This week’s happenings 

So what happened this week.  

Monday after the girls had gone, our wifi guy Cristian, who’s also a marinero here came to finish sorting our wifi out. We have a great system on the boat for finding all the wifi signals in the area, but when you’re in a marina obviously you use the wifi they provide. Well after the frustrations of it taking one day to download a tv programme – I swear I could have produced and directed the programme quicker – we decided to invest in a new antenna and router. Whilst this may I suppose seem a frivolous expense, as the nights are drawing in and it’s getting cooler and dark at 7, there is nothing better than sitting down at night to watch some telly. Although after the first day of installation on Sunday I was whooping with joy, Cristian was not happy with the speed we were getting and decided to change the router box on Monday.

This meant that the job for Tuesday was getting the cable from the antenna at the stern of the boat to the router inside without it going straight down steps and along the floor. Needless to say we spent hours crawling on all fours feeding cable though cubby holes in the floor and taking bits of floor up. One thing you need to understand is every cubby hole is already full, whether it be with wiring, spare parts, or our belongings, it was literally like trying to thread a needle. It’s funny how one job creates another, now I know that there is dirt under there, it needs to be hoovered before all the floor or cubby hole covers can go back again.  

It’s all fitted nicely, with a bit of help from Ray – Craig is not at all comfortable with electrics, but having built his own boat, Ray is our go to guy – although it might have been a bit better if he hadn’t got that electric shock!!

That’s another day gone, and by the end of it, hooray I can now actually live stream tv- shame there’s nothing decent on! And I mean for anyone who watches Our Girl, why on earth would you kill off someone as gorgeous as Elvis – that’s so wrong, in protest at losing some eye candy I refuse to watch the rest of the series, oh it’s the last one, my protest it seems is in vain. So the positive outcome is super fast internet, the negative, my knees weren’t really made for crawling around the floor, and by Wednesday morning both of our backs are screaming in protest, just a gentle reminder we are no longer spring chickens.

When I start typing this it’s 1.40 a.m. Saturday- I can’t sleep, so I thought I’d do something until Mr Sandman calls, now I’m remembering the one thing they say you should not do before you go to bed is look at your phone or iPad – wish that had come to mind earlier!

Wednesday – ah yes, Wednesday was a national holiday here – All Saints Day – held on November 1st this particular public holiday centres around remembering dead family members. Most people will visit the graves of relatives and decorate them with elaborate floral displays. Roads around cemeteries will be crammed with traffic, flower sellers line the streets and, in many places, additional public transport services are organised. Although this might sound over-commercialised and hectic it is actually, for most people, a day of high emotions. The Eucharist, or Mass, will often be performed in the cemetery several times during the day. Unfortunately this year, it seems that the Guardia rather than dealing with traffic issues were having to deal with hooligans in the region who had decided to go on the rampage the night before on Halloween.  

It’s only a few days ago but I’m struggling to recall what happened when, because the reality is well some days nothing happens, I mean we do nothing!

Yes, Wednesday we had a dire situation on the boat, I can’t actually believe I’ve forgotten because the trauma of it at the time was well, overwhelming. We had finally used all the English Tea Bags and were having to drink Carrefour tea! I do use the word Tea very loosely, and I think if we actually examined the contents of the tea bag we could actually sue under some trades description law, if they have such a thing here. I think the tiny little bags were mostly full of tea bag dust from the floor where the proper tea is made – dire is the only word I can think of. Well, as I was sure that someone had said they sell PG Tips at the Chinese supermarket, Craig went off on a mission. Five minutes after he left, having heard my plight Ray brought around a massive bag of Typhoo tea bags for me – he’s my new hero.

Craig hadn’t taken his phone so I couldn’t tell him of Ray’s kind deed and unfortunately he spent the next hour trying to find English Tea Bags which it seems weren’t available at the Chinese supermarket or anywhere else for that matter. He did manage though to find two glass brandy glasses, it seems our acrylic glasses are less than satisfactory, although they don’t seem to have been that bad given the amount of brandy he’s drunk from them!

Thursday 

I have absolutely no recollection as to what happened on that day!

Friday

There’s currently a big street market/fayre on until Sunday and we were going to have a walk around it. Unfortunately the fresh water pump decided on Thursday night to spring a leak and not turn off, consequently Friday we had to take it apart to see if we could fix it. It’s quite amazing how many components something like this has, particularly when each bit is covered in gunk and has to be cleaned before it can be put together again. All I can say is thank goodness for the internet and PDF manuals. It’s a shame I didn’t have swear box on board, I would have made a fortune! 5 hours after the job started, its cleaned, put back together, result. Poo, what, there’s a bit still on the table. Ok take the top half off again, put it back together again. All parts are now accounted for.

Screw the pump to the back plate, put it all back under the sink and Bob’s your uncle.

Poo, what now, he’s put it on the backplate upside down. Ok, take it all down, take it off, turn it round, screw it back together, hooray. Everything is now where it should be,

Power on, water on, pump kicks in, good, good, no leak. Water off, pump shuts down – er no. Failure. Poo, poo.

I’m using the word poo, as I thinks that’s slightly more acceptable than putting the words which were actually used in print.

Fortunately my tea bag hero, Ray, has a spare pump, which he has leant us until a new one arrives (more expense), so all is now well. Flowing water, no leak, and not the constant sound of a motor running – imagine having a lawn mower in your lounge running non stop – you get the gist.

