Thursday, March 31, 2016

Celebrations, Family And A Tortoise

It's been a busy old week down here in Mojacar, all good fun though.

I took the doggies for a walk up the hill behind the villa to get a different shot of it, ours is the white place on the right ...

The new dogs are settling in well.  We took them for their vaccinations the other day but we will wait a few more weeks before we get them vaccinated against rabies and get their pet passports in order ...  

On Monday we went to a restaurant to celebrate Andy and Sue's (NB Festina Lente) wedding anniversary.  I forgot to get a pic of the happy couple but I did get a pic of Elaine with Canadian Barry sharing a sushi boat !

On Wednesday we drove down to Almeria for Elaine's blood test.  It's about a 20 minute drive to the closest motorway and as we were travelling along a fast two lane road we spotted what we thought was a big rock in the road.  As we got closer we realised it was a tortoise.  So, it was on with the anchors and hazard lights and I managed to grab it before it got squashed.   I took it into the bush and released him and away he went.  There are quite a few about at the moment, they are coming out of hibernation and they like the heat of of the black road surface..... 

We have had my sister and niece here for the last few days and they have been enjoying the beach and sunshine ...

Yesterday we went on a beach bar pub crawl to celebrate the birthday of Canadian Barry ...

This morning we went to the town hall with an interpreter to apply to go on the local register, this is the start of our living legally in Spain campaign!

It's the last day of my relos visit so we joined them for lunch at a beach bar then drove them to the very windy watchtower ,,,

I take my relos to the airport tomorrow.  On Saturday we have two more visitors arriving from the Scottish Highlands!!! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Everything In One Place

Happy Easter dear reader....

The weather here in Mojacar has really stepped up a notch, it is superb but not too hot.....yet!

We now have all our belongings in one place, the first time since leaving Sydney back in March 2012.

The last of the goods had been in storage in Stockport for a year and before that Sydney for three years! The cost of the storage far outweighed the value of the goods, but most of the stuff was sentimental, therefore virtually priceless.

There were only a few pieces of furniture, they cost us a fortune years ago and we didn't want to give them away when we sold everything back in 2012.

The bonus being that the furniture is Mexican, and suits the Spanish villa well. 

The rest of the crap sentimental stuff is sitting in the garage awaiting unpacking, its like Christmas. 

Elaine is feeling better after the  drainage of the ascites,  she is still very tired but we have managed a few short walks in the lovely weather along the Mojacar paseo. 

So how come we have two Chihuahuas now????....

Well......basically they were dumped after a messy divorce between a Belgium couple,  and were just left on a balcony after she returned to Belgium and the chap didn't want them. They were taken in by a local couple who started looking for a forever home for the little boys, Elaine offered to foster them until a home could be found, it didn't take too long  before a home was found.........HERE!! 

Banjo we named after Diane's (NB Ferndale) late little doggie. He is a apple head long haired Chihuahua. He is a feisty but lovable little bugger.

Milo is a deer head log haired Chihuahua. He is a nervous wreck that is going to need a lot of work, in saying that we have already noticed that he now walks with his tail up and is getting more confident in the big wide world out there. Previously they have had very little interaction outside of their balcony life.

I received a call to say that my dear old mum is back in hospital, she has only been out for three weeks after a one month stay in there.  Its not the best time to head off back to England and leave Elaine here on her own, but Elaine does have a lot of support  here so I will be kept informed by my brother and sisters back in the UK and will jump on a plane if required.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

First Hand Experience of A Spanish Hospital

Elaine has been in a lot of discomfort lately with ascites, it causes her abdomen to swell and is very uncomfortable and painful for her.

Yesterday we went to the oncologist in Almeria and he in turn sent us to the Mediterraneo hospital in Almeria, they carried out various blood tests and xrays and told us to return today so they could drain away the fluid. She had it done back in Macclesfield hospital mid January and they drained off nearly 7 litres of fluid!

We had to go to a private hospital as Elaine has got terminal cancer she cannot get health insurance.

We were met by a translator at the reception area and she helps you through all the different stages of the treatment, she was a lovely girl and went well above and beyond her duty of care. 

It was a very long day, we were at the hospital for nearly ten hours, this time they drained off 4.25 litres, but the relief was almost instant. The Oncologist has got her on oral chemo therapy so hopefully it will slow down the return of the ascites. 

It was a very different experience from being treated by the NHS, the actual treatment side is first class, but the waiting around and filling out forms etc takes forever. Out of the ten hours at the hospital, the actual drainage took about 1.25 hours, the post op observation in a ward was about 2 hours, and the rest was waiting, waiting and waiting.

The cost was quite high but nowhere near as much as I thought it would be.

All in all we have no real complaints but in my opinion nothing beats the good old NHS. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

What A Sad Bastard

I received an email today from Paul Balmer (UKWRS) letting me know that I have been abusing the system!!

