By Percy Chattey
The Hondon Valley, this gem of inaudibility nestling amongst the Mountains about an hour’s drive from the Costa Blanca coast. About two decades ago when my wife and I found this paradise of a Vale, which at that time was trying climb to out of its past and join the twenty first century, there was over a three year wait for a telephone line and the television had two Spanish Stations with the large ‘H’ type of aerial which decorated in a multitude of thousands, the roofs of houses in Post War Britain.
Everything has changed over those years, and now we are as knowledgeable as most peoples about the modern wonders that abound and are sorely needed in this time of Lockdown.
The village has taken staying at home very seriously and because we are banned from travelling to a decent supermarket, about 12 Kilometres away, we have found the delights of getting our supplies from the local, small shops, who have coped very well in this time of crisis.
Although not the choice of items there is in the big shopping arenas, we are getting used to the change of diet.
We do feel as if the Gods have been against us this year for two reasons. But first I will tell you about a happening, in fact a few happenings when last year the main roads in and out of the Valley were modified with extra drainage to their sides. The systems that have been installed are about 500 millimetres wide and designed to run water off onto lower levels.
As I said this started over a year ago … the point is, did the Governing Body know something? For since the construction of these we have been awash with water. I’ve lost count of the Gota Frias that have happened.
This Spring has been a total washout with an entire change of the weather. Since last October we have had the sun peeping out for a day or two followed by more water coming down from the heavens.
To add to the disappointment of staying in out of the rain we have, like everywhere else, Lockdown. But at least we are in the dry. Short of climbing up the wall or painting it, we have been trying to find novel ways of keeping busy.
The Hondon Writers Circle, the members not being able to meet for their fortnightly get together, have built up lengthy poems, by each putting in sequence four lines on the groups WhatsApp page, building something funny and unique which is then published on Face Book.
Ludo is a fascinating game when played with two partners in a group of four and nothing like the way children would play it. But of course, with the present situation it is not possible, especially if you are two metres apart.
But with all the technical know-how in the Valley and the ability to use Skype, we managed by having a board in each of the two houses one with a camera over, and the game was on. If you would like to know the rules I will happily send them to you.
A lovely little story from Karen a member of the Writers Circle. Having a need to get provisions she decided to make herself one of those no-sew masks. She followed the instructions to the letter, and it worked! Looking great, and it fitted really well. Putting a bit of a coffee filter paper in the pocket at the front, because cotton alone will give about 10% to 20% protection, but add a coffee filter paper and it goes up to a 50% to 60% shield.
So, off to the shop, got everything on the list, and got back in the car, taking the mask off and…..the lower half of her face was blue, lips and all. She looked like she had been dead for a week! Going straight home and warned the husband not to laugh at her or else….thank goodness it washed straight off! Just call her the Queen of the Smurfs.
We are all looking forward to the Valley turning back to normal with the sun warm and bright, also being free to wander the streets and to go a bit further to look at other parts of the world. There is also a mountain of work to be done in the garden, weeds two feet tall … perhaps the rain and the Lockdown are not such bad things after all…