Friday, 30 December 2011

Winter Fruit.....

We received an email from our neighbours in Sweden yesterday confirming that it was snowy but relatively mild and our house was in fine fettle. Monica has salvaged a Pomello tree we've had in a huge pot for over 30 years from the house and is keeping it safe in her farmhouse. This is a relief to J who had been worried that it would have inevitably died in the extreme cold of an empty house a few hundred miles from the Polar Circle, where the view will probably be like this from the front porch at this time of year:

But here in Spain it's still blue skies and sunshine although the temperatures must have dropped to below zero overnight because there was a ground-frost in the field behind the house this morning when I surfaced at just before 09:00, having been dragged from bed by Jack who wanted out for a Pee, followed by breakfast.

Yesterday we stoped at road-seller's fruit stall where he had Oranges, Avocados and these strange fruits: Chirimoyas, or Custard Apples, in English. He gave us one to try and we bought a couple. Luscious and interesting taste, bananaish in parts. Apparently they grow prolifically on the coast and are widely available from October through winter. They originate in Latin America, it seems.

Having bought these, and driving home from a shopping expedition in the lovely town of Salobrena, we atopped to collect some Almonds from a few bushes and then came home to watch a DVD of 'The Killing'. It was strange to listen to the Danish language; we understood a surprising amount!

J Almond picking in the hills above the Med:

And we found this lovely White Rabbit gambolling in a village garden, well fenced, not far from the house yesterday morning:

Although it was warm on the Costa Tropical, the high peak of Mulhacin is coated in snow, with more forecast over the next few days. This suits and pleases J who hopes to get some skiing in over at the resort of Pradollano, near Granada:

Salobrena is a delightful, hilltop town with an old Arabic castle at its top. It was the first time we'd done the tourist thing and it was truly lovely and worth the effort:

Today has been a day of progress, of sorts: Panda arrived at the door looking for food this morning and after I'd gone out and fed her and her mother, plus one other, followed me back to the house and into the Entrada/Hallway. She stayed in for about 15 minutes or so, prowling around, sniffing, rubbing her scent glands against bits and bobs and generally being quite friendly and curious. She even rubbed against me, head-banging my hand a couple of times. All unexpected but welcome. I only hope that Charlie is not upset by the scent when he returns later!:

Have a Great New Year.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Have Yourself A Very Merry Whatever.....

What a difference a year can make..........another beautiful, warmish, blue-sky and sunshiney day here. Last year, and for some years before, this time of year meant snow, snow and minus thirty or colder. And, though it is pretty hereabouts and the weather is most welcome in December - especially today on the Solstice itself - 'tis hard not to miss the sheer beauty of a winter in northern Sweden where a white Xmas is pretty much guaranteed!

From all of us here in the Sierra Nevada , (J back yesterday having retired on 20th) whatever your poison, or thoughts, have a good 'un and don't forget to over-indulge like mad! A pictorial greeting to you all:

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Alone again, naturally......

This was Mecina, our village, this morning, taken from the road to Cadiar:

I'm worried about Ginger, the Marmalade kitten. Normally it hangs out with the Masked One but today it was on its own. It's clearly lost weight and is extremely hungry. No doubt, it needs worming, he's a bit bony at present, but how do you do that to a feisty feral? It spotted me at the computer and came roaring across to wail for food. When I went to the door, I found it outside and it simply threw itself up at the small window, clawed a few times and fell back down. Luckily the glass is reinforced. I fed it, whereupon its buddies arrived as usual. At one point in its desperation to reach the food in my hand, it jumped up and bit my finger - by mistake, aiming for the old fork I use to scoop it from the tin. I hope it doesn't have Rabies! Can't see why it should! I do admire its plucky nature. It is a real character and I'll keep an eye out for it and try to ensure it has full rations for a bit, if nothing else.

Here he is, this morning:

A few hours ago there was a God-almighty racket outside when two local hunting dogs appeared, trailing behind their assumed disinterested owner, and threw themselves into the pack of cats. From the initial sounds, I'd say the cats were winning and giving the dogs more than they'd bargained for. I saw Panda appear and race for cover into Maria's part-open door. The dogs eventually resurfaced and wandered off. Licking their wounds, I'm sure!

Here's Panda, re-emerging from the safety of Maria's doorway:

Yesterday afternoon, to my astonishment, a BP oil tanker thingy trundled down the Calle. I expected it to get stuck or have terrible trouble trying to return and turn at the Fuente but instead it ventured further down to deliver fuel to a nearby house. Now to get there meant negotiating decidedly narrow streets - little more than paths really - and ones that I'm wary of driving in my little Renault 4 type thingy. To cap it all, the driver then departed by continuing downhill which has two very sharp turns in very narrow, single-track roads. He must be a brave - or foolhardy - man:

I took Jack off with me this morning to get some Frontline for him. Bloody expensive stuff at 20 Euros for three thingies. I'm sure it used to come in packs of six when first launched many years ago. Now it's always packs of three. Inflation in action, I suppose.

En route down to Cadiar I stopped at a Mirador/viewpoint above the nearby village of El Golco. This is a village whihc was virtually destroyed by unregulated bulding years ago, when we were first here. At that time, builders were busily putting up apartment blocks as holiday homes for mostly Germans and Dutch, all without proper planning consents. Indeed for some time there was talk of demolishing the lot but that seems to have gone and they have been left intact, though I've no idea how many of the flats are actually occupied, or when:

I alo took the opportunity to visit the Barberia in Cadiar as it was empty and have a pre-Xmas mopchop for eight Euros. Not bad value, although it used to be only six not that long ago! Here are a couple of pix of Cadiar that I remembered/thought to take today.

A pleasant, lush and generally verdant valley on the outskirts:

The general surrounding countryside:

The town itself with snow on the high Sierra beyond: