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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Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Pretty Little Nisperos

The pretty little nisperos in a neighbour's garden; they are not quite ready to eat. Their colour and the dark green pointed oval leaves of the plant have been a pleasure to look at for weeks now.

And in the mountains looking down on Benidorm there are orchards of nisperos.
I know that some people enjoy eating them, but do they have other uses? Jam?

On Shikoku, the fourth largest island of the Japanese archipelago, they were wrapped in brown paper while still on the tree, each fruit. Why?

To keep them clean for the meticulous Japanese customer? To keep birds and insects off them? I think the latter. But I am not sure!

This fruit is also known as the loquat, see Wikipedia for more

For photos of Rolf and Erika's (our Swiss neighbours) house where the nisperos are right now you can click on the link above or go to