Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Recuerdos de la Alhambra

One of the magnificent ceramic tile friezes at the Alhambra

We have had a well-deserved rest recently as one of our sons came to visit. We went to the beautiful Alhambra followed by a passionate flamenco show in Granada. As always, I was in awe of the water features at the Alhambra. One of the days, we had a dinner of locally caught fish on the beach in Salobrena, and on another we visited some of the mountain villages and the Buddhist refuge of Osel Ling. A busy but restful time.  We were very sorry to wave goodbye to our visitor and look forward to further visits from friends and family in the future.

In the Generalife at the Alhambra

Patio de los Leones, in the Palacio de los Nazaries, Alhambra

Back at home, the garden is doing well. The French beans are taking off. There was some debate over which direction they would climb around their poles. Was the hemisphere we live in a factor or their variety? After some reading, it appears that it depends on the species and variety. These are all climbing anti-clockwise with not a rebel amongst them. The caulis and cabbages have been planted out. A naughty blackbird had been yanking them out and I have been to water them in the morning only to find he has been up before me and uprooting them. They now have a palate over them and I cover them with fleece at dusk - which reminds me, I haven't covered them tonight so I'll have to venture out in a moment with a torch! I sowed 6 rows of carrots almost 3 weeks ago but they are failing to germinate. They possibly need watering 2 or 3 times a day rather than just the once as germination is reputedly sporadic with carrots owing to them being allowed to dry out between waterings.  Broad beans are planted out and now about 10 cms tall. The naughty blackbird also uprooted a number of these but they are much more robust seedlings than the meek and mild cauli. Mark put in some seed potatoes this morning and we look forward to these making an appearance on our plate in due course. Sadly, my summer romance with the  majestic purple aubergines is coming to end.  We started them off quite late and got 4 veg in all. It is getting too cold for them now and the leaves are dying off. Their final appearance will be in a baba ganoush dip. Their next-door neighbours, the pointed green peppers, are having a late flourish and we have enjoyed eating them in salad. The batch of rough and ready wine in which we relied on the natural yeasts to do the fermenting is now racked off. It has a much more musty aftertaste compared to the batch we made with yeast from a wine-making shop.

We have treated ourselves to a magnificent nutcracker. It has a lever and it cracks the almond in one downward movement, often leaving the nut whole. A great piece of kit indeed. 

But the most significant recent addition to our household has been some tanks which we acquired to recycle as water deposits. This will greatly help watering one of the areas of our land. As with the rest of the irrigation system, they have been placed at the highest possible point (in this case, on the very highest point of our land) and the pipes attached will carry the water by gravity to the plants, in this case mostly olives. Mark and I carried them uphill to the place where we wanted them and I can tell you they were heavy! Watering the plants in this way through pipes will help to conserve water and reduce soil erosion. We Christened them on water day, two days ago and all I can say is 'Great success!'

My friends, the water tanks

We have another little landscaping project on the go to reduce soil erosion. Mark has been building some steps that lead to our lower terrace. In order to do this, we have been setting our alarm and are out and working by about 8.15 so we can get a good couple of hours in before the sun comes round to that area. Of course, every good builder has a reliable mate that mixes up sand and cement, is at the ready with a spirit level, and can provide quality control checks and advice (even when not needed)!

In two days time it's the Fiesta de Orgiva. It lasts for 4 days, from Thursday until Sunday. All the shops will be shut. There are various entertainments taking place: a horse show which we might go to, another show which looks like it involves tormenting a bull (we won't be going to that), music that goes on well into the early hours and many, many street bars in addition to all the usual bars and restaurants. Lighting is already being put up by men in cherry pickers, the fairground attractions have arrived, and we are set to party!!

1 comment:

  1. Good to see you have settled in and more importantly getting chance to get and visit some places. We have been in Bulgaria now for over two years and still have not got out and visited further afield than Veliko Tarnovo.We do not have a huge success with caulis here and the cabbages area always hit by flea beetle until they are well established. At the moment we have not found an organic method of control. The tempratures have dropped now and today off to the local market to get some onion sets to plant onions, garlic and lettuce if the ground dries up enough. Enjoy your party. Dave & Sara