Only four months since the last post! I suppose we have been busy. June was hectic with arranging exams for the kids at English House and then we were off on the 1st July for our two month break away. First to France where we met up with friends and family in a chateau near Guincamp in Brittany. This fifteenth century house had umpteen rooms so, although around €1,000 a week, when divided by a reasonable number of people it cost us next to nothing. Such an interesting and historic building with beautiful turrets. It also had a private chapel and a pigeonnier!
But now back to Fuerteventura and the finca. The last days of June, before we left, was a mad rush to get the 300 or so pine trees planted out. Marking out, digging holes, planting the saplings, putting nets around each tree, and laying out irrigation. It was a lot of hard work not made any easier by the strong wind which kept blowing the plants and nets away before they could be put in place. It was all made a lot easier by having young Aston to help.
Aston also helped to strip out the passionflower from over the pergola and put up shade netting. We had had enough of the pigeons sitting in the passionflower and covering our table and chairs with the unmentionable.
The 24th June is the day of San Juan which has pagan origins celebrating the summer solstice or midsummers day (21st June). On that day, or rather evening, it is customary to light bonfires. Last June I had no idea about el dia de San Juan and I was extremely concerned to see what appeared to be bush fires springing up all around me. So instead, this year, we had our own merry conflagration.
Being able to spend two months away from Fuerteventura required some forward planning. This involved exploring a website called www.trustedhousesitters.com, which is excellent. The result was we were able to get in touch with a lovely couple, Alan and Joan, who live in Tenerife, and they were more than happy to come and stay in Finca El Molino for July and August and look after the garden, the finca and, most importantly, the dogs.
I felt really happy about Joan looking after the garden, and I think this was really down to her being an absolute dead ringer for Carol Klein, the TV gardener.......
Anyway, the garden was well looked after despite scorching temperatures and high winds.
Our large hand of bananas unfortunately fell off but they have been replaced by two more! I managed to sample a couple of fruit from the first bunch and they were fantastically sweet.
I think Goofy and Pongo enjoyed their summer with the house sitters though we were pleased to get a great slobbering reception when we arrived back home. However there was one curious incident of the goldfish which, mysteriously, was found out of the water and lying by the side of the pond, quite dead. Pongo was seen to be pushing it around with his nose as if he was trying to wake it up. Goofy was nowhere to be seen until later when he was discovered sitting quietly in his casita, which is where he will go when he has been naughty. From this conclusions may be drawn! I only hope Goofy has learnt a lesson about the inability of fish to survive out of water.
We are now down to three.....
Still no windmill sails. The carpenter has had an ailing wife, so we are told, and this has meant him going to the hospital in Las Palmas and this has put him behind with his work. But we are ever hopeful, and that the work will start towards the end of the month.
We also had yet another water leak in the house. This time the cold water feed to the upstairs bathroom in the Molino. I had the plumber out last week and we traced the leak and it has been fixed. But since this is the second leak in this pipe we will use the existing 25mm pipe as a conduit to pass a new 15mm pipe inside. Rather hoping that they will not be able to match the old tiles which were broken out, and that we can have a new bathroom floor!