The weather outside is frightful…

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View from the window, New Year’s Day 2014

2014 started in Cornwall with a very wet bang. We’ve been in the grip of some of the worst weather we have experienced for many, many years. Sea walls have been breached, coastal towns flooded, roads impassable and the emergency services have been working at full stretch; the sound of sirens flashing by on the A39 outside our house come with metronomic regularity. Although not as bad as the Armageddon predicted by the media it was still pretty grim. Apparently there is more to come with the Polar Vortex due to sweep our way once it has finished with the USA – did you see the pictures in the media of Niagara Falls freezing? Amazing stuff!

However, all has been calm and peaceful con nuestros. In fact we had a lovely Christmas and start to the New Year. Christmas, as always, was spent with just us. We made a resolution when we first got together that we would not be haring all around the country visiting relatives or friends, generally getting stressed out over what should be a quiet and reflective time of celebration. For thirty Christmases that resolution has stood us in good stead. The only thing missing this year was The Eldest, who is now setting his own traditions with The Girlfriend and had a fun time in Spain slicing and dicing his fingers for Christmas lunch.

On the plus side, our Boy Dog had a wonderful time. He always gets soooo excited when Christmas comes; he susses out which pile of presents are his and on the morning itself sends himself into a mad frenzy of barking and paper ripping. We were very, very worried the week before as he had shown definite signs of deterioration, he was lacklustre, tired, not willing to engage, and just wanting to sleep cuddled up on top of one of his humans. We had to have “The Talk” as to whether it was his time. However, The Youngest put his finger on the problem: me and Himself (clumsy grammar – sorry) had been out of the house 14 hours a day for nearly a fortnight working. Boy Dog was missing us. Once we were home and settled back into our routine he bucked back up to the funny, feisty little chap we know and love. And, of course, we feel guilty as all heck.

In our house the Christmas/New Year celebrations extend well into the first week of January as both The Youngest and I (better grammar) have birthdays a day apart. Great timing for present buying actually as we actively encourage the family to hit the sales to get us more present for their money – works a treat each time! Over the last few years, Himself has always set up a birthday trip; previous trips have included: London, Monmouth and the Wye Valley, Oviedo, Reykjavik and Venice. This time though we wanted to get back to our home in Spain, unfortunately that didn’t work out – the cost of return plane tickets was a trifle exorbitant no matter how we planned it and Brittany Ferries doesn’t start sailing to Spain until the end of February or beginning of March. Interestingly, LD Lines (ldlines.co.uk)¬†is now running a ferry crossing from Poole to Gijon and is very competitively priced – although, to be honest I really didn’t fancy the Bay of Biscay with Hurricane Hercules strutting its stuff. Himself is going to do more research on using LD Lines for future trips as Gijon is much more convenient for us; if they can offer dog friendly cabins they would be onto a winner.

2014 is going to be a time of change for all of us: The Eldest is setting out this week with The Girlfriend to travel around South America and has plans for their future – as long as it includes grandchildren for me and Himself we’ll be happy! The Daughter is planning on moving back to Bristol as Cornwall is sadly lacking in job opportunities for recent graduates and The Youngest is planning on joining the RAF. So me and Himself need to sit down and discuss our future as well….big, scary stuff!