Tuesday, 24 June 2008

In Spain

I've been down to Spain to visit Jemima and Cody in their flat in Vejer de la Frontera. Jemima has been living there since Christmas and this was the first time I had managed to go over.

This is the street where they live.

Their patio is against one of the old castle walls, and one evening Jemima and I Shinned up for a look over the roof of the castle. It was lovely up there and you could see for miles.

This is the view over the town from the castle roof.

We were about fifteen miles from the sea, so one morning we went to Cape Trafalgar where Nelson met his Waterloo.

The lighthouse at Cape Trafalgar. Late night radio addicts will know it comes after Finesterre in the shipping forecast.

All along the coast were the sad remains of wrecked dinghies that had been washed up. They started out in Africa with illegal immigrants hoping to make a new life in Europe, but many of them don't survive the journey. The Straits of Gibraltar are now so closely patrolled that it would be impossible to even swim across it without being spotted.

While I was there, Jemima collected her kitten from Cody's mum Caroline. At last it was old enough to leave it's mother. It is a sweet little thing, tabby and covered in fleas. They have named him Whitby after the town in which Cody was born. Cody persuaded it to help him tidy up the patio, and Whitby got so tired he fell asleep in the dustpan.

Caroline is brilliant and we spent some time at her house. I won't print her picture as she wouldn't like it. She screwed her face up just as I was clicking!

Cody and Jemima having a hug!

Jemima and Whitby having a hug.

Back home now from a very enjoyable trip and once more my garden seems to have excelled itself in getting out of control as soon as I turn my back on it.

This afternoon I saw a Nuthatch climbing up one of the sycamore trees. I excitedly told Maalie. "Nah", he said, "it was probably a Great Tit". "No it wasn't", I replied. "Well it was probably a Chaffinch moulting". "Certainly not", I cried. "Well" he said, "then it was an escaped budgerigar". "Rubbish!!" Then he said, "it couldn't have been a Nuthatch as I haven't any nut trees".

Game, Set and Match to Maalie!


Maalie said...

Actually, I am sure it was a nuthatch. At this time of year when the young have fledged they can turn up almost anywhere, especially in such a diverse garden as yours, even if there are no nut trees.

Nice post about Spain - Jemima looks great as always. Muchacha es muy heremosa. Shame about the cats. I guess you are leaving your discourse on the birds you saw in Spain for your next post?

Jemima-Jemoo said...

Thanks for the nice post about Vejer and for not mentioning that I starved you and wouldnt let you go to bed until an appropriately "Spanish" time. I would be really embarrassed if that got out.

And thanks for the compliment Maalie. I thought a looked a bit pink and over excited myself!

lorenzothellama said...

Jemima: you certainly didn't starve me of wine or those rum things we had one evening before I fell over!

Loads of birds Maalie but a deficit of photos!

Maalie said...

Jemima, I can imagine you getting a bit pink and over-excited in the arms of such a good-looking fellow as that.

tut-tut said...

All in all, it sounds divine . . . What a happy and lovely pair they make.

Sez said...

That looks like a place to be. Normally I would say "Not nearly as cool as New Zealand" except it has been downright cold here. And raining. And snowing.

I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, and Jemima and Cody too! Big cuddles for Whitby.

Love Ju's Little Sister (posting under a false name...)

lorenzothellama said...

Dear Sez,
Glad you are incognito JLS!

Merisi said...

Everything and everyone looks so great and summery! I don't need my imagination to feel the heat, Vienna having moved to the South weatherwise, nearing 30°C right now.
Lorenzo, I sure hope you did manage a few tapas sans rhum, drowning them with wine or such. ;-)

lorenzothellama said...

One night Merisi, Jemima and I went on a 'tapas crawl' but we actually only went to two bars as at the second one we met up with a lot of Jemima's friends and then the rum things were brought on! I know what they are called in Spanish, but don't know how to spell it. Maybe like 'mojitas'. Anyway, they were delicious, made out of rum, brown sugar, soda water and loads of fresh mint shoved in. They were a funny greyish colour, a bit like the water you find in a drain, but tasted wonderful. After a few of those (after a few glasses of wine) the tapas crawl didn't seem to matter!

