Quite a month as far as news of the not very exciting kind goes!

Sort of accidentally and on impulse we have adopted a rescue dog of which there are thousands in Spain. We both follow local facebook groups and one day in late August, Nigel said to me, “I’ve just seen a lovely little dog in Cartagena who needs a new home.” My reply was “Is he called Bruno by any chance? I spotted him this morning and felt drawn to him.” Unbeknownst to me, Nigel had already made enquiries about him. And so that’s how it started. As it happens, Bruno was already re-homed but we kept looking and then this little chap turned up. He was allegedly 7 months old but the vet has stamped his passport as him being 1 year, so dob unknown really. He’s the tiniest dog we’ve ever had and I never would have believed I’d see my husband on one end of the lead with such a little scrap but he has already made an impact.

First encounters
He soon found the pocket with the dog treats in

We went to see him on 1st September, decided we would like him, he had the snip, microchip and passport the next day and we picked him up the day after. We decided to name him “Poco” as it means little in Spanish and it really suits him. We’ve had him two weeks now, the others have accepted him well, although Belle tells him off if he gets too close as we thought she would being an old lady set in her ways. Poco adores us and is very loving and cute. He is not keen on the car, we take him out frequently in his little canvas cage to get him used to it. We have not yet had them all together in the big cage but no doubt we will try that eventually. From the first night they all slept together in their own beds in the kitchen with no yapping or grumbles from the bigger two.

Unfortunately, the day we got him Nigel tripped in the courtyard and went down bashing his ribs on the corner of a concrete plant pot. That was him out of action for several days. Bedrest and ibuprofen eventually helped and after a week or so he was able to move more easily and resume light duties!!

Ditto, being much nearer in age to Poco, seems delighted with his new energetic playmate
Shaun the sheep toy didn’t last long!!!

We decided we were not going to tell anyone about Poco until after Richard and Aoife’s visit and surprise them, which is imminent. As I begin this first part of the blog we are both busy cleaning, tidying and preparing for their arrival. The very hot weather was somewhat debilitating so we let things slide a bit outside and in, so now we need to get straight again!

It was aways on the cards that we would try and update the kitchen at some point. This was never going to happen before their visit, although we have had a quote which is higher than we had anticipated so no decisions have been made on that yet. But we needed a larger fridge freezer in any case and as we weren’t fussed about having integrated appliances if we were to upgrade the kitchen, we decided to make the most of a special offer at Media Markt from whom we had already bought a dishwasher and washing machine with relative ease of delivery. This was not the case with the new fridge! Firstly we had major problems with several attempted missed deliveries, them not being able to find the house despite clear instructions being issued. Eventually after about a week, Nigel met the delivery men at the local petrol station and guided them here. Now we knew it was a biggun, and getting it in the house might be an issue and yes, it wouldn’t go through the gate to the back door.

Will it or won’t it???
Oh no!!!!! Oh yes!!!!!

We had specified this on ordering it and were told that there was an option of having a technician arrive to remove the doors to get it in. No technician arrived, the delivery men were not allowed to “tamper” with it and neither could they wait whilst we resolved the issue.

Headless man removing fridge doors.

So they left it with us, Nigel removed the doors and we carried them inside but the fridge had to wait outside overnight (good job it wasn’t raining) and we got help the next day to bring it inside. All assembled then apart from the water and ice dispenser which needed plumbing into the mains water pipe under the sink. There then followed several days of many hard to understand phone calls from the LG technician who wanted to come and make sure it was properly installed as part of the guarantee which again resulted in me running up to the camp site where I had told him not to go because you can’t drive through that way! By the time I got to where he said he was, I got a message from my neighbour to say there is an LG man at your gate……….he had found us all by himself in the end!!!!

Here it is in its temporary position

So now we have plenty of fridge and freezer space, the only problem will be filling it! In the winter, especially, I like to batch cook and freeze extra portions so now I’ll have room to start this again. So that is the saga (or farce as one of my friends put it), of the new Crompton fridge freezer.

I had my work cut out after this getting the spare room ready for visitors but ……

Well, now our long awaited visitors have been and gone, like all good things one looks forward to, it seems to have gone in a flash.

We had a lovely time, they loved the house and garden, we got out and about to different places but also spent time enjoying the pool and each other’s company.

The day they arrived we had a short walk on the beach at Bolnuevo after a leisurely lunch and introduction to the house. Shock horror, we got rained on but only briefly. Back home for drinks, a meal and an early night!

We had home made BBQ burgers for tea, unfortunately it looked like it was going to rain so we ate inside

Day two we had an earlyish start to avoid the afternoon heat. We drove up to the Mazarron guns at Cabo Tiñoso and had a lovely walk on the headland.

murciatoday.com/the-batteries-and-gun-emplacements-at-castillitos-and-el-jorel-cabo-tiñoso_3019-a.html(opens in a new tab)

It is compulsory, if you are young and fit enough, to climb on the guns for a photo opportunity
Old lady Belle came along for her first walk in a long time. She was very stiff the next day,
metacam to the rescue!

Back home we chilled around the pool again and then went out for dinner in the evening, first time for us since living here and very strange to be driving in the dark when we came home.

Saturday we went into Cartagena, first for PCR tests and then to have a look around the city which was new for us too, we only scratched the surface, as we didn’t want to leave the dogs on their own at home too long and it was still too hot to take them with us. Lots more to see next time.

Sailing tuition in the bay
Roman amphitheatre from above
And below
Raised beds amongst the Roman ruins struck us as rather odd
A stroll around the castle.
The new auditorium in which outdoor events are held. All concrete seats, take a cushion!!
More new architecture to contrast with the Roman
Even this super yacht was dwarfed by the huge cruise ship that was docked in the bay
Spanish naval vessels
Cartagena shipyard

We strolled around the old town shopping centre for a short while stopping for coffee and beer at a bar.

Just as we paid for our coffee and were about to leave this bar some entertainment
of the musical variety arrived.

Saturday evening we ate at home, it was very mild so out went the table and chairs again and we ate outside. On Sunday we drove, leaving Belle at home, up into the mountains of the Sierra Espuna, causing Richard to exclaim, “Cor, next time we come I’m bringing my mountain bike.” Unfortunately there was some religious event on, meaning closed roads and a long diversion so we were in the car much longer than we had hoped to be but we had a pleasant walk in the hills up to some ice caves where in the days before refrigeration, snow was packed, compressed into ice and then transported to be sold in Cartagena and Murcia. Backbreaking work we all imagined and apparently one third of it had melted by the time it was delivered which we could quite easily understand, even end of September we were sweating although the air temperature was much cooler up in the hills.

Looking down on the restored ice house
Ditto leading the way

After our walk we had a very pleasant Sunday lunch out at a hotel in the hills. Poco was a bit of a pain, he wouldn’t settle and there was no shade to leave them in the car so it was not quite as relaxing as we had hoped. However, the food was lovely. Next time he stays at home or learns to sit quietly under the table like the others do. It didn’t help that a large ginger cat lived there and kept walking past the table!!!

Monday, the day R and A were returning home but not till late afternoon, came all too quickly. We had thought they would prefer to have a quiet day at home before getting to the airport and we were right However they had to have a quick drive into Cartagena to the hospital to get their test results which had not arrived on their phones as we had expected. All was good and they came back with breakfast pastries. A leisurely day ensued with me making pizzas and Nigel cooking them on the BBQ for our main meal just before leaving for the airport.

Crompton Pool Pizza Parlour

And so now we are all alone again but not for long as our friend Philippa is arriving for a few days on 18th October. We had to be very careful to count all 3 dogs were still here before they left as “someone” wanted to steal Poco and take him home with her.

And can you blame her????