Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sorry we just blogged off...

Our apologies - it has been a furiously busy two months - no time to post news as we were too busy making it happen. However all the pigs are now flying and we too will fly home this week to see our boys and then my Mum.

Teaching English has been busier than we thought - in this first 4 months the academy has grown from 2 kids and 3 adults to 16 kids and over a dozen adults. It is good for the business but also for us. We get our health care costs met and we make lots of new friends. We had a party on Friday night and had a great laugh with Christmas party games and singing.

The Spaniards did us proud sampling the mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas cake. One of them invited me to try something Spanish, and it turned out to be dog biscuits, hope my coat is shiny  and my nose wet.

Mind you after spending last week in hospital I should be in the peak of health!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

High up, high in the mountains...

We were certainly pretty high up the mountains in Italy last week as we attended WECs Eurocon as new leaders for WEC Spain. It was a stunning location but that was all we saw as business sessions ran from 8am until 9pm. Food was fab, pasta every day and no type appeared twice. The Centenary Cake on the last day was fantastic and I learnt a secret, make two and the first one is ready  to serve as soon as the dummy one is cut!Left at 3am and it was dark so we didn't really see the sights of Rome but all went well (via Mallorca to save money!)

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Ribadeo and roundabout

Where we has tonight's chat group.
 October sunset from the other side of the Ria
 Market day today
Our front garden (which we share with the other Ribadienses!
 The kite surfer who passes our kitchen window every 10 minutes in the afternoon

Friday, 11 October 2013

make new friends but keep the old..

Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver the other gold.In the same week we had a new chat group in Ribadeo, while also attending a previous chat group in Santa Eugenia - which still continues without us!
Other old friends, Don and Maggie were with us lending support in more ways than linguistically!

E for English

Here we are outside the Academy - E for English... Ribadeo has 3 English schools and we are part of the newest one. The owner Sara held on, only delivering her baby 2 days after we arrived and took over her classes. A good way to make contacts and so far all our students have passed their exams.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Good Morning Ribadeo

Good morning Ribadeo - and here we woke for the first time in our new flat - the view from the bed is encouraging and a real incentive to rise and go to work. Then time to face those boxes...

We are in!

We are in - at last!!

After 5 years of heading this way and after 85 different beds along the way we finally moved into our Ribadeo flat this week. We hope this will be for a long time. In reality it will be only 11 months until the family want it back for their holidays but we are getting so good at packing and unpacking that maybe we can do this every August, let's face it students do it every year. Both Andrew and Donald also moved this month - what a tribe of gypsies we have become!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Desperately seeking someone.

Had a wee sail today and noticed the rescue helicopter hovering and the police launch following. It got pretty rough so we came back into port to be asked (All in Spanish of course) if they had found the boat or the body. We had to admit we had seen nothing but the continued search went on all afternoon, and we understand from the press it has resumed today. Quite chilling to be in the midst of such drama and feel so unable to help. They are looking for a 23 year old who was to taking part in a kayak regatta. So many youngsters race canoes here but this guy did not finish. We hope they find him alive even if they find him at a friends playing computer games unaware of the drama 

Music from home..

I know you are bored of us saying whenever the Cowans come to town there is a party, but today in the village of Porcia (with less than 80 inhabitants) there was a massive celtic music festival. Top of the bill were the Tannahill Weavers. I had heard them in Orkney and spoke to them in the next village (the only cafe in the district.) We live on the very edge of the field where they had been errecting the stage so in truth we could hear them just as well from the comfort of our bed, but wishing to show support we turned up and heuched with the rest of them. The bagpipes were very popular and we could tell what the audience really needed was a class in ceilidh dancing - looks like we are in the right place then!

Take me to the river...

Great day on Sunday, first baptisms from Ribadeo standing here with Sagrid (centre) and Alfreddo (right) some people we have enjoyed getting to know. We got to know them even better at the picnic on the river bank! Paella, Tortilla & Jamon. These were the candidates before the ducking!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Weekend with the Jetset

 Had a busy weekend with trips east and west from 6am on Saurday until 11pm Sunday - life with the jetset. There were 4 or 5 jets trailing their tails over the road east to Santander as they all headed South in formation with the sun rising behind them. This was us both heading to a leadership team meeting which lasted just over 9 hours. By Sunday evening we sneaked off to the boat and anchored in a secluded cove.. spying a saltire on a boat nearby we met Petra and Andrew who had apparently followed us out from Scotland and are spending the summer exploring the coast of Spain. As a result of all the chat we were 45 minutes late for church, but heh, this is Spain - more folk came in after us than were there before us, oops!

Four Nations

Had a wee visit on Saturday of friends from four nations: Paul & Rose Harvey, who were our Candidate Directors when we were being orientated into WEC and Gladys who is the hint of humour in all WEC Spain gatherings.. needless to say she is the Irish fly half. Rose is reputedly Welsh and plays full back and Les is of course the Scottish prop. The English wings are either end and we never saw the hooker.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Reaching Ribadeo (Well nearly!)

