Valencia

Rustic Escapes: They’re beautiful at Christmas!

How I love Rustic Escapes at Christmas! They´re truly beautiful. Every year , as December approaches, I look forward, with joy and excitement, to 'Decoration Day' ; when the whole team comes together to start our preparations for Christmas and the New Year. Last night we all decorated here in Valencia and next week I shall start my visits, personally, to every one of our beautiful Rustic Escapes to help our local representatives get them ready for our Christmas and...


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 Spain...


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 looked...


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 you...


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 life!...


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; the...


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 tumbled...


Posted By Category: Farming, Ibiza, Naturaleza, Sussex, Tradition, ValenciaComments: 2

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 those...


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

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. I...


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

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 of...


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