Spanish interlude

If the dog’s routine has changed due to this nuisance novelty of the work thing, so has ours.

The working week plus overtime means finca time is somewhat sparse, but we managed a quick trip back.

En route, or I suppose, en ruta, we always stop for a walk with the dog at the beach. Someone is collecting seawater, as you do.

What are they going to do with that salt water?

Back at the finca, in the glorious sunshine, there is snow on the top of the nearby mountain. Brrrrr.

Chilly up there

I did notice José had pruned my rose bush. Not to my liking, so I pruned it back a bit more. But he had also watered the garden so who am I to complain? Good neighbours vale mucho.

One of my money trees, keep flowering sweeties, I need you right now

As we don’t stay for Sunday lunch, I decided Saturday would be the new paella day.

Should probably have posted this on the not aphotoblog to get the green background :D

A weekend passes all too quickly. Sunday morning saw us cleaning and preparing to leave.

Opposite us at the big finca, the resident person opened his bedroom windows and called ‘Good morning’.

‘Buenos,’ says me. (Short for buenos dias, good day).

Partner was a bit more thinking. ‘Good morning,’ he said very Britishly, respecting our neighbour’s English. And then added, ‘Buenos dias.’

A bit later on, finca man asked Partner if we liked acelgas (spinach beet). Well, yes, we like anything us if it’s free. We’ve learned that one in Spain. In fact we like acelgas so much we grow it in the garden and we just got a bunch of it the day before from Adelina, but hey, some more is great. Lesson Numero Uno in Spain. Never, but NEVER refuse anything because a) you will be considered extremely stupid and b) you will never get asked again.

So, Partner clears off over for the acelgas fest and I turned off breakfast when he didn’t return immediately. I figured they were having a coffee and a chat or something. As you do in Spain.

Eventually he wanders over with a huge crate.

Thanks neighbour

Not only had they picked acelgas, they had picked a load of habas too (broad beans). ‘Medio para mí y medio para mi vecina,’ said Partner.

Habas, tan frescita

So I shared them out and gave half to Adelina next door. But can you ever give anything to someone in Spain without getting something back? I suppose you can if they are robos, but in the case of our neighbours, they will always find something. I mean, they weren’t even our beans that we were giving away! But I still got a handful of herbs, herbabuena (mint) y perejil (parsley).

Mint and parsley

Which gives me a great excuse to talk about Isla de Perejil, Parsley Island, just off Ceuta in the Straits of Gib. Or its other names Leila, Laila (cue for an Eric Clapton song here methinks!) in Moroccan, and Tura in Berber.

In 2002 there was a military dispute about this islet. The summary is that Moroccan forces set up a base there and the Spanish commandoes went in and cleared them off.

You may not have read about this exciting dispute in the British or American or any other world press. I mention it because it is just part of the whole sensitive territorial issue thing that surrounds the Straits of Gibraltar.

Just as Spain claims Gib, and wants to retain Ceuta and Melilla, Morocco claims Ceuta and Melilla – and all of Andalucía actually – the tiny islet of Perejil is part of the mix – claimed by both Spain and Morocco.

Now, the Guardian reported this as the first invasion of western European soil since the second world war. And said that Moroccan soldiers took the Spanish-owned Isla de Perejil – WAIT!!! Whose side is the Guardian on? This is disputed territory.

Oh! Just like Gib!!

I had a great question from Jan about what is there to do in Gib, so the next post will be on the lines of Things to do in Denver when you are dead Things to do in Gib if you are still alive.

And musica. Rosario.

I bought her CD ‘Contigo me voy’ based on the single of the same name, El beso (contigo me voy).

For non-Spanish speakers, Contigo me voy, is – with you I go. El beso is – the kiss.

She is from Madrid, and according to wiki:

Rosario Flores (born November 4, 1963) is a two-time Latin Grammy Award-winning Spanish gypsy singer and actress.

(Note to irritable grammar pedants, I do wish people would say twice instead of two-time/s)

I was going to post Contigo me voy, but today I feel like Rumbo del Bongo. I swear the Spanish grow up learning to sing and to smile and to enjoy la vida. Ojalá.

I should also add that my CD has a beautiful romantic photo of a wistful looking young woman. You won’t see that on the vid if you click on the link. This woman is four years younger than me, so approaching 50 at the time it was filmed last year. I think Rosario is shit hot.

Yes, we did eat spinach last night. Spinach lasagna :D

Oh, and for those of you who don’t visit, there are more Spanish pix over on Every pic


18 comments on “Spanish interlude

  1. I had a money tree once but it didn’t have flowers on like yours, it looks beautiful.
    Was it warm yesterday? Just looking at your pics makes me feel all summery, something much needed at present.
    Lovely post and a Spanish lesson thrown in for free. I’m liking this :-) :-)


    • Money trees need looking after with much care and devotion. Ours came from a neighbour and these are at least the grand kids :D

      It was lovely. Think I have sunstroke!! Been knackered all day, tired and cold back in the flat :(

      Trouble is with living in Gib and Spain, both A and I speak and think in two languages. I used to think people who did that were pretentious but español comes pretty natural now. I saw an ad in the job centre the other day, and it said they wanted a GCSE (apart from the fact that I was born before those days) in Spanish. I did think about being really arrogant, and saying, fine, I’ll sit one. Now. I’ve never been that confident about having a language before even though I have French and Latin (GCE obv).


    • Rosario is more than amazing! I found a brilliant vid of her the other day, where I couldn’t believe how fast she moved. I’ve lost it but must find it again. what a dancer. or a mover and shaker depending on how you look at these things.


  2. The food looks amazing, the weather gorgeous, the neighbours sound exactly what neighbours should be. Now can you explain, just why did you decide to live in Spain / Gib when you could have been in England, ……

    Oh I get it


      • I have been off work for a bit, now back a few hours a day. Let me see, allotment, garden, riding my motorbikes and making alcohol or sitting indoors staring at the world through a double glazed unit so even the scent of spring flowers cannot penetrate completing mind numbing pointless tasks issued by a moron who understands not the first thing about anything. No your absolutely right, I wouldn’t understand, give me work every day and twice on Sundays.


        • The state of my mind may be in doubt these days, but there would have been no doubt about it at all had I stayed at work. As I said on my Every Pic blog, time rich money poor, but I’ve had a good few years after leaving the UK. Need to try and enjoy life while you can :)


          • Couldn’t agree more. As a lawyer worked long hours, well paid but didn’t see my children grow really. Just weekends.
            When that stopped I lost 3/4 of the salary I was used to but I had much more time. Time = happiness and demonstrated the fallacy of the material culture. I really didn’t NEED all the stuff I had accumulated and was better off without. Now the trick is to find a way of surviving without anything at all!


          • I didn’t miss the money when I stopped working. Initially our costs were pretty low too but escalation of costs = significant depletion of savings, and needing to look for work again :( We are very minimalist. We only have a few houses, pushbikes and land rovers, and never spend any money :)


          • This is Brighton we are talking about, there is nowhere for the not-so-…

            Hm, I didn’t think I fitted anywhere, then I found my little niche. The only problem is that seems to be coming to a very rapid end. Oh well l can keep looking.


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