Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Shocking Sight!!

Absolutely shocking sight...... this morning we were greeted by this....

A rising sun in the UK, it didn't last long it is now raining!

I took the boys for a walk along the macc canal, is that a snake bridge ahead they asked? 

It is indeed, and what a fine example. 

The snake bridge allowed the horse to transfer from one side of the canal to the other without detaching from the barge. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Our Current Mooring in Sutton

I do like the village life, last year it was Bollington, this year its Sutton.

I took the doggies and camera for a walk around the village, its just on the outskirts of Macclesfield and very close to the Macclesfield canal at Gurnett aqueduct.

It has a farm shop, a small convenience store and most importantly three pubs

The war memorial....

The Church.....

Back to our farm mooring. 

Perfect isolation 

One of the neighbours! 

Its a lovely site, so much nicer than a proper campsite, we have 240 hook up, a tap close by for fresh water and an elsan dump  about 30 ft away.

I borrowed the farmers ladder to climb up on the roof as the satellite dish wasn't deploying correctly, it took about five minutes to free off the sat arm, its working 100% now, just in time for Elaine's favourite programme Home and Away!!

Talking of Elaine......Yesterday we visited the oncologist in Manchester. There was no good news whatsoever, which was what we were expecting to be honest.

Neither I nor Elaine want to turn this into a medical blog so we will leave it at that, it has already morphed from a narrowboat blog to a motorhome blog then to a living in Mojacar blog......enough already.

Mind you a good medical story gets the ratings right up!!

In all seriousness thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and offers of boats/houses to stay in. The generosity is overwhelming......cheques are still very welcome xxxx 


Sunday, January 24, 2016

So Much Better....

Very glad to report that Elaine is feeling and looking so much better, they are even talking about releasing her tomorrow.

We have by no means won the war, but it looks like Elaine has won this battle, thanks to the wonderful doctors and nurses at Macclesfield General Hospital and the NHS.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Getting Better.....

I am very pleased to report that Elaine is feeling and looking a lot better. 

They have removed the drain from her belly after removing nearly 6 litres of ascites fluid. She has eaten for the first time in over a week and is generally just so much better, her temperature seems to be stabilizing which is all good. 

Once again the NHS and this time Macclesfield hospital have been superb.

The NHS gets so much stick but I don't think people realise how lucky they are to have such a fantastic health system.

I'm not sure when she will be released, she has an appointment with the oncologist  at the Manchester Christie hospital next Tuesday, so before then I would think! 

With Elaine's permission I put her situation on facebook  as well as the blog, she normally doesn't want a fuss and to keep it all quiet, but I told her i was being bombarded with emails and messages and couldn't keep up with keeping people informed. I am pleased to say it worked a treat, she was amazed how many people from all around the world care so much for her. 

Hopefully we will be posting more pics like the one below shortly....

Meanwhile this is my base on Jarman farm, which is about 300 metres from Gurnett Aqueduct on the Macclesfield canal.

It is quite lovely if not a tad muddy, I am next to the stables, I do admire the dedication of the horses owners who are here in all weathers day and night to look after their precious babies. 

The little C3 fired up straight away after sitting for 6 months at the back of Elaine's brothers house, it is an amazing little car 

Back to the Euro trip.......From when we left Calais in August until we returned last Tuesday we drove 8781 kilometres or 5456 miles at an average speed of 46km/h or 28.58 mph.

The last big trip from Mojacar to Calais when I was in a hurry and we used toll roads came up with different figures. The distance was 2056 kilometres or 1277 miles, we averaged 90km/h or 56 mph.

Interestingly the average fuel consumption was 11.5 litres per 100km or 24.56 mpg.
When I was in a hurry on the Mojacar to Calais section the fuel consumption increased to 11.7 litres per 100km or 24.14 mpg.  

Once again the van performed faultlessly, it is so lovely to drive, especially on the long hauls, automatic, cruise control and a big fat captains chair to sit in.

