I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Spain 2019 - Visitors leaving and visitors arriving

Thursday 7th March

Victoria and James were leaving this morning, so we went up to Moca for a full English breakfast to keep them going for the rest of the day.

When we got back the travellers decided that they would leave to be better safe than sorry.  I hate it when visitors leave (well nearly always!!) and I felt very close to tears.  Muffin is very much a “pack” dog and sees Richard, me and Victoria as his pack at home and it was the same here.  He sat on the step waiting for them to come back for ages – it made me feel even sadder.

I felt sad all day – Victoria and I are very close, and I just felt as if part of me had gone too.

I had arranged to have my hair cut at 5pm and was a little worried as I have had the same hairdresser for 19 years and I wasn’t sure if the chap who was going to cut it would be OK!!  I was concerned all the way through the cut as he was doing it very differently to how Jane would do it, but it turned out just fine!  Jane had taken photos after my last cut with her and it looked almost the same.

Friday 8th March

A fabulous Mojacar day 😊  The sun was shining as Richard drew back the curtains and it stayed like that all day.  I spent the morning catching up on things and getting the washing done.

We met up with Liz and Phil for lunch at Imperial Pizza – again!  I thought I had chosen a pasta dish, but it was risotto but it absolutely gorgeous – I will definitely have it again.  Liz and Phil have been here for six months and have decided to stay indefinitely!  They were waiting for a call from Blue Sea Villas as to whether or not they could have a lovely villa they have seen.  The call didn’t come but I got a message later on to say that they can have the villa from April 1st 😊

Saturday 9th March

More visitors were arriving today, so it was another mad housework session.  Richard does a good job with the sweeping and then gets the mop out too! 

Our visitors are Ingrid and Bob (from now on known as I & B!) our next doors neighbours at home and good friends.  They flew out last Saturday to Alicante and have been staying in a very luxurious hotel since.  Claravista 1 is no luxurious hotel!

My alstroemeria is amazing.  I really didn’t think it was going to do anything but once it started shooting I put it by a window which gets all the afternoon sun.  I am so pleased with it.  We have another two weeks here so, hopefully, it will see us out!

I & B arrived mid afternoon and we sat around the pool chatting and trying to decide what to do!  We were going shopping but that never happened!  In the end we decided to do nothing and go out for dinner.

We settled on the Palacio Imperial Marina (Chinese) which was OK but then Chinese food is Chinese food wherever you are.  Having said that I have been to China on four occasions and Chinese food there is nothing like we are used to!!

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Spain 2019 - Pizza and wind!

Tuesday 5th March

Once again, my first job was to find a dentist!  The first one was open today – hurray!  I was asked to wait and I would be fitted in as an emergency.  I sent Richard away and sat down to wait – 30 minutes later I was called in!  The dentist, Dr. Alicia P. Jiménez-Pinzón Pineda, is a lovely lady who speaks very good English.  She did a temporary filling and said I should go and see my own dentist when I get home.  The cost - €60 which I felt was very good.

I thought I would walk the 3.3 kilometres back to the villa but I had to admit defeat after about a kilometre – my painful foot is still painful even after the visit by the podiatrist.  My knight in shining armour – well Richard in the car – came and rescued me.

We were having a quiet day but were going out for pizza at lunchtime.  I had suggested Levante again but discovered it was closed so we drove up to the Imperial Pizza where we sat on their terrace on the beach.

We decided that we would all have a drink or three and walk home – it was a lovely walk along the beach.

When we got back to the villa Victoria went for her swim and I JOINED her!!  It was cold at first, but I soon got used to it and really enjoyed it.

Wednesday 6th March

We woke up to an overcast and breezy day.  The weather forecast said that the wind speed would get up to about 50mph!

We drove to Carboneras – this is another place where, when Victoria visited it last time, the weather was a bit dire.  We walked to the square where Toria and James had a quick look in the castle while Richard and I sat with Laurence of Arabia and looked out to sea!

It would seem that Carboneras is very proud of its association with the film of Laurence of Arabia.  The town of' 'Aqaba' was built at Playa del Algarrobico and the attack on the train was filmed at Genovese Beach, San Jose.

The restaurant where we had hoped to get tapas was closed so we walked to another.  We sat down and gave our drinks order, but the waiter spoke no English and when we asked for tapas, he reeled off a load of “words” which we couldn’t understand.  In the end I asked for the menu but that didn’t have any tapas in, so we walked back to the car and ended up getting lunch in a café next to where we had parked.  We all had a hamburger which was literally made of ham!  None of us really liked it but Muffin enjoyed it for his dinner!

The wind really got up during the afternoon as we hunkered down.  I felt really sad for Toria and James – they only have 4 days with us and one of them is proving not to be very pleasant

We were supposed to be going to El Punto this evening for dinner but, on checking, I found it was closed!  We had all debated about going as we still felt full from lunch so it was probably fortuitous!  So, we decided to stay in and watch a film.  We chose Bohemian Rhapsody as no one had seen it before.  It was a fantastic film – the guy who played Brian May looked so like him, but I couldn’t get on with the “Roger Daltry” as I kept seeing the actor in Eastenders!

Friday, 15 March 2019

Spain 2019 - Peublo and paella

Monday 4th March

My first job was to find a dentist – they were both closed.  I guess we are in Spain – mañana!

I met the others at the Parque where we had a cup of coffee and a quick trip to the supermarket.

It was then up to the Pueblo as last time Victoria was here it was raining!  It was lovely up there – blue sky, sunshine and warm 😊  We did a bit of gift shop shopping and had a quick look in the church – it was such a surprise as most churches do always seem to be dark inside.

Before we knew where we were it was lunchtime!!  We went to the place as we had been with Penny and Jim but this time, we were able to sit outside where we had tapas.

That little sausage is a chorizo which I had to cook over a small bowl of some flaming liquid!

After lunch we wandered around the Pueblo and I took photos of the view as it was such a perfect day.

For once there is a photo of Richard and I together – we don’t get many!

Back at the villa Victoria decided that she was going for a swim.  It felt a bit cold when I dipped my toe in, but she did make it in!

I made my third paella for dinner – another astounding success!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Spain 2019 - Housework, visitors and ice cream

Saturday 2nd March

We have visitors arriving today – my daughter Victoria and her boyfriend James 😊  Of course visitors coming means housework   Richard’s job is the sweep through while my jobs are – well everything else!!  I’ve been sending all sorts of messages to Victoria about things to bring out – she says my stuff is taking up a whole suitcase!!  Thank goodness they are flying BA where they get a baggage allowance otherwise she would be charging me!

I took a trip to the supermarket and then we took Muffin for a walk on the beach. 

I was in contact with Toria and James at Gatwick where they were delayed at the gate by 25 minutes as one of the taxiways was out of use.  I was also following the flight on the Flightradar24 app and discovered that after I had had the message “we are off” they sat on the taxiway for a further 25 minutes!

Their flight was due to land at 18.55 but finally landed at 19.25.  By the time they had picked up the hire car it was about 21.00.  It is then a 125 mile journey with them arriving at about 23.30.  James was using Waze – a map app which he was able to share with me so I could follow their journey, the only trouble was that their car kept on going off the road and for a while was going down a railway track!!  Really weird!  However I watched them come down the Paseo and turn into Calle Dinamarca – as I walked up to the gate they were pulling in.  Amazing!!

Sunday 3rd March

Toria and James (well mainly Toria) wanted to go to the market at Villaricos so it was a fairly early start.  Richard stayed at home as Muffin finds the sea of legs and feet a bit frightening!! 

After the market we walked down to Beachcomber, a restaurant we haven’t visited before.  On Sunday they have a BBQ cooked by Kenny who used to run a BBQ type of restaurant.  Toria had ribs and the rest of us had rib eye steaks.  They were so good, and we had a lovely sea view too 😊

After Beachcomber we wandered down to the ice cream parlour for our desert.  Toria and James had a metre of ice cream between them!!  (These ice cream photos are especially for Brian Holt who seems to think our life out here revolves around ice cream – is there anything else!!!)

Toria very kindly brought us out a letter from the Spanish authorities informing us of a speeding fine.  We had got it on the day we took Penny and Jim back to Alicante Airport.  I was thinking how naughty Richard had been when I noticed the time – it was me

Monday, 11 March 2019

Spain 2019 - Special day, pamper, pizza and ice-cream!!

