Sunshine returns

Blossom on one of our almond trees

Today dawned bright and cloudless and we had planned a trip to the nearest large town, Loja. The water level in the river was just about low enough to cross and the Renault Kangoo, which has lain idle for the last eight days, fired up immediately. Unfortunately, it would not budge. The brakes had clamped tight on the rear wheels and the handbrake would not free them.

After fruitless efforts to free the car, Digby climbed the steep olive grove behind the house to call the emergency recovery number. Car insurance in Spain includes a free breakdown recovery service but as we have no house phone or mobile coverage, it is necessary to go to the top of the land to receive a rather faint signal.

An hour later, the breakdown truck, driven by a jovial, portly Spaniard called Paco, arrived.He shouted across that he couldn’t ford the river, but could load the car from the bank and indicated that maybe the neighbour could tow it across. As he spoke, Stephen was already on his way with his dumper. Despite the locked rear wheels, we managed to get the Kangoo to the other side. Paco loaded it onto his trailer and said that he owned a garage in Loja and would have the van fixed on Monday. He also said that he had some 4x4s for sale. We desperately need one.

Although we missed the outing to Loja, the sunshine today has been a real tonic. With the almonds in flower and the birdsong all around us, it is an idyllic spot.

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About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live in the little coastal village of Las Negras in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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