If anyone out there is considering a Euro trip it really is so easy on the mainland European roads, mainly because there is so little traffic compared to the UK, very little roadworks etc.

Hopefully we will be back off again soon.

Finally a massive thank you for all of Elaine's good wishes, we both appreciate it so much, it is so humbling.

We love yous all XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Friday, January 22, 2016

Elaine Update

Thank you so much for all your good wishes, its a bit hectic at the moment so I just haven't got time to reply to them all.

She is still in hospital and being incredibly brave, I just wished I could take away some of her pain and suffering.

She has an  infection and high temperature, plus they drained off 5 litres of ascites fluid.

I would love to say that she is feeling a lot better but unfortunately its not the case, hopefully tomorrow

we will see some improvement.

Thanks Again

Paul xx

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Patient Is Delivered.......

We certainly had some strange weather driving through France, towards the south it was torrential rain.....

The centre of France was snow covered...... 

The northern part was freezing fog!!

We arrived earlier than expected so jumped on an earlier train under the channel. 

We stopped off at Elaines sisters house in Kent on Tuesday night because I was buggered.

We were on the road at first light this morning, we drove straight to Macclesfield hospital, they have admitted Elaine and are carrying out various tests, as always the NHS were fantastic and very reassuring.

I have taken the motorhome up to a campsite on a farm next to the canal at Sutton, I walked the dogs for a few miles into Macclesfield and picked up the little Citroen C3 from Elaine's brothers house.

I visited Elaine tonight at the hospital, they suspect some sort of infection and are now trying to sort out the where and why.

I am now sat in the van drinking a glass of red and feel totally f***ed!!  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Across The Border Into France

Firstly thanks for all the good wishes re Elaine's health.  

I should also mention that a very kind boaty couple have offered us the use of their boat whilst we are back in the UK.  Even though we are not directly involved in the boating community anymore it never ceases to amaze me at the amount of help, friendship and support offered!  We are so very grateful.

Last night we stopped at a very remote servo about 100 ks outside of Zaragoza.  There were a few trucks around us with some coming and going during the night.

What I didn't anticipate was the plunge in the temperature!  I thought it may be a bit chilly because in the middle of the night the water pump started running.  The valve opened on the water heater and dumped all the water out because it was starting to freeze.  By the time Elaine woke me from my deep sleep half the tank had gone!  It's a good safety device and works well.  Ideally I should have left the water pump turned off, then it would only drain the hot water tank and not the main water tank as well. 

When I finally leapt out of bed this morning it was -4 inside the van, and -8 outside!!

None of the taps would work as all the pipes had frozen. ln hindsight I should have left the heater on all night, but to be fair I don't like leaving a gas heater running all night!

I took the dogs for a walk around the Siberian landscape ...

We drove for a few hours before stopping for a break.  By now the temp had risen to a balmy 7 degrees!

A little later we passed a few snowy fields ... 

It is such an easy drive.  I set the cruise control on 95ks and just sit back and steer.  There is so little traffic that I just admire the passing scenery and take a few pics as well! 

We could see snow covered mountains in the distance ...

Elaine took this pic out of the port side window ...

We stopped for the night just across the French border in the lovely town of Saint Jean De Luz.

We tried to stop here eighteen months ago but it was summer and the motorhome aire was full as it's such a popular spot ...

Elaine rested in the van whilst I took the dogs for a walkabout ...

It is such a lovely place and I couldn't help noticing how smart the French look and dress.  Even the dogs were well dressed in their designer coats!  I felt a bit of a slob, probably because I am!

I also noticed that the prices in the shops and bars also reflected an upmarket place.

It's lovely to look at tho! 

Gorgeous sandy beach, we are very close to Biarritz  ...

Prom walk without their mum :-( 

The Aire is on the right of the photo, which is a great location, except ...

Behind it is the mainline railway ... good job we like trains! 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Heading Back To The UK :-(

Once again things change, but this time not for the good!

