October 28 ~ Sunday

A lovely Fall day here, although the leaves are dropping off as quickly as they are a changing....
The view behind our house at present

Anyone up for raking leaves?


A sampling of our leaves
I planted Pansies in all of my hanging planter boxes and baskets this morning. Had to turn the heater back on today too as a strong cold front has arrived from the northwest.

Thankfully, we are being spared the wrath of Hurricane Sandy here in the Piedmont of North Carolina...but our thoughts are with everyone along the East Coast as they prepare for the storm.
It has been changeable weather this October - one day warm enough to sunbathe, the next torrential rain. We are now in the inbetween stage: warm sun, blue sky punctuated with fluffy white clouds and a breeze to stop us getting too hot. Dog walking is once again a pleasure not something akin to a form of torture in withering temperatures.

The result of the rain is green shoots popping up across the campo. The dusty brown of the hillside and, even more happily, the blackened burned parts from the August/September fires are entering the second spring. What a difference from England, from whence I have just returned, where the russets, golds and bronzes of the autumn trees turned the green patchwork of England's countryside into a jewelled cloth.

Pretty as England can be in the autumn I prefer the relative warmth of southern Spain especially when friends in the north-east of England report snow.

Viva España!


27th October

The wind is very blustery outside - coming in great gusts that are rattling the windows.

We often get high winds when a hurricane is raging across the pond in the Caribbean - a bit like radio-active fallout, except in this case its a huff-puff blowout! :-)

My friend Judy in Virginia is taking to a hotel for the weekend because of the high level storm warning (though I believe from the radio reports here in the UK this morning, its been downgraded to tropical storm.
Judy is worried because she has lots of trees near her property, and understandably, since she lives alone, she doesn't want to be on her own at home.

Hope everyone in the path of the storm stays safe!

Storm Damage 2011


22nd October ~ Monday

It is Monday and I do not have enough tea or coffee to get myself moving just yet. *laughs* However, over the weekend I did take a few photos while driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina (since we live so close to that famous roadway).

An interesting tree - leaves already off in higher elevations

One of several tunnels we drove through

The view through the windshield
We are enjoying cool Fall weather and crystal blue skies again today. I'll take it!


19th October - Friday

gorgeous image lifted from tumblr (not mine)
Fall is definitely in the air - leaves are turning and dropping already. It is supposed to be peak leaf season in the Blue Ridge mountains right now, but not sure we can get up there to see them this weekend. The Blue Ridge Parkway is usually congested during leaf season every year anyways. Our trees here at home are about halfway turned. I want to bake an apple pie, eat anything pumpkin flavored and there is a distinctive nip in the air that tells me it is truly Fall. if only my obnoxious neighbor would stop running his old crappy car and making that awful racket that disturbs the peace in the neighborhood, I'd be quite content!

Currently 63F outside and a sunny sunset is upon us.


Quick catch-up. The weekend at Battle Abbey was fun - but rain stopped play. English Heritage had to cancel the Sunday event because it had rained so much on the saturday - the battlefield was a sea of ankle-deep mud.

Still, we had a good time, even if it was more like the Somme, not Hastings.

This week weather has been up & down - from hot sun to pourimg rain.
Welcome to Autumn!

photo by Mark Thistlethwaite - before the rain set in!


10th October

Very dull and dismal today, the darker nights and late-to-get-started mornings have arrived.
The central heating is on, cobwebs (loads of them) are dew-wet of a morning.
Leaves are falling from the wisteria (into the pond, must remove them) and the trees are definitely turning. Acorns and conkers are everywhere

The horses are getting very woolly coats - even Jasper who is a thoroughbred.

So that's it folks.
Summer - or what we had of it - is officially over!

Next stop.... Halloween!


So quiet as the sea mist lay over the sea and stretched across the sand. I could feel my hair curling in the dampness. Even the seagulls flapped noiselessly through the air. A solitary figure moved in and out of focus as they crossed the beach to the harbour walls.

