Monday, 29 December 2014

Out of the tree of life I Just picked me a plum - Frank Sinatra

Well actually it was 10 years ago, not just.

A short post today, I’ll catch up on all the other stuff some other time.
I can’t believe it, 10 years ago today we got married.  Where has the time gone?

I have three regrets about getting married – now there’s a good start.  1.  It was in December, between Christmas and New Year. 2.  I didn’t get my hair done professionally.  3.  We didn’t have a professional photographer. Actually my regrets are about the wedding, not the marriage. But a marriage isn’t about one day.  We expected everyone to take loads of pictures and we could pick from the best – but the one above is one of the best and we’re not even standing on the same step.

I’d like to dedicate this blog to my lovely husband for a great life together. Now I’m not much of  a one for showing my inner emotions publicly, I couldn’t even look at him on the day during the ceremony but here is my favourite poem, I meant it then and I still mean it now.

“I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I amWhen I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for whatYou are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;

I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing outInto the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.”

Roy Croft

Now I’m going all wobbly about pressing the button and actually publishing this.

So was it third time lucky?  Definitely not - I just made sure I picked the plum - and in the words of the song - the best is yet to come.

............. and tonight we’re going to have one hell of a party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy anniversary Iain


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

It’s not FEELING much like Christmas though

xmas 2014
Well not yet anyway, and it’s only just over a week away.  Maybe it’s because it’s still quite warm (forecast says it will be up to 20C again by the end of the week) or maybe it’s because of one of the things that I love about Spain and that the sun doesn’t set until after 5.30pm and we don’t have those horrible dark afternoons like in the UK.

Still I’m not complaining – at all and I’m very much looking forward to it.

We’ve got family arriving next week, Iain’s dad ® and younger brother Sleeping half-moonare coming on 22nd for 3 weeks and we’ve got Iain’s older brother Thumbs down and his wife Angel (where did those smileys come from, they were supposed to be initials in brackets, sorry Thumbs down that’s just what popped up) are arriving on 28th for 2 weeks.  No they are not staying with us!!!!! No room in our motorhome for 6.

We’ve booked our Christmas lunch at our favourite restaurant, we’ve also got a party organised there for 29th December which is our 10th wedding anniversary.  YES 10 YEARS.  Where have they gone?  This is of course quite a mile-stone for me as I’ve been married twice before and they never got as far a 2 years – ADDED TOGETHER. Then it’s new year and then Iain’s Light bulb (ahh, my husband is a light bulb) birthday.  So it will be a busy time for us over the next few weeks. 

So what have we been up to?

A couple of weeks ago I decided I wanted to highlight my hair.  I’ve been trying to go natural for nearly a year and have just got bored with grey and mouse and thought I’d like to liven it up a bit. Not really noteworthy, but something to consider when small space living and the shower blocks a cycle ride away.  So being the eternal optimist that I am I thought I’d have a go in the van where we don’t have copious amounts of hot water. When you live in a house, you take water for granted – in a motorhome, everything that you use has to be brought in manually and everything that you discard has to be removed manually – and you generally don’t add chemicals.  Now that’s not such a big deal, you get used to it, but it does make you much more aware of how you use your resources.
b-spaghetti head b-outcome
Now I’ve just got to get to the shower blocks without looking like I’ve a load of cheese straws growing out of my head! And a quick selfie to show that it didn’t all come out in the wash.
The duck has taken to visiting us now and the dog is terrified of it.  She won’t look at it and pretends it’s not there.  I think the duck just likes company and we don’t mind, except that it’s not house trained and c**ps all over our benidorm blanket so we’re forever washing it off.  James has almost been able to resist feeding it so that it might leave and as I’m writing this, I’ve just heard Iain call from outside, “Oh the bloody duck’s back”.
b-dogandduck b-guard duck
Don’t come too close, 
I’m warning you,
 or I’ll just have to …………..move.
Guard duck – I’ll just sleep here so the dog can’t come out
We had some pretty rough seas the other day, we could hear it from our pitch.  Wow it was really rough for the med but it was still warm and sunny and there wasn’t much wind, so it must have been a pretty big storm from out there somewhere – we thought of Eric and Shazza as it was they day we thought they were taking the ferry to Morocco. 
b-waves b-riverbed
That’s pretty rough for this part 
of the med.
At least the dry river bed did it’s job – to protect the town from sea surges.
I’m still going to Flamenco lessons which I absolutely love.  I can hear the rhythm and I can remember the steps but once I get the arms in motion anything can happen. Also I have rather a lot of bulk (that was my rowing coach’s term for it) to move around quickly.  I’m in good company though. The teacher, Clara, speaks Spanish and a little English, Hortensia is Belgian and speaks Flemish and Spanish, Lyn is English and speaks English and Spanish and I’m the pleb who can’t speak anything other than English, so there’s a lot of guesswork going on. It’s a good laugh and at least we keep Clara amused. God help us if we ever get to use castanets and I hope that the campsite don’t ask us to do a demonstration at the end of “the season”.   No photos of this debacle.

