My 40-minute stretch after editing all day, here in the countryside of Posadas (Cordova)!

Hi folks — I hope you are all well and managing okay in these difficult times.

I just wanted to share with you a few photos of how I restraightened my back, neck and legs after sitting all day cooped up in front of the computer editing and illustrating my book

Firstly I decided to go and visit those cows down there in yonder field (after all, socialising is pretty limited these days in Cordova, especially with the 6 o’ clock curfew!)
I was careful not to tread on those pretty ‘snowflake’ flowers that herald the coming of spring. (I mentioned them in a previous post.)
As you can see they are growing under the ‘encina’ holly oak tree (a protected species here in this neck of the woods)
Needless to say, I was well accompanied (though only two of my ten cats came — the others were lazing around in the sun!)
The toadstools are also just beginning to poke their heads above the fallen leaves and twigs of the olive trees…
and the geraniums are still flourishing in between the olives
I was waylaid by the vegetable patch and stopped to collect a few tomatoes which I conveniently collected in my cap!
Some creatures waited patiently for me…
…while others rolled around in the weedy manure heap!
Furry Zeus looked on from a distance making me feel that I was hindering the ‘walkies’ process
Then I got further distracted by checking how many ‘arberquina’ olives had been picked so far and deposited in the trailer
Then I noticed that the sun was already dipping low and I wouldn’t be able to make it to the cows and back before it got dark nor before the wild boars come out to play…
So unfortunately I had to beat a hasty retreat back up the hill as it soon started to get dark. Dingo, my other dog, wasn’t all happy about that!

Tomorrow we’ll start our back-stretching, leg-flexing, cow-visiting earlier!

And thank you for visiting me. As usual, comments and questions always welcome…

Take care!  xxx

What I’ve been up to this week in my country abode of Posadas (Cordova)

Hi folks! Firstly, I hope this find you all in good health and spirits.

Secondly — what I’ve been up to. Well, I’ve had a bit of a busy week what with teaching, writing and doing some of my craftwork — as well as a) straightening out my vegetable patch after the wild boar broke in again, and b) preparing the olives for marinating that I am picking from our trees. And so I would just like to share with you some photos of my progress. Starting with a):-

Here he is, the ‘little’ blighter, sniffing around for acorns and roots! (Canva)
I had to straighten the pepper plants after ‘he’ had a go at them (but ‘he’ avoided the chilli peppers this time!)
That’s me hard at work with the roll of black string, tying up the tomato plants that have got taller than me. I tied them to the arched ribs that once used to support plastic sheeting when this used to be a greenhouse, but temperatures soared too high in the summer so I had to do away with it. Note the very blue Andalusian skies!
Old olive trees grow all around. I will be picking some of these too for my marinated olives — the manzanilla and gordal variety for pickling

The first step in preparing the olives is to cut each one of them (you can also lightly crush them, or not cut them at all but place them in caustic soda for a while. I have never yet tried these last two methods.) As you can see, I had a little bit of help…

Bag of small alberquina olives from a 2 and a 1/2 year old tree
Curious kitten wondering about the small alberquina olives from a 2 and a 1/2 year old tree
Curious kitten getting all anxious to lend a helping paw with the small alberquina olives from a 2 and a 1/2 year old tree
But I take command of the knife with which I make a sharp cut in the small alberquina olives from a 2 and a 1/2 year old tree! (And my fingers get oilier, greener and purply by the minute!)

The olives in the photos were picked from my son’s young olive grove…

This grove lies just by the old cattle track, Cañada Real Soriana that skirts the foothills of the Sierrezuela de Guadalbaida, and the Roman quarry, Cantera Honda.  It stretches approx. 500 miles, originating in Soria, NE of Madrid, then across the Sierra Morena continuing west to Seville, passing close to the Guadalquivir River and the Puente Romano (Roman bridge) in Cordova on the way.

The Cañada Real Soriana cattle track is number 7 on the Wiki map. (You might need your magnifying glass to spot it!)

And now to the first theme: my craftwork. Well, I have just finished making my angels (or fairies, call them what you want!) — and they are available to the public. So here are the little‘uns:-

Well, that’s all for this week. Thank you for reading — comments and questions always welcome.

Take care! xxx