B-DAY PLUS 211

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH

It turned out to be a funny old day, today.

The weather was very uncertain when we got up.  Rod put on his tennis gear, but I put off getting ready until later, and as soon as I walked into the office changed and ready to go, we heard from weatherman Alan that it  was pouring with rain on the courts and so tennis was definitely off.  This gave us a good opportunity to do the weekend shopping at Lidl.

DSC03098I was feeling very lethargic all morning, and putting it down to having very happily consumed a vast quantity of wine and cava yesterday evening!  It was a wonderful event , to celebrate Derek’s 65th birthday at La Solana in Alcalalí.  The whole evening got off to a lovely start, with Derek welcoming everyone with a glass of cava or Bucks Fizz.  This is the way to get things off on the right foot!

DSC03109There must have been around 50 nice people there, all wishing Derek the best of fortune!  Anne and Derek are such beautiful people, they collect a group of lovely friends around them.  OK – why were we invited ??  One of life’s mysteries, perhaps it was Pepe they really wanted and knew that he came as part of a package deal!!

DSC03102Further enhancing the ambience, they had arranged for this singer, Matt Mason, to sit there singing the whole time, and for people to get up and dance.  He was brilliant, just sitting there in his own world while all the lovely food wafted past him.

Derek and Anne both gave an entertaining speech, there were candles to blow out on the cake, and it was an all-round marvellous evening!

Anyway – that was Wednesday evening, and today I was feeling less than good.  My tinnitus head was deafening, my limbs felt heavy, my joints hurt, my eyes itched  and I felt very gloomy and deathly tired.  I even missed going to yoga, as by the time I had rallied enough strength and enthusiasm, it was too late.  I hate these days- what a waste they are.  It took several hours of  trying different ploys – tea;  reading; even re-instating the computer card games; hammock, etc., before I realised the problem.  The rain!!  I have always maintained that I am allergic to rain, as I always feel this way when it rains.  I researched it once and found that it is not such a silly idea as it sounds, because damp weather does something to pollen grains and makes them burst, spilling their badness everywhere.  I have been so free of allergic reactions this summer, that I had forgotten about them.

I knew that I had written myself instructions as to what to do in these circumstances, so quickly I found them and made up the recipe for essential oils to combat dreariness.  Then I smothered myself with the thieves blend to address the allergic reaction.   I found the right crystals for the symptoms.

How lucky that I remembered!  I can’t be doing with this horrible feeling any more.

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B-DAY PLUS 210

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH

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Tryph and Mike’s 14th wedding anniversary ! 14 years ago today, we all trooped off to the Tythe Barn and enjoyed a lovely Saturday.

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It was all medieval – the building, the setting , the musical minstrels, and even the menu!

I was a bit worried when Tryph asked me to make the dress for her, EPSON MFP imagebut then she said she wanted  a red one!  (Funny enough – this IS a traditional colour for a wedding dress!  Queen Victoria began the modern trend for wearing white)

And then she said the style would be medieval !  Ah now, that’s not too scary – that’s an interesting challenge !!  I collected bits of trimming for it, and made what I thought a medieval belt would be like.  Lex was the bridesmaid, and for her it was shiney gold – a bit more difficult but I persevered.  They both looked stunning, and I felt so proud of them !

My sewing room is still choc-a-block with various trimmings bought 15 years ago in anticipation and not used !!

Today was the day of the ITV test for Pepe’s car, so we set sail mid-morning for the trip to Ondara, with much trepidation.  Although the garage man had promised that the car would pass, we both felt that we couldn’t quite believe him.  It was the usual performance when we got there.  Although we go every year with our own two cars, it seems that every single time we go, it is a different system.  Scores of cars are there waiting their turn, all spewing out passengers who wander about not knowing what to do or where to go.

DSC03112However,  we succeeded, and Pepe came away €42 lighter, but much relieved to have the sticker to go on the windscreen.

 

It’s been a long time  since I had a look at the list of 30 things to start doing for yourself. The next (the penultimate) one is a biggy-

 

  1. ” Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward. No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.”

