January '09

ANew Year which will be a good year

We have a lot of plans which we will be working on this year. Firstly we are starting the restoration of the Moli. We have received enough approval from the various authorities to encourage the Adjuntament to say we can start the work. We will also be bringing the rest of the olives groves into a better state so that hopefully by the end of the year we will be able to harvest our first crop and bring in some money. All this is going to take quite a bit of hard work and a considerable amount of money, but we are all up for the former, and with the current financial situation, there is not much point on keeping our money in the bank.

Tres Reys

The Spanish and Catalans celebrate 12th Night as much as we celebrate Christmas. It is the traditional night for presents to be given and there are always processions and floats through the villages. This year was no exception and it was good to be able to enjoy the festivities with all our new friends.


We have looked at a load of brochures, checked prices from various suppliers and still think the Kubota M6040 is the best compromise between utility and cost for us. We have been beating up our local dealer, Manuel, on the price of the tractor a trailer and a mower and by the time he was groaning in pain, we could still have bought two new cars for the same money. Anyway, we gave him an order and we should get our new toy at the beginning of February. Pondgirl is looking forward to becoming a "tractorista". :)
On the same subject, we saw this rather nice matching pair of old tractors in the village.


In the second week of January, we started our schedule of work by rendering the almacen. One of our neighbours (David) has been helping us, and with him applying the render and Alex sponging it down, we now have a very good looking and solid finish to the almacen which will keep the weather at bay.

Next up was to finish the dog kennel on the side of the barn. It now has a matching render and tiled roof.

Stripping the Moli

Of the first floor was the next task on the agenda. Alex and David set about this with relish and a couple of sledgehammers, while I got the digger out and widened the access to the front of the Moli so that we can get a van or a tractor down to cart away the rubble and earth. After widening the path, I set about making bigger and smother ramp down from the terrace at the top. This is now drivable, but needs more materials to level it off properly.

Festes de St. Antoni

St. Antoni is the patron saint of animals, so on his saints day, we took our dogs up to the village to be blessed by the priest. It was the first time our new spaniel Floozie had been on the lead and she didn't like it much. Dylan took it all in his stride and didn't try to eat the various small dogs, cats, hamsters, etc. that surrounded him. He just sat there and got lots of admiring glances.
The night before the play out some sort of semi pagan wicker man ritual. St. Antoni is cuaght by the demons and beasts and put in the tatched hut. Then the nice lady comes to tie up the demons and free St. Antoni from his hut. The demons are now imprisoned in the hut and it is set on fire. Hooray.

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