Friday, 14 September 2012

Home visions

After breakfast yesterday I wrote a sermon for next Sunday. I had a visit from two house painters engaged by the owners to do maintenance tasks on the external walls, in odd spots where the paint has degraded due to salt efflorescing from the cement mixture of the surface rendering. I imagine this happens not infrequently in this environment.  Then I cycled into town to spend an hour or so in the drop-in centre chatting to visitors. The rest of the day I spent catching up on domestic tasks, doing the week's shopping, writing, uploading photos, catching up on news back home.

Today was somewhat similar. The house painters visited again and stayed a short while. They don't seem to have finished, to judge from the state of the patches they've been treating on the walls and balcony ceiling.  It was a beautiful afternoon with a brisk wind coming off the sea. While I was hopping channels on the TV, trying to make up my mind about where I might go for the afternoon, I alighted on the channel showing the Tour of Britain cycle race - the stage from Welshpool to Caerphilly, just over the mountain from home. I just had to watch, to try and figure out the route being followed. It was less than easy, due to advertising gaps, and reluctance of the commentators to pronounce place names visited.

I then spent ages re-arranging Costa Azahar photos uploaded to easily identifiable Picasa web albums - ages because the internet connection speed here is a third of that at home. Pictures can be seen here. Before supper I walked down to our local beach to absorb some fresh air. The wind off the sea created huge breakers which spilled surf right up to the beach wall, and under the cliff on the south side.  I sat for ages and marvelled at the spectacle.

It's easy to see on days like this how coastal erosion can be such a persistent and expensive issue to deal with. I wonder how far this is a product of changing weather patterns. The Mediterranean sea level has dropped ten metres over the last era of geological history, to produce current cliff erosion. Eventually, through global warming, sea levels will rise, and the shape of the coastline will inevitably change again. Coastal defences may become as essential to the national economy of Mediterranean countries as they are now to Holland, one day.  I wonder how many years from now?

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