The dogs ran, ears flapping, in and out of the sea that broke across future sand, joyfulness in their every stride. My eyes flickered across the shoreline searching out pretty shells or stones worn smooth from an eternity of rolling along the seabed. Faint splashes and out of the gloom a kayak, a steady rhythm maintained as he made his way to the beach.

In navy jacket and flat cap, stick in hand came an old man with his Yorkshire terrier. He sat on a concrete drain and looked out to sea as small and feisty the terrier protected his stick from enquiring snouts. Fishermen sat on chairs surrounded by ice boxes of provisions and bait. Rods stood tall, tension in the line as  the hook waited for its prey.

No distant horizon to stare at today. Moistly cocooned in the still mist the only way to look was inwards.


4th October

getting somewhat autumnal out there now - a few trees are turning colour, leaves are starting to fall, nights drawing in. Getting a bit chilly of an evening.

Where did summer go?


After the rain

Three days of heavy rain have wreaked havoc in parts of southern Spain. Here in the province of Málaga some people sadly lost their lives as the water swept through villages and along roads. After the driest winter for 70 years, followed by one of the hottest summers for 70 years the ground was so hard it could not absorb the water, so the rain just flowed and caused terrible destruction in some places. It was predicted that a tropical storm was going to hit the costa del sol, and water spouts were seen off the coast of Gibraltar, but luckily it never hit shore here.

Yesterday there was very little rain and by the evening the temperatures were rising and the skies clearing. I have woken this morning to a clear blue sky and temperatures are rising to those more suitable to the last day of September (low to mid 20sC). The washing machine has been whirring away as I catch up on the laundry which is now going to festoon the terrace like flags for a coming home parade.

It is going to be a nice day for the Fuengirola Romería which takes place today. All those lovely horses with arched necks and high steps will be pulling traps or carrying riders decked out in their Spanish finery. I am annoyed that I will miss it, but shall try and source some photos from somewhere to share with you.


26th September

Apparently, Northern England (and Scotland?) has just had the worst September storms for 30 years.

Just by way of a change this year! :-(

This all started because our English Water Boards insisted on a hose-pipe ban in April.
 I think the ban start date was April 4th. It started raining soon after and has barely stopped ever since.


glorious rain! I was awoken at about 5.15 by drops of deliciousness falling with some force. It made me smile. I slipped back into a slumber and awoke half an hour later to find it had stopped. But it returned, this wonderful life-giving source that is going to seep into the ground and help bring forth the green shoots of recovery. After the fires, which spread so quickly and potently due to the lack of rain in the last 18-20 months, we should see new life spring up from the blackened, charred hillsides.

It is forecast to continue until Saturday, and I really do not mind as it is much needed. There was a good inch or more of rain water in the dog' bowls this morning. Compare the situation here in Andalucía with England where the seemingly continuous rain has caused floods and untold damage to people's homes and livelihoods. Mother Nature can be a fickle creature, what brings life in one place can bring ruin in another.

raindrops on the pergola


The weather has been a little mixed with some overcast days, some boiling hot with blue sky days and days that shift between the two.
This afternoon we have a 'herring or mackerel sky' where the clouds look like said fish filleted and flaking. When I was in Sedella that meant winds, here I am yet to find out. I have checked the weather forecast and the temperatures are set to drop over the coming days from somewhere in the high 20s/early 30s to the low 20s. On Wednesday we have a 70% chance of rain, we shall see whether it transpires at all. In the meantime there is no need to pack the t-shirts away but I may have to de-mothball a cardigan or two.

23rd September

Ah - this is more like English weather - it's pouring. Wellies & Brollies to the fore m'dears!


21st September ~ Friday

Yikes, I've not contributed in weeks! But in my own defense, I've been busily preparing for a trip to the UK and work has been crazy.

To re-cap - last week we had a cold front push down from Canada bringing a lot of rain and cooler temps at last. The sun has returned this week and thankfully the temps have remained very fall-like. The acorns are pelting the house and yard. And I believe our beloved little Hummingbirds have migrated on somewhere warmer for the winter.

