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Are you eating chocolate today?

2016-03-26 10.17.53

I will probably have a little but, unfortunately, no eggs were delivered this year!

Easter week in Spain is a big deal and most, if not all, of the towns and villages feature a number of processions over the Easter weekend. So, on Good Friday, we visited the sugar cube, mountaintop village of Mojácar, one of our favourite places.

As the Virgin and Christ were carried ceremoniously around the narrow cobbled streets, the municipal band played a melodious accompaniment.

Here are some pics:

 

Afterwards, a seafood lunch!

 

And today in the mountains, it really is a glorious day! Happy Easter!

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©Natalie Murray, 2016.  Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

Is it hot where you are?

El Campo

Spain, like other parts of Europe, is experiencing a heat wave at the moment!  And it’s damned hot! It’s times like this when I’m glad we live higher up. Being at a higher elevation in the mountains means that the heat is fresher, not so muggy. At least, I think so!

Campo Heat

We really should be enjoying our pool right now. But, as always, the workmen due to finish the surfacing surrounding the pool have been delayed! And the pool remains covered, only providing respite for the many wasps as they stop for a drink (there’s a puddle of water on top of the cover!). We’re hoping that the pool will be open for business this time next week but don’t hold your breath! This is Andalucía!

Even the snakes are seeking shelter from the heat. This one decided he/she liked the cool of our snug!

Snake

The dogs now require early morning walks and then spend much of the day sleeping.  Nothing, though, will stop Rio from hunting as beasties abound!

If it’s hot where you are, I hope you’re enjoying it! And don’t forget the sun cream!

Sunset

©Natalie Murray, 2015. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

Is It Summer Yet?

Hungry baby!

Hungry baby!

Well, the temperature has shot up! Now that May has arrived, I think summer has, too! While I’m not complaining, the heat signals the end of a fertile campo. Slowly but perceptively, the greenness is giving way to aridity.

So, I thought I would say goodbye to spring for another year by sharing some more pictures of our local spring landscape!

And the heat has brought out the snakes!

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Welcome Summer!

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©Natalie Murray, 2015. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

It’s Spring!

I love this time of year here!

The temperature is distinctly higher. The landscape is verdant, and sprinkled with the colours of wild flowers. And, there are myriad butterflies. Not to mention, the birds in song and the bleat of newborn lambs. Just gorgeous!

We’ve all been enjoying the countryside at its best: with lots of walking and even a little caving!

And for our own little corner, we are adding some fruit trees, and, of course, a palm!

Trees

©Natalie Murray, 2015. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

Has it been a good year?

Well, I have to say that my year has been pretty good!  We came back from Abu Dhabi and settled back into our life here in Spain.  Mike has got on with putting the finishing touches to the house and land. We have a pool! The landscaping is coming along slowly but surely.  And we’re decorating the house to our liking and comfort.

As planned, I have gone freelance. Originally, I thought I would do proofreading and did the necessary training. ELT (English language teaching) was to be my USP (Unique Selling Proposition/Point).  However, I’ve found that my experience in ELT has equipped me well to become an editor, both content and copy, within the ELT publishing industry. Therefore, most of my projects thus far have been editing.  And I love it!  I already have projects lined up for the new year. So professionally, life is good!

Winter has descended on the mountain but, as usual, this brings great variety in the weather. This morning, for example, we are sitting in cold grey wet cloud:

Winter cloud

Winter cloud

Sitting in the clouds...

Sitting in the clouds…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s feeling very Christmassy!

However, three days ago, we had a pre-Christmas trip to the coast for fish and chips, and the weather was gorgeous!

 

Yacht, anyone?

Yacht, anyone?

The Marina, Garrucha

The Marina, Garrucha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a browse around Garrucha market…

Garrucha market

Garrucha market

Last minute Christmas shopping!

Last minute Christmas shopping!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then headed along the coast road to Mojacar, where we had fish and chips at the Irish Rover.  I know, not very Spanish! Then we had a stroll along the promenade…

 

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As you can see, it was very quiet. It’s the winter season – only residents around.  The perfect time to visit!

So, who knows what the weather will be like on Christmas day? But, you know what? I don’t mind at all! I’ll be with friends and family, and yes, that does include our dogs!

Wherever you are this Christmas, we wish you the happiest of times and a hopeful, healthy and inspiring 2015!

From our little corner of the mountains…

 

 

©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

A trip to Mojacar anyone?

The other day, we had to venture out. Something we try not to do too often! However, our destination was Mojacar: which consists of a typical Andalucian sugar cube mountain village and Mojacar Playa, which is the beach front resort at the bottom of the mountain, so we were quite looking forward to it.  Mojacar has long been a favourite place of mine. It was the first place I ever visited in Spain back in 1991.  Like anywhere, it’s changed quite a bit since then in that it has been built up a lot.  There are not so many ‘wild’ areas as there used to be. And while there used to be an open stretch between Mojacar and Garrucha, a fishing village to the north, now there are buildings all the way along. But, there are no skyscrapers.  It doesn’t look like the skyline of Benidorm, for example.  Generally, buildings along Mojacar Playa are in keeping with the village itself on top of the mountain.

When we visit we don’t like to stay too long. We’re always happy to get back to our mountain. But, Mojacar, in my opinion, is a lovely place for a holiday.  You can find out more here.

The road to Mojacar…

Turre

Turre

The road to Turre

The road to Turre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Turre to Mojacar

 

 

First glimpse of Mojacar village…

Sugar cube village

Sugar cube village

 

Mountain top village

Mountain top village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Left to the playa, right to the village – we went left.

Village roundabout

Village roundabout

 

Can you see the sea yet?

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One thing you’ll see a lot of in Mojacar is the Indalo Man.  The Indalo Man is the lucky symbol of Mojacar, and now more widely of Almeria.  You’ll mostly see him on the outside of houses to keep away evil spirits, and he comes in all forms and colours in the souvenir shops! He looks like a man standing with his feet apart and his arms stretched out holding an arc above his head.

Something like this…

The Indalo Man

The Indalo Man

Yes, we have one in our house!

 

When we have a trip to the seaside, we like to indulge and have fish and chips or something else typically English.  This time we went to a place called Mojo’s Cafe Bar. It’s on the top floor of the commercial centre on Mojacar Playa, so has great views!  Having a commercial centre on a beach front sounds awful, doesn’t it? But, as with most of the other local buildings, it’s done tastefully – rather like a whitewashed Moorish fort. And it’s a great place to spend a few hours wandering through the many arts and crafts gift shops and fashion shops, or to sit and have coffee or beer and a tapa.

The view from Mojo’s

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I recommend the beer-battered cod goujons!

Mojacar Playa

©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.

Andalucian Autumn Fruits

On a recent walk we witnessed how the early October rains had helped the autumn harvest along…

 

El Camino

El Camino

 

 

Olives

Olives

More Olives

More Olives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almonds

Almonds

 

Almond Tree

Almond Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackberries

Blackberries

Juicy!

Juicy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jam, anyone?

Jam, anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the trail...

On the trail…

Pine Nuts

Pine Nuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And one for Halloween!

Fungi!

Fungi!

 

Mike decided to get up close and personal with the bees too. I prefer to keep my distance!

 

 

Bee Hives

Bee Hives

 

It really is a lovely time of year here.  Everything is looking greener and whilst the sun is still shining, the cooler temperatures are a relief.  The dogs are loving it!

 

Girl fight!

Girl fight!

Puppy holds her own!

Puppy holds her own!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fam!

The Fam!

 

 

 

 

©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.