Talking about the garden
Andalucía, 15th August
As well as the usual conversations in shops and cafés I've had a couple of conversations with our Spanish neighbour, Antonio. He must really despair of our total neglect of las vides, the grapevines, and los árboles frutales, the fruit trees, but is too polite to say so. He just says that we should prune the trees in October and explains that the poor quality of the grapes is due to lack of desherbar, weeding, los fertilizantes, fertilizers and los insecticidas, insecticides. My efforts to understand him are hampered by his strong local accent as well as my lack of vocabulary. I'm trying to pluck up the courage to ask him round for a drink one day so that I can get more practice as well as being more neighbourly of course.
In spite of the poor quality of some of the grapes, las uvas, the ones we have are absolutely deliciosas, delicious. They are extremely dulces, sweet, moscatel grapes and are used to make the local wine and are also dried. All the shops in the village sell los vinos y las pasas, wine and raisins. But the best treat is la higuera, the fig tree, which is covered in los higos, figs, that are just fantastic to eat straight from the tree. We need to eat them all day long just to keep up with the ripening process. Thank goodness for visitors arriving today to help us eat them all!
La Casita, the little house
The house in town that we are going to rent is finished inside at last. After plumbing and gas problems everything was finally sorted and we were able to do all the nice things like buying light fittings and furniture. Everything in the house is new and ready for the first guests next week so we hope that our little business venture will be a success. I'm hoping to be able to fill the balconies with flowers but at the moment it is so hot and dry that plants are not surviving well anywhere, least of all on sun drenched balconies in town so I may have to opt for fake versions until it cools down!
More and better Spanish
After a distinct lack of progress on the language front over the past couple of months I'm beginning to feel a little more confident. My comprehension has definitely improved though I'm not sure how. I went to a short course of conversation classes in July and found it really helpful. I'm planning to go to regular classes, two hours twice a week, from September. Fred is booked in for a two-week intensive course for beginners - four hours a day plus homework should be pretty demanding!
Sent by: Sue