Archive for May, 2008


Tuesday, May 27th, 2008
we were in England for the weekend. Saturday was a beautiful day perfect for the wedding of Cathy and Andy, we were in a lovely little village near St Alburns with one of those comfy country pubs that makes a joke of out the 24 hours drinking rules.
the wedding was a humanist wedding, from what i gathered, humanists are sort of middle class liberal agnostics/ atheists, i could be wrongs as i didnt hear the service very well, but Andy and Cathy looked really happy, and as i said before, the sun was out (it wasn’t here) also the garden the ceremony was in was a really lovely setting, she had a Rosa ‘Rambling rector’ growing over a pergola. she also had a rather badly pruned olive, but i only know that now since we moved here. Sunday it rained we went back to London with Margot and then for a curry with Dan and Paulo, just what we all needed, well i know Moira and i needed as it is short of a good curry in this part of the world.
Monday it rained so we went to Harrods and i managed to get my hands on a book by Beth Chatto called the dry garden which i feel i need for reference. at the moment im not so sure as it is still raining here. they say it is going to get better tomorrow. we still have a bit of a drought here in Catalonia as the water level is still not as high as it was this time last year but it is a lot better, its just a shame it didnt happen earlier as its surely affecting tourism and certainly making it hard for us to do any work. 

2 biscuits

Friday, May 23rd, 2008


ive been to the airport 3 times already and this afternoon im going again, luckily i filled up before the cost of diesel went up. twice on Tuesday as Moira had to go to Paris, once yesterday as Moira was going a day earlier than me to London as she had some work to do there, and this afternoon im going to London for Cathy and Andy’s wedding, we are going to miss the eurovision song contest.

But, Wednesday we went to a salsa lesson, its held in the windmill down the road that actually is a restaurant the rest of the time but exclusively on wednesday nights the room is full of dancers counting 1,2,3, to themselves  and trying to keep up. im like a plank of wood at the moment as im to busy counting and worrying about what my feet are doing to care what the rest of my body is doing. but what a laugh. Moira who didnt want to go at first loved it and understood most of what was said, which is great for her confidence as far as speaking spanish is concerned. we have payed for a month. ive had a bit of a practice in the garden when no body was looking, i think its all about going back to the centre, going backwards was a nightmare.

well what with salsa and driving to the airport ive been pretty knackered this week. Jesus has been teasing me saying i need more sleep, atleast im understanding when he is doing it now.

im going to water the tomatoes really well and pray that they will be OK while we are away, it is supposed to rain, but it was supposed to rain yesterday, which it did in Girona but the rain didn’t reach up here so im not holding out much hope for the rain also its a bit windy which blows the rain clouds away, or so they say. Luckily Jesus is in a good mood, to be honest he is quite often in a good mood, and we finished late yesterday and worked well into our lunch hour and a half today so i wont need to work this afternoon which gives me more time to potter around the house not getting anything done.

i know a place to go

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

yesterday i was 41, i had 41, and we went to Blanes there is a botanical garden there built by a German professor on the side of a cliff over looking Blanes bay, the garden is beautiful, sadly Blanes isn’t, its no worse then Roses i suppose, or Southend, its a seaside resort. anyway the gardens where lovely, especially as a lot of the plants are in flower at this time of year, there was this amazing poppy a kind of vino tinto red triple flower , it was stunning Moira and i where hanging around hoping that with some miracle the seeds would ripen in front of our eyes and we could take some home, they didn’t so we nipped a bit of a cistus that Moira wanted and a scented Geranium that was growing through a Nasturtium that i liked the look of, i know its slightly illegal, but its good for biodiversity and all that, im sure. as we were leaving it Blanes it started raining again, perfect timing, the poor girls on the road weren’t to happy though some had brollies and some were working, so they were fine.

we went to the Cafe colon for dinner and Jaz has concocted a new veggie dish, well its veggie in the sence that it contains no meat but it wouldnt look out of place on any normal restaurant menu, it was Linguini with parsley, garlic, lots of olive oil and crushed almonds, it was delicious. as was as always the chocolate cake, im sure she puts coconut in it.

because of the rain the snails have been out in force, 3 tomatoes, a chilli and a butternut squash have bitten the dust, all in one night. im not going to use slug pellets, so i have reapplied the wood ash from the wood burner that i saved up over winter around the plants as snails are not supposed to like going over wood ash, i have even tried rubbing a bit of cayenne pepper into the leaves of the butternut squash, that will show them, especially as they will be Catalan snails and the Catalans don’t do spicy food. its working so far.

one day last week i had a day working on my own as Jesus had to take his wife to the doctors in Barcelona. so i eat my lunch sitting in a sheltered cove by the sea and then went for a paddle, read a bit, had a bit of a snooze, and when i was fully rested went back to work.

time to turn the compost heap.

Jesus says yes

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

we had some Mediterranean rain today luckily i was in Port de Selva when it hit Garriguella and i had left Port de Selva by the time it reached there, but its all lovely and sunny again. Moira is back this evening after going to London for 2 days to meet the man from India who seems to be very happy with here. while she was away last night , Erana popped by, she is the lady that lives near Jesus and has a litle yellow cars whos garden i did quickly for her one Saturday, and she has had a face lift, she’s from Holland. she lives on her own after her husband died, i think 2 years ago, and her sister had just left to go back to Holland after her week here, and Erana needed someone to say how much she liked living here, that sort of thing. so she had 2 glasses of wine and left a bit pissed but happy. we must go round and visit her at some point.

