Thursday, 22 July 2010

all sorts

Well, the heat continues and so do I.

I noticed today that my shoulder does not click as often as it used to (please do not let me be tempting fate!) and I do not remember the last time that it ached. I have hardly used any painkillers since moving here. Is that the heat or is it all the olive oil? I really have no idea, but a new lease of life is not something that I wish to hand back.

50 is the new 16!

Still, just so that you do not all become insanely jealous of my ‘perfect’ life here, I do have to contend with the ants!

The other evening I was a bit tired and decided that I would put out the rubbish in the morning, when I went out for my walk. So I toddled off to bed. On waking I did the normal things, going to the toilet, splashing a bit of water on my face, looking bleary eyed at the face staring back at me. Got dressed and went down in the usual sort of morning trance. Put my hand in under the sink to get the rubbish bag and YIKES! You guessed it – they were charging up my arm like lots of little aliens from one of those ghastly films that make your flesh creep for days after watching them.

That woke me up.

Under the tap went the arm and for the next 20 minutes I was battling lots of little black creepy crawlies that were running around like demented warriors as they tried to avoid my washcloth and various insect sprays. I did all the corners – taking care not to get any on any food – although already wise to the threat of ants I keep all my food in the fridge now, so there really wasn’t much, only an old lemon or so.

I eventually got out for my walk – with the rubbish bag double-wrapped, to be dropped off.

Of course later on I had to wash the whole kitchen floor and all the counter tops with some detergent and bleach because the whole incident made me feel a bit dirty and in actual fact, as I had used sprays it made sense to clean off any splashed insecticides.

In fact there are a whole new range of creepy crawlies living in this country. The jumping spiders really freak me out and they do not stand a chance I am afraid against me and the mop. I know you will think I am terribly cruel, but I do exterminate as quickly as possible – with as little suffering caused either to the insect (or arachnid) in question or myself. It is definitely a case of survival of the fittest around here – or the fattest hehehe! Anyway it is my house and I will share it with other creatures of my own choosing only.

I still get bitten by the mosquitos on a regular basis also, but just try to minimize the attacks, using my plug in and sometimes some spray on repellants if I am going out of an evening. That cracks me up too: I am going out, so I shower and wash my hair and spray my body with various potions and unguents and then when I am polished and pressed and smelling like a tart’s boudoir I go and lash on the Deet! Which just about covers everything else up.

Ho hum – I suppose that is the law of the jungle too.

Right I’m off

PS by the way – got two baby pigeon chicks in the drainpipe, does that qualify me for being a mum again!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

a glimpse of our town

I suppose because it is such a new experience for me - but i love the way the heat makes me feel like part of Spain. It is as if I am melting into the very earth, or into the pavement - so that I become part of the town. You cannot be coy when there is liquid pouring out of every pore, there is something completely sensual and personal about it.

The barriers are down before you start to speak with anyone - everyone is hot.

This is a glimpse of our town and our beautiful parish church. Oh and just check out those stunning mountains!! It was taken the other other morning. I go out earlier and earlier for my walk but cannot avoid the heat now, so i just have to be hot on my walk too - there is no early morning coolness to enjoy.

But ask me if I care!


I love it.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Cuckoo Spite

Finally I get to show you my medal which I made for the British Art Medal Society ( I made it while still living in Norway and all the time it was simmering away in the background, getting cast and finished for me - as i was not in a position to do any of the work myself.

It is called Cuckoo Spite and, yes you have of course seen the drawings I did for it already in this blog. It is a sad little medal about birth and death and the fight for survival in a dog eat dog world - some of my favourite themes.

I was very pleased with the way it turned out and am very pleased also that it is selling well. If only I could sell all my work, I would be a millionaire. Well perhaps that is a little of an exaggeration but you know what I mean.

Meanwhile the weather here has turned very, very hot. But do you hear me complain? Not on your nelly. I am embracing it and trying to acclimatize. It would make a cat laugh at how we used to go out in the spring, after all the winter rains had passed and sit in the warming sunshine, slowly rotating and uncovering our bodies limb by limb until we were quite brown and glowy looking all over. Now we dart for the cover of shade. When we have to go out and about we cling close to the walls of the buildings and choose the narrower streets with the high buildings which keep the roads and us well covered from the heat of the sun.

My tan has faded somewhat, but I am still sufficiently coloured to pass as brown-ish and there is still enough protection in my skin to stop me from burning.

The house has become my sanctuary really - of course I have to work indoors but that suits me very well now. I leave as many windows and doors open as possible to create a draft and any time I wish I can just cast an eye out the window to see the ever-changing views of the mountains and the almost never ceasing sunshine. I do realise that I am incredibly lucky.

And what's more. Spain went and won the World Cup! And I watched the match at one of our local bars and got completely swept away in the whole exciting frenzy of it. A whole town of people all laughing and smiling at the efforts and playing of a team of very few, but who represent us all. I include myself in this as of course Spain is now my new adopted country. Yes, I know i do switch allegiances very easily. But hey! when in Rome.....

not to confuse you or anything because I am plainly not in Rome :-)

talk again soon

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Not so Ordinary, Ordinariness

Well, as you can see. No pool design here, but I do include a photo of some of the more prosaic wildlife in these parts.

Pigeons may not be exotic or dangerous, but nonetheless they inhabit our world with a constant frequency.

They waken us from our sleep every morning, with their gentle and not so gentle vru-cruuing. It can be amazing how loud they can be. Of course everything is magnified in the narrow street we now call home as the slightest whisper echoes back and forth across the passageway. Sometimes at night I awake with a start as it sounds like there is someone in the room with us as conversations carry upwards in the night air. At times you can even hear breathing or the shoosh of a match as it is struck to light a cigarette.

This photo is taken from our bedroom window. I think that this pigeon must have eggs which she is incubating for she hasn’t budged in days now, but I noticed her suitor one day bring a piece of straw for her inspection. I am not sure it passed as she still just seems to be sitting in a drainpipe. Luckily we do not get much rain here otherwise she would be rather wet, sitting beneath a downpipe as she is.

One morning I awoke and went downstairs to open up the back doors. The first thing I noticed were a few pigeon feathers scattered on the ground. “Oh dear” I said – “I think that a pigeon must have met his maker.” I presumed it was a cat got it until I looked up and noticed feathers hanging from some of the rough brickwork of our back wall. Vic also awake now and coming down the stairs took a look up towards the skylight. It was splattered with blood and a few more feathers! Eeek! And so we assume it was one of the larger birds of prey that hang about these parts. I have not yet formally identified these but I believe we do have eagles, who swoop in off the mountain behind us, but I am not sure that there are not other types, buzzards or hawks. Time will tell.

So that is a little bit of our birdlife. As I say, perhaps pigeons may seem ordinary and even boring – some people even call them the rats of the sky in a rather derogatory way – but I have always had a bit of a fondness for rats anyway. It all began years ago when I was just a wee girl and one of my friends had a pet rat, piebald in colour. His name was Gilbert…..

But that is another story for another day I think.