Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a very British view of life in a small village in Alicante province, my experience of Spain, of Spaniards and sometimes of the other Britons who live nearby. The tabs beneath the header photo link to other blogs written whilst I was living in other parts of Spain, to my articles written for the now defunct TIM magazine and to my most recent photo albums.

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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