Contrasts

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The photo above was taken at 8am on 31st October and heralded a wonderfully warm and sunshiney Asturian day.

This photograph however, taken just a few days later, shows how quickly it can change! image

Tomorrow we are setting off for England.

The Girl Dog has been de-ticked and wormed (much to her disgust), the bags are packed, the house is clean and friends farewelled.

It’s always hard to leave but needs must as dinero has to be earned and commitments fulfilled, plus we get to see The Daughter and The Youngest for Christmas as well as catch up with good friends (lunch is already booked with the BF)!

Sadly, our little Boy Dog, won’t be making the trip back as he died, very peacefully in my arms, in September. We miss him so much.

However, one of the best parts of leaving anywhere is the coming back. Spring can’t come soon enough!

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And…We’re Back

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Back on Cornish shores…

Because we have a newly blind elderly dog, who has shown remarkable bravery and flexibility in dealing with his disability, we decided  to make other arrangements in travelling to and from Spain. This has meant long journeys down through Brittany and back a couple of times this year and the road home is becoming an old friend, albeit a warty, boring, expensive one.

So, as we needed to get home by mid-November at the latest, we once again girded our loins and set of back through France to catch the ferry at Roscoff. Only this time we planned to do it in one day and without the caravan. It took a  mammoth 13.5 hrs to do 1200km with a total stoppage time of 1.34 hrs. This would have been ten minutes less but I had a traumatic time trying to get out of a locked toilet on an Aire, to the bemusement of a very sweet Frenchman who looked most concerned when I finally broke free. Needless to say Himself, already grumpy with the cost of the tolls, was not impressed with me ‘wasting daylight’! This was then followed by a six hour, nausea inducing crossing, from Roskoff to Plymouth and 90 minutes further driving into the heart of Cornwall. Still, at least we made it home in one piece if not with all dignity intact as, unlike Himself and The Eldest (who is a Merchant Navy Professional) I am not a good sailor.

The Kids were pleased to see us. The Daughter yapped solidly for an hour without drawing breath and The Youngest, very well trained from childhood, had chilled the wine ready for me. The house was spotless, if you ignored the bathroom and toilet, where it looked as if a new life form had colonised in our absence. The dogs were ecstatic to see their human counterparts and even more so to go to sleep in a bed that was not moving forwards!

We are both spending time catching up with friends and those members of the family we like (come on admit it – there are always some family members we would rather not spend time with or talk to) and getting ready for Christmas. Oh, and Himself has bought a new motorbike. A big one.

Here we go again….

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We loaded up the caravan, manoeuvred it up the short, steep lane to the road, hitched it to the car and took the first steps towards retracing the 1300km back up through Spain and France to catch the Ferry, this time from Roscoff to Plymouth, to get back to Cornwall in time to travel to Bristol to watch our beloved Daughter graduate with a 2:1 (Hons) in International Relations. Oh, the things we do….

It’s been hot, hot, hot! The temperature has been above 32 deg and the air-con in the car gave up just past the Spanish border on Thursday,  so we had to resort to the old fashioned method of opening the windows. However, this time, Himself and I have stayed on speaking terms even when I have been driving!  It helped to have a plan of action: the first night we stayed on an Aire, which had the added bonus of a rather posh shower; the second night we headed back to Camping Le Bateau at Rochefort (Charente Maritime) which we had so enjoyed on the way down.  I so recommend this site! Then today we drove straight through to just beyond Quimper to stay at our friends’ house in Brittany, in preparation for our early start tomorrow (5am for heaven sakes – it still comes as a surprise when I realise there are two 5 o’clocks in one day) then we nip across the channel to Plymouth and head West.

The Pups have been wonderful: Boy Dog always travels well, he hunkers down and stays relaxed all the way through (upside down, legs in the air), Girl Dog sightsees out of the windows, her ears flapping in the breeze and a contented smile on her face. Of course, they just know that at the end of it all they get to see two of their favourite people, after us of course, The Youngest and The Daughter. And, when we come back this way in two weeks time, there is an extra special surprise for them – The Eldest will be waiting for them!