Apparently some small minded little turd didn't like the fact that we were no longer narrowboat owners yet were still on the UKWRS site!  I just wonder why someone would do that, considering the fact that I am always mentioning canals and boaters at every opportunity!

We have even started the MCC (Mojacar Canal Club) as a bit of a joke but I have actually received quite a few emails from boaters and non-boaters who are looking for a winter escape, so I had better start taking it seriously!

I am also pissed off that Paul from UKWRS thought that I may have deliberately, or maybe accidentally, tried to rig my site to improve my ratings!!!  Because the counter had stopped I thought there was a fault so I reinstalled it ... I couldn't believe that it had stopped working because I had been blocked!!

Only after realising that I had been blocked did I read the rules about site content, so yes I am guilty as charged (there isn't enough canal content).  It is Paul's site and I fully respect his decision.  As he says his site is a bit of fun, so is mine.

I did enjoy having the UKWRS on the blog as I did look at it occasionally to see how we were going and was quite surprised how high up we rated as I write what I consider a pretty much tongue in cheek, casual blog.

As for the person that dobbed us in to Paul, have a good hard look at yourself, you are a SAD BASTARD!!

Signed........Angry of Mayfair!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Really Good Friend.....

 Elaine's friend, Lesley has been staying with us for the last two weeks.  Elaine and Lesley worked and studied together back in Sydney many years ago and have stayed friends ever since.

She had a couple of weeks spare from her already busy life, so she flew in from Sydney via London and came down to our little bit of paradise in Mojacar.

She didn't come for a holiday per se ... she came to visit Elaine and help us in any way possible.

The last couple of weeks she has cooked for us every day, done all the shopping and has given us both a fantastic break from all the crap we are going through at the moment.

She has been absolutely fantastic and it has been great to have her here, especially for  Elaine who has loved their girly nights in whilst I escaped down the pub.

Today she left us for the long haul back to Sydney.

We have loved having her here, and can't thank her enough for the help and support she has given us.

Have a safe trip back Lesley xxxxx

Saying goodbye this afternoon.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Paddies Day in Mojacar

We have never celebrated Paddies day before but as there was a 'do' going on down the local we decided to give it a go.

Gawd what a night, we started at 15.00 and finished at midnight!

A few of the girls ...

Say no more ...

It was Martin and Cathy's last night in Mojacar, they are flying back to the UK and their narowboat this morning ... see you next October guys!  Andy on the right (NB Festina Lente) has extended their stay for another month ...

Another pint of Guinness, thanks! 

At 19.00 we left the pub and went to a lovely restaurant for dinner.  It was Elaine's first time driving in Spain and indeed her first time driving on the wrong side of the road.
She did brilliantly ...

It was then back to the pub for round two ...

Michael Flatley having his final pint! 

It was one of the best and funniest nights we have had in Mojacar.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

An All-sorts Week !!

It's been a hectic week so far down Mojacar way ...

We went to a lovely little Spanish restaurant with a few of the MCC (Mojacar Canal Club) on Sunday.  Two of the members (Cathy and Martin) are returning to their boat this Friday but they have already booked up for five months next winter!  The other two (Sue and Andy) have extended their stay for another month and have also booked for five months next winter!

The (current) MCC ...

Although the motorhome passed a very tough MOT test back in the UK a few weeks ago the inspector did show me that the inside of the front brake discs had worn badly and were corroded.  It still passed the brake test OK but he suggested that I should get it fixed in the near future.
I bought a set of new discs and pads at a Mercedes place in Luton on way back to Spain.
On Monday I went to the highly recommended local garage to fit them - I was going to do the job myself but would have had to bought a hydraulic jack and axle stands!  The garage quoted me 75 Euro (£59.00) ($118AUD) to do the job so it was a no brainer.

It ended up costing a little more as the calipers had seized slightly, but they managed to free them off and grease them up.

The brakes now have a lot more feel to them ...

Yesterday I attended a local community first aid course.  It wasn't a full-on course, just a couple of hours, on basic life support as in CPR and procedures for choking  ... 

The instructor, the bar owner and the dummy (!!) all supplied their services free of charge.  The cost of the course was five euros, with all monies raised going to a local charity.

I'm doing the compressions whilst my colleague does the mouth to mouth in this pic ...

Yesterday arvo we went for a drive up to Bedar, a lovely local village.  Here are the girls enjoying a cuppa ..

... and here is one of the locals we spotted on the way back ...

Today we took all four dogs for a walk along the paseo but, as usual, we didn't get to far before meeting a few of the locals and visitors for a chat ...

We all went our separate ways and Lesley, El and myself had a yummy 'full English' at a local cafe!  

Afterwards we went clothes shopping and ended up buying a teasmade for five euros in a charity shop.   We had one in Australia and loved it ...

