An Ex-pat Monthly Experience of Moving to Gandia, Spain - Part 26

10th June 2024
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The summer is upon us ...

The summer is upon us ……

So we are barely into June, but the temperature says it is already August. Having said that, if our mobile weather forecaster is anything to go by, the middle of next week will bring a couple of days of heavy rain and somewhat stormy conditions. Of course, we desperately need that rain. There has been precious little of it for months now, yet here in La Safor, we are still surrounded by green hills and mountains. Our local dog walking areas are starting to look drier than usual and of course it is important to keep your pets protected from insect attack as this is perfect weather for ticks! Luckily, there are many very effective measures from collars to drops and the local vets are experts in this field.

In fact, perfectly illustrating how the temperature has risen and stabilised, yours truly has been diving into the pool for a cool down (mad impetuous fool! – Ed) and to knock up a few lengths. Keeping the pool under control during the winter and bringing the chemistry up to perfection during the spring, is paying dividends now, with sparkling clear and healthy water to play in and relax. In fact, so much so, that my beautiful ‘she who must be obeyed’ has purchased ‘floating hammocks.’ Yes, this is the new craze sweeping the area. The new ‘must have.’ Basically, comprising two inflatable cushions with a net suspended between them, you have a floating cushion for your head and another for your lower legs, with the rest of you suspended half in and half out of the water, in between. Ridiculously comfortable they are too! Seriously! And because you are actually half in the water, you are kept cool, instead of baking, as you would if you were on a standard airbed.

A couple of days ago, the mother of our Brazilian neighbour arrived for a couple of months holiday with her daughter dearest. They had not seen each other for three years, so a huge occasion for celebration. Added to this, Momma was to celebrate her sixtieth Birthday yesterday too! So, in typical Brazilian fashion (as we have learned) a grand party was secretly planned with a collection of motley individuals known as the neighbours in attendance. Come yesterday and the plan sprang into action with balloons being inflated, much cooking and baking underway between our houses, tables and cutlery being assembled sufficient for the sixteen participants later in the day. A complete DJ system set up for musical accompaniment, booze galore being chilled and everything laid out for the grand event. Everyone in fine form (????? – Ed), well, yes, OK, except for our poor male half of the neighbours in question, who, trying to be helpful, was endeavouring to pass too thick a cord through too small an aperture on the inflated ‘6’ part of the huge inflatable ’60.’ Producing a large sharp knife he proceeded to try to enlarge the attachment hole on the edge of the numeral and no sooner had the thought entered my head that this could be dodgy, with a loud POP! Yep the inflatable number developed a huge slit from whence all captive air escaped with a rush. The stunned silence was deafening in it’s intensity, because his much more sensible Brazilian other half was about to explain why he shouldn’t have done that. To be fair, his Polish heritage came to the fore, by working on the principle that the best form of defence is attack, whereby he immediately stood his ground with a forceful statement of how he was trying to be helpful and doing his very best in a time sensitive and stressful situation. Again, just as the thought was entering our collective heads, that maybe this was the sort of situation to just hang your head in shame and beg forgiveness for being a bit of a plonker, his beloved other half took up that face that makes you want to crawl into the nearest nuclear blast shelter and through gritted teeth uttered that that immortal word usually only delivered in such acid purity by Basil Faulty, “Right!” The fact that we all took three steps backwards, I felt was a sound and sensible precaution. But in reality, she was controlled. Like a tiger about to spring, is controlled, that is. “Well, that’s that then! Might as well get rid of the other one too! My plans totally ruined” Needless to say his diminutive responses and suggestions to go buy another one were met by steely controlled indifference. My thinking was, please not to compound the issue any further by offering to use sticky tape ….. “Maybe I could stick it back together with sticky ……” He said it! He actually said it! Suffice it to say the grandeur of the occasion healed all ills and a collection of Brazilian, Polish, Spanish, Italian, Kenyan, Dutch – oh and a sprinkle of English, neighbours enjoyed yet another Brazilian festive extravaganza whereby you arrive for lunch at one-o-clock in the afternoon and leave at some point after midnight! Oh, and you have to remember that when you go round to collect the cutlery and music gear that was left there last night, you have to accept that it will probably (almost certainly – Ed) be  a case of, “Hi guys, come and have a coffee, I’m just making some food, you stay to taste it, you want wine?” And guess what time you’ll be leaving! But then, that’s how life is here in Gandia. If there’s one thing that you can say above all else, it ain’t boring! So many things result from the simple question, “Hey guys, how d’ya fancy ……….?” Last night being no exception, we left with an invitation to repeat the fun at a Spanish neighbours’ house next week and two other invitations to a quiz and a band and a potential for a small business proposition.

So, yes, summer has arrived already, as I was saying before my thought chain was so rudely interrupted. The duvet quilt has been removed from the cover and folded back into the wardrobe until next winter. The air-conditioning has been used in the bedroom several times already to cool the room down and aid sleep. A new tin of ‘mozzy spray’ has been purchased to try and prevent Mrs Lovely being eaten alive. I still count on Marmite. I just love watching them staggering away spitting and yukking away the taste of my yeast-extract infested blood! They don’t come back!

Of course this weather means that my much better other half, she who understands gardening, is watering almost every other day. Fortunately, most of our garden is terrace and beds, so we don’t suffer from parched grass. The apple tree is still blooming. But quite behind in fruit growth this year, as is the cherry tree. But the lemon tree is flourishing. Much less so my little mandarin tree. The bougainvillea is glorious as always with bright hues of red, pink, yellow and white ‘blossom,’ which is actually the new young leaves forming. But filling the whole of the trough along the front terrace wall, we still look with pride at the colours set off against the white of the villa as you drive up the hill through the urbanisation. We said the first few days that we settled here, that we must never become complacent about our casa in the sun and what we have around us. And you know what? We never are.

See y’all.

Nos vemos amigos y amigas!

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