In the spring of 2016 the EU referendum was announced. I had many sleepless nights wondering what would happen should Britain vote to leave the EU, although hubby seemed less bothered. “Never in a month of Sundays,” was his confident prediction. As the debate heated up, it became slowly more apparent that the unthinkable might actually happen and we might find ourselves turned overnight into illegal immigrants.

Basil Howitt offers another snippet on the sex life of the Sun King, Louis XIV and, at the end of the local truffle season,  shares his modest acquaintance with truffled dishes and truffle lore. She…

I was out when the Man from Orange reappeared at hubby’s new gate, specially designed to protect the garden from the neighbour’s sheep who roam at will around the area. Hubby couldn’t understand exactly what Man from Orange was saying but inferred from the body language that he was required to switch off the electric fence so the Man from Orange could do some testing or repair work.

We were lucky enough to have met a very kind English couple when we moved to Mas Pallagourdi. As time went by, our new friends proved to be extremely knowledgeable about all manner of things, from where to find a particular kind of gravel to good quality hay to tracking down the best seafood in Spain. In fact, we were so amazed at our friend’s abilities we started to call her The Oracle.

The loss of our beautiful fat cockerel and 24 hens had been a blow, but despite what you might think, not everything in our new life was a complete disaster. The wildlife pond had turned out to be one of hubby’s more successful projects. Although a good number of aquatic plants had died, the fish population had flourished and this part of the garden had become a haven for wildlife — insects, frogs, toads and snakes had all taken up residence. But it wasn’t all plain sailing. Mr Guppy, the plump fish with the beautiful tail, was the first to disappear. And then, one spring, a heron discovered the pond and cleared it of fish overnight.

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