As the new, better (fingers and toes crossed) year approaches, just a short post for December as I don’t have a great deal of news to impart.

Home made Christmas “tree” …. can you tell???? !!!!
Canes from the Rambla, some battery lights and sellotape and hey presto!

September, October and November were enriched by our several visitors, sadly there have been no more such encounters this month. The hoped for extra visit from Richard and Aoife didn’t happen for several reasons not least because of the travel chaos and reintroduced extra testing brought about by the omicron variant. Although disappointing, we completely understood and were in agreement with their decision. Stricter covid rules are back here, mandatory wearing of masks in all outdoor areas again, showing of covid vaccination certificates and photo ID when entering restaurants.

The best thing to happen in December was the collection of our TIE cards, which means we are now legal Spanish residents. TIE stands for Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero. This was a great relief and “only” took one year and three days from our application going in.

His Master’s voice!
Shingle beach at Isla Plana, not quite as comfortable for Belle’s feet.

In the middle of December I went on a one day mosaic making course at the home of two local artists. I have previously showcased our “Galgo Love” mosaic that we bought some time ago. Well, not having an artistic bone in my body, I decided to book myself on this day course on 15th December and really enjoyed it. This is what I made….

Outside light catching the iridescent colours
In progress
The finished butterfly

A very enjoyable day and quite therapeutic in that the whole time I was there I didn’t think or worry about anything else. Anyone who knows me will recognise this not insignificant achievement! There will be more courses in the New Year so I shall be going again. Richard has asked for a red squirrel…yeah right! I’ve told him not to hold his breath!

Goats cheese starter at a newly discovered French restaurant in Mazarron Port
With the added bonus of boats to drool over

For our Christmas meal I made us a delicious cheese and onion pie and we saved the roast dinner (just chicken plus trimmings) till Boxing day. But we did have half a Christmas pudding, the other half is in the fridge for another day. I am hoping the English shop in Mazarron which we go to occasionally might have some reduced next time we go, the shelves were still packed with them Christmas Eve but at €5 for a small one, I just bought the one!

Our closest beach, El Portus about a 20 minute drive, but it’s tiny! There’s only about twice the amount of beach behind the camera that you can see in front of it here!

On Christmas Day we had video chats with both sons and their partners and in Andrew’s case with the grandchildren too. Percy, now 4 was looking very smart in his bow tie and waistcoat and telling us about dinosaurs and Hattie, 9, pretty as a picture, white bows in her long wavy hair, showing off her ability to count in Spanish and asking us about Spanish Christmas festivals. Four more weeks until their family of four expands to five. I imagine Hattie will be a great help to her mum and dad when the new baby arrives.

The weather during most of the month has been pretty grim up until yesterday when the sun and warmer temperatures returned. It was generally cloudy, dank and dismal for most of December though it has to be said, not really cold or wet. On Monday as it promised to be gorgeous we got up early and went to the vaccination centre in Cartagena to try and get our boosters but it was children only until 3pm, adults late afternoon. At least we knew when to try again. But after that we carried on towards Mar Menor for a very pleasant walk on Calblanque beach where the dogs had a whale of a time and thoroughly stretched their various length legs.

And to finish, Poco continues to choose some bizarre sleeping positions….

Do you like my new hat?
Snuggling up with Ditto and NO he is not photoshopped in there!
Look at his little crossed paws!!!
Yes, he’s cute BUT ………..3 guesses who was responsible for this mess!

A few days ago we were successfully boosted, quite a festive one it seems. Also we were able to get our booster certificates so we decided to celebrate when we got home.

Someone didn’t use spell check!

And so all that remains is to wish all our friends and family a very Happy New Year and hope to see more of you in 2022, either here or in the UK. We have a visit scheduled in March but who knows what the situation will be by then??

Feliz año nuevo