Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chris to the rescue

The house next door to us, (the one with the orange grove), is quite high, and outside the bedroom, above the porch/patio there is a large verandah, only accessable from inside the house. It is currently adorned by beautiful climbing plants in bright colours that look so lovely against the white walls. Well our little cat, Paco, decided last night to climb up one of the plants, probably to chase a bird, and got stuck on the verandah. I always call him in at night, mainly to avoid the horrible noise of cat fights, and to prevent the dogs barking, as they would if he walked passed their house. So when I tried to call him home last night, all I could hear was a plaintive mewing from next door. I shone a torch up there and found a pair of eyes looking back at me, and he just prowled up and down the verandah crying. This was on the wrong side of midnight, and Chris was already in bed, so there was nothing to do but abandon him there for the night. I knew he was safe and would be fine until morning. I thought he might even try to get down himself, but cats just won't climb down anything head first, and he apparently has no concept of backward motion. So this morning he was still wailing, and the noise increased when he heard me feeding the dogs, knowing that his breakfast was due as well. The house is only lived in for a couple of weeks each year, as the owners main residence is in Murcia, and the property is surrounded by high fences and a padlocked gate. So when Chris got up he had to use our ladder to get over the fence, and walk across the orange grove (which incidently had been flooded with the asequia or agricultural water yesterday so it was very muddy), and climb up to an anxious moggy. He took some persuading to come through the bars onto Chris' shoulder, but then he was soon back home none the worse for his adventure. This is the second time he has needed rescuing and last time he ripped Chris' shoulder to bits with his claws, so this time he put his jacket on! He learned from his previous lesson but unfortunately the cat didn't. I hope he doesn't make a habit of it.

We are still using alternative places to walk the dogs until the ground nesting birds have moved on, and today it was my turn to take them. I drove up to the sports centre at the top of the village and walked them under the bridge into the rambla there. A new road has been built there recently and they seem to have also tidied up the rambla and improved the path. It is now a wide stretch of gravelly path, flanked on both sides by high walls of rock and vegitation. Some parts were a bit dim as the sun was not high enough to reach in, but in other parts it was bright and sunny. All the way along we were flanked by orleander bushes which are at their best right now, full of pink blossom, and wild lavendar which smelled lovely as the dogs brushed up against it as they ran around after rabbits. I saw a new flower out in bloom that was rather interesting. I thought it might belong to the nettle family but it didn't have a square stem so I guess it doesn't. I have no idea what it is called but I liked it. I thought there might be quite a bit of wild life to see as it is well away from any roads, but apart from loads of rabbits I only saw a rather fine lizard, several pretty tiny butterflies and hundreds of about one centimeter long froglets. They were everywhere and they were camouflaged so well, that at first I didn't see them amongst the stones. The dogs didn't seem to be aware of them either. I made a composite picture of my three sitings. The rabbits don't sit still enough to catch them on camera! It is getting quite warm by the end of our walk now, so I carry a bottle of water with me and the dogs are glad of a cool drink when they get back to the car. At present we are still taking it in turns to stay home with Chico, but he is making excellent progress and we hope to take him out with us again soon.

On Friday I went to a charity do organised by our church. The Victory Church movement have sent a team of workers to Haiti. They are all skilled men and women who have funded their own trip and are there to help build an orphanage and church, so all the Victory churches around Europe are raising money to buy the materials that they need. We had a table top sale at the restaurant where we used to hold our services. All around the pool there were tables that people had rented, and we had our own stall to sell books, jams, pickles, knitted and sewed items, and any other things that had been donated. It was a very hot day and we were glad to browse the stalls and then sit down for a welcome cool drink. We held a duck race in the pool which was so funny. We each bought a duck and they were all lined up across the pool. The pump must have been on fairly gently and they soon spread out all along the length of it, and then we had to rush to the other end to fish out the winning ducks and then catch the rest before they all disappeared into the drainage flaps at the end. We had to pack up rather fast at the end as the sky got really black, and we just made it home before there was an almighty thunder storm with fork lightening and lots of thunder crashes. It rained hard for an hour or so and then it was gone as quickly as it had come. Our morning raised €400 for the cause which is quite good for our small community.

We have another church event next Saturday which should be interesting. Several of our members have been enquiring about baptism, so we are holding a baptismal service on the beach. My friend Sylvia is one of the candidates and she was unsure about where this particular beach is, so after church today I drove her over there so she doesn't get in a panic because she thinks she will be late next Saturday. (She is 75 so she is very brave anyway). It is at Carolina Beach which is just a short distance further along the coast from the flat we used to live in at El Calón. The a service is at 1.00 and then we are having a picnic together. We will need to take our umbrellas as it is a very open stretch of sand with no shelter, and we will all cook. But I am really looking forward to it.

And finally an update on my lace making lessons. I recently finished a pretty bookmark that I was rather pleased with. It was the first time that I have made a piece completely unaided. Pam just gave me the patern and said 'See what you can do with it'. I waited to post it on here as I decided to put it in with a birthday card to Jessie. She reads my blog so I didn't want her to see it on here first. But now she has it so here is a picture of it. I thought it was really pretty. Then this week Pam gave me a pile of folders all full of lace patterns and told me to look for something that I liked. I knew many were too difficult for me yet, but I selected a few and she dismissed most of them because they used techniques I hadn't done. I finally settled on a pretty circular piece with only one new element in it and again she told me to have a go on my own first. Well it turned out to be a lot more difficult than it looked, because, being a circle, it was hard to know where to start. Also there are four elements to it which have to be worked in the right order or all the threads coming 'out' don't match the places where you need threads going 'in' for the next piece. It took me three days and countless restarts before I finally cracked it, but I don't like to admit defeat so I kept trying, and at last I have sorted it out and am on my way. Now it is just a case of doing repeats of the pattern until I get to the tricky bit of joining it up properly at the end. So here is the 'work-in-progress'. I'll let you know when it is done.

I probably won't blog again this week as Jim, Jo and the children are arriving on Tuesday for a week. I am so looking forward to having them here. I hope the heat doesn't spoil it for them. I am sure the children will enjoy jumping in and out of our pool to cool down. Jim really needs time to wind down, so we will be sitting around the pool relaxing and chatting for a lot of the time, but we also want them to experience some really Spanish things like tapas, shopping in a traditional supermarket, and enjoying some of our beautiful scenery. Marcus is doing GCE Spanish this year and is hoping to hear plenty of spoken Spanish while he is here. I'll tell you what we get up to next time I write.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fiestas and Flowers

Hi. Once again I have left it a whole week before blogging, so I have too many topics to tell you about. After that long missive last week I was determined to do entires more often so they would be shorter. But I have just realised that I haven't even covered last Saturday's mini-fiesta yet. It was San Isidro's Day, and as he is the patron saint of 'workers on the land' and the second saint of Los Gallardos, there was, of course, a good reason to have a fiesta. As this is the second time we have been to this fiesta, and the format seems to be the same each year, I won't go into too much detail here. It was a lovely day and we went up to the little church at the top of the village at 11.30 and sat in the back for the mass. The singing was done by the village choir and it was beautiful. I tried to record some on my phone so I could give you a taster here, but it seems that now I have had my English phone unlocked to take a Spanish pay-as-you-go card, the extra features on it, such as the camera, are locked. So the video is still on my phone, but I am unable to load it onto the computer to share. After the mass, we all joined a small procession of local horsemen There was only one last year, but this year there were quite few. They had beautiful animals. One was white and she had a little brown foal with her. They were followed by a small cart pulled by two shiny black, stocky little ponies, and then the cart carrying the statue of San Isidro. It was decorated with palm branches and flowers, and was pulled by an old grey mule. Most of the choir followed along. Last year they all wore flamenco-style dresses in bright red with white spots, but this time they each wore a different colour and looked very bright and gay all together. We joined the group of villagers bringing up the end of the procession and went on what is know as a 'romeria', which means a walk and/or picnic in the country. We only walked as far as the sports centre at the top of the village, just on the other side of the motorway. There we watched the final of the inter-Los Gallardos football league, and then went to talk to the horses. The two little ponies spent hours running round and round the pitches, giving cart rides to all the children. Many families had taken their own picnic with them, but there was also a 'Grand paella', free to anyone who wanted it. I went up to watch it being cooked and one of the men handed me the long ladle and invited me to give it a stir. Later we got to eat some, and very nice it was too! We walked back home for a rest in the shade after lunch. That night there was music and dancing at the end of our road. We went up at midnight, just as it was geting going (!) and we stayed until 2.00am, and then we went home to bed, but the music was still going when we got up at 7.00 the next morning to take the dogs out. I don't know how many people last the whole night. When I had my hair cut this week, I asked my little hairdresser if she did, but she said, she only stayed until 4.00 but her sister stayed all night.

