Poco a poco, Órgiva is changing; but not in any big way. This relentless rain reminds us of those Japanese TV endurance games where contestants have pepper dusted into their eyeballs – only, in our case (and much of Spain), it is to: ‘endure a never-ending rain shower and all that this entails.’
This includes: bored cats; cats that look to wee inside the house; leaks, an entrance to the house resembling the Río Genil; sodden firewood, stuck doors, loosened rocks littering mountain roads, and potholes in the locality. The pitter-patter of rain on the roof is the volume of a snare drum paradiddle.
The rain has been so heavy that, for a while, some locals living in Los Cigarrones next to the Río Guadalfeo were asked to evacuate their homes. Everyone is talking about mops and buckets.
But even between the downpours the sun does sometimes shine, its penetrating warmth reminding us that – in a just a month or two – life will spring from the land again, plants will need water and these deluges will become a distant memory. If only we could somehow store these thousands of gallons of muddy, orange water that roar down our baranco. Despite its effects, the rain is very welcome. Spain’s reservoirs are benefitting and up to around 46% capacity, on average.
In the centre of town, and just before this bonkers rain set in, a new bronze sculpture by Orgiveño José Vera was unveiled opposite the church by the traffic lights. It’s of the poet Federico García Lorca and composer Manuel de Falla. They were both enchanted by La Alpujarra and, in particular, the nearby spa town of Lanjarón. Lorca also stayed in Cañar and Bayacas.
Draped in the green and white flag of Andalucía and looking like a piece of 1970s confectionery, the life-size couple were unveiled by the mayoress, María Ángeles Blanco. She was accompanied by her usual town hall gang who looked like they were attending a funeral rather than celebrating two of Andalucía’s heroes.
There was a good turnout of locals and visitors. Órgiva’s Musical Association Exoche, and later the Municipal Traditional Music Workshop, played some lovely music including de Falla’s ‘Mazurka’, adapted for guitar. It’s believed to have been composed by him in Órgiva in the 1920s when he stayed in a local property (we don’t know if it still exists). What a lovely thought that this piece was composed locally. Even if it wasn’t, we can pretend it was. [Here it is being played by pianist, Azumi Nishizawa.]
It’s a decent-looking sculpture – especially of Lorca whose chiselled cheekbones lend themselves to the work. Manuel de Falla looks more like a dustman from 1920s London, but that’s maybe how he looked. Judging by how people drive round here, it shouldn’t take long for a car to mount the pavement and dent their kneecaps – or perhaps, if it’s a larger vehicle, pelvises. A wayward lorry with scaffolding could even take an eye out.
Time will tell whether garlands of flowers are placed around their necks to celebrate their birthdays. That would be a nice tradition.
A photo exists (see below) of the pair apparently next to a fountain in the town – although this is disputed by some. Are there any other photos of the same fountain? We’d love to see them.
Moving on – and unsure whether it was a wet dream or not – we think that money has been earmarked by the Junta de Andalucia to ‘improve the A-348.’ The road zigzags its way through the town towards Lanjarón. Quite what this means, who knows, but the overflowing bins near Supermercado Alpujarra have been moved and, in their place, a drinking spout and wall with a display of flowerpots welded onto the railings. It’s a start until the money…er…runs out.
Let’s start a campaign: Make Órgiva as much-loved as Lanjarón! There’s more on the town hall another day – that WILL be fun! (Please get your thinking caps on what you’ve encountered and had to endure.)
© con jamón spain