Friday, June 19, 2009

'Three little maids in the pool are we..'

I'm stretching the song title theme a bit there aren't I? However the three of us (Jean, Dorothy and I) are having a lovely relaxing week together, and on a hot afternoon it is good to dangle our feet in the water. Of course the dogs didn't want to miss out, and Dorothy hung onto Paco in case he decided to jump in too. I still keep Destino indoors until she has had her next injections, and is a bit more able to fend off the over-friendly overtures of two lively puppies. We've had to rescue Paco from them a few times and I had expected him to be fine with them. Jean and I have now been right in the pool for a swim, and I think we may dip again this afternoon before we get ready to go out for the evening. The little dogs are settling in very well. They are extremely well behaved for babies, and apart from chewing up a few plants, they haven't given us any trouble. They are not fully trained yet, but we take them out as often as we can and we carry a few treats so we can reward them every time they do their business, so already we have less mess to clean up. Chris has built a fence at the side of the garage, and now he has put a gate at the other end, so they have a small run where we can leave them if we go out for a little while, and also where they can sleep at night. At first they kept escaping from it, but we have adjusted it to make it more secure, and last night they stayed in it just fine. They spend most of their time outside, as it is better for them. The two little cats get on together just fine now too, and we don't hear Destino squealing every time Paco goes near her. She is more than able to stick up for herself and makes sure she gets her share of the food etc. It is Paco who has outgrown his initial wildness, and he likes to cuddle up for a stroke. He has taken a shine to Dorothy, probably because she sits still for longer than I do, and he'll miss her attention when she goes home.
On Saturday evening we were invited to our local bar where the land-lady was celebrating her 50th birthday. There was a lovely buffet, and a live singer who sang all the old crooners songs from the 60's through to the 80's. He has a very good voice. He sings at lots of functions so he is quite well known.There was a good crowd there, and we sat out til gone midnight in just strappy dresses, and the men in short sleeved shirts. It was a very pleasant evening, and we are getting to know quite a few of the folk who go down there now.
We haven't had any long days out with our visitors, partly because we do not want to leave the pups for too long at a time just yet, but mainly because it is too hot to walk around in the sun. There have been some clouds, but the temperature has been up around 30º each day. We did drive along to El Calón to show Dorothy our old flat, and on the way we stopped at Palomares beach and had a paddle in the sea. Then we went on to Aguilas and had a drink at a street café, and yesterday we had a very nice 'menu del día' in Mojacar. This morning we didn't want to go too far as we knew we were going out this evening, so we set off to just have a mid-morning coffee at a café on the sea front, but on the spur of the moment we went inland instead to a small white village in the mountains behind us, called Bédar. The first time we went there, we took a wrong turning and ended up winding along narrow tracks with steep drops to the side, and I said I wouldn't go there again. But several people have given us advice since then, and this time we drove straight into the village. We took photos of the lovely cactus 'trees' that grow so tall from rosettes of prickly leaves. They look a bit like aloe vera but they are called 'something' americano, and they grow everywhere. Once they have flowered they die, but lots of small rosettes grow up around them. I have only ever seen them as the flower-tree is dying, but today they each had little tufts of bright green leaves on the end of their 'branches' and they looked so nice. We found a breezy, shaded terrace to sit on to drink our coffee, and the view was wonderful. You could see right across the valley to the sea. This evening we are going up to Mojacar village for the start of the Moors and Christians fiesta. I'll tell you more about that after we have been to it.
On the gardening front, things are continuing to progress well. Jean suggested that the white flower in our front garden (see my previous blog) might be a gardenia, so I looked it up on the web, and I think she is right. We also have white flowers out on the stephanotis now, so our repotting did it good. As you can see, the whole plant is covered in flowers, which, of course, smell beautiful. The ornamental gourdes I have grown from the seeds Tom's friends in Orgiva gave to me, are now quite big plants. They look a bit scorched at the base, but I water them regularly and have given them sticks to climb up, and today they have several limp yellow flowers on, so I am hoping to get some fruit soon. I think I probably left it a bit late to plant them, but we'll see.
I thought you might like to see this photo which I took when my visitors and I went for a stroll around the village. There are a lot of snails here, which surprises me. You would think it was too hot and dry for them, but there are always several on the side of the house, and on all the plants. Anyway we passed a field where, although the grasses and flowers were dead and brown, every blade was covered with snails, grouped together like bunches of flowers. I had to take a picture of them. They looked so very strange.
I am sorry this is such a long ramble, but I haven't got around to writing for several days, so I had a lot of topics to cover. I'll try not to leave it so long next time.

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