Righto.  I actually DID this today, so I feel a tinsy bit smug.  When I took Pepe to the ITV place, it was the first time I had actually driven there without Rod to help navigate.  We always have a bit of a problem finding this place, as, although you can see it from the main road,  it lies in a very peculiar place, sown a side road that seems to take you in the wrong direction.

So I was steaming down the N332 when I came to a fork. Quick! Make a decision!!

Wrong.  Off we went further and further north as the ITV station disappeared from view.  The next roundabout was A LONG WAY ahead, but nothing for it but to remain calm and confirm with Pepe that he had filled up with petrol.

Returning south, I could now see the ITV station on the right hand side, so took the next exit from another roundabout towards it.

Wrong.  Now I was steaming south again, and the ITV station had entirely disappeared.

Another roundabout, and I headed back north,  Another roundabout, and I cunningly went around this one a few times before plumping for an enticing-looking exit.  Ah! Now the station is disappearing down the right-hand flank.  But hold!  There was a teeny tiny little sign with an arrow saying “ITV”, pointing down a rough track.  That was it.  We were there.

My point is – I never doubted that I could do it!  Pepe obviously did, as he had remained completely silent throughout the whole episode.  I focussed on believing I could do it and arrived at the place quite relaxed and could see the funny side of all those bemused folk wandering around like the proverbial headless chicken.

Perhaps the list is referring to deeper issues when is asks you to believe in yourself – but what’s wrong with starting small?

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B-DAY PLUS 209

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 27TH

I have suddenly realised that I just don’t feel like ME recently.  Why?  I asked myself the question and the answer came back immediately.  I am usually bedecked with dangly earrings, bracelets and crystals on chains around my neck.  Some people have to put on make-up, but I don’t. That’s not me!  I have to put on flouncy things and wear colours to suit my mood.

But recently I have not felt able to put my jewellery on as it all looks so awful.  In the summer here, we are constantly bathed in sweat, and this sweat turns the silver black in a matter of hours.  And as it looks horrible, I don’t store it properly and it all gets in a mess.  Funny how these things can get you so down that you don’t realise the reason you are less than chirpy.

So today marks the start of the Great Jewellery cleanup!  I sorted out my chains and polished them, throwing out all those which were irretrievable and so possibly only pretending  to be real silver.  I sorted out the earrings and found a new way to store them in pairs.  The ones past their sell-by date got binned (some of them have been creating clutter, unworn since we lived in Rugby!).  Some of them have lost their pairing –   how does THAT happen??  But I have saved those ones and put into my jewellery-making box.

DSC03090The task is by no means finished, but at the end of the session, I felt very proud to look over my collection!  A whole new world has opened up for me!   I hope they stay that clean and organised. Now – how to store my necklaces, bracelets and bobbly earrings?

It’s chess day for Rod, and we were invited by Sue and Mike to go to their new house immediately afterwards for more chess and Scrabble and an evening meal – as their very first guests !!  We began the celebrations with a game of petanque.  They are lucky enough to DSC03084have a flat area perfect for this game we always used to play when we went on camping trip together.  Swinglers were the victors THIS TIME!  Huh.

It was very calm and relaxing in their lovely garden, and even though Sue is operating from the kitchen floor at the moment, with no storage for either food or crockery, the meal was delicious.  DSC03087Half-way through, we had unexpected visitors, calmly munching the vegetation by the dining table.  This kid looked very young, and mum was very protective.  I love living in the countryside !

 

We finished the evening with the chess and Scrabble.  Since we both sold our camping equipment, we have missed our holidays camping and exploring  together, and this evening felt a bit like a continuation of those days. We do look as if we are having a jolly time !

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My heartening news story of the day is :

” France has proven itself to be a progressive nation in recent years. First, it made it illegal for grocery stores to purposefully waste food, then it recognized dogs as sentient beings. Following that, Paris held the world’s first car-free day in an effort to reduce emissions and prevent climate change from worsening.

Now, France has passed a new law which will ban the sale of plastic cups, cutlery and plates unless they are compostable and are made of biologically-sourced materials. The Independent reports that the law will go into effect in 2020 and is part of the Energy Transition for Green Growth. The nation is eager to make a more effective contribution to tackling climate change, and this latest ban is part of its strategy.”

