Lock down in Spain – A diary of the first 40 days

Day 1 of lock down

Yesterday , 16th March, was the first day of lock down due to the Corona virus. We weren’t totally sure if it was official as we had heard it started on Monday but social media posts were already saying we should self isolate. Living in a very rural area, with guests needing to do their last ride before leaving, we went for an early morning ride, avoiding people. Later on we took the dogs for a walk in the countryside, again, avoiding people. We saw beautiful spring flowers and amazing clouds , pouring over the mountains like smoke. We were feeling quite positive that our isolation would not be too bad. Later in the day we started to hear that we weren’t allowed to ride and dogs could only be walked briefly to go to the toilet. We had my parents here on holiday and our Finnish friend Minna who was travelling down through Spain in her van and needed a safe place to self isolate. Luckily my parents were able to get an earlier flight back to the Uk before flying became difficult. We are lucky, we have a huge garden and space to work with the horses on our land, plus room for the dogs to run. We are in a better position than a lot of people and have to make the most of it. of course we have no guests and could have enjoyed an enforced holiday, but sadly after weeks of lovely hot weather, as soon as the last guests left it turned  cold, so no relaxing by the pool for us! Oh well, lots of time for maintenance and gardening and spending time with the horses.

Day 2 of lock down

The horses and the garden have enjoyed some attention. The sun has been shining and the sky blue. We have had a stressful few minutes with my parents’ flight being cancelled but thankfully they have found another flight. Let’s see what tomorrow will bring. Everything is feeling very surreal!

Day 3 of  lock down

             

The garden is looking refreshed after a rain shower, the horses are looking muddy! They had great fun rolling in the mud but ruined all our hard work yesterday 🙂 . It turned much colder so we made mince pies and played Rummikub, it felt just like Christmas :). Our Land rover had been in the garage booked in for its Itv (mot) on Monday. We were worried as all government offices including Itv centres were told to close. It looked like we had lost the Land rover for the foreseeable future as the garage was in lock down but we were very happy to find it back in our car park this afternoon, after our friendly mechanic had kindly brought it back for us. Spent a lot of time answering cancellation emails and typing up invoices for insurance claims, while trying to stay positive. Generally people are very understanding at this difficult time. Waiting to hear what the Spanish government is doing to help the self employed, if anything, as our income for our holidays is the only income we have so we are of course very worried, with high overheads and 13 horses and other animals to feed! . Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Day 4 of lock down

     

A lovely warm day. Mum and dad enjoyed their last day by the pool before their rescue flight home tomorrow. Minna and I  had fun with horses doing agility, they were all queuing up for their turn :). Found a toad in the rock pool. The dogs enjoyed lots of quality time and cuddles with us. It is Mum and Dad’s 59th wedding anniversary today so I made a chocolate cake and we had a G & t on the pool patio before dinner. Dealt with a few more cancellation emails and had a very heartwarming and helpful message from a past guest – faith in the human race is reinforced daily . So far, so good , could definitely be worse.

Day 5 of lock down

It has been warm again but cloudy, still nice for eating outside, We have done a bit of gardening, trimmed Minty’s feet and practised more agility, this time with Bonnie and Twiggy. My parents left this morning and are now safely back in the UK, it is a shame that their holiday had to be cut short, it is all starting to feel very real! Bracken has been looking a bit footy and I am suspecting laminitis as she is such a little piggy it is something we do have to watch for with her.  I have made her a little isolation stable so that we can keep an eye on what she is eating and nip the problem in the bud .

Day 6 of lock down

It has been cloudy and not so inviting outside, so apart from the usual horse duties I have had a lazy day reading and watching TV. Clive made lots of fresh orange and mandarin juice to put in the freezer – vitamin c is supposed to help against the virus!.I have also had a really bad neck ache and other aches and pains following a virus I picked up in the Uk in February (not Corona!) so it was good to have an excuse to do nothing. The dogs and cats thought it was great.

Day 7 of lock down

With overnight rain everything looks shiny and new. We took advantage of the sunshine while it lasted to spend time with the horses. When the rain came back this afternoon I did some baking – definitely going to get fat if this lock down continues for too long! Feels very strange not to be worrying about guests and riding and drumming up new bookings, the mental break is quite liberating. (just trying not to worry about the future). So far so good, no time to be bored yet but plenty of jobs to do when we are!

