At last we seem to be getting towards the end of the wettest March/April period ever recorded for this area. And it has been so cool, we have certainly made much use of the pellet burner this spring. It’s only the last 3 nights that we have not needed to light it and much of March and early April we needed it on all day. We have been very glad we had it fitted as it is so much easier than the log burner to control and look after.
So, what have we been up to this month? Nigel has put some more pictures up in the lounge, we got them framed to match the “Galgo Love” mosaic as they are on the same wall.
We’ve had more overnight visitors and two short trips away in the camper, planned and ordered a new kitchen from Ikea which will be fitted early next month, had a grand clean up outside from the Saharan Sand episode, arranged a house/pet sitter for our trip to Sweden in late June and done a 1000 piece jigsaw,
Our visitors were Pamela and David Ross, boating friends who live on board their boat Lea Crest, during the spring, summer and early autumn in France and spend their winters in Torrevieja, just over an hour north of us. So as restrictions on travel were now well and truly behind us, they took us up on our offer of coming to see our new home. They just stayed one night but it was a pleasant 24 hours with good food and wine and much laughter. Poco was delighted to have another lap to sit on!
The following weekend we had another short trip in the camper, just two nights this time. We headed first to Lorca to visit the castle then onto Ojós where we had been before to sample the delights of the tapas bar which was closed last time and also in the hope of hearing nightingales which breed on the banks of the Segura river. Success on both counts.
Unfortunately we had a very bad second night as two car loads of local youths arrived and set up with beers (and a Rottweiler) on the picnic tables directly behind us much to Poco’s annoyance. They arrived about 9pm just as it was turning dark and it was too late really to pack up and move elsewhere. I kept thinking, they’ll go soon but they didn’t leave till 3.30am! They didn’t bother us in any way apart from the noisy conversations and laughter and the occasional bark but it was not a restful night. Hey ho, such is life and we got to listen to nightingales two days running! Didn’t see any though, they are very elusive.
After our trip to Ojós, although still cool the rain seemed to be abating so it was time to tackle the very dirty pool.
Of course, all this bad weather was inconvenient and at worst a nuisance for us but it has had devastating effects on agriculture in the area. I have read in the local press that over 30% of crops of broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce have been ruined and that many of this years growing almonds have been badly affected by staining from the Saharan sand rendering them worthless. Also there have been many landslides and road collapses due to the sheer volume of rain resulting in repair bills estimated at millions of euros. I have also just read that yesterday’s extremely heavy hailstorms have decimated in some cases 100% of peach, nectarine and pear orchards, causing recently formed fruit to be broken off. and trees damaged. Although the sector is covered by insurance for the damage this still leaves the farmers with no revenue for this year’s harvest. This on top of the Covid pandemic has had an increasingly disastrous effect on the economy. And don’t mention the pot holes!!
Our new kitchen is ordered and paid for, it will be delivered on 2nd May, the old one disassembled and taken away on the 3rd (Happy Birthday to me!) and the new one assembled on 4th. Apparently we have 144 boxes coming from Barcelona and 21 from Murcia in two different vans. Each parcel’s serial number must be checked against our invoice by us and we need to ensure none of the packages are damaged or opened before we sign the delivery note. Simples!!!!! We were very lucky to have an excellent English speaking employee to help arrange all of this. Pictures of new kitchen next month.
Our lemon tree is producing more and better lemons this year, we think we have got the watering regime more to its liking (or maybe it’s the rain) so a few days ago I made some lemon curd and very nice it is too. However I didn’t use the triffid below!!!
We have been watching and listening to the stone curlews, we have a mating pair about 50 metres from the house down the olive grove sitting on an egg, we think. Obviously we haven’t been down to peer in it but watch with binoculars from the garden but one or other of the pair has been sitting in the scrape all day and evening for about a week now so we are assuming they are incubating. I have read that they only lay one or two eggs. Until we see some activity from little ones we won’t know how many there are. We do hope they will be successful. We’ve also been pleased to hear and see bee eaters back from their winter migration over the last couple of weeks and of course swifts, swallows and martins.
Last week, April 20th marked the end of compulsory mask wearing in Spain after more than 2 years. They are still required in certain circumstances, public transport, health and medical centres, social service centres (e.g.homes for the elderly) but no longer for shops and supermarkets and out and about in towns. We will still remain cautious and always carry some with us but it feels like a real step forward and it will be nice to see people’s faces and smiles again!
We’re just back from another short trek in the motorhome, that’s two this month. This time we went in the direction of Valencia to return the drone belonging to our March house sitters and friends, Jill and Graham which they had left behind by accident. We met half way between us and them at a little town called Sax in an area where there are many hilltop castles to which Nigel and I are rather partial. It was a nice few days and not too far to travel. We love being able to pack up the van and go without all the hassle of getting it out of storage and just loading it with a few essentials for a couple of days. If we forget things, well it doesn’t matter as we are only away for a short while. Good to spend more time with Graham and Jill and the dogs certainly enjoyed seeing them.
Time to move on from Biar and Villena, we headed next to Sax to meet our friends for Castle number three.
Back home it’s cool and wet again and had been very windy while we’d been away as some branches had broken off our pepper trees. Happen it’ll brighten up soon!
And that’s it for this month, folks. Hasta Luego.