I think this is great news, and keeps the need to protect our planet to the forefront of people’s minds.  I did feel annoyed however at the adverse comments that some gloomy people felt they had to make.  Firstly, they argue, this infringes EU laws on free circulation of products.  Paper and plastic cup manufacturers are miffed that they will no longer be  free to sell their ruinous products to France.

Secondly they say that people will think “Goody!  Biodegradable means I don’t have to worry about throwing rubbish into bins, I can throw all my rubbish away willy nilly and it won’t matter about the mess.”  Then, as these things take years to rot away, the countryside will be one huge rubbish dump.

Why do some  people have to be so negative?  Here we have news that should cause us to celebrate , yet these old Victor Meldrews can’t resist putting a blight on things.

I say – Good On You, France!  (Pity your record on nuclear testing is so blinkered.)   At least the UK will be free of these pettifogging EU laws once Brexit has taken place.

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B-DAY PLUS 208

MONDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER

It’s the beginning of a busy week, so we gave up the idea of our Monday day at the beach, in the cause of being sensible!  Lucky we did, as I spent a good deal of the day helping Pepe get his car back to good health.

It all started a week ago, when he mentioned that his car was falling to bits and he was beginning to dread driving it about.  We went to have a look, and, sure enough the wing was falling off. The other one was in a similar state a couple of years ago and the garage man did a very clever repair, drilling a hole and putting a great big bolt through the bodywork!  Seems like another is needed now!  Then we started thinking about wider issues, and somehow remembered that we hadn’t taken it to have it’s annual  ITV checkup (equivalent tot he MOT in the UK) for some time.  Oh Ho!  It seems that for the last 3 years he has been driving illegally with NO ITV!!

What to do?  Rod decided that it would be too expensive to get it roadworthy, so dashed off to his computer to see what Pepe would get if he decided to sell.  After a day of dithering, the answer came back – 500€ !  Re-think that idea then.

So today, I took Pepe down to the garage in Jalón and left the car there, asking the man to repair the bodywork, glue on the rear-view mirror for the fourth time (it fell off the windscreen last year again), and get the car fir to pass the ITV test.  I stressed that he was to ring me with a price before doing anything.  The poor man was having a Monday morning, but nodded grumpily.

All day I kept my phone about my person, and at 4.30 it finally rang. “Coche listo”, was all the caller said, gruffly.  “Car ready”.   “Have you done it?” I asked .  “Si.”  “How much?”  “125euros”.    Wow – that was worthwhile then if that was all!

Straightaway I ferried Pepe back to Jalón and the car was truly fixed for that sum .  Pepe had been prepared for at least 600€ !  As soon as I got home, I rang and made and appointment for the test.  Wednesday is the big day then.  Will he be charged for the missing years of certification??

Since I had the trouble with my toe joint, I have not been on any unnecessary walks at all, and I am really beginning to miss these forays over the mountains in my trusty boots.  Today, I decided to test the recovery of the foot, by doing a small trip of half an hour.  I was pleased to find that I managed it quite well.  I have to say, it doesn’t hurt all that much now, but I am afraid of getting stuck on a remote footpath and not being able to hobble back.  So I’ll give it a day’s rest then try again.

DSC03091While I was out, I came across a pile of rocks that I had not seen before, which glowed pink in the afternoon sun.  I picked one up and took it home, adding it to the small pile welcoming people to our house.  I have not been able to find out what  the reason is for these remarkable stones that have stripes of pink in them.  I have another cairn too, a bit closer to the front door.

DSC03092I think of this second one as my friendly alien and he makes me smile every time I see it.  For me, that’s a good enough reason to have it there, but it set me thinking  –  why this urge to pile stones on top of each other?  When I am walking the mountains, I see little piles of stones along the way,  some of them simply very artistic and some of them indicating the right path to take.

