A lot’s been happening.

Since my camera arrived, it’s rained almost non-stop, and when it wasn’t raining, it was cloudy.
But on Friday I did get chance to see my friend Ana and take photos of her gorgeous little girl. In fact I took over 100. Well, I wanted to practice. I like the results, but I’m going to need a softer flash at some stage.

On Saturday morning my son had a workshop and the son was shining, so I left him there and went to Las Nieves where I took another hundred or so photos. The one on the right is the famous 16th century crucifixion scene from the church. Then I went to my friend Farida’s house, and tried to get her webcam to work with Instant Messenger. It’s the first time Farida’s used a computer, never mind owned one. What’s more, she reads Arabic fine, but Spanish is slow going. I started off by loading the driver for the camera! By the end of the morning, we’d contacted her friends in Morocco, and we could see each other and type, but there was no sound going either way. Both speakers and microphone work outside Messenger, so I can’t be far off.

Meanwhile my friends Helen and Theresa (See “Aunties in their Panties”) got to Cadiz and found the ferry to Tenerife was delayed. (http://casa-estrellas.blogspot.com/). We thought they could still get here for Monday night (today), so on Sunday I went over to their new house in the north of the island to take some of their stuff in advance.
Of course I took the camera, and got in some more practice. This lily is in their garden. I had a nice drive there (lots of photos), opened up the house and saw that the previous owner, Antonio, obviously hadn’t finished clearing out yet. So while I waited for him to arrive, I weeded the potato patch in the garden, and planted some of the local spinach. Eventually I realised that Antonio wasn’t coming so I phoned.

He thought they weren’t coming until Friday, so it’s a darn good thing I went to Franceses and found out. Once we got our wires uncrossed, Antonio promised to get the last bit of his stuff out, pronto. And I set off home.

I didn’t get very far. I’d parked as close as I could to the house because I had some heavy stuff to shift, even though the parking bay is a sod to get out of. It’s just off a steep track, and just above a bend in the track. I decided to go up the track rather than the road to see something new. But when I reversed out pointing uphill, I misjudged it and got too close to the right. I was worried that the front, right wheel would go over the edge, into the steps down to my friends’ house where it would hang in mid-air. So I tried to go up. But like I said, it’s very steep, and I just spun the wheels. So I tried to go down again, and I managed to keep the wheel out of the steps, but the back of the car was dangerously close to the rocks at the bend.

I started to think it would take a tow truck to get me out of there. And the nearest one would probably be Santa Cruz, so even once I’d got the number and phoned, it would take over an hour to get to Franceses. It was already later than I’d planned, and I’d be lucky to get home before eleven.

At this point a couple of neighbours turned up. I said I felt really stupid, which broke the ice, and they said they’d got stuck in similar circumstances. One of them phoned a man (I think her husband) to come and help. He got me to sit in the back, so there was some weight over the wheels, touched the accelerator very gently, and managed to get a foot forward before the track got steeper and the wheels spun again.

Actually that was enough. When we went back down again, we were a couple of inches farther from the rocks. He did it again, and we farther still. After the third go, he managed to reverse down past the bend to where the track was a lot less steep.

“Do you want to go up or down?” he asked.

I said, “Down please! I’ve had enough adventures for today!”

So he reversed down to the bottom of the track. I thanked them profusely and drove home, with only one stop for photos, at La Tosca.

I suppose it’s one way of getting to know the neighbours.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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