Life in the Mountains

We’ve only been back here a week but it feels like ages as so much has happened. The villagers have once again made us very welcome with fresh milk from their cows, eggs from their chickens and big juicy strawberries which I have for breakfast. We both are still trying to be on holiday and resist the pull to do work around the house and garden but the harder problem is where to start! There are vegetable plots to dig, steps to cut in, weeds to pull, compost bin to make, window frames to varnish,  and I can’t decide on a suitable spot for my beehives. Talking to neighbours who have their own hives, I need a spot that is in the sun all day but I don’t want them near the house or, more importantly, visiting guests! Our garden is big but the open areas are north facing and facing south, fruit trees and grapevines create too much shadow. What a dilemma! In the meantime, a neighbour has set one up with his so I can learn.

I want to get as much growing as I can in the remaining summer months but already we are harvesting resident organic fruit and veg. Today I made 2 kg of cherry jam and gave a jar to each of our nearest neighbours. First time I’ve ever made it and it’s delicious. One neighbour liked it so much he picked all his strawberries and asked me to turn them into jam. I was happy to oblige but it’s more due to the clean air and sunny weather that the fruit and so my jam is so tasty.
Things seem to grow bigger up the mountain and GPS tells me we’re 2518 feet above sea level. Our gardener has planted onions, garlic and lettuce that have set seeds in odd places so I have transplanted them and the tall white flowers on the patio border are just blooming.

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The weather has been wonderful, constantly changing from blue sky and sunshine (sometimes too hot to be outside, especially in the afternoons, but our house is always lovely and cool inside) to heavy and overcast with the rumble of thunder and flashes of fork lightening in the distance. And when the wind is blowing it is warm inside our house. What a clever home to have! Today was the first day the rain actually came to our village and according to the locals, very needed for the wild mushrooms – something else we want to do. Yesterday we went for a photo excursion which ended up being an off road adventure as tracks opened up to put our Land Rover to its test. Oh what fun we’re having!!!

Everyday I hear cuckoos, see eagles and woodpeckers and the chirping crickets never tire. Fireflies dart about in the evening garden while the sun sets beautiful pinks and purple over the mountain tops. We really have found a slice of heaven.

Melly

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