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Spain
Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Baby Tennants


The swallows are back, and today we have been able to take a picture of the chicks on the nest. They are now big enough that they can be seen over the top of the nest, without disturbing them too much. There appears to be 5 of them (like last year), so it looks as though we are in for a lot of entertainment again, as they fledge.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Cova Sant Nicolau




There is a cave in the hillsides around l'Olleria which was used from palaeolithic times to the Muslim era. It has underground passages and limestone walls. It is called the Cova Sant Nicolau. There are signposts leading you up into the hills to find it, but the signs run out!

The nearest one Tim, Lauren and Ed could find, said 0.4 km to the cave. They followed the path, but the next one they came to said 1.9km - back the way they had come!

Today, Ed has gone back for another look, and actually found the cave. There was a signpost with no signs on it, and this is pretty much where the cave is. However, the cave is below the pathway, and it is very difficult to climb down to it (and even harder to climb back up). Perhaps the council decided that for safety reasons, they wouldn't actually indicate the location of the cave! Ed took some fabulous photo's of the reservoir at Bellus, and even Xativa Castle from the south. (Click on the picture for the detail)

The picture of the cave, has Ed's 'snake scareing stick' outside the entry, which is 5ft long. Incredible that it took so long to find it, when it is so big. He didn't venture down any of the holes. He was certain that as well as a torch, a set of crampons and a rope would be a good idea.

Well done him, for his determination!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Sunday in Javea


On Sunday, we went to the market at Pedreguer, and then on to Javea for lunch. We strolled around along the sea shore and found a nice restaurant right next to the beach. Although a little expensive, the food was excellent, and the setting was too!

After, we strolled along the beach, with Tim and Ed looking for crabs in the rock pools, while Lauren and I sat on the (stoney) beach and watched them.
video

Red Rain


The rain we had on Saturday, turned out to be from the Sahara desert!

When we got up on Sunday, everything was covered in red dust. The cars, the slabs, the sunloungers (thank goodness the cushions hadn't been left out), everything.

As we drove down to Javea, we could see all of the other cars were red too.
It was even on the evening news, that all of the car-washes were busy all day, with long queues of people waiting to wash their cars. What a mess - all over the country! Today, I have washed the car, sunloungers and even the washing line. I guess it is something to be grateful for, that the swimming pool isn't functional, otherwise I would have had to clean that out too!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Can you tell what it is yet?



Well, Tim and Lauren scooted off to Benidorm on Saturday, so I finally managed to get started on my mosaic project!

Great fun smashing up the tiles, until Max and Paddy came to investigate! I was glueing away quite happily, when I suddenly noticed a change in the weather. The temperature really dropped, and the wind picked up. Suddenly, the heavens openend (Spanish style) and I had to dive for cover into the poolhouse. Ed helped me cover up the tiles with some plastic, to stop the rain disolving the glue. Once it is all finished, I will grout it all with waterproof grout, and then it can rain (or shower) whenever it likes!


Friday, 22 May 2009

Gandia was Shut!

Gandia out of season is still very quiet! I thought that it might be more lively in May, but, realistically, it was a week day, a little overcast, and Gandia is mainly a Spanish (not British) town, so it was rather subdued!

We strolled along the beach path, and looked at a few open shops on the way back, but, as you can see from the vieo, there was certainly not a lot going on! Perhaps we should have gone to Javea instead?
video

Moli Canyar (Potries)


Today, we had lunch at the Moli Canyar (at Potries) - proper Spanish food, buffet style. They seem to have squeezed a few more tables and chairs in, but they have also covered all of the chairs, and it still looks very nice. Also, the price was still 9€ + drinks.

The salads were still nice and fresh, the paella was lovely and there was a good choice of main meals. Tim complained that his paella was a little cold, so when I got mine, I popped it in the microwave! There were several pasta dishes as well today, Lauren had a lovely looking canalloni, but when I went for one, it was all gone. I made do with pasta and a round thing that looked like a pineapple fritter, but was actually fish! (It was very tasty.)

As usual, Tim sampled most of the puddings ~ I think he had 5 today.


Afterwards, we went for a nice stroll around the garden, before going on to Gandia.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Cruel Mother

I've decided to play fair to Tim. Having posted his crash already, I will now include the bit where he sucessfully rode the bike (for a while - before crashing into the wall - twice!!!).
video

Everybody smile...


The wonders of technology. Wedge the camera in place with a small stone, click the button, then run into frame with a smile!!!

Xativa Castle with Tim & Lauren



Here we are again... Actually, it is a really lovely castle, and, since discovering that it is 'gratis' after 2pm on a Tuesday, it makes sense to go there for a nice day out. We had a lovely time walking all around, and discovered that some work under construction previously was now finished, and we were able to walk right up to the top of the eastern side, which we had never done before. We had a coke in the cafe, and then went into Xativa and had an ice cream!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Tim & Lauren - The Accident


Well, day one of Tim and Lauren's trip to see us.

Last night, they had a little tour of the town, and this afternoon, they are off to Xativa Castle. However, not without a bit of excitement first... video

Monday, 18 May 2009

Turn to Dust

What a strange few days...

On Friday, I wanted to mow the lawn. Ed was out working, so I primed the fuel, then pulled the starter - disaster, the cord was worn, and the outer coating suddenly tore, and all collected up inside the mower. Oh Dear. I had to wait for him to come home and mend it.

On Saturday, I drove into town. I opened my window, but as I closed it, there was a big clunk, and the window went back up at 90 degrees the wrong way! It was actually sticking out of the car, into the road, as I was driving along! I managed to get the glass back inside the door, but had to leave the window open, while I went into the supermarket! Oh Dear. I had to get Ed to fix it later.

Sunday, I was reading a book on the sunlounger, but Paddy decided to climb up on the adjustable back-rest. I knew he was too heavy for it, and tried to get him off. Suddenly there was a big bang, and the arms shot up into the air, and little pieces flew everywhere. Oh Dear. "Ed..."

I think I'll spend tomorrow in bed so I can't break anything!

Boom, Boom!


Ed thinks that Paddy looks a bit like Basil Brush. Can you see the resemblance?

One man and his dog(s)


We went out for a lovely long walk last weekend, and I took this photo of Ed on the way around.

Human Carousel


I've never seen this before...


One of the Castell teams were very organised and did a revolving set, which was very impressive...
video

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Tower of Strength



Last night, we had more free entertainment in the village. This time, it was the human towers that were being built! These are called Castells and are all performed without nets. The taller the tower, the more people there are at the base - partly for strength and partly for somewhere 'soft' for the upper levels to fall on, should the tower collapse.


A castell is considered a success when everyone has climbed into place, the enxaneta (the last one) climbs up to the top, raises one hand (with four fingers erect, said to symbolize the stripes of the Catalan flag), climbs down the other side of the castell, and then everyone else comes down safely.



There were several teams taking place, and I noticed that as each team completed their Castell, they quickly moved to add support to the other Castells that were being constructed. The entertainment was followed by a band - but as usual, this didn't even start until 12pm (midnight)!

(I know the video is quite long, and noisy, but it gives you an idea of how it all worked.)

video

Saturday, 9 May 2009

All Together Now...


As Trevor and Enid had joined us for the birthday tea, we were able to get a nice photo of all of us together, without the panic of setting the timer on the camera. Averybody say "radeeeeschen"

Let Them Eat Cake


Well, as Marie Anoinette said... (actually, it was because the peasants had no bread, that she said the imortal phrase)

Mum did Dad pround for his birthday cake - not a bit of sponge to be seen. The home made merangue was perfect. Crispy, soft, sweet, sticky, divine. Much better than 'cake'.

Let's Party



It was Dad's birthday, so we had dinner at home - as usual. Mum did the usual - a bit of stew and some fruit, which was really nice.

Actually, to be fair, pineapple and prawn starter (with stawberries for the anti-prawn people) followed by melt-in-the-mouth goulash and all the timmings, followed by a giant home made stawberry pavolva, which must have had a gallon of cream in it. Wonderful. And as if the pavlova wasn't enough, home made cheesecase and fresh fruit compote for those with any room to spare (that was the 2 Tims then!)

I Love Ryanair

I know it's a Budget airline, with a huge B, and I know lots of people complain, but hey, you get what you pay for. That is, you pay next-to-nothing and you get next-to-nothing.

I had a flick through and spotted a really good deal, for a quick trip back to the UK. The return flight was 2.50€ including taxes. How good is that? As the dates I had selected happenend to take in Dad's birthday, it seemed the perfect opportunity to spend a few days with the family. John came with me, but Ed didn't as he was over the week before, visiting his mum.

We checked in on-line, so we arrived just ahead of the departure time, leaving just enough time to buy some drinks and a snack. Perfect. We joined the end of the queue to get on the plane while the first passengers were boarding and then strolled to the plane. there were only about 5 people behind us. When we got on board, we realised that the seats next to the emergency exit were still available. Bliss. Room to stretch out, a seat between us, and only about 75% capacity.

I don't understand why people complain. Yes, they charge a lot for luggage (but you don't have to take any), they charge the earth for naff snacks and drinks (you can bring your own butties), they even charge a lot to use your own credit card (you could apply for a Ryanair one). However, years ago, it was £150 each to get to Spain (costing me £450 to take the children), so you won't hear any complaints from me!