Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tooling up

I have to admit that I was surprised they didn't give me more trouble about the hoe head in my bag. After all a jar of marmalade caused a full scale security alert. Being singularly unimaginative I was hard pressed to envisage the damage that a jar of marmalade, even Olde English thick cut, could do to a Boeing 737. The security staff at Gatwick on the other hand seemed to be well aware of the destructive potential of the orange preserve.

Our garden grows a good crop of weeds. Lots of other things grow too but weeds seem to grow much faster than the lilac or the figs. I brought the hoe head back because neither Dutch nor English hoes are on general sale in Spain. Spaniards use something more like a trenching tool to grub out the unwanted greenery. They seem to prefer to pull when we Brits, and those nice Dutch people, like to push.

Our burning certificate was for a month. I was not allowed to burn in Holy Week and we had a lot of rain in March which denied me opportunity after opportunity. I only just got in under the wire, on the last day of the certificate's validity, by burning most of the garden cuttings we had amassed. When I raked the ashes out (Spanish rakes look like British rakes) they left a big black stain which contrasted unpleasantly with our dun coloured soil. I needed to dig the ashes in. But, just like hoes, forks are in short supply in Spain. I checked five tool selling shops and a huge hypermarket without success. There were all sorts of tools, some very much like the ones you would find in Homebase, and some very different. As I searched in Carrefour I was captured by the Caritas food bank people which added an unexpected extra expense to the quest. Finally though, in a big DIY store on the outskirts of Petrer, I found one lonely garden fork. It was an odd looking, and very dusty, beast by UK standards but it was definitely a fork.

Strange to think that there are different tastes in garden tools between Spain and the UK.

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