The other day I went into reception to see if we had any post as I am expecting to receive a jiffy bag sized parcel from England.  There was one from England but there was no name on it, just the campsite address, so I picked it up and asked the receptionist if I could open it to see if it was my parcel. She offered to open it for me, which of course was the right thing to do. So I stood with my friend Joan and waited.  It was marked fragile but was a little light for the package I was expecting.  Martina opened the jiffy bag, to find a bubble wrapped item inside.  She carefully unwrapped it to find a carrier bag wrapping, this was followed by another two.  Then she opened the final one, looked in, screamed and ran to the toilet.  I thought she had gone to be sick.  No one else wanted to look into the bag to see what had caused this sudden outburst so we waited patiently for her return.  The other receptionists watched with amusement and obvious relief that they had not been given the task.  Martina returned, a little more composed.  Of course curiosity had got to all of us and we just had to know what had created such a dramatic reaction.  She finally managed to say that it wasn’t my parcel it was teeth!   Of course the problem then was whose were they?  There was no name on the envelope.  They would have to wait until someone came into reception and “gummed” at them – “anyone seen my teeth”?

A couple of Saturdays ago, Tomas and Hannelle invited us to a lovely dinner at their van. Apparently very few women cook in Sweden so it was down to Tomas.  Personally I'd rather cook so that I don't have to do the washing up after a couple of glasses of the falling down juice.  It was really nice to have a "home" cooked meal for a change and there were three wonderful courses on offer.  I'm just so glad that we had a conversation about whether or not it is etiquette to take off one's shoes before going into homes in Sweden BEFORE we stomped our way in. Hannelle even has indoor and outdoor slippers - bet that's made you smile Tomas.

We lost the quiz last week on the tie-break – our name was The Spanish Win Quiz Mission, but we picked up some new quizzing partners who are also on the campsite, Dave and Jessica.

Last Friday we had a lovely night out with Jo and James.  Brisa del Mar (where we are going for our Christmas lunch) had their party night with entertainment.  The group were really good, a mixture of Irish music and some other stuff thrown in.  Plenty of dancing and a wobbly walk home for some – not me!!!!
b-james b-seller
Is James about to make a romantic gesture to Jo? Doesn’t look very natural for you James. No he’s just holding the flowers for the street seller who’s decided to join in the dancing
b-dance b-dog
This picture proves two things:-
1.  Iain does dance sometimes
2.  I know what my new-year’s resolution will be

Oh no – I hope they haven’t come home drunk again!
On a practical note - I had a trip to the doctors last week.  This note is more for people who fall ill when in Spain rather than my ailment.  Anyway, I’d been putting off seeing the doctor and had been feeling under the weather for nearly 3 weeks and finally relented – I’ve never been one to visit the doctor unless I really have to – even in England. But my ailment wasn’t clearing up and I didn’t want to feel rough over Christmas.

