Always good to get your priorities right no matter where you happen to find yourself.
A Macmillan Coffee morning, which turned into more of a Sangria morning, followed the next evening by a lovely event sampling Tapas made at home by the locals, and sold from stalls set around the village square, with the proceeds going to the village charity.
There were hundreds of people sitting out in the warm, late September evening, and children played together long into the night, all under the watchful eye of the collective grown-ups.
I didn’t see ONE of the kids glued to an iPad or iPhone. They were playing football, riding bikes and scooters. The younger girls were laughing together, and having girly gossips, and all were popping back to Mum and Dad at regular intervals for a drink. They were engaging with their friends and families.
And even on this darkest of nights, in a far off land, not one of the children was abducted, nor broke a limb despite playing out till midnight, and they all survived being without their technology!
To continue my quest for perfect timing, I purposely didn’t want my 3 large boxes to arrive until I had moved into the apartment and got a bit more organised.
I knew from past experienced that once collected, it would only take a couple of days for them to turn up. But although the online booking system was happy to take my details and money to collect 1 box for Spain, 3 of them was clearly, 2 boxes too many, and it took many frustrating attempts to get a ‘your items will be collected on’’ confirmation.
Even then I had to rely on the lovely Roz and Jenny to oversee things, and hope from afar that our usual dreadlocked UPS driver, wouldn’t gate crash a wedding when he collected them.
Thankfully, in the end, about 3 ‘working days’ later, they all arrived safe, but a little battered at the local Mailpoint office in the village and all that remained was for Sandra and myself to drive down in her little Fiesta and collect them.
Now it’s one thing for a young, fit and hunky UPS man to load 3 very heavy boxes into his truck in Essex, but it’s quite another for a couple of 60 something females ( one of whom makes Warwick Davies look reasonably tall ) who are both happy to be complete strangers to the gym, to manoeuvre 30kg or so of assorted knickers, books, pots and pans and fairy lights into a very small car in Spain.
Not to mention short but potentially hazardous steep flight of stairs leading up to my front door.
I can tell you we were literally GASPING for alcohol after such an exhausting experience,… and I took the heavy end.
So now with what remained of my worldly goods haphazardly stacked in the hall way, the only thing missing was the dog.
One of the other questions I was asked over and over when people got to hear that I was off to Spain was, ‘what are you going to do with Buddy’’.
I was tempted to reply that I was intending to A) sell him on eBay too, as it was my go – to destination to offload unwanted items. B) Tie him to the gates of the nearest RSPCA gate with his blanket and a ‘please look after me’ note pinned on it, or C) for the shock value, dispatch him to doggy heaven.
Seriously, are people genuinely that bloody daft even to ask the question. Curiously the same people seemed quite amazed by my eventual truthful answer, as they didn’t even know, that the option of getting Buddy to Spain by professional pet courier, even existed.
In my absence, as I was already in Spain, Buddy was carefully loaded onto the pet coach by his much loved pet- sitter, Maria, and she handed over my boy into the capable hands of Steve and Sharon from Transpet, who (along with several other 4 legged furry friends), would be driving Buddy from the UK to Spain. www.trans-pet.com/
This is a journey Buddy has done with them before and having thoroughly researched all potential Pet Couriers some 5 years ago when I first bought him into the UK, I know they are the mutt’s nuts of their profession.
Unlike some other couriers, the Trans-Pet vehicle has its own sleeping area for Steve and Sharon, and they never leave the animals unattended. Whereas I recall another pet courier telling me that the dogs are left locked in their van overnight in a secure Hotel car park because, I quote ‘the driver needs his sleep as it’s a long journey’.
And so a few days ago my bouncy boy arrived at my door in Spain, full of beans as usual, and he was just a little bit pleased to see me!
He promptly ‘christened’ the garden, gave the place the once sniff over, and within 5 minutes had found his special look out spot and was dozing in the sun.
Now, after 8 WIFI less days, if only we could get the internet restored, as easily as I’ve accomplished these other far more difficult jobs, life would be perfect.
But then, this IS Spain!