January started in a very positive way, on an early morning walk on New Year’s day I got my first glimpse of new almond blossom promising that Spring is on the way and then casually sticking my hand into our post box as we do every time we go past, I was delighted to find my Spanish driving license had been delivered. Still waiting for Nigel’s four weeks later but at least we know that the postman found the right box for mine so we remain hopeful!

Spring on the way, fields covered in Oxalis, an invasive weed but very attractive,

Another positive this month has been that we finally managed to get registered for healthcare and have been allocated a GP. We don’t know yet if he/she speaks English or whether we will need to engage the services of a translator but it’s a big weight off our minds and means that Nigel can now ride his bike again knowing that should anything go wrong he is covered for accidents.

We are having a cold snap at the moment and our new pellet burner is getting well and truly tested. It’s much more instant than the log burner, cleaner and easier to restock, still only really heats the living room but with the ceiling fan on and the doors open to other rooms the heat does distribute better than the previous log burner. It’s still blooming cold in the kitchen though! The dogs don’t like the cold, Ditto likes to lie in front of the pellet stove but when he is in his bed little Poco snuggles in with him.

Belle prefers our bed! It’s the sort of weather where, if it’s sunny, it’s warmer outside than in the house so we spend time in the garden on those occasions and even wrap up if needed and sit out to read or listen to podcasts or in my case audiobooks which is very pleasant. And on the subject of books, Poco strikes again. We are re-learning the hard way how challenging having a puppy in the house can be and how everything needs to be out of reach!

Guess who???? My Christmas present that I found under the camper one day having put it down on a table outside to pop to the loo. Luckily none of the pages were chewed so I could still finish it. A great read.

Meeting some neighbours!
Waiting for a bite of toast!

Still plenty of oranges left to eat and juice for breakfast. I did make some marmalade a couple of weeks ago but it was not a success as it was far too sweet (even though I included a couple of lemons) making it unpalatable, even for me with my sweet tooth.

Photos from around the garden…….

Mother of thousands, aptly named!

Why, you might wonder, is Nigel practising Nordic sunbathing? Well, Richard and Aoife (our elder son and his partner) threw us a curve ball in late 2021 with the news that they were considering moving to Sweden if the job application he had put in was successful. It was, and it was then all systems go for their move to Stockholm and last Friday they arrived for a recce and had their first foray into their new life by picking up the keys to their rental house where they will live until they find a house to buy. They are returning to the UK for furniture and Aiko, their dog, in a couple of weeks. We’ve had WhatsApp photos, all looks very nice with a forest and lake very close for dog walking. So, all being well we will have a cooler place to spend the very hot summer months as we are planning a trip up to Sweden in the motorhome. We are on the cusp of it being legal and reregistered here in Spain, we have our temporary new plates and it goes for its “changeover” on Tuesday morning. So, the plan is to have a few days away in it near home quite soon and get to find out how Poco takes to it!

And saving the best news till last, we have a new grandson, a little brother for Hattie (9) and Percy (4). Wilbert Walter Crompton was safely delivered on 17th January, 7lb 8oz. Sorry, no photos allowed. We are planning to meet him in early March when we fly to the UK for just over a week. Dog and house sitters organised and I’m more than ready for my grandchildren cuddles which are long overdue.

And just before I finish, it was 50 years ago tomorrow that Nigel and I first met at the Bluewater Folk Club night at the Crown in Horwich.

I won’t say here’s to the next 50, we certainly haven’t got that many left!!

Hasta Pronto!!