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):-
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…
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.
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.
Hi folks! I’m back again, writing from my sunny, sweltering and steadily-desertifing home in the countryside of Posadas (a village of about 7.350 inhabitants, lying about 35 km / 22 mi west of the renowned Cordova, Andalusia). Temperature today is 41° C = 105.8° F, but going up to 44° = 112.2 F on Sunday. Yipee!!!
(For more information on tourism in Posadas and the many interesting cultural, historical and nature-based places to visit in the surrounding areas of this Guadalquivir Valley and Sierra Morena range, you can see the council’s link at: https://www.posadas.es/turismo)
Anyway, I realised that I hadn’t kept my promise that I made in my earlier blog, My vegetable patch and the mines of Peñarroya – Pueblonuevo, north of Cordova, Andalusia (28-01-2020) of keeping you updated as to the progress of my vegetable patch. I posted the first photos in January when the plants were just wee little things. Now six months on they have matured a lot and are all producing fruit, even if they look a bit higgledy-piggledy and worse for wear.
This isn’t actually my fault, but that of the wild boar, who, a few moonlit nights ago decided to make a bee-line for my green ‘oasis’ — (last year it was a stray cow that gate-crashed, eating all the vegetables, save for the chilli peppers — smart lass was she!).
The wild boar forced his way under the chicken wire, levering it up with his plough-shaped head and powerful neck, then trotted his barrel-shaped body down the lines of maturing courgettes, peppers, aubergines, tomatoes, spinach, Swiss chard and potatoes. He sniffed with delight the freshly-applied manure before then steadily hoofing around each plant while nuzzling away in search for roots and mushrooms.
He uplifted and neatly pushed aside each and every plant with his delicate paws, as well as the supporting canes. I must admit though, he did work methodically and meticulously in an organised sort of way.
However, when I went down in the morning to water, I was met with catastrophe! It took a while to assimilate what had happened — but then I quickly set to. I feverishly started to restraighten and replug everything back in, recovering the exposed roots with the upturned earth — (while just clad in my pyjama shorts, skimpy top and flip-flops) — until I eventually brought some sort of normality back to my vegetable patch.
It took quite a bit of effort, but things haven’t quite returned to what they were beforehand, hence the unprofessional look. Also, the downside to me gardening in my summer pjs was that I got five nasty bites on my legs which swelled into big blisters and lasted about a week! I still have the marks now. (Must’ve been a horsefly or tiger mosquito.)
Mind you, it could’ve been worse, what with those amber-coloured scorpions and millipedes who are my regularly-visiting neighbours.
My dogs, Zeus and Dingo, did try to ward off the boar by barking from afar. Here is a photo of the heroes. You can see that although they have their own cool, covered area, somehow they always decide to dig a hole in my border, pushing my watering pipe aside to then fall asleep on the freshly-watered earth.
Oh for the joys of living in the Andalusian countryside!
So here are some recent photos (including the view looking south over the guadalquivir Valley, in the direction of the Sierra of Malaga, which lies at about 160 km / 95 mi away) :-
Thank you for reading — see you soon — hope you’re all well! xxx
It was really an excuse to take my 22-year-old daughter out a bit, as she is missing her usual student life in Córdoba, her friends and also more importantly, her lovely boyfriend. Although Córdoba is just a bus and train ride away and it is permitted to travel (clad in masks and observing the safety rules), we think it is a bit premature to go rushing headlong into things — better to be patient, go slowly but to get there safely, rather than being impatient and perhaps undoing what has been achieved over these weeks of confinement.
Anyway, enough of the waffle for now, and here are those promised photos…
Apart from gardening and using the fruits of my labour in the kitchen, I have also been painting. (Oil on canvas. This painting and my others are for sale by the way: some are advertised on this link, as so is my humorous, fully-illustrated book An English Lady in Cordova — the Alternative Guide. https://www.etsy.com/es/shop/GillysWork?ref=search_shop_redirect Well, here are a few self-explanatory photos:
I hope you enjoyed this blog — thank you for visiting and look forward to writing again soon. Take good care of yourselves. Bye for now!
Hi folks, I’m back — but as you know, travel now has been severely curtailed here due to this devastating virus, so apart from this having had the effect of numbing my inspiration for writing, my outings and amateurish photography have been limited to my country (which is a privilege in itself). I am observing the quarantine as are the Malenans (inhabitants of Posadas), who have been also shown such solidarity, by, for example, volunteering to disinfect the streets and buildings and also to make face masks, which, in the space of a couple of days, they have managed to sew 1000 of them! I take my hat off to these volunteers and to all the other helpers, such as the doctors, nurses, carers, police, firemen/women, cleaners, transport service, people who are collaborating from home by putting up videos helping us employ our time constructively and many others — these, along with the people who are strictly observing quarantine at home are the true heroes. We have to fight this thing together, with unity and solidarity.
I am lucky to live in the country and have some freedom of movement, so I have been tending my weed-filled vegetable patch (aided by my daughter and also the cats and two dogs when they manage to wriggle under the wire fence — the animals, that is!) and I have also been doing a little photography of the flowers and trees that are steadily unfurling their leaves and coming into colourful, delicate bloom. So for this post, I would just like to share some of these photos with you all — nature is an inspiration in itself!
But to kick off, here is a photo of my wild asparagus cooked in spicy, herby tomato sauce, the recipe of which I wrote in my last blog (but unfortunately at that time, didn’t have a picture of!).
I hope you have enjoyed the pictures, and thanks for visiting my blog!