Day 8 of lock down

We woke up to snow on the mountains. So much for looking on the bright side and enjoying a holiday in the sun at home without guests! After lovely hot weather since the end of January, since the lock down it has gradually got colder and wetter – definitely a case of sods law! It was a pretty morning with mist coming in from the village and snow on the highest peaks. Chaos , Minna’s dog , originally a rescue from the village in 2012 hates the cold and was shivering in her little coat, it was only 3 degrees when we did the horses at 8 am! This afternoon During a hail storm Clive decided to finally try out the dehydrator we bought last summer to use up some of our oranges and lemons (knowing Clive he’ll want to dip them in chocolate :)). We also heard that Spain has extended the lock down by another 2 weeks, until the 12th April, which I admit was to be expected and is a good thing – we are proud and totally support the way Spain is dealing with things. (also heard rumours that for the first time the new cases and death figures haven’t increased which I hope is true and indicates that the lock down is working). Clive is venturing out to the supermarket tomorrow so I have planned meals to use up what we already have, buying as little as possible, a good chance to clean out the cupboards and freezer (and important seeing as we have no income and can’t see a time when we will have. Good thing I like inventing meals and using up leftovers though I am definitely going to get fat!). We have just used up some microwave popcorn that was lurking in the cupboard and some gin and tonic,can’t let the lemons go to waste :). Hope you are all bearing up, wherever you are.

Day 9 of lock down

A beautiful start again. Minna groomed some horses and took some lovely photos of Peanut and Milly  . She also obviously got bored in the rain this afternoon and started a toilet roll challenge – watch this space :). We were pleased to hear that corona virus figures are down in Malaga for the first time, fingers crossed the lock down is working. It is eerily quiet, even for our rural setting, everyone is doing as they are told, just the odd tractor doing essential work. Clive’s trip to the supermarket was successful, though certain things were in short supply such as bread, butter and annoyingly for Clive, bottled beer! (plenty of toilet rolls though !)

Day 10 of lock down

Feels a bit surreal today, glad that the UK is finally in lock down but worrying about  friends and family there. Who knows when we’ll get to see our grandchildren in the UK again and our daughter and husband are living in the Maldives and unable to get back for their planned family visits and house purchase. Life for everyone is on hold and we can only hope we all get through this. Our two sons are both key workers so we are of course worried about them and their families too. It is  strange feeling so far away from everyone even though we would be apart with the lock down anyway. All we can do is stay positive and take one day at a time. Today was a mix of sun and showers so the animals were in and out.(the 4 cats certainly like their comforts). Clive made a start on a gate for the secret garden and I made soup (Peanut loves carrot ends and waits patiently for his treats when we are chopping). Minna had more fun with the toilet roll challenge (the horses are very tolerant :)) and cleaned the tack room. We are worried about our old cockerel as he doesn’t seem right. The young cockerel has quickly worked this out and is being mean to him which is karma really as it is often the other way around, though never too bad. We had to separate him today as he couldn’t stick up for himself, don’t think he is long for this world. We have taken a cockerel to the vets before (much to the vets amusement I’m sure) but of course we can’t do that now. I think it is just old age to be honest, we’ll have to see how he is tomorrow.

 Day 11 of lock down

       

Another day of sun and rain. The horses proved that they don’t mind the rain, choosing to eat out rather than in their shelters. Spirit always makes me laugh, standing in the hay ring. Funny that despite his thick fleece, Minty prefers to be inside when it rains. The Cockerel seemed slightly better, fingers crossed. The weather has taken it’s toll on the drift wood signs, so that’s a good lock down job once my arm stops aching. We had a big load of firewood delivered which should keep us going now until the warm weather returns and start us off next winter . It is our only form of heating in the main farmhouse but not cheap, with no income now we could have done without the 200 euros it cost. Clive made some lemon curd from our friends’ lemons and also took a gorgeous photo of a swallowtail butterfly, I wonder if it is the same one he dried after it was soaked in the rain a few days ago. We had a brief message from our daughter Lily and husband this morning to say that the Maldives had suddenly announced that it was going into lock down until June and they were about to board the last flight out. That was a shock and we have no idea where they are at the moment! Hoping to hear from them soon.

