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

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: 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 [...]

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

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 [...]

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