I’m back at Bara’

Yes here I am back on the Barabrith estate a million miles of difference from the Nightingale Estate!

A rather hairy me in my new shirt hand delivered from Gdl Mexico. Its the first t-shirt I have that is certainly too wide for me, its an XXXL but I like it 🙂

And here I am in my brand new genuine Guadalajara, Mexico shirt hand delivered by a friend of my old friends the Jaramillo family who sent me two shirts and two fancy pens! Muchas gracias!

So it was with some trepidation that I slid open the gate yesterday and stepped back on to “our land”. What would “the kids” (my affectionate term for Marko and Sunny, when they are not around) have done to the house and garden? How much damage had the cat caused? Visions of chaos and bad taste decisions we thankfully quickly dispelled. I had a good nights sleep back in my bed and now with only the one duvet and no heating.

The next morning, today, I managed to get up and downstairs just before midday. I made breakfast for Marko (his second of the morning) and myself which included the revival of my savoury porridge recipe that I’ve not made for a long time. Marko approved so it must be pretty good! Watch out future guests tomato porridge will be on the menu.

Then we set off on a tour of the gardens. See that space above, where Ena is standing we intend to build a greenhouse there. The little apricot coloured house we hope to turn into a sauna…. one day.

“The Kids” have been busy in the vegetable garden. One thing we learnt last year was that none of us could remember all that we had planted and where it was. So this year we are employing the almost indestructable insides of rice milk tetra packs to mark what is planted and its all bilingual (which maybe my comrades ever so just (and unusually) subtle attempt to suggest its about time I learnt some of the local fiendishly difficult language)

Bi lingual veg markers
Lettuce plants known over here as Salad
This garlic was planted last autumn and is now coming up nicely.
The very beginnings of our extensive onion crop start to sprout.
Ena gazes lovingly at me through the Siberian lemon bush .

We have a steep bank that bridges the height difference between the lower vegetable garden and the clover patch. We’ve planted various bushes along it and put grass seed down in the hope that we can defend the space from the brambles that covered it before. Whilst I was away a rather pretty Siberian Lemon tree (above) was added to this collection.

Potato bales

Marko does like to experiment with things and the above straw bales are one of his latest. Deep inside these two bales are little potatos in pockets of compost. The idea is that when a spud is ready you can take it out and leave the others to carry on growing rather than having to dig them all up at the same time and hope they are all mature. We shall see what happens…..!

Cherry trees

It’s not a very good picture but this view of our woods on the otherside of the valley shows fairly clearly the area we do not own in the middle that has been cut down. You can also see the white blossom on all the tall wild cherry trees.

Quince tree

Over in the newly named “Upper Garden” where we planted trees last year in spring and autumn the quince tree is producing bright green leaves.

Onions again

The Kids have planted a load of vegetables in the upper garden between the young trees and bushes. Here is a couple of lines on onions which is a good idea because we use a lot of onions!

Judas tree jinxed!

The Judas tree and another fancy ornamental bush we thought to decorate our entrance with are suffering the unwanted attention of the neighbours male dogs and their peeing habits. A protective fece is called for.


One of the mysteries of Croatia is why the fuck does bamboo cost so much? I mean in London you can buy a bag of small bamboo canes for garden or sexual abuse use for about £1.50. ver here each cane seems to cost about that amount which is doubly weird seeing as how most things cost less here. This is one reason why I smuggled some of my Dad’s altra aggressive self-propagating bamboo shoots over in my shoulder bad and planted them last autumn.  As you can see they don’t look too happy and maybe this explains why bamboo is more expensive over here!

Thanx for reading,  feedback by email or comments below is very welcome, cheerio, Jon