I knew that people used cairns as way-markers and to mark graves and things, and in the early days of exploration they used to put messages inside a big pile of stones, presumably saying “I woz ere”, in case they never made it back again.  But as I looked into the subject, it seems that too many people are leaving cairns about  and environmentalists are urging subsequent travellers to knock them all down.  There is a group promoting  “outdoor ethics”  who have come up with seven principles of “Leave No Trace” that we are all supposed to remember when being in the countryside.   One of these principles sensibly says “Leave what you find”.

Oh dear.  I am supposed to be this great environmentalist and I have broken a rule!  BUT – another rule is “Respect wildlife”.  Now I would include rocks in this category of wildlife, and I am respecting them when I bring them home for all to admire, even those who are unable to make the treks into the mountains.  So there you are.  I am innocent.  IF we are to indeed “Leave no trace”, then what are we doing building ugly old houses in beautiful places ?  They say that, by removing the rocks from their natural habitat, I am affecting the environment.  I say that, most of these rocks were artificially mounded up into walls centuries ago, so it’s not me doing the harm, it’s THEM!

Any road up.  I am reprimanded and I shall keep my kleptomania to a  minimum from now on.

DSC03095But I do love stones.  As I have often said.  My desk is littered with them.  I even have a cairn by my computer, made of stones from the beach.  They calm me magnificently, and th top one even has a seashell embedded in it.

If I were a Buddhist or a shaman, I would probably be up there with the best, in my reverence for the stones.  How do we KNOW  that they are not truly “wildlife”.  They are millions of years old and who knows what secrets they hold.  Who would have thought that a simple piece of silicon would have the ability to become a “chip” capable of wreaking such havoc in our electronic lives?  Or that we need a little bit of quartz to help us know what time it is?

Rock on.

 

 

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 207

SUNDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER

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We got up full of beans, looking forward to an exciting day!  To continue celebrating our anniversary, a couple of weeks ago I booked us seats at the Restaurante Viva España.  We have been here before, but not for years, and always enjoyed the Flamenco dancing.  But we have never been to this Andalucian horse show and I have really been looking forward to it.

To make our celebration even more special, Mike offered to be chauffeur for the day – wonderful!  The show was due to start at 12.30, so we got there in good time to enjoy a coffee while we waited. Ugh!  Coffee rated at only 3 out of ten (Rod later demoted his cup to a two), and lots of confusion as to where to find chairs.  DSC03059Not a good start, but eventually things cheered up as we grabbed some plastic chairs recently vacated and took them to the arena (or car park) to await the show.  We noticed that experienced show-goers had got themselves a glass of beer to enjoy whilst watching (Note to self – next time bring own comfy beach chairs and similarly buy beer before show starts).

DSC03061As it started, the four performers came trotting out to do their party tricks, and a group of five very young apprentice dancers appeared and danced very close to the trotting horses.  Looked very dangerous! Waiters brought DSC03071around a free glass of cold sangria, and all thoughts of the decrepit coffee were banished.  The one girl rider did a routine with a heavy,  long pole – typically Spanish we were told.  Another rider did a horse dance with a girl and a long DSC03074tassly shawl.

At the end, after an hour, we were allowed to pose for photos, and I unthinkingly put my hand on this lovely horse. Immediately I regretted it as it was covered in a inch-thick layer of gloopy sweat!  They were just wonderful horses.  Pepe leaned over to me during the performance and said, “I want a horse!”  I agreed that I wanted one too.

We were then straight into lunch (very nice) and immediately after that came the Flamenco show.  Again, just marvellous!  The troupe was much smaller than before – only four girls and a man, but theyDSC03077 were brilliant.  My favourite bit is always the dancing with walking sticks – they bang them on the floor with the music and the air reverberates with rhythm.

So we came back feeling absolutely bursting with good food, and feeling contented after a lovely experience.  Something like this makes such a good change, it made me feel like booking something else!  On a day-to-day basis, we are so contented at home that we don’t venture out much.  But once in a while – we should !  Play and fun in life are just as important as contentment, I think.

 

 

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B-DAY PLUS 206

SATURDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER

Sue and I have been looking forward to going onto Jalón market this morning, and got off at our normal time of 9.15 so that we could park and get round the stalls before the crowds make it unpleasant.

