Spain

Ola Alicante Province!

Home at last…

Here I sit outside our casa amidst the huge patio garden, it’s 9.30pm, 18 degrees with no wind, and it’s November. We’ve seen the abysmal equivalent in the UK on the news, it made us both cringe. Can’t imagine what hovering around freezing point is like anymore…

Fortunately the early hours of Monday morning passed by without incident, even when the door lock on the boat went “click.” By that time it was a case of “well stuff it.” Anything forgotten will stay that way. Much as it would be a great read to make a list, the only thing I can think of was a high end, technically advanced corkscrew that remained buried in a drawer somewhere.

In hindsight I don’t know how we pulled it all off. That night remains a blur, intense at the time it’s easily faded away since.

During the chaos we discovered that the boat took priority over packing our suitcases. It came as no surprise, after all we had to leave the good ship in mint pristine condition for a buyer. However, the middle of the night isn’t the best of times to attain such high standards. Especially when all remaining personal goods have to be packed and mobile.

As usual, I rented some space in Dave’s suitcase. What wasn’t usual is that this is no two week holiday, or 4 month rental. It required skill to go beyond the point of no return without making a cock up of it all. Even the taxi arriving early didn’t alarm or sway us from our focus. (Plural).

When we got to the airport about 4am we were both beyond the point of knackered. Like a couple of zombies we checked in our luggage and went to a restaurant for breakfast. Scrambled eggs and toast washed down with a glass of vino Blanco… Yuk…

As we took off at 7am, the dark of night was just beginning to turn into the grey mush of a typical British day. Even the pilot must’ve noticed, he got us up off that runway quick smart, then banked round (over the marina and TT) and off we went up through the clouds headed south…

We’ve noticed before that once up in the air the gloom below sits over the UK and northern France without much improvement. Southern France is where things begin to change, the clouds break up and blue sky starts to appear. Eventually it takes over with just a few fluffy clouds here and there.

Over the Pyrenees the sky opens up to deep blue everywhere, it’s a spectacular sight even when you’re half asleep. Beyond that, Spanish airspace continues the theme.

We flew into Alicante overland this time rather than doing a detour over the Med. And we noticed that the mountains slope down almost to the coast. What we always thought was just a “ridge” inland of Alicante, is in fact the lower reaches.

Same goes for an hour’s drive south of that, where we are. The land rises steeply from the coast. Just three miles back from the Med, we’re way above sea level, and behind us are hills and valleys. Believe it or not, within view of the glorious Med and blue flag beaches, our house and those around us are all built on solid rock…

Now there’s a fact or two I bet you never knew.

Anyway, when we arrived home, everything was as we left it in August, no hidden surprises. Tuesday we just chilled out, then walked down to our favourite Spanish bar for a drink, and met up with some fellow Brits who live nearby. A bit further on and we had a meal at a restaurant we know quite well, and would recommend to anyone in this small yet beautifully formed area.

So today’s been all about clearing out the garage and emptying a shed we’re going to get rid of. Boring? Nah, it just doesn’t need to be here. There’s nothing else anyone in their right mind would do or change to this house, except to put your own stamp on it with little things.

Up until now we haven’t bothered with that, simply because we’ve always had a plane ticket back to England. The only thing I’ve had to focus on when we’ve been here is all my exotic plants! It never rained from March to October, and (duh) we mistakenly left the irrigation systems switched off in March. When we got here in August even some of my cactuses had shrivelled! (Unfortunate turn of phrase but true).

However, one of my many skills is gardening, (really!) Over the 100 years we spent living in a house in the UK, I slowly built up an established garden front, back and sides. During which time I learned what would grow where and wouldn’t. Hence, aside from the unintentional learning process with irrigation, I’ve been able to adapt those skills to different kinds of plants that live in a hot climate.

While we were here in summer I managed to revive 90% of those that had been damaged. Someone said “Just keep watering them and they’ll come back.” Blimey, they were right! Cut the dead stuff off – of which there were about 5 black bags full, SWITCH ON THE IRRIGATION and Bob’s yer uncle, it’s worked.

Blooming gorgeous they are too, and up against all those white balustrades they look totally awesome…

Horticultural aspirations aside, in the grand scheme of life:

Home is where the heart is.

Oh how true…

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