Now having spoken to some ex-pats, there are two choices here, go and see the state doctor – which is free, just go up there with your passport and your EHIC card and you can register temporarily for 6 months. However the downside of this is that they speak little English.  Or you can pay privately for a consultation.  I knew that the private doctor, whilst being Norwegian, speaks excellent English and I had been recommended to both by locals so it was a decision to make.  I have to admit that it was finally decided that I would go privately.  It’s 38 Euros for a consultation (around £32).  What really made me decide to go privately was that we had recently spend nearly 200 Euros on the DOG on vets bills without as much as a flinch but it seemed a much harder decision to make when it came down to me, but in the words of the Oreal advert “I’m worth it!”

What we have found here though is that medication is quite expensive.  An antibiotic cream for the dog was 14.50 Euros and my tablets were 17.50 Euros, there’s no state prescription charge here, you just have to pay the full amount.

Anyway for those who might be interested, I’m feeling a lot better.

I don’t suppose that I’ll have time to blog again before Christmas, oh, there’s so much to do before next week – get Iain a present; get my hair cut; get some music organised for the party; go and talk about the menu for the party; decorate my dress; make “deely boppers” for Christmas day, and it’s Wednesday already. I don’t know how I used to have time to fit in everything that I used to do.

So Happy Christmas to all my readers, wherever you are.    
PS the duck is still hanging around and has now taken to nesting under OUR van!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The MOON rising over Calpe – viewed from Albir - December 6th 2014

I didn’t take this actual picture, but I did see the moon rising and I did take some pics, they just weren’t as good as this one.  The sun was setting behind me and this gave a fantastic pink glow to the sky.  I’ve never seen anything quite like this before.

So Christmas is approaching and we hear that Scotland had –7C last night – we’re really suffering here (not), it is dropping a little below 10C some nights, but once the sun is up in the morning it soon warms up.  The air is feeling cooler during the day but temperatures still reach the high teens. In the sun it’s still very warm and we can still wear shorts and sandals when in the sunshine.  Looking forward to Meerke and Nol arriving from The Netherlands in a few days and then we’ve Iain’s dad and younger brother arriving on 22nd, just in time for Christmas.

We had a bit of rain last weekend, but the weather is great again.  But rain or not, work has to go on and at this time of year the biggest job on the campsite is clearing up leaves.  Of course we only have to worry about our pitch but the sweepers are doing a great job.
Javier improvising on a raincoat, it was hilarious when we saw him walking up to us.  Like some smurf on acid.

Javier then told us about a Smurf village near Marbella, where the Smurf 3d movie was filmed.  It was one of those pretty white villages which was painted blue for the movie.  Sony were supposed to come back and re-paint all the houses white again, but the villagers voted to leave them blue as their visitor numbers increased dramatically (from 300 a year to 80,000 a year) and this has brought so much success to the economy that they very sensibly kept their new colour.  Everyone has jobs now, which is very important in Spain.  Click the Daily Mail Article link below to find out more.
smurf village
Juzcar – Smurf Village Daily Mail Article

Javier always keeps us amused, as I said before he’s a happy-go-lucky bloke who choses to live in a tent on the campsite, doing whatever work he can find, but he’s obviously no idiot.  The other day he came around sweeping, pulling the leaf cart behind him shouting “Ice Cream, Ice Cream”.  We do meet all sorts of people here.

We haven’t been doing much, I’ve joined some Flamenco dancing lessons.  Unfortunately there’s only a couple of us doing them at the moment, the word has not got round, so I don’t know how long the campsite will put them on for.  I love it!!!!!!  I’ve also joined a crafting class but a lot of the women just do knitting and unlike in the ‘60’s advert Wendy is not a great knit – anyone remember that advert for Wendy’s wools – what happened to them? Nearly everyone is Dutch, but having been a few weeks now they are starting to talk to me.  There is one other English woman who goes and a couple of Dutch who speak very good English so I am able to converse with them.  But I just love making things and learning something new so I’ll persevere.

