Last month saw us getting the school redecorated and fitted with televisions for showing online teaching material. It is incredible how dirty the children must be that we have to repaint the school every year! On top of that is the blutack to scrape off the walls and the chewing gum to scrape off the underside of the tables.
Here I am framing a very nice world map which I found on the Spanish Amazon site. There are many stories of how things bought on Amazon never arrive here, so I was surprised to get a phone call from DHL saying they had a delivery for me. An hour or two later the DHL van pulled up outside the school and in he came struggling with a huge parcel, about ten times the size of the rolled up map. The extra cardboard packaging filled the recycle bin completely. The thinking of the seller being, presumably, that if you make the parcel large enough, it is less likely to get nicked! Anyway, people standing in reception have been studying the map, probably thinking just how tiny and lost their island is compared to the rest of the world!
The chain link fence was installed, then some shade net fabric, and then some cane fencing to keep the fabric in place and to get it all to blend in a little with the landscape.
Looking a little empty just now but there are lots of babies in the greenhouse coming on nicely and soon to be planted out. Interestingly it would appear that much of the packaged seed available here is of poor quality. One needs to check the expiry date of course, but I have failed with getting sweet corn to germinate (should be very easy), and onion. I guess I need to stock up the next time I am back in England. Fresh seed from the fruit in the supermarket is the best bet, and I have Canarian tomatoes growing well and sweet melon.
This time of year is great for the plants in the garden. Warm days and cool nights. Looking really good is the Gaura lindheimeri, that is the pink flower in the foreground. Flowering continuously it just bends with the wind and shrugs off any attempt to be colonised by the dreaded mealybug.
Son Tristan and long time girlfriend Cat came to stay, arriving from a holiday in Argentina and Chile. Whilst there Tristan asked Cat to be his wife, and she accepted, which I think is pretty good of her as she had to be dragged all the way up to the top of a mountain for Tristan to pop the question.
Anyway, he brought with him his latest toy - a drone.
Difficult to see, it is hovering to the right of the Flamboyant tree. Goofy is wondering what it is all about. This drone is the most amazing thing and took some extraordinary pictures and video. For the first time I could see the house and garden in plan form.
Although they only had a few days here we found time to visit Ajuy which is on the west coast, not far away, and is well known for its caves. But even more spectacular is the sea arch. Tristan set up the drone to fly around it. I thought a fly through the arch would look good on the video. Tricky and probably do-able, but then there is a limit to what you will do with $1500 worth of kit!
Back to the finca, where I have been doing battle with things eating my seedlings - again. I set traps and put down a lot of rat poison all of which disappeared overnight. Conclusion; I had a biggish rat. That afternoon I saw the little b....r sitting on my water container where I keep my aquatic plants. (The poison warfarin makes them very very thirsty). Then he took a swim doing a sort of breast stroke. Then he sort of expired and was unceremoniously plucked out and lobbed over the fence. Good riddance! Here he is looking a bit miserable, just before his swim..
Indoors we had a problem with a water leak in the bathroom. This was the same pipe we had a problem with last year and I was resolved to pass a new smaller diameter pipe through the leaking one to avoid more problems in the future. However, because the builders had committed the cardinal sin of burying elbow joints in the walls and floor (through which the new pipe could not be pushed) I had to break out the pipe run in the bathroom. What a mess! The good news was that it was an insurance job and they paid to have new tiles put down. These white tiles are so much nicer than the horrible brown fake stone we had before.
At the end of September there is a celebration to mark the anniversary of the battle of Tamasite and Cuchillete which took place in 1740. For many years pirates had been raiding the coastal villages of Fuerteventura. That year a bunch of English pirates were unsuccessful and, even though they outnumbered the local majoreros, they were beaten back and forced to flee without their usual haul of .... goats? What else was there? Anyway, this remarkable feat is re-enacted every year with the English pirates now appearing as Royal Navy Marines resplendent in their red uniforms, all shouting for the glory of the British Empire. Hilarious! Well, it makes for a good day out......
We had some hot weather last week with a calima which brings the dryness and the dust. Despite washing the dogs they were full of dust again in no time. Fortunately Pongo absolutely loves being cleaned with the vacuum cleaner. I think he must have been a carpet in a previous life.
I only recently realised who these people are in this trompe d´oeil painted on the wall of our local pharmacy in Antigua.
This is Eric Clapton with BB King and someone I don´t recognise playing harmonica.
And of course this must be Theresa May in a miniskirt!
Finally, we may be a step nearer to getting our new windmill sails. The insurers are keen to reach a settlement and we will get the start date for the work next week. Or is that maňana....?