Day 12 of lock down

       

A lazy day as I made a sling out of a pillow case and have been resting my arm all day to try to ease the pain in my wrist and collar bone. Ironically, as someone who never goes to the doctors I actually would now but I can’t :). The weather hasn’t been great again so that helped to stay in. We succumbed to comfort eating again though and made chocolate oat cookies (going to get so fat, though I’m telling myself the oats make them healthy). We are very relieved that our daughter Lily and her German husband Martin made it safely to his parents in Germany last night. I am feeling very aware of being far from family and friends today but then however close we live we are all in the same boat really. I noticed today that despite only being a few weeks since the blossom we have little almonds on the trees already. It’s a shame though that all the lovely blossom on the other fruit trees isn’t being pollinated as the bees aren’t around in the rain. I am thinking of all the lovely wildflowers we are missing. I had started seeing orchids and other beautiful flowers before the lock down but we’ll probably miss the wild peonies that grow on the mountain which is a shame, though at least no one will pick them!

Day 13 of lock down

Mainly sunny today but a cold wind. Clive finished the gate for the secret garden. More new flowers are opening in the garden and the geraniums think it’s summer. We used up the last of our friends oranges and lemons with juice and more lemon curd and made some more soup . Managing to live well on food we have so won’t need to venture out for food shopping for a while. Luckily we also have a good stock of animal food as we have to try not to spend any money unless absolutely necessary, due to having no income at all.

       

Day 14 of lock down

2 whole weeks! . Could be the reason we are feeling bored and tired. It’s a bit of a milestone though as we have completed 14 days since Minna arrived, which means we are all in the clear and she didn’t bring the virus with her! Keep thinking we’ll stop eating too much and get back to normal but so far that isn’t happening :). My arm pain is a bit better so hopefully once I can get back to physical work I’ll eat less as I won’t have so much time ! The sun has shone today and the horses field is dry enough for them to go back out , though more rain is on the way for my birthday on Tuesday. Talking of birthdays, after setting up a birthday fundraiser 2 days ago for a horse charity on the coast I am amazed that I already have 200 euros! People are so kind even in these difficult times. Pekka the cockerel still isn’t right but eating and drinking. Clive can’t bring himself to put him down, but we’ll have to make a decision soon, bless him. We put some lentils in a jar to sprout, we’ll need some fresh food in a few days when we’ve used up the veg in the fridge and we’re trying to shop for food is little as possible.

Day 15 of the lock down

Losing an hour with the clocks changing has made the day feel even longer, for some strange reason. The dogs were insistent that we had got their meal times wrong and the horses were quite happy to be fed earlier than usual. It was actually quite warm and sunny today so we enjoyed a bit of horse time, grooming some of them and giving Flamenca a run around in the round pen – she was so excited, she was self lunging perfect circles at liberty, it was a joy to watch :).

Day 16 of lock down

   

Reality hit home a  bit today, maybe as for some reason I couldn’t sleep last night but also realising that we would have been driving to Portugal this morning for a 3 night mini break for my birthday which we had squeezed in between bookings. We had been desperate for a break as we were so tired – be careful what you wish for! Quite a dull but warm day, Leo and his sons Spirit and Picasso had a lovely sleep together. Scarlett somehow managed to get covered in poo, dirty girl, not quite the princess today. Lola had her feet trimmed, we’re working our way through the herd. We saw our first swallow of the year and heard a hoopoe and a cuckoo which was lovely. With Minna’s help we also got the huge pile of firewood undercover ready for the rain tonight. Of course we had to do some baking again (this has got to stop!) so made some yummy lemon brownies. Clive also made some more sea glass necklaces, not that we have anyone to sell them to but plenty of time to make them ! Everywhere is still eerily quiet, especially as the lock down has been tightened even further from today, with only those doing essential jobs allowed to work.while loading the wheelbarrows with wood in the car park, if an occasional car or tractor came past it felt so unusual that I had to fight the urge to wave to them. Good to see that there was only ever one person in a car – a strict rule here. We are enjoying inventing meals out of what we have but have almost used up the fresh veg so unless we shop soon our diet is going to get considerably less healthy!  (though the lentils have sprouted so that will help) Might venture out on a short walk in the olives to look for wild asparagus tomorrow, if it isn’t too muddy. We are allowed a very short distance if we have a dog to walk but as the guidelines for distance are vague and we have plenty of space for the dogs to run inside our fence, I haven’t bothered up until now .

 

Day 17 of lock down

Today is  my birthday. Woke up to heavy rain and wind. Despite the rain, the horses still often choose to stand outside, even old Irene who has a cosy straw bed and stable to herself if she wants it. Walking back up from the horses I noticed that the Tamarisk is in flower, there seems to be something new every day :). My birthday fundraiser for the horse rescue centre reached the target of 300 euros last night which is amazing. As it wasn’t even my birthday yet, and the fundraiser still had a week to go, I decided to set up a new one for a dog rescue centre on the coast who do such good work and are really struggling with the effects of the lock down. I am really pleased that I have already raised 72 euros for them :). From a cold, wet start it has been a good birthday, with lots of lovely video chats with family, a nice meal with Clive and Minna and a lovely bunch of wild flowers from Minna this morning.

