Tuesday, 15 September 2009

A great family to have around.

Meet the Bignonia family.
It's proper name is: Bignoniaceae

Let me come clean: I am going to describe a family of climbing plants that grow quickly in this climate and don't need much looking after. For a new garden in a Mediterranean climate they are a great choice.

This reddish-orange flower in the two photos above is from one of the Bignonia family of climbing shrubs. Its name is Tecoma (also called Tecomaria) Capensis or Cape Honeysuckle. The flowers are about 7 cms long and the leaves are wavy-edged pinnate with five or seven branches. The flowers tumble together in a cluster. For this way of describing plant leaves I have to thank the Royal Horticultural Society's A-Z of Garden Plants. Left to myself I would say that the leaves consist of smaller leaves (or leaflets) arranged opposite each other in pairs plus one leaflet at the end of the stem. And there are either 5 or 7 leaflets on each leaf.
There are also, by the way, other plants growing over the pergola including a Passion Flower - in one photo you can see its bright, starry shape rising above the rest of the growth. This invader has somehow seeded itself somewhere in the foliage.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Soundless Flashes

The night of Sunday 9th August, 2009 the windows of Casa Kaduna lit up with vivid white flashes. Grandfather and Grandmother Bear went outside to enjoy the glorious sky. Was it really lightning? There was no sound of thunder. Across the high wide sky to the north came continuing flashes at intervals of seconds. They illuminated the shapes of clouds, and backlit the MontgĆ³ mountain - you can see its dark silhouette under the clouds in the photo below.

Father Bear and Mother Bear, with Senior and Junior Teenager Bears, were staying with friends in Gandia on this particular night of their Spanish holiday. Meanwhile back in Casa Kaduna Grandfather and Grandmother continued looking with amazement at the white flashes in the sky inset with the narrow zigzags of the lightning forks. Grandmother Bear said to Grandfather Bear, "How far away is that storm do you think?"
"France," he said, "I'm certain it is a long way off."
But Grandmother Bear said, "I don't think so, I think the storm is in Gandia where our family are staying tonight!"
Whereupon Grandfather Bear declared grandly,"France is 600 kilometres from here and Gandia is only 30! We would hear from Gandia."
As if that settled the matter.

The next day Father Bear,

Monday, 20 July 2009

Brits have a blast in Spanish holiday resort

The rocket shot off with a hiss leaving a red tail followed by a brilliant blue scattering light. Shouting and cheering the group of men from the rowing boat by the rocks near Moriara Marina charged the Tourist Office. In the darkness they hacked down the nearest defenders they found inside. The attackers with blackened faces, wearing bandanas and in bare feet swarmed over the interior as the remaining personnel ran off to save their lives. A tall man with long yellow hair marshalled the attackers, now sending them to join in the capture of a small supply ship in the harbour which had been protected by the guns of the fort at Moraira until this moment. He himself remained in the fort with one man and together they spiked the cannons, set a fuse to ignite the powder room, and ran off to

Friday, 19 June 2009

Local bars and grilles

"Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage"

The photo does not show a hermitage but I hope it looks tranquil rather than punitive. I have quoted the words that every schoolboy now in his third age will know - of Richard Lovelace (1618 - 1657). The photo shows an entrance to the lower part of our house from outside, and the stair rail ending there. It is not quite a hermitage, but it is a bedroom with another entrance from the room above.

The photo on the right is a view looking up from the lower terrace where three uses of the iron bars meet (i) on a window ((ii) on a balcony with a blind called Juliet and (iii) as a stair rail from the upper terrace.

And on the left the railing around two sides of the pool gives the swimmer a view of the village. Balustrades would have hidden most of it.


A small window with a grille (called 'una reja' in Spanish). This design was made locally and is typical of the area: the elaborate scroll shape of the lower sides and the curlicues on the top.

Wrought iron gates, of course, at the front of the house.

All of the features shown on this page are to be found in other houses in the area.

Here is the rest of Lovelace's poem, the lines now forgotten by those schoolboys in their third age
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone that soar above
Enjoy such liberty
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