Friday, 21 February 2014

we've moved

we've moved

no, don't get excited, not into the new house, just our blog........
We've changed our name and host

please come and visit us, we'd love you to follow us, we're hoping staying in touch will be easier

this is where we are:

hope to see you soon

Monday, 10 February 2014

bless you dear cat

sadly a few weeks ago, I had to have my darling Lulu put down, she'd been off and on poorly for a while,  living outside had not agreed with her (long story) but she was nearly 16 and I'd say thats pretty good going, she'd used up all her lives with various accidents and poisonings, not to mention being mauled (practically to death) by 4 puppies
what a fantastic cat

Blossom and Lulu on the schist trail

 Stanley and lulu, the best of friends

Fred and Lulu chilling on the stairs

 and just when she thought life would be a bit quieter in her very old age, along came Woody

spring is coming, honest

it's hard to believe, especially when it does what it did today, but spring is on it's way.....

honest it is, I promise

No, seriously, it is

If you listen carefully and look beneath the piles of sodden leaves, mud, relentlessly grey and weeping skies there are springy things happening everywhere

a small peek under their winter covers reveals fruit on all the citrus trees, some are bearing fruit that have never borne fruit before


we've only had one landslide this year (so far!!) and luckily the local council are friends, so they happily removed this boulder which Woody tried to shove out of the way....bless

slowly, slowly everything will dry out and before you know it, it'll be scorchio again and the rivers will have run dry and we'll all be dreaming of rain and the winter will seem like an age ago

hard to imagine, but true

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

happy christmas and all that

happy christmas to all our readers and followers, thanks for supporting us throughout the year, it's been another roller-coaster ride and it's not over, so please continue to send us comments or just check in and make sure we are still ok and haven't killed each other!!!!!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

olives and oil and puppies

it's over, for another year and i'm relieved......

we had every kind of weather, sometimes all in one day

our wonderful new dog caused a lot of chaos and mayhem, dragging the nets around, dragging other stuff around, stealing Rick's tea, stealing my pruning saw and loppers and gloves and anything he could get his teeth into, his antics also included falling off a terrace backwards (whilst dragging an olive branch) and damaging his retinal nerves which required several trips to the vets

475 kilos of olives

60 litres of oil 

our biggest haul yet


sometimes things happen and you can't fathom out why? often, on an intellectual level, you can understand the cause and effect, or the sequence of events that led to the thing occurring. but, when its something that matters to you emotionally, sometimes then, despite all your best efforts to make sense of it, especially at the time it occurs, it fails to make any sense what-so-ever, and leaves you in a void of emptiness, and loss, sometimes even a loss of faith.

this is the situation we found ourselves in. earlier this year when we lost our dog fred. he died of kidney failure as a result of Leischmania, a viral infection carried by a sand fly ( when we arrived here, a few years ago we first heard of the disease, but at that point only a strain of it that affected the skin and eyes of dogs, which if left untreated resulted in death. subsequently we have found there are other strains of the disease that affect dogs, and also humans. 

none of it made any sense. i can't begin to explain the sense of trauma and loss we felt at the time. for 2 weeks we ferried fred back and forth to the vets, in the vain hope that he might pull thru. we thought he deserved every chance. he was an incredibly fit dog, who never showed any fear or pain or suffering, possibly to his detriment, as he only showed symptoms of the disease right before he passed away from it.

a week before, he was leaping up sheer rock faces fox hunting, that's the kind of dog he was. we never imagined he would go like that, what seemed more likely, was that he would be gored by the wild boar he was always hunting and chasing. 

if i had felt my bond strong with stanley, my first dog, who died of the kind of complications that set in in old age, only shortly after we got here, then it was hard to describe the bond i shared with fred. it was stronger, he was so very much my dog. he was the dog i dreamed of,  almost like i had dreamed him into existence, or that he and i had dreamed our relationship into being. we were devoted to each other.

he was so very alive. i have never seen another dog like him. i guess we knew he wouldn't live long, nothing that shines that brightly can. he filled our lives in a way that nothing else did, and the subsequent vacuum his departure caused was nothing other than immense. like being stranded in deep space, unable to breathe, drfting. it has taken me since june to come to terms with it enough that i can bring myself to write something.

not that it was in any way like falling off a bicycle, but the desire to get another dog was very strong. it felt, at the time, like the only way, the only thing to do, that might in some way bring some resolution to our pain. some might say that's a funny reason to get a dog, but it was only perhaps the motivating reason. we had been talking about it, as we always do about other dogs.

there were some criteria for another dog, we wanted another hunt point retrieve dog, one that might afford us the opportunity of working with him. and thats how we found woody. in spain, in a little village not far from the astonishing castle of penafiel (, and the wine caverns of aranda de duero (

woody is a deutsch drahthaar  ( and he's very funny. he is also very (or wery) wuffly. 

i guess the point i'm trying to make is, you can't have everything, everything has its time, and sometimes just to astonish you, something amazing can show up just when you really need it to.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

what autumn means to me

misty mornings

and fantastic sunsets

butterflies on sun warmed rocks

grasses like sparklers

magical birches

old dogs in fine fettle

evening snacks are free and plentiful

seeds with tree potential

and food for birds

lichen that only grows where the air is clean

dappled leafy light

long shadows

and mushrooms

  none of which are edible

strawberry fruits scattered amongst the brown hues

toffee apples for halloween

cake is always available

beans are planted

and new puppies chew everything

what does autumn mean to you?