     

Day 18 of lock down

Another day of sun and showers, the garden is loving it, I noticed the Red Robin in bloom and our wild asparagus is getting really big. The horses enjoyed lots of rolls in the wet sand, the lock down doesn’t seem to be bothering them at all :). I had decided that today being the 1st of the month, I would stop the comfort eating and get into a better routine, especially as I am finally starting to get over my aches and pains. Unfortunately Clive went to the village for a food shop and came back with a bag of Maltesers for me as a belated birthday present. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow and we did have a healthy leftovers lunch. He managed to get food without any problem, (and beer, much to his relief) no sign of hoarding in our village but it was deathly quiet!. My second birthday fundraiser for the dog charity reached its 200 euro total this afternoon too, so with the horse charity that is a 500 euro total – amazing, I can’t believe how generous people have been and what a great idea these birthday fundraisers are. We have got into a bit of a habit of watching Tv in the afternoons and Peanut always gets on my lap. Buffy then gets on too, much to Peanut’s disgust, and he usually looks at her with disdain and gets down. Today he decided that he could share. All I need is Milly to try to join in now!

Day 19 of lock down

Well, what a day! For the first time I have found it very hard to stay positive. While doing the horses this morning in the rain, it suddenly turned to snow, quickly covering the mountains. The horses weren’t bothered, they were too busy eating. By lunchtime the sun was out for a short time but by the time we did the horses in the evening it was pouring down. The dogs and cats are huddled by the fire, none of them want to venture outside. Haven’t even had the enthusiasm to comfort bake today, lol. Minna has started working on updating our website so at least I had a bit of work to do on the laptop but I have found it really hard to get motivated. To add to the misery I have just opened the last bottle of wine. I have been limiting myself to a glass a night so at least it will last a few days. Never mind, tomorrow is another day – cheers!

Day 20 of lock down

What a difference a day makes…. as the song goes. It has been a beautiful day with a bright blue sky and pretty white clouds puffing up this afternoon. The wind also got up a bit as the day went on, perfect for drying the mud out. The horses had the run of the sand arena but should hopefully be back in their full paddocks tomorrow, unless it rains again. It will be lovely to have the sand arena back so that we can start doing some more agility 😀. The garden is just looking prettier every day, I am looking forward to getting some gardening done now that I’m feeling better. (feeling very lucky that we have so much outdoor space in the lock down, we have a lot to be grateful for.) I went down to the secret garden to sit on the deck for a bit and take in the views. Minty always calls to me when I’m there as he knows I’ll pick him a few handfuls of the alfalfa growing in the garden there. Feeling a bit stir crazy and in need of a walk, for the first time since the lock down started I took the dogs for a walk down the field below the house. They had great fun running around. I also found lots of cleavers and vetch, which the horses love, so I must take a sack down with me next time and pick some for them, though picking and carrying enough for 13 horses could be difficult! Unfortunately the dogs rolled in something disgusting and I had to shower them when we got back, they weren’t impressed! We are now enjoying the lovely smell of wet dog, especially from Milly who’s coat is as thick as a sheep. (Minna is planning to give her a trim tomorrow – watch this space!). Oh, and we succumbed to the comfort baking again and made flapjack, well it’s got oats in so it’s sort of healthy.

Day 21 of lock down

   

Minna gave Milly a much needed haircut and also a pedicure, spoilt dog, she loves the attention. Feeling very lucky that we have these on site skills, with Clive trimming the horses feet too, or we would be struggling to keep the animals healthy.  (it is also a godsend, financially! ) The weather continues to keep us on our toes, with gale force wind and more rain this afternoon. It is sad for the trees,and plants, with leaves being shredded though one benefit is that the last of last year’s carob crop that we couldn’t reach has blown out of the tree, a nice treat for the horses 😀. I had to take the geraniums pots down from the walls as they were being beaten to bits. We are now out of fresh fruit but found a tin of rhubarb so made rhubarb and ginger cookies, with oats of course, yum, they taste very healthy . Peanut and Buffy love it when the weather is bad and they can have a cuddle – Peanut is getting much more tolerant of Buffy sharing my lap, he knows that if he isn’t, he has to get down as Buffy always wins😊. It has been a good day for more tweaking of the website and creating new blogs. I have also had a new possible booking for next Easter from guests who couldn’t come this year and a new enquiry for February, plus lovely emails and messages of support from past guests, I am very thankful for how kind people are being. On a less positive note, it has been announced that the lock down will be extended until the 26th but I suppose we were expecting it really.

