Feliz Navidad…..

Sitting here in bed eating a raw mince pie and a raw orange and ginger cookie for breakfast 🙂 I think it is safe to say that we have officially declared it is Christmas.

Yesterday we handed out bags of mince pies and cookies to our neighbours, most of the food prep is done and walks over the next few days have been planned.

A quick whizz around Bessie later to make sure she is as sparkly as the decorations that we will finish putting up once we stop work today means that we are ready to down tools and enjoy some festive relaxation from tonight onwards.

Normal service will be resumed once we fall out the other end sometime next week!!

So, to you and yours this Christmas ‘May you have all that you wish for and may 2012 be a bright and welcoming year full of love, light and blessings’

Or as they say here in Spain – ‘ Navidad Feliz y un Año Nuevo Próspero’




This will be the fourth Christmas that we have spent abroad, two here in Spain and two in France several years back.

Spending Christmas away from home is an odd thing. All my internal reference points for the festive season are tied up with good old Blighty.

For me Christmas should be spent in the cold, preferably the snow (the picture above shows what my back garden looked like on the last Christmas that we spent in the UK)

Christmas shopping should be spent dashing from one shop to another trying to stay warm whilst muffled in hats, scarves and gloves.

It is about glasses of hot mulled wine and warm mince pies and roaring log fires.

Back in the UK I would have had the Christmas decorations up at the beginning of December, the tree groaning under the weight of all my sparkly and glittery baubles collected over the years. Here I have decorated the sleeping end of the caravan but won’t do the rest until Christmas Eve as otherwise Santa is in danger of being decapitated such is the fight for space!

In the UK I would have spent the day in Norwich with my best friend trying our best to do a passable impression of actually getting some shopping down but instead spending the day eating, drinking, gossiping and enjoying all the Christmas lights and cheer.

The shops here all look pretty and sparkly (I’ll have to take some photo’s) but its just not the same when you are walking around in t-shirt and sandals and there is none of the fervant rush of bodies in and out of shops that there is back home. Manana baby is definitely the order of the day here.

Being away from home at Christmas and all the trappings that go along with it means that we have to do things differently in order to not spend the time wistfully thinking of what we are missing.

Of course we still include some traditional features – this is me at the weekend when we slipped down to the beach with a flask and a mince pie to watch the sun go down and bask in the evening rays.

This Christmas will be a time for us to catch our breath and take a few days out. It will be time to reflect on our first full year of our ‘journey’ and to plan what comes next.

Much of Christmas morning will be spent on Skype with our families so we will still get to share in a little of Christmas from back home and then the rest of the day will be spent eating and chilling and enjoying the sunshine with not a hat or scarf in sight…..

I know it won’t feel the least bit like a UK Christmas but it will feel like our Christmas and I’ve come to accept that that’s ok…… 🙂


I love Amazon…..

Hubby and I are big Harry Potter fans (I know who isn’t!) and we are currently in the process of watching each one of them again once a week in preparation for watching the finale on Christmas Day.

We had been hoping to go and see the final film at the cinema but had trouble finding an English speaking version over the summer in Portugal. We did think we had tracked a cinema down at one point but on closer investigation it seemed that said cinema had been closed down about a millenium ago!

So we decided to wait until the Dvd came out and then I concocted the plan to watch them all in the run up to Christmas.

Buying Dvds in Spain costs an arm and a leg and so I decided to get onto Amazon last week and order it there. Amazon told me that the release date was the 2nd December and that I could pre-order it for the very reasonable sum of £8.47 + £2.34 packaging. Great I thought as I ordered it.

Over the next few days I then began to worry that we wouldn’t get it in time for Christmas as I am still waiting for my parents birthday card that they posted a few weeks ago. I think it has gone the long way around and is currently enjoying a cruise around the med!

So, you can imagine my delight when we got back to the site last night after a shopping trip to have Maria rush out with some post for me. It must be the card I said to hubby but no, Maria handed me a package from Amazon.

Surely not……I only ordered it less than a week ago…..it couldn’t possibly have come that quickly. But sure enough it has and we now have our shiny new Dvd sitting waiting to be opened on Christmas Day……..

I love Amazon……sooooo much. Never once have we been let down or disappointed by their service. They simply do what they say on the tin…….If one company can do it why can’t they all.

Oh and the best bit was that a day after I ordered it I received an email to say they had dropped the price further and that I would receive a 0.47p refund!!!

Happy Christmas Amazon……from a very happy customer.


Maroma – part 2

In March of this year we climbed La Maroma. It is the mountain that stands behind us here on the campsite in Iznate.

When we climbed it in March we did so from the other side to the one we look at everyday as this is the ‘ahem’ easier route; although at 6788ft easy is not something that you would immediately associate with it.

This weekend though we (well hubby actually) decided we should go and investigate it from our side of the mountain. If I didn’t know any better I would say that hubby has a slight ‘fixation’ with this mountain!!

The plan was to just climb some of it and then turn and head back as we had left it too late in the day to climb it all and more to the point after a lazy summer we are out of practice on the long walks!!

The weather was once again on our side and conducive to hiking and we set off at about midday and had a lovely few hours up on the mountainside. I can’t say that the lower parts of this climb are too different to the ones of the other side of the mountain but I am sure it gets steeper the higher you get.

We were lucky enough again to see four eagles circling overhead. I never tire of seeing these amazing birds gliding past as you get a glimpse into their world of crystal clear air and views for miles around.

Anyways, it was another lovely day out in the fresh air, walking, picnicking and chilling…….enjoy the photo’s 🙂

The walk started from the town hall in Canillas, see the small town about 1/3rd of the way up Maroma in the top picture. Canillas is a typical white washed Spanish village, all narrow streets and very steep!

Within no time at all we were looking back down on Canillas…

Lake Vinuela in the distance

Post picnic snooze……

Stunning views

Altogether now …. ‘high on a hill was a lonely goatherd lay odl lay odl lay hee hoo’

Trying out my new walking poles…..

Homemade mince pie and tea break on the way back down…

Cats and dieting….

Molly is on a diet…….which is causing her no end of grumpiness. She can’t understand how suddenly she isn’t allowed to eat all her food up and then finish whatever Oscar has left as well.

But, tough measures are called for after she weighed in at 11lbs this week. For a little tabby cat with only 3 legs that falls into the rather excessive category. So she is now on a strict three meals a day and I am having to resist the temptation to go and pick her up when she is outside so she doesn’t have to hop everywhere (I know I am probably part of the cause but I can also be part of the solution too 🙂 )

Apart from a few major grumbles last night she is being quite good about her new regime doing what most cats do when confronted with less food than usual – she is sleeping a lot . I mean a girls gotta conserve her energy when rations are in short supply!!

Whether this will work or not who knows but I have to give it a try especially given her ‘ahem’ disability. On a serious note the last thing I want is for her not to be able to get about because she is too heavy to hop around.

Of course the other option would be something like this → Hmmmm….I think I will keep at the diet for a bit longer yet 🙂