The harvest continues to stagger on. Just when John thinks he will have seen the back of all his combining, the rain sets in.
Currently this is all theoretical for me as I have abandoned hearth and home for the delights of a blue sky and cool pool. When I arranged to take my granddaughter Jess to Spain for a week’s holiday, harvest should have been complete. Instead of which I am consumed with guilt that we are lounging by my sister’s pool and John is fretting about the rain. At least that is what I tell him.
Here in Andalucia harvest has been and gone. Parched fields of stubble fill the countryside and the black fighting bulls, toros, which this area is renowned for look hot, bothered, and ready for a dusty dust up. Just what they are bred for.
Before we left some of my broody hens started to come good by bringing off clutches of guinea fowl chicks.
My original flock of guinea fowl have suddenly gone into prolific laying mode. I think it is because they have been adopted by a neighbour who buys them superior poultry food to the scraps and scrapings they get from around the farm. Now they congregate in front of her house as soon as she bangs a metal dish. I go near them and they fly off. Not surprised as I have no good intentions. She bangs the dish and they grovel at her door. Now their eggs are bigger than previously and so many more. I love a set of good neighbours.
Come to think of it despite this being a popular area for gypsies, gitanos, and in previous times a lot of them came to the house selling eggs, we have seen none. Perhaps they have decamped elsewhere. No farmhouses have hens, gallinas, scratching around outside, so we have bought our eggs, huevos, from the supermarket, supermercado. I shall be like a foreigner when I go back home, domicilio.
Despite my leaving John a dedicated freezer full of steaks, pies, crumbles and cakes he has hardly touched them because of all the sympathy invites he gets when I leave him.
He has also taken advantage of the time not spent on the combine to continue with hedge cutting both our own field boundaries and also neighbours’ hedges.
He needs to crack on with the roadside hedges as we have a team of council workers preparing to descend on us to widen our lane, and the notices we have been sent warn that the road will be closed for approximately ten weeks.
When they first approached us we could anticipate no problems as harvest should have been completed. A slight panic is now setting in. We can negotiate a route inland, but it will be cumbersome for the combine if the road gets cut off whilst it is still working, and it may have to be parked up inland for a few weeks until we can bring it home.
Ah well. John can always join me in Spain. Till then, adios amigos.