I won't likely have a chance to post about the weather until I return from my holiday - so look for me to report in again in early October.


Summer may be on its way out

The weather is changing. For the last two days the clear blue skies and hot sun have been replaced with a grey cloud cover. It is still hot enough for t-shirt and shorts combos even for those of us who have acclimatised to the heat of Andalucía, but soon cardigans will be making a show in the evening.

On the last day of blue skies (though there were some fluffy white clouds) and heat I went to Mijas, a beautiful white village in the mountains above Fuengirola. The view down to the coast was hazy and the sight of the African coastline just a dream, but I found a chocolate factory so all is right with the world!
Fuengirola in the haze, from Mijas

Burro Taxis waiting in the shade, Mijas

Plaza de la Constitucíon


12th September 2012

They awoke before the alarm sounded for 6.30. The air was still and the crescent moon hung lopsidedly amongst the stars, opalescent against the midnght blue sky. Refreshingly cool, their skin prickled as the hairs on their arms rose to create warmth.

The bus climbed through the mountain range and the hazy view of the sea disappeared behind the range's peaks. The sun climbed too into the cloudless sky. The landscape changed from orange boulders covered with green pines to a grey rock landscape before flattening out. The town of Ronda, like a white spaceship, perched atop a plateau.

As they climbed up the sides of the gorge the afternoon sun beat mercilessly on their heads. Shade was sought on a cool stone bench beside a cobbled street whose stones shone with the footsteps of a million feet. Later a cool beer in an air-conditioned bar eased the pain of aching limbs before the bus ride home.

The sky had returned to its dark beauty by 10pm. They lay on the terrace sofas and peeked out from under the sheltering sails. The wind agitated the palm trees. It sounded like the patter of summer rain, occasional big drops plopping onto hot tiles to a background of lighter cascades. All the sensation of rain except for the dampness - a cooling end to a hot day.

Reflections - La Mina Secreta, Ronda.

In Andalucia we had the driest winter for 70 years last year. I would have to look back through my posts to remember the last time it rained.
It tried to rain yesterday.
I don't think we can count 90 seconds of big fat drops of rain splodging onto the terrace a day of rain so we are back where we started, I cannot remember when it last rained properly.

The lack of rain has been a problem, a very big problem. The countryside is tinder dry. On Thursday night (30th August) a fire started and spread. It spread across a swathe of countryside from Fuengirola to Marbella with people evacuated and some losing their homes. The glow of the fire could be seen 100kms away. On the Friday afternoon I watched as a formation of planes flew over and dumped thousands of litres of water onto part of the fire in the urbanisation in which I now live. Officially the last of the fire was put out on Tuesday evening and it has been classed as the worst fire in this area for 20 years.

I will be more than happy for rain this winter.


5th September

Poor old weather diary has been a bit sporadic for all three of us these last weeks - we're all so busy with various "must be done today" lists.

So here's an update for the London area.
Its sunny, but the warmth is going from the days - quite chilly in the shade. Bit of a wind and there is definitely autumn in the air - the trees aren't turning but if you look quickly you think "Hmm, are those leaves turning yellow or not?"

Quite a lot of berries as in rose hips, etc but not much fruit as in blackberries (our raspberries at home were hopeless this year - I think we had about 12 in all!)

The evenings are drawing in as well - almost dark by 8 o'clock yesterday.

If I had the inclination (and the space in a kitchen etc) I reckon I'd be busy bottling or freezing fruit & veg for the winter - making jam, and chutneys. Drying herbs - all that sort of thing as people in the past would have been doing.
Harvest festival soon - although the harvest has been poor this year because of all the rain earlier in the year.
The cost of wheat will be going up - which will push everything up. Hay is already expensive.


1st September

Oh dear I have been so neglectful - just haven't had time to even look at the weather, let alone write about it.

