Sunday, 31 January 2016

Day 10 Sunday 31st January

Early this morning I checked the weather on my iPad. Looks like we are in for a nice day and it will turn even warmed later in the week, sorry Northampton (home) yours does not look good.


The large Sunday market that we try and make one visit to while here on holiday was our destination for this morning. It is such a colourful place selling everything you could wish for. Some of the stalls are permanent buildings but mostly they are set up on the day. It is very popular with the ex-pat population and often called the English market because so many English go to it.

One stall was offering eyebrow, upper lip, etc hair removal. I decided to give it a try and had a sore upper lip area for the next fifteen minutes!

We met Pauline and Brian who had gone there for breakfast, there is a large selection of places to eat and drink. At one stall a group of men were drinking something in shot glasses at 9 am ! Another stall was offering a bun, coffee and brandy.

During the afternoon Chris helped the Whites with their TV and DVD, as they were having lots of problems using them. Although the day was sunny it was quite windy. We all played cards in the evening.


Saturday, 30 January 2016

Day 9 Saturday

There are many local shops we call China shops, because they are usually run by the Chinese, who seem willing to work really long hours. Near to where we are staying is the entrance to one of these shops that looks really small, what a surprise when you step inside! The store goes on forever and at one point there is a large palm tree growing up through the roof, obviously the store expanded around the tree. The shop sells everything from lipstick, to kitchen ware, electrical gadgets, DIY equipment, clothes etc etc... I love wandering around finding bargains, today I bought candles, lipstick, meat roasting bags, vegetable scraper, socks, a belt and a few other things.

Our next stop was in Zenia Boulevard to visit Alcampo the large grocery store to top up the food cupboard. I am not a big fan of such a large shop, but a friend asked us to buy her a special bottle of brandy and this is probably the only place we can get it. The entrance is British themed with red phone boxes and guards men, why we need to be reminded of home while we are enjoying a different country I have no idea.

The temperature rose this afternoon and we could sit out in shorts enjoying it. Spent the evening watching Person of Interest a favourite Tv programme followed by the Voice.


Friday, 29 January 2016

Day 8 Friday fish and chip day.

Weather not as good as yesterday, no shorts today! Joined Pauline and Brian at Quesada Resturant for the most delicious fish and chips midday.

The evening was spent at the Drivers Bar for quiz night again with Pauline and Brian. We came last and "won" a large bar of chocolate which we broke in half. Apparently it was the best prize as it cost €2.5 where the first prize, a bottle of wine only cost 80cents!

Having managed to walk to both places today I hopefully have worn off the fish and chips calories as I am trying to stick to my new eating regime.


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Santa Clara Convent

At last the sun has come out, in fact it is quite hot today.

We planed a visit to Santa Clara Convent in Murcia and set off mid morning. The city of Murcia is about an hour away from where we are staying. For some reason I had this marked in my notebook and have no idea why!

Murcia is like any big city full of life and cars with hardly space to breathe let alone park the car. We were so lucky right next to the Convent was a single parking space just big enough for our little car.

We entered to Church only to find a service being held, we stood quietly at the back before leaving to wander around the main square. Maybe when the service is over we can take a look around inside. A short distance away I spotted a small sign saying Santa Clara Museum, so in we went. It was free and one of the staff gave us a short tour and explained in English about the Convent.

If is a most interesting place, housing nuns that are completely cloistered from the world and never leave the convent. Originally founded over the Alcazar Seguir a 13th century Islamic Palace, which became part of an archeological dig and that part is open to visitors. Artefacts found on and near the site are on show including wonderful 13th century doorways.

The closed convent overlooking the pond. The four garden beds each grew a different type of fruit, one for each of the seasons, plums, apricots, figs, pomegranate and citrus fruits.

A long corridor on the first floor is where girls entering the convent took off their worldly attire before entering the closed order of the convent, a very quiet and peaceful area with displays of paintings and Christian statues.

Not sure who's coffin this is but quite unusual with the skull and cross bones
Beautiful paintings lined the walls


Back at the adjoining Church we were able to discretely take a few photos, there was lots of lovely lace I would have like to photograph but did not like to spoil the calm of the building.

Cluny style bobbin lace

Originally the only contact with the outside world was through these metal bars with very sharp points.



Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Day 6 Mixed weather

Gradually loosing track of what day it is, a sure sign we are on holiday and no need for a diary.