Anonymous said...

Nice photos of Jemima, less keen on the cat.


The Lone Beader said...

I love the nuthatch!

Maalie said...

Jack: Here here!

Well I never found these rum things in Spain. But I'm due back next April so I will have to find out :-)

Mima said...

What wonderful photos of Mima and Cody, it looks as if you had a wonderful time. I used to live in Grand Cayman, and when my Mum came out to stay we used to party her quite hard too! I know the rum cocktail that you are talking about, you get it everywhere in Cuba, and a few places in Cayman too - very refreshing in the sun.

I love the kitten - but not the fleas, he is really sweet. My first cat when I was younger was tabby, but my current beloved companion is black!

You can get nuthatches without nut trees, where I used to live I had one that came around a lot!

Magdalene said...

Hi Lorenzo! I still love you, I'm just being a rebellious non blogger for a while.

What a lovely post and great pics as always, though I had a strong desire to 'Frontline' Jemima as well as the kitten, bet she got well bitten.

As for Nuthatches and Maalie; I've never seen him photographed playing a very old piano, but that doesn't stop him from being a plonker! :-) (Sorry Maalie, I meant runcible.)

Jemima-Jemoo said...

I have been busy "Frontlining" the kitten. We had to soak him in water before we applied the stuff - he looked so skinny and bemused that afterwards we put him on the patio to dry out where we wouldn´t have to see such a sorry sight .... To pay us back the little bugger then managed to get himself stuck inside an open pipe that passes over the perilously high courtyard inside the house. Cody had to poke him with a mop until he figured out how to turn around and crawl back out, whilst I clutched my cheeks and worried he would fall.

He´s a bit less flea-y now, but still bouncing around the house with a surprised look on his face.

...Infact he´s just come in and wants to sit on the keyboard. Who teaches cats these annoying tricks?

lorenzothellama said...

Perhaps he's been in touch with Scaredy and Plumpy!

Martin Stickland said...

Gosh you are a well traveled little sausage!

Spain looks nice, oh how I wish I was there eating their ,local pumpernickel and Turkish delight.

How are you? keeping well I hope and I see you big Bro has surfaced.

Bye for now.

God speed and all that!


Ex-Shammickite said...

There are fleas in Spain?????

Jemima-Jemoo said...

They try to hide the fact they are fleas by calling them pulgas but I know a flea when I see one, even if it is talking a funny language...

...actually that´s not true, when I first saw Wibby´s fleas I thought they were ants.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I was all over the place (pics will be blogged), and certainly didn't call in at Poynton Deli (wherever that is) so it would have been hard to plan a meeting.
Plus I didn't have any transport and had to sponge off rellies.
Plus you were in Spain.
Well, I suppose I could have enjoyed a week or two in Spain.
Great idea, next time I go to Uk, I'll go to Spain instead.
Seedy Soho has to wait for next time, I only had 1 day in the Big Smoke, had to stay legal.
And No, didn't go to CM, too many other places to go and people to see.

Merisi said...

The pulgas reminded me of this song about a water flea, "La pulce d'acqua", sung by the Italian cantautore Angelo Branduardi:
Italian version
E' la pulce d'acqua
che l'ombra ti rubò
e tu ora sei malato
e la mosca d'autunno
che hai schiacciato
non ti perdonerà.
Sull'acqua del ruscello
forse tu troppo ti sei chinato,
tu chiami la tua ombra,
ma lei non ritornerà.
E' la pulce d'acqua
che l'ombra ti rubò
e tu ora sei malato
e la serpe verde
che hai schiacciato
non ti perdonerà.
E allora devi a lungo cantare
per farti perdonare
e la pulce d'acqua che lo sa
l'ombra ti renderà.

French version
C'est la demoiselle
Marchant sur le ruisseau
Qui t'a rendu bien malade.
Elle t'a pris ton ombre, ton rire, ta joie.
Et ne reviendra pas.

