Poppies popping up – but not on our finca

Rural Majorcan poppies

A blaze of colour, although the farmer probably didn’t appreciate the invasion of his cereal crop!

Poppies seem to have been late emerging this spring on Mallorca. Perhaps it was because of the huge amount of rain that fell on the island over the winter months?

I love poppies and was keen to plant some in the garden, imagining a future scene reminiscent of Claude Monet’s famous Poppy Field. A welcome gift of California poppy seeds was liberally sewn over the small patch of our garden that has more than an inch or two of soil.

Lost to the lane

Last year a few of these seeds did grow into poppies but, this year, we haven’t had a single one in the garden. However, the wildflower-strewn verges of our lane have become home to a few that are more West-Coast America than rural Mallorca. Ho hum. Well, this is a breezy island…

A touch of Monet on Mallorca?

Elsewhere in rural Mallorca poppies are having a field day (pardon the pun). On our way back from an appointment in the town of Sa Pobla yesterday we spotted a particularly colourful field. I didn’t have my camera with me, so the image is courtesy of my iPad. And there are quite a few similar displays of poppies elsewhere on Mallorca…just not in our garden.

Text and photo Jan Edwards©2017

Spring has sprung . . . and so has a leak

A warm welcome to the spring

A warm welcome to the spring

Spring is finally here on Mallorca: today as we look up from our finca on this beautiful Mediterranean island we’re looking at a clear blue sky and bright sunshine. It’s my favourite season – a time of optimism, rebirth, and hope. Already there are a few poppy flowers dotted around our land, and soon the verges at the side of the lane down to our valley will be a mass of wild flowers. And, for gourmets, there’s the added treat of finding wild asparagus. People drive out from Manacor to hunt for the elusive slender stems in the verges and fields. Of course, those of us who live here in the valley have first pickings . . .

Pass the mallet

But amid all this positive stuff, we made an unpleasant discovery yesterday – a day after our latest delivery of 12,000 litres of water. Spring isn’t the only thing that’s sprung . . . we now have a rather serious leak in our water storage tank, or cisterna.  The lining we had installed in 2007 to repair a previous leak seems to have developed its own leaks.  Having discovered the problem, The Boss headed off to do some emergency repairs with a large mallet and a handful of wine bottle corks; I didn’t dare ask . . .  Whatever he did has stemmed the flow a little, but clearly something a little less Heath Robinson is needed for a permanent solution.

Fortunately we have a terrific builder – whose company balance sheet was given a favourable boost last autumn with the work done on our roof – and he came out to examine the cisterna within a couple of hours of our phone call. There’s too much water in the tank to assess the situation accurately, or make a repair, so we must wait until the water level has gone down considerably before he can do that.

Making a splash

Once the water has been used – or has leaked away (which it’s doing steadily) – we’ll be reliving the experience we had when the previous repair was done. It’ll mean one or two days without water, and we’ll be filling the bath and various buckets, so we can flush the loo and heat some up for dishwashing etc.  And for our own ablutions, we’ll be renewing our acquaintance with the public swimming baths in town – where we can have the luxury of a shower both before and after a few lengths of the pool. As it’s spring, let’s be optimistic: the exercise will do us good . . .