Here are another couple of flowers to show you. The first is of course morning glory, and how well its name suits it. Isn't it just glorious? Every morning there is a new crop of these flowers all over the fence across the road from us. I pulled off a long trailing stem and stuck it in a pot to see if it will take. I'd like some of that on our fence. Out in Thailand, morning glory was a very popular starter in many restaurants. It appeared to be a mound of the leaves and vines, just steamed, but we didn't try it. They didn't, as far as I know, eat the flowers. I'd rather look at them anyway! The second picture is the flower of the prickly pear. Most people associate them with the cartoon of jungle book, and consider the fruit to be of little use, but they grow everywhere here, and the fruit are sold in the market. An old man in Cyprus showed me how to tackle one without geting a hand full of thorns, but I don't remember how it's done. They have these beautiful flowers on but they only last for a day. This one is at the bottom of the orange grove next door, and I just happened to notice the flowers were out as I was hanging out my washing, so I took a quick snap. They had mostly gone again by the evening. Here they are commonly know as 'chumba' and are not very popular too close to houses as they are thought to attract mice, and possibly rats.

And speaking of unwanted visitors near the houses, here is one that was foolish enough to stray onto our patio yesterday. He was a good four inches long and facinating to watch. He wriggled along at a fair old rate, curled and uncurled himself, and was just as efficient moving forwards or backwards. I am wary of anything yellow and black, (the biology teacher I used to work for told me those colours were a warning to birds to leave them alone), so I took a few photos and then we swept him away. I looked it up on the web and it turned out to be a Megarian banded centipede 'which packs a powerful and potent sting in its front feelers'. So I'm glad I resisted the urge to touch it. It said they can be from 10-20 centimeters long so this was a fairly small one, and I gather they are fairly common in Andalucia. If he has any sense he won't come back, because I might not be so kind to him next time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Wonder of Creation

I can't believe it is a whole week since my last blog. Where does the time go? I'm afraid I am going to plague you with more pictures of flowers and wild life. I get so much enjoyment watching the changes all around me, and I just want to share my enthusiasm, in the hope that at least one of my readers is equally excited by it. So first, here are a couple of shots taken on the campo. Every patch of open land is covered right now by dying, common thistles. They were very pretty for a while, with simple pale lilac-blue flowers, but now they are fading almost to grey, and their drying thorns can be very lethal!! However a new group of thistles have now arrived. First it was a small but much deeper purple one, not overly significant, but very pretty. Then I saw that from among the dying pale ones, there were a few plants shooting up much taller, easily as tall as me, and they had much bigger buds on them. I was very surprised when they opened to reveal not purple, but bright yellow flowers. I didn't know that thistles were ever anything except shades of mauve to purple. Then there was suddenly some big bushes of what also looked like thistles, but these were shorter with huge buds forming, so I have watched them with interest and today I was rewarded with the sight of these beautiful flowers. They all seem to have bloomed together. Just look at this lovely plant. The flower in the photo I am using for a close up has three beetles visiting it. Two are burrowing deep inside, and one, with a pollen stained back, is at the base of the flower. We are having to find alternative routes to walk the dogs this month as a nature patrol man is riding around on a quad bike and keeping all dogs off the campo while there are ground nesting birds there. That's fair enough so we are doing our best to comply, and presumably we will be allowed back on in a few weeeks. So walking down a different track this morning I spotted what I thought was a clutch of hairy caterpillars. I approached with caution because there are one or two types out here that can cause quite a violent allergic reaction, so violent that dogs have been known to die from it. But I soon realised that these weren't caterpillars at all. They were, in fact, the seeds of a plant that grows and spreads very close to the ground. I've inserted a close up of one of them. Aren't they lovely? Then, finally, as I was walking the dogs back to the car, I passed a small ornamental lake at the edge of the housing, and just as we got there, a white heron landed on the shore. What better way to end a nature walk with my furry friends.