Day 22 of lock down

It was another windy start but turned out warm and sunny. The horses are happy to be back in their fields, fingers crossed for no more rain for a while. We noticed the sage is in flower, and the yellow rose is in bloom. Really must do some gardening now that the weather has improved, everything is so overgrown, though I do like the natural look. I made some more cushions which Archie and Elsie were happy to try out 😊. Clive was less happy to model the face masks I am making to donate to the town hall, lol. Took advantage of the lack of guests to enjoy the evening sun on the El Establo balcony, always a silver lining

Day 23 of lock down

It has been a beautiful warm day (at last!). It was lovely to spend time with the horses, allowing some of them to have some time on the grass verge -( much to Irene’s disgust as that is her domain usually ). They had great fun running around, before settling down to eat. Found some wild gladioli in flower in the garden and did a bit of deadheading, everything is growing like weeds! Minty enjoyed a treat of alfalfa, he loves it. I cut lots of thistle and other wild plants and grasses for the rest of the horses so they weren’t jealous of the ones on the grass 😊. We had fun with our cat Archie doing a tape frame challenge, haven’t tried Buffy, Tinker or Elsie yet though. 

Day 24 of lock down

Another lovely day. We had amazing cloud pouring over the mountain but our sky remained blue. It was Scarlett, Flamenca, Sierra and Bracken’s turn for some grass. Bracken was cantering around, full of energy, it was a joy to see after her laminitis scare . Clive cleaned the pool as there were a lot of leaves in it after all the wind. We haven’t been heating it to save money and the water temperature was only 16 degrees, brrr. (we’ve also emptied the jacuzzi seeing as we have no guests to use it as we can’t justify the cost for just us). The grape vine has suddenly sprung into life, before we know it the leaves will be giving us shade in the courtyard, it’s incredible how quickly it grows. I gathered up some of the drift wood signs ready to re stencil them, luckily the guest rules sign doesn’t need redoing as that would be a lot of work! . I also made more masks to donate to the town hall, a pretty busy day really , managing to stay positive!

Day 25 of lock down

Got down to the horses this morning to see the 5 cheeky faces of Leo, Picasso, Spirit, Bonnie and Twiggy looking at us from Fern, Blackie and Lola’s paddock. Seemed they had enjoyed a bit of a party in the early hours and trashed all the electric tape. Clive set to work straightening the bent posts and putting the tape back up while Minna and I poo picked. He then rushed out to buy more tape from the agricultural co-op which is luckily still open in the lock down. He was excited to also find an electric tape test metre there and once home was keen to try it out. Would you believe it, the tape was fine but there was a loose wire in the electric box. Oh well, you can never have too much tape 😂. It was Blackie, Lola and Fern’s turn on the grass but they were very boring, Blackie usually impresses us with her rearing skills but the grass was obviously more interesting. (Or maybe, at 24, she has finally calmed down). We were excited to hear bee eaters, such a cute sound, heralding summer. If you are lucky enough to see them close up they are really bright like a parrot. I have to admit to giving in already and making a cake, though it was a healthy banana, date and walnut loaf. Clive also allowed me to cut his hair, but typically just as I had finished we had a hay delivery so had to rush out to open gates etc. Irene is a very happy old horse tonight, as we didn’t have time to put it away

Day 26 of lock down

R. I. P Pekka, our beautiful old Cockerel, who sadly died in his sleep, we will miss him but the hens at least have his son to look after them. On a happier note, Minna took some fantastic photos of the horses including a lovely one of Sierra who celebrates her 17th birthday today. Poor Sierra, we are her 11th home in those 17 years, but at least she’ll now have a home with us until she dies. I found some gorgeous photos of rides with Minna taken by our son the first year Minna visited us, 7 years ago now, happy memories 😊. Look how shiny the horses are in their summer coats. I also found this cute photo of the Milly and Peanut puppet show 😀. That cheered me up on a very grey and dreary day

