Wednesday, 30 December 2009

N332 - up and down on the Costas

There are new facilities on the N332
! This well-known road leads from north to south and vice versa along the Mediterranean coast of Spain. And now the good old N332 has acquired an interesting feature involving oranges and young ladies. Before the motorways came, way back in the 20th century, this national road was the main route from Valencia to Almeria province and back again! As I write these remarks here in my area of the Northern Costa Blanca there will be those of you north and south of me who let this name 'N332'  trip off their tongue several times a day. It is the main road for local travel.There will be many like me who regard the N332 with great familiarity and at least some affection.

I live about 5 kilometres coastward of it. To go south I can join it at Teulada, and to go north I would join just north of Gata de Gorgos - where all those shops selling baskets nestle adjacent to each other. Suppose you leave Gata and drive northwards out of town passing Bricoman (for Bricolage) and continue north. This is the part of the road where I first noticed the young ladies. On both sides the orange groves are open to the road. Very soon you may notice some young ladies standing at the edge of the road. There is often a white plastic chair just behind them in the orange grove, so sometimes they presumably sit rather than parade or pose facing the oncoming traffic.They are not all in one place, you understand, sometimes there might be a girl alone, but more often a pair of girls. 

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