But my nature watching doesn't end on the campo. There is plenty to see in and around the garden. The other day this rather fine fellow came to visit us, and Chris called me out with the words 'You'd better bring your camera'. He knows me so well! The hopper was about three inches long and he sat on our potted palm for ages before moving to the roses. We went out soon after, and we think he may have came to a sticky end. Some vaguely familiar remains were found in the dogs bed later that day! Even more exciting is what you see here. The green area behind the house is full of little birds and we love watching them bring food for their young who live in the tiniest holes in the eaves of the house next door. But up til now they haven't been too close to us, because of the animals. But just lately the sparrows and occasionally the swifts, have popped down for drinks of fresh water from the base of our plant pots. They will drink from the pools when they are thirsty enough, but of course they prefer their water unchlorinated. Anyway, the other day Chris noticed a nest squashed into the tiny space betrween the air-conditioning unit and the house wall. We thought it was an old one, but this week there is a continuous call of baby birds and mum and dad sparrow are in and out with food. I sat still (well as still as I am capable of) for quite a while in the hope of getting a picture of mum feeding the babies, but when she had surveyed us from the roof tiles for ages, and chattered to her partner about us, and she finally decided it was safe to go to the nest, she disappeared right inside it, with not so much as a little beak or a tail feather to see, but as soon as she went in the nest, dad came and sat guard on the pipes, so here is the best shot I could get.

My new little garden is looking good. There was one ornamental cactus in the front corner, that the dogs just would not leave alone. It must have had the right smell, or sweet sap or something, because in a few days it was wrecked. So I rescued it and potted it up in the front garden to see whether it will revive for next year, and I replaced it in the garden with a yellow osteospermen, which is doing fine. But the plant that we are most pleased with is the bottle brush tree round in the front yard. It was almost dead when we moved in. Derek had been too ill to care properly for the plants all autumn, and then the house was empty for a few weeks, and the patio tubs soon dry out if they are neglected. So we trimmed out all the dead branches and watered it regulalry all through the winter and spring, and now it has lots of bright red brushes on it. It is looking really good. Amazing what a bit of TLC can do, even for a plant.

At this time of year I enjoy sitting out in the garden, because it is not too hot, and even on really sunny days the shade is comfortable. So after lunch I either read for an hour or two, do some cross-stitch sewing, or make my lace. However, I really need the right chair for this. The two loungers that we inherited with the house, are too low and not at all comfortable. Chris is quite happy with them because he likes to lie flat to sunbathe for his siesta, whereas that just makes my back really ache. What I wanted is a proper height seat, with a detachable foot rest that can be used while the chair is upright, and a back that can recline independently when I need to change position, or relax for a while. I am really cross because we had six of these in England, two with a foot rest and four without, and we left them at the house as we thought we would replace them very easily out here. Instead we find that they just don't exist here. All the recliners and beds are very low, and the loungers have a footrest that only comes up when the chair is reclined. I had just decided that we would have to bite the bullet and pay silly money to have one sent out from UK, but when I looked on the sites like, Argos, Wilko's, Tesco, and several garden furniture companies, I found that they don't have them in England now either. There are some without foot rests, but I really need to put my feet up to sit comfortably, especially in the heat. The nearest is the 'steamer' chairs, which again are very low, and in my experience, not very comfortable. So for now I have to accept that I can't have one, and while we were out shopping yesterday we saw this lounger in a shop, and Chris bought it for me. I can sit upright in it, and it is comfortable. It is a sunbed really, and the long foot rest section makes it awkward to get right on to to sit up, and also to get off again, but I am grateful to have something where I can put my feet up and enjoy the early summer weather.

And finally I must show you our friend, the traffic signal man. Isn't he wonderful? To copy my own quote on facebook, "Who needs traffic lights when you can have an automated man doing semaphore with flags". I think he's a brilliant idea. You can't fail to see him as he stands waving to warn everyone to slow down, when there are roadworks just around the next bend. He was very effective on our main coastal road this week. He was a bit poorly one day when his batteries were low, but he soon perked up again, and then he hitched a lift from on a worker's lorry, and set up camp a bit further down the road. He's effective and saves on manpower. I bet the bored roadworkers who stand waving everyone down to warn of roadworks back home, would like to have an automated replacement now and then.