DSC03055While we were gone, Mike helped Rod with the ping pong table, so when we got back, there it was in all it’s splendour, finished !

 

 

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It looks very strong and folds up for storage (if we can find somewhere to store it)  It even has a half-way point, where you can practise on your own! Wow.  Let’s hope that Rod and I can get good enough to thrash these Youngsters when they come.  Mike and Rod had had a game and Mike came out the winner – but Rod then went on to beat Mike at chess, so all was well and in harmony.

Saturday afternoon has always been a favourite of ours.  Whilst I DSC03058was relaxing in the bath, I could hear Rod getting excited about the football results coming in on the tele.  He loves Sky Sports !!  Look at old Jeff Stelling shouting out the goals as they are scored, and taking his mission to inform the nation very seriously .

Then we had a lovely Saturday evening of course!  Strictly Come Dancing has started this week, for the 14th year!  Somehow, this makes a Saturday, especially as the weeks progress towards Christmas and all the dancers get better, we get to know them better, and the nights get more wintry.  It’s Pepe’s favourite programme, and he just lives for it every week.  It’s a bit of a phenomenon, maintaining it’s momentum Strictly Come Dancing titlecard.jpgafter all this time, but it’s got everything – amazing costumes, outrageous glitter everywhere, human fallibility, lesser-talented dancers succeeding in the face of all odds, and a judging panel  consisting of the glamorous one, the grumpy one, the old charmer and the flamboyant Italian.  Perfect accompaniment to a glass or two of wine and a Magnum.

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 205

FRIDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER

Mike and Sue were excited this morning  as they left.  Today is when the storage company are going to deliver all their furniture and belongings from the store in Moraira to the new house in Murla!  Promising to catch up with us “sometime” they drove off with cleaning in mind!

Left home here, Rod set himself a difficult target.  But back to the beginning of the story …..  since we threw away the trampoline because the wind and sun had completely ruined it, we have been left with a very large and empty terrace.  Just before I went to the UK., Rod spent hours looking online at table tennis tables.  While I was away, he located one he was happy with and ordered one that was for outside weather and would fit under our sunroof.  It DSC03050arrived this week, in  one flat box, making yet another flat-pack challenge for him! Although he hates flat-packs, he set to with a will, looking forward to the games and frivolities to come, and leaving me to go and do the weekly shopping alone !  And all for just under €500.   He is looking forward to issuing a challenge to the Young Family when they come to stay in October.

Lunch was on Pepe today, and we all had such a marvellous lunch at La Solana in Alcalali, that nothing much was done for the rest of the day.   Mike and Sue arrived home at 9.30, having had a most successful day and looking forward to moving in tomorrow.

I can’t help getting concerned about the news of the Syrian crisis.  There was a cease-fire, and now there isn’t, and there is a lot of arguing and blame-shifting going on, one of the results being:

“Nearly 2 million people in Aleppo are once again with no running water through the public network. Depriving children of water puts them at risk of catastrophic outbreaks of waterborne diseases and adds to the suffering, fear and horror that children in Aleppo live through every day.”

This week, a convoy carrying foreign aid was the target of air attacks.

“Russian warplanes bombed the aid convoy that was heading to Aleppo, U.S. officials are now claiming.

The airstrike killed 20 people Monday, including the head of the Syrian Red Crescent, and destroyed 18 of the 31 trucks that were delivering medicine, water, and food to help 250,000 stranded civilians. The bombing came just after a weeklong ceasefire agreement, brokered by Russia and the U.S., came to an abrupt end.

Russia, for its part, claims that footage from its military drones shows the attack was carried out by Syrian rebels firing a mortar from a pickup truck. U.S. officials, however, told CNN that only a Russian warplane could have struck the convoy.”

What a terrible mess.  Aleppo, the country’s second biggest city, has been divided among government troops, rebel militias, Islamic extremists and Kurdish fighters since 2012.  Now the Syrian government are trying to win it back .  There are some local volunteers, called the White Helmets, who are now being targeted.

In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the "White Helmets," a destroyed ambulance is seen in the Ansari neighborhood in the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria, Sept. 23, 2016.

