At last I've remembered to take the camera on my daily walk. There's something I've been wanting to photo for weeks, and today it's almost too late. Anyway, there it is, up there: it's the neighbours' arbutus tree. I don't know whether they grow in the UK, but they're quite common in this part of the world. It's also called the strawberry tree, and you can see why: that red fruit with another behind it is about the size of an average strawberry, and the taste is similar although not quite so tart. The arbutus is unusual in that it flowers and fruits simultaneously.
You can eat the fruit straight off the tree. Once I offered one to my son Nibus, who can be particular about what he eats. In an impressive display of courteous discretion he took it outside, ostensibly the better to appreciate its texture and flavour. At any rate it had gone when he came back in.
J. tells me the Portuguese distil a potent brandy called Medronho from the fruit.
In Madrid, apparently, taxis and manhole-covers feature images of bears eating from the arbutus.
This is all I know about the arbutus.
I did not see any bears on my walk. Nor manhole-covers. But as always I enjoyed the view of the village and the mountain behind, a massif called Mt Caroux. This mountain is curious in that there's no other side to it. Once you scale the cliffs and reach to the top, it just undulates away at the same height into the far distance, in fact for about 300 miles northwards. Mt Caroux and its neighbouring mountains are the ragged southern edge of the massif central.