. . . and I’m not rolling along.

We are having work done by our third set of builders and on Friday afternoon I was shifting boulders to use in building stone walls at the entrance to the quinta. Suddenly the front right wheel locked. Carefully and slowly I had to shift the tractor off our road, with horrible grinding noises coming from the wheel bearings. It sounded expensive. I phoned the mechanic, who came and helped me to remove the front loader and to make the tractor drive on three wheels back to its garage. Alfredo was unhappy with my limping green Agrokid and promised to come back the next morning to diagnose the problem.


He reckons the lower ballrace failed and a fragment moved into the drive cogs, where it caused a tooth to shear off. This bit of gearwheel then smashed off more teeth from two cogs as I drove the vehicle off the road. We are waiting to hear the situation for replacement parts.

Leatherhead it ain’t.

Picture taken from our land at midnight. Three days earlier there was a forest fire a few miles to the west of our quinta. These are worrying because we have strong and hot winds at this time of the year so a fire can become voracious and move quickly to devastate the land. These fires are too intense for people to approach and have to be dealt with by powerful hoses on fire engines – provided water is available. We have a drought now following rainfall of only a few centimetres in the whole of last winter. We went to bed with smoke and ash in the air and an orange glow on the horizon.

On the kitchen floor, next to our bedroom, was this little fellow – newly dead. Our neighbour tells of her friend’s child who got into bed and was stung by a scorpion in the sheets. Writhing in pain from the venom, the child had to go to hospital where she was sedated and anaesthetised for two days, sweating and moaning in pain under her coma. Janet said she thought there was another which ran under the fridge. Just to be sure I pulled it out and in the corner was the other scorpion, tail high ready to sting. Clearly the winner of a fight. I killed him – little ones grow into big ones and make lots more. We didn’t have this problem, nor the fires, in Surrey.