Thursday 28th February

Today is Andalucía Day or Día de Andalucía.  This is celebrated every February 28th and commemorates the February 28th 1980 referendum on the Statute of Autonomy of Andalusia, in which the Andalusian electorate voted for the statute that made Andalusia an autonomous community of Spain.  People across Andalucía mark the region’s annual holiday, with events organised to celebrate its history and culture.  Politicians and Andalusians are set to gather at the parliament building in Sevilla City for a ceremony commemorating the anniversary.  It features the raising of the green and white Andalusian flag and the playing of the region’s anthem, the Himno de Andalucía (Hymn of Andalucía).  The Junta’s president also hands out the Medals of Andalucía to recognise work done by people in communities across the region.

Muffin took no notice of the special day as he just wanted to get rid of his woolly jumper!  The poor dog’s coat had grown so long that a) he must have been hot and b) he was taking so long to dry after being in the sea.  He went to Belinda, a lovely English girl, who has set up a grooming business here.  He now looks and smells lovely!  Belinda uses a selection of doggie perfumes and used DOG (Dolce and Gabbana) on Muffin.  Some others are Jinny Chow Dog Pawfume, CK-9, Pucci, Arfmani and Timmy Holedigger!!!

Belinda told us that she had just realised that she shouldn’t be working today with it being Andalucía Day.  Only cafes and restaurants are allowed to open and anybody else opening faces a fine of €2,000!  We had a look along the Playa and there were a lot of places shut but also a lot open!

During the afternoon I finally managed to get the blog up to date.  So with that, the excursions sorted (well at least on my part) and last night I got all the ironing done - so life is good!!!

Friday 1st March

We went in search of a dentist this morning as I managed to break a tooth yesterday – these things always happen while we are away   Trouble is that with Andalusia Day being on a Thursday most businesses are closed today.  Apparently if Andalusia Day is on a Tuesday they close on Monday too!  I will have to be careful until Monday.

As we were driving this morning a woman started running across the road in front of us from the other side.  Richard slammed the brakes on and just stopped in time.  She rushed round to Richard’s window, which was open, and I thought she was going to have a go at him, but she just kept apologising over and over again!!  She said she lives here but is always getting the traffic wrong!

I popped in to Coastal Properties while I was passing but, again, all the good places have gone.  She said we need to be thinking about 2021 now!!

As we were driving up our road where the caterpillars are we saw a long string of them so I jumped out of the car with my hair lacquer and sprayed them.

The solar heating has been on in the pool since Saturday and I’ve dipping my toes in each day to see if the water is getting warmer.  Today I can certainly feel a change 😊

We went out for lunch to Levante.  We hadn’t been there before but it always looks nice.  We both ordered the same – a BBQ pizza with extra mushrooms.  They were really good.  I think a mouse had been at mine!!

We didn’t have a pudding at Levante as the ice-cream parlour is finally open, so we wandered down there.  This was mine

And this was Richard’s

I like eating at lunchtime as it means I don’t have to worry about cooking!  I didn’t have anything else to eat and Richard cooked himself a couple of boiled eggs.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Spain 2019 - Paella and buried in the internet

Monday 25th February

I was having another go at paella today.  Our boating friends, Andy and Sue plus Roly and Bev were coming.  The paella turned out very well and we sat outside to eat it.  Andy and Sue informed us that they were going home on Wednesday, for two reasons.   Firstly and most importantly they want to go to Paul’s funeral.  They along with Roly and Bev were very close friends with both Paul and Elaine.  Secondly the dust and the noise from the Nienar building works are getting them down.  Then Roly and Bev said that they are going home on Sunday for the same reasons as Sue and Andy.  It was sad to hear that they are all leaving but we can understand their reasons.  We shall hopefully see Sue and Andy on the River Thames this summer but I guess, with Roly and Bev, it will here in Mojacar in 2020.  Would you believe I didn't take a single photo all day :-(

Tuesday 26th February

I had a visit by a podiatrist today as I had a very sore foot.  She set to with a nasty looking knife and cut away a lot of dry skin – hopefully that will do the trick.

We are going on a big ship cruise in May and it really was time to get on with organising some excursions.  So, I sat at my laptop most of the day trolling through internet page after internet page.  Our cruise is split into two sections – the Adriatic and then the Greek Islands.  I managed to complete the Adriatic and sent everything off to Penny for her to make choices.  Oh, I forgot to say that Penny and Jim are going on the cruise too.  It was all right for me so sit in the lovely sunshine and do this, but Penny does lead a busy life and I was tapping my fingers waiting for replies, but she was out and about at meetings or the like!