Now tell me how many people have you ever met, where after knowing them for a 6 weeks, would let’s say lend you their spare microwave, or washing machine until you get a new one, and crawl around on hands and needs helping you fit it – think about it, not many I bet, but that’s the equivalent of what we’re talking about.

So pump saga aside, and on a completely different note altogether, in October off the coast of this region 656 refugees were brought ashore, many of whom including the last 56 on one boat last Saturday are picked up just off the coast of Cartagena. Well yesterday we actually witnessed another 20 -30 coming in on the back of a Guardia Civil boat, and two small speedboats being towed back to shore. It actually is a massive problem here.

Friday night we went for sundowners and about 10 of us the went to a cheap pizza/pasta place. I took the opportunity to quiz my friend Val on the tea bag situation, no she said, they’re in the supermarket blah blah, which has a Chinese supermarket underneath it. Oh well, never mind, the exercise did him good!

For €3.90 each we had a great cheap and cheerful meal and a really good night out, as always of an evening the city was buzzing, children’s fairground rides, the street market was alive, and a youth orchestra playing outside the grand hotel.

The street markets on till Sunday, and the Jazz Festival which runs for 3 weeks starts today with free concerts every Saturday in one of the Plazas. So lots going on.

It’s 02.44 now, I’ll hold it here for now, and come back and update later in the weekend, must try to get some zzzz’s!

Saturday, well the marina is full this morning. We have been joined by two cruise ships, Mylin iv, valued at $70 million, yes another super yacht. This ones privately owned by a guy with a net worth of US$7.7 billion!! Yes well his father did start a cruise liner company, oh and he owns a Gulfstream private jet as well.


We also have with us what is called the ‘Church boat’, currently housing 25 Swedish teenagers. To be honest I will be glad when they leave, certainly from the female perspective given the state the girls have left the toilets and showers in, it seems they haven’t heard that Cleanliness is next to Godliness!  Now is it because they’re teenagers that they generally behave with little regard for others – boys throwing water bottles around in the showers – or is it because they’re ‘church’ children, and as a consequence are liked coiled springs suddenly being released when away from the eyes of their parents, or teachers?  I’ll leave that one with you.

Also we have Muzuni, a 99ft super yacht, available for charter at €45,000 per week in the summer, by the way that doesn’t include expenses.

After cleaning the boat we took a wander to the Mercado Baroque – held each year, the theme this year is, wait for it, yes you’ve got it you bright people, Baroque! 120 stalls selling artisan products with many of the smallholders dressed in costume (historical rather than fancy dress!)



We bought the best crisps ever, spotted some rather unusual coloured cheese, and stalls of sweets, which we managed to steer clear of.


A short walk away from the market area is Plaza del Acue and we managed to catch some of the free concert today.


Back to the boat via the delicious bakers, no cake for me today, but they have iced doughnuts and pastries you couldn’t even begin to imagine.

Pop in to a church on the way back, absolutely stunning. I feel a bit odd taking photos in churches, but Craig’s happy to snap away so these are his photos.


And I wanted to share these with you, Spanish graffiti – yes I know it’s still vandalism, but it’s certainly artistic.  Maybe this is the Spanish Banksy.

Saturday night another wedding reception – is it sad that I now know the tunes for the Spanish hits?

That reminds me, Val has decided she’s going to organise the celebration for my 50th next year.  I said I was happy for everyone else to celebrate and I’ll just stay home watching tv, but she’s not having any of it.  Ok, but no fancy dress, and as long as I can dance the night away to 80’s tunes, and oops upside your head I’ll be happy – she’s now grinning like a Cheshire Cat.  Although given the average age of the marina residents, I think some gas and air at least will need to be on hand.

And the best thing about Saturday, roast chicken, roast potatoes, veg and homemade Yorkshire pudding.  Delicious!

Sunday – I look at the watch next to my bed and it tells me it’s 08.52, I remember my watch is an hour out and the clocks went forward, omg it’s nearly 10 o clock and I wanted to get some laundry on before all the machines get commandeered today.  I’m flapping around, getting dressed, in the saloon I check the clock, nooo! You numpty your watch was an hour fast and the clocks went back not forward, it’s not even 8 o clock yet!!  Poo, still I’m up now might as well get on with it.

We had been told, we thought reliably, that there was a classic motorcycle race starting outside the marina today – there’s no sign of anything – Google to the rescue- it’s next weekend, so at least next Sunday I have a chance of getting Craig up in time!

A rowing race is starting in the harbour, no, start delayed – there’s a cruise ship coming in.  Probably for the best, rowing boat vs cruise ship not a good combo.

The boat next to us is preparing for their race in the harbour later, slight issue, at the moment there is zero wind!  Maybe they should invite the rowers on board.

No, I think they’ll be ok by half 10 the wind is certainly picking up – it could be blowy out there. Oh, how quickly the weather changes.

Muzuni have decided to leave NOW, but it seems a crew member is still in town, and there’s a frantic phone call, along the lines of get your arse back here now!  Still it’s giving the other crew members a chance to slag him off.

Sunday p.m. Off to the barbecue, great afternoon once again, with a musical interlude provided by the marina instrument players.


Met some more great people including one who lived in Huntingdon, and knew Papworth very well.  It really is a small world!

So that’s a round up of our week.  For the week coming, well who knows what will happen.

Laters xx

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