2016 Spring Trip To Spain – Day 13

Yet another interesting day and one that will, by necessity, contain secrets. More of that later. The day started with me waking and getting up earlier than Garrath , but this time I was much later than usual, 07.00. That is a looooooong lie in for me. After Garrath woke up there followed the usual routine of breakfast, bathing and getting ready.

The bathing and getting ready out here deserves explanation. While it is a relatively rapid procedure in the UK, here it takes much longer. Why, I hear you ask? Well at home it is just bathe and dress with the intervention of a hairdryer every other day. On the frequent NMU days (No Make Up) that’s it, ready to walk the dogs in hardly any time at all. Here we require a different routine altogether. After bathing and drying, plus the every other day hair drying (not for Garrath, there’s not enough hair to merit that) we have to blather ourselves in sunscreen. Garrath’s is factor 50 sticky stuff so after he dons his jockeys, there is a period of at least half an hour to let it dry. I have two lots, the easy peasy spray factor 15 that dries in a breath (I have much more Sun tolerant skin than Garrath) that has nearly run out and the factor 15 super moisturising creme that I bought to replace it. Unfortunately the creme too is monumentally sticky and requires drying time before I put clothes on. If I put them on too soon they get oily marks on them. I need to buy more of the easy peasy spray!

After we have dried out and put our clothes on it is on to the essential next step, applying insect repellant. Visitors to Spain please note, we have bought lots and lots of insect repellants from Farmacias in the past and have still been bitten by the devious little b*stards. But we have found one that works AT LAST. Where did we find this magical potion? At the DIY store where you can buy building and gardening supplies. It makes sense when you think about it, heavyweight work, heavyweight insect repellant.

I don’t have any NMU days here because we always go out, so slapping my phizzer on is always part of the routine as is choosing and putting on jewellery. So that makes it a rather lengthy routine after which we both need a sit down and a cuppa.

This morning we got a call from our last chance hippie gardener, Perran, and he arranged to come over to discuss future plans for the garden. I had asked him to do so because we have several old citrus trees that are producing no fruit so I want them removing. Also the Nispero (Loquat) tree has become very large and unproductive, so I want it cutting back severely.

We have two Hibiscus bushes in the front garden, one of which is thriving, the other doing very poorly in spite of them both receiving the same treatment. On examination Perran said that it was just a case of one of them being old and worn out, so out it has to go. Two of the fancy Hibiscus we bought and had planted have died so we discussed what should replace them and the old Hibiscus. To my delight he suggested Lantana. We have one that is thriving in a variety that produces lilac and lemon flowers in the bed beside the drive. Perran loves that variety but I like the more robust, red and yellow variety so we agreed that this is the variety that will replace the Hibiscus. I love it and have nicknamed it The Spanish Flag plant.

We agreed that the space created by removing the old, unproductive Citrus should be filled with a Grapefruit and in a rather barren part of the garden an Almond should be planted. (Almonds are tough buggers apparently.) The oldest of our existing Olive trees has been pruned into a weeping Pom Pom tree (unique in the area I am assured.) It looks wonderful and has opened up that part of the garden making it lighter and brighter. The Bay tree that was running rampant has been pruned into an enchanting wineglass shape so when the youngest of the Olive trees was discussed we agreed that it would be pruned into another wineglass.

The automatic watering system needs repairing and upgrading so much investment of time and money will be required. Since I have determined that, in spite of the difficulties, I do want to move to Spain, I love the house and its location, it will all be worth it eventually.

Gardener visit over, we prepared to go the restaurant that we had booked for lunch and set off in plenty of time. It was quite a long drive and a rather boring one since we determined to go there via the non scenic route and return via the scenic route. We arrived at the town, parked and walked to the restaurant where we had one of the best eating experiences of our stay.

We were the only English people in there, the rest were all Spanish. The service was good and the food was excellent. The lady who served us was a delight, she fully understood my needs, offered rice instead of pasta with the main courses which made a pleasant change because many places just take away gluten bearing food and offer no substitute. We had a lovely salad to share first, then a lovely Entremesas platter (charcuterie and cheese) as a starter. It was a really nice, thoughtful touch that they substituted the little glass of cream Gazpacho on Garrath’s platter with bacon wrapped round pineapple and grilled for me.

For main courses Garrath had chicken with a sauce and tagliatelle and I had fish with a sauce and perfectly cooked rice turned out from a star shaped mould. Unbelievably I actually had a choice for dessert, either strawberries with cream or ice cream. I chose lemon ice cream, Garrath had a three chocolate cheesecake. We finished with tea and coffee. It was all superb and I was really surprised at how cheap it was nineteen euros thirty cents in total.

The restaurant’s name and location must remain a closely guarded secret for fear of our English friends finding out about it and it being stuffed with English expats next time we go. We have learned our lesson from taking our English friends to the restaurant in Parcent. With this one our lips are sealed. We have booked a table for another day of our stay but I dare not say which day in case our English friends read this and follow us!

I drove back via the scenic route and stopped on a number of occasions to get my camera out and take a few shots. All in all it was a delightful trip.

When we got back to the house I intended to make a start on this blog but I only managed the title before the Sofa Siesta took over. I woke just before Campari o’clock for me, beer o’clock for Garrath, and we meandered down to The Chicken Shack, primarily for the free wifi so that I don’t disappoint Carol this evening. We have had to have a few drinks here of course. After all, it would be rude not to!