Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Moron market

Wednesday is market day in Moron, a twenty five minute drive north of Olvera, so we jumped in the jalopy and went to have a look.

The market is set up in a car park area just outside of the bullring. We parked the car and took a stroll around.
It was quite busy with lots of stalls, mainly selling clothes.

Live snails anyone ?.

Anne searching for that elusive bargain !!

As with all markets, the traders travel around different towns and villages each day of the week. Anne bought some dates and prunes from this stall and the lady recognised us as being from Olvera, which was quite nice.
Three weeks or so ago at the market in Olvera, we noticed that she had some dried chilli peppers on her stall, very hot. We only needed a few grammes so she kindly gave us them for free, which was quite unexpected.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Churro chomping

A popular place for breakfast on a Sunday morning is the churro kiosk, on Plaza de la Concordia by the Adult Training Centre. I normally take a stroll there when Anne decides to do the house to get out of the way!
Churro is a fried dough, pastry based snack piped into a large gas fired fat fryer and deep fried for a few minutes until crispy.
They can then be eaten as I do, straight from the fryer or taken home to be dipped in chocolate or eaten with fruit.
I normally ask for two "ruedas" (rounds) at 40 centimos each, which I find sufficient.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Adopt a dog!!

This is Jackie, our neighbour's dog, who is gradually working, or should I say creeping his way towards and into our house.....thanks to the gentle coaxing of Anne.
Normally, Jackie is to be found sitting outside his house, basking in the sun, barking and chasing away strangers and generally those people that he doesn't like, which is mostly everyone.
Peppie, our beloved pooch, is absolutely besotted with him so I don't think it will be too long before he makes it up that final step and into the house.

Pink Cadillac......!!

Not quite but definately a black Lincoln Continental Mark V. We came upon this monster car this morning at the bottom of street. In fantastic condition and highly polished, I just hope that it wasn't being taken out for a tour of Olvera as it would never get around some of the streets.

Kathie, John and Amy

We had met Kathie, John and their daughter Amy at a recent wedding we had all attended and they had kindly invited us out to visit them at their house. So this morning we left Olvera for the short twenty minute or so drive south to Los Villalones John had advised us of the location but warned that if you blinked we would miss the village. Of course we did and duly ended up ringing John for directions. Amy met us on the road and we drove up to the house which was in a stunning location amid surrounding farmland. This is the entrance to the house, surrounded on one side by a carpet of flowers.

John and Kathie bought the house about three years ago when it was derelict and have been slowly restoring it and turning it into a lovely home. Along the way they have also managed to adopt five cats.

This is the view of the outside patio, providing welcome shelter from the heat of the day.

Amy, Anne, Kathie and John.

The view of the house as we were leaving, giving an idea of it's isolation.
We had a really nice time drinking coffee, eating cake and biscuits and generally putting the world to rights. Before we knew it, nearly three hours had passed so we thought we had better head off home.
They are a smashing family and we look forward to meeting up again soon.
Linked posts:

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Parque Jardines de la Victoria

Another chilled out day in Olvera;the sun is back out and temperatures in the mid twenties. Nothing much to do today except nip down to the Correos (Post Office) to send a letter to our friends Ralph & Lesley in Randwick. After posting the letter, we sat down for a while in the park opposite, which I believe is called the Parque Jardines de la Victoria, built above a recently completed covered car park. Just a few pics of the flora and fauna starting to bloom.

According to Anne, this plant is called the "toilet brush" plant, quickly changed to it's proper name of "bottle brush" after a few moments thought.
We sat for about twenty or so minutes then started off for home. Calling in at the supermarket to replenish the vino we bumped into Stan, who with his wife Chris moved here from Weston Super Mare three weeks ago. We had a chat about settling in, the various bureaucratic processes in Spain and the weather of course.
Leaving Stan, we tootled off home to bump into near neighbour Bill who was off downtown to sort a few things out. Gerry, his wife, is away in Madrid at the moment so Bill has been doing some minor repairs to the house.

Tomorrow we are off to Pruna market again as Anne wants to buy another blouse, similar to the one she bought a couple of weeks ago.
John, who we met at the wedding last weekend, rang us yesterday and invited us out to his house in the small hamlet of Villalones on Saturday morning for a coffee so we are really looking forward to that. No doubt pictures will follow with a post on Saturday.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

The Wedding

We were very privileged after such a short time here to have been invited to the wedding of Esteban and Barbara, daughter of our neighbour Anna fron across the street. The ceremony was set to start at 5.30 pm at the church of Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios, just outside Olvera.
Unfortunately, the weather as it has been most of the week, was wet and windy but the show had to go on.
We arrived at the church not quite knowing what to expect. Barbara turned up on time to meet with Esteban at the altar. The church is not very big and there were as many guests standing outside as were able to be seated in the church. Throughout the ceremony everyone remained standing and before we knew it the happy couple were emerging as man and wife just after the church clock chimed for six o'clock.

Esteban and Barbara emerging as man and wife. It is a tradition here to throw rice and upon leaving the church there was a deluge of rice thrown.

Anna, our neighbour and proud mum in green with Rosalia, Barbara's sister.

