A spring storm over Gozo

Enjoying reading a book in the sun on a lounger in the sun, sunscreme on your nose and forehead, turning and turning and be careful not to burn! Put new plants in the pots, sweep the terraces, hoe the garden, rinse the windows and wash the car. People it is spring! Finally after a long wet winter we enjoy the sun! That was at the beginning of this week.

Two days ago the wind turned slowly southward to the east and the next day to the northeast. The wonderful days without wind were over. But the sun was still there and it was wonderful from the wind! But then the clouds came and the lovely sun disappeared behind them.

On Friday the palm trees started to rustle more, now they do that quickly, but they made more noise. The branches of the olive trees moved as if there were 10 birds on one branch and on Saturday there were already 20 birds on one branch and there was the announced storm!

Pieces of palm trees fly around and fill the pool! The new plants are ripped out of their pots, the rain strikes the newly-felled windows. The sunbeds and wooden garden chairs are flying around! The bins with plants on the wall are on the ground. The sky is dark gray and the wind is screeching around the house! The ferry makes a detour around Comino and the hydrofoil is taken out of service.

After three years we know that the winter period is always coming off with a violent storm. So next week we expect the sun again!

“Haxix” Vegetables on Gozo

(pronounce hashish)

We have been living in Gozo for more than three years now. Several times a year we visit our children, friends and family in the Netherlands. With great pleasure we do groceries at one of the large supermarkets. In the department of vegatables and fruit it looks like there are no seasons anymore. The offer is overwhelming; potatoes of different varieties but also packaged as slices, cubes, potatoes with herbs etc. Fruits and vegetables with exotic names from all continents. Pretty well everything wrapped in plastic. We heard that there are plans to tackle this plastic problem.

In Zebbug where we lived before, several vendors came through the street loudly. Also two greengrocers every day. In Victoria (Rabat) there are at least six vegetable stalls daily. We regularly buy from Simon, a young self-employed person. He buys his vegetables and fruit from local farmers (or people with a small piece of land such as so many locals own (we also grow lettuce and tomatoes on our own soil) or he buys from the wholesaler who also imports some things. The local oranges are from his father’s fields.

The supply of fruit and vegetables is much less than in the Netherlands, but sometimes we also come across unknown vegetables, for example. the local sweet potato. Simon has already put his wares on his cart in crates, the eggs in “old-fashioned” cardboard. Import fruit often packaged in plastic but the local products are not. Are we walking behind or leading the way here at Gozo? In the past we used to do the groceries in the Netherlands with a list of what kinds of vegetables and potatoes would be served in the evening, now it is a daily surprise every time “what is the offer”? Tonight (Dutch) sprouts and local sweet potato !

Our guests at B & B Fran D’or are offered freshly squeezed orange juice every day. The taste differs; the import oranges a bit more acidic, the local sweet from the many sun hours here on the island. We also serve several types of fresh fruit every day. Tasty strawberries and sweet melon in spring, watermelon and apricots in summer. In the autumn plums, pears and grapes. Although the sun is shining here most of the time, the seasons have continued to exist.

Happy cats!

These are happy cats, Tom & Ginger. They moved from Zebbug to Ghasri with us, alway a bit of a risky thing cause cats tend to lose their way after moving house. However, after two weeks of keeping them indoors, they were allowed to go out. We had expected them to stay around the house, exploring slowly slowly, but no, they ran outside, tails up and jumped over the walls into the beautiful green Ghasri Valley.

Question was: will they find their way back? Theory says cats never go further than 150 metres from the house. So we tried to call them back into the house, and yes, they appeared immediately, really happy to see us, and really happy with their opportunity to roam the neighbourhood. The most happy cats in the world, or so it seemed.

However, after a couple of weeks Ginger disappeared….no matter how we called, or how we searched the neighbourhood…..nothing. We didn’t sleep all night. But then in the early morning when we looked for him again, we heard a meowing sound in the distance. This turned out be somewhere behind a wall. A place where we couldn’t go. The good news: Ginger was alive. The bad news: no clue how to get to him, as he was locked inside a closed off patio, with no doors and windows. Frank reached to the neighbour, Frankie, who had a useful ladder. Frank went up the ladder, climbed over the wall, but Ginger hid somewhere inside the house. Whatever we did, Ginger didn’t show. Finally we put a shelf against the wall and we left the building, waiting for a miracle to happen……..After two hours we suddenly heard sound and saw a reddish tail coming over the wall. There he was, our adventurous hero! He was very very hungry as well, but after that, and two days of sleep everything went back to normal.

Bottom line: both cats are really happy with the move to Ghasri and the adventures they experience here. If you like cat stories, check our site, because another story is following soon.