19 February 2014
I’ve long since learned that at this time of the year when you get skies like this during the day, and an evening that looks like this, then watch out; you’re in for a very windy night.
The sunset photo was taken down our rear drive and shows the bank of cloud circulating around La Maroma, to the left. I always think it looks like she’s wearing her winter bonnet! Anyway, my amateur forecasting was bang on so we both decamped to the newer part of the cabin downstairs, furthest room from the buffeting and whooshing. The wind rushed down the chimney and whipped up the flames in the log burner, the glass door rattled and most of the heat was sucked up the chimney. Nothing unusual in all of that but there was a particularly violent and prolonged gust which unnerved me a bit so I must admit to packing up our ‘valuables’ into a cabin case – just in case. True to form, bright sunlight greeted us this morning and I’ve noticed that this can often follow such a disruptive night.
Much better than the last few days when we’ve been immersed in cloud – it even snowed for a few hours yesterday afternoon but nothing pitched. In this photo you can see the vulnerability of the little cabin perched on the side of the hill.
We’d been neglecting to put the generator on for a few hours a day to ensure our batteries remain topped up, so our levels went critically low. So low that even with the generator on there was a brief panic when we found were totally without electricity for an hour or so.
Unfortunately, I’d just washed my lustrous locks which would take all day to dry without any help, so I had to go down to the almacén and plug the hairdrier directly into the generator. As I stood outside, hairdrier waving in the breeze, I thought that this sort of happening would be quite beyond the comprehension of those living in the ‘real’ world, conditioned to turning on a switch. Of course, the same goes for water; for us such a hard-fought, valuable commodity and very rewarding to use the ‘grey’ water for irrigation.
But all of these slight irritants pale into insignificance when I look around me at this glorious place. It’s unfair of me to even call them irritants; they are just part of the adventure of living at one with nature.
Living with nature means accepting that the jabalí (wild boar) look as though they have been rooting around in exactly the same place as the pink butterfly orchids flowered last April. In previous years we’d only had a few flowers that side of our land, but last year they had managed to colonise and the display was dazzling; even this photo doesn’t do it justice. The jabalí eat anything they can find, including ant nests, and they are partial to roots and bulbs.
So, it remains to be seen whether which part of nature has triumphed there this time – boar or bulb. If the orchids have gone, I have made a mental note to myself to have lunch at that wonderful bar in the ‘lost village’ of Acebuchal where, amongst other things, they do a wonderful wild boar stew (can’t say the same for the greasy potatoes though) …