THE WEATHER MID FEBRUARY.
We've had a few dry days and the Spanish gardeners round here have been out with their rotivators, others have been preparing the ground for the seed potatoes. Gonzalo is bringing me some tomorrow. Daytime temperatures have been around 19-21C; almond and peach blossom is out, the frogs croak loudly at dusk and the snails are on the move. I don't mind the latter as there are four ducks next door - they rush to my fence when they hear my voice because I've usually got a container of juicy snails for them after my morning patrol.
El jefe disappeared into Gonzalo's shed around mid-day and emerged an hour or so later, a little the worse for wear. They were wine-tasting! Gonzalo grows several varieties of grapes and he prepares them at the end of the season in a large bath with special wine-treading wellie boots....honest! No bare feet for him. His shed is a goldmine, with jars of tomato frito, tons of potatoes, onion strings, apples, pears, membrillo and in the corner, his pride and joy - the vino.
It's heady stuff, particularly mid-day, so D needed a little siesta after his session.
Mathilde appeared during all this and found me under the pergola with coffee. The fountain was tinkling and it was muy tranquilo. She looked around (I'd just had a big clean-up) and said the aptenia and ivy would have to go as they would starve the solanum. I must put roses in, she said, white ones. Mathilde is a woman of very definite opinions! I'm sure she'll be checking regularly to see if her instructions are obeyed.