Day 27 of lock down

The garden is looking refreshed after the overnight rain, the red Robin and hawthorn is in flower, such gorgeous smells. The horses are rather muddy this morning, nice that we don’t have to worry about cleaning them 😊. Spirit had his feet trimmed, just Picasso left, then we start all over again! I noticed that our little hop along hen is getting her feathers back. (she has had a limp since being trodden on by one of the horses a couple of years ago). Pekka favoured her with his amorous advances in the last month of his old age, as she was easy to catch, so since he started fading she has an enjoyed a respite, poor girl! Easter wouldn’t be Easter for Clive without hot cross buns so I managed to make him some with the limited ingredients I had, including no yeast!. They were very tasty 😋

 Day 28 of lock down

4 weeks! Actually can’t believe how quickly it has gone. A bit of a lazy day today, maybe it has hit us how surreal this situation is, it is getting very scary, with no end in sight. It was a lovely start to the day, seeing the vultures over head. We got Picasso’s feet trimmed and gave the horses some time on the grass. Minna was hoping to get some more lovely action shots but they were really boring, just eating. The wind got quite cold this evening so Clive lit the kitchen fire, much to the appreciation of all 4 cats, though after cooking dinner I am now roasting 😅. Oh well, tomorrow is another day, hopefully it will be more productive

 

Day 29 of lock down

Starting our 5th week! Well it’s Easter Sunday and how surreal – no guests to take riding or cook for. I would say no family but we don’t usually see family at Easter as it tends to be one of our busiest times of the year. Typically, it is also the time that the weather often lets us down too,  and we struggle to fit in rides and keep guests happy. No such worries this year, there’s always a silver lining. It’s been a pretty good day, with Easter eggs from Clive (Avocados wrapped in foil – he knows what I like 😊) and nice face time chats with family. We had a bit of sunshine and the horses enjoyed some mutual grooming, always lovely to see. When it clouded over I worked on some text for the website re-vamp that Minna is doing, it’s going to be great 😀. The icing on the cake was receiving a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor, thanks to all you lovely people who have left reviews for us. Not a bad day at all

Day 30 of lock down

We were so worried this morning as our little hop-along hen was missing. She wasn’t there when we shut the hens in last night but she sometimes hides away in a stable so we thought she was fine. Luckily when I went to pick Minty some alfalfa I found her in with him 😊. Another day of sun and showers meant the horses got nice and muddy. Our gold fish are busy swimming around now that the weather has warmed up. One year we had a heron visit and eat some of them so we have to keep an eye out. Clive is getting ready to start work on fixing a rotten part of our big wooden table with an old railway sleeper given to us by a friend. I made use of the rain showers to sew some new gingham curtains to replace some that had rotted in the sun. I also tried to do more work on the laptop but Buffy wasn’t helping. Milly wasn’t much better, stealing my armchair, bless her, she did look comfortable 😊

 Day 31 of lock down

I started the day determined to stop comfort eating and eat healthily – we are a month in now and enough is enough! I even got as far as chopping up fruit for quick snacks when I felt the urge to eat between meals. Clive then decided to make chocolate cookies again, no contest, the cookies won ( he obviously doesn’t care if I get fat, lol). Unfortunately I still have a lot of aches and pains leftover from the mystery virus and I am not sleeping well so am finding it really hard to get motivated since the lock down began, especially as most days, as today, have been grey. I am used to living life on the run with lots of exercise and don’t function well when I have too much time to do things! I am now ticking off a to do list each day so that I have something to focus on. Today was de-junking my huge store of photos – I found this lovely one of Archie on a pile of cushions – so cute 😍. Despite the lack of sunshine the garden is doing well, we now have orange blossom, the almonds are getting really big and the olive blossom is nearly out(hope Clive’s hay-fever isn’t too bad this year) . We trimmed Bracken’s feet and wormed and de-flea’d the dogs, so easy, they just swallowed the tablets, but need to do the cats and that is another story altogether, lol. We also discovered why we aren’t getting any eggs – the hens have been laying in the back of Minty’s house. We have left them there in case we have a broody hen, as they tend to hide somewhere different. It would be good to have some chicks, despite the risk of cockerels (we would keep them but it doesn’t make life easy) Most of our hens are old, non laying and retired now so new ones would be good, and chicks are so cute 😊. This afternoon I got a jigsaw out, hoping we will watch less TV and maybe stop snacking so much, though we haven’t started it yet, so we shall see!

