Saturday, January 31, 2009

Where is the time going?

We had a good night out last night. A quiz night in Cala'n Bosch with Adrienne and Pedro. The four of us came bottom.
Questions :- What was the telly tubbies song called. Who did Cilla Black call for the next person to come on down. Who was Noddy's best friend. What do you call bread to dip in eggs. How many years did Sleeping Beauty sleep for - AND WE CAME BOTTOM...

Today we are surrounded with boxes, all empty, waiting for books, pictures and ornaments.

We have sold - as you may have guessed. Our new owners take this on 23rd Feb with us signing in front of the Notario the same day - when money changes hands which happens to be the day before sobrasada day - the day the locals fry local sausages on the beach (weather permitting) and the Brits have pancakes.

We have sold most of the furniture to the buyers but are also having a 'sale' of table top stuff on the 14th Feb in the mornng.

It is strange, very weird to start this new life. BECAUSE Brian and I met on the the day we got the offer and got engaged on 3rd February and made a date to marry on 14th February 1973. But we ended up marrying in May 1973.

We are starting over and are both excited about it and do have regrets about leaving friends here but look forward to making new ones and keeping in touch with old ones in UK. We will be back to visit.

Our 'stuff' will be boxed up and put in the new unit in Mahon until we are ready for it end of June.

Weather here today is grey, dull and cold. We could really do with some nice weather. It was a lot better last year when most of end of Jan was sunny and warm and it continued through.

We have been unable to sit outside coffee shops since before Christmas. It is a shame and so dull, but not so cold as UK and thankfully not so hot as Oz.

From 19th Feb will have no internet access from home so will use the internet cafe when we come into town. I will miss that. But, hold on, I could spend time writing that book I have tucked away somewhere. My laptop will be there, staring at me, asking to be used for writing other than solitaire and other silly things... I must just get on and do it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Offer accepted on green door

The photo above is the studio/office/shed/dugout/what ever, down the bottom of the garden

HARTLEY WINTNEY Hunts Cottages, Hunts Common

The thud of leather against willow is a sound that has resonated in Hartley Wintney since 1770. In fact, the Hampshire village’s cricket club holds the honour of being the oldest in the country.
Cricket has been played on the green every season ever since — another claim to fame for longevity. And it’s this sense of history and continuity that gives Hartley Wintney its special character.
The first evidence of a settled community in the area is recorded in the 13th century, with reference to a place called Hertleye Wynteneye. But it wasn’t until the 18th century that the modern village came into being when it became established as a coaching stop on the London to Exeter road, now the A30.
Today, with its many listed buildings and its conservation area status, echoes of the past remain in Hartley Wintney. To ensure the village remains unspoilt in the future, its preservation society keeps a watchful eye on any planning proposals.
In addition to the buildings, natural features have also survived, such as the medieval Dilly Pond, which thanks to villagers’ conservation efforts, has recently been restored to its former glory having become silted up and overgrown through years of neglect.
And for residents and visitors who like to get out and about, the area offers several beautiful walks, all different in character.
Of particular interest is Hazeley Heath. Because of the rare plants and wildlife found upon it — particularly rare birds — the heath is part of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.
It has a diverse range of habitats with some dry, sandy stretches as well as marshy wetland and wooded sections.
In contrast to the stark wildness of the heath, the famous Mildmay Oaks provide gentler, greener surroundings.
The trees were planted in 1807 by Lady St John Mildmay, in response to a call to landowