Sunday, 14 January 2018

In the deep South (Ronaldsay)

Sunrise in South Ronaldsay, a picture taken from our bed... We were again looking after the lovely farmhouse of friends Mike & Rosey who were away with the family while we were home with the family. The chickens were fed and watered and, for my part, the cat was tolerated. Having found a dead otter on the road late on Christmas Eve, Donald wanted to run back with Andrew in the daylight to see if it was still there. A beautiful huge male otter with no marks but dead as could be. It took 7 miles there and back so in play it forward style both boys were then able to put away a huge breakfast, and an enormous dinner which they made as we slumbered on the bed with the view.
Where do they get this energy to run before breakfast? It nust be the gold coins,

Thursday, 7 December 2017


Greetings from grateful Galicians. This is the season where we all give thanks for harvest in our various cultures. Here the event centres on chestnuts which was a subsistance crop even before the potato arrived. This year potatoes have been forbidden fruits as an imported moth from Guatemala attacked the crops and prevented any tatties being set this year. As usual we opened the building to host our own magosto and we had 44 people join in with songs, poems and rhymes about Chestnuts in 3 lanuguages, then we read Mark 4 in 9 languages, including the orginal Greek, Orcadian and Old Scots. The ladies from Reposteria made excellent cakes and José Antonio,  the Co-Pastor of Lugo shared a word. Two days later we opened the church oven and found an untouched tray of chestnuts!


It has been a really dry year. We noticed as we drove back from Madrid the other Sunday night that the reservoir we pass over was empty. There is usually a sailing club on the water with lots of boats. now even the launching slip is 70 feet above the water level and the long buried villages and trees are visible. One or two of the trees have even sprouted. These are the lowest levels for sixty years. Anyway on the Monday following when we went out to pray for our town (as we always) do I decided to pray for rain. Not popular with the ladies who do laundry on Monday but when I got back home..

Sunday, 22 October 2017

66 Clickety click

Well after that last post, go forward four days and you might notice that it would have been 166 days til we leave Spain. I noticed anyway when I crossed the day off! 20 minutes later I discovered that the number of views of our blog was 25, 666, what was going on here? As I parked the car I smiled at the van behind me with his registration plate (shown below). Fast forward to that evening when I told a friend who certainly topped my story. She was born on the 6th June 1966 so her d.o.b. is 6/6/66 and yes she was born at 6 minutes past 6am. And her weight was 6lbs 6oz. I must admit I checked her forehead for a mark but she is perfectly normal, phew!

Monday, 16 October 2017

170 beds down 170 sleeps to go!!

Good morning, as we look outside it is hard to believe it is morning as black smoke circles around Galicia where of the 100 forest fires burning today, 60 are already of of control. However, in other news,  we spent last night in a gorgeous wee retreat in the Ribeira Sacra. This was part of a prize for a short story competition and the prizegiving was in Pantón last night followed by the overnight stay in the Casa Campaciñas.
We had a great time, roasted chestnuts by the open fire (picked up from the road outside the cottage) enjoyed some champagne donated by Ray and Lesley and played a game of cards known to us as "Old Codger"  Then bedtime in the most comfortable bed ever with a great view of the riverbank and the mountains. This was bed number 170 since we start counting different beds and today we have 170 more sleeps before we leave Spain. Unless, that is, we get evacuated by these rampant fires!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Impious imps.

Our sail down the Rias Baixas this summer had a very special visit for me. I had heard of the town of Marín where there were a huge number of protestant Christians, a very rare occurence in Catholic Spain. We sailed very close to the town and tied up in a marina nearby. As we took a taxi to church that evening, we passed another huge Evangelical Church - right at the top of the pier. What had been going on? After church the pastor told us that the history was that fishermen going to the UK in the early 1880's returned with Bibles (We think from the newly formed Fisherman's Mission in the UK.)
When British missionaries arrived in the town they built a church in Marín and another in Augete where we were moored.
These buildings were at a time when the towns were small villages and it turned out the structures were bigger than the corresponding Catholic Chapels, who had to rebuild and add towers! There is still a high number of evangelicals in the area, well over 10% and a massive turn out even in the holiday season. The pastor kindly drove us back to the boat when to my shame I had the washing still out - and that on a Sunday. Oh pants, how impious.

WECcer weds..

Every time we received a news letter from our friend Orlando it contained a prayer point, please pray for my future wife. As he will be 50 next month we wondered how long we would have to pray this. Well to cut a short story shorter he met her and when she read his facebook profile she said yes. It was a fantastic wedding and he is a very lucky man (to have praying friends!). The WECcers who were able to be present at the celebrations rejoiced with them and danced until 2.30am when Les and I went to bed Orlando and Lupe were still strutting their stuff on the dance floor. Not bad for a 49er.