Friday, March 24, 2017

Life in Spain....

I had to laugh when someone sent me this clip on life in Spain, what an embarrassment, I love the chaps description of where he lives....a posh ghetto!!

Click here to check it out, you wont be dissapointed.

Of course I am also guilty of living like a pom, my local is an Irish bar, but it is just down the road so it makes sense. I do eat in Spanish bars/restaurants, plus I am learning the language slowly but surely.
I have also travelled throughout Spain and can happily say that Mojacar does look like Spain, it is the last place in Spain with chiringuitos (A chiringuito is a small enterprise, usually a bar, selling mainly drinks and tapas, sometimes meals in a more or less provisional building, often on a beach or loose surface where a more permanent structure may be inviable)  on the beach, there are also a lot of Spanish who live here, it is truly paradise.

The Spanish are not to crash hot on animal welfare, but children are sacred and precious beyond belief.

A good example is the local school bus dropping off the little cherubs, it has a police escort every single school day, at every stop the cops hold up the traffic until the children are off the bus and have crossed the road.

I dont really have a problem with this, the problem is that because the little darlings can do NO wrong they are the most awful children I have ever met, absolutely no manners as they are never scolded for bad or annoying behavior.

 Not a bad school bus though!

But I like 99% of the other immigrants who live here are here for one reason....sunshine, and that is plentiful.

We are loving our daily beach walks, it's a lovely way to start and finish the day.

The doggies are not allowed on the beach after the end of May until the start of October, I have no problems with this and is so much better than Sydney where they were banned every day of the year, if you were caught you were flogged then hanged drawn and quartered.

A managed to get a not too good photo of some dolphins as they were passing by.

Other happenings were the football game between England and Germany, I was joined by my lovely Dutch friend Eva who was proudly wearing a England shirt...she wasn't going to support the Germans was she! 
Pity we lost.

On a sad note, the boaters are all starting their mass exodus back to boating and cruising in the UK. By next week they will all be gone. I will miss them terribly but they are all coming back again next year and I wouldnt be surprised if they were joined by more boaters from the UK.

As I said earlier Mojacar  is paradise, there are no posh ghettos here!
Bev, Sue, Dot, Gordon, Andy, Roly and me. We all met wintering at Aston Marina

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Paddy's Day In Mojacar

Last year we celebrated Paddy's day down at the local pub The Emerald Isle so this year it was decided to do the same.

I was a bit apprehensive as last years celebration down the pub was the last time that Elaine had a really good trouble free day.

But after mothers burial I really feel that I can move on a bit more with hopefully no more bad moments so to speak.

I need not have worried it was a great day.

The barmaids Eva and Lily were dressed for the occasion!!

Its only fair that I should show you what they looked like before they grew beards!! 

All the boaters were there plus the normal regulars and loads more to boot. 

My sister Jackie and niece Hayley are with me at the moment so of course they came along.. Bombo wasn't going to miss out, he slept through most of the celebrations! 

I was dressed for the occasion along with the landlord Jay.

Being a Irish pub its probably the busiest day/night of the year, we got there at about 15.00 and left at 01.30.

It was a most fantastic night with great company.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Farewell Mum XX

I have just got back from spending 5 days in the UK. The main reason for the visit was to attend mothers funeral.

My first stop was to visit Elaine's sister Julie, whilst there I also caught up with Elaine's niece Leyna her husband Bill and her lovely children Connie, Evie and William.
Evie Connie and me
Leyna runs a livery yard, as well as the usual stables etc there are numerous sheds where Bill keeps his toys, this little baby is amongst them.

Next stop was Luton where I stayed in a hotel in the middle of the town, the weather was lovely whilst I was there, I think I might do a complete blog post on my old home town and how it has fallen into total decay since I lived there throughout the late 50s 60s and 70s

My lovely niece Kimberley came to visit me one night so I took her out to a lovely Italian restaurant and then to the Globe pub where I spent my drinking days in Luton

It hasn't changed much in the last 37 years, and some of the locals were still drinking there!!

Tuesday was funeral day. it all went very well, we started the funeral from the funeral directors premises, it was quite interesting on the drive to the cemetery to watch peoples reactions when the funeral cortege passed, I was amazed how many people removed their hats including young people. We passed some workmen, they all stopped and nodded as the hearse went past. It was nice and humbling to see that there was still some respect in Luton.

