The rural reality

WHEN I lived up a mountain I normally got a good night’s sleep. Now being on the edge of a village the entertainment starts anytime before dawn.

First we have various decrepit agricultural vehicles that grudgingly and loudly groan into life as their equally as decrepit owners take them out to do some work.

Then there is the ancient car which every morning the owner attempts to start for a good quarter of an hour. It roars into life and he revs it and revs it until it dies then the process is started again; and then again until the owner is confident that even the dead have woken up in the village cemetery. It was always parked on a hill but facing upwards! The last time the owner tried to start it I suggested he pointed it downwards so he could bump start it and lo and behold since then he actually has!

Spain recently lost out to Japan as the noisiest place to live in the world.

I suppose the world’s largest earthquake in living memory and the noise of a nuclear reactor blowing up is an eensy-weensy bit louder than a group of Spaniards having a chat.

The other night I was rudely awoken at sparrows fart as three men decided to have a good old chin wag using loudhailers and foghorns.

The various delivery vans I mentioned the other week all arrive like clockwork yet it’s in the Spanish van drivers rule book to continuously sound the horn and to never sign-write the van as otherwise we might be able to work out what’s being sold. Mind you not many men would appreciate driving a van covered with pictures of frumpy ladies dresses.

I learnt early on when I moved to Spain that the word Rambla if correctly translated means dry riverbed (or more appropriately perhaps, rubbish dump!) and this one is no different.

This week the entire contents of an old house have been dumped down there. The wood I will claim and use for kindling but unfortunately I’ve no use for the antique telly or the rusty old table legs also kindly left for passers by.

When I empty my pockets after walking the dogs out tumble empty fag packets, plastic bags and maybe an empty drinks can all picked up along the way. I remember Peter from Arboleas once borrowed a trailer and we removed loads of dangerously dumped pesticide containers from Arroyo Aceituno.

I can see my friend Donkey from the garden if he is tethered on the rambla and call out to him before taking him healthy treats. More often than not I have to refill his empty water bucket as his owner forgets from one day to the next.

Even in the 21st century people can be so uncaring of animals and I know many people that care for their Spanish neighbours animals. Donkeys’ owner used to keep a dog chained up in a dark cellar allegedly; the poor thing had bed sores as he had no room to move. An English neighbour nursed him back to health whereupon the chap promptly asked for him back, luckily he is now safely back in English care.

The spot on the A1101 between Rambla Aljibe and Zurgena (Km 17-18) still has the Monday to Friday litterer and I collected nearly 30 empty water bottles on two recent stops. The chap (or chapess?) also smokes Marlboros and uses a tissue for something?!? I have yet to pluck up the courage and don plastic gloves to get rid of those items. If anyone with a welder wants to make and donate a free standing sign I will erect it there and write in Spanish on it ‘This is not the rambla please take your litter home!’

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