Me, my cats, puppies and a beautiful hair slide

Hi folks! I hope you are all coping okay, especially in these worrying and sad times…

I just wanted to share a couple of photos with you from my early morning walk, here in my local countryside of Posadas (a village in the province of Andalusia, lying about 35 miles west of the historic town of Córdoba).

As you can see, I was well-accompanied by my six of my fifteen (I think) cats.

“How we behave towards cats here below, determines our status in heaven.”

Robert A. Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) an American science fiction author, aeronautical engineer and naval officer. Together with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the «Big Three» of English-language science fiction authors. His works include Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.  

When I arrived back, my (destructive) mastiff puppies were only too pleased to help me untie my laces!

«The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man’s.»

Mark Twain; his real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), was an American writer, humourist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the «greatest humourist the United States has produced», and «the father of American literature.” His novels included The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).

(However, judging by the above photo, I’m not so sure about the gentleman bit!)

Before I sign off though, I just wanted to share a site I found and now love on the homemade-crafts Etsy shop, called Costurero Real. No, I’m not promoting myself, nor a friend or relative, but just some lovely hair slides that I came across when looking for a clip for my hair. He or she does some beautiful work, and I’ll be buying the blue butterfly for my hair. It’s so pretty! I love butterflies, and though it might be a bit young for my age, I just can’t resist it! You can see his or her work by clicking here.

(I’m going to order the blue one). They also have leather leaves and moths and butterfly capes! All very lovely and woodlandy!

PS. I hope I’m not infringing any copyrights, but I think it’ll be alright as I am sort-of advertising for them…

Well, that’s all for now. As usual, your comments are always welcome, I love the interaction!

Take care xxx

The cork oak tree and pigs!

Hi folks! I hope you are keeping well.

Here is a photo of a cork oak tree taken from my morning’s walk in the countryside of Posadas (Cordova province in Andalusia). The photo’s a bit dark because rain’s expected (at long last, we’re having serious drought here!). You can see the red-brown trunk which has been exposed after the cork has been harvested.

Pigs love to eat the acorns that drop from its boughs:-

To see more photos of the oak trees and the PAINTINGS I do on the cork, you can click here.

Well, that’s all for now…

Thank you for visiting. Take care! xxx

My Ode to Autumn (here in the countryside of Posadas, Cordova)

Hi folks — I hope you are all in good health and spirits.

I love the warm hues of autumn and also the season, because of the richness of colours, the softening sun diluted by mists, the contrasting weather and the maturity of the ending year. Then there is Christmas with its brightness and promise just round the corner — as well as my birthday!

Well, I just wanted to share with you a few photos that reflect this season here in Posadas countryside (Cordova):

The leaves of the pistacia lentiscus (lentisco) or mastic gum bush are already turning to copper
The snowflakes (campanilla de primavera) and the buttercups (ranúnculo) are early because of the mild weather
Here are the snowflakes again, and they are in fact, as delicate as snowflakes
Vibrant-coloured leaves from the mulberry and plane tree (morera and platanero de sombra)
And the earth shines under warm skies
The evening gave way to a lovely sunset…
…with the moon rising to the east of the haunted castle of Almodóvar del Río
But the clouds quickly stole in overnight and by midday the heavens opened…
I watched the scene from my window…
and decided it was time to light a warming fire!

To finish, here is my favourite Ode to Autumn, by the romantic poet, John Keats (1795-1821):

Joseph Severn’s miniature of Keats, 1819

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
  Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
  Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
  Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
  Steady thy laden head across a brook;
  Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
    Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
  Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
  And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
  Among the river sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
  Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
  The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies

Well, that’s all for now. If you’d like to see some more of my work, then you can visit this site.

Thank you for reading — as usual, comments and questions always welcome.

Take care! xxx

My morning walk and a few of my neighbours (in the countryside of Posadas, Cordova — Andalusia)

Hi folks! It’s another hot day with temperatures now at the 45 °C = 113 °F mark.

