The Boar Wars

Spring has sprung early in the campo.

There is almond blossom everywhere as Nature goes into seasonal overdrive, and my garden was looking particularly splendid, a minor miracle considering that I’m now in charge of it since my gardener, maintenance man and all around “fixer”, the multi-talented Florin, has moved on. Luckily he pops back every few weeks to make sure that the place is still standing and check on the water levels in the deposit tank.

Otherwise the Casita might be looking like one of those artist’s impressions of what the world would look like if humans vanished – overgrown buildings, abandoned cars, cats lording it over the place – which is pretty much standard round at mine most days.

As well as the flora, the local fauna has been active too. Rabbits scurrying up the track, wild goats coming down to drink on the far bank of the lake, and the local fox slinking out of sight of the headlights most nights. Even the house guest has been active, though her current hobby of building stone totems in the garden took me by surprise.

I was fiddling with the lock on the main gate one night when my peripheral vision made out a shadowy figure in the garden. I almost had a heart attack on the spot until I swung my head torch on it and it revealed itself as an “artistically arranged” pile of seven stones. Needless to say it didn’t last long.

My biggest problem this year, however, has been the wild boar. (And if you, like me, were a teenager in the 80s, then you can’t read those worlds without hearing Duran Duran in your head.) Like a determined and demented bunch of porkers auditioning for the Istan amateur dramatic version of ‘The Great Escape’, they have made repeated forays under my fence and ripped up swathes of the garden.

I’m scratching my head what to do about them, with my current plans, as I survey the devastation, of sitting on an office chair at night with a touch strapped to the 12 bore. A sort of grumpy and well armed campo lighthouse, if you will.

The Boar Wars have begun. It’s going to be an interesting month…

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