Thar She Blows!

Whales do come by here but, as far as I know, not close enough for us to spot from our terrace. Still, just about every morning, thar she blows. “She” has a gas-powered leaf blower and works her way down the Paseo noisily blowing the sand and debris into neat piles that she then (quietly, thank you) sweeps up and hauls away.


I talk often about what bliss it is to wake up to the sounds of the sea; well, some mornings, we wake up to this. At least the streets are always clean, but at times Our Lady of the Leaf Blower really works San Geraldo’s last nerve. (One point in her favor: She knows all the locals and is always warm and friendly.) I’ve included a 30-second video to help you appreciate this idyllic morning in Los Boliches. (If you click on many of the photos, they’ll blow you away.)


Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Thar She Blows!”

  1. Oh, well, I guess even Paradise has its annoyances. When I lived in downtown Portland, the garbage truck used to pick up right outside my window at 3:30 a.m., followed by the street sweeper at 4:00. But Portland is a long way from Paradise. If she blows only during "open season", maybe you only have a week or so to endure. Crossing fingers and toes for you and San Geraldo.

    1. Jo:
      She definitely didn't blow so often during off-season, but she gets her job done quickly, so it's really not such a bad thing anyway. When we lived in Irvine, the gardeners were around just about every day for at least half the day. Gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers, hedge trimmers. THAT was enough to drive me crazy some days. I worked from home and would have to shut my windows to be able to talk on the phone. THIS is a hiccup in comparison!

    1. Stephen:
      I was standing on the terrace for the video and she was directly across the street, so it sounded worse than it does from inside. But, it starts any time after 7 a.m. Today it was about 8 and she was doing our side of the paseo. But our side goes much more quickly (not much sand) and she sweeps more than she blows!

  2. I'm curious… is that leaves or just "dirt" that she's blowing away? I don't like noise but do like clean sidewalks. By the way, are the folks there "better" about cleaning up after their dogs than they are in Seville? (if only a few folks did it would be better than Seville!)

    1. Sharon:
      Leaves, sand, and litter. But, thankfully, very little litter. Dog poop is not a major problem here, especially on the paseo and the main shopping streets, but it never hurts to watch your step.

      It's interesting your impression of Sevilla is that no one cleaned up after their dogs. I didn't have that impression. (We even had a poop-bag dispenser in our plaza.) I definitely watched where I was walking, but in years past, I had been in so many cities where you had to dance down the street to avoid the piles, I found Sevilla an improvement.

  3. I wish I had her technique. Of course she is a professional. I have the disadvantage that mine is electric so I have to constantly strategize on cord placement lest I trip over it and fall in a cactus or choke myself

    1. HK:
      She is either really strong or it's a really light-weight and still heavy duty machine. Given the size of the thing, I think she's just really strong and really experienced. We had an electric hedge trimmer Palm Springs. I would be very careful and then get overly confident and forget myself. Almost cut through the cord once (but only once) and also just missed slicing into (or off) my knee!

  4. It looks to be very powerful, and perhaps that is why it is so noisy. I was scratching my head because none of the photos looked very special, let alone blow me away…….and then gears whirled and cogs merged.

    1. Oh, my sincere apologies, Andrew. As I wrote that, I thought some readers were going to be very disappointed when they weren't actually blown away. I'll be more honest next time. Sorry to force the gears to whirl and the cogs to merge!

    1. Jim:
      The cats are used to it. It especially helps that they were immediately able to look out and see what was producing the noise. However, they tend to head over to the back end of the terrace until the noise abates. They're kind of crotchety.

      Today is very breezy, so she simply swept!

    1. Judeet:
      I just added "Reactions" yesterday. I had it there a while back and quickly removed it. But then yesterday I thought it might be nice for people who don't have the time to comment or anything they really feel like saying, but want to acknowledge they've been by. I know I use those little boxes regularly on blogs I follow.

      Fortunately, Noisy Blower Lady doesn't stick around very long. AND she's very nice. AND she takes great care of the neighborhood.

  5. Oh well, if it's only for a short time I guess it's fairly minor as annoyances go. And you do get to have clean streets! Could be worse.

    I was looking at the photos and the video and it occurred to me that hers is a pretty cool job – lots of fresh air, plenty of exercise, and no annoying workmates getting in your face!

    1. Judith:
      You're so right. As for the job, pros and cons like any job. She gets to be in the fresh air, but has to wear that uniform in all kinds of weather. Some days it must be awfully hot!

      But no constant meetings, phone calls, back-stabbing colleagues, high-maintenance clients, soul-sucking corporations… Oops. Too many memories!

  6. People who walk along cycle tracks is one of my pet peeves. Despite signs galore, painted cycles and 'Cycle Track' on the pavement, the track in a different colour (in nearby Brighton they are RED!) so many pedestrians walk nonchalently along them as though it was a designated walkway exclusively and purposely constructed for those ON FOOT!. Oooooh It so riles me – I almost WANT them to be run down!

    1. Raybeard:
      Oh, you and I would have a ball venting about this one. When I was out for a walk the other day, I watched two people walking side-by-side holding hands and taking up both lanes of the bike path. Twice, bicyclists came at them head-on, rang their bells repeatedly as they approached, and the duo refused to move out of the way. The bicyclists had to swerve around them while avoiding other pedestrians. It took all my self-control to not explain what bike path means (and hadn't they noticed that there's a huge boulevard for pedestrians)! See, I'm going again…

  7. Pray for breezy days!

    It's the intermittent sound that would grates on ones nerves. If it was a better quality leaf blower and a constant sound then I think it may be easier to handle. Maybe a Zamboni would work ~~~ Oh JOY ! I know when the air exchanger comes on in our abode it doesn't bother me in the least. But when the dogs at the vet next door are getting ready for surgery they yip and bark all morning because they are scared. It is not pleasant. Hope The Lady of Perpetual Noise gets a new job soon!


    1. Ron:
      Breezy day today! She DOES keep things looking beautiful all summer, so we're grateful. But, the intermittent part is what really gets to San Geraldo, too. For us, though, yipping dogs are much harder to tune out.

    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      She does arrive some days when I'm still in bed, but she's never woken me up. I filmed that from the terrace while standing right at the railing. Below the railing is a stucco wall. So, when we're inside, that wall absorbs a lot of the sound. It's sometimes mildly annoying but nothing like the noise we used to experience on our little reverberating streets in Sevilla. Huge neighborhood dumpsters emptied at 12:30 in the morning. Street cleaning trucks passing below the windows at 1:30 in the morning. This is not bad at all!

    1. Knatolee:
      Thanks. She really isn't so bad since she moves through quickly. In Irvine, an entire team of gardeners spent half days just about every day using every gas-powered and electric machine. It was awful. In essence we had two days (sometimes only one) on the weekend without the constant noise. The gardens were beautiful, but I stayed inside with the windows closed.

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