This week it has really felt as though summer has arrived, with bright sunshine and some really hot afternoons. Today we had our first dip in the pool. Our water thermometer sits on the bottom because the dogs chew the floats I put on it, so we fished it out and it showed 22º, so it was probably nearer 24º on the surface. You had to just 'go for it' to get in, but once under the water it was fine. Then we had a quick half hour to dry off in the sun before I moved into the shade to do some of my rather neglected lace making. When he is outside, Chico usually sits near Chris. I called to him (Chico that is!) to 'sit' while I took the photo, so Miki and Foxy obediently came to sit at my feet, because that command often means they are going to get food! They were out of luck today. There was just an hour to go before they got their tea.
Out in the front of the house, the garden continues to bloom. Aren't these roses beautiful? They are another sign of summer as I still associate roses with the month of June, but of course, they have a much longer flowering season here. The other flower is known locally as 'Claw' which is very apt as it has fat, fleshy fingers that claw their way over walls and patios, and left to their own devices, they can spread to cover whole gardens. During April and May they are covered in bright pink daisy type flowers, and you see them from a long way off. Our first flower opened today, and this year there are loads of buds. Mine was a small cutting that I took from the scrubland at the top of our beach in El Calón. It is only in a tub, and it has taken a couple of years to get established, but I see it is now starting to 'claw' its way out of the pot, so I will have to keep it in check.
A third sign of summer is the beautiful strawberries I am buying in the market each week. I bought a 2kg box for €5 while Jean was here, and hopefully they will be down to €4 by next week. Ben and Dave are arriving on Tuesday for a few days, and I have asked Ben to bring me out some bottles of Certo so I can make jam that is properly set. My sales of marmalade are going well so I thought I'd try putting some jam out as well. This week I was given another big bag of Seville oranges so I expect I'll be doing another batch or two of marmalade, as I have nearly run out, and folk are asking for it. But the fruit is very ripe by now so I'm not sure they will be quite so good. Still I'll have a go. I have to keep sending out messages for people to bring me some jars. I hope I have enough in store to do both jam and marmalade.