And finally, finally, here is a view that I took from the top of the campo, looking towards our beautiful mountains. I am including it here, because the cluster of terracotta houses you can see quite low down, is the start of Cortijo Grande where we went for our drive last week. I am sure you can imagine how good the scenery is as you go up there. Looking at this photo I was struck by how green everywhere is still. I am sure it was already dying off and turning brown in May last year. I think we just had so much more rain than usual this winter, and the bad weather lasted much longer, so all the plants have more stamina this year, and it is still looking good.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cortijo Grande

On a very pleasant Friday morning I suggested to Chris that we might go for a drive so we set off for the Cortijo Grande. For anyone who has visited us here, the mountain range between our village and the coast is called the Cabrera, and in the lower regions of this range there is a golf course which is generally referred to as Cortijo Grande, though the name also covers the surrounding area including several very nice villas and a cluster of smaller homes, and apartments that are popular rentals for golf-minded holiday folk. It is a beautiful area with stunning views. Up further there is a village called Fatima, and above that, an area of housing known as Cabrera village. On a clear day, these houses can be seen from the campo where we walk the dogs. Cabrera village is a cluster of houses, duplexes and apartments all built in the moorish style, with terracotta walls and colourful domes and minarets. On our first holiday here after we decided we wanted to live here, (before we had sold our house in England, so we were only looking and geting ideas about the region we wanted to be in), an agent took us up to view a duplex there. Although we loved the area, the peace and the scenery, we both knew that we would not cope with the mountainous approach road on a regular basis. It isn't too hairy, and I am quite comfortable driving it for an occasional visit, but I would not like to do it every time I go out. We also felt that as the village is so small and mostly occupied by ex-pats, it might be a bit 'clicky', which isn't to our liking at all. However we decided to drive on up today and look at the houses now the building is all finished. We agreed that we had made the right decision about it. The houses are very nice, but very on top of one another (quite literally in some cases), the promised communal swimming pool has not materialised, and the surrounding trees and shrubs have grown sufficiently to mar the view from the lower houses. But it is still a beautiful place so here are a few photographs taken there this morning. The one with Chris just in the bottom corner, shows the row of houses that we looked at. After wandering around the village we drove back down to Cortijo Grande and stopped at a bar for a morning coffee which we drank in a very pretty garden. There was a lovely bush covered in yellow flowers that were almost like tiny roses. I have inserted a small close up in the corner of the picture, because they were so lovely. I have done the same thing with this picture of a pretty flowering tree that was in the carpark at Cabrera. I don't know what either of them are but they were both very lovely. While we sat enjoying our drink in the sunshine, we were surrounded by bird song so I had to include this photo. The tree was high above us and the birds were very like starlings but rather more musical that the UK ones. The tree looks a bit dead but it is a jacaranda which will be full of lilac blossom in a couple of weeks and then the leaves will come.

It was Cortijo Grande that took the worst of the big fires last summer. The restaurant there was destroyed when gas bottles exploded and many houses were badly damaged, though being primarily stone there wasn't too much to burn. but the smoke damage was extensive and many outbuildings were lost. This photo shows how the copious rain this spring has helped the vegetation to regenerate and apart from the blackened trees, it is looking quite good again. Isn't nature wonderful?!

While on the subject of plant life, here are a couple more pictures taken on the campo this morning. I have to show you this grass head because I just love the photo. It is almost like the head of an exotic bird. It grows in big clumps and looks so pretty. The pink flower was one I saw in bud last week and I thought it would be a common mallow, but now it is open it is more like a wild hollyhock. They are all along the road side and some are nearly as tall as me, with quite big flowers, though this one is somewhat smaller. I am sure it must be related to the hollyhock; even the leaves are very similar.

As you know, every Wednesday I go to sewing group in Turre. We meet together more for social reasons than anything else, but as we sit round tables chatting, we do anything from cross stitch to knitting, quilting, or papercraft. It is where I meet the lady who is teaching me lace making. It is a good way to make friends and learn about what is going on in the area. We meet any time after 10.00, and at around 12.30 we pack away and go to a local bar for a drink and tapas. Every few months we have lunch together instead, and that's what we did this week, so here is just some of my 'crafty' friends. Yvonne, front right, owns our local papercraft shop, and it was she who told me about this villa being on the market. Look at all those lovely salads. Makes us look a healthy lot doen't it.?They are actually just the starters, and we had a very good meal after them.

Don't forget you can click on any of these photos to see a full size version. Then use the back page arrow to close it and return to the blog.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blue is the colour of .....

