November in Spain

Dick and Irene Craig
Tue 22 Nov 2011 11:25

When we arrived back home from France on the evening of 3rd November, it was too dark to see what the gardeners had done during our absence. Imagine our delight when next morning, we could see that the conifers at the other end of the pool had been taken down, the large almond tree had been heavily pollarded, the mess cleaned up and the log pile looking very healthy.

One afternoon, we watched a Hoopoe wandering around on the grass, between the pool and the terrace, This was the first time we had seen this species of bird in our back garden but some friends who came round for supper soon after the event, told us that they had seen quite a few from their casa, in Javea, overlooking the Mongo. On further investigation, it seems that these birds don’t tend to come much further north than where we are situated in Spain.

Another day, we found a very fragile looking insect which looked like a very skinny praying mantis. It was balancing on the edge of part of the balustrade on the front porch area.

For the second time this year, I slipped on the back steps, still wet with dew, when I took out the laundry to dry. This time there were more abrasions and I needed help to get in and out of bed but thankfully I have recovered well. The crocs, my ugly, Mini-mouse shoes are lethal on a wet floor and are now a thing of the past. I was so lucky not to do permanent or disabling damage to myself, even though I am still walking a bit like a cross between a crab and a duck.

Jean and Mike from Jeanius (WARC participants), arrived in Moraira and gave us a call to let us know that they were in the vicinity. We hadn’t seen them since we left St Lucia, following the celebrations at the end of the circumnavigation last April.

Their holiday home is less than a mile from our casa and they joined us for a meal on Sunday evening; the same day that David and Susan (also WARC participants) came to visit us, en-route to France, where they plan to collect some parts for their boat before taking their car to Glasgow and then flying to Grenada.

Although expected, it was still distressing when my Mother passed away around 8.30 am Sunday 13th November. She was 86years old and appeared to have no quality left in her life.

We sorted through a wardrobe where Dick still has two suits, a pair of slacks and a blazer, any of which might be suitable as funeral attire. He hasn’t worn any of these clothes since we moved to Spain in 2002. There generally isn’t really a need for anything other than casual clothing. No surprise therefore that none of the trousers got close to fitting. Ever hopeful and anticipating that one day he might lose some weight, the clothes were put back in the wardrobe.

The charity shop will have to wait for the clothes but the wheelchair, which we kept in Spain for my late step-father we gave to the charity Help. One of the organizers told us that on a number of occasions they have had to retrieve one of their wheelchairs from the airport. Tourists, having borrowed a wheelchair tend to abandon it when it is time to return home. Subsequently, one of the volunteers has to take time out to collect it; by the time they get to the airport, the person who initially called to tell them that the chair needed collection, is no longer on duty and nobody else knows where it is. The frustration of responsibility!

It took five calls in order to cancel our Spanish credit card which had been cloned. Fortunately, the purchases were not accepted by the bank, which sent a text to our mobile to inform us of the situation, thus alerting us to the fact that the card was being used fraudulently, outside of Spain. Hopefully we will be able to collect replacement cards before we fly to the UK first thing on Thursday morning. We need the card details to access our on-line banking facilities.

It is great to be squeezing our own oranges to make juice for breakfast. Until the last few days we have bought packs of oranges from the supermarket while we wait for our own fruit to ripen.  The Clementine’s are still not ready so we will miss out on those.

The frogs have now been moved away from the pool and will adorn the back porch, pretending to be watch dogs, until we return next year.