Here's a catch-up.
Its been getting quite chilly of an evening (in fact I turned the heating on last night) but it has been fairly dry - the occasional burst of rain, but nothing too drastic.
The garden looks like an overgrown jungle. Most of the autumn flowers are almost out - roses have done very poor this year, as have the geraniums.
The hazel tree was covered in hazel nuts - but Master Squiggs the squirrel has gaily been helping himself. Fortunately I managed to save a couple - which I intend to plant & hopefully grow,
Spiders everywhere - small garden spiders that seem to hang in the middle of nowhere & I don't see them until I walk slap into their web.
I now have a peculiar walking action as I head to the pond to feed the fish or into the greenhouse to water the ailing cucumber. I walk with my arm outstretched waving it slowly up and down.
Must look most odd to the neighbours - but effect as a pre-web warning!
The dogwoods are getting enormous, the wisteria has gone rampant and the lavender is all over the place.
It'll all have to stay Jungle-fied though as I haven't got time to sort any of the tangle out.
Nor have the inclination as we are going to be moving - assuming we can actually find a suitable place to move to!
(am starting to despair of that!)


31st August ~ Friday


Full Moon!

copyright photographer: Markus Gann
 We have decent weather at present. We are far enough northeast to not be too dramatically affected by what was Hurrican Isaac. We have had cloudy to partly cloudy skies all week with high humidity. But the temps haven't been outragious so I'll not complain.

Our acorns are beginning to fall....still startles me when they hit the roof!

White Oak acorn

mushroom in the yard

Mamma Squirrel stealing birdfood

Sourwood tree leaves are the first to change for Fall


22nd August

bit cooler today - pleasantly pleasant! Pity I'm too bloomin' busy to sit in the garden & enjoy it :-(


21st August ~ Tuesday

Same as Deborah - cooler air at last. It is finally bearable to be outdoors! We've had a couple of days of overcast and rain, but today the sun has peeked out for a bit.

Cooler Air

It has been sticky hot for the last week or so but this morning I have woken to cool air. I haven't glanced towards the sea yet but I can imagine that the mist has rolled in. The dogs and I are much happier with this heat and are moving around at a slightly greater speed than before!




15th August

Quick catch up  - it has been quite hot - pleasantly so, but a bit overcast & showery today. At least the horses are out in the field again now


13th August ~ Monday

Same old, same old here in NC. Hot and sunny with a chance for afternoon storms every day. *laughs*

However, I managed to get a few photos this morning:
White Oak tree acorns. Although they are not fully formed just yet.

My dog Buddy who kept frightening off the birds while I was
attempting to get some photos of them.

Despite Buddy's barking, I managed to get one of our Hummingbirds!

Berries on the Sour wood trees.


It is hot, very hot, 40+C hot. The only two places I want to be are the pool or a darkened cool room. As I am in Sedella today neither are available to me.

I am meeeeeeeeeltinggggg.........


2nd August ~ Thursday

Bright and sunny and humid after a late night thunderstorm. Currently 86F degrees. At least it isn't 96F!
Our little magical Humming birds have been extremely active though - need to refill their feeder tonight!
This is the best photo that I've managed this year. LOL They are so quick!



I've been a little lax with updates as I am in the process of moving from the solitude of the mountains to the relative chaotic noise of an urbanization on the coast. Gone are my sunrises punctuated by the sound of a whistling goatherd and the animals' bleating. Gone are my glorious red sunsets with burning clouds and a pink sky (well, they are there I just can't see them). Sunrise is to the sound of a lawnmower, midnight is accompanied by the arrival of the bin men. One saving grace is that I did hear an owl, so there is some wildlife out there.

Yesterday morning as I returned to the mountain for my piecemeal move, the coast was swaddled in seamist. Swathes of white smothered the front line properties and stole silently across parts of the motorway. People were still headed for the beach, to sit or swim in cool whiteness; quite ethereal.

1st August

Forecast announcement by James Naughtie on Radio 4's 'Today' programme:

"Today will be wet, then a little less wet."



