Piles of Rice!

A lovely couple of days watching the rice harvest here in Valencia. 120 million kilos of rice harvested each year! The photo shows piles of ´bomba´rice awaiting collection in El Palmar village, in the centre of the lake. You get to the village over little bridges, across the mudflats.  I love watching the herons standing majestically amongst the reeds, the ducks taking flight as the boats move across the lake;  while the more audacious of the birds swoop down [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: 0

Thank you Emma! Well Done Spring Cottage

Emma,one of Rustic Escapes´ Concierges in Spring Cottage, in Amberley, West Sussex, sent me these beautiful photos she took while enjoying a day out, with our guests, in the beautiful, historic Arundel. We are so lucky to have Arundel on our doorstep, with its fascinating Castle and grounds, the cathedral, the antique shops and beautiful medieval and later, Georgian houses,all those cosy pubs and its river and lake. It has something for everyone and , as you can see, [...]

Posted By Category: Naturaleza, Sussex, TraditionComments: 0

A lovely weekend in Finestrat

What a lovely weekend with Rustic Escapes! Naturally I was on the hunt for witnessing more countryside traditions and enjoyed watching a local harvesting his olive crop, in traditional fashion; with a long stick and a net below the beautiful olive green tree. However, the highspot of the weekend, some will be interested to know, was a sunset walk in Benidorm. It does have the most amazingly long beach and by this time of the year is beautifully peaceful; [...]

A wander in the w…huerta!

My first walk in the Valencian ´huerta´since before lockdown. Do you know how to pronounce the spanish word for kitchen garden, huerta? Its ¨where-tah!¨. Hence my little alliteration above…a walk in the w…huerta. Such a joy. I love it and used to do it every afternoon after school, with my four lovely little dogs. They were so excited, and I´m sure , amazed, yesterday evening, when I shouted the magic words…walkies! I don´t think they believed me until they [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Ibiza, Naturaleza, Sussex, Tradition, ValenciaComments: 0

I’m back

I’m back! September. As promised. I always keep my promises. Hence the old, old photograph, from 35 years ago; depicting the very first day in my school, my dear Cambridge House Community College. You can see me, the young, terribly naive Headteacher, having a welcome cup of tea: while my first ten students settled in, around me, in our little school. I was the only teacher! I now have over 168 of them!  All those years ago I promised [...]

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A break in my blog, back in September

View Post As you know last year I became a part time founder,owner and Senior manager of my school so that I could fulfill my ambition to develop Rustic Escapes. We find and restore interesting historic properties in distinctive rural locations, in or near small villages yet well communicated ,by public transport to a larger town and an airport, so that guests enjoy the peace and tranquility of a Rustic Escape, offering a full Concierge service, letting us take care [...]

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News from Amberley

I´m sharing these heartwarming photos with you from Amberley, the beautiful Sussex village where our Rustic Escape, Spring Cottage is nestled in the Southdowns, overlooking the Wildbrooks nature reserve. Steve, one of our Local Representatives, sent me a couple of photos taken this winter; one of a robin redbreast and the bare winter trees at the back of the garden, along with one he took of the same garden last summer when we had just mown our meadow under [...]

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Quarantine in a Rustic Escape

I haven´t blogged in over a week. The reason has been twofold.  Firstly It´s been so terrible for me to have to share the distress of all my Valencian compatriots at seeing our Fallas festival cancelled, our schools closed and our lives thrown into havoc by being placed in quarantine for what will be an interminable two or three weeks. Secondly I have a horrible sense of guilt at my fortune to be able to spend my quarantine in [...]

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Sundays in Valencia

On Sundays I am sole charge of the school zoo. Its lovely out there amongst the animals;enjoying the peace and quiet of their weekend. We have all manner of rodents, two tortoises, chickens and birds, fish and ten goats. They all munch happily on the spring greens I have brought them from our huerta in Partida de la Mar, Almassera and then I head back to find that the buds on the orange tree have come into full bloom. [...]

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Spring is sprung!

The almond trees have lost their white clouds and are now lush and green and the orange trees are full of little white buds. Local farmers are worried that a late frost will wipe out this year´s crop. Spring has come early. I took the dogs off around the Valencian huerta and loved seeing the fields full of our spring produce: cabbages, lettuces, cauliflowers, artichokes and onions; ready to be picked and shipped all over Europe. And the charm [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: 0