Matilde, Miranda and Monteverdi

It has been a night of severe storm here in the Costa Blanca. I was woken at 3 a.m. by the sound of very high wind and torrential rain, so put on waterproofs and wellington boots to investigate the donkey field and see if the stable was holding up. Outside, one glance at the darkened shapes of the trees bent over in the howling wind and horizontal rain, and I briefly returned to the house to change my sou’wester for a cycling helmet. It may have looked absurd, but it was a necessary precaution against the danger of flying debris.

The donkeys were in the stable and everything was secure. The tarpaulin over their bales of feed was flying loose and needed tying down more securely, but apart from that, everything was fine. I was pleased to see the donkeys were keeping completely dry in the stable.

Back in the house, I cooked a fried breakfast at 4.30 a.m. There was no possibility of returning to sleep, and when daylight arrived I went out to see how things looked. There was a rainbow in a huge arc, snow on Puig Campana, and the wind still blowing at full force. Here is the video, and – for those of you following the saga of Matilde – her nose can be seen in close up, healing well.

The New York Times had a front page donkey story this week, the story of the Miranda donkeys in Portugal. They are another endangered donkey species. There is European subsidy money for the Mirandas (280 dollars a year, reportedly), so at least that is some recognition for those who try to keep the poor old donkeys of Portugal going!
NYT donkey1-article

Without those subsidies, “it would make no economic sense to keep my donkeys, however attached I am to them,” said Gonçalo Domingues, a 70-year-old farmer who has two Mirandas.

Without those subsidies, “it would make no economic sense to keep my donkeys, however attached I am to them,” said Gonçalo Domingues, a 70-year-old farmer who has two Mirandas.

Finally, after a sleepless night and a gale still blowing outside – I have lit a cheery log fire and I will settle down to listen to Savall conducting Monteverdi in the Palau de la Music in Barcelona. I mentioned the Catalan early music genius Jordi Savall in an earlier post. This recording of Orpheus is a real musical treat, with beautiful staging.


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself dividing my time mostly between looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca and preparing a legal case against the corrupt management of my monstrous last employer - the Elians group - for unfair dismissal. I like to hear the wind in the pine trees. I do not like struggling to get a duvet into a duvet cover. My musical tastes are extinct and I have mostly given up cycle racing.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Matilde, Miranda and Monteverdi

  1. Dilly says:

    I love Monteverdi. Did it for O Level or A Level.

  2. So glad the Donks were not spooked!

  3. GC says:

    That was really a treat, Brother Lapin, donkey-wise and opera-wise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s