Over the past four weeks we have seen temperatures as high as
42 C, cold winds (well, cold for here) of 16 C, and now high
winds. The windmill is booming and groaning in the wind.
Roll on the balmy summer days...
The largest agricultural show in the Canary Islands is held right here on Fuerteventura, and it is a big event. Feaga 2015 was held, as it is every year, at the agricultural research station at Pozo Negro, which for us is just down the road. I was like a small boy in a sweet shop, looking at plants, compost and machinery, though I don't think Wendy was particularly impressed. It was brilliant for me as it was an opportunity to meet all the suppliers from here and other islands. The whole show had a party atmosphere with a band and octogenarian couples doing the tango.
However, Wendy did find some animals to coo over, and I made friends with a donkey.
The little greenhouse is finished and all up and running. We spent hours and hours sewing the netting onto the steel frame using fishing line, Wendy on one side and me on the other. When it was finished I went inside and found that the wind was pretty much as strong inside as outside. I should have used a finer mesh! So, we went back to sewing on another layer of shade netting onto the bottom half. With that done I put in a water tap, built a potting bench from scrap wood, and started propagating!
Planting a garden here is challenging to say the least. The plants are either being scorched, blasted with a cold wind, or being dug up by DOGS!!
Yes, we have two dogs now. The new arrival is Pongo. His previous name was Apollo which really didn't suit. He is a pedigree labrador, three years old who spent two years of his life being chained up. He is very good natured and gets on really well with Goofy. But, like Goofy, he has bad habits. One of these is that he likes getting himself wet and then rolling in the dust so that he ends up looking like a cuddly brown bear. This has only happened once at the Finca, but then we took them to the beach at the weekend, and here they are.
That's Pongo on the left and Goofy on the right.
And now here he is looking as he should.
He and Goofy are the best of friends and neither seems dominant over the other.
Talking of dogs, I recently noticed the dog food was disappearing rather rapidly. Then I saw a hole in the bag and noticed mouse droppings on the floor. So, off to the Chinese shop for a 'trampa' (mouse trap).
The last time I used one of these was when I was a student. I discovered that my notes were being chewed up. A mouse trap with a vicious spring and a lump of cheese worked very well. But, the mouse was caught by its neck and was still alive, with its back end and feet hanging off the trap. I thought it would be humane to drop it into a bucket full of water, which I did. Then, when I checked on it ten minutes later, I saw that the trap with the mouse was floating, and the mouse was propelling himself through the water round and round the bucket, as if it was on a surf board.
This time the mouse was caught by his tail, and was still alive. I took the easy way out and released him in town where I hoped he could carry on a reasonable life, albeit with a broken tail.
The refurbishing work continues, made easier by re-employing David the 'peon'. The spare bedroom is now finished and pretty well ready for occupation should anyone be travelling here. The downstairs bathroom will also be 'tarted' up with a bit of paint. And we now have curtains starting to appear on the windows. It is almost like a home!
Modifications are also being made to Mr Goofy's and Mr Pongo's house. The other day the roof threatened to lift off in the wind. Some four by two's and steel brackets were called for. Pongo is casting a critical eye.
It is not all work here, though it seems like it much of the time. We had a weekend off in Lanzarote staying in the capital Arrecife in a hotel which is the tallest building on the island. We had a room with a view!
The island is fascinating, if you avoid the tourist traps like Puerto del Carmen. The artist Cesar Manrique built a lovely cave house which you can walk through. Many of the walls and paths are finished in a smooth white painted concrete which contrast beautifully with the black volcanic stone. My favourite was the window through which you could see volcanic rock and cacti. Inside the window more rocks and cacti had been placed which allowed the landscape to continue seamlessly inside.
Also extraordinary is the system of planting of grape vines. Each plant position is hollowed out and a semi circular wall loosely constructed to shelter the plants from the wind. A rather extensive system of agriculture but one which appears to be profitable. Certainly, some of the red wines from Lanzarote are excellent.
It seems that Aloe vera plants have little value. I have advertised mine on 'Segundamano.com' at a give away price but so far no takers.
I suppose we could always strip the leaves and fill the bath with Aloe vera gel then soak ourselves in it. This just may make us look young and beautiful again.