Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

July in an Andalucian pueblo

By the end of July the field of sunflowers near our home had dried to sooty stalks bearing blackened faces. I have recorded their progress since May. The last day of the month the reaper came. Thought I’d let the rest of July speak for itself through a selection of the images I recorded. Click on any picture to see a larger version.

 

 

 

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15 comments on “July in an Andalucian pueblo

  1. Laura Bloomsbury
    August 5, 2017

    rather relieved it was not the grim reaper that came Bryan. I eat sunflower seeds with breakfast – easy to forget these are not born and bred in packages. Can feel the heat of Andalusia through your images – sombreros and all, even in the nocturnal fiesta and the lovely shadowy vignettes. Which one is it?

    Like

    • Bryan Hemming
      August 6, 2017

      Thanks, Laura. July 16th, dia de la Virgen del Carmen, in answer to your question, the patron saint of fishermen. When the weather is suitable, the fishermen carry a plaster statue of the saint down to the beach, where they load it on to a boat to make the short voyage to the harbour. This year there was too much of a threat of Levante blowing up, so she was taken by open truck. In the evening she’s brought back, and a much bigger effigy is paraded through the streets. At the harbour they used to serve plates of grilled sardines and other stuff free, along with lots of local white Chiclana. But I haven’t been to that bit for a few years.

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      • Laura Bloomsbury
        August 6, 2017

        had to look up Levante – bit of a a terror of a wind from the Levant, opposite to the doldrums! Bless the fishing boats and the sardines – long may we be fishers of fish (but not over fishers)!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bryan Hemming
        August 6, 2017

        I wrote a short story entitled El Levante some years ago. https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/el-levante/

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      • Laura Bloomsbury
        August 7, 2017

        torn between squirming and smiles- the turmoil of Martin with a backdrop of el Levante, the well-oiled word association in the mirror is perfect! Blast Hank the Yank – taking over other’s territories with a mind full of socks and yoghurt 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bryan Hemming
        August 7, 2017

        Thanks, Laura. Having not read it in some time – I occasionally polish up my older stories – it made me smile when I went back to take a look.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Val
    August 4, 2017

    Wonderful photos and sights. I presume the wilted sunflowers mean they are being gathered for their seeds? (I’m not familiar with the time that the crop is gathered to extract the oil).

    I love the market with the colourful bags, the woven bowls, the warmth of the night scenes. Great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan Hemming
      August 5, 2017

      The sunflowers were harvested last Monday, the last day of August. The seeds are used for oil, but also as snacks. From an early age children learn to split the husks with their front teeth to extract the seed with the tips of their tongues before spitting the husks onto the ground. The ground round popular public benches is littered with them. They do the same in many Mediterranean countries. I remember the custom from my travels round Turkey.

      There’s a photo of the harvesting machine and of the big tractor and trailer that transported them away. I chatted with the driver, Juan, who stands proudly next to his machine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Val
        August 5, 2017

        I believe my mother used to eat sunflower seeds the same way. Myself, I no longer have enough teeth positioned in the correct places for that! I’ll have to have another look through these photos, I’d not had enough sleep when I looked and probably didn’t notice the harvesting machine! I live in farming country so it may be possible that I now don’t automatically notice these things…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bryan Hemming
        August 5, 2017

        I’ve never got the hang of it, though my sisters and I used to eat beech nuts, which require a similar technique. Ah, but I was so young back then.

        If you click onto any photo you get a gallery to browse through, which is the best way of viewing them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Val
        August 5, 2017

        I did, actually, look at them as a gallery (I love to look at photos that way) but obviously my brain wasn’t quite on the planet when I did, the first time round!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. eremophila
    August 4, 2017

    Would love some of that Spanish sun right now Bryan. One of my enduring memories is seeing for the first time ever the fields of sunflowers in full bloom. Ah……..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan Hemming
      August 5, 2017

      It has been getting a bit too hot at times, with temperatures nudging 40C in Conil. In Seville, which isn’t so far away, they’ve broken through that barrier quite a few times this summer. But they drop quite considerably in the evenings here, so it’s very pleasant indeed, most nights.

      Like

  4. Jeremy Stocks
    August 4, 2017

    Your blog is growing on me. Kind of Peter Mayle with a sombrero. Leicester man eh? Was one year there in the Uni for MSc degree. Didn’t study a lot spent a lot of it trying to get postgrad girls into bed. Was Silver Street the hippy quarter of Leics back then also?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan Hemming
      August 5, 2017

      Silver Street started more as a draw for mods, as the Il Rondo featured bands popular among mods like The Who and Jimmy James and the Vagabonds. The Churchill pub opposite was a draw, as were the mod clothing shops in Silver Arcade known as The Irish. In the late 1960 a few hippy shops started to open, as many mods made the conversion, and bands like Cream played at the Il Rondo. But the hippy scene was also In Humberstone Gate where a few clubs opened in rundown buildings. I left Leicester in 1969, and hardly ever returned after that.

      Here’s a link to a piece on Silver Street in the 1960s when it was Mod haven. I can testify to accuracy.
      https://kennywilson.org/2014/10/10/mods-in-leicester-u-k-in-the-mid-1960s/

      Like

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