YOU may be aware by now that I have an idyllic little place on a reservoir in the hills above Marbella.
(As an aside, Che once said that all great revolutions begin in the hills, so when I come sweeping down from the Sierra de Ronda at the head of the People’s Republic of Istan, don’t say that I didn’t warn you.)
The Casita del Lago is so-named because it is right on the lake, which means that in spring I was able to kayak from my garden.
The combination of a very dry winter and the annual influx of tourists, however, has meant that the level has dropped alarmingly. I don’t know what the direct translation for dust bowl is but ‘Casita del Polvo’ is probably more apt. Rather than the fishermen who normally come down to the lake, the past few weeks have seen enough quads, motocross bikes and 4x4s haring across the dried-up lake bed to give the Paris-Dakar a run for its money.
The real problem at the moment is water. To say that I was somewhat unimpressed when my water tank ran dry last week would be an understatement. And I was even more unimpressed when, two days after getting a truck to deposit eight cubic metres of water in the tank, that the taps ran dry again. Due to the, ahem, ‘eccentric’ nature of my set-up at the Casita, there are roughly 300 metres of water pipes that connect the tank to the house, all of them buried underground. As Brucie would say, ‘Good game, good game’, when it comes to finding the leak!
Luckily (and, some would say, miraculously) I have a rather lovely lady in my life who has graciously let me use her shower (although she draws the line at my suggestion she joins me). But until all is resolved, I’d advise standing upwind from me …
Dangerous Dining Club
I went with a group of friends last week to celebrate a birthday bash on the beach. And although food in Spain is generally excellent, this particular chiringuito served up some rather unappetising combinations, including what looked like a modernist take on pizza, using pan del dia as the base.
After a particularly ‘interesting’ fish dish came out of the kitchen’s swing doors, the leader of our group was moved to quote Russell Crowe in Gladiator: “Whatever comes through those doors next, we stand a far better chance of making it out alive if we all stick together…”
The waiter then brought out a very greasy-looking squid dish. As one, we all broke for cover!