Remember the postie who got all the blame for the increase in the local property tax? Well, she is off for a few months to have an operation so we are saddled with a relief postie.
Whenever we get relief posties, the mail always gets delivered. Just not the right mail to the right house. So shortly after the mail has arrived all the neighbours go walkabout to deliver the post to the right people.
We have two main doors, one on each street – we live on a corner plot. The postbox is by the front gate. The number of the house is painted on the wall by the front door.
There is no number by the side street door, nor is there a postbox. So the relief postie promptly stuck some mail between the railings on the outside of the door. Very clever sweetheart. Irritated Partner retrieved the mail and then set about delivering it to the correct address. (Naturally it wasn’t for us).
He collared Relief Postie next time she was on her rounds and pointed out that we had a postbox on the main street and that our address is not for the side street anyway. She wasn’t happy with this. Partly because she hadn’t realised it was all our property. She decided to have a go at us about the number.
“There’s no number here,” she said.
Partner pointed it out to her on the house wall, which was perfectly visible from where they were standing.
“You need to change it,” she said. “There are other houses with the same number in this street so you should change yours.”
“I’m not changing my number just for you. This house was built before the others, it was the first house in the street with this number and it has always had this number.”
José next door chimed in with his support, saying that all the others were the ones who should be changing not us.
“It’s been perfectly all right for other posties, and you’re only going to be here for a few months,” added Partner.
“And if you have any problems I’ll go and speak to your boss.”
“You don’t know where he is,” she said. Childishly and stupidly.
“Yes I do. He is in the office up there at the top of the village. Now largate.”
Largate is one of Partner’s favourite words when he is annoyed. It is like “Get out of it.” Of course like all Spanish words, though, the more venom and vitriol you say it with, the more offensive it becomes. She got the message and stormed off down the street.
On the next encounter she decided we should be putting our name on the mailbox. Why? There wasn’t even a mailbox here when we bought the house. The mail invariably got thrown over the gate onto the steps.
“I’m not putting my name on there. Any silly idiot could denuncio me then,” said Partner.
A denuncio is when someone reports you for something, say, like having animals on a property without finca rights. Or illegally extending your house. I hasten to add that we do have finca papers and we haven’t extended the house. But that doesn’t mean someone wouldn’t try just for the grief. They can’t do it without your name though.
“You don’t need the name, you know what the number is,” continued Partner. “We’re the only two English people in this street so it’s hardly difficult.”
“Largate.” Again. And she stormed off down the street.
Jose decided to have a chat about it after she’d gone.
“Why don’t you put your name on?” he asked, somewhat naively.
He got a blasting from Partner as well.
“You never had a post-box until last year, and you’ve only had the names on for a few months. What are you talking about?” snapped Partner.
“That’s right,” said Adelina. “You’re talking a load of rubbish Jose. We didn’t have a postbox for ages. Silly old fool.”
Jose went grumbling off inside.
Partner came in to rant at me. Then he consoled himself with the thought that she would have an even harder time if she started arguing with me.
I looked at him.
“I’ll tell her I don’t speak Spanish.”
Anyway onto the chickens. The ones who have only laid a couple of times in the last six months. After all, they are more than four years old.
“Knock ’em on the head,” says Jose and various other Spanish neighbours who can’t understand why anyone would keep chickens that don’t lay.
“If you don’t want to eat them, give them to the dog.”
Partner is doing the feeding at the moment. They get a permanent supply of corn, and some greens every day.
He has normally just put the greens in their run without going into their huge shed. So when he went in he was more than a little surprised to find SIX eggs. Five carefully piled up together – amazing they hadn’t broken any – and one on its own.
Eggs stuffed with fresh herbs and capers
I adapted this from an Italian recipe which used pesto. I rarely have any pesto in (nor am I motivated to make it fresh) but I usually have plenty of fresh basil.
Hard boil eggs. Shell, split in half and take out yolks. Mash yolks with some drops of ollive oil, enough to be a smooth paste, but not too much that they are runny or of a mayo consistency.
Add a pinch of salt, some crushed chopped garlic, a couple of teaspoons (or more) of chopped capers, and some chopped parsley and chopped basil.
Fill egg whites with mixture and sprinkle with paprika or cayenne. YUM.
If you are more organised than me and do have jars of pesto, then the original recipe by Paola Gavin is:
6 hard-boiled eggs
3 tablespoons pesto
3 tablespoons mayo
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon capers
Mash the yolks. Blend in the pesto, mayo and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the capers.