December '11

No. 11

All the floors are finished and the builders are getting ready to put the walls up. Being able to climb up to the bedroom level and see the views is quite inspiring. Neither of us can wait to get the house finished so we can move in. Unfortunately, this still looks to be a good eight months away.
The day we left Mas for Xmas in the UK, the builders started putting the first bricks in the walls. I'm sure that is a significant phrase

The Rain in Spain

Didn't fall on Mas de Barberans this year. Looking at the records of rainfall from the rain gauge at our finca, we had five months with no rain at all. In fact just two months gave us over half our rainfall.
The figures are
Jan - none
Feb - none
Mar - 225mm
Apr - 121mm
May - 47mm
Jun - 16mm
Jul - 24mm
Aug - none
Sep - none
Oct - 28mm
Nov - 470mm
Dec - none
The biggest downpour was on on Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th November when we had 214mm & 74mm respectively. This was at peak olive picking time and turned a bad year (due to the summer drought) into a disaster, as the poor quality olives were knocked off the trees and rotted on the ground before it was dry enough to collect them.

On the Bilbao Ferry

Just before Xmas, we drove over to Bilbao to get the ferry to Portsmouth and spend a very hectic Christmas with our families. On the ferry we saw the early morning dolphins come racing in to play in the ferries wake after their night's snooze. Both journeys were calm and at this time of year it is a very cost effective trip.
Xmas was great fun and we enjoyed the time we got with both of our families, but it was soon over and we got our things together, made a quick shopping trip to Waitrose for Porridge Oats, English Mustard and lots of Mango Chutney. Then Alex and a friend joined us for the trip back to spend the New Year in Mas.

Cap Any

The weather when we got back was cool and very windy, so the views from the village we good and the newly flooded rice fields in the Ebro Delta sparkled in the morning sun
After a couple of days looking round the local sights, New Year (Cap Any) was upon us and we all trooped up to the village hall to join in the celebrations with everyone. It was obvious that the recession was hitting Mas. Fewer people we there and the music was from a duo, rather than the full 7 person band. Still, it was a great night and we all enjoyed ourselves.

The next day it was 2012, the year when we will finally have a proper house to live in. We retired to Bar Mario for PG's Birthday lunch, which involved us supplying them with a vegetarian curry for Alex & Ilishio while we tucked into steaks.

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