I said in my last post that I had Christmas decorations to make.  We were on the road last year at Christmas so I had very little in the way of decorations and that has made me go rather over the top this year.  I wanted to decorate our pitch and van outside, rather than inside as the etiquette of small space living is that you don’t really invite people into your “small space”.  There is very little in the way of outside decorations to be bought so I had to make my own.
Can you guess what it is yet?
My first bit of great inspiration was to make a Christmas tree from recycled plastic bottles.  I have to admit it didn’t get very far and was soon consigned to the bin.  I realised that although there was a copious amount of plastic bottles available, it was going to take far too much time, so I had to think again.

Inspired I “acquired” a used pallet from the “free bricolage” on site and set to.   Everyone kept asking what the hell I wanted an old pallet for – all will be revealed:-
“Free” wooden pallet.  Borrowed Saw – what was I up to?
Now can I be trusted to play with sharp objects?

a-star a-bauble
Stars made from recycled beer cans Bauble made from foam ball wrapped in garden string (lots of messy glue) and decorated with a few twigs and pods then some red beads added. Along with some fir cones, dried fruit and some leaves and more twigs and hey presto:-
a-tree a-tree1
The result – my rustic Christmas tree.  Spray painted green, add a few recycled and home-made decorations and hey it can be thrown away after Christmas. What I hadn’t bargained for was that by cutting the pallet carefully, you can actually make two trees.

Now I think these would make a great outdoor decoration for any home although if it was more permanent we would have gone to the trouble of sanding and priming it first before painting.

Of course that wasn’t to be enough was it?
a-bauble1 a-pointsettia
The van next – glitter foam rules! More glitter foam – pointsettia (in case you couldn’t guess)
Even more glitter foam – cut out letters this time

a-wreath a-van
Add a home-made wreath And some lights – voila – looks great when the sun is shining

Of course nothing was stuck directly onto the precious paintwork of the van – all using suction pads.

Now, onwards and upwards – the inside – but that will have to wait until another day.

I move on – to Dave.  Now Dave is a fairly prickly character but once you get to know him he’s a real softie.  He lives on site with his boxer dog and hates everyone. Actually he doesn’t, but it’s just safer to be like that – I told you we meet all sorts.  Dave is an avid Chelsea fan and you may remember that we call him Chelsea F**king Dave as the F word is used very frequently in his vocabulary and we decorated an egg for him last Easter.

Dave lives on the campsite and is almost directly opposite us – yes we chose this pitch!!!!  But seriously he’s actually a pretty good bloke and keeps us amused.  Of course he sets himself up for ridicule and he likes nothing better than a bit of banter.  The other day in Wyndham’s Dave walked in and Iain said “Pull up a chair Dave, or you can go and sit over there with your mates!” 

When Dave looks out of his caravan – he sees our beautiful motorhome, but when we look out of our motorhome we see his tatty trailer.  So we decided that we’d brighten it up for him.  Dave is a character of habit and takes his dog out for a walk every morning at 10 am on the dot.  That’s gives us a full hour before he comes back.
One day we washed his trailer and then stuck this on the back – note it says Dave not Club!!!!

Then a couple of days later – this appeared - making stickers - yet another of my many talents - lol

It’s been nearly a week now and he still hasn’t said a thing. We don’t know if he’s seen the side yet, but he’s definitely seen the Chelsea sticker.

I told you the other week, it’s a bit like the “Last of the Summer Wine” here.  Bored? We don’t get time to be bored.

Quick update - Jo and James still have the duck - be careful what you wish for James.  Jo's ankle is getting better at last and the "Madge" has gone back.

Be back soon with the inside decorations!!!!!!

