The rain clouds seemed to be firmly stuck in the Vall de Pop (I checked on the cooperative wine label and it seems I’ve been misspelling it – oops) this morning as we had a lazy time keeping the dogs and cats happy while we waited for time to tick around towards the arrival of Steve and Rosemary’s easyJet flight.
Keeping the dogs happy is dead easy: food when the clock says so and fuss at other times. Naturally, they always seem to think any movement on our part indicates food time.
Keeping the cats happy requires a little more thought and understanding. All three are males with quite different characters and, apparently wishes: one likes the occasional bowl of milk; one likes to drink water from a slowly running tap and won’t eat while the other two are eating: one drinks water from the dogs’ bowl but only if the water’s fresh enough, and he does so by dipping a front paw into the water and licking it. Years ago, an English TV advert showed a white cat called Arthur eating cat food straight from the can using his front paw; maybe we have a reincarnation of Arthur to look after.
I eventually found a web site showing Alicante arrivals information and the awaited easyJet flight seemed to be being blown here faster than expected ahead of a northerly wind. It’s about an hour down to Alicante Airport so we left at about 10:45 AM, with the weather seeming to be clearing, for Steve and Rosemary’s expected 11:50 AM arrival. Not only did I correctly avoid a new road which the Spanish had sneakily thrown in to confuse occasional visitors to their country, but I also successfully negotiated the parking facilities at the airport to have us in place outside baggage claim in time to wave a cheery bienvenidos to our visitors when they appeared. Alicante was sunny so Rosemary was happy.
After an hour more we were introducing our guests to our temporary home overlooking Lliber and Jalon where the wind had dispersed the clouds and the sun was now shining. Sun makes such an improvement to first impressions. Lunch in the open made a fine second impression and the cheap but pleasant rosado made a good third impression.
Just to avoid being completely lazy, we had a wander down to and through the vineyards. The route took us past a few bare almond trees – well, almost bare. February is almond blossom time but, for some reason, one or two of these otherwise naked trees had, quite literally, one or two almond blossoms clinging to them.
Time was too advanced to walk any distance; the sun was dropping and the wind that had cleared the clouds was rising. Time to return and think about the rabbit and artichoke paella that we had planned.