The cloud hasn't just been sitting on top of us for the past two days on our side of the island, it's wrapping us up too, stifling us, mentally and physically. Its only possible merit is that it also seems to have stifled the wind, somewhat; on the sunnier east the wind been blowing people off their feet, according to Beloved. (Granny's car still with the mechanic, Beloved's pickup in use elsewhere, she can't check this out for herself.)
For summer up here read winter on the other island; without the cold or the rain of course. This is the time of year when hens cease to lay, when vegetables won't grow- unless you water of course, as Beloved does, but that's not, environmentally the right thing probably -when the birds disappear, when under permanently gray skies everyone starts getting depressed - 'deprimente' complained Nieves, Granny's cleaner, only this morning - when the air feels simultaneously both dry and dank, a disconcerting combination. Right now, gazing out on the gray sky, on her gray land, from a window covered in the mixture of dust and salt deposited there by the wind, Granny would rather be on her other island. It seems to have recovered from the extreme cold that made her glad last week she was here, cloud, wind and all.
Travel agents of course don't tell you about any of this. They wouldn't, would they. But Granny is telling you. Though it's true that the tourist parts of the island are less dismal than this - even sunny - this is NOT the time of year to come to Lanzarote. Go to Spain, Italy, France, even stay back home in England. Just DON'T bother to traipse all the way here. Autumn, winter, spring, is quite another matter.
The little kid, Rachel Vinegar can't be happy with things either, following the day last week when racket of goat bleats erupted, some from her mother, some from her. Jumping ever higher as time went on, she'd succeeded first in leaping onto one of the stone walls then onto the roof of the goat shelter. She couldn't get down; her mother couldn't reach her. Hence the bleats. In due course she did manage to jump into the pen with the other goat, Ruby, where she was quite happy, as was Ruby, but Isobel, her mother, protested still more loudly. Though Rachel is not fully grown yet, though her little devil horns are only just beginning to grow, the shades of the prison house have now closed about her. Her escaping into neighbours' fields/gardens or getting into ours and eating up the growing vegetables not to be contemplated, she has to be enclosed or tethered, just like her elders. Shame.
White goat Ruby has a tumour on her neck; probably not malignant but goats get these things, it turns out - oh how Granny's knowledge of these things is growing; things she thinks she'd rather not know about really. The goat vet with a French name - Rene - you'll have to imagine the acute accent on the last e - Blogger formatting doesn't allow for that - is coming this afternoon to cut it out. Beloved says he could do it himself, but he hasn't any local anaesthetic. If Ruby could think about such things she might be glad of that.
The water problems appear resolved for the moment. Seems likely they were caused by the replacement of water pipes up the street; the men with vans all came from the water company. The knowledge did not of course clear the smell, but the advice to chuck several bottles of bleach into the water tank did. Granny is giving that a day to clear too. She doesn't fancy bathing in bleach. But tomorrow she will take a bath, at last. Oh the bliss of it; and not just as an anti-depressant against all the cloud and gray. When Beloved reappears with the pickup she's off to buy some really nice bath oil. Between that and her carnation soap she'll smell so nice you're all welcome to come and sniff her, virtually or otherwise. Be her guest.