This group posted this photo earlier of a bombed-out ambulance in the city.

How have we got to this point? We are supposed to live on a civilised planet, yet this is how we treat people.

But I can’t leave on this negative note.  This week, my attention was also caught by this:

“Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced today that their foundation will donate $3 billion to fund a plan to “cure all disease” by the end of the 21st Century.” 

This is the man who founded Facebook, and is one of the 100 wealthiest people in the world.  Nevertheless, instead of buying himself goodies which he doesn’t need, this is just one of the things he is choosing to do with his money.  Another hero!!

 

B-DAY PLUS 204

THURSDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER

TENNIS DAY!   Eight of us turned up today, so it was pretty tough going with not much chance to sit out and have a breather.  But it was a good morning and we were all happy to be out in the wonderful Spanish (hazy) sunshine with a slight breeze to cool us a little teeny bit as we played.

I was out again at 2.30, as it’s the first yoga session of the new term.  This was very hard, following so close onto the tennis, but I was glad I went and it was good to meet all the class again.  Imagine!  I was pretty shattered when I got back from yoga.

Mike and Sue had been out shopping and sorting out their new house all day, and came back very excited and ready to play a challenging game.  Usually this means that Rod and Mike will play chess, and I will play Scrabble with Sue.  I whimped out for an hour, then challenged her – but we had to leave the game half-way !

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This game will now go on for days – lucky for us the weather is summery and we don’t need the indoor table for eating on.  I do like Scrabble.  I play a move every day online in a game against Avner Kornblum, and really look forward to switching my computer on in the morning and having a look to see what he has done!

We had a lovely meal outside in the evening again – but everyone was too tired today to play games.  Oh the blessing of old friends, when you don’t have to put on a pretence of being full of energy and up for night after night of frivolity!

We have been good friends of Mike and Sue for almost 20 years, although , since he is my cousin, I have known Mike all my life – sort of!  Initially we only met at family functions and never had time to chat or  to get to know each other.  Then, in 1998, we sold  our business, bought ourselves a rucksack each and set off to circumnavigate the world.  When we outlined our plans to Pepe, his response was “Oh!  Michael and Susan are in China for a couple of years, you must drop in on them!  I will talk to Michael’s Mum, Auntie Gladys”.  This he did, and between the parents, it was arranged that we should indeed “pop in” on Mike and Sue when passing.  Neither  of them seemed to realise how big China is !!  Once we were in China, we got a train to Beijing, taking three days and two nights.  Then we got another train to where they were living, in Tjan Jing  – half a day.  Then a taxi to their house – a couple of hours as the driver didn’t know the road.

Then we had to introduce ourselves.  Poor Mike and Sue – two very stinky travelling strangers knocking on their door and demanding to stay a few days!!

In the end , we got on really well, and they were grateful that we had gone to all that trouble.  In the two years they spent working in

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China, the only visitors they had were us and Sue’s Mum (who went once only).  We found  that we had lots in common, (even down to our daughters sharing the same birthday!) and our houses in the UK were not too far from each other.  They treated us magnificently and even took us to have a picnic on The Great Wall, being driven there by Mike’s own personal works chauffeur.   We left them about four or five days later, well groomed and with all our washing done, to take the train down to Shanghai.  Just think!  if we had pooh-poohed our parents’ pushing us into meeting up, we might never had found such good friends.  Would they even have been here in Spain, buying a house in Murla ??  It wasn’t easy to find them in China, but luckily we had enough of an open mind to go  with the flow and accept that something other than our parents was manipulating us into locating each other.

Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them. - William Arthur Ward

B-DAY PLUS 203

WEDNESDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER

ANOTHER DAY OF CELEBRATION!

J & R wedding

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48 years ago today, at Kettering Parish Church, Rod and I got ourselves married !  My Mum made the dresses and my “something borrowed” was my head-dress, which I borrowed from Rod’s brother’s wife, Maureen, and altered to make it short and fluffy.  We had our reception in the Co-op hall, to which 72 people came, and then we went off to the Isle of Skye in Rod’s falling-to-bits Morris Minor car for our honeymoon. It’s just like yesterday, yet ir was 48 years ago!  48 !! !    As my friend Ruth put it – “silly numbers!”

