By Peter Kerr, James Bryce, Summersdale Publishers Ltd
Having battled and succumbed to the manana speed of rural Mallorca, spring sees Peter Kerr and his family members enjoyable right into a supposedly easier lifestyle, growing to be oranges on their little farm, Ca's Mayoral. although, even after the rigors, tribulations, and triumphs in their initiation, Spain has now not but complete with them. Embarrassing subtleties of the language, brushes with the neighborhood police, the unlucky consequence of a consuming consultation; surprises are aplenty to check the unravel, stamina, and, might be extra importantly, the humorousness of this venturesome emigre relations. Their eccentric and colourful new buddies are continuously to be had to assist out—for higher or worse—and upload spice to this account of tranquilo lifestyles.
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I could tell from his delay in replying to my question, however, that he was searching for the right word. Jordi loved speaking English, and although his vocabulary wasn’t particularly extensive, he hated to be found wanting. He was never stuck, though. If in doubt, throw in anything, and in this particular instance the throw-in word was ‘tripe’. ’ I asked, totally bamboozled. ‘They put you in hospital for . . ’ ‘Bloody ’ell! ’ The best form of bilingual defence was obviously attack as far as Jordi was concerned.
She eventually called out, reverting to standard Castilian Spanish, which was, in effect, a secondary language to her and her fellow rural mallorquines – a ‘foreign’ tongue which they sometimes had to think about before speaking, and then did so relatively slowly. This suited struggling Spanish-speakers like us just fine. ’ I scratched my head. ‘No, I don’t think so. Well, yes . . now you mention it, somebody did once invent a little machine for making burnable bricks out of old newspapers, I think.
Sí, the bees. ’ A sentimental smile lit Pepe’s face. ’ First old Maria had called them cupids, now Pepe described the bees as musicians. The affectionate, almost soft-hearted feelings which these ostensibly nononsense, hard-working country folk had for such a lowly creature both surprised and touched me. ’ I prompted. ‘The golden rule is that, if you are going to spray your trees, always wait until the evening – until the bees have gone home after their day’s work. ’ Simple but profound advice indeed, and something I hadn’t even considered before.