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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Today, Ed got the little Beta motorbike out for a laugh.

It is in need of some TLC, but he managed a ride around the garden a few times. I had a go too, but have to admit to falling off, when trying to ride up the bank. Very pathetic. (and very dirty bum!)

He needs to get a new throttle cable for it, before we can ride it properly, but it will certainly be a good toy when it is working. (And we don't have to pay silly money to insure it for the road!)

Doggie Christmas

This year, we got the dogs some Christmas presents too! We went to the pet/vet shop, and got them a nice big rope toy as well as some new tennis and rubber balls. To our amusement, the shop owner gave us a free gift, which, when we opened it, was a selection of toys for dogs! One of the toys was instantly destroyed, but the small rope has been fought over regularly!


Well, since John (my brother) is now living in Spain, he invited himself over for Christmas Dinner.

He came up on Christmas Eve, and stayed until Boxing Day, which was really nice. He only has a motorbike here at the moment, so had a pretty chilly ride, but going back again was much warmer than the forecast had predicted.

We had a nice quiet time. On Christmas day, we went to the pub for about 2 hours and met up with several of the neighbours (both Spanish and English), then we had a nice turkey dinner. (No sprouts though, as I couldn't find any this year!)

On Boxing Day, I discovered the red cabbage that had been missed, and then the day after, Ed and I remembered the Yule Log in the freezer! (Why is there always something left over at Christmas time?)

Poor Max

Max has not been well for a while. Just before Ed went to England, he was definately under the weather. He was very lathargic and wouldn't open his mouth properly. I took him to the vet, but she wasn't sure what was wrong. It was a different vet to the usual one, and I had to speak Spanish, but she decided that he had an infection, and gave him a course of tablets for 2 weeks. After the first week, he was much better, playing and picking up the ball again. Sadly, after Ed had been back just a day or so, he went downhill again. Unfortunately, this was over Christmas, when the vets wasn't open. Thankfully, I had some antibiotics that I could give him, to tide him over. Yesterday, just before we took him to the vets, his eye really swelled up, and he looked a terrible state. She took one look at him and realised that it was an abscess. She gave him 2 injections, and also gave us 6 prepared needles, for us to inject 2 each day. We have to go back again on Friday, but after just 1 day with the right medication inside him, he is already lots better.

Home Sweet Home?

Poor Ed has had to go back to England for 2 weeks, to help sort his Mum's house out. The council wanted to fit a new boiler and fire, but were unable to do the work, as the workmen were unable to get to the parts of the house they needed.

After a chat with the doctor, he went to the house, and managed to persuade her that a lot of stuff needed to be cleared out. Funny how one sentence from a person of 'authority' can overcome years of pleading. She agreed to the clearout, and now has a wonderful warm house, with a beautiful new living room - as Ed also managed to repaint for her, while he was there.

Happy Birthday Alicia

Our next door neighbours baby has just turned one year old. We popped around with a present, and were asked to go back again at 6pm, in time for the party tea. 6pm?, I checked, well, 5pm then. ok, 5pm?, well make it 4:30. No wonder we never know what's going on!

At 4:30, we went back, and there was a lovely assortment of treats on the table, and a birthday cake, with a photo of Alicia on the top.

We had a lovely afternoon, speaking a mixture of Spanish, English and a little Italian. We met some new people and were even invited to their New Year party, if we had no where else to go (but Ed doesn't want to dress up as Madonna - so we are going elsewhere!!!)

Bull update

Oh Dear. It turns out that the broken arm was even worse than we thought! At the airport, he complained about a pain in his other arm, and a full inspection on his return to the UK showed that that too was broken. Not the best way to spend December, 2 arms in plaster.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

All Bull

Last weekend was the bull running at Ontinyent again. I can’t believe that it is already a year since we went there!

We went of the Saturday, but it was very cold. There was a bitter wind, and we had made the mistake of not having had any lunch. This meant, that in a short time, we were both very cold, in spite of lots of layers. We watched the first bull, and even filmed someone being trodden on by the bull, but during the second one, I had had enough. I asked Ed if we could leave, “through there?” he asked, indicating where the bull and several hundred people had just gone! “Yes” I said, so we joined the throng! Part way down the road, we encountered the bull, and the runners. The atmosphere was much more tense than in the main square, as there are less places to hide from the bull. At one point, we were crushed against a wall by the crowd, even though the bull was on the other side of the street. Finally we got by, but we still stayed, to watch the bull go back over the bridge. It was very exciting, much better than earlier.

On the Sunday (after lunch) we went again, with some people from Ontinyent, that hadn’t been before. Again we stayed in the main square, but there were a lot more people, so the ‘buzz’ was much better. We saw some people from l’Olleria too.

A couple of our neighbours had a bit of a bet on; who could hit the bull the most times! When we saw one of them in the bar, he had hit it once, and said that he had cow sh*t on his right hand! Ed joked that he needed sn*t on the other one, but he said ‘no’ he didn’t want to get that close! however, a little later, we learned that he had been hit by the bull, his t-shirt was all torn, and he had broken his arm in several places… he was now on the way to hospital in the ambulance... his parting cry… “I presume this means I’ve won the bet?” Needless to say, everyone agreed!

The next day, we discovered that his arm needed pinning, but as he was flying back on the Tuesday, it had been left for the hospital in England to do it, otherwise he would have had to miss his flight!


The strap on Ed's bumbag broke. He had a go at fixing it himself, but that didn’t last too long! It was time to find someone who could fix it properly.

Then I was told that there was a cobbler near the police station,t hat would mend it. Fine. But where was it?! Ed had a really good look one day, wandering around all of the streets, then we both did together. No sign of a cobbler. We rang a few people, but either they didn’t know, or they weren’t in!

Finally, in desperation, I asked a lady in the tobacconists where the shop was, that would mend a bag (I didn’t know the Spanish word for cobbler). She came out of the shop, and pointed down the street, naming a shop half way down. Excellent – it must be hidden in the back of the shop – which certainly had an odd collection of things in the window! In we went, and asked if the man would mend the bag. His expression said it all! We were obviously in the wrong place! Thankfully, he understood, and pointed us in the right direction. Opposite his shop, was another street, and the place we needed was half way up there. (at least, that was what I understood!) We bimbled up, but this appeared to be residences only. Then suddenly, peering through a house window, I spotted shoes and polish! This was it. As we reached for the door, I noticed the previous shop keeper watching us, and waved to him as we went in!

Inside the house, we discovered that the first room at the front of the house was the cobblers. Inside, sat a little man, mending a coat. I asked if he could mend the bag, and he said yes – come back in 1 hour. If he had told me his name was Rumplestitlskin I would have believed him! Ed thought that when he said ‘1 hour’ that was all he had left to live!

An hour later, we returned, and his wife let us in. He was on the toilet! She asked us to indicate what we wanted. Sadly, there was nothing interesting worth taking! We pointed out the correct bag, but she had no idea how much to charge. She had to go and ask him, through the bathroom door! 2€ later, Ed was the proud owner of a repaired bumbag, and very happy with it too.