31st July

arghhh! Been SO neglectful of the diary... never mind.
Weather had been better these last few days, not too hot, not too wet, but today?


25th July ~ Wednesday

Two thunder storms in one day! Wow. I woke up to rain and thunder and we just had another round late this afternoon! We hadn't had any real measurable amount of rain in weeks, so I'll take it! However, very humid so being outdoors is pretty much intolerable these days.

So when will Fall arrive?????


Blatantly stolen from Richard Denning

July 23rd  was the day the ancient Romans celebrated Neptunalia – a two-day festival in honour of Neptune as god of waters, celebrated at Rome in the heat and drought of summer. The idea was to appease Neptune so he would send rains to keep the crops healthy. The people used to build huts of branches and foliage  in which they probably feasted, drank, and then slept overnight, continuing the fun the next day.

In ancient calendars these days were marked as Neptune ludi et feriae. Ludi means games and Feriae festival or feast. This implies that the celebrations consisted of  games and sports as well as feasting. Neptune is sometimes associated with horses so it seems likely that horse racing was the order of the day, indeed his temple in Rome was close to the Circus Flaminius – the horse racing 

But as I said in my comment reply: 

Please do NOT pray for rain - I repeat 


(mind you, we now have a heatwave here in London 

so this instruction may change....)


The British and the Weather.

The Brits are weather obsessed; it doesn't matter where we reside the weather is always one of the subjects of the day.
A Facebook exchange between friends this morning (names have been substituted with places):

Milan, Italy: Jesus it's 18 degrees and I'm bloody freezing in my t-shirt .. not used to English weather conditions any more :-)

UK:'s scorchio here now!!!!! set to rise to the dizzy heights of 29 this week.....just in time for us to fly out there!!! :o)

Sedella, Spain: 22 here in Spain and cloudy. What's going on?

Milan, Italy: I know Spain - WTF?! And UK, it is still hot during the day, but so much cooler in the mornings and evenings... not altogether a bad thing...

Perth, W. Aus: We have 24 during the day and down to 2 during the night! Huge temperature changes.

Eilat, Israel: 39 now going up to 43 here in Eilat but it's a dry heat

Milan, Italy: Well the sun has come out again now and we're back up to 29° and it should be in the 30's for the rest of the week. Phew! Thought for a minute there I was back in the Uk...

Sedella, Spain: Still in cloud and 22 - actually find the odd day like this a blessed relief!

We'll probably still be updating each other into the evening!

23rd July

My office ceiling and walls are sparkling with little dots of fairy light ... yes, it is 9.52 a.m. and the sun is shining and glowing on the crystals which hang in the window.

I can hear the swifts outside shouting their excitement as they race after insects, and one of the chickens is cackling as she lays a "cackle fruit" (an egg)

The waterfall in the pond is trickling merrily (we altered the fountain a short while ago to turn it into a fall over some rocks) The fish love it - there are about a dozen of them round the bubbling water sunbathing, and there is also a huge spider's web outside the window with a big fat spider plonk in the middle of it - also sunbathing? The web will be broken the first time Mab jumps onto the shelf outside the window demanding to come in via that route. At the moment,she is asleep in the greenhouse (yes, sunbathing!)


20th July

Sorry I haven't posted - been busy working.
And anyway there are only limited ways of saying "it's raining......"


16th July ~ Monday

We have had yet another afternoon thunderstorm today. A mostly overcast day with muggy temps hovering around 90 degrees F as well. But the afternoon storm did bring our temp down to a comfortable 72F. Humidity is high though, but I'll take it as long as the temps are not 100F!

My Crepe Myrtle is finally beginning to bloom. I'll have to post a photo once it is in full bloom. What a late bloomer!