This is what the banks of our local reservoir, La Breña, look like! (Courtesy of Canva — not mine of course!)

However, I did actually manage to brave the day by forcing my weary, hardly-no-sleep-at-night body out of bed, into the shower and then into my car (after having had cornflakes with wheatgerm, raisins and banana for an energising breakfast, accompanied by a mug of strong Tetley’s (tea, not beer) brewed with cloves, ginger and cinnamon to help combat the high temperatures. I then feed the twelve cats and watered my vegetable patch which hasn’t been attacked by the wild boars or stray cow since the last event.

So then, as I said before, I got in my old, second-hand, light-grey Peugeot (308, is it?), which is more like reddish-brown due to the dust of the dried earth having formed a cloak over it. (No point washing it because it just takes one trip down the 4 km country track to be all earth-smutten again…)

I then drove ten minutes to the Sierrezuela Periurban Park where I went for a vigorous, 9 o’ clock, uphill hike, taking advantage of the temperature at that time being only 25 °C = 77 °F.

I did wear trousers this time, avoiding any nasty bites from the horsefly, tiger mosquitos, spiders (and snakes perhaps).

Apart from the fact that these creatures lurk about, I love to walk here because the shade and scent of the lofty pines and the sound of the breeze swaying in their branches reminds me of the many happy holidays I enjoyed in Bournemouth with my parents and brother. We used to go there every summer, spending the whole day on the beach, then walking on the pine-covered cliff tops in the evenings, or in the Winter Gardens all lit by fairy lights and candles — that was after we would eat out in the ‘Caribbean’, finishing the meal with a huge knickerboker glory!

It was all a long time ago — about thirty five years — but the happy memories are still fresh in my mind… I thank my parents for those lovely holidays…

But that’s enough of reminiscing for now — I was just explaining why I like going to the Sierrezuela so much.

(By the way, you can read a brief description of this park in three of my earlier blogs if you like, listed below. The Sierrezuela forms part of the extensive, well-known Hornachuelos Natural Park which is rich in faunal and floral diversity, including loads of different types of eagles, and lots of routes to hike and lakes to fish in or canoe on. See this link for more — — includes a slide show and photos far better than mine!)

So I got back to car (temperatures were an acceptable 29 °C), but I was grateful for the flask of cold water I had brought along and the wet wipes. I quenched my thirst and mopped my sweating brow (and armpits!). I then got back in the car, drove down the hills, then along the country plains, where I then parked between the fields and walked a bit more, this time to look for flat, round stones (the reason is given below). It was getting hot by the time I had finished (34 °C at 11 o’ clock, not too bad), so I decided to head home.

Greedy — eating the olives off the lower branches

I drove the 4 km of tarmac road back, passing Posadas village before reaching my stony, desert-like, car-suspension-breaking, uphill track. On my way, I passed some of my favourite neighbours:

And definitely nosey!

There was also the pig that had strayed from its farm…

The escapee!

And one of the many hoopoes that frequent the area…

At first, I thought the hoopoe was a woodpecker.

And as I reached home I was greeted by part of my brood who always give me a good welcome.

Just a few of my cats and animals

(But more about my animals in later blogs.)

Well, that’s all for now — thank you for reading. Your comments or questions are always welcome.

Here are the Sierrezuela links I mentioned earlier — (please excuse the quality of my photos — I was just starting out!)

I hope this finds you in good health and spirits!

PS. What I’m making: I’m about to start my new art/craft project using my new acrylic paints and paint pens, which will include painted stones, cork, terracotta tiles, wood and other locally-sourced stuff to form ‘The Wild Garden Collection’.

What I’m thinking: ‘Will I ever be able to sell any of my art things or books online — or will I always be poor?’

What I’m liking: The air conditioning — though this is limited to up until 6 p.m. due to the limited electricity supply which comes via solar panels only!

What I’m not liking: The modern-day use of the present continuous i.e. ‘I’m liking / I’m not liking’ instead of ‘I like / I don’t like’ — but then that’s just me being old-fashioned and out of date!