Spain is full of contrasts. I love it!

The rain in Spain is lovely! It never rains in Spain. It pours!. It´s either beautifully sunny, with iridescent blue skies and bright, warm light or dark and windy with torrential rain. Never in between. I love it! None of that grey, drizzly nothingness you get for days on end in other places. It makes its mind up. It´s decisive. A day of pouring rain, the roads rivers; then you wake to bright sunshine and fresh blue skies. Perfect. Here, in [...]

Rustic Escapes brings Can Toni Pera back to life!

Rustic Escapes brings Can Toni Pera back to life! We´ve started planting! At last! Having waited for five long years for the well to be dug and the water to be found,deep, deep down under the Ibizencan soil, we have finally started to plant our crops and bring our lovely Can Toni Pera back to life! You can´t believe how satisfying it is to see the 200 baby olive trees soaking up the sunshine, in their new home; in the [...]

the Grand Rustic Escapes Spring Clean!

I love cleaning! The Grand Spring Clean in Rustic Escapes Every year, at about this time all the local representatives (and most of my family!) join in to help do a Grand Spring Clean all of the Rustic Escapes´properties in Spain and England; making sure they are tip top and ready for our guests this year. I love cleaning. I don´t have a cleaner in my own home and am always ready to roll up my sleeves  and clean other [...]

Daffodils in January in our Rustic Escape in Valencia

Look at those beautiful daffodils! January in Partida de la Mar Valencia Aren´t they lovely? Personally I never pick flowers, preferring to enjoy them in the lovely gardens we have in all our Rustic Escapes properties; these were picked for me and were a lovely surprise. Can you believe it is January and they are already in flower? Beautiful yellow beacons of hope and good luck for the coming year. Here they sit lit by my lamp and illuminating the [...]

Spanish markets…Joy on earth!

If you´re a Rustic Escapes sort of person, as I am, you will, I know, be feeling increasingly aghast at the advertising on television. as Christmas time approaches, by the large supermarkets; earnest in their drive to make us believe Joy at Christmas will be found down their aisles, with rows and rows of packaged, mass produced, highly processed  Christmas fare. I went to the market and I just had to share with you real Joy. Food markets in [...]

Come for Christmas!

Wow what weather! And how beautiful it is here in Finestrat! I popped down to La Casa de la Campana, our Rustic Escapes´ property in the little mountain village of Finestrat, Alicante, yet only 7 km from the beautiful seafront of Villajoyosa and the bustling metropolis of Benidorm; and it was glorious weather-mid-November and yet like summer! You have just got to come here this Christmas or New Year! Look how sunny and lovely La Casa de la Campana [...]

Out today! Our latest Vlog

As promised here´s how to prepare delicious dates ready for Christmas. You can eat them straight off the tree. However, as parrots and all sorts of undesirable rodents also like dates it is best to pick them when they are still orange. Also, should it rain heavily the dates can be ruined overnight. Once you´ve ¨shimiedup¨ the palm tree (rather you than me!) you can use a sort of metal rake to remove the dates from the branches. Once [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: 6

No more dates for the parrots!

I can´t believe it! Fifteen years watching while squawking green parrots decimate my date tree; feasting every autumn on my dates. Days and days of nibbled yellow dates lying on my lawn, attracting all sorts of other nasty nibblers! I was always told that the dates in my tree were not the edible kind; the wrong kind; the yellow kind…all manner of reasons (was it me?!!) why my dates were just not good enough. Somehow defective. Story of my [...]

A lovely day with the ´Datileros´

Wait until you see the video footage I took while watching the date harvest here in Valencia. I spent a day with the ´Datileros´or ´Date family´as they are affectionately known in the area. Ma José , Pepe, Eduardo, his son and his father and grandfather before him, have all earned this title over hundreds of years and are renowned for their trade; caring for the palms , picking and preparing the dates , every year for sale in the [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: 10

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: 5