Saturday, November 28, 2009
The winter season is rolling into town, though it’s not the rain that announces it but rather the buzz of work beginning on houses, and hotels in the area. With the elections coming up in a couple of months, it may be that a blind eye is turned to ‘construction without authorization’ this year and many seem to be taking advantage of it.
Most of the people who worked in the tourist industry during summer go back to their regular jobs involving manual labour. It’s nigh impossible getting any of these skilled workers to do reparations during summer, so I imagine there must be a backlog of work now.
In the abandoned terraced gardens in Fornillo, lemon and orange trees are being pruned of dead growth and the creepers tangled in the fruit trees are ripped off and used to feed large bonfires. The owner and a helper work for days, cutting and carrying piles of sticks and cut growth on their shoulders. They wind down along the maze of ancient tracks from garden to garden, piling the bonfire stack high.
The remnants of the Morning Glory which has blanketed the olive trees all summer, crackles in the flames. The smoke billows up to the house. These steep gardens which were once so productive with vegetables and fruit have not been tended for years as manual labour is more costly, and the owner/gardeners are disappearing with the generations. Wild fennel and weeds now cover the embankments. The new owners are too busy with their summer jobs to keep an eye on the place and even the lemons are often left unpicked.
It’ll soon be time to cover the fruit trees with their heavy netting to protect them from the wild winds that pick up in winter. The meshing lets the sun in, whilst tempering the force of gales.
In April, when the nets are lifted, the trees' leaves will be flattened like hat hair, that is, until the wind ruffles body into them. And then they’ll blossom once again.