Showing posts from December, 2014

A Series of Unfortunate Events

December has been dogged by a series of unfortunate events.  We never let things get us down for too long, life is too busy for that, but when things don't go to plan it can be very irritating. Firstly we had thought we would have both friends and family visiting over the festive season and so when our lovely cycling theatre duo Kevin and Sylvia told us they would be passing this way over Christmas and would like to volunteer with us we sadly had to tell them there would be no room at the inn. Then as time went on our proposed visitors cried off, one after the other, and although a bit sad, we let Kevin and Sylvia know that we had space after all... they were delighted.  But then on our regular weekly check of the yurt (which we always do when it is vacant) we discovered that the roof was leaking in several places.  A gentle poke at the spot where the water was coming in and the canvas disintegrated like paper! The whole of the south facing side of the yurt has begun to


(Warning!  I have included a photograph of the goose bleeding out... if you are squeamish you may not wish to continue reading this post). We culled the geese yesterday.  Now there is an interesting English word... cull.  It sounds nicer than 'we killed the geese yesterday'.  The Spanish call it the Matanza.  Matanza literally means killing... it has other meanings, bloodbath and massacre to name but two.  Well you get the idea.  I had mixed feelings about the day which got worse at it approached.  I had hoped that after the good experience I had at last year's Matanza I wouldn't experience any anxiety but I did.  My anxiety grew as the day approached until, like last year, the night before I was unable to sleep. As a distraction from the actual killing I busied myself with making soup and mulled wine and spiced apple juice for the non drinkers (all recipes on Food from the Finca ), making Yule tide decorations and with the preparation of everything that would be

Preparing for Yule

It took a move to a different country to revive my interest in the mid winter festival that is Yule.  Here in the Spanish countryside we seem to be able to avoid the crazy shop-fest that typifies a UK Christmas.  Yes there are adverts on Spanish tv for all sorts of things that you might buy at this time of year (perfumes for him and her etc) but in a foreign language they are easily ignored, don't seem to appeal in quite the same way. its very green here with not very traditional weather (thank goodness). It's just about a week away to the big day and we have just now started preparing for our own festivities.  90% of our gifts were home made this year (aiming for the whole 100% next year) and they were completed by the end of November and then posted to their destinations in plenty of time for me not to worry about the manic UK postal system.  This is the first Christmas in nearly 30 years of marriage that Steve and I will spend on our own.  What will we do?  What do yo

The Olive Harvest Year Two

Farming is unpredictable and for those of you who are interested, you may have heard that the olive oil industry is facing a crisis this year.  The Italian harvest failed apparently, due to an infestation of olive fly.  The rumour here is that the harvest in Andalucia is also significantly down on what it should be.  Our harvest is also a lot less than it was last year.  And the quality is very poor by comparison. About two thirds of our yield is infected with olive fly.  This doesn't mean that the olives are wasted, they still take them at the mill, but the quality and quantity of oil is not going to be as good.  Most of our olives were ready for picking a month ago.  But we are at the mercy of the mills and until they are ready for the olives no one picks.  While we are waiting the olives fall and begin to foment on the ground. A week ago we got the word that the harvest was to begin.  We got the nets out but hardly used them, most of the trees were bare with the bulk