Day 32 of lock down

A really horrible, wet and windy day, very hard to stay positive. Missing sunny rides and goat encounters, not to mention the poppies that colour the fields red. A sad day for our daughter and son in law, Lily and Martin too, as it should have been completion day on their Spanish house purchase and we were so looking forward to seeing them and helping them move in. Who knows when that will be now as lock down here is still very strict and Notary offices are closed for the foreseeable future . It is also our eldest son John’s birthday, so though we wouldn’t usually see him it just reinforced how cut off we are from everyone. We did have a family face time chat though 😊. With rain all day it was a perfect excuse to start the jigsaw, with a lot of help from cats! We also had a play with a frozen egg idea Clive saw on Pinterest, amazing, will definitely do it again for fun canapés 

       

Day 33 of lock down

A sunny but very windy day. The horses had fun in the sand. I noticed that our variegated geranium is turning green, how strange! The hollyhocks are getting really tall, can’t wait until they flower, they’re so pretty. We were very upset to get an electric bill of almost 1000 euros for the past two months. Despite the fact that we’ve had no guests, it was estimated, based on last year’s figures – just what we need! Hopefully they’ll read it next time and we’ll have nothing to pay. Minna has finished the website and it is amazing, can’t wait to share it, we’re just tweaking the last few things 😀. After the cats wrecking the jigsaw overnight we have got a little bit more done, though we haven’t had much time today. I found this lovely photo of our sky at night while sorting photos for the website – can’t wait for warm, clear evenings to see this again

Day 34 of lock down

An exciting day, with the launch of the new website. I can’t believe how amazing it is, thanks to Minna, we are so lucky as she isn’t charging us a penny for it! 😀. It was quite a nice day today but I spent a lot of time inside, tweaking the website and looking through photos, it was a surprise to go outside in the afternoon to feed the horses and find it was quite hot for a change! . I love this one Minna took of Picasso, Spirit and Twiggy in action, but there are so many other great shots.Clive went to the supermarket, the first time in 2 weeks and came back with lots of goodies, including these amazing chocolate hobnobs. The biscuits in Spain aren’t usually that tempting, so this new product is dangerous!. The chickens made me laugh as they seem to have taken over poor Minty’s house 🤣, they’re such funny creatures. The antirrhinum are still flowering, I’m not exaggerating, they have literally been flowering non stop for a year, it’s crazy! I also noticed that Flamenca is showing her summer dapples, pretty girl. I sneaked into the olives in my pyjamas for a dog walk with Minna this evening as it was so warm and beautiful. We have to check the dogs for ticks though as there are a lot about at the moment. We are not technically allowed to walk the dogs together, only one person can walk a dog and you must show paperwork to prove that the dogs are yours if stopped. You are also not supposed to walk further than 200 metres from the house. We are becoming a bit stir crazy!

Day 35 of lock down

        

It’s been a mostly sunny and warm day so we spent time with the horses, grooming and doing agility. Minna’s dog Chaos had a little sit on Irene, so cute😍.(the lock down rules say we can’t ride but I don’t think it applies to dogs 😀). Flamenca and Scarlett had a lovely mutual grooming session, always so nice to see. We worked with Scarlett, Flamenca, Picasso, Sierra and Twiggy, they were all really good. Clive also trimmed Sierra’s feet, she amazes me how good she is, considering that she had to be sedated to have her feet done in her previous home. (thank goodness for positive reinforcement). I finished the day with a bit of reading outside in the courtyard with Finn as company – he loves to talk to the birds. Oh, and it’s been the first day since I picked up my strange aches and pains virus in February that I haven’t felt any pain, I hope it’s finally gone!

Day 36 of lock down

Yet another day of sun and cloud, when is this weather going to sort itself out! We did Scarlett’s feet and I did a bit more agility with her as she does love the attention. It is Minna’s birthday today so we let her have a lay in and I made her a chocolate cake. We took the dogs for a walk in the fields by the house though technically we had to walk separately as you can only walk your dogs on your own. I seem to get 2 ticks on me every time we walk the dogs which is horrible, Minna never gets any! . We also had homemade pizza for her birthday dinner and drank some cava (after a g & t of course) to celebrate the new website. Minna also took some more great photos of the horses, we are so lucky to have a resident web designer and photographer! We found time to do a bit more to the jigsaw too, it is certainly a challenging one!

Day 37 of lock down

Yet another grey day, I think the sun has gone into lock down in Spain too. A good excuse to be lazy and finish the jigsaw – Buffy seemed impressed 😊. We have another one ready to start, it looks even more challenging! We did get all the horses wormed but still haven’t plucked up the courage to do the cats yet, I value my hands too much, lol. We like to do all our animals at the same time so that we remember when they are due so we will have to do the cats soon! We also trimmed Flamenca’s feet. I decided to wash our bedding before I realised how cold and grey it was going to be, typically, the tumble dryer packed up. Luckily Clive has taken it to bits and found the problem and we have ordered a new part. Fingers crossed it will solve the problem. Minna gave me some more great photos of the horses. She took them on a windy day, I love the one of Picasso running away from the scary feed buckets blowing in the wind. Looking forward to later in the week when it looks like we might finally get some nice weather and we can enjoy sitting in all our different seating areas.