Elaine has been unwell for the last few years, but the last few weeks she has been really suffering.

She had a scan on Wednesday, the result of that being that we are making a hasty trip back to the UK to go and see her specialist in Manchester.

We were due to go back for the van MOT at the end of the month anyway, so we have bought it forward by a few weeks. 

We have driven 550ks today and are staying over night in a truck stop in the middle of woop woop!

So back to before we left.......

The new doggies were getting on great and are now being looked after by some lovely friends in Mojacar until we get back ...

Life has been hectic between Dr and hospital appointments and packing, culminating in the inaugural music quiz down the local last night\1

The night ended on a rousing rendition of The Time Warp and Bohemian Rhapsody.

I'm pleased to say our boaty friends love Mojacar as much as we do.  It's always a worry when you recommend somewhere ...

We drove the van down from the villa last night and parked up on the beachfront outside the pub, that way I could have a few drinks and then just walk across the road to bed.  It was also easier to make an early start this morning. 

This morning the sunrise was superb.  It's really tough leaving this place ...

Ray and Diane braced the morning cold to wave us off ...

And this is where we are tonight.......!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Boaters and Chihuahuas In Mojacar......

It's been pretty busy in our little paradise of Mojacar.

Elaine has a choice of a roof terrace with glorious 360 degree views and two huge decks with equally lovely views (and comfortable seating), but she prefers to sit on the doorstep to study Spanish (with her dog!) ...

Last week we had a visit from some Australian friends who were checking out the area for a possible winter escape.  They are living in the UK at the moment and the winter is killing them ...

Four more boaters arrived to escape the winter for a month or so and who can blame them?!!  The weather is fantastic, the food and wine are good and cheap and of course we are here!! 

We have been really welcomed into the Mojacar community and are doing our bit!!
We are looking after a couple of lovely little Chihuahuas until a forever home can be found for them. If you fancy a couple of adorable little dogs drop us a line, they must however go as a pair ...

They have settled in a treat.   We would be so tempted to have them ourselves but we still have a few things to sort out back in the UK, so we cannot commit ...

We have been taking the dogs on our prom walks.  One is fine and one very nervous but every day he is getting more confident ...

I took this pic a couple of weeks ago whilst we were on a prom walk.  The two little guys on the left hail from Holland, our two in the middle from Oz and the boy on the right is from Canada ...

We are still loving life in Mojacar.  It really feels that we belong here and so far everything has fallen into place just perfectly, especially getting the villa (touchwood and all that!).

In saying all this we will be heading back to the UK on 27th January to get the MOT on the van, get an MOT on Elaine, sort out our goods in storage (so they can be shipped to Spain) and to get the little Citroen C3 all fired up.  I will come and pick the C3 up at a later date and drive it down to Spain, where it will become our little runabout.  The motorhome is just to big to drive around as a daily transport!

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Manly Ferry Mother-ship.

We have only been living in Mojacar for two months and have found the local community to be ultra welcoming.

One of the local forums were running the inaugural 'Mojacar New Years Day Dip' today.  They asked us to join them, so we offered the Manly Ferry as the Mother-ship!

We supplied the oven, the fridge/freezer, hot shower, outdoor BBQ, toilet and changing room for all the participants. 

They estimated a crowd of about 15-20 people.....they were very wrong! 

We arrived early and set up the van ...

By 11.30 about 50 people had turned up ...

We had pre swim champers ...

By the time we went in for the noon swim there were about 45 swimmers and 50 watchers ...

After the swim it was time for nibbles and drinks all served from The Manly Ferry ...

Elaine and her friend, Wendy dished up the drinks and food whilst I slaved away in the galley cooking it! (Well, heating up sausage rolls etc in the oven !!) 

It was a fantastic day and we met more lovely people!

The actual swim part was a piece of cake ... the air temp was 21, the sea temp 17 with no wind and clear blue skies......easy peasy.