This week we have seen some quite extreme weather. Rupert and I were in Devon for a couple of days where there were 45mph winds, and then back at home yesterday we had torrential rain. It was while I was sitting at my desk with the rain beating down on the glass roof above me that I had a sudden flashback to the extreme weather that we experienced exactly 17 years ago when we first arrived in Andalucia. Oh my goodness did it rain.

Our first house there was a funny little rented house called “Cantaranas” – we had only seen it once before moving in, and at the time all we had noticed were the amazing views stretching for miles – we had not noticed the pylon which sat almost above the house which, in certain weathers, created the most unbelieveable buzzing noise, and we obviously had no idea that the house was very leaky!  Unfortunately that autumn there was so much rain in Spain (more than they had had in 60 years reputedly!) and when it began it quickly became obvious that the house was not water tight – rain came in under the front door, through the window frames, dripping down the walls, even up through the floor tiles, but the final straw was one night when I was woken up by the sound of rain dripping through the roof on to the bed right next to me!

There was so much rain that rivers rushed down the hillside washing away the tracks. We managed to turn our car upside down when driving home one day – fortunately it was only Rupert and I in the car and we were unhurt, just slightly shaken. That time it was the local electrician, Juani, who came to our rescue – what a saint. One day the rain washed so much mud down the hillside that it filled the swimming pool!

Once the rain stopped we did actually became quite fond of the leaky house. This painting of Cantaranas was done by my lovely sister in law when visiting us. We have always loved it.

Cantaranas was also where we picked our first olives (which turned out not to be ours!) – in Spain there are often no obvious boundaries to one’s land so we thought they were our trees but in fact they were our neighbours – they were very nice about it – it was a good way to meet them, and the olives all go in to The Village Oil!

So there’s a little snippet of how the adventure began - there are so many stories of our time living there – on the next rainy day perhaps I will sit down and reread our diaries in front of the fire.


Do head to the website if you need a restock of delicious Olive Oil or amazing Balsamic, and don’t forget the yummy Chilli Jam and Chorizo Jam too – and although I know it seems rather early to say the “C” word there are some great pressie options for all those foodies in your life


How about this for a very easy supper – MUSHROOM BACON AND CARAMELISED ONION TART - perfect on an autumnal day – just make sure you have got some Fino Olive Oil and some Dark Balsamic in the cupboard - this and lots of other recipes are all on my new website - you might find a new favourite.

I hope you are all safe and well in these different times.

Susie x


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