Up, up and away

Contrails holiday time 29 Apr 15The human bird shall take his first flight, filling the world with amazement, all writings with his fame, and bringing eternal glory to the nest whence he sprang.”  Leonardo da Vinci

It’s holiday time again, and the skies are full of people going to and from Málaga airport.

Talking of flying, this very morning, I was privileged to witness the baby blue tits fly their nest. They had, once again, made a home in the space just below the gable and from my bed I’d been watching the male bring sustenance for his mate.  Once the chicks hatched, both parents came and went, slowly at first, then with increased rapidity as the babies grew more demanding.  As soon as it was dark they all settled down for the night, just a few feet away from me, divided by a partition of wood.  I felt very close to them.

Blue tit am of fledge 27 May 15In the last week there was a lot of wing flapping and chirping and I wondered just how long the parents could go on with their endless regime of feeding which goes to show that our land must be teeming with creepy crawlies! It never ceased to amaze me how – in around two minutes – they would come back in rotation with a caterpillar or other tasty morsel (photo is of one of the last food runs).  Then they were gone.

ZEF GJF 19 May 15 (7)Sierra walk GJF LAF 23 May 15 (3)The skies brought my darling daughter and her partner here last week.  Zoë and Jamie went back a few days ago, during which time we did very little except relax, eat, walk and generally enjoy the peace of this place.  That is, all except Joe.

Swimming pool preparation JB 13 May 15Poolside GJF JB 19 May 15There were some very hot days, and luckily Joe had the foresight to drag the plastic pool out of retirement (we hadn’t used it since 2011).  Filling it took 6,700 litres of water and we needed two trailer loads of sand for the base. Surprisingly, there were no leaks and after a day or so the water temperature got up to a respectable 29 deg C!  We splashed out (!) and bought a heavy-based parasol and some recliners – to make the ‘poolside experience’ more enjoyable for us all!!

ZEF & GJF 26 May 15 (3)ZEF GJF 19 May 15 (4)On one of our walks around the land Jamie suggested a nice place for a seat. Dicho y hecho, the Nissan was filled with some suitable stones during a trip around the nearby sierras.  

Stone bench ZEF & GJF 26 May 15 (3)Within a few hours the seat was finished, topped by two hefty upward curving stones and secured with mortar.  Zoë finished it off with her red ampersand motif and we added our own. It’s a great place to watch the spectacular orangey-red sunsets that illuminate the white village of Sedella and the mountains beyond.

New steps around bump 12 May 15 (5)New steps around bump 12 May 15 (4)New steps around bump 12 May 15 (15)Joe was almost at the end of finishing his goal of creating a path all around the perimeter of our land which he’d been doing in stages over the years.  As our land is on the side of a hill, steps were needed almost everywhere, made of either stone or wood reinforced with metal rods. It’s back-breaking and labour intensive work but he did want the remaining section finished before our visitors came.

New steps around bump 9 May 15 (2)New steps around bump 12 May 15 (11)This meant strimming the area first, then carving out the path from the dense mata, and cutting out a quantity of steps. The path is undulating, steep and quite perilous in the places where it skirts our drive with a sheer drop.

Veg terrace before 12 Apr 15Also just completed before Zoë and Jamie’s visit was the vegetable garden on a terrace that Joe had just dug out which is sheltered from the wind and overlooking the Med.  We wanted a raised bed and also needed to shore up the terrace with a rough stone wall – this meant collecting more stone from our usual source.

Veg terrace 8 May 15 (3)Veg terrace JB 8 May 15 (4)Veg terrace 9 May 15We sieved all the dug out soil, spreading the fine soil on the raised bed and lining the path with the remaining stones.  It looked great, and at the moment, it just contains some leeks, although we have planted a quantity of tomatoes, peppers and basil next to the house. Come the autumn, we will fill it with root vegetables and onions.

Plunge pool digging 22 May 15 (2) (960x1280)Plunge pool digging 21 May 15 (2) (960x1280)You think that, having done all of this, Joe would relax for a while.  But no, having re-acquainted ourselves with the refreshing nature of the plastic pool, we sort of got the idea that it would be nice to utilise the damaged 3,000 litre depósito that had been standing around idle.  It would make a great plunge pool, we thought.

P1060291P1060292Of all the things that would have made Joe happy was the gift he got from Zoë and Jamie in the form of a glass fibre repair kit and a shiny new pickaxe. With the former he repaired the depósito that had developed a leak and the latter became a blur as Joe began to slowly disappear into the depósito-sized hole, cutting his way through the rock that our house stands upon.

P1060295As I write, he has just this minute finished the excavations – a hole measuring 1.2m deep and 1.6m wide.  The spoils were wheel-barrowed down the hill to repair the partly washed away drives.

Watch this space!







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