While out shopping the heavens opened and it poured with rain, but an hour later we were sitting in the sun. It is not quite warm enough for shorts, but nice to be able to sit and crochet in the fresh air. Chris had his head stuck in a book.

The evening was spent with Pauline and Brian playing cards and having a chat, really nice time together.


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Day 5 Villa Martin

Thought you might like a look around the house we are renting.

The front door, which on the back of the house! The lemon tree is full of huge lemons that smell divine.

The house with the shade is ours, it is on the street, which is very quiet, but technically the back of the house, these are the two bedroom windows. The arches are where the roof garden has seating and a BBQ.

The double bedroom. Opps forgot to take a photo of the twin bed room!

Kitchen and breakfast bar.

Lounge / diner.

The two fleeces I bought yesterday.

Four large packs of crochet blocking boards!

Making a start on my holiday crochet project.


Monday, 25 January 2016

Day 4 stocking the pantry

Thought you might like to see the view from the roof terrace early this morning.

This morning was shopping time. Locally there is a large Alcampo store and we headed in that direction as we needed just about everything. Just walking up and down the Isles taking in the sometimes strange and other times familiar food stuffs is quite an experience. They seem to be having a sale of lots of the things on my grocery list for a Euro, which was good. The large trolley was full to overflowing with mostly food but the odd thing crept into the basket!

One 'odd thing' were fleeces reduced from €4.99 to €2.99 which is incredibly cheap and just what I need for making into appliqué ABC and Sheep (see a previous blog for pictures). I bought two one in red and one in purple... Don't all sheep come in these colours? In fact I may go back and buy more different colours.

We decided to call over to see a friend living a couple of miles away and Chris had forgotten his cap so we called into a "China" shop, they sell EVERYTHING. I remembered while we were in there I wanted some foam boards for attaching to my crochet projects while stretching them to size, so I bought four packs, they almost filled the boot of the car!

When we got to Pat's we picked up two large bags of things we had left here on our previous trip... Now the boot of the car is really full, goodness knows how we will get home, especially considering this is our first full day.




Sunday, 24 January 2016

Day 3 the final journey

We left Barcelona at 7.30am, and filled up with petrol costing 78p a litre, this is really cheap compared with home fuel costing around £1.12.

The motorway took us through many tunnels, some really spectacular. As day broke the sun stared to shine but not for long, soon we were travelling through thick fog, then just as quickly the sun came out again.

The road from Barcelona to VillaMartin is a credit card nightmare, so many toll booths.

6.57, 3.93, 30.75, 1.50, 2.10, 2.10 euros, making a grand total from home of €153.75 does this mean we get to own part of the road ? !

We stopped for a cuppa and a stray cat wanted to be friends, in fact there were a lot of cats roaming around the picnic area.

We tried to find a nice spot for lunch but gave up in the end and used the back of the car as a table.

Arrived at the house we have rented for four weeks at 3.45pm. The sun is really warm and all is well.

Total travelling time including quick food stops 27 hours. 1396 miles

To complete the evening we visited Resturant Olaf for a very nice meal of steak for Chris and Plaice for me.


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Day 2 goodbye France, hello Spain

We were on the road at Lyon France just before 8 am to continue our journey to Barcelona Spain.

Gradually the weather warmed up and the sun came out. Our first toll at Orange cost €24.80 the next at the border crossing €16.70. It was now really warm and cardigans were removed and air con on for a short while.

The Pyrenees looked magical high above a cloud, covered in snow, as our road skirted around then. We found a nice spot for lunch and enjoyed the fresh air.

Sitting in the car for hours was getting a bit boring so we played guess the country from the number plate letters on lorries and how many different countries they came from. 21 different series of letters! Many we knew but some were a guess, for eg. Could A really be Australia? Where is UA ? Must look them up when we get wifi!

Last tolls at Barcelona were €14.25 and €1.60.

Checked into the Travel Lodge Barcelona and a short while later my niece Sally and daughter Tess who live here arrived. We had brought lots of gifts from my sister and her other aunt so it was like Christmas opening all the presents.

A short walk to the main road to enjoy a lovely meal together in Resturant el 58 before they had to make their way back home. It was great seeing then.


Biopsy, bruises and a block finish

Thursday I went into hospital at 10.30 for my lung biopsy, the staff could not have been nicer and put me at ease. The procedure meant lying...