Almonds and Autumn

Amazing, but true. Fact: if you stop and just listen, you can tell what season it is, and even which day of the week.

Some of the almonds we’ve been given this week
Some of the almonds we’ve been given this week

To explain, our village is tiny. In the winter there are only six souls, including Joe and me. But in the summer, and at weekends, it’s a very different matter. All the Spanish families pile into their cars and drive into the mountains, open up their cottages and relax. On Sunday night they reverse the process, leaving the village quiet and empty.

If  you know me at all, you’lI know I make lists. These are the sounds that I heard and wrote down.


  1. People laughing
  2. People shouting
  3. Babies crying
  4. Cars
  5. Scooters, lots of them. Many are tiny scaled-down versions ridden by little boys.
  6. The rumble of the almond de-husking machines. I never knew almonds needed to be stripped of their green outer husks. People sit in the street turning the handles, and filling sacks with almonds. We’ve been given so many we could live off them for weeks.
  7. Children playing football in the square
  8. Dogs barking
  9. Football matches. I mean on the TV, but our neighbours bring the TV out into the street, followed by the 3-piece suite and extra chairs. Then other villagers bring their chairs and join them.
  10. Hooting delivery vans selling bread, fruit and fish
  11. Joe cracking almonds
Our neighbours bring the TV out into the street
Our neighbours bring the TV out into the street


  1. A very distant tractor
  2. Birds rustling in our vine stealing grapes
  3. Geronimo’s mule singing to his girlfriend
  4. Cocks crowing
  5. Joe cracking almonds


So, which do I prefer? The noisy weekends or the quiet weekdays? Sorry, can’t decide. I love them both.