« The "G'' Word | Main | Remember These? »

Spanish Secrets: Starting Summer With A Bang

The sad winter landscape is being re-painted in much brighter colours. Craig Briggs reports “Adding to this colourful palette are the crimson and purple tulips we planted earlier in the year. Their petals greet the rising sun by spreading open. As the sun fades they close like praying hands.’’

Craig writes so colourfully and appealingly about the part of Spain where he lives that he makes you want to instantly catch the first’plane heading for Iberia.

This March was the wettest since we moved here four years ago. The rivers are now swollen, dams overflowing and at one point even low-lying fields became waterlogged. A weatherman might accurately describe March as, “a month-long stream of continuous scattered showers”.

In between passing rain clouds, bright sunshine has injected life into the countryside. The clear cool rainwater has air-brushed the sad winter landscape with lush new shades of green.

Thorny mimosa has burst into bright yellow flower; tiny drops of brilliant sunshine nestle in a prickly home. Early blossoming fruit trees shimmer in the breeze. Pure white petals will soon float away on the wind like bridal confetti.

Adding to this colourful palette are the crimson and purple tulips we planted earlier in the year. Their petals greet the rising sun by spreading open. As the sun fades they close like praying hands.

Sprinkled in between these torch-like tulips, are small clusters of narcissus. Tiny cream petals surround a deep yellow centre; miniature fried eggs, sunny-side up.

There are also signs of life in our kitchen garden; an event which hasn’t gone unnoticed by some unwanted pests. Small green shoots have broken the soils surface in search of light. Thin spiked leaves of onions and garlic have begun their upward growth. Tiny bushy leaves from parallel rows of potatoes have started to show.

No sooner had they made their emergence into the light than Natures feathered pillagers began their aerial assault. Pirate squadrons of bandit magpies have descended on the allotment tugging at the fresh new shoots and pulling the developing onions from their earthy domain.

Fortunately this vegetable plundering appears to be an act of mischief rather than hunger. They leave the uprooted onions scattered around. A quick push and they’re soon replanted and looking as-good-as new.

This vegetative explosion of life is accompanied by far noisier detonations. The annual summer fiesta season has begun, its arrival signalled by a pyrotechnic Pied Piper. To the unfamiliar ear these aerial rumblings sound like distant thunder, or quarry blasting.

From now until August their frequency will increase as small villages hold their annual festivities. As summer draws to a close so will the regularity of the alerts.

This weekend is the wine fiesta in our Parish council of Sober. Most of the wine producers from the prestigious Amandi region gather to celebrate last year’s vintage, sharing their pressings with the local community. It’s an event that, under the supervision of our mayor, has grown annually.

Rachel is our forward thinking mayor and an astute politician. Some areas of her province do not have a continuous supply of water during the hot summer months, but she’s able to cleverly divert attention away from such issues by introducing populist ideas.

Amongst these is a low-cost, year round, five-days-a-week crèche for toddlers from three months old. She’s introducing new leisure services in the form of a riverside bathing and recreation area, currently under construction. And not forgetting free Spanish lessons for the local British community.

Who knows, perhaps one day our few votes might tip the scales of power in her favour? It’s a pleasurable misdirection which, for the purpose of re-election, has so far proved successful.

email address

Copyright © 2006 Craig Briggs


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.