 

Mike was there !

Pepe was there! Brother Nick was there !

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To celebrate the day, we decided to catch up on some seaside time – usually a Monday but postponed this week in order to help Mike and Sue.  We had a very relaxing morning in El Vergel by the sea, then thought we’d have a small lunch in a café nearby.

DSC03049In we went, lured by the huge word “PIZZAS” painted on the wall.  We were the only ones there, and were quickly told, “No pizzas!”.  OK., we couldn’t be bothered to go anywhere else, so we asked for Menu de Dia.  The nice lady asked us what we wanted.  The choice for the first course was rice cooked in the oven. Yes – that was it! Just the rice.  She went into a long discourse about what rice from the oven was, and we were quite happy to accept her recommendation. (The fact that there was no alternative helped us to make this decision of course.)  The next DSC03045course was chicken or fish,  Fine! Chicken please, and two draft beers.

Two bottles of beer arrived, but we were thirsty and didn’t argue.  Then a big salad arrived. OK – we like salad so we ate it.  Then the chicken arrived – with chips. Also nice, but where was the rice?

DSC03044We had drunk the beer, so asked for two more bottles of  the same.  Two different bottles arrived !  Fine.  By this time two Spanish workmen arrived for Menu del Dia, and had the same lecture on the merits of rice from the oven as we had been given.  Yes! They liked this  idea and ordered it, with the chicken .  This was interesting, and I watched carefully to see what would  happen, as surely we had done something wrong?  But sure enough, a salad arrived with not one grain of rice to be seen!

DSC03048Another old fellow arrived and wandered into the kitchen, coming out with a salad. Yet another old man arrived and wandered around picking up dirty glasses and going  into the kitchen.  Salad again.  All very relaxed.

 

 

Then we were offered dessert.

What was there?

Ice cream.

What sort of ice cream?

What would you like?  (Hands waved expansively to indicate a huge choice.)

We would like chocolate please.

It comes with vanilla.

Righto.

Then the ice cream arrived … a Lidl cone straight from the freezer with vanilla and chocolate ice cream ! (You can any flavour you like, as long as it’s vanilla and chocolate, of COURSE.)

We had a coffee each ( 8.5 out of 10 – a fantastic score!), and the whole lot only came to  €16 !  We’d had a laugh and a nice lunch … result!

In the evening we entertained more royally at Pepe’s Restaurant in Alcalalí.  Mike and Sue treated us to a marvellous meal – a lovely ending to a lovely day!

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B-DAY PLUS 202

14424722_10153973734016365_4905484079026291407_oMONTY’S SIXTH BIRTHDAY !60861_432735891364_5453750_n

Monty Naming HR-167

 

Six years ago today, I had already been staying with Lex and Dan for a couple  of weeks, waiting for Monty to arrive, when Lex suddenly seemed to think that the event was beginning!  She began to have pains during the evening, and Dan and I began to massage her and do our best to make her feel better.  Then, it was time!  They were living at 44 North Gardens, Brighton at the time, so they shot off to the hospital and left me to mind the fort with Clemmie.  We didn’t have to wait long, and the next afternoon, I made the long walk along by the sea, pushing the buggy in order to go and see Montague Ambrose Quincy Young in person!  What an auspicious day!  Two or three days later, Rod arrived from Spain to introduce himself too.

Jujni and Monty Sept 15 - Copy

I am so proud of Monty – he is a marvellous grandson to have, and already is a fount of information . He does love a few facts – and at the moment he is wallowing in facts about sea animals – especially sharks.  His hero is David Attenborough, and he knows the scripts of his television programmes by heart!

Mike and Sue went off to sign up for their new  house this morning, so Rod and I went with Pepe this afternoon to have a look round and to drink a toast in cava to their new project.  It is in an idyllic situation and will be incredible when they have stamped their mark on it.  Just outside Murla,  it is about 25 minutes from here in a sheltered spot next to a mountainside.  I am envious already of their garden.  It has an array of plants which would never grow here , ever, in our windy and scorching sunny spot!

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