I have never been to a burial before, it is very moving.

The grave is filled in very quickly after the coffin is lowered into the grave.

There is a headstone being made up but it is months away.

The wake was held at a country cricket club.

Mother sat at the end of the food table with her half of Fosters! 

As well as family and friends I caught up with my northern cousins who I haven't seen since the mid 70s!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Get Well Soon Jane XXX

I had a call the other night to say that a good friend of ours is in hospital after suffering a stroke!

The friend is Elaines lifelong friend Jane, they went to school together, and have kept in touch all throughout the years. 

Jane is the lovely friend who flew out from the UK and accompanied Elaine back to Macclesfield last May.  She visited her virtually everyday in both the Christie hospital and the East Cheshire hospice, she was at Elaines bedside at the very end.

She is in The Acute Stroke Unit at Salford hospital Manchester so she couldn't be in a better place.

Elaine and Jane back in Oz.

Im back off to the UK on Saturday for mums funeral. The funeral is on Tuesday so I am going to pop in and see Elaine's sis Julie before that, she is still fighting the bastard cancer.

With all this crap going on I still feel blessed, I have had a fantastic life and am now pretty chilled out in Spain, it's a good place to be at the moment.

I went down the pub the other night, well actually I go down every night!  A big storm was on, I couldnt help noticing that the rainbow ended on the pub Guinness sign......later on that night I won the local sweepstake of the boxing that was being was a sign! 

Meanwhile in Mojacar summer is well and truly on the way, it's lovely and warm but thankfully not hot!

I took this photo of a passing tug this morning, the sea is dead flat. 

Meanwhile back in my old hometown of Manly the commuters and tourists have been getting a great ride across Sydney heads on the Manly Ferry. 

It was one of the trips you could never get bored of, we used to love it, the rougher the better. 

Meanwhile back up in the villa, Sammie is just being Sammie.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Coming and Goings At The MCC (Mojacar Canal Club)

Yesterday we bade farewell to Cathy and Martin (NB Moriarty), they have been here since October, today they returned to their boat in the UK .
They have already booked their flights and accommodation for next October.
See ya later guys xx

Today we welcome Dot and Gordon from NB Ewn-Ha-Cul they are staying for a month. 

This is what they come for.... 

As I've mentioned before Mojacar really is a lovely place to be, its without a doubt the nicest place in Spain unless you like huge shopping centres etc, because there are none!

The MCC is going from strength to strength, we have more members this year, and they are all without fail coming again next year, maybe even more boaters will come next year to escape the dreadful English winter.

Im sad to say that I have literally done nothing this season for the MCC, since losing Elaine my motivation levels have dropped to Zero. Thankfully other boaters Andy and Sue (NB Festina Lente) who have been here for a few months plus a couple of Canadian friends who live here (Barry and Wendy) have stepped up to the plate and have been looking at accommodation and showing the new arrivals the lie of the land.

I did start the new year with a fair bit of optimism, but then mother became seriously ill and died, I'm still not really sure I was unlucky or lucky to be with her when she took her last breath.

Then I sold the motorhome which was the last great memory of my travelling around Europe with Elaine, it was my choice but still upsetting nonetheless.  

The last couple of weeks I have felt really down, with the occasional black thoughts entering my head.

Below sums up how I felt.

So....last Friday night it all came to a head, I was in the pub it was getting late and I was talking to a lovely young girl who had lost her mother to bastard cancer, her mother was only 51!

Im still not sure what triggered it but the next minute in a crowded pub I was bawling my eyes out, the poor girl was apologising for upsetting me, but it had the reverse effect, it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders, it was probably the first time I have had a good bawl since Elaine's funeral.

The next day I woke up feeling so much better, I think I need to let it out more often, but maybe not in a crowded pub!

The landlord was most impressed  at my efforts to attract a young 20 something pretty girl!  

So life is feeling better, not brilliant, just better, I'm in a lovely place surrounded by the most fantastic understanding friends plus the weather's getting warmer every day.

The motorhome is well and truly with its new owners, Im pleased to say they love her, you can read their blog here, plus I have linked their blog to my list.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Manly Ferry Motorhome is Sold Thanks To The Blog

I delivered The Manly Ferry to its new owners today. They are a lovely Australian couple and I wish Allen and Amanda all the best on their future adventures.

