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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

fish pond/pie

Now, wombats, you or some of you requested a picture of the rockpool in the kitchen. Granny has tried taking a picture of it now, with little success. Its main occupant currently is a black crab which spends most of its time hiding among black rocks. You see the problem. There was one dramatically large fish - a blenny to those of you who know about such things - but he was very dozy and now has disappeared. We suspect the crab of having seized his chance and eaten him up. Certainly the crunched up snail shells have been fewer of late, suggesting el senor Congrejo had decided to vary his diet. There are snails and hermit crabs a-plenty, two or three sea anenomes, ditto sea urchins and a goby or two. But that's about it really, at the moment. It's still nice, but very hard to photograph in any way that makes sense - let alone a good picture.

Last year, on the other hand, we had Mr or Mrs.. known variously as a sea slug, a sea hare - or in Spanish - a sea rabbit. Take your pick. Under any name, he, or she, or he-she - it's a hermaphrodite - is a fine beast. The little ears by the way aren't ears at all they are more like noses or breathing holes. S/He departed to the aquarium up or down there quite a while back. Sometime we'll get another, but this requires perilous trails across rocks so while Beloved is so busy, it'll probably have to wait. Some of you will have seen the picture before - it was first put up last year; and maybe, at some point, will be added to the heading with a picture of the view, which has disappeared for the last few days behind a haze of Saharan sand so can't be photographed. Granny will have to feel strong enough to fiddle with her template - again - too.

The wind has dropped at last, thank god. Granny hardly went out for three days. When she did, the camels clog dancing on the roof turned out to be the wooden shelter that had housed the boiler, torn off, ripped to pieces and thrown all over the place. As for the mighty bang just above her head as if an elephant had joined them and fallen down, that was the television aerial, now adorning the garden. No more news in Spanish for Granny till it's fixed- not that she doesn't find it as hard to understand as ever. A gate to the chicken run had also been dragged from its hinges, and, saddest of all in Granny's eyes, her dear little guava tree, flourishing up till then had all its leaves and flowers blown off. No guavas then for quite a while. Though the wind is still in the east and warmish, it's no longer full of dust. Probably there's none left. The whole Sahara seems to be covering surfaces in Granny and Beloved's house. Tomorrow Granny will busy herself with a duster. Not an activity she cares for, one she avoids so long as you can't write your name on anything.

And she can do some washing, at last. She was running out of clean knickers. Yes, there is an (unconnected) dryer, but in the interests of global warming (or rather not warming) she prefers never to use it. Hanging washing out was not an option while the gales were doing their worst. Even if she could have anchored her smalls firmly enough not to join the merry dance of plastic bags that takes place across her land when the easterly gales start blowing, tossed over from the landfill site on the other side of the island, they would have come from the line all covered in dust. Granny likes deserts - she's been fascinated by them for years (one of her secret dreams, unlikely to be realised - Beloved does not like travelling, and anyway it would cost too much - is to travel across the Gobi). But the liking - or even fascination - does not extend to wanting to wear a desert on her person. Not while living this far away from one at least.

Now, off to her cooking. Tonight she is making for her Beloved - appropriately enough - a version of fish pie. With a flat fish known here as 'gallo'. And with some fennel left over from last night.

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