Sunday, February 13, 2011

Closing up - Checklist

Things to bring

Keys for home and Puebla
Wallet + bank cards
Driving licence
Flight number
Glasses - contact lenses
Euro coins for train ticket
Money for return taxi
iPod / Palm Pilot
Memory stick

Things to do

Put covers on yellow chairs.
Stand tables upside-down
Close laptops
Cover RJ keyboard
Check radiators are off
Defrost fridge
Dishwasher empty or on
No food left around
Leftovers to Eric
Spray round with insecticide
Check rollerblinds are down
Check all lights switched off

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

February 2011

First week and a half in February, and the weather has been glorious. It's been sunny every day - but split into three quite distinct temperature bands, which are worth noting for the future.

In the morning it's sunny but chilly - so the dress code is sweaters and long trousers. Then by 1.00 pm it is warm enough to sun bathe, which I have been doing privately on the patio and publicly in the garden.

However, by 5.00 pm, even though the sun is still out, the temperature drops quickly, and it's time to go in. Between 6.00 and 7.00 pm it gets dark, and the radiators need to be switched on in the house.

Friday, May 28, 2010

May 2010

After the dreadful winter during which incessant rains have filled the reservoirs to overflowing, we're now into something more like the climate for which the region is famed. I arrived in mid May, and it hasn't stopped sunshining after a week and a half. The geraniums in the pots on the patio wall are in full flower, and the vine has more grapes then ever after I gave it a drastic pruning.

This week I took the major step of buying a bike, and can now be seen pottering up and down the Paseo Maritimo of an evening in a desperate attempt to get some exercise.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter 2010

After an unusually severe winter here in Andalucia (and buckets of rain) Easter brought a return of its more famous sunshine, and we arrived just in time to take advantage of it. Heather located handyman Barry, and he fixed some of the annoying practical issue which have been hanging over for some time now. A new floor in my window casing - tiled in traditional dark green after some searching; the hole in our bathroom fixed, and some new wiring in my bedroom and the hallway.

I also took delivery of my new computer set-up from the Daytona boys, and the installation of our new broadband supplier went mercifully without a hitch.

Eric and Gerry gave us two of their Indian-style carpets from upsatairs, and these have enhanced both Heather's bedroom and the conservatory.

It was good in the Puebla to note that new palm trees have been planted in the garden to replace those destroyed by the beetle which has caused so much damage along the coast in the last year or so, and I was inspired to buy some plant pots to replace those which disappeared from the patio wall some years ago.

However, there is sad news to relate. Heather discovered that her favourite mascot in the Puebla - the Blue Cat - has gone to the Big Kitten Basket in the sky. Fortunately, she has him immortalised as a screen saver on her PC.

Friday, November 13, 2009

November in Andalucia

November - maximum afternoon temperatures average around the low twenties, but when you put the thermometer directly in the sun 40 degrees is possible.

2009 - I have just had two weeks of continuous sunshine, with only a breezy weekend to disrupt the ambiance.

November is the time for tree pruning. The gardeners cut growth back so that the trees and bushes don't get out of hand. Experts are brought in to do the palm trees. See November Haircut 2006.

I have just this year cut back the two trees on the terrace, which can provide an extra hour or more of sun.

It starts going dark around six o'clock.

Fresh artichokes are available and cheap.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

October in Andalucia - what happens

October is the month of the Feria - which means families dressed up in very attractive traditional costumes. Males in the short-jacketed grey suits of a caballero, with flat, broad-brimmed hats, females in brightly coloured flamenco dresses.

The common wisdom is that it rains for the feria - but in 2009 I was here for two weeks in temperatures not much less than the August highs. [But there had been rain in late September.]

The nights begin around 7.30 pm - but there is no need for any extra heating.

Asparagus is only available in the 'wild grass' variety - which is best avoided.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Sunshine

It seems really odd to be sunbathing at the end of December - but this week the weather has been glorious. We're lucky - because the autumn in Andalucia has been so bad it's made the newspapers. Low temperatures and lots of rain, which fortunately have filled up the reservoirs.

We've bitten the bullet and cleared all the rubbish out of the house. It reminded us that we've been here for six years now. So all the old curtains and bedding which was left behind by the previous owner has gone down to CUDECA, as have wheely bags and all the crap that people seem to leave behind here when they come to stay.

We've bought a beautiful new multi-textured spread for my bed, and re-arranged the furniture slightly so that everything will be ready when Teresa and John come out with us in January.