Richard dragged me down the beach kicking and screaming – I wanted to do more research!  No of course he didn’t but he was right about me getting away from my laptop and enjoying some sunshine.  Muffin really enjoys his afternoon walk – he starts pestering about 3pm and we usually go about 4pm.  I didn’t take this photo today but I love it – just look at the ears!

I’ve been reading back today’s post and realised that I have used the word “trolling”.  I thought I ought to double check that I did have the meaning correct (carefully and systematically search an area for something).  So, just to make it clear, I am not a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion – what the hell is tangential discussion?

Wednesday 27th February

Yesterday I queried what tangential discussion is – well me being me had to look it up.  It means referring to something that's not part of the whole. If you make a comment that is tangential to the story you're telling, it's a digression. The story could still be understood without it. In geometry, a tangent is a line that touches a curve in one spot but doesn't intersect it anywhere else.  I wish I hadn’t started this now!!

More cruise excursion research today.  I got the Greek Islands done and sent off to Penny.  I said yesterday that she lives a busy life – well I got this from her this morning.  “I am chasing my tail today:  I had a ‘free’ morning, but just been asked to go to a meeting for half an hour at 11am and couldn’t really get out of it.  Out this afternoon at my Bible Study group (fixed last week) and then I’m singing tomorrow evening, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon.  So bang goes my free morning today to catch up…”  Heavens I think I will stick to life in the sunshine!!

I mentioned my Indalo Man necklace the other day.  You see these little men all over Mojacar and the region.  Here is a bit of information about them.  “The Indalo is a prehistoric magical symbol found in the cave of "Los Letreros" in Sierra de María-Los Vélez Natural Park in Vélez Blanco. It has been customary to paint the Indalo symbol on the front of houses and businesses to protect them from evil and is considered to be a god totem. The indalo has an origin in the Levante, Spain and dates back to 2500 BC.  Legend has it that the Indalo was a ghost that could hold and carry a rainbow in his hands – hence thus the arch over the man’s head.  We have an Indalo man at our front door, on the car, on the boat and on the caravan – so no evil should get us (I hope)!

There appears to be two designs of Indalo men – as this photo is of the one that was in the cave I guess this is the correct design.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Spain 2019 - Paul Macey

Sunday 24th February

We woke up to the very sad news that Paul Macey had died during the night. 

Paul had had cancer, but he was so upbeat about it.  He would put things on Facebook about his treatment and how it was affecting him and even though he was a sick man he still managed to smile and make others smile too.  I remember the selfie photos taken in hospital with the biggest smiles ever on his face.

I came across Paul on his narrow boat blog The Manly Ferry which he wrote and his wife, Elaine, edited!!  We then met Ferndale (Ray and Diane), another blog I read, who were friends with Paul and Elaine.  It was through Ray and Diane that we also met Andy and Sue plus Roly and Bev.  I’ve said this before, but you might be a new reader, but when you read blogs you feel an affinity with the people in it. 

We finally met Paul and Elaine in August 2015 while they were on their travels in their motorhome. They then went on to Europe finally coming to a halt in Mojacar which they loved so much and moved there in 2015.  Sadly, Elaine died in August 2016.  Paul’s life was never quite the same again, he had not only lost his wife but his best friend and soul mate.  Paul continued to live in Mojacar and was the inspiration for Richard and I making our first visit in 2017.  Unfortunately in November 2017 Paul was diagnosed with a brain tumour and went back to the UK.  He had all sorts of treatment and operations but in the end that awful, dreadful disease took hold of his whole body until finally he died this morning surrounded by his family and his adored dogs, Sammie and Bombo.

We will miss you Paul, but you are now out of pain and, once again, you are with your beloved Elaine.

As you can imagine the day was a very sad one.  Before hearing the news Richard and I had already decided to go down to Kukis for Sunday lunch so we still went.  We then walked up the beach and went to the Salty Dog, a bar that Paul had frequented.  We were thrilled to see the other boaters there and I had a big hug from Sue which I really needed.  We stayed in the bar watching the Ireland/Italy rugby match and raised a few glasses to Paul.

Rest in peace Paul.