Dans le grand silence.
Des souvenirs perdus.
Tu trembles et tu t'agites.
Tu veux ton enfance, ton ombre, ta voix.
Elles ne reviendront pas.

C'est la demoiselle.
Marchant sur le ruisseau.
qui t'a rendu bien malade.
elle t'a pris ton ombre, ton rire, ta voix.

Mais qui te les rendra?

Ex-Shammickite said...

The saddest picture is the wrecked boat filled with sand. It could tell quite a tale, I'm sure.

lorenzothellama said...

Jemima says that sometimes bodies are washed up along the coast. I thought it was very sad, and some of the wrecks are just a few planks of wood.

Mima said...

Those poor refugees, it says something about the life that they are living that they are prepared to risk everything on a little boat that is non to seaworthy. Awful to have bodies washing up.

Hope that the frontline worked!!

菩提樹之舞: Mind Dancer said...

Nice photos you got there, especially the nuthatch!

Jemima-Jemoo said...

The kitten seems to still be supporting a range of bouncing insects. Which could be responsible for the hyperactive behaviour it has been displaying of late. At the moment it is especially fond of making these vertical leaps into the air, which it executes with all four paws leaving the floor at the same time. It is also enjoying walking on it´s hind legs.

It is very sad seeing the boats washed up on shore. They often still have blankets and waterbottles in them which makes imagining their trip even easier. It is also a criminal offence to help anybody that has come into the country illegally, for example by giving them a lift.

I´ve not heard of any being washed up recently. I think it is really hard to cross undetected now.

Can´t really offer any exciting bird sightings, though somebody was getting excited about seeing a Hoopoe in caroline´s garden the other day I think.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Glad you are getting your garden back in order - that is the order of the day for me, but just for a bit of the flowers - there is so much thistle that it takes forever to dig it all out and properly mulch.

Jemima is LOVELY - does she get that from her mum - or her obviously sunny disposition perhaps - I think so!

Ted M. Gossard said...

I'm up, can't sleep. Too much caffeine today, I guess. Not used to it, like I thought I used to be, so I think there's a buzz going on in my head.

But very nice pics and Spain sort of fascinates me, always did as I used to be a student of especially American history from Christopher Columbus on. And the Spanish venture in the New World I used to identify with, until you Brits came along and spoiled it! But then I kind of identified with you Brits, or British people I should say. Oh, all of Europe is fascinating to me including the UK.

But nice pics and glad you folks had a nice time, Lorenzo. And great photo of that bird. We get quite a few out here in our front yard at our bird feeder. They came right to our side door step more than once today, making alot of noise. I just wish we had more of a variety around here, mostly sparrows with a few other kinds thrown in- some sort of woodpecker got into our garage and we couldn't get it out, and it sadly died there.

Ex-Shammickite said...

Lorezo, I just wrote a long long story... you might like it!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Sorry, I dropped your 'n', I hope I didn't break it.

Maria said...

Thanks to coming over to my blog!
Nice to see your spanish pictures!
I love them all, BUT: specially the little cat ;)
Thank you also for your encouraging words concerning my non-smoking...
Now it's 6 weeks! :)
Regards, Maria

Maalie said...

Lorenzo / Merisi

May I make so bold as to suggest an English translation of the above verses.

It's the demoiselle*
Walking on the brook
That has made you quite ill.
She has taken your spirit**, your smile, your joy.
And not to be returned.

In the great silence
Of the lost memories
You tremble and you are shaken.
You want your childhood your spirit, your voice.
They will not come back.

It's the demoiselle
Walking on the brook
That has made you quite ill.
She has taken your spirit, your smile, your voice.
And not to be returned.

But who will give them back to you?

*Literally "young lady" but in this context clearly an undefined water creature.

** Literally "shadow".

Translation by Maalie

lorenzothellama said...

I thought a demoiselle was a Daddy Long Legs.

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

My goodness we were in Spain at the same time then...just not the same end of it.....