…..stays mainly on the Costa del Sol and along the N340. Or at least it did at the weekend on our journey back there.
Luckily it wasn’t chucking it down, just a few odd light showers. The good thing about grey overcast rainy skies is that you haven’t got brilliant blue skies and dazzing sunlight beating through the glass. So it was a welcome change.
Returning to the finca, there were no neighbours outside, they were clearly hiding from the rain.
Pippa was most disappointed as he wasn’t allowed outside to lie in the wet by his gate.
We left the door slightly ajar for the light and fresh air and he glared at us from underneath his table den.
Preparing the veg for our meal. The Spanish are obsessed with cutting green off veg. The shop woman asked me if I wanted the greens cutting off, and I said no. If I hadn’t wanted the green, I might as well have bought dried onions, and even if I didn’t want them, the chickens would eat it. Waste, waste, waste…….
As you do in Spain, we sat and watched the rain, waited for our food (bean casserole), and considered an early night in order. I’d got the salad prepared for supper – I’ve made that mistake before, going for a quick siesta after lunch and then sleeping through until goodness knows when, and totally missing out on supper.
When the shops re-opened at 5pm we decided to brave the rain, which was bucketing down by now, and go for some olive oil. I put on one of my many leaking Goretexes, and we grabbed our huge Gibtelecom umbrella for the five minute dash down the town.
Our luck was in at the super. Olive oil was on special offer at just over ten euros for five litres. When we first arrived (some ten years ago), the good stuff was around 15-17€ for five litres. Then the price steadily increased each season until it was around a disgraceful 25€ – apparently because of some problems with the olive harvest. Really? It wouldn’t have been because there was lots of money floating around at the time would it?
Now, it’s the cheapest I’ve ever known it. Clearly no problems with the olive harvest now there is no money. Good quality extra virgin olive oil is around 12-14€ for five litres, and if you time it right, it gets brought down to 10€ or so. I think we paid 10.40€ this weekend.
I do think top class olive oil is absolutely essential. Apart from the fact that it is pretty good for you, it’s also less rich and sickly than using butter, for example. I learned from Adelina not to skimp on it, so a healthy amount always gets chucked in whatever I am cooking. I also use it for making any roux-based sauces.
Olive oil duly bought, we ran back up the street, getting totally wet and giggling away like a pair of kids playing in the rain. We ate our meal, fell into bed – and the asparagus and salad greens were still in the fridge the morning after. Note, this turned out to be a bonus in disguise, as the asparagus is now providing salad pots this week.
It was a good thing it rained out on Saturday, because it was bright and clear on Sunday morning for the Romería. Once, in the years we have been here, it has been cancelled due to the rain. They try and leave it as late as possible before they cancel, but given the preparations to deck out the caravans, buy all the food and drink in, cancel work for those who work in the fields – it has to be cancelled on the Saturday. Even worse, then they have to reapply to hold the procession on another Sunday the same month that doesn’t clash with any other procession, festival or cycle race.
One interesting change I noticed this time was the difference in fashions. I thought those frilly frocks were always the same, but no, it seems even they go through changes.
When we first arrived, my neighbour and all her pals would dress up in those frocks with huge spots on them. Awful in design terms to me. There were far less spots in front of my eyes this time though. It seems spots have gone out of fashion. Interestingly there were more skirts as well. They were in the same style, tight over the hips and then flaring out (presumably so women can actually move in them) with the essential frills at the bottom.
My favourite was the one you can just see a glimpse of on the crossing here. An abstract-patterned skirt, with a pale top and a bright gold sash. Worn with a pair of flat brown boots. Very classy. Knocked spots off the spots.