The scavenger was out in force.
Wandering up the dirt track with Pippa on Sunday morning he espied a yellow jacket. Either chucked out of the car window by a reckless drunken Spaniard, or dropped? It was quickly picked up, brought home and chucked in the washing machine.
It washed up very well, it has a detachable hood and cute little fingerless mitts up the sleevies for cycling. (Where did Napoleon keep his armies? Up his sleevies. Boom boom).
He’s already received a couple of compliments on it from Brits in Gib. And having learned the essential journalistic rule from me, ‘never let the facts get in the way of the story,’ he has now embroidered the tale to be that he spotted it on cycling back to the finca from town. Yeah right.
More freebies during the Spanish trip? Well, no more clothes sadly. A huge amount of lemons from next doors. Some peaches from man over at the rich finca. Which got made into the famous peach chutney. The jar is nearly finished. Recipe for those of you who never read the Saturday sarcasm post that should really have got me that freshly pressed badge. I did think I had complied with all the requirements. Oh well. Maybe next time.
A lettuce from next doors that originally came from man at the rich finca. Apparently he only likes the dark green leaves (I like those too) but even the centres were too tasty for our Spanish neighbours so we ended up with double cast off lettuce. Or should that be lettuce cast off doubly? Sounds like knitting.
At the veg shop I bought some carrots. They’re partido, she said, I’ll open a new sack. I said it didn’t matter. I was going to cut them anyway, who cares if they are split?
She gave me four halves, and charged me the going rate for carrots. She then emptied the rest of the split carrots into my bag for free. I ended up with at least a kilo of carrots for the princely sum of around 40 cents.
José admired my gardening efforts, especially the tagetes. I was chatting to Adelina and admired their antirrhinums. Before I knew it, a plant was sitting on the wall for me. And he gave me a load of seeds to sow for later. And some tiny antirrhinum plantlets that may or may not take.
I was busy seed collecting too. Lettuce seeds, four seasons or something. Still waiting for the pretty lilac escarole flowers to go to seed and they will be collected as well.
Part of my companion planting plan was to get nasturtiums but they weren’t available anywhere. Wandering down the street nonchalantly, I noticed one of my neighbour’s nasturtium plants poking through their wall. Sneakily I snaffled a flower thinking it might root like pelargoniums. Idiot me. When I got it home, I realised they had huge seed pods so don’t propagate through cuttings. I took the seed pods out and put them on the window sill and the next time I went down the street, I acquired a few more pods. Extremely naughty roughseas.
Meanwhile as the mega garden tidy continued, José told me my spider plants needed to be thrown out.
‘They’re old,’ he said.
‘So are you,’ said Partner and I in unison.
He gave me four or five new spider plants. How many spider plants does a woman need? I need VEG! You can’t eat spider plants. He’s tried this trick before telling me to throw out the old ones and giving me a new one, so previously I just plonked the new one in a shady corner and left the old ones.
But this time, he was determined that I should throw out the old ones. I am not a lover of throwing out plants unless they are dead, demised, expired, have fallen off their perch etc etc. Dead parrot from Monty Python for anyone who doesn’t understand that reference.
I also quite like old spider plants. They have lots of babies and look quite grand. When José wasn’t looking, we quickly took them from the front terrace, installed them in the shady back patio, and replaced them with the small and ineffectual new ones. Should keep him happy for now.
He admired my tagetes, again. One of the flowers had died so I quickly retrieved it from the soil and pulled it apart to dry the seeds. I remembered those long strange seeds from sowing them in my dad’s greenhouse.
The hibiscus bloomed as ever.
The plumbago tried its best to flower but the
Texas chain saw person hedge trimmer was sadly allowed access to it.
And here is one of my cacti. Looks like asparagus but sadly isn’t.
To end with an Easter cactus, one blooming in Spain at the end of Eastertide while the header photo shows the one blooming in Gib. How clever are they to bloom throughout the Easter period and then, as Whitsuntide comes around the flowers gracefully fall off.
Finally a huge thanks to Vishal who has given me a whole heap of awards. And as I am very slack about awards, I shall do no more than accept them before I forget. It’s always exceptionally good to receive an award from a peer, Vishal is a journalist in India, so thank you very much Vishal.