Well, it seems we need not have worried about the initial hesitation and panic caused by the Brexit referendum. People have decided that they need a holiday come hell or high water.
New clients, old clients who have become personal friends, even longer standing personal friends who have become clients; writing groups, cooking groups, people who stay and laze, read and swim, or people who walk the mule trails or jog through the forest with all the latest Fit Bit tech strapped to their manly torsos; elderly ladies who identify butterflies, bat-men who set up lights and traps to see which varieties are about, ant-girls who are writing about bio-diversity in the organic veggie patch for their theses at Scandinavian universities; all are here or have been here or will be here this year.
We have just returned from a week in Bulgaria, eating Sereni cheese baked between filo pastry sheets with dill and lovage (but it's not really lovage, but a kind of sharp celery leaf); soft, soft breads from the Tsentralni Hali market in Sofia; huge pink beef tomatoes much like the ones grown in the Sierra de Aracena, and enormous juicy peaches, heaped upon roadside stands manned by smiling lady farmers.
Our Spanish shop peaches arrive chilled from Sevilla or Valencia, generally waiting to ripen in a warm kitchen, so they do not always have the same yielding sweetness unless we are able to get them locally. In the mountains everything is later due to our spring frosts. The peaches of La Nava, which is nearby, are celebrated in one of our last early autumn festivals at the end of September.
Our kitchen is smelling of these new inspirations. Our filo pastry and Burgos cheese, beaten with eggs is spiced with fennel seeds from the garden and this summer's basil pesto. Sourdough is rising in a large pottery bowl. A Bulgarian brioche is glowing in its egg-yolk glaze like a pale conker. Peaches are being fried in butter with sweet sherry, to accompany theduck breasts which we are serving tonight.