In my last post I mentioned how unusual it is to see a true blue flower, so I had to smile when I went for a walk the next day and found not one, but two vivid blue flowers. So here they are. The one on the left is like a little speedwell. It was small and grew quite close to the ground, but it was covered in these pretty deep blue flowers. The other one is a larger plant and I think comes from the same family as one that has been in bloom for some time, with both deep pink and purple flowers on it at the same time. This blue relative comes later. It looks lovely growing as it often does, intermingled with yellow coltsfoot, but woe betide anyone who tries to pick it. The tiny hairs which cover the stem and leaves are intensely irritating, so I know not to touch it.
The real reason for my walk was to look for an elusive bird which is sited all around this region from April til June, though it is more commonly seen a little further inland in the foothills. The bird in question is a bee-eater and it is so colourful that you could be forgiven for thinking it is a parrot. A few days ago, as I drove over the bridge on the back road to Turre, I saw a flash of blue fly past my window, and I thought it must be a bee-eater. I was quite excited as I have wanted to see one eversince I first read about them last year. So on Friday I parked along side the bridge and walked down into the rambla in the hope of finding one there. It was quite a surprise to find that the bottom of ther rambla was partially covered with trees and shrubs and there was a small river flowing through it. Although I was only 20m or so below the road on one side, on the other the sandy cliffs towered high above me, and the traffic seemed miles away. It was a little haven of peace, and understandably it teemed with flowers, birds and butterflies, and of course, lots of less desireable bugs as well. I had just about given up hope of spotting my bee eater when I saw a flash of blue on the wings of a bird high above me. It settled on the cliff face which is apparently where they make tunnels to build a nest in, and I knew I wasn't going to get any closer, so I aimed the camera and took a couple of shots. When I got home and zoomed in on the pictures I realised that I hadn't found a bee eater after all. Mine was much too blue. It was in fact a European roller, another beautiful bird in its own right, and I feel privileged to have glimpsed one. I would still like to see them both closer up, and maybe one day I will, but for now, here is my own photo. Click on it and you will see him quite well. The other two pictures need I say, are not mine. I took them from the internet so you could see why I am so keen to have a close encounter with them one day.

Now for a very different tale, that added some excitement to what would have otherwise been a very ordinary Saturday evening. We were just settling down to have our tea when we heard a car horn sounding just outside. When it was repeated several times, and then others joined in, we decided to go and investigate. As you will know from previous postings, when our new road was completed they made the right hand lane a one way passage up into the village, and the left hand lane, outside our house is a parking bay. There have been several near misses as cars chose to ignor the one way sign and try to whizz down when the road looks clear, so at first I thought there must have been an accident. Instead we found that a red car had parked in the driving lane, almost opposite our car in the parking lane, so no-one could drive through. We didn't know whose car it was so the first driver borrowed paper and pen from us to leave a message on the windscreen, and then we moved our car so that they could all squeeze round the parked one and get on their way. Then just as everyone was dispersing, a lady came out of the house opposite ours, climbed in the parked car and moved it so that it was standing diagonally across the lane, nearly up to the new planter, and she got out, calmly locked it and went back in her house. Of course, before long there was another queue of angry drivers tooting their horns because they wanted to get past. In the end she came out and moved it again just enough for them to get through, and then parked it there again. I couldn't believe it. As she got out of the car I raised my hands and just said "Por que?" or "Why". I didn't follow everything she said but I got the gist of it. She owns the house but doesn't live there and only visits occasionally. While she was away, the road had been done and the new pavement is now quite a bit higher then the original, leaving her with a step of about twenty centimeters into her drive, so she is now unable to park in her own grounds. However, if the workmen had built her a ramp she would not be able to close her gates, and as these are usually locked, she wouldn't have liked that. I pointed out the nearly empty parking lane on our side but she shook her head and marched indoors. I have a friend down the road who is more fluent in Spanish than I am, and together we turned away all the cars that tried to drive up. (I had no idea so many cars drive past our house on a Saturday evening!). Eventually a young man drove up that we knew and he phoned the guadia civil for us. They came quite quickly and we pointed out the house where the owner was, so in they went. She had some very heated words with them, but she was forced to move her car and park it properly. I don't really know the outcome, but I understand that she was fined and may have had other sanctions taken against her, but it had caused quite a stir. As you can see, the whole street was congregated outside our house, enjoying the excitement. It went on for a couple of hours, but once the car was moved, everyone drifted back home and things were soon back to normal. Fortunately no-one was hurt, and there was a funny side to it all. It was the sort of thing you wouldn't believe unless you had seen it happen!