Friday, 21 November 2014

365 Days and we’re still talking

We’ve made it, one whole year of spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week together, living in a small space.  No work, no fixed plans, just enjoying ourselves doing whatever we want to do, going wherever we want each day and for the things we don’t want to do - well there’s always manjana. There’s been a few small (occasionally  huge) arguments but mainly over travelling.
In the year we have only spent 5 nights not sleeping in the van, when we returned to England for Emma’s funeral and when we stayed with Iain’s dad (the road outside his house is too busy to risk wild camping) and  Iain another 10 nights when he went home to see Emma.  So that’s not bad.  When we started living in our van, most of our friends and family thought we were mad.  The questions went something like:-
Q: Would you like to come and stay over, we have a spare bed for you?
A: No thanks we have a very comfortable bed to sleep in.
Q: Would you like to come around and use our shower?
A: We have a perfectly good shower in the van.
Q: When you come back to England, will you rent a house?
A: We have a luxury motorhome to live in, we don’t need to rent a house.
Q: Won’t you get bored?
A: I very much doubt it.
Q: Would you like to come around for a meal?
A: We’re not living on road kill you know.
Q: Would you like to do some washing?
A: Now you’re talking.
And I would usually end it the conversation with “Don’t feel sorry for us, we have chosen this lifestyle, you’re the ones still working.”
So I thought I would think about the things I do and don’t like about our life-style.

Things I love

1.  We don’t have to work to pay for STUFF, our average cost per night is only £2 more than our council tax was and we spend most nights on campsites.
2.  We have the freedom and time to go anywhere we want.
3.  We have everything we NEED and a lot more.
4.  We are almost always in the warm weather all year round.
5.  We have met so many wonderful people from all walks of life, doing the same thing as we are, so we always have something in common to start with.
6.  We have seen many places that we would not otherwise if we just did normal “holidays”, Toledo, Avignon, Valadollid, Carcasonne, Albir, to name but a few, even in England, we visited Hadrian’s Wall, Scarborough, Lyme Regis, Seaford, Cheltenham  etc etc.
7.  Housework takes no more than an hour.

Things I don’t like.

1.  Sometimes it’s a pain having to go to the showers and toilet block if it’s a bit chilly.
2.  I can’t get my crafting stuff “toys” out and leave them out for when I next want to use them.
3.  I’m not a naturally tidy person and have to work very hard at it, everything has to be put away as it isn’t long before you have to clear a space just to sit down if you aren’t organised.
4.  Sometimes I miss our friends and family.
5.  I like to know where I need to go to buy things.
6.  I’d like transport sometimes so that I can “pop” off to somewhere. 
7.  You can’t always do your clothes washing just when you want to.

So to summarise, the things I don’t like are mainly “niggles” the things I love are fantastic. Weighing it up – I don’t regret a minute and I love the fact that we’re not working any more.

The weather here is still fantastic and in the words of Freddie - we’re having a good time!

