Hyde and seek

Stormy morning 27 Jan 15Katabatic wind (Greek: katabaino – to go down) is the generic term for downslope winds flowing from high elevations of mountains, plateaus, and hills down their slopes to the valleys or plains below.  

So, typically on a sunny day in wintertime, the warm air rises up until it meets resistance from the cold mountain air, resulting in a very strong wind rushing back down the mountain.

Cypresss hedge & Maroma 25 Jan 15 - CopyWe’ve had quite a windy time of it over the last ten days.  Daytime is usually warm and sunny, but at this time of year we’ve learned not to trust such serenity because at dead of night Mr Hyde makes his noisy and fearful entrance.  We’re not normally here during January and February, so have had to quickly readjust to the pattern of katabatic winds in these here parts, living as we do in the lee of La Maroma.

Cabin on hill 6 Mar 14 (1)Our poor little house is one of the first obstacles that Mr Hyde comes across, but try as he might to vent his fury he’s so far not been able to cause too much damage.

We’ve lost the odd barge board, a roof tile last year and the verandah upstairs has been nailed back in place umpteen times.  I call that a pretty good innings.  You can be sure the wind will find any weak point on or around the house, and add that sound to the already impressive portfolio of howls, shrieks, whooshes and rattles.  The upstairs rooms have a tendency to bounce around a bit, so it’s much easier to decamp downstairs.

31 Jan 15 (1) 31 Jan 15 (2) 31 Jan 15 (3)Then there is the creaking the huge beams make as the house accommodates the gusts. I think, in previous posts, I’ve already likened this to a giant stomping around upstairs. The wind stops, the house returns to normal, and so it goes on.

31 Jan 15 (6)31 Jan 15 (5)31 Jan 15 (4)The beauty of wood – the building material of choice over the centuries – lies in its strength.  These huge cracks that have developed in the beams since 2001 bear testimony to its strength and durability.  I marvel at the robust simplicity of the bedroom ceilings, and can lie in bed for hours in quiet contemplation following the lines of the wood grains and creating pictures from the swirly forms of the deeply coloured knots.

As I re-read what I’ve written, it all sounds pretty scary.  But living at the edge is what we decided to do back in April 2006, and this place has not disappointed us.  I will continue to write most glowingly of the paradise that we are the caretakers of, because that’s what it is. But this is a place that wouldn’t suit everyone and I believe in telling an accurate story.

“Guess what? “Someday” almost never comes around.  It gets lost somewhere between the shouda, woulda, couldas of your life. Let go of whatever is holding you back and dare to live – boldly, bravely, and courageously – now. Remember, none of these elements mean you have to be fearless. It’s absolutely okay to be afraid! Acknowledge that part of yourself and then push beyond that fear, whatever it may be. I’m not brave. . ………….. I’m just taking every opportunity to LIVE.”  Kendra Thomas

P1040651 P1040652The perceived ‘negatives’ here like the creepy-crawlies, the wind, the Spanish system, the vagaries of our eco-existence, all pale into insignificance when you can just go over to the window, look out and see this. This is exactly what I did a few minutes ago, and here are the photos to prove it!







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