car is a saw plus some chain and rope just incase we meet a tree across the track.

I really hope that the wind is not strong enough to spoil peoples fun this evening, this is quite a good fira.  I enjoy looking at the tractors and farm implements whilst my wife likes the artisans stalls plus seeing friends.  As I am writing the wind is whipping past the front door and rattling the shed roof, it’s good here!

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I had been promising my wife we would take a trip to the Delta to try for some photographs of birds and other things for a story I’m writing. So when we woke and found that although very windy the sun was shining and it was warm we decided to go. On the way we passed through an avenue of  Beech trees, it is, in my opinion, a typical continental thing. When they are in leaf  it looks very pretty.  We should have had a warning of what was to come as there were bits of tree’s in the road.  Further on as we neared one of the roundabouts the police were directing all the lorries into a side parking area, ah we thought they are doing a road inspection wrong…  Approaching  the road to go round Amposta, we found the traffic slowing, police and workmen were by the bridge that crosses it and there at the side of the road was the direction sign from the bridge – wind had blown it over the safety rail and down onto the road. 

Avenue of Beech Trees

The drive down there is pleasant. You follow the river Ebro to Tortosa, then on through some of the rice-growing finca’s untill turning right on to the road round Amposta. After this you travel the N340 to St Carles de la Rapita. This is a pleasant little seaside town with a marina, good beaches and some nice restaurants and bars.  We have a favourite Tapas bar and beach bar. So looking for a coffee we headed first to the beach bar which was shut and had also had some slight wind damage. So after watching the men cutting up the tree that had been blown over, we turned and headed along the water front to the Tapas bar, passing the marina and its occupants.

Go Find Your Own Bar

 

At the bar we had Patatas Bravas, Calamari Romanos, sausage’s, spiced and prawns.  Then we drove out to the Delta and the sea. The route we took was an arc, taking pictures as we went.  Driving along we saw the tractor that is used to plough the rice fields a strange contraption, a sort of military vehicle with slatted  wheels. But it travels over the paddy fields with no problem unlike a normal tractor which would soon get bogged down.  

Rice Tractor

My wife spent a lot of time trying to get a close up of a Marsh Harrier much to our glee it proved to be a real task.  When she crept towards it waited until she was close enough to get a good shot then took off, again and again.  She did get a few distance ones but not close up.

Marsh Harrier

 

We then came across  this water-mill. Instead of a windmill with sails to pump the water these are in the form of an Archimedes Screw, which pumps the water round the water beds and ditches.  With the little house painted white,  they are both cared for and in working order. It sits on the bank near to an observation hide where you can watch the various birds on the marshes.

Archimedes Screw

The wild life was fascinating.  The shots of waders, flamingos, ducks, heron and seagull were taken from the viewing hut. Several more were taken as we drove back towards the main road, so all in all it was a success.  I even managed to get a shot of the long-horned cattle that graze there.

You Really Wanted a Seagull

 

 All in all it was a pleasant if windy day.  The Sun was out it was warm 17c and relaxing. So when we reached the N340 we found the wind had picked up a little.  Well, that was an understatement, it had picked up a lot and we had not gone far when approaching a bridge saw just how much.  There on their side were two lorries, a small one and an articulated one. The articulated lorry was on the barrier of the bridge with its window screen smashed from the outside so I suppose they had to get the driver out that way.  I really hope he was ok.  We finished the journey on the flat using the El Perello pass, seeing all the windmills feathered against the wind.   

This brought home just how powerful nature is.

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