Day 38 of lock down

Yet another wet day, I think the uk  is getting all our sunshine! The garden really is turning into a jungle which is lovely. With no guests we have decided to let the weeds run riot for now as I’m sure the insects appreciate it. The El Establo courtyard looks lovely in the rain, though our farmhouse courtyard looks a bit sad. Can’t wait to have shorts on again and ride my lovely Scarlett, hopefully it won’t be long for the shorts at least, who knows when we’ll be allowed to ride. I noticed that some of the curtains under the bbq’s need replacing, so that’s a wet weather sewing job for me. It’s a shame that just a couple of weeks before the lock down I made myself a tunic top and dress. If only I had known I could have saved the project or at least bought more material to make more clothes. What would you have done differently if you had known in advance about the lock down? I made a lovely healthy vegetable stew with pearl barley in the slow cooker, so nice not to have to cook tonight 😊. I am really pleased that we now have 1988 likes for our Facebook page – only 12 more likes to get to 2000! A big thanks to everyone who has shared and liked the page and also the new website. You never know, it might just help us. Up until now I have respected the reasons for our strict lock down rules here but today’s new ruling, starting Monday has left me flabbergasted – children up to the age of 14 will be allowed out, but not for a healthy walk, no, they are just allowed to accompany a parent to the supermarket! So allow them to go to the one place that everyone has been allowed to go to during the lock down, with therefore the biggest chance of picking up germs or spreading to others, how crazy is that! If we had young children we wouldn’t be able to take them for a healthy walk in the fields surrounding our house, or a dog walk, but we could take them to the supermarket, where we already have to wait in line to be admitted a few at a time. 

Day 39 of lock down

At last a bit of sun after a very grey start. We put up an exercise track around the edge of the sand arena  for the horses, much to their bemusement 😊. I’m sure they’ll get the hang of it with a bit of encouragement. We’ve left the agility course set up in the middle so it is the perfect playground. The hawthorn hedge surrounding the horses field is in full bloom , it looks and smells amazing .Heard that the Spanish government have had a rethink about taking children for an outing to the supermarket,  they will now be allowed for walks at least. I have been working hard all day fine tuning guest booking documents etc for the future – ever hopeful!  I have also set up a Crowd funder for the horses, which I will publish tomorrow. Amazingly we have also received 300 euros from our donate button on our new website, people are so lovely 😊.  If we can stay up we might try to see the meteor shower tonight, last night was the best but it was too cloudy here. Oh, and as I was so busy on my lap top Clive cooked a lovely mushroom omelette with homemade oven baked sweet potato fries, it tasted all the better for not having to cook it myself 😊

Day 40 of lock down

Wow, 40 days and we still aren’t even allowed out for a walk in the countryside. The lock down is extended until the 9th of May, just hoping that we might be allowed to walk after that. It was very windy today, I am staying hopeful that we will eventually get nice weather! Didn’t do any fun things with the horses today due to the wind, but just as well as I spent most of the day on my laptop answering messages re donations and pledges for our crowd funding – people are amazingly kind ❤️. Today was supposed to be the start of our agility course with Monica Andréewitch, feeling sad that we won’t be having a meal together tonight and enjoying 2 days of agility and trail riding 😔. Due to the weather the cats have been inside all the time so poor Finn hasn’t had the chance to fly around. For those who don’t know, Finn turned up here 3 years ago and of course we had to give him a home. Parrotlets aren’t sociable so he couldn’t live in an aviary with other birds and he wouldn’t survive if we set him free, so though I wouldn’t choose to have a bird in a cage we had no choice. He is a very happy little bird though and even when he is out of his cage he doesn’t fly around, he prefers to sit on my shoulder or head or chew my phone or laptop 😊. He is very cheeky and loves to perch on a wine glass and have a sip! Today, as I couldn’t let him out in the kitchen because of the cats I took him with me for a shower and then sat in the living room and read my book for a bit while he ate my popcorn 😂. The fridge is getting a bit bare as we are leaving shopping for as long as we can but I made a really tasty aloo gobi for dinner tonight.