Almost resident in Ribadeo... Marga my language partner from Santa Eugenia is at home with her parents and they have given us a wee apartment to live in til we get into our flat in September So happy to meet her here in her own pueblo. Then today we got a visit from WECers from Gijon to welcome us to the north of Spain. If you look carefully you can see Rene has hidden a bottle under the table before we took the photo - it was diet coke, honest!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Weddings were us!

Nice to have so many different men, especially with the weddings  this summer. What will we do now that they are all finished? Well tomorrow is out wedding anniversary so it will be fab to see Les and spend time with the eldest of my three escorts! (Plus he doesn't make me feel like a midget!)

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Another happy arrival

Another happy arrival, not a baby this week but a boat. Les was surprised and delighted to arrive in Spain a week ahead of schedule, here he is tied up for the winter, very relieved and with a week of spare time... I did suggest he put some photos up for the blog but I see none so far!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Nappy Cake

So another cake. In Madrid this is the present to give a baby. A wedding cake shape made out of nappies - every baby shower has one. When I went to buy the celophane paper I asked the florist if they made nappy cakes in Orkney. She gave me a funny look and said a few might still do that but they werent in fashion any more. Oh well, I was obviously out of touch. I made it anyway and took it to the Maternity Unit. The midwives squealed and said it was the only thing they had ever seen like it and wanted me to tell them how to make one. Baby James didn't seem as excited but never mind. To solve the question of the florist, it seems she thought I was asking about "nappy cakes" being what is known as a Clooty Dumpling. Right enough you could make one in a nappy (Or boxers, eh Mag?).

Thursday, 11 July 2013

100 - not out!

Every cake tells a story and this one celebrates 100 years of God's faithfullness to WEC International, our mission. The event was a celebration supper (our 3rd in Scotland) and we were so pleased to have all the deacons from our sending church along with other supporters and people who had a story to tell about WEC in their lives. As Auntie Chrisabel said "What a happy night!"

Ready to Roll

So after three weeks of scraping, sanding, painting and provisioning Blithe Spirit is ready for off.
God Bless this boat, and all who sail in her!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

It's not a piece of cake!


Every wedding cake I do I say it will be the last. Well here is the very last - honestly! This one had lots of help from Mag, mother of the groom who baked the bottom tiers and Frank the flower man. Also the florist who gave me the gypsophlia so I could copy it, and John Lewis who sent a courier with 2 meters of ribbon arriving the day before the wedding! Result.

Everything's better when wet!

That is us back in the water after three years ashore. Feels so good to be back on the boat with everything more or less working. We have had an amazing 3 weeks sandpapering, painting and varnishing. Dry days and even sun when required, especially nice when seen dipping down over the boats behind... if you get my drift!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

International security?

Well here is a tip for all you would be terrorists... travel in a wheelchair! Sure I got body frisked but my bag passed through all the scanners and needles, scissors (super sharp points) and tweezers seemed to trouble no one. I was really well looked after, however when the attendant asked me to sign a customer satisfaction form (in Spanish) I read it and realised he had even graded his performance for me to sign.. you guessed it ..he was apparently excellente!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Final Fiesta..

The last tango in Madrid... Tango Naranja Zero as it  happened! A lovely send off with many cultures, songs and a cross between strip the willow, Irish line dancing and sevillanos, danced beautifully by two people who had just met!!


A perfect day.


Oh what a perfect day, a song for today.. two days away from the boxes and packing for time spent with good frieds seeing a Bodega and enjoying the peace of Castilla y La Mancha. Great music, food, dancing (but not me),  impromptu singing and a sunset with friends. What a perfect day.

Ramp-it-up 2-3-4!

Phone- a -friend - in this case he turns out to be hiding whilst taking a picture of the damsel in distress. Good job the dog was keeping me company. Spraining an ankle was not smart, not when you have to pack up your whole life and clean the windows as well. Thankfully the landlady was more than kind and gave us back our full deposit and also a tube of special gel for swollen ankles, nice! Also be impressed by that ramp!!!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Las Haciendas

Had a hacienda week... 3 haciendas in fact... here I was visiting a bar to have breakfast with my ladies, totally missing the joke. It is called the hacienda and is located next door to the official hacienda i.e. the Tax Office. Like the wife who bemoans to her husband who is late home " Where have you been???" Obviouly he can answer truthfully "At The Hacienda." End of row. So after 4 visits to the tax office we got our piece of paper but of course that wasn't enough and we had to pay an official person to prove we don't need to pay any tax. Grrrr! The 3rd Hacienda was a genuine hacienda - a place of good food out in the country - a tasty snack on our way to Ribadeo.