I am now seriously contemplating developing a very basic mini-hydropower system in one of the disused water mills in the valley, employing the vortex principle to accelerate the water flow. One of the possible candidates is the mill on the boundary between two orchards on the opposite side of the stream from our house. This was abandoned between 40...more
To round everything off, a couple of jaded views of 'the morning after the night before'.On the seond day of the fiesta, after the processions with San Roque to and from the church, there is really nothing else apart from the dreaded and dreadful bands late in the evening. Once again the rain failed to turn up, and the racket went on until well...more
Sunday morning. We prayed for a genial thunderstorm overnight, to drown the noiseome and loathsome bands, but to no avail. Tam and I went for an early morning constitutional, up to El Trechoriu and back. We timed our return so as to be able to pohotograph San Roque (and hungry hound) being transported from the cemetery to the church.The best bit of...more
The focus of the action now moves to the field ear the church, where after a good deal of manoeuvring (and creating a fair bit of traffic congestion in the process), the eucalyptus is laid down, in readiness for the spectacular raising procedure.But first, let us meet the Public Exploder!more
On this page we take a long, long look at the felled eucalyptus as it passes AsturArcadia's house and heads for the field near the church on 15 August 2009 - one of the two hottest days of the summer (the other was a Monday in early September). Your local correspondent was seated comfortably at the bedroom window, with a good book and a pot of tea,...more
This takes place on 15 and 16 August. On the afternoon of the 15th one of the tallest eucalyptus trees in the district is cut down, and carried/dragged manually to the field adjacent to the church, where the fiesta is held. It is then raised, using several ladders and trestles, into vertical position. In the past a competition used to be held to...more
I have no idea what their biological name is, in Spanish, English or Latin. All I know is that the first of them flower around 15 August, and they continue for a brief three weeks. Some of my neighbours have given me bulbs, so hopefully in summer 2010 I will be able to photograph my own!They grow wild, and in gardens.more
The primrose must be one of the most emblematic and common flowers in northwest Spain in springtime. The first usually flower in mid-December, the climax comes in February and Match, and they finally disappear in late April and early May. During the summer months it is really quite difficult to tell where they have been - the leaves seem to change...more
Now restored as an Asturian arts and crafts workshop and shop, the former village school (for girls), built in 1892, is situated about 200 m up the valley beyond Bar Santi, and about 400 m below the mineral water factory, on the right of the road as you head towards the Alto de la Llama.The boys' school was situated on the lane accessing the...more
If bees were to disappear from this planet, humanity would only survive for four years longer. Bee-keepers worldwide are concerned about the way their swarms (and harvests) are diminishing in size. The same is true here in Buriñes, where at present only two families - as far as I am aware - struggle on in spite of the low remuneration and the...more
Autumn 2009 was also remarkable for its berries. Some edible, others not. The blackberry harvest in late August and early September was lousy compared with outher years - not enough rain. Tamara made the best of it, though, insatiable as always for food picked fresh off te bush or tree. But then came the other berries . . .more
The wealth of funghi, both edible and lethal. is amazing. To such an extent that photographic competitions are held, and visitors come from abroad to discover at first hand what is growing here.As with other natural phenomena, timing and scope vary from year to year. The 2008 season was brief but rich, finishing in mid-November. In 2009/10 the...more
A three-month autumn blends into a five-month spring, with doses of winter in between.The quality of the autumn tints depends a good deal on the quantity of rainfall during the previous winter and spring, and hence on the amount of vegetation produced. timing is impossible to predict. A dry summer usually results in leaf-fall beginning alarmingly...more
'PWAH!'That is how Tamara still describes what happened on that fateful afternoon in October 2009 when a mini-bulldozer put an end to over 150 years of history in Borines. The stables, carriage shed and saddle room which belonged to the former health spa (the oldest in Asturies), battered the previous winter by the Sword of Gideon (or Damocles) in...more
AsturArcadia lives in what is generally known nowadays as La Fondona, sometime in the past a bar and small hostelry, divided later into two dwellings. But La Fondona is not its correct name. La Fondona - the real La Fondona - is now but an overgrown pile of rubble, about 200 m further down the valley, and adjacent to it were the stables and...more
Perhaps this really ought to be described as a 'Thing Not To Do', since the poor old mansion is on the point of collapse. I did once venture inside, on a sparkling late autumn afternoon in 2009, to record the place for posterity. The building deigned to stay intact during my visit. Thank you, Villa Herminia.Nobody i have spoken to can remember when...more
Grain stores on staddles. Used for a multitude of purposes nowadays, but NOT as residences. There is, in fact, a law prohibiting the occupation of a 'hórreo' as a dwelling. Strange, considering the fact that it is one of the most durable, robust timber structures ever invented, and can be built at much lower cost than a conventional house.Buriñes...more
La Panera, so named because its shape resembles that of an elongated 'hórreo' or 'panera', features on a separate page as well, since it is such a lovely old house. This was the last of the 'llagares' to go into action, on a cold, grey, wet afternoon. As you will see, the mincer is situated outside the house, feeding into the press, in the stable...more
The state-owned metre gauge railway company FEVE offers two train pairs daily on the main line between Santander and Oviedo, and two more pairs linking Oviedo with Llanes. All call at Villamayor on request (signal for the train to stop, inform the guard if you want to alight). It is expected that frequencies will increase after electrification, in a few years' time. Trains are comfortable and fast, staff are helpful and solicitous. From Villamayor Borines is a 5 km walk or cycle ride up the Colunga road (AS-358 - beware, some road signs still show it as AS-259). FEVE trains have plenty of space for bikes. We have a local bus service, of sorts. On Mundays to Infiesto, for the market. On Thursdays, to Colunga. Taxi drivers living in the area also provide local services - enquire at the Hotel Benidorm, 100 m south of the station.
Groups of locals, often youngsters, tour the villages between Christmas and New Year, asking for money for Reyes (6 January, Candlemas).
The photo shows the group from Sieres, one of the 'barrios' that comprise Borines. Pump them with a bit of cash and the girlie in the foreground plays you a tune on her gaita (Asturian pagpipes).
Tamara, who was 'helping' me saw wood at the time, found their visit most entertaining. And they were delighted to play with her while I went in search of a few coins for their collection!
As I think I may have mentoned on one of the other Buriñes pages, I am one of the local 'vocales' - roughly the equivalent of a parish councillor, although we never hold meetings, either among ourselves or with the mayor in l'Infiestu.
I can. however, solicit actions and projects. Things like the provision of a 'punto limpio' or recycling point (installed in January 2010), the repair and clearance of a footpath such as 'El Caleyu; (awaited), the replacement of bulbs in street lamps . . . or the provision of a local speed limit.
The 50 km/h speed limits appeared in early December 2009.
My warning is -
And my grateful thanks to a certain person, the loveliest and sweetest of young ladies one could ever wish to meet, in the local Town Hall, for dealing with my requests for our local community and doing her very best to persuade the powers that be to carry them out.