The bride and groom toasted each other and then threw the empty glasses over their shoulders into the assembled gathering.

We met up with a lovely English trio, Kathie, Amy and John who were friends of Esteban. Kathie and John live out in the campo and have been here about five years. Their daughter Amy joined them about six months ago. They don't live too far away from us so we are planning a trip to see them soon.
We followed the example of others and left the church to return for the reception at the "Celebraciónes de Madrid", a large banqueting and dance hall just on the outskirts of Olvera at 9.30 that evening.

The bride and groom arriving. There must have been at least five hundred guests assembled at the reception, many of whom we knew from our travels in and around Olvera .

We met up again with Kathie, John and Amy. Honestly, John was there but for whatever reason I didn't get a picture of him. My apologies John if you ever read this.
It also appears to be a tradition that the bride and groom hand out "favours" to their guests. For the men were inscribed pens, for the ladies a decorative lapel pin and a small pot pourri.
We all enjoyed a delicious four or five course meal........I lost count after a few free beers and wines.

After the meal and the distribution of the favours, everyone retired to the bar and the disco at the end of the hall.

We saw a table and chairs being set up in the middle of the dance floor and assumed that it was for some of the children to sit and enjoy the celebrations. We were sitting slightly further back in the hall at this time with Barbara's mother Anna when she said "go, go, you enjoy", so we went to have a look at what was going on.
Barbara arrived and proceeded to climb onto a chair and then to stand on the table. At this point, she lifted her dress to reveal about twelve garters. Esteban then dutifully removed one garter at a time and proceeded to place it on the leg of a guest selected by Barbara to receive it. This is a tradition I was beginning to like more and more.
The disco resumed and eventually at three in the morning, we decided to take our leave and go home after a really fantastic day.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Panel heater panic!!

Well not quite as the title suggests. Those who view us in España will probably be familiar with the wall panel heaters, that are widely advertised here as a cheap method of heating and to be fair in my opinion work really well as background heat.
We bought one from Leroy Merlin (similar to B&Q or Homebase) in Jerez last October which initially worked fine but after about six weeks the on/off switch went bing, bang, bosh, small explosion and then fell apart. So slightly annoyed at the thought of another 100 mile round trip, although knowing that the unit was guaranteed for two years, we took it back to the shop. No quibble, it was replaced immediately.
Off we trek home, refit the unit and settle down for hopefully a warm winter.

In February, the switch starts to play up again and rather than take it off the wall we place some sellotape over it to try and keep it stable and switch the unit on and off by the mains plug. However, recently we have felt uncomfortable about leaving the unit on while we were out of the house in case the same thing happens as before. So today commonsense prevailed. We got up early and we took it back to Jerez.
Arriving at Leroy's about 10.30, we went to the returns desk to be informed that there were no exchange units available.....hopefully not a sign of stock shortage due to returns!! However, if we were willing to go to the San Fernando branch it would be happily exchanged, no problemo. You can't miss it, right next to Media Markt. How far is it we ask. Not sure in kilometres we are told but should only take fifteen minutes in the car. With a "mucho gracias, hasta luego" and armed with a hand drawn map from the customer advisor, off we go to San Fernando.

Turning left out of the car park, we look for signs saying Puerta de Santa Maria and Sanlucar, heading towards Cadiz. Several roundabouts later we pass the hospital as shown on the map and start heading out of Jerez in what we believe to be the right direction. After about 20 minutes we start seeing signs for San Fernando. Heading into the town, we start to have doubts that as to whether we are in the right area so we stop at a garage to ask directions. Si, si, turn around and take the Autovia (Motorway) towards Cadiz and look for the Poligorno (Industrial Estate) and you will see Leroy Merlin on your right. "Mucho gracias"and off we go again.

It is now about 45 minutes after leaving Jerez, which is only about 18 kms from Cadiz, but armed with firm instructions we head onto the Autovia towards Cadiz. After 10 minutes, lo and behold there it is, right next to Media Markt as we were originally told.

Slightly the worse for wear, we go into the shop and again there is a no quibble exchange. So armed with our new heater we get back into the car and head for the hills back on the Autovia towards Malaga and Sevilla.
After about twenty minutes driving, the area is starting to look familiar and yes, over to our right is the Jerez branch of Leroy Merlin.
We realised immediately what we had done. After leaving the shop in Jerez we had turned left instead of right as instructed. The moral of this sad tale......learn Spanish and listen!!. We are trying.

A footnote to Dave & Heather......thanks for your recent best wishes. The pictures of the house are really great. Hope all is going well now and that the business takes off. You deserve it.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Marital bliss

Today is our first wedding anniversary so I thought I'd just put a couple of pics up to remind us of what a lovely day it was and to show how beautiful my wife looked on the day........and still does of course.
We've come a long way in the last year.....not only in distance to Spain but in getting to know each other, living together full time and learning each other's ways and I'd just like to say to Anne that without you it just wouldn't have been the same. All in all, although we've had our moments, it has been the best year of my life and I look forward to many, many more in the future.
Thanks to all who have sent cards. They are much appreciated.