Showing posts from November, 2015

Meet Dorian

The first autumn we were here we had a visit from a little Wagtail.  He/She was so cute.  Sitting on the car chirruping away, then sitting on the window ledge, waking us up in the morning.  We loved it.  We like nature and we love having so many birds as our neighbours. Even more cute, we noticed that he liked to perch on the wing mirrors and then talk to his own reflection.  Then he started throwing himself at the window ... perching and admiring himself in the glass.  We tried very hard to get a photo of him but he's too fast and too flighty.  This one was taken through the kitchen window so it's a bit grey.  But he's still cute.  Until we noticed the bird poo all over the car. We covered the car with old towels which we wedged into the windows but he still came and looked in the windscreen instead.  Then we put plastic bags on the wing mirrors to discourage him.  It doesn't discourage him but at least it keeps the mirrors clean. When it came spring t

A Cave Woman is Cooking and other stuff

Not entirely a post about the bread oven I promise... but because this is something I have wanted to do like.... FOREVER, I have decided to devote a whole new blog to cooking with fire.  If you aren't interested in that side of our life here in Spain then you can easily ignore it, but if you fancy keeping up with what is happening in the outdoor kitchen then you just need to click HERE or follow the link that will be permanently on view in the right hand bar further down this page (under the heading Some other sites I enjoy reading). Just to finish off the bread oven story started in the last post... The pot of soup was cooked by morning and I turned it into lunch by adding some meatballs.  I fired up the oven again and it took a much shorter time to get up to temperature, only about an hour, which I think was due to it still being a little warm to start with.  And.... no more smoke coming from the outside of the dome.  So.... altogether Jane is a very happy bunny and all I n

Cooking with Fire - practice run

You know how the guys get interested in cooking when it comes to BBQ's and us girls tend to see it as a welcome break from the kitchen stove and just let them take charge?  Well I am convinced that although the men probably brought the meat back to the cave, the women must have been in charge of the fire and likely did a lot (if not all) of the cooking!  Fire scares me.  I was a very grown up adult before I could even light a gas cooker without flinching.  But I am determined to 'take back the fire' and it all starts with the bread oven.  I couldn't put it off any longer.  With a certain amount of trepidation I fired it up. It took a bit of time to get the fire going since firelighters are a big 'no no' as they deposit chemical residue on the oven floor which is where you might want to put a pizza or a loaf of bread.  So its an old fashioned paper and little sticks pyramid job which failed a couple of times until I added a whole pile of twigs from last year


We have been blessed with loads of visitors this last couple of months and it has been a blessing because its stopped us brooding over the lack of progress on the outdoor kitchen. Repairs made on the base of the oven  But at last, just before our last set of visitors arrived the builders returned and did some work on the bread oven and assembled the BBQ. Chimney hole cut in the roof A couple of days later they returned to do a little more work on the chimneys. Both chimneys now go through the roof and are hopefully watertight (no doubt we shall see in due course). I asked when I could light a fire in the oven and was told 'now'.  Except that I can't really, because I need the area to be cleaned up a bit.  There are jobs for Steve to finish and a final job or two for the builder to complete before it is really ready to use as a kitchen. A piece of granite is needed here, between the BBQ and the oven, so that I can roll out pizza dough or knead bread.

Autumnal Pictures

We try every year to last as long as possible before lighting the fire but it is usually around about the first week of November.  And this year has been no exception.  When the days start to get a little chilly we usually opt for an extra jumper and then perhaps a blanket when curled up on the couch in front of the tv.  But if it rains, then its really got to be a day when we light the fire. The dampness in the air just makes the house uncomfortable and I can't bear cold AND damp. You might expect Autumnal photographs to be the changing colours in the trees but we don't really have that.  The olives are evergreen.  But at this time of year the olives themselves start to turn purple and then black.  We have already picked some for curing and the rest will be harvested for oil in December. The very damp autumn that we are having has resulted in a lot of fungi sprouting all over the place.  They are picturesque in a slightly scary way. While walking

Siblings at Work and Play!

Steve's brothers arrived very late at night... after midnight in fact.  One of them had visited with us before but the other had never been here, didn't really know what to expect.  He might think he had come to the end of the world as they drove up our country lane in the dark.  No street lights here and when its dark its really dark.  It's always nice for our late arriving visitors to wake in the morning to brilliant sunshine and the sounds of the birds... except... Well yes it rained.  We need the rain, we want the rain but we didn't want it just right then.  Hey ho.  What can you do?  The weather is out of our control.  The brothers are here to help build the Casita. Discussing the next cycle route The previous owners had plans to run a campsite here and we toyed with that idea for a short while but then decided that we are retired and we have enough work to do with running the finca but it would be nice to have some accommodation for extra visitor