Donks homeless after storm damage

Severe winds and torrential rain have been battering the area of Marina Baixa here in Alicante Province and the donkeys’ stable roof finally gave up trying to hold on! By the time I got home from work yesterday the brushwood over the roof had all disappeared and the sheet of transparent corrugated fibreglass was flying up into the air.

The donkeys were in a state of distress, running around the muddy field. I battled for an hour in the last light of day, standing precariously on a stepladder in the gale but the roof finally came completely detached. Then, as a bough from the carob bean tree next to the stable came crashing down in the gale, I too became detached. I fell off the stepladder and into the mud.

I worked until midnight, borrowing a tarpaulin from friends to provide temporary shelter for the donkeys overnight. Today I had to taken a day off work to repair the damage. Hopefully there will be fewer children in school today as no buses are running, so my absence will be balanced out. (There is a general strike across most of southern Europe in protest against the austerity measures in many countries and the falling standard of living.) I don´t like taking time off from school, but my work pays for my life here with the donkeys and if the donkeys have no shelter when the next load of very stormy weather rolls in, expected soon, I cannot spend my day in work worrying about them.

Rebuilding the stable roof. Donkeys drying out in the pen at the far end of the field which is now a lake.

“What are you going to do about this then?”
Donkeys hate water. The field is now a lake.


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
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