I sold the boat through the blog and now the motorhome, its a great way to sell as there is a history that can be checked quite easily, I suppose you could fake the problems, but thats not me, honesty is the best policy and if you are realistic with your price its a winner. They had never seen the motorhome before but were delighted when they saw her in the flesh.

Its now in a site up in Mojacar Pueblo, they will spend a week or so up there kitting her out with their personal bits and pieces then they are off exploring Europe.

I really would have loved to have kept her but living in Spain and having a UK plated van is basically illegal. you might get away with it but if you did have an accident of it was stolen I can absolutely guarantee that the English insurer wouldnt pay, they struggle to pay when you are legal!

I will miss it terribly as it made it so easy to get away especially with the two dogs  plus it was a fantastic motorhome. 

I may have a look around at some Spanish motorhomes, but like their second hand cars they are massively overpriced and crap. 

Mums funeral is on the 14th March so I will fly over there on the 11th and come back on the 15th.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

All Sorts!!!

We had a quick family get together last Thursday morning, where we spoke about mum and how the house cleanup was going to be sorted, I felt so guilty that I wouldn't be there to help, but apparently it's just about done with everyone mucking in to help.

My sister Jackie put some photos up on facebook, so I have nicked them and put them on here. The photos are of a very young mum and dad on their wedding day and honeymoon. They got married in 1952 and went to Jersey for their honeymoon.

Dad died in 1983, so mum will be buried next to him on March 14th, I will go over a few days earlier and catch up with Elaine's sister, I fly back to Mojacar on the 15th March, my sister Jackie and niece Hayley will be coming back with me.

I managed to get in a canal fix before I left.

I have always loved the Three Locks at Stoke Hammond, we used to come here with mum and dad in the 60s, and also passed it in our boat.

Passing through the locks in June 2013, will I go through them again one day????

The flight back to Spain didn't quite to go to plan, we were just about to touch down in Murcia when we lifted off again, there was a fire on the end of the runway and it was too dangerous to land. We diverted to Alicante then they bussed us back to Murcia where I picked up my car and drove back to Mojacar, so rather than being home by 2200 I just made it by 01.00, luckily the pub was still open so I had a quick beer, the first one in 5 days...I think I deserved it!

Up early on friday, first stop was the kennels to pick up the boys, they were so happy to see me, I absolutely hate leaving them but there is no other way. 

Second stop was to the solicitors where I picked up the paperwork for the  Citroen, I could then go to the garage and have the Spanish plates made up....The car is now a Spaniard and full legal here in Spain. It is very different to other old cars in Spain, mine is dent free and shiny, hopefully it will keep that way, it had also increased in value by about 600% I kid you not, the book value in the UK is £250, it's now worth about £1500 here! 

Yesterday was my birthday, I had a quiet one in the day then went down the pub to catch up with a few friends, it went on longer than planned with a quick visit to the chinky, then back to the pub for a few more drinks before calling it quits at 01.30!  It was a very bitter sweet birthday as it was six months to the day since Elaine died and only 2 days since mum had gone. 

I am a very much glass half full person so life will go on, I'm still nowhere near as happy as I was when Elaine was with me but it does get a little more bearable as time goes on.

Yesterday I also met up Allen and Amanda the lovely Australian couple who want to buy the motorhome, we sat in the van for over three hours then went on a test drive, they loved it and have made an offer which I have accepted. The only hurdle is that they have to get it insured which is a bloody nightmare as they have no UK address and Australian drivers licence etc. UK insurance companies really do need a kick up the arse, they are so hard to deal with and have so many ridiculous conditions which basically make it so easy for them to wriggle out of any claim they may have against them, my 2 key hates in the UK are insurance companies and getting charged when you ring a company etc.....In Australia most companies have freephones, they WANT your business. 

Even in bureaucratic Spain, insurance is easy, the Citroen is now insured with a Spanish company, anyone can drive it as long as they hold a drivers licence, it doesnt even matter what county the licence is held in, its simple.  

Once the van goes what next??  It will be the first time since Jan 2012 that I haven't got a boat or motorhome. I feel it wont be long before I do something about it, maybe a caravan....a smaller motorhome or maybe another boat!!!!

I can feel a plan coming on!