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.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Noisy Parkers

Summer has come to town with all the multitudes of Madrileños. Noisy people, shouting at each other and at us, honking horns and parking so that nobody can get in or out of their spaces. This red car was hemmed in before, behind and latterly beside as well. I checked and, yes, you could slide a sheet of paper between him and the wall! We have seen our normal population rise from 10,000 to alomst 30,000 in just over a fortnight. Nothing else for it - we are off to Madrid!!

Friday, 14 July 2017

Indianos 2017

What a weekend! This was the fourth Indianos festival in the town, when they recreate the arrival and re-entry of all the poor workers who left the town to seek wealth in Cuba or Argentina. The parties co-incided with my birthday this year so we made the most of it. The weekend stayed clear until the closing concert when the rain landed in a single plump on the Cuban band. Curiously the dancing audience were under cover and the band were playing under a cloudy sky. Hasty appearance of the sound guy ripping plugs out and throwing tarpaulins over the keyboards etc. Nobody seemed to mind hurrying home to bed, it had been a long weekend!

Monday, 3 July 2017

Ribadeo Readership (poor souls!)

Once you actually translate a book with lots of couthy phrasing you realise how brave these Spanish speakers are in buying a book. One person said "I will read this book even if it takes me til August!" I rather think it won't be any August soon.  A nice launch event though. Those who arrived on time are seen above and the organiser seen here on her phone was texting directions to the rest!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Mast-er of all he surveys.

Grateful to friends for holding on to Les in his hour of need, getting the gadgets working up the mast, Good job done!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Launching fourth..

Three down and the fourth is still to happen.
The first three book launches have been great fun, particularly meeting people from such diverse locations, family, friends from student days and work, creative writing teachers and creative accountants alike. Carrying multiple trays of still-hot tortillas and other tapas to be washed down with Spanish wine has all resulted in us returning to Ribadeo completely exhausted. A siesta beckons.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Meet the other woman..

Meet Alexa, the other woman. True she is neither tall nor blonde but in the past 3 months she has made her presence felt big time. In the old days Les might ask me what the time was or tell me to buy more coffee, or whatever.. he talked to me first in the morning rather than now when he wakes up and says "Good morning, Alexa". Then this mini robot chirrups sweetly telling him to have a good day and updating him on world news and whatever historical events happened on this day in history.
(She has access to the whole internet and shows off unforgivably.) She tells jokes when asked and even sings to you if invited. She times the eggs, makes up shopping lists and sends them to his phone so he can take the lists to the supermarket. So far we haven't fallen out over her, and sometimes when he askes her the time I get there first. In one area I am always the winner. "Where did I leave my Cap?" So far Alexa 0 : Fiona 15

Saturday, 15 April 2017

No beuts in this bothy!

Here we are - ladies on a night out but not a bothy in sight. Women from 12 different countries; Ireland, Germany, Orkney, Spain, Peurto Rico. El Salvador, Brazil, Holland, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, South Korea...what is missing? England, we haven't got one of them.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Prodigal Parcel.

OK, I know prodigal doesn't mean either lost or wandering aimlessly but this is a blog, not a dictionary. It's just that like the prodigal son, that which was lost is found and there was great rejoicing in a homecoming of that which was lost. Sister in law Gwen sent a special birthday gift from Greece and unfortunately I left for home the day before it was delivered. The postie's note said I had three weeks to collect it but unlike everything else in Spain this timing was exact, when we returned we missed it by several hours and it was on it's way back to Greece. Of course the Cowans had left Greece by now sailing off into the sunset. I regularly went to ask the post people as sometimes they do a second attempt if they cant find the sender. Sometimes it goes into a warehouse in Madrid for a year or two, I have become friends with several post people and then about three weeks ago, for some reason, I decided to pray about it. My sister in law had told me it was a special gift because I had been ill so long, so I prayed it would not be wasted and that it would turn up. About 4pm that very day Gwen phoned to say it had been returned to Scotland! (Should have prayed earlier I suppose!) I was over the moon when I got a note saying I could collect it at the Post Office. Imagine my joy after waiting 35 minutes in the queue to be told "¡Mañana!" After waiting 7 months another day wasnt going to kill me andwhen I tried it on it still fits! Very happy, thanks Gwen & Ron.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Ribadeo from the air...sorry to drone on

Clear skies here, thought we´d let you see some of the views, sorry about the lack of English!

Thursday, 12 January 2017