And we’re … off!

Finally, finally, finally we are leaving for Asturias!

The car and caravan are both packed fit to burst, the dog guard fitted to prevent any small Boy Dog or Girl Dog finding their way onto our laps mid-journey, tank filled with diesel, sat-nag keyed in with various destinations, No.2 son is doing a jig of joy…we are READY!

                             Spain 2012 182

            A glimpse of the Picos de Europa

Prior planning prevents…..

A decision has been made – we are planning on leaving for Asturias next week!

The logistics of actually how to transport ourselves, two dogs (one now blind), a caravan, all the stuff we ‘need’ for the summer and a motorbike in one trip  have left us a little dizzy. Originally we were going to use a trailer for the bike, but that was before we decided to buy the caravan. So after much thought and various contortions with bike, caravan, pieces of paper, bungee cords and elastoplast….

Himself whizzed over to Spain yesterday to drop off said bike, which he will  leave there before coming back in a few days. Well, that’s his story anyway. He’s gone with a friend and I do believe there is a little road trip planned on the side.

This now means I have space and time to sort stuff out and start packing without any distractions or the need to justify how much wool I do actually own – and for a final lunch with my Best Friend (fingers crossed).

As for Boy Dog: we have been told that there is no chance of his condition improving. However, he is adapting so well to his new world, shaming us with his “can-do” attitude. He is an absolute inspiration – he’s climbing the rockery, forcing Girl Dog out of ‘his’ chair, sunning himself in the garden, racing around all his favourite walks and is getting back to his cheeky, charming self. So the least we can do is stop moping about what can’t be changed and start getting back to what passes as normal in our household.

Needless to say,  No.2 son is delighted that we are finally going !

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Himself’s next bike?

Dia de las Americas, Oviedo, 2012

Counting down the days….

It’s only another four weeks or so before we start our annual pilgrimage to our home in Asturias where we spend each summer. This is the time when I get over-excited about going and generally get on people’s nerves with my rhapsodising about the area in which we live.

Despite the fact that this is the fifth year we’ve properly done this there always seems to be more we need to take. Himself has been hitting eBay to provide the caravan with essential equipment (I’m not sure what’s going to turn up to be honest), working out how to transport said caravan and his beloved motorcycle along with two dogs and as many boxes of books, clothes, electrical widgets, food and wool as I can slip into the space available.

The dogs also need to be travel ready so it’s off to the Vet for their booster jabs and Rabies update and to make certain that we have enough Metacam to provide respite to the boy-dog’s arthritic shoulder until such time we can get to the local Vet.

Once my knee has been given the all-clear (not long now) I’m also shopping for the kitchen necessities that are either difficult to find, or downright expensive, out there – various curry pastes, Worthy Cheddar (a waxed cheese), PG Tips tea bags and 2 in 1 shampoo (it’s surprisingly hard to come by).

The one thing I have not been able to do is to physically go wool shopping and have been relying on the Internet (Deramores is brilliant), which is all well and good but means that Himself knows exactly how much wool is coming into the house and, given that last year I did go a bit crazy and built myself a moderate-sized wool mountain to take with us, means that if I don’t get to the postie first I end up being lectured on my profligate ways. However, my wool addiction is a lot less expensive than his motorbike addiction…as I frequently point out.

I’ve spent the last few days working on a couple of new pages to add to my blog you can find them at the top of this page labelled ‘Knitting’ and ‘Writing’. I’ve also added a short story, which I was lucky enough to get published by the One Million Stories project in 2010 and I hope you enjoy it.

www.worthycheddar.co.uk

www.deramores.com

www.millionstories.net

The photo is of Playa de la Andrin (Andrin Beach) near Llanes, Asturias.

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