Friday, June 29, 2007

ants frogs and sac the pup

I was out early the other morning trying to get some watering in before the sun started evaporating everything and I came across a line of ants lugging these long twiggy seeds to their tiny hole. I have always been fascinated by them and tried to make my camera do macro stuff without a macro lense. They dumped the seeds near a tiny hole and then an ant (or most probably many ants - they all have the same face to me so I don't know if it was one or multiple) dragged the seed down into the nest.
Then there are Mr Rib and Mr It who have colonised our overflow oil drums. They are very cute and quite friendly. I gave them a rock to sit on and they seem to think that was very nice, agreeing to pose for photos and croaking most melodiously at dusk and dawn. Here is Rib. It was out diving.And this small and very sweet it Sac the spaniel. The girls (9, 7 and soon to be 5) love Sac and fight over who is going to hold him for the next 20 minutes (they have a stopwatch). I don't think he has actually had his feet on the ground for more than the few seconds it takes for one of them to drop him as he starts peeing and another to scoop him up as soon as he stops. Cute isn't he?

Monday, June 25, 2007

brown back green wall.

I would have to be one of the messiest painters I know. I manage to get the stuff EVERYWHERE no matter how carefully I wield my roller or brush. This time it's tennis-court green waterproofing rubberish paint, which at least washes off with a good scrub and some soapy water. Last time it was cream enamel paint and there ain't NO way to get that off without the dreaded disolvent. Ugh. I smelt like a can of disolvent. For days.
Anyway, half of the outside rendered part of our wall is now green and my back is as brown as can be after bearing the sun for a week. I have a true builders tan complete with the line that you get where your t-shirt doesn't quite meet the top of your shorts. Very charming and feminine to be sure.
Oscar is due back from Ireland tomorrow and we will get on with the heavier work of mudding and bathroom building.

Oh and by the way click HERE to see Oscar winning the best album of the year at the Ovidi Monllor awards last week. The first song you hear is his and him.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

how to build a can wall

Here is Oscar putting the finishing touches on our small can wall which surrounds the planter cell (for recycling grey water). Just beyond him you can see the gaping opening which will become a wall in the next few lines. Here's how...First, make a little foundation and put your timber frame (for the window in this case) in place.
Then start laying cans with insulation board in between...

Keep laying on the outside too.

Now render the outside with cement or whatever you want (we use cement for waterproofing the outside and mud on the inside because it's beautiful).

Ready to be painted. No shot yet of mud inside but I'll get there. I promise it looks really nice.

Monday, June 11, 2007

flower crowns and forty in the shade

This is the biggest of the crowns in question - it keeps blooming ring after ring of these tiny little pink beauties. All our cacti are going mad and flowering more than ever before. I think it has something to do with the fact that we are becoming a desert here in Valencia. By forty in the shade I do of course mean forty degrees centigrade, not forty fat men or forty garden gnomes, although there seems to be a trend in modern Alc├║dia for fat garden gnomes complete with barrows, beards and all. Oscar suggested, and I tend to agree, that it is because the Spanish in general watch too many American films and think that all they see is desirable...not everybody of course, but certainly the ones who put the charming little creatures on their totally climate mistook lawn do. I find myself digressing...

We had a nice weekend with Italian Valerio and Joe and Helen from England. Really great people and I was able to girl talk with Helen as if we'd known each other for years. Love it when that happens. The fellows got some wing wall tyre pounding done too and the weather behaved itself nicely enough to fire up the oven and roast some organic chook (and eggplant for Helen).

Oscar and I mudded the inside end wall today. It looks so BROWN and CHOCOLATEY. I love mud. Must have a mud party soon and get some friends down. And dirty.

Photos to follow...thinking about going digital but just never seem to take the plunge.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Earthship France videos

I have been getting weird videos popping up on my earthship france link so I'll post the link to the two real videos here...I don't see how fundamentalist christians explaining the existance of dinosaur bones ("they were put there by god to test our faith, earth is only 12,000 years old - you just have to add up all the he begot she begot he begots in Genesis to know that...duh") has anything to do with earth-shipping in Normandy, but somehow they butt into my blog.

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Visitors and other animaux

This little fella was recently knocking on our glass door most mornings at about 6 am. He must have been seeing some birdy paradise reflected in the window because he would to fly full tilt into it, slide down to earth and then pick himself up and try again. Lovely wake up call...
He is a "polput" (poll-put) according to the locals. No idea what he would be in English. I really don't want Moy the cat to do away with him, although by the looks of this next photos I needn't worry much. It's not even high summer yet and these two do little more than stretch out and sleep.

Oscar and I have almost completed the westerly end wall of the house and I am about to order the window to fill it. We have had a few experessions of interest from people hoping to come down and volunteer help over the summer - GREAT - the first couple of people are coming for a look-in this weekend, an Italian artchitect and an English fellow. Anybody else wanna join us? Just email or leave a comment!