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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Playpen / Paddling Pool?

Since the rain of a few weks ago, Max has discovered his own personal paddling pool. Paddly still won't go into the pool, following his fright when he fell in, during the construction of the steps.

Max, on the other hand, runs up and down the steps with abandon. At the moment, just as we wonder where he is, we hear splashing and realise that he is having fun in the 8 inches or so of water. All well and good, until he decides to jump out of the pool and come for some fuss... oh dear!

Latest Visitor

We now have a little man swinging from the plum tree. Ed knows I like individual and unusual items around the place, so he made me a one-of-a-kind ornament. The man is welded rigid, but he swings freely on his chain. I was absolutely thrilled. Now we need to find a name for him - probably Paco, as that seems to be the most common name hereabouts!

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Rebels Yell

On Sunday night, lots of us met up at the bar Uni.K to celebrate Christmas and New Year together. It was a lovely sociable night, with lots of people singing on the karioke and some people dancing.

Best turn of the night - definately Mark and Joe, singing Billy Idol's Rebel Yell... (also on youtube)

Happy Christmas

This year, we have had to have a real Christmas Tree! All of my decorations including the artificial tree are stored in the garage, but recently we have had a furry intruder set up home in the corner where everything is stored. He has left his little messes everywhere and shredded up some of the Christmas things, so I have had to do a bit of a review.

Ed has now bought a rat-trap, but so far, he has eaten all of the cheese put out for him, whilst evading capture. The dgs know there is something there, but they haven't got him yet either.

Still, we had a nice quiet Christmas at home, with John.

We went to the pub at lunchtime, which was nice, as there were lots of people there that we knew. Last year, the Christmas Day menu wasn't very inspiring, but this year it was much better. Maybe it is something to think about for next year?

As we left for the pub, Ed shut the door and said' have you got the keys?' No. Followed by a minor panic as we figured out how to get back in! Then, as we left again, I accidentally let Max out, who then promptly ran off for a walk around the woods. Paddy and I waited, while Ed and John chased him down. They caught him once, but he managed to run off again! Finally, nearly a hour late we got to the pub!

Still, the extra time meant that the turkey was well done.

There was one other problem... I had decided to make individual Banoffee Pies for pudding. I had done the base, and the caramel (ready made Dulce de Leche) then put the bananas on; John offered to whip the cream... but I had bought the wrong cream - it was slightly sour, for cooking, not sweet, for puddings! (Good job I had ice-cream available on stand-by) Oh well - everyone had eaten so much, we didn't want pudding anyway!

Snowed In

While I was in England, I got a concerned phone call from Ed, that the snow in Spain was so severe, many of the roads around Alcoy were blocked, and the pass we use to get to Alicante was dangerous.

I had to make a few phone calls (in Spanish) and he was right, the pass was dangerous even at 20 kph, so for him to pick me up now meant a very long drive, going a different way, to avoid the high peaks! Very kindly, one our our neighbours accompanied him, even though my flight wasn't due to land until 11pm. (In fact, it was delayed, so we didn't get home until after 2am)

The following day, there was still lots of snow on the mountains, and it stayed for about a week.

Christmas in Uttoxeter

Good old Ryanair. Cheap flights - cheap service, you get what you pay for - nothing!!

I found a cheap flight for December, which enabled me to nip back and celebrate Christmas with the family in England! It was almost as cheap as the postage was last year, just to send back lightweight token presents!

I had a day shopping with Jessica, which was lovely, and a day at Alton Towers Spa with my mum, which was wonderful too. We celebrated Jessica's first dinner party in her new house, with a lovely dinner, finished off with 'Eton Mess' for desert.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Hedge Hacking

A little while ago, I suggested to Ed that one of the fron flower beds be removed. After some thought, he agreed with me. Subsequently, we also agreed on removing the hedge alongside the drive. Why anyone would plant 20 feet of hedge along a 100 ft driveway is beyond me. Needless to say, it looked lost and forelorn.

However, one excavaor and 1 hour later, and not only the hedge had been removed, but also the brick built flower bed. The drive had been levelled and the gravel re-distributed.

We now have a double parking area at the front of the house, and the area allocated for a car-port is ready for when we win the lottery (so we can pay for it!).

Little Beastie

The slabs for the patio had been bought so long ago, that there were lots of creatures living in between them. Many of them had multiple legs, but a few of them had only 4!

Jamie managed to catch 2 small gheko's, as they were quite cold, so not too lively. Needless to say, we put them both in a new safe home. They must be the reason why we don't have many spiders in the house here. (I don't like them in the house - but I like spiders even less.)

Happy Chappies

I like this one - We went for a stroll around Xativa on Monday. Ed wanted to show Jamie the 'belen' in the Avenue, but it wasn't finished. Never mind - we made up for it, by having a chocolate caliente con flautas. (Hot thick chocolate, with pastry sticks to dip in.) mmmm yum yum

Practically Perfect Patio

Ed and Jamie have done really well, and have pretty much finished the patio.

Well, to be honest, the patio IS finished, and so is most of the floor inside the poolhouse. Now, all that is left, are the cuts around the sides and inside the shower-room. Even the toilet is in place, although not plumbed in yet. (Ed has put an old towel in it, so I don't think anyone will use it by accident!)

The whole thing looks really lovely. The night time photo is a little bright, as there is no cover on the light in the poolhouse yet, nor are the blades to the fans screwed on. Once the final cuts are done, and the joints sealed, then the final touches can be put into place.

Pleased? That doesn't even begin to say how happy I am - both with the project itself, and the quality of the finish!