Friday, April 10, 2009

Down came the rain!

Tuesday dawned warm and sunny so I set off to stock up on lovely fresh fruit and veg from the village market. I came home and said to Chris how hot it was. I'd have liked to sit outside in the sun but I decided to set off to the neighbouring town of Turre to do some supermarket shopping for our visitors first, as I wasn't sure how much the shops would be open over the Easter weekend. I parked a way from the supermarket as it was so sunny, and had a browse along the street first. Then I did my shopping and came through the checkout, only to find that the heavens had opened and we had a thunderstorm of monsoon proportions. It certainly rivalled anything we saw in Thailand. I sheltered at the entrance of the shop for a while and then the rain seemed to ease a bit so I decided to go for the car anyway. It is only a five minute drive home and I would soon be able to change if I got a bit damp. So I set off for the car and just as I did, there was another loud clap of thunder and I was pelted with huge hail stones. Then I realised that I was parked on the other side of the road which was by now a raging river, so I paddled across, much to the amusement of three Spanish lads who drove passed me in a van, tooting and shouting at me!! I dripped my way inside a few minutes later, like a little drowned rat, and had to change every stitch I was wearing. Needless to say, by then the sun was out again. Click on this link to get the idea. Chris filmed this from our porch. The houses do not have gutters (there's not a lot of need) so the water from the roof pours down wherever it can.
Of course, the flowers in the garden are only too happy to have some rain. I said I would show you some of them so here are a few. First the orange blossom which continues to fill the air with it's heady perfume. This bright pink daisy grows rampantly over rough ground and in gardens. We passed a house the other day that had a whole wall covered in it. It was also growing in abundance on the beach at El Calón and when we left the flat I brought a small piece with me and put it in a pot on our patio. It seems to be thriving and this flower is on my little cutting. Lovely, isn't it? And finally I thought this one was rather interesting. It is in a pot at the side of our house, and it was looking pretty dried out and sad when we came here. But we have been watering it and cutting back the dying bits and it is now covered in buds which open to produce this mass of red fillaments. I have no idea what it is called. There are more flower pictures in the 'Our new home' folder on my gallery.
Today was another bright, warm day so we decided to have our first barbeque of the year. Chris and John did the cooking while Jenny and I prepared salads and a big jug of sangria.We decided to try something new, so at the supermarket we bought a tray of globe artichokes, which are eaten a lot out here. None of us had tried them or knew what to do with them, so we looked them up on the internet and settled on roasting them and making a mayonnaise and balsamic vinegar dip. They were different and not unpleasant, though they weren't overly exciting either. Still it's good to try new things. We sat in our little sun trap at the back of the house to eat our meal, and it was all lovely.
Then later tonight we walked up to the village church to watch the Maundy Thursday procession. At 10.00 this evening, two large statues (one was the Virgin de Carmen, our village saint, but I don't know who the other one was) were carried from the church around the village, on the shoulders of strong men. They are very heavy, and carrying them is an opportunity to do penance. They were accompanied by a band playing very distinctive music which I loved, and other penitants who wore black robes and pointed hats that are intended to disguise their identity. We joined the crowd of local people who walked behind the statues around all the little roads of the village and back to the church. It took over an hour. At various points along the route, everyone stopped and the band stopped playing, while one man 'sang' a chant which is based on a flamenco gypsy chant. Each time, he was applauded and then we moved on again. It was good to be a part of this old tradition.

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