Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Christmas

A Very Happy Christmas to all my followers! I hope you all enjoyed a relaxed and peaceful day, as we did.The weather this year did not match that of last Christmas when Jonathan was with us, and we sunbathed all afternoon. We have had high winds and very heavy rain for a couple of weeks, but on Christmas Day we woke up to clear skies and a lovely sunrise. We did not take the dogs for their usual walk as the rain has made it very difficult. I tried to walk the 'girls' around there the day before and quite literally got 'stuck in the mud' several times. But we sat out on the porch with them to eat our breakfast and the thermometer showed a balmy 17ยบ as early as 7.30. A row of little birds sang their carols to us out the back. We got out the binoculars I bought Chris for his birthday, and we could see that the trees were full of sparrows and the birds on the wire were similar to starlings. They chattered and sang for ages which was nice. Although there are plenty of birds around in the summer, they don't sing when it is so hot, so we enjoy listening to them at this time of year.
I bought a large 'jumbone' for each of the dogs, which I thought might keep them occupied for a few days. I was wrong! Chico and Miki had eaten theirs in less than half an hour. Foxy had a bit more of a problem and we had to shut her in the house/bed that Chris is building for them, so she could enjoy it without the others pinching it. They were very frustrated and stood pawing at the door, but Chico soon gave up and Miki sat guard just in case a bit came within her reach. Their house hasn't got a roof yet but it is almost finished, and being between the two sheds, it will be quite sheltered for them.
We bought a Wii fitness for our Christmas present. It was me who wanted it but hopefully Chris will have fun with it too. So we were busy all morning getting that set up. Now I must make sure I use it regularly and try to shed a few more pounds (quite a few actually), and get much fitter generally.
Our little local bar was open for a couple of hours at lunch time so we went down for a free glass of bucks fizz, and wished everyone a Happy Christmas, and then we came back to cook the dinner. We were hoping to eat it outside as it was still lovely and warm, but the wind started up and the clouds were gathering, so we used the dining room for the first time since we came to live here! A turkey would have been too much for just the two of us, so we had a nice fat chicken with all the trimmings. Needless to say we then both fell asleep and when we woke up it had started to rain. And boy did it rain! It was very noisy as it spouted off every corner of the roof and splashed on the tiles below. Unfortunately whenever it rains our television goes off; we lose all all satelite signal, so we had to make do with music in the evening, and I had another go on the Wii. I also managed to speak to all the boys at some time during the day, using skype. What a godsend skype is. It is so lovely to be able to chat to family members, especially when it is an occasion such as Christmas, without worrying all the time about the bill you are piling up. I put just under £10 on my skype account every three months, and for that I get unlimited calls to any UK landline so I can even call those who don't have a computer with skype on it.
Today Chris went up a ladder to look at the satalite dish and he found a cover that was broken. So he has temporarily covered it with a plastic bag and so far the television has stayed on today despite more rain, so maybe he has found the problem, and hopefully we will be able to obtain a more permanent solution.
The Spanish traditionally have a big family gathering on 'La Noche Buena' which is The Good Night, or Christmas Eve to us, with lots of eating and drinking, and this just continues the next day, with the children geting some gifts from Santa. They don't have Boxing Day so normally today everything would be going on as usual, but as it fell on a weekend this year, many places stayed closed and it was very quiet everywhere. Of course thier main celebration comes on 6th January or Three Kings day. There is more eating and drinking and gatherings of the clans, and adults give one another gifts, and the children get at least three gifts, (one from each king) and these will be their main presents. So we now have a few days of normality before New Year's Eve, and then a few more before Three Kings, so it will be hit and miss when shops etc are open, and a fair while before we are really back to life as usual.
We are waiting to see whether work on the road progresses at all during this time. They are getting on with laying the paving blocks but it is slow work. Last week a lorry delivered stacks of blocks to our bit of the road, red ones on one side for the pavements and black down the other for the road. They will all be layed on the same level with no kerb, but both sides will dip slightly into the centre of the road to guide rainfall to the new flood drains. Having seen the state of the roads in the recent heavy downpours, you can appreciate what an asset the new drains will be. I walked over to the bank on Thursday, in the road parallel to ours, and the rain was like a river the whole width of the road and right up over my feet. There was no option but to paddle across it, and do your best to duck into a doorway if a car drove down. Unfortunately until the blocks are laid, our new drains are too high to take much of the water but they helped a bit, and our road just had a little stream down the centre, so you could walk up the sides on 'dry land'.
When I have published this I am going to post a new folder on my photo gallery, so do feel free to pop across and get a glimpse of Los Gallardos in December.

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