Rain, Bugs & Phone Lines

Onl MarianneAfter an extremely hot and dry summer there have been some very welcome rainy days here in Almuñécar. When we came down in October, our fruit trees were full of this white stuff produced by cochinilla, ferocious cochineal beetles that can kill a fruit tree in no time.

Now our lemons and oranges are inedible; small, hard and with black spots. I guess we have to take drastic measures and spray the trees with insecticides, since spraying with water does not seem to help at all.

When the rain finally came in December, we were overjoyed. The downfall was quite abundant, but there was no severe flooding as in some regions in the province of Málaga and Murcia with extreme flashing brought on by severe downpours. In some of these areas the heavy rains have left people homeless, caused deaths, collapsed bridges and forced roads to close.

We all still remember the disaster that Amuñécar went through in September 2007, when we were hit by the same kind of flooding that has now been haunting the western part of Andalucia.

In our household, the heavy rainfall has caused some small mishaps. First, the telephone went dead. This always happens after heavy rain. Telefónica then comes and clears off the water accumulated in the box situated in the telephone pole in the street.

This band-aid approach normally helps until it starts raining again. It can take months, but sometimes only weeks or even days.

Last summer we had four months without a single drop of rain, which was good from the telephone point of view, but otherwise a disaster. This year I have been more insistent with the telephone company, urging them to come up with a more durable solution to our problem.

The answer to my prayers was a wonderful Movistar man in blue dungarees and with a roll of cable on his shoulder, carrying a heavy tool box. It sure looked as if something finally was going to happen. Now we have a new cable, and the phone and internet work as they should even when it rains.

It seems that the water in the telephone pole was not the only problem. Squirrels had been chewing merrily at the phone cables causing more water damages. I remember our ‘irrigation man’ in the Suspiro del Moro road telling us that squirrels were his best friends, since these sweet creatures make a not negligible contribution to his water-spout sales. So let’s see how durable the solution is after all.

The New Year 2017 will, no doubt, be an exciting one. The whole world is facing more challenges than ever. Important decisions are in the hands of leaders and politicians. We ordinary people cannot do much more than vote and let our voices be heard. Let’s hope for the best.

Wishing you a Happy New Year, with celebrations with family and friends. Have a nice time and make good and constructive New Year’s resolutions. Hopefully the possible rain stays on the plain.

Marianne Lindahl

Born in Helsinki, Finland, many decades ago and a resident in Almuñécar since 2001. I have a M.Sc in Economics and Business Administration and an Authorized Translator´s exam. Prior to this I studied art in Helsinki and Paris. After a career in business I started painting again, (oil, impressionist with a touch of naivism)and have participated in many exhibitions in Spain and Finland. I am active in Asociacion Hispano-Nordica in Almuñécar, a meeting point for people from Sweden, Norway and Finland. I am married, with 3 children and 9 grandchildren. Hobbies: Cats, golf, trecking, jazz. 

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