Showing posts from January, 2014

Beauty or Function?

Our builder informed us some time ago that he was safe-keeping several items in his workshop that belonged to us.  He had been storing these items for several years.  But as part of the finca they are now ours.  We asked what they were and he rattled off a list that included 3 deposito's (one large and two smaller)... our ears perked up!

Our water butt overflows and the water carves a path down the lane and has been exposing underground pipes that shouldn't be exposed.  Mending this or devising some kind of overflow solution is on the list of jobs to do but just hadn't been done yet.  A deposito is basically a large water butt.  We have a big one at the head of the well and a smaller one at the house for our house water.  Perfect we informed the builder please can you deliver the deposito's to us.


It's a little larger than we thought it would be.

Actually it isn't a deposito at all, its part of some kind of ecological water purification system that a pr…

A Walk in the Fog

Yesterday was an amazing day, 19C on our veranda in the shade, blue sky and brilliant sunshine and we worked so hard on the finca.  This morning was another story.  The fog came down and was really thick and we were so disappointed because we had planned to take the dog for a really long walk as a treat.  By 10:30am it appeared to be thinning out a bit so we decided to go anyway.

We went down a lane opposite our village which leads to a stream and an ancient roman bridge just wide enough for a cart.

I had hardly time to get my camera out when the photo opportunity presented itself.

This kind of sight is not so rare here in this part of Spain but it does make you wonder why the farmer would go to the trouble of hitching up the mule when he probably has a trailer and a four wheel drive at home!  So glad that he still wants to do it though.  

It was very atmospheric seeing it coming out of the mist... we heard it first, because the axle on the cart rumbled every time the wheel turned.  T…

And then there were TWO!

Our geese do not like the water meadow, at least they don't seem to.  We moved the house down there because in winter it has flowing water and lots of it, great for swimming and in summer it isn't far from the well so we can fill buckets for them.

 But it seems they are not so enamoured of water after all.  They have been spending more and more time up near the house, trying to squeeze into a bird bath rather than go swimming in the stream.  So we sought advice from a friend who keeps lots of geese.

She doesn't have a house for her geese, they spend the nights on a pond, or hiding in bushes when they have made nests and laid eggs.  We were told that once they pick a nest site we must not disturb them, and if we do try to put them into their house at night they will simply abandon the eggs.  So we decided to leave them to it and trust that they know what they are doing.

Didn't feel right about it, but we did it all the same.  This morning we heard the familiar call of t…

Cooking with Fire Again!

We have had almost a week of grey and dull days, sometimes with rain but always with the ground so wet that it is not possible to do much work outside.  I don't mind the rain, it makes the rocks glisten and the grass turns as green as it is in England, what with all the dry stone walls around here I could be in Devon!

 A consequence of the dull grey weather is that we are spending more time inside and using the wood burning stove through the day.  Since the fire is on anyway we have been trying to use the little oven on the top as much as possible.  To date we have baked potatoes, apples and fish in it but today I thought I would try making a cake.

I used my oven thermometer to calibrate the oven when we first lit the fire and the guage is between 25 and 40 degrees C lower than the actual temperature in the oven.  It's good to be able to judge the temperature in there but the real trick is regulating it.  Different woods give off different heat.  Sometimes a small fire can bur…

Living on a Pension

It's taken nearly two years but our move to Spain can now be said to have been accomplished.  Apart from our little safety margin (emergency money - enough for urgent trips home for family reasons but not much else) the money is all spent and we are now living on a small pension.  At first I felt a moment of panic when I realised that the money was getting so very near the end.  It felt very safe to have thousands in the bank.  But it was a false security because that money was always for spending on somewhere to live and the plan was always to live on our small pension.  Not our state pensions you understand, that is still to come, so something to look forward to in about ten years time lol!

We couldn't possibly afford to live on this pension in the UK, part of the reason why we are here.  The house renovations and various sundry things that we felt we absolutely needed have run to more than we thought they would.  It was really hard to keep track of the spending.  I know, it…

Crafty Basket!

Well in spite of the return of the Storks about a week ago, with promises of spring, winter is still here.  It has been wet and grey for several days in a row so I have been forced to look for projects to do in the house.

Luckily or unluckily I have huge stashes of off cuts and old curtains and just a mish mash of fabric with no specific ideas in mind.  There was a time when I couldn't pass by a charity shop without picking up an old curtain or bedspread simply because I thought the fabric would be useful for making something... at some point...

Well the time has come to use it up.  My first thought was to make a bag - I always make bags - but I don't really need any more bags and everyone I know has already received a bag as a gift from me... so... I had a womble around the web for ideas and came across an interesting way to use up my fabric.

Fabric covered coiled rope baskets.  Just google that if you want to see what other folk have done.

I began with turning my fabric offc…

New Year - New Beginnings - Resolutions etc...

Usually in the UK I am feeling quite shell shocked by now, fed up of Christmas and New Year festivities and so glad that it's all over with for another year.  I don't feel like that this year.  Christmas came and went so fast and we didn't get the same hype and build up that starts in November in the UK.  The decorations in the village didn't appear until 17th December.  What a pleasant change that was.  And then it was all over the day after 12th night with everyone back at work.  The best thing about it was that we barely spent any extra money at all!

We took a break from the olive harvest for family visitors and started again on boxing day after our visitors left.  A bout of heavy rain meant another enforced rest and then more family visitors forced us to offer the remaining olives to a neighbour.  It was a bit sad to have to accept defeat but we reckoned over 1,000 kg was pretty good going for our first harvest and it just being the two of us.  We really do need he…