A quick check in…

I know that having officially bowed out of writing a blog in August this may seem a little surprising however the past weeks here in Murcia deserves a mention and an update on life on the hill!

La Azohia..a favourite seaside village for long coastal walks and picnics. A day out for Spain Day!

For the first time in 18 months we have had family to stay..the Watsons. Rach, Graeme, Dougie , Penny and Anna. It was a reminder to me of a previous post ‘Sharing our Happiness ‘ and how much we missed doing just that. The week , predictably, went by too quickly but it was wonderful. Murcia weather was welcoming and warm enough for both pool and beach, hiking , eating outside and when ( it is Autumn after all) we had one very rainy day, we began knitting projects, jigsaws and lots of drawing! Saying bye bye was also predictably hard. Apparently there were tears at the airport because they didn’t want to go! Rocky mooched about all day looking sad after all the extra cuddles and adoration that he had become used to, not to mention extra snacks, that he had been getting for a week.

One of our visits during their stay had been to Hugo’s home farm. This is a small finca five minutes from our home which is now run as a donkey/horse/ goat/ hen/ dog/cat/alpaca…in fact any abandoned animal rescue. It is the passion , imagination and incredible hard work of a young Scot from Musselburgh and while the finca belongs to his partner’s family, the project began several years ago in Benidorm and moved to Murcia last year. Local cat and dog pounds and the police all know of Hugo’s and frequently supply them with new guests! This all takes a lot of funding and so on the Saturday of our gangs’ departure I spent a few hours on the ‘cake stall’ of a fusion . . British fete and Spanish paella day!It was a great success and the best of two cultures. I loved hearing the kids whose parents had moved to the region permanently and put children in to local schools, speaking Spanish and English with out missing a beat. The sun shone, animals were on best behaviour, cakes and jam sold and funds were raised. Éxito!

Home made local peach jam alongside abuela’s paella!

Four days later, the Mattisons arrived! Rocky had a playmate again ..the Duracell toddler that is Arthur with his Mummy and Daddy . So much fun ! The weather reminded us that even although this was Murcia, it was still autumn. Despite quite a lot of cloud and cool mornings it was still warm enough in the afternoons for braving the pools …freezing! the beach…invigorating and ice cream in the city…delicious. Once again, the week went too quickly but oh what wonderful memories to store away.

Our neighbour’s neat lines of broadbeans and celery
Brrrr!

I was determined to savour every moment that I had with the ‘peques ‘ ( little ones) and as my classes now take up every morning, I had a mad baking/freezing breenge ( Scots for doing something with gusto- difficult to translate! ) for the fete before they arrived. October went by in a flash! It’s already half way through November and Walt has been able to get to Valencia for the final race of the MotoGP. Two years later for this pilgrimage aswell! My Fridays are suddenly busier than ever with classes all day, so I chose to stay at home with Rocky. This meant I could go on a very gentle guided walk this morning to learn about the flora in our Sierra de Carrascoy. It was a beautiful morning and perfect for wandering around learning about plants and flowers . All in Spanish! Tomorrow Anne and I will continue to amuse our Spanish huerto neighbours with our anarchic plot. We must be ‘the talk of the steamie!’ The tomatoes, especially the cherries have not stopped fruiting. We still have aubergines on the go, arm loads of basil and a few padron peppers. See photos for ‘us’ and them! We have planted some winter crops in wee spaces, kale, broccoli and onions and are using our first load of our own home made compost so haven’t done the traditional autumn clear out. Our squashes were also successful and the plants have just been cleared away. We both hate waste so while we can’t compete with the broad bean harvests that our neighbours will have next month, we are still taking edibles home everytime we visit! Anne took on the green onion chutney task this year with delicious results. I will do the annual marmalade marathon in December…when the fruit is free how can we not!!

Guess whose patch is whose!

And so another year rushes headlong towards its end…probably one of the strangest in most of our lives but with lots of wonderful memories still made despite everything and definitely so much to be grateful for. I think that is why I decided to write this wee diary. I do struggle at times, so far from my children , siblings and old friends . This past year and a half has made this even more difficult. However when Walt and I walk Rocky to the top of our urbanization and look over to the Sierra de Carrascoy, the Sierra de Espuña, our beautiful glittering city and the Ricote Valley in the distance, we realise just what wealth we have and how lucky we are to live here. Gracias Murcia..por todo!

My morning ramble.
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12 thoughts on “A quick check in…

  1. What a lovely update, Yvonne – thanks for finding the time for un poco of blogging again! I’m so pleased for you that after all that has happened, at last you can enjoy the pleasure of family visits once again. It looks like you had a wonderful time! My greatest sadness about our time in Asturias is the many visits that had to be cancelled last year, time we’ll never have again. It seems that we’ve sold the house so we’re planning to spend January there sorting things out, perfect timimg really as I don’t think either of us is ready for a full northern winter just yet! Might as well enjoy a bit of warmth and the kiwi harvest while we can. No prizes for guessing which huerto I prefer in your photos, be a wild rebel, I say! Abrazos. x

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    1. Thank you Lis. I noticed a few typing errors after I had posted this! I have been teaching on line for 15 hours a week and am desperate to close the computer down after classes. However I was feeling so grateful for our
      time with the family and the gentle Murciano autumn after the summer inferno that I felt the blog deserved a wee dust down! Spelling and typing errors are perhaps not a great advert for a TEFL teacher!! I loved your most recent blog and what a coincidence, I have just discovered the Hobbii site too. Our 5 year old twins are in to all that glitters however and so I had to look for sparkly wool! I found a mohair blend on Hobbii and it is gorgeous. It is so soft and like knitting cobwebs! That’s great news re your home in Asturias although I imagine it will be tinged with a wee bit of sadness? Northern winters are something I suspect we would find really difficult now. Hannah sent me photos of their Sunday walk in a local country park which we all love but it looked so cold, grey and muddy! I think I am becoming a softy! Definitely not conforming on the huerto front but I was pottering on Sunday and our normally dry, stony earth is soft, damp and there are worms! Better that a ton of habas at Christmas any day. I love worms! Abrazos y besos. Yvonne

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      1. Pas de souci, typos just prove you’re human! For some reason, I can no longer preview my blog so I proof-read the draft several times, then have to publish and read like crazy to find the inevitable mistakes before anyone has chance to read it. Once a teacher . . . 🤣 Yes, it will be bittersweet to say adios to Casa Victorio but it won’t be goodbye to Asturias, in fact we’re looking forward to being able to visit without the responsibility of a property and actually have a holiday – no doubt coinciding with one or two races so Roger can catch up with the running community again. Isn’t it amazing how quickly we acclimatise? We have been so spoilt for five winters, even at its worst the weather was always mild and I think a northern winter would be so much worse for you. Still, it’s not like we’ve never done it before and I’m sure thermal vests have their attractions! 😆Hooray for the worms, definitely good news. Happy gardening!😊

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  2. It was so nice to hear from you. I can certainly relate to your feelings about missing family and friends. We’ve not seen either for almost 2 years now BUT we will be visiting our grandson and his family the day after Thanksgiving! We are so excited. It feels a little surreal. Like you – we count our blessings because we really do have so many.

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    1. Dear Mrs N. Thank you for your lovely reply. I am sorry if my replies are often tardy or out of synch with yours! I have found myself teaching more and more on line this term and have 15 hours a week on my computer plus prep time etc. I am an outdoor girl and can’t wait to turn the lap top off after a class so my personal correspondence and messaging often suffers! Like you my husband and I are in our 60s , heading towards the middle ! We retired from our jobs in Scotland at 60 as we were both really stressed with the demands, organisation and work loads in these. We knew our tiny pensions would be a challenge but we have a small home, ancient car and motor bike ( we live on a hill and need transport as there is no bus service) and although prices have increased here as everywhere in the world, we can still eat well and reasonably cheaply. There is always free food too… our home is built on an old finca and there are abandoned citrus , olive and fig trees all around us. It is a challenge and my teaching has made things easier financially but there is also a great sense of achievement, as you also described, in living simply and mindfully. I am so happy that you will finally be able to visit your grandson and family. This has been a horrible year for families who live apart. I hope you have a wonderful time. I love reading your blogs , thank you .

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      1. Hello🙂- no worries about tardy replies. I’m often late on mine.
        I understand about wanting to get outside. We are heading into winter here so I’m trying to get out as much as possible at the moment before it gets really cold.

        Lots of adjustments as we age! Getting old isn’t for the faint of heart. I love reading your blog as well because so much of it resonates and it makes me feel less “alone”. Blessings- 🍂🧡

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  3. Hello again- Mrs. N here. I’ve stopped blogging. For how long I’m not sure. I need to concentrate on building up my online classes so we can continue to pay bills. I just wanted you to know it was me.

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    1. Hello and Happy New Year. Thank you for your message. I will miss your blogs but totally understand. I am back teaching online as of yesterday. We couldn’t manage without these classes but after several hours on the computer my eyes start to go in strange directions and I need to get outside. I have drafted a few blogs recently but a struggling to complete any! Good luck with building up classes. I work for a Spain company and teach business English to their clients but I think there are several good US companies do similar and not just business English. If you want to chat about lesson ideas or resources, I would love to hear from you. Yx

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      1. Hi! I was so happy to see your response! I’m so sorry for the messy comments above!! I finally figured out how to change my blog address in my profile- so my icon should now take you to my private blog. I don’t have anything written yet but I will. It will be different from what I was writing. Please send a request and I’ll let you into the blog. We have much in common! Xo

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      2. Hello! I’ve opened my site. You should be able to follow now. I saw your request- when you have time pop on over to my site🙂

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