Buds are meant to burgeon in May, according to all good literature; here in Andalucía they are much more likely to do it in April. But, either month, it is an absolute delight, that delicious freshness of tiny brilliant green shoots emerging from dead-looking bare wood. The emergence of new life is magical enough to always make us gasp. If you come into the Garden Centre early on spring mornings, you´ll almost certainly catch us oohing and aahing at the latest emergence – even my daughters are good at it now! It becomes a contest to see who has noticed something new; the lime greenness of ginkgo biloba leaves, the shrimp pink buds unfurling on the schotia brachypetala or drunken parrot tree, smoky, sultry leaves on the cotinus, tulips in their candy-striped coats, fat rosebuds bursting their jackets and the soft sherbet colours of iris blending and mingling under the limpid leaves of quince trees. The evergreens have held sway all winter but now is the time of glory of the deciduous trees and herbaceous perennials. Never will they look so enticing so do take time to wonder at it all. Remember that gardens are places of pleasure – don´t wrap yourself up in so many tasks that you don´t have time to enjoy! Take your early-morning cup of tea out into the garden; you won´t be able to sit still for long, something will catch your eye and lead you down the path of garden delights.
If you’re reading this on the day of issue (1 May) I will have been walking along my latest Camino de Santiago for the last eight days. This year my camino takes me along the north coast of Spain, from the French border, following the Camino del Norte from Irun to Ribadeo (625 kms), then I go ‘off camino’ and continue to follow the coast for a further 200 kms until I reach Ferrol and join a different pilgrimage route, appropriately called the Ingles, for 120 kms into Santiago de Compostela. If I have made good time and stuck to my walking schedule I will have been walking for 35 days and will have time to walk on to Finisterre and Muxia a further 120 kms, before returning to Santiago and flying home at the very end of May.
The Axarquia is a wildlife paradise. There's little intensive farming, limited industry, lots of wild land and a gentle climate. May is mid spring and all nature knows it: if you are a wildlife lover get out of doors and look about. Here are some of the things you might want to keep an eye out for. Flowers April and May are poppy-time – you find them scattered about banks, sometimes a rag-tag few, sometimes a field-full that wants to be a Van Gogh painting with all that implausible
Has vivido en Competa toda tu vida? Si, nací en Cómpeta hace 50 años y en este pueblo he vivido desde entonces. Have you lived in Competa all your life? Yes, 50 years ago I was born in Cómpeta and I have lived here ever since. ¿Qué te gusta de Cómpeta? Cómpeta es un lugar maravilloso donde vivir, tiene un encanto especial que lo hace diferente, casi único. Hay algo que ocurre a menudo y me da la razón y es el hecho de que la mayoría de personas que viene a visitarnos buscan aquí sitio y forma de vivir, incluso muchos se quedan para siempre. What do you love about Competa? Cómpeta is a wonderful place to live; it has a special charm that makes it different, almost unique. I have good reason to think this as what often occurs in this village is that many people who come here to visit, look for a place to live and new way of life and some even stay forever. ¿Qué cambios ha habido desde que abrió por primera vez? Empezamos hace casi 25 años como instaladores de fontanería y mantenimiento. La mayoría de trabajos eran reparaciones en casas unifamiliares. Ahora nuestra oferta es mucho más completa, realizamos instalaciones de todo tipo: agua, gas, piscinas, climatización, energía solar, instalaciones de sondeos, realizamos instalaciones de redes para ayuntamientos, comunidades de regantes, comunidades de propietarios, etc. Abarcamos una oferta amplia, pero seguimos atendiendo religiosamente a nuestros clientes con los pequeños problemas del día a día, como hacíamos cuando empezamos, cobrando siempre sólo lo justo. Esta política de trabajo nos ha permitido superar todos estos años de crisis con solvencia