Elaine's friend from Sydney (Lesley) has been a godsend.  She is a fantastic cook and has been serving us up some real delights!  She goes back down under Sunday, she will be sadly missed.

The Elaine health front has been very up and down.  We have been to see an Oncologist and he has started her on a daily chemo treatment (oral), so hopefully we will see some improvements to her general health.  Today she is having a good day so we are making the most of it and are off for a seafood Paella tonight!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

I'm Just A Walking The Dog......

Its great having the little car here, but its making me a bit lazy and I have been driving down the beach to walk the doggies.

So I'm now getting into the habit of walking down from the villa along the beach and back up the winding road to home.

This is the view upon leaving the villa, we aim to go to the far right of the beach, it only takes a few minutes as its all down hill.

We then walk the length of the beach either on the beach or promenade. 

Today was quite good I only met four people I know and resisted the invites for coffee in one of the beach side cafes.  

It was then up the hill from the other end of the beach back to the villa.

I will keep doing the hill walk as long as possible, it will be impossible to do in the peak of summer in 40 degree heat!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Day Trip To Carbonares

One of Elaine's friends from Australia is paying us a flying visit. Lesley had two free weeks so jumped on a plane from Sydney to Mojacar via a couple of days in London.

Its great having her here plus she is a fantastic cook, so its extra good.

Today we drove to Carbonares which is  the next town along the coast.

As usual it was a lovely day and a fair bit warmer than the last few days.

We had a lovely walk along the paseo, I walked  Sammie and Bombo whilst the girls had Milo and Banjo.

It doesn't look it on the pic but it is getting a lot busier now. 

We stopped for a drink at one of the many bars along the front. 

There is a gym on the beach. 

Not too shabby is it? 

Its only about a 20 minute drive from Mojacar and part of the trip is over the switchback connecting the two towns. 
It is a favourite road for motor manufactures testing their new model cars, on today's trip we spotted new Porches, Audis, Mercedes Benz and a Hyundai

The other side of the lookout looks towards Mojacar and Mojacars most expensive house, its the little white dot on top of the cliffs. 

That one.....for sale 2.500.000 Euros, not too bad really, we are thinking of making them a cheeky offer. 

We stopped of the way back at the lovely little village of Sopalmo for lunch.

And that was the day over, its now late afternoon and time to head down the pub to watch England vs Wales.

In other news the ships bell from Caxton has been hung above the Manly Ferry! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I Can See For Miles And Miles And Miles And......

Its been a very breezy and cool day today, the result being that the visibility is superb.

I took a couple a few shots of the view from the villa, the cliffs to the far right are at Cartagena.

Cartagena is approx 137 kilometres from us or 85 miles!!!

Zoomed in......amazing! 

The MCC (Mojacar Canal Club) has been well received, we have had a lot of enquirers from budding members including a couple from Canada with a canoe and a couple from Australia that occasionally use a lilo. 

I should have mentioned that you do not have to be boat owners to join but an  interest in narrowboats and Guinness would be advantageous. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The MCC......(Mojacar Canal Club)

Last night we went out with our narrow boat friends to a superb restaurant in Mojacar for dinner.
Three courses, plus wine, beer and a tip cost 17 euros per head (£13.00 or $25.00 AUD).
This wasn't a cheapo tapas bar, it was a fine dining experience ...

So rather than the normal chat about inverters and cassette vs pump out heads we talked about the formation of the MCC or Mojacar Canal Club!

The aim of the club is to encourage narrowboaters to escape the long UK bleak winter and spend some time in the sun.

The membership at the moment stands at  the heady figure of eight!! 

Four have already booked their accommodation for next winter and two have decided to stay for the year, probably because they no longer have a boat!! 

So if any narrowboaters out there want to escape winter next year we are here to help!

We can view rental properties for you and give you suggestions re airlines or escape routes should you chose to drive down.

Our fee is a pint of Guinness for me and a Baileys for Elaine!

As a rough guide a nice fully furnished flat with everything you need including bedding for your stay will set you back about 425 Euros (£328 or $631 a MONTH!!).

We hope to see you all next winter!

Oh .... nearly forgot the dress code ... Crocs!


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Settling Back In

We have now unpacked a few more boxes and hung up a few more pictures so the villa is now starting to feel like home.  It takes me a few days to settle as once I have done a trip, I just want to keep on travelling!

I then realise that I'm being a selfish git and that this is the best place for Elaine at the moment, not for the health system as nothing comes close to the NHS, but for her general well being waking to a view as below.

It's medicine that no amount of money can buy ...

And just down the road is this.   I took these pics this morning on my way to get bread and milk! 

It's not bad is it? 

Regarding Elaine's health ... on Monday we are off to see a Spanish Oncologist.  We are taking an interpreter with us so there will be no confusion in the translation.  We don't know what he will say, we both know that she is in  a pretty grave situation but we are as ever hopeful of some good news.