Back home to Spain

Dick and Irene Craig
Sun 27 May 2012 12:08

Our return to the UK, with the temperature as low as 3ºC, was a little shock to our system, no longer being equipped for colder climes. However, not entirely unexpected and a pair or Jeans, for my part, and a pair of Chinos for Dick, along with a fleece and Caribbean sailing jacket, managed to help keep us from feeling too cold.

After calling in for coffee and breakfast at John’s house (we did touch down just after 5.30am),  I packed a bag to keep us going for four nights, leaving the rest of our luggage in John’s guest room, then drove down to Chichester to visit Ed, Naomi and our two grandsons.

Although Ed was working that night, we were still in bed before he left to drive to a gig a couple of hours away.; he returned in the early hours but I didn’t hear anything at all, being quite exhausted after the journey from Antigua and no sleep during the night flight.

Next morning we drove to Stansted, not the one with the airport, to take a trip on a train, with Ed and family, around a local park. I think that the track and the trains, as well as the ride, are possibly owned by a group of guys who are enthusiasts. Hopefully the return for providing this delightful service covers their costs.

That night we went to Sutton and with a group of friends who live not a million miles from there, watched a live band and their supporting group. The music was very good but the consensus was that it might have been better had it been a little less loud.

We played bridge with Jan and Henry which was lots of fun and helped to get us back into thinking about the game again.

The flight to Valencia was delayed because one of the passengers decided at the last moment that he was too afraid to fly. The stewardesses, the steward and the pilot all tried to convince the guy that all was well but to no avail as he eventually left the plane; his luggage was located and removed from the hold and we continued to wait on the tarmac for another slot.

Our friend Richard waited outside airport arrivals for three hours before we were able to meet him. He was probably quite dehydrated because by the time we reached home he was feeling too unwell to join us for a curry locally.

Having arrived back in Spain to pouring rain and a temperature of 22.5ºC, we were delighted when we woke next morning to sunshine and a blue sky.

During the day it is quite warm but mornings and evenings have been cooler and for the first couple of weeks we were pleased to take advantage of the central heating. I think that our blood has thinned to the constituency of water, having spent so much time in warmer climes over the last few years.

Playing bridge at the Moraira club on Thursday, I heard that the red weevil, blown over from Africa, is devastating the palm trees; there appears to be some treatment to avoid this happening but it is not cheap. Next morning, almost in a panic, we have seen our two palm trees grow from strength to strength since we bought our house here in 2001, I phoned the gardener. I should have known that he would have it all in hand; only one variety of palm trees is affected and that is already being given preventative treatment.

Arc Europe left Tortola on the 5th May. David and Susan from Voyageur left with the rally, planning to take their boat back to Scotland, before driving to Spain.

We bought a gas barbecue which Dick had to assemble before we could use it on Saturday evening to cook our steak. Yum, yum; also bought a wooden cot and a highchair for Mia’s arrival. Both of which have been unpacked and put together.

Caroline and Mia arrived on Wednesday 16th. They had flown from Southampton that morning and although the plane arrived pretty much on time, it took nearly an hour for them to appear on our side of the arrivals doors. Mummy was pushing a trolley piled high with bags and car seat and Mia was pushing her stroller, with a little guidance from Caroline.

Mia was soon occupying the new child seat which Dick had previously fitted into the car but having been restrained for such a long time, she was most relieved when we reached our casa and she could walk and run around.

They were still both suffering the effects of a cold which they had picked up in the UK but other than that, were soon able to relax.

We all went off to the beach in Moraira on Thursday and Mia splashed in the sea which felt quite chilly to me. On Saturday we went to Javea and played on the long, sandy beach at the Arenal, where Mia started to make friends with some local Spanish children.

By Sunday it was as if they had been here forever although Caroline does plan to find a place of her own once she is more familiar with the area and what is available.