Little wonder I overslept. No sun streaming through the blinds, just a day that bears the marks of winter. The air smells of burnt toffee, and pricks of moisture bounce of the skin. The clouds have covered the mountain, and the silence is eerie. The birds are not singing and hopping in and out of the dogs' water bowl as they have been since they started to fledge. Only the bells around the neck of the sheep, who are out later due to the coolness of the morning, occasionally break the silence with doleful clanging. I have pulled up all the blinds that had been lowered to keep the sun's heat out, and the grey light is seeping in.

Yesterday had been cloudy too, but not like this. Occasional shards of blue and brilliant sun had broken up the grey monotony. It is forecast to burn off later, so I shall make the most of the cloud cover and do energetic things this morning. The hot afternoon can be devoted to the pleasures of reading and writing.

Shrouded by cloud.


I went to the beach for dinner last night. The cool air coming in from the sea was such a relief to the stifling temperatures up the mountain. I was even starting to feel a little chilly when the temperature dropped to the low to mid 20s, but come 11.30pm the temperature rose again.

My friend has a broken foot, so we decorated her leg with cheap bangles bought from the cabanas selling jewellery and other touristy items. Then her husband carried her to the car. The old ladies sat on the bench found it amusing, the teenage boys stood around chatting looked on and then laughed, the children who had been playing in the playground formed a line along the wall and just stared. They were completely transfixed by the plaster. A row of 5 year olds, at midnight, standing and staring. Very amusing.
A blinged plaster!


There's a breeze - yay!

Therefore I am outside - even bigger YAY!


11th July

Brilliant blue sky and sunshine today - although not very warm, and a bit windy. But 6.25 - in rolls a sudden storm (they come up SO quick!) and this time we are getting the works - a curtain of rain, which turns to hail - and rolling thunder.

Oh joy.

 Thunderstorm over London

and 6.46 -  twenty or so minutes later..... 
it's all gone and the sky is blue again.

Absolutely weird!

 Images from the Internet

Oh for a pool!

It was 29C when I fed the dogs this morning, and it just gets hotter. My tan is fading, because without a pool it is too hot to sit outside. If I had a pool I would invest in waterproofing for my laptop and bob around all day in a floating chair (a bit like this chap) and do all the necessary from there.

As it is I am sat indoors, curtains drawn but windows open, living for the occasional delicious breeze that slides through the window. I am running low on water, so a trip to the supermarket is required but the idea of standing in a queue on a day like this...
However, they are all air-conditioned - maybe a little jaunt down the mountain is not such a bad idea after all.


10th July ~ Tuesday

FINALLY. Cooler temps and a little rain!!! *dances* Not nearly as much as the UK is experiencing, but I couldn't be happier to see an end to the blistering heat!

10 July

Ditto the last month's-worth of posts.



Cloud Cover

I've woken to cloud cover, which at the moment is providing a nice cool temperature (relatively speaking) - a blessed relief as I have to drive to the other side of Malaga shortly. It is forecast to burn off, but I hope not. The dogs and I deserve a little shade and respite; yesterday it was still registering 34C at 10pm on my thermometer.


I am watching the rain pur down at Wimbledon whilst sat in temperatures in the mid-30s that feel like early 40s. Rain does make England green, but I'm sure that friends and family back home would prefer a little sun as well!

Here, in Sedella, the only greenery on the brown hills are the vines, almond and algorroba trees. Málaga still looked lush when I popped in yesterday. The palms and sub-tropical plants that line the road to and around the port offered shade and a pleasing sight.

8th June

Today's a.m. news on TV.

Disastrous flooding in Russia kills many people

Flood alerts in the UK - I can back that up: it poured with rain here in London from about 9 p.m. It is now 11a.m. and it hasn't stopped.

Our news also had a piece about the heatwave in America - highest was 105, apparently, and lots of people are without air conditioning because of power failures after the recent storms.

My only thought with that (sorry Cathy) is what did people in the US do before they had air conditioning?

Also - I assume there is no worry of a water shortage in the US?
The ironic thing is that we had a shortage here in the UK earlier in the year - at the start of April a hosepipe ban was put in place because the water levels were so low....
jumped the gun a bit eh?