Friday, 16 January 2015

Happy New Year–a little belated

Well I just haven’t got around to posting for a while – I’m sure you don’t want to hear all the “normal” living stuff so I’ll be brief – well I’ll try.

A lesson to be learned

Firstly a bit of a lesson for the travellers who follow us – we have made some new friends Andy and Pam and the other day they went off to visit Guadalest on their motorbike.  Unfortunately they had an accident and came off the bike.  Andy was ok but Pam hurt her back and had to go to hospital (she was released later that evening).  Now my point is that  neither were carrying their EHIC cards or passports so the hospital had to be paid for before they left (I believe you can claim it back) but it is an inconvenience.  Also Andy wasn’t carrying his driving licence and insurance documents – the police told him that that was an immediate 2,000 Euro fine.  Luckily for him another policeman came over and said that as there were no other vehicles involved and there was no damage (except for their bike) that they would not be issuing the fine.  Well that was a relief and a lesson for us all.

Weather report

It’s been fantastic, getting up to 20/21C during the past few days and most days not a cloud in the sky, but it’s still very cold at night.  The other morning there were ice crystals on the ground.  Once the sun comes up though it warms up really quickly and yes the tourists are wearing shorts and t-shirts.  I think we have become a little more acclimatised and tend to wear long trousers and shoes.

Back to normal stuff:-

The Duck is still here, the dog hates it and it just follows her around all the time


I love you Connie – want to be my girlfriend?


– unfortunately it has now taken to sleeping on our groundsheet so we have to wash it down every day.  It did disappear on New Year’s Eve with all the fireworks and we thought that it was gone for good – hooray, but then it came back on 2nd January.  It’s becoming a bit of a mascot for the campsite. 

Iain’s Dad and younger brother arrived on 22nd December – on time, no delays and it was lovely to spend a few days with them.  Christmas lunch at our favourite restaurant was lovely and we were joined by Jo and James. 

We have become friends with a couple of the campsite staff and Javier who sweeps the roadways was presented with “The Golden Broom” as a Christmas present.  I told you it was like Last of the Summer Wine here – too many people with too much time on their hands.  Jo and James bought a broom and sprayed it gold, then I tied a ribbon on the top.  We also made him a small version for him to keep as when he finally goes on his travels again at least he could take that with him.  So I bought a pastry brush and painted that gold and wrote on it in Spanish.  He was “made up” with the gift and has it tied up to his leaf skip. 


d-golden broom
The Golden Broom Award

Iain’s older brother and his wife arrived on 28th December,  just in time for our party.  Oh yes the party…………………………….. perhaps I shouldn’t go any further – well ok then.  We had a really lovely night.  Darren and Lorna at Brisa Del Mar looked after us and our guests very well.  We did a little competition for our guests on “Guess who we are”.  As I’ve said before although we went our separate ways as teenagers, we did go to primary school together and I have three class photos with us both in them at age 9, 10 and 11.  So we set our guests a little quiz to guess.  It was good fun and kept everyone amused before the food arrived.  The best score was 3/7.


Age 11

My camera decided to play up on the night so I didn’t get many pics – but here’s a few.


It was all going swimmingly well and I think everyone had a good time but it all went wobbly (quite literally) when we were on our way home.  We left the restaurant, a little confused (as newts) and really should have got a taxi, but I insisted on walking, we weren’t that bad.  On the way back we bumped into Wyndham who couldn’t come to the party as he had a prior engagement, but he insisted on taking us to another bar and buying us a drink – that neither of us wanted and definitely didn’t need.  Resistance was futile and we found ourselves in the Sunshine Bar.  Everything got rather hazy after that.   At some point I decided it was time to go home.  Wyndham apparently said we should get a taxi or at least leave our bags there to pick up the next day but again I was adamant and  insisted on walking.  So I picked up all the bags that I was transporting home – you know stuff and presents and left, being followed by Iain.  Well I remember that I was carrying a lot of bags and at one point a bottle got smashed and I remember putting all the bags down and changing hands but I must have not managed to pick up all the handles and left a number of bags behind in the street.  It was a very difficult walk home.  So firstly I’d like to apologise to all those friends who brought us gift bags with presents inside – we lost most of them.  We did get home with my ipod, camera, shoes, two bottles of aftershave (where did they come from), two disco balls (should have been three), one bottle of brandy and two bottles of wine.  Iain had cut knuckles and a couple of bruises.

However as Iain said, it was WWW all the way, he had his wallet, wedding ring, watch and he woke up with the right wife. So the loss of a few bottles wasn’t so bad after all.  It’s so stupid to think what could have happened to us on the way home and I am totally appalled at our behaviour, talk about BRITS ABROAD. Someone had a good new year on us though with what we left behind in the street.

OH AND I WASN’T CARRYING MY EHIC CARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So by New Year’s Eve we still didn’t want to go out partying AGAIN!  To make sure that we fed the family, and not at the extortionate new year’s eve restaurant costs (Christmas and the party had made a big hole in our budget), we had a Barbeque at the campsite in the afternoon. The plan was to all disperse and have a sleep and to go out at about 10.30pm to see in the new year.  The family all left around 5pm (they are all staying in an apartment in Altea) and said that they doubted that they would return later to go out.  Then the conversation about us going out later started.  It was obvious that no one wanted  to so we just joined Jo and James in their awning and saw the new year in together, at midnight we went around to a couple of caravans and wished them a happy new year.  The campsite had put on a big party and most people were there (particularly the Dutch contingent). We’ve been spending a lot of time with  Jo and James lately and they are becoming like family now – and I’m off on another tangent now. 

I’m not sure what night it was but just before Christmas we were sitting outside at night (before this cold spell) and Jo and I were chatting and remarking about how similar we are in attitudes and views, our birthdays are only two days apart (but one year – ha ha).  Iain exclaimed that we were like sisters, to which we both insisted we weren’t.  “Look at you two” he said “you’re even dressed the same”.

No we’re not!!!
So New Year over and Iain’s birthday and the Three Kings to look forward to.  In Spain the main celebration is 5th January when the 3 Kings parade through the streets and the procession hands out sweets and gifts to all the children.  That is when the Spanish give their children their gifts.   A fantastic parade again but there weren’t any real camels this year.
I don’t remember African animals being in the nativity story!
The blow-up animals were so big that they had to duck them under the christmas lights.
Who brought the Tiger – they are not in Africa!
This guy even walked down the steep hill on his ball, whilst twirling crystal balls in his hands.
No live camels this year, they are obviously too temperamental, but the Three Kings floats were incredible.  One even had a working fountain on it.
This of course brings us around to the fact that we’ve been here over a year now.  Apart from the 5 months travelling in the summer and not staying anywhere more than 3 weeks, we have been living on this campsite – I suppose you can call us locals now. We’re still trying to get the balance right – seeing Europe and enjoying the sunshine in the winter. 
January of course brings us sad memories.  Three years ago Iain’s ex-wife died in tragic circumstances on 8th January which co-incidentally (or not) was their wedding anniversary and then this time last year, Iain had returned to England to be with his daughter, Emma,  who sadly passed away at the end of January. So after all the celebrations of Christmas and new year, January is a month to be endured and I hope we can get through it without any bad news this year.
Family have now returned to England and we were looking forward to a rest – but not for long – we are keenly awaiting the arrival of Nick and Joy, and Paddy the dog,  fellow campers from last year and although we are hoping for a rest, I expect when the social hand grenade arrives we won’t know what’s hit us.
Oh well, bring it on!
Next posting  – how bizarre is this life - The unexpected arrival of Nick and Cathy (Tales from Aurora).