Monday, 18 July 2011

There Was Something In The Air.....

Good old ABBA, one of the few good things to come out of Sweden. At least with them, you know where you are, sort of.  And while Sweden is like this for half the year:

In summer, it is oft more like this, with temps to match those we have here in Andalucia. An unexpected detail that always seems to surprise people wherever they are:

But apart from ABBA, the only Fernando we've come across so far is from the nearby town of Ugijar, where he is one of the local firewood sellers.

And in winter here in the Sierra Nevada, it gets chilly, so wood for the woodburner in the sitting room is a necessity.  Having come across his number in our phone book, we asked friends if he was still in business. To our surprise, we learn that not only is he still doing the rounds but that he has competition in the shape of at least two other vendors, one apparently a German who is said to be 'negotiable' on pricing and quantities. So perhaps, the Kraut will win out and Fernando's days are numbered, as far as we're concerned at least.

Today, we have a bit of light cloud, so temps are a more tolerable mid-twenties, 25 degrees in the shade, with a mild, most welcome breeze. J returns to London this afternoon. As she is only in the UK for three days or so, she has taken the car and will leave it at the Malaga airport car park until she returns on Friday, early afternoon. This obviously saves me the driving and the fuel and seems to be a sensible way to go. All being well, we'll repeat the process again through August, when she'll be over three times at least. Although travel/flight costs are running pretty high at this time of year, with peak holiday traffic and the Brits ongoing love of sun and sangria on the Costa del Sol. Hopefully, we expect these to dip to better levels thereafter for the rest of the year.

Many friends are already planning to visit. Spain seems to bring that out in people; too many TV travel/holiday shows over too many years, or something like that, I expect.  The place is a bit spartan though, as much of our stuff is still up in Sweden. However, I dare say we'll manage and cope with them whatever.

Here is the current state of play, in no particular order:

A busy village street

And Inside:

 Bedroom 1, in use, with an open window for Charlie!

Another bedroom 2, from each end:

Again with an open window for El Gato!



Calle Manzanos/House from side

House front/Fuente

House Front/side



Study/Spare Bedroom 3

House Side

Shower/WC 2

Roof Tower Access to Terraces

Storeroom/Bedroom 4

Apple Trees on Calle Manzanos (Apple Tree Street)  behind house

The lavadero/Fuente is actually still used by a few elderly locals who turn up with their washing and pummel and pound etc., in the fast flowing stream. The last one I saw using the facilities, a few days ago, had brought it along in a dirty old wheelbarrow!  I'd have thought it would need re-doing by the time they barrowed it home!

We are on a Calle/street called Calle Manzanos, (Apple Tree Street being a loose translation) and there are still about a dozen or so fruit bearing trees around, all looking heavy with fruit right now.

I was accosted by a local, previously unknown to me, this afternoon. He wanted to know who I was, where I was from, if I was on holiday or living here and much, much more. As I understood only a fraction of his fast-flowing outpourings, we had a rather stilted conversation. However, he did catch on to the fact I am a Scot and confirmed he'd seen programmes about Scotland on TV and told me there is a Medic practising nearby who is also a Scot. Might be worth tracking him down. I must make enquiries. Since having a TIA back in November of 2010, I need medication etc., on a regular basis, and he might be helpful. 'Twould certainly be useful on the language front, if nothing else!

We have had a few tomatos from the roof terrace, potted plants. They are delightfully sweet and luscious. Only one cucumber so far, which is a bit of a disappointment. The Chillis are doing fine and I've used two or three already for Prawn Pill Pill /Piri Piri. We've also had a fair few Courgettes and a couple of Aubergines and some Green Peppers. Indeed, we had a veggie curry based pretty exclusively round our own stuff, which is always gratifying, not to say tasty!

The village itself has improved radically since we were last here for any length of time, almost six years ago. No longer is the place shrouded in a sheath of builders dust and rubble, with dumper trucks and cement-mixers largely a thing of the past. It is also much quieter generally, though the Spanish are by nature/nurture a noisy breed.  In addition, it seems, many of the former Brit residents have returned to Blighty, or are trying to sell up and return. So instead of hearing English being spoken at every turn, in bars, shops and restaurants, we hear mostly Spanish!

Main Street

Main Street

Our Romanian friend has yet to fix up the Sat dish, so still no BBC Radio on tap, save for online. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping he might show up later this afternoon/evening. He's usually pretty reliable and it would be nice to have it available without recourse to the internet. He's waiting for a dish to arrive from Granada, it seems. We have the rest of the necessary kit piled up in an untidy mess on the sitting room floor.

Time for a G&T in the shade of vines, in El Paseo, a local bar owned and run by Brits!


  1. Lovely, nice and uncluttered!
    Interesting to know what sort of apples grow on those old trees- not that they would thrive here of course!!

    Good that you can hear more Spanish on the street- sounds as if yours need brushing up!!

    Any local potters there making local, ie not just for tourist , pots? What is the local attitude to craft makers?
    btw the gallery I work at is a co-operative, so the members do one or two duty days a month, depending on distance travelled.

  2. When you were last seen, commenting on the wind and the wellies, thought you were heading for a Scottish island?

    Do you have the terraces and apple trees, or only a roof terrace?