13th December 2016. Altea and L’Albir, Spain.

The next couple of days were ‘working’ days.  Darren had paid work to do and lots of ‘tasks’ that he’d been meaning to do for the last few months, I had photos to edit and needed to catch up on the blog which was a few weeks out of date (just for a change!).  I also had some household chores that desperately needed doing.

One of the tasks I’ve been meaning to do since we left home was to sew some pop studs on the covers which I’d made for our seat cushions the night before we started our adventure (I was SOOO proud of that achievement).  How hard could it be!

With hindsight I should have stuck to Velcro (excuse the pun).  Needlework was never my strong point, at secondary school I rarely got further than partially pinning out the pattern each lesson before having to take it off the material so it could be used by the pupils in the next class.  During the years we did needlework at secondary school I made an apron with my name on it, a skirt and a halter neck top, I think only the apron was wearable!

When our children were little and needed costumes for school I used four methods to construct them.  1. Tacking stitch (in my case that meant HUGE stitches, I also used them when turning up trouser legs and consequently many a time I’ve caught my toe in the stitches as I’ve put my trousers on).  2. Sticking with glue.  3. Stapling and  4. Velcro.

Sewing on name tags was my bête noir.  I eventually settled on writing in our boys school uniform with a Biro.  One day I was queuing at the school reception and I heard a new mum ask the receptionist, Sharon, if she could order some name tags.  Trying to be helpful I told her it was a horribly time consuming task so I always wrote our children’s names in their clothes in pen, the lady was pleased with that solution until Sharon asked me if she could be of assistance and it dawned on my that my solution to naming cloths might be a bit rubbish because I was about to request a search through lost property to look for our youngest son’s sweatshirt. It took a while to rummage through the box of lost items until I eventually found a sweatshirt without a name tag but on close inspection his name could just about be made out.  Whoops!

I’d like to say that encouraged me to start sewing on tags again, but sadly it didn’t, I switch to using a pen with indelible ink though, and many a time during their school years I could be found rummaging through the lost property looking for clothes sporting the feint outline of their names.

On one bizarre occasion, at their junior school, I was engrossed in looking through the lost property box and Mr Jeffs the Head Master came up and asked nicely what I was looking for, I told him I was looking for any sweatshirts which belonged to J. Ong or G. Simpson.  He gave me a VERY strange look as I hurriedly explained that my friends had given me their children’s old sweatshirts, I hadn’t bothered to take their name tags out and now Gethan had lost them!  Embarrassing!

I’d had a similar problem at the local leisure centre when Morgan went for an after school activity, changed into his sports clothes and left the bag with his uniform hanging in the changing room.  When I phoned to ask whether they’d found it they asked me my name, they then informed me they had found a uniform but it had the name J. Pitkin on it, again I had to explain that my friend had passed it on and I had neglected to rename it!  It seems my laziness knows no bounds.

Anyway I digress, yet again.

I began sewing the pop studs on the cushion covers.  I made certain that the first bit of the stud was well and truly secured, I didn’t want it coming off in a hurry, then I got the corresponding part and discovered that I’d sewn the first part on upside down!  OOOOH!  It took a quite while to unpick that.  I sewed it back on again then repositioned the corresponding part and sewed that on very carefully.  I was feeling quite proud when it was done until I picked it up to show Darren and realised I’d sew it on too far over.  D’oh!  Off it came, I repositioned it once again, taking a lot more care this time but AGAIN when I went to clip the two parts together they weren’t placed correctly.  Aaaaaargggh!  I HATE SEWING!  I’m pleased to say I EVENTUALLY learned from my mistakes and it didn’t take too long to get the remaining three pairs sewn onto the cushion covers.

After that little fiasco we went out on the bikes to get an ice cream, we cycled up to L’Albir only to find that the ice cream shop was closed.  NOOOO!

Although this was a big disaster in Darren’s eyes there was soon to be a silver lining to the cloud when I discovered a sign for a German restaurant on the level above which advertised that it made vegetarian and vegan food, I was so excited.

It took me ages to choose something to eat, I’m not used to having a choice of more than two items.  The food was gorgeous, I had a ‘burger’ made from aubergines, courgettes and cheese but it was sandwiched between two potatoes pancakes and to make things even better the salad had pickled red and white cabbage which we loved in Scandinavia and Germany.  I’d intended having apple pancakes for dessert but the main course was so filling that I couldn’t find the space.

Darren had a meat burger which he said was very tasty too.

During our meal we spent a lot of time watching a family of cats playing together.  The kitten was very cheeky, he kept trying to pounce on the other cats, we enjoyed watching him practice stalking his family.  It didn’t take long before the older cats grew tired of his antics and he was ‘put in his place’.  Once he’d calmed down and they had some peace they all went to lay down on the warm roof to sun themselves.

After lunch we cycled back to the van and carried on more successfully with our tasks.

In the evening we Skyped Morgan to wish him a Happy Birthday and had a nice chat with him and his lovely girlfriend Eloise.



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