It’s official – 19th November and 24C
A couple of days ago we decided to have lunch somewhere different and actually used one of the bars on the seafront (they are always more expensive).  However the view does make it worth it occasionally.
And just a reminder of the view from Albir across to Calpe
We’re still in shorts, sandals and t-shirts during the day, but the evenings are getting cooler and during the night the temperature is even sometimes dropping below 10C. We’re still managing to sit out some evenings until quite late, but you do need long trousers and jumpers now.  My Ugg boots have now made an appearance.
We’ve now been on this site for 7 weeks and I can’t believe how the time is flying.  Of course we’ve been here before so things are bound to be different but as we’ve been here longer than anywhere else in the last year, it’s getting to feel rather like home.
On another couple of trips out with Jo and James we went to a Spanish Fiesta somewhere up in the mountains by Alicante – I think it was Cocentaina.   The whole thing was a bit much for me, too many people, too many legs for the dog.  We didn’t really have any choice but to take her with us.  We would be out too long to leave her in the van and it was too hot to leave her in the car, so I’m afraid she just had to put up with it.  I did have to pick her up a few times when it got really crowded in the narrow streets. There were different sections to the fiesta; a medieval section, a Moroccan section, a food section, a children’s section.  There was so much to see, with street performers and market type stalls selling anything from magic stones to combine harvesters.  The problem was that there were so many people that no one could get near to the stalls to actually browse.  It was a great experience but I wouldn’t go there again.
Simple bunting made from strips of material just tied together, but very effective.
See the authentic “Medieval” Doner Kebab!!!
The Spanish love their fiestas and all the shops and businesses shut for the holidays.  Here in Alfaz del Pi they had a 5 day fiesta this month and we read about it in the local paper which told us that on one afternoon they throw fireworks into the crowd and said “Not for the faint hearted, wear old clothes and cover your head” – so we gave it a miss.  We could hear the fireworks from here so it must have been deafening in Alfaz about 3 miles away. 
Also this month they had the Benidorm Fiesta, we just didn’t get our a**es in gear to get there, but we saw lots of people in Albir dressed really weirdly as they met up to go to Benidorm for the fancy dress parade which is apparently the largest in Europe (but then they would say that!!!). Everyone seemed to have a fantastic time, well those that could remember anyway.
Another day we went up towards Javea again, but this time we went up to the peak at Cap de la Nau.  The view from up here was spectacular.  On a good day you can see across to Ibiza but as it was still warm and hazy we didn’t get the full experience of the view.
It’s not that far away, the hazy rock on the left is the Peñón de Ifach at Calpe


With all those mountains, you have to get around them somehow, or through.  This is the main coastal road between Altea and Calpe
On the way back we visited a very pretty village with a gorgeous cove called Plaja de la Granadella.  There was one very narrow and windy road in and it was the same road out.  We wouldn’t like to have taken our motorhome there and were amazed that there were a couple parked up near the beach.  These French will go anywhere in theirs.

Those rocks may have been there for thousands of years but I still wouldn’t live in that house on the top!

It’s not all new and exciting, we’re still eating out a lot because it’s so cheap, but we’ve changed things a bit, we’re drinking a bit more expensive wine these days, around 2E a bottle instead of 1.  I’m determined not to drink too much so I have a self-imposed curfew of generally no alcohol until 6pm at the earliest.  When I say generally, that’s not a hard and fast rule, if I fancy a beer with lunch then I’ll have one, occasionally, I just don’t want to get into drinking from lunchtime until fall-down time, it’s just so easy here if you are not careful.  The only real exception I make to this is on a Sunday, when we go to one of the local bars for a Sunday roast and have one or two, or even a few more drinks.  As I’ve said before, eating out is so cheap that it’s just not worth cooking with two courses at around 7 Euros (£5.60) including a drink.  The only problem with that is that if we are with friends then the walk home and the subsequent evening can become something like a scene out of “The Last of the Summer Wine”.
Jo has become a real bad influence on me!!!!!! I think not. But last Sunday we actually ate separately and then met up back at the campsite for a Soberano (Brandy).  Jo hurt her ankle some weeks ago (funnily enough on a Sunday afternoon) and James has now got her a “Madge” (mobility scooter named after the character in Benidorm who won’t get out of hers) to help her to get around. 
Well I decided that I’d put it away in their awning for them but then decided that I’d take it for a “Stability Test” first to make sure that it was safe for her to drive.  The men had both gone “for a snooze” by now so it was just the two of us and any unfortunate on-lookers who saw this despicable display of “Bad Brit” behaviour.  Luckily it is very quiet down our end of the campsite and so I had plenty of room as I don’t suppose for one minute that I kept to the 5mph site speed limit.  Well all I can say is that these things are so much fun.  Not much wonder that in Benidorm you have to prove that you are disabled or over 50 to be able to hire one.  Well I’m over 50 so that’s no real recommendation is it? I zoomed off at full throttle, leaving Jo giggling at the pitch.  After a few trial runs I found that you can turn full lock on full throttle and the thing still sticks to the ground.  After about 10 minutes fun I thought I would put it away for her as I had promised.  So at full speed ahead, I headed for their awning.  I managed to get through the door with no trouble and then cut the throttle.  What I had forgotten was that these things don’t have any brakes and they take a few feet to stop.  I suppose they can’t stop dead or you’d have all these old ladies catapulting out of them onto the pavement all the time.   So here I was already in the awning and still a few feet to go before coming to a stand-still.  Yes you can imagine, I had nowhere to go and it wasn’t going to stop until it wanted to.  I was screaming “It won’t stop” and then I managed to crash into the table and the step. Everything was starting to look horrible.  I then had to reverse back off the step to clear all the objects that I had sent scattering.  Of couse having been under the influence of copious amounts of Soberano (what an apt name for a brandy) I haven’t laughed so much in ages. I then scuttled off back to my own van in disgrace.  We also managed to get ourselves on the campsite facebook page (again) Cap Blanch facebook  but this time we were named!!!!  I’m still not sure whether the campsite owner is just putting up pictures of people enjoying themselves or if it is to gather evidence. It was a good job he wasn’t around when I was on the madge or I think we would have been evicted by now. At least being older, we don’t go on too late into the evening and have normally wrapped up our socialising by about 10pm – but maybe that’s because we start so early.

