Dia de Campo

Picnic by the river

Today is the Fiesta of San Marcos, otherwise known as, in this area, Dia de Campo (Day of the Countryside). Traditionally, the inhabitants of Loja and Huétor Tájar desert the towns and escape to the campo (countryside) to enjoy a picnic or barbecue.

We were very aprehensive as last year, when the house was left unoccupied by the previous owners, youths forded the river and camped overnight in our avenue of poplars below the house. Our neighbours told us that they filled up 5 dustbin liners with the rubbish the young people had left behind. Measures had to be taken to prevent this happening this year so yesterday, by the river crossing, we hastilly erected barricades made out of builders’ pallettes, and painted PROPRIEDAD PRIVADO (Private Property) on them. The neighbours roped off the entrance to their property and put up signs warning of dangerous dogs on the loose. This seemed to have the desired effect as yesterday evening and this morning a number of cars stopped on the road the other side of the river and, after noticing our signs, drove off.

Enjoying a swim

Upstream, a couple of families were enjoying a picnic on the opposite bank and one brave child was swimming in the river. Although the weather has been very warm the river water is far too cold for us to contemplate a swim. Instead, I have been enjoying the new jacuzzi which we have just had installed in the patio. The water in this is maintained at a bearable 35C.

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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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