June 7, menorca

Christian and Miriam have been visiting from Marseille – 10 days camping at Son Bou, hardy souls, then 4 days with us.  They hiked almost all of the Cami de Cavalls.  I joined them on 4 days, with the aid of my newest friends, 2 walking poles.  I’ve always pooh-poohed them – “what do you think you’re doing, skiing??” – but in actual fact they are a wonderful invention, taking a lot of weight off your knees and turning it into a full-body workout instead of just the legs – I’m a convert.  The two best excursions were one north coast (Cavalleria to Pregonda and back) and one south coast (Son Saura to Galdana), the second of which we did as a 2-car expedition, involving enormous amounts of driving, but well worth it – I had dipped for for short swims at Pregonda and Cavalleria, but I got my first real swam in the turquoise water of Torqueta and Macaralleta, the first time in 20 years, probably  – heaven…

Having visitors also means doing things you otherwise never get around to…  I finally went to Ca’n Oliver, the museum in Mao dedicated to 18th and 19th century Menorca, situated in a glorious old town house, complete with double staricase 3 stories high, and murals on all the ceilings.  Stunningly beautiful, and full of period detail of the everyday lives of ordinary people (as well as the rich and famous).  I learned an interesting fact, that under the British occupation the Menorcans continued to speak Menorquin and Catalan, languages that were banned throughout the rest of Spain – an example of the Brtain’s “benevolent” colonialism, and why the Menorcans have a soft spot for them, historically….

We’re having another morning of heavy rain – there have been several recently – for which I should be very grateful, as it saves me having to water the garden and huerto, but in fact it’s been so damp that the tomato plants all have the blight from lack of sun and too much water – a first, that has NEVER happened before.  We took off all the blighted branches and leaves, and applied an eco anti-fungal but I don’t know if they’ll survive.  And we dug up about two thirds of the potato crop, in case they got the blight, too, while I”m gone… lovely harvest, very proud… also calabacin coming out of our ears, as always (been doing tempura flowers, yum), some lovely green beans and strawberries, and a few fava beans… plus lettuce, of course… the nasturtiums are still in full bloom, so we are eating gorgeous salads…

I head to London tomorrow for a weekend of culture with Jan, then up to Cotherstone for a week to check in up there – hate to leave the island in June, but needs must… hope everything survives in my absence – perhaps when I come back the rains will have stopped, the aubergine and peppers and tomatoes will be bearing fruit, and the wind will have shifted to the north (it’s been southerly for weeks and weeks) and cleared the big blue bath tub for the return of morning swims…
Que vaya bien, todos…