a-party campbell
16th November, early evening, jumpers but still in shorts - Javier, James, Me, Jo and Iain
The Spanish gentleman on the left is one of the campsite workers.   He’s probably in his 50’s says he is a free-man, travelling with his push-bike and tent and going wherever there is a bit of work.  During the summer he also did some busking, but unusually with a dancing puppet and at the moment he spends 4 hours a day sweeping up leaves.  He laughs a lot and is always happy. You meet people from all walks of life when you live like this and everyone has a story to tell, perhaps one day I’ll find out what his is.
I’ve been keeping myself busy lately, I’ve nearly finished the three leather cushions for our settee, I say nearly finished, that’s because I’ve now got bored and moved onto Christmas decorations. I’ve decided that I’m going to make all my decorations this year and I want to go a bit OTT as last year we were on the road so I hardly had any at all.  I’ll put them up on 1st December and then post some pictures. I’ve joined the craft club which is another on-site activity so I’m going to see what new things I can learn. Most of the attendees are Dutch (only one other English woman), but I’ve already met a very nice Dutch lady called Didi who’s husband is Irish, so her English is very good. 
Pilates has gone by the wayside, I was really enjoying it but I exacerbated an old netballing injury during one session and had to stop.  So I’m going to wait until I am fully recovered before I return.  I can still ride my bike though, but I think it’s time I got a ladies bike instead of a men’s mountain bike as it’s getting a bit difficult to “get my leg over” so to speak.
James is so desperate to get a pet that he has now adopted a duck.  The duck just flew in about 5 days ago and comes back every day (so far).  James has found out that she (we can’t agree whether it’s a she or a he) loves tomatoes and yesterday she even came when Jo called her.  We keep joking about fattening her up for Christmas but now “she’s” got a name – Daphne, I don’t think that would happen.

One of the young Spanish campsite workers made a pile of leaves for the duck and she has become quite attached to her day bed.
Late afternoon – Jo firmly ensconced in her “Madge” – there’s really no need to salute me!

Connie has got over her op, the stitches have come out and her fur is growing back.  She’s an old lady now and we are surprised at how much she has acclimatised to the heat.  If the temperature goes below 15C she starts shivering. It’s really funny to hear her teeth chattering.  Now I’m not one of those who agrees with dressing up your dogs, but I’ve bought her a jumper – I just couldn’t resist. As soon as she gets up in the morning she runs outside to sit in the sunshine.  I bought her a really cool shower-proof coat in PINK as well.  That will no doubt deserve a picture soon.
I keep promising to give the van a good clean inside, but we’re saving that for a rainy day and we just don’t seem to be getting any.
I’m sure I’ve missed loads but I’ve got Xmas decorations to make so I’ll be back another time ……………………………………………………… One things for sure, we’re having a great time in the sun.