Tag Archives: Algodonales

Spring is Springing

spring

Several people have been kind enough to let me know that ‘frost on weeds’ the previous post but one was making them feel a little sad. It’s no longer representative, either. It was only representative of that particular morning. The skies over the Sierra de Cadiz throughout February have been predominantly royal blue, and when there have been clouds, as illustrated, they have been picturesque (especially when viewed through sunglasses with a yellow filter). So, while I don’t have time to write a more filling post right now (researching an article and plastering a chimney), I hope this view from the kitchen will make a more cheering note to pause on.

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October Wild Swimming

zaharalakejetty

There is a reservoir that looks like a loch. It’s about 30 kilometres around and aside from two jetties and the dam, there is nothing to suggest it’s manmade. When I swim from the shore I can feel the tops of drowned trees with my feet – that’s a clue, and when the water level drops very low old walls emerge at the far end where there used to be a bakery and flour mill. This is an Indian summer or quince summer as it’s known here and I’m still swimming in the lake and still the only person swimming in the lake. There are times when I am floating on my back out in the middle when I wonder why is that? Is it because of the crocodile-headed fish that the villagers say hunts in the depths? I hope so because I’m fairly confident it does not exist, though just occasionally when something splashes behind me I do wonder.

 

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Tense Negotiations

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The farm was 40% over the absolute maximum budget pencilled in for a perfect property requiring zero work but, as Manolo said, what was the harm in meeting the owners again, so negotiations were scheduled. I told everyone I loved the place, thought the price was very reasonable, agreed there was a lot of land, commiserated with the three brothers for having to sell, took a picture of some yellow flowers, and then went off to look for the puppy.

More people were milling about than I’d imagined, most of them owners of a sort, and the animals were distracting. The darker donkey got my notes which I’d left on the car seat between its teeth. The sound of trailing exhaust pipes and chassis being dragged over rocks indicated more people were arriving to join in the discussion – or various discussions. Everyone brought dogs. As it got dark we moved inside and nine people talked at once over the barking, and birds (I think they were birds) crossed back and forth.

The conversation had finally shifted from asparagus to business. I felt at a disadvantage having a very small amount of money and no relatives on my team. Not wanting to lose, I felt certain I really wanted the farm. Yes . . . a ramshackle, ancient place with no kitchen, mains electricity or water . . . Oh I’d die without it. I shot my hand up. What about staggered payments spread over a year, a vastly reduced price but still higher than wise and a deal whereby the builder brothers of the selling team would repair the collapsing road bridge and turn a lean-to currently full of partridges into a bathroom straightaway? It was a yes. We agreed a moving in date (May 2nd), and all kissed each other as I wondered exactly what I’d done there.

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