Yasmina and John showed us how to make Catalan tv and Spanish channels speak English as long as the original program is in English. its dead easy you go into menu then settings the sound and then there is something else, but i cant remember what it is, and then click on B, simple.

Im having a good bout of spanish at the moment, poor Jesus , im getting to the point where i can make jokes, he will wish i had never learnt to speak spanish at all soon. although yesterday he rang me and asked me to do something and i had to ring him back twice to check i had got it right, the first point i got right the second wasn’t so good, but i got there in the end. im even getting to understand Catalan at times, im probably at the stage i was at catalan as i was with spanish when i arrived here.

they are really clamping down on the water this year we can only use 11 cubic metres a person in the household, we used over that the last 3 months, not by much, but. its a good job ive got the pump working for the well as we wouldn’t be able to top up the swimming pool with tap water, although they are trying to clamp down on excessive well use as well, especially on Golf courses. its actually slightly illegal to use well water, but every one does, i wont water the lawn again this year and if this rain continues i probably wont need to.

shit ive got to go and feed the fat cats

a bell isnt a bell till you ring it

Monday, May 12th, 2008

well its rained and my god its rained since friday evening, this was good for the flower show in Girona that i dragged every one too as there was less people there, but what a great thing to do pretty much the whole of the North bank of the centre of Girona, around the cathedral had artilly aranged flowers ranging from really arty to the old fashioned what you would have at a wedding like flowers, really interesting, and we got to see little pockets of Girona that we hadnt seen before. i loved, it will definatly be going back next year.

Sundat it rained aswell but that didnt matter as we went to pepignon to see Wilma again and see a bit more of Pepignon, its a lot more interesting then we first thought, with the cannal all planted up with the summer bedding, Malocm was shocked at the size of the salvias.

Today i worked even though it rained a bit but on Mondays we work for a German client that also doesnt understand why people dont work when its raining, poor Jesus. and this afternnon ive squeezed some fresh oranges for tomorrow morning even though it doesnt feel like fresh orange weather at the moment we might even put the fire on this evening.

i think Malcom has drunk more this weekend then he has drunk for the last year. he’ll be back.

running toad

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

watched and understood some of the discussion Jesus and Emilliar, the lady that runs a bed n breakfast in Garriguella Baix, have a long discussion on the village council and how bad they are, the usual where is our money going argument.

That afternoon Fiona and Malcom arrived for a week, and Malcom eat olives and drunk the village wine then eat a few more olives and drunk a bit more wine, i think he likes it here.

the room that held the old kitchen is now completely gutted, Bruno put in something to put a sink on and a shelf and then ripped up the floor, i dont actually remember saying rip up the floor , but then it needed to be done and when i asked him when he wanted to be payed he shrugged and laughed and basically said there wasnt any rush as he wasnt in any hurry, it was not a problem. it is just mad here. they have gone away now for 2 weeks so Moira doesnt have to get up for 8 again for a while and we have to now find some floor tiles we like, we cant really put it off any more.

apart from that the tomatoes are doing fine and the news paper bricks seem to be ok now ive put a gas bottle on top of them to squash them a bit. ive even planted a butternut squash in he lawn, Jesus thinks im mad, he is probably right but them im doing it because its something we saw at the river cafe in london while we where walking passed one summer some years ago and since then i have always wanted to plant a butternut squash in a lawn and now i can.

feeding the fat cats

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

weve just got back from Espolla  which is no big deal but for the fact we went on push bikes makes it a bit more of a deal then if we had gone in the van. i think Moira enjoyed it by the time we got back to Garriguella she was lifting one hand off the handlebars to indicate where she was going just for the hell of it, because she could.

Espolla was another pretty little mountain town, much prettier then it looks like from the road which at the moment has the grass verges covered in wild flowers, with a bar that was also the town hall and cinema/ theatre, apparently there was snow here in 1959. a lot of the houses had 2 numbers over the front door probably as they had refused to change the old one when the new numbers came in from the government or town council. we’ve realised that the reason, for the time being, that we dont have a burning desire to go on holiday here is because every weekend is a holiday except from when im made to paint a bedroom or something like that.

we went into the bar last night and there was only the 2 of us Moira started to talk to Marysol the bar maid, she asked me what to say then said it.

Jesus told me a clever way of adding chlorine quickly to the pool and how to clean the bottom of the pool without the filth going through the filter so now the pool is almost spotless, in fact i even went in it yesterday and got out almost at the same time at the other end of the pool.

it must be summer as im in the mood to eat olives again, it just doesn’t feel right to eat olives when its cold. i have also discovered that you can sit on the swimming pool room toilet and look at the clematis Princess Diana flowering while doing a pooh.

2 bottles of wine

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

its May day the first of May and in Spain they take the actual day off work not the first Monday as they do in England, and if the day is either on the Tuesday or the Thursday its called a bridge and the day in between is usually considered a holiday as well because what’s the point of going to work for one day. sadly im having to go to work for one day as its the start of the summer season out here and all the gardens need to be sorted.

we’ve got a swimming pool again and its the cleanest it has ever been. the cover not only kept the filth out but by blocking out the light killed of any algae that was in the pool, it was just a bit dusty. it should be perfect for when Fiona and Malcom get here on Tuesday.

and now im off to turn the compost heap and its such a nice day ive got my compost heap turning flip flops on.