Monday, 3 March 2014

Write-off February - Bring on March

It’s been nearly a month since my last post and it’s been quite mixed.  We both returned to the UK for Emma’s funeral which of course was a very sad occasion.  Thank you to everyone who sent their condolences, either by comment on the blog or by personal email.  I had to leave the wake early as I had flu and Iain followed me back to the hotel shortly afterwards.  So we basically slept all the rest of the afternoon and night – only getting up to return to Spain.  I could see how relieved Iain was to get rid of the hire car so that he didn’t have to drive any more.  We then kindly shared our germs with everyone on the EasyJet flight – hope it didn’t ruin their holidays. 

Over here they seem to call this flu the “Benidorm Cough” – I must admit that I got over it fairly quickly but Iain is only now returning to normal after nearly 2 weeks.  Loads of people on the site have had it.  So we’ve had to virtually write off February and we’re starting again from March. We’ve now been here over 2 months and we still haven’t gone out of Altea and Albir (except on our journey to the Airport). 

So what have we been doing?  I really don’t know, the days seem to go so quickly that I haven’t even done much crafting with my “toys” that I’ve brought with me to stop me getting bored.  I seem to have taken up crochet –but that’s partly because it can be done outside in the sunshine, doesn’t make much mess and only requires one ball of wool and one crochet hook to be got out.  It does mean though that we’ve got lots of “granny squares” and crocheted flowers lying around the place.  I haven’t got a clue what I’m going to do with them.  I had intended to do baking and making sweets – at least the results are edible and you don’t end up with loads of STUFF hanging around but that involves being indoors and the weather has been too good for that.

So it’s generally, walk the dog, get  some shopping, have a coffee in a bar, come back for al fresco lunch, have a little sit out in the sunshine, perhaps a little siesta (when in Rome), walk the dog, go to the bar to download our TV for the night and then have dinner.  And of course there’s the boring stuff like washing up, cooking, cleaning and washing the clothes, although I do seem to have forgotten what an iron is for. There’s also Spanish lessons twice a week but as I’m totally c**p at languages I’m really not learning anything useful.  If you go out then many people speak English anyway.  I think we would be better off learning Dutch as although most of the Dutch speak very good English, we do have a neighbour who doesn’t speak any and he jabbers off to us in Dutch and we haven’t got a clue what he’s saying.  He even decided that he’d like a look inside our motorhome and just walked in, obviously thought he’d been invited.

That reminds me that the other day I was at the ladies when an English lady asked me if I spoke English, I of course replied that I did as I was English, “Oh good” she said, “what does that mean then”, pointing to a hand-written note on the notice board. My reply was “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue, it’s written in Dutch and I speak English” – work that one out!

Getting back to normal

Last week Iain was back on the Wyndham’s pool team.  It’s rather a long (and for me boring) evening so I decided to stay in and have a nice evening watching TV with the dog.  He arrived home at about 1 am and as normal I was pleased that he had got home safely.  However he was sitting on the step of the motorhome having a nightcap and cigarette when he decided to examine at very close quarters the small pebbles that cover our pitch – so close indeed that he is now sporting the badge to prove it.  That’s what happens when the message from your brain to your feet that you are standing  up, doesn’t actually get there and your top half moves and the feet don’t follow.

Blood everywhere,   which I only discovered when he got into bed.  So there I was patching him up at 1am – so much for my early night.  I couldn’t find the plasters so it had to be a wet wipe with some Elastoplast to keep it in place – I’d never make a nurse.  He looked like Pudsey bear – at least in my disgust I hadn’t stuck the plaster in his hair.  I was amazed that it was still on in the morning and we didn’t have blood all over the sheets.  When I asked if he was suitably pleased with himself after last night’s performance the answer was “Well I won both my games!”

But I did win both my games!

The following day, the Dutch (this site must be 75% Dutch) were having an end of winter season Paella party.  We couldn’t find any reason why 28th February was chosen, it’s not a special day and could only deduce that the Dutch start to leave and return home in March so it’s their celebration to say Adios to all their camping friends.  Anyway we were all invited, so we duly bought our tickets and turned up at the said time and place, which happened to be the tennis courts at 2.00pm.   The paella fed more than 100 people from one huge paella dish and it was simply cooked over a bonfire.  The Dutch entertained us with the campsite choir who had been practicing all winter and then did some line-dancing – they do seem to be keen on their line-dancing – personally I can’t see the point just going around and around doing the same steps all the time and just ending up back where you started to do it all again – it’s very regimented and repetitive.

We had a very nice afternoon with Joy and Nick and the booze was flowing.  We held up our end for the brits and were the last to leave at around  6.00pm.  I collapsed a little tired and confused when we got back to the van and awoke about 9.30pm to find Iain already retired for the night – might be something to do with the fact that I’d collapsed on the settee and left him nowhere to sit so he decided he might as well go to bed.  The wine must have been good quality though because I didn’t have any signs of a hangover in the morning.  That was the shortest Friday that I can ever remember.

Saturday – it rained – wow, the first real rain in two months. It had just started raining when we left with the dog – and Nick and Joy’s dog Paddy – for a walk when a Swedish neighbour Thomas asked if I knew what this item was (pointing to an umbrella) and did I want to borrow it.  I retorted that I was English and used to getting wet and thank you for the offer but I didn’t need it.  I know this sounds bad after the previous two days drunken episodes, but we’d just got to a bar (purely for the intention of downloading our TV of course) when the heavens opened and we were stuck there for an hour or so.

Yesterday, Sunday, was my birthday.  For the first time since we got here I managed to get up early and take the dog on the seafront for sunrise, well actually I missed sunrise but we did get a good 45 minute walk before breakfast. 8.00am and already 23C. The day was spent relaxing and then we went to the Italian restaurant with Nick and Joy for dinner in the evening.  I didn’t want to have dinner early as I really didn’t want a repeat of a short day like Friday.  All in all I had a lovely birthday and thank you all for your kind messages on facebook and email. Also yesterday, the weather seemed to change suddenly.  23C at 8.00 am and it was the first time that the evening has been warm. Up until now the evenings have been quite chilly but yesterday the evening was very pleasant and only needed a light cardigan to keep warm.
This morning though I DID manage to see the sunrise – quite beautiful actually.  A good 45 minute walk for the dog and back for tea and breakfast.   I couldn’t resist sharing some photos with you all.

I’m getting itchy feet now and not sure whether I want to move on at the end of March or to stay until the end of April.  Some of me says, we like it here, we are close to everything, we have a decent pitch and then something says, but it might be just as good or even better somewhere else. Everyone tells us that the facilities here are a bit basic - here's the toilet block - but we are finding them more than adequate. 

Solo Traba Jodes Del Camping

I’ve looked up the comment on google translate and quite frankly I can’t publish it here. 

Actually it’s not the “real” toilet and shower block but I would suspect that it might be the original one.  I’m not sure whether it is being kept for posterity or it is about to be knocked down.  It was quite a find though and well worth a picture.
Campsite entrance on the promenade
So no decision has been made yet but I do fancy a campsite with more facilities such as an indoor swimming pool etc.  We have also heard some bad stories about one up the road where they have over booked and people are sharing pitches  - and that apparently is a C&CC rally site.

We’re going to hire a car tomorrow so we do intend on doing something with our time here. We might even spend some time visiting other campsites in the area to see if there’s anywhere else that we might like to go next year. 

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