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Spanish Secrets: Broken Promises

A glass of chilled white wine, a delicious scarlet-red strawberry and a golden-orange sunset accompanied by natures wildlife chorus the ideal way to end the day

First there are days of sticky 100 degree heat, then comes a storm, then life continues on its delightful way in Craig Briggss quiet corner of Galicia.

A week-long spell of 100˚ temperatures came to a spectacular conclusion yesterday evening.

For almost a week, our small area of Galicia enjoyed national prominence as the hottest place in Spain. Humidity of 100% accompanied this sizzling summer weather, making the simplest of physical tasks a rather sticky affair.

Atmospheric rumblings from the south-east alerted us to the climatic change. An ominous blanket of darkening grey clouds rolled across the horizon. White fluffy billows set against an azure background were blown away by the advancing storm. The early rumblings quickly changed to loud cracks of thunder echoing through the sinister miasma.

The setting sun shone brightly in the western sky, projecting a colourful rainbow deep within the body of this foreboding tempest. Uniform stripes of pastel colours rose from the earth, their characteristic arc cut short by the low cloud.

At least we wont have to water the garden, I thought.

A few droplets of rain began to splash on the driveway. So large they were clearly visible as they plummeted to the ground. A random pattern of perfect circles dampened the drive. To the north-east, phosphorous-white forks of lightening plunged to the earth in the blink of an eye, illuminating the dark sky.

Unfortunately for us, the promised tropical downpour skirted the edge of our village.

Wed have to water the garden after all.

The storm clouds rolled away to the north, grumbling as they departed. Despite the broken promise of rain it had kindly dragged away the clammy air, replacing it with a cooler fresher ambience.

Earlier in the week wed taken respite from the searing heat by rising early and benefiting from the fresher morning air. Id enjoy a stimulating mug of coffee sitting under the back porch in the bright sunlight.

I wasnt the only one taking advantage of these cool conditions. All manner of birds went about their morning chores accompanied by the reverberating song of a tiny nightingale.

Later in the day the temperatures soared. On one blazingly hot afternoon a pair of storks, nesting nearby, gave their five young offspring a gliding lesson. They circled effortlessly on the rising thermals.

In the early evenings wed amble down the garden, into our allotment. The days scorching temperature had taken its toll on our young vegetables. Wilting leaves and sad-looking salads cried out in silence for a re-energizing drink. With lengthening shadows from the setting sun wed duly oblige.

The discovery of a peach tree laden with tiny fruit came as a welcome surprise. Id taken great care with the unknown tree since its discovery two years earlier. Its variety remained a mystery until a month ago. I noticed tiny velvet-coated fruit hanging from its thin branches. I suspect it originated from a casually discarded stone, no doubt from the lunch-box of one of the builders.

Since its discovery Ive learnt it could possibly be an almond tree. Apparently it is difficult to distinguish between the two at this early stage. That might be true, but I prefer to think of it as a peach tree.

After watering the allotment we treat ourselves to the days ripened strawberries.

A glass of chilled white wine, a delicious scarlet-red strawberry and a golden-orange sunset accompanied by natures wildlife chorus the ideal way to end the day.

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Copyright 2006 Craig Briggs


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