Saturday, September 5, 2009

Savage or Terrific? Take your pick!

We have another circus parked on the flat piece of land at the rear of our house. This one is French and it put on a show last night, with further ones tonight and tomorrow. It reminds me of the sort of circus we were occasionally taken to as children, before they became the huge spectacles that sometimes tour Britain today. There is a very small 'Big Top', and a few caravans. But the one thing that makes this stand out is that it has animals as well. And they are not just performing horses or parrots; these are camels, donkeys and lions and tigers! According to the hoardings around the village you can see 'Titania and her amazing Aftican lions' and 'Tigers from Bengal and Siberia'. There is one large container-trailer in their caravan marked 'Fauna Salvaje', so I looked up 'salvaje' in my dictionary and it gave a choice of four translations, 'Wild, Unauthorised, Savage or Terrific'! Judging by the noises that issue from them in the evening, I'd say 'Savage' wasn't too far off the mark. During the afternoons, flaps are opened along the sides of the container to allow air to pass through it, and we can see the cages inside. There is little fencing around this and last night we saw youngsters from the village talking to the animals through the bars. They were roaring and banging the sides of their cages. And not an animal activist in sight! It is little things like this that make us realise just how different this country is in its attitudes, from the UK. I think we have gone much too far at home with safety issues and polital correctness, but possible not quite far enough here. As we have had a bit of a heat-wave here again this week, with temperatures in the upper thirties, my sympathy lies with the poor animals who have to live in a container all day.
On a fruitier note, back in May I think it was, I posted a photo of some bright orange flowers that I thought were on a pomegranate tree. Well this morning we walked the dogs around the village because of the weekend hunters over on the campo, and we passed the same tree again. And today it was dripping with big, fat pomegranate fruit. I think they probably want a another couple of weeks to ripen, but I guess they'll be turning up in the market quite soon. I wonder if they will taste any different 'straight from the tree'. In the market this week I bought one more water melon. It is the end of their season now and I love them. This was huge. It weighed over six kilos. When I got it home I realised that I would have to cut half of it up so I could get the other half onto a shelf in the fridge. I wasn't sure quite how to tackle it, but fortunately the big chef's knife that I brought back from the cookery school in Thailand, went through it OK. I managed to hack about half into chunks which I packed into a plastic box. Now every time I go to the fridge I eat a few peices. It's better than a cold drink any day, in my book.
And finally I thought I'd show you this lovely butterfly that sadly is no more. We haven't seen many butterflies out here. Maybe it is just too hot for them. But when I walked the dogs last night, they were getting excited and routing around so I looked to see what they were after and I found this butterfly on the ground. It was flapping its wings in a half-hearted way, and I think it had enjoyed its moment of glory and was dying. So I carried it home and put it on the side to show Chris when he came home, but by then it was completely still. I am going to try to make a rubber stamp from this photo, so it's beauty can live on in my cards and ATCs.

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