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Now that all the Christmas and New Year celebrations have finished here in Spain, we are moving ahead with 2017 plans.
Before I move ahead though, our Christmas and New Year here were great. It was a first for both of us having a BBQ for Christmas Day lunch. About 30 of the live aboards from here and from the next door marina got together and shared BBQ suckling pig, turkey, baked potatoes, stuffing and gravy for which Julia, Giles, Lorraine and Chris had prepared and we paid €5 per head. Additionally Duncan and Pat prepared the BBQs, tables etc and then each family provided either a salad or a pudding to add to the dinner. We had a great time. Met some new people, spent time with existing friends and all sat in the sunshine on 25th Dec.
On Boxing Day a group of us met up for a walk to the nearest beach, Cala Cortina, and some of us had a swim. That included me. Yes I swam on 26th December with no wetsuit. I quite enjoyed it. Again it was a nice sunny day and low 20’s air temperature by the time we were getting out of the water so not cold when getting re-dressed. In the evening, I cooked a more traditional dinner for us, Pat and Duncan. A rolled stuffed capon with roasties (using the goose fat I brought back from the UK), sprouts, red cabbage, roasted carrots and parsnips. I cooked on Gleda then we carried it over to Samji as Pat and Duncan have the inside space for eating. Whilst it is reaching low to mid 20’s by lunchtime and the afternoon, when the sun drops below the hill it starts heading for single figures quite quickly so eating on deck on Gleda was not an option.
New Year’s Eve we held another BBQ at the marina and again everyone chipped in with a shared dish. It was another great evening with everyone chatting and a few getting up to dance to stave off the chill. Not sure if Duncan was dancing to stave off the chill or to wear off the wine – you had to be there! #duncandoesdisco New Year’s Day after a walk to Cala Cortina again, this time I didn’t swim although Neil did, as it was a bit cloudy and the air temperature not so warm, I cooked Neil and I a roast turkey dinner. I had picked up a turkey from the Mercadona supermarket and have to say that it was the best tasting turkey EVER. Massively good value too. I paid just over €9.00 for the whole turkey (I don’t remember the size) but we had 5 meals out of it (10 in total) and we could probably have gotten 2 more but the meat was so nice we had extra on our plate for the first meal. I had initially removed the legs and used them as a meal so I cooked the turkey as a crown. We then had 2 roast dinners and 4 lunches, including soup, from the leftovers. I was going to get another one this week but I was too late as they are no longer available. We noticed that in the run up to Christmas that sweet items and chocolates are in abundance in the supermarkets but the choice is quite limited the rest of the year. This makes these items extra special as you can’t get them all the time.
What we did find out is for Spanish children the big day for presents isn’t Christmas Day but Three Kings Day – El Did De Los Reyes. Neil has written a post about the history and the parade – click here. Again, Cartagena has surprised us with the sheer number of free events it puts on to entertain its citizens. Between Christmas and 3 Kings Day there were numerous events for the children happening in town including daily plays being put on in San Francisco Plaza. The carnival parade on 5th January (Ephinany) was great and kids and adults had a fun time. The town was busier than the parades during the Roman & Carthaginian festival. Again there was no collections or requests for donations from the crowds. During the parade, the floats threw sweets to the crowds and the 3 Kings threw soft toys.
For those of you who read Neil’s blog at www.thegledaproject.com you will know that we are staying put in Cartagena for 15 months and the reasons for doing so – click here for Neil’s full post. I’m looking forward to “living” here longer term. I think Neil was a bit concerned that I didn’t have any particular opinion on staying or moving on. To be honest, I will be happy to do either. I don’t have any burning ambition to sail, as you all know, but then I don’t mind when we need to sail in order to get to somewhere new. I’m happy living on Gleda with Neil in a warm and welcoming country. I feel safe here and if staying here is what Neil needs in order to provide for us then I’m happy with that. My major “to do” is to sail in the Greek Islands (notice I said “in” not necessarily “to”) and that doesn’t need to happen this year or even next year. It’ll happen when it happens.
What am I going to do while Neil works on his plan. To be honest no idea. Must admit that I’ve been in a bit of a funk since Christmas on some days. Possibly due to some nagging continuous very minor ‘health’ issues which just haven’t let me feel 100%. A sore, toothache, bad migraine, backache, broken bridge….. I haven’t yet restarted my sock knitting although yesterday I did actually get it out of the box. I did make a cushion cover but more from necessity than any desire to craft. Haven’t quite got my mojo. It’s not far away but not quite there. I have had fun with creating a Bullet Journal (BuJo) for 2017. Even that though wasn’t quite as satisfying as I hoped. A lot of the bullet journalists on You Tube are very arty. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body and I was intimidated by how fabulous their journals looked. However, the original Ryder Carroll bullet journal system was basic with no fancy artsy bits so I made a start. I have used coloured erasable pens which jazz it up a bit and some header ideas I found on You Tube so it’s not too bad. Pity I didn’t know about it when I was working. I like it. I’m still journalling about my day, as in writing, separately. Comes in handy when writing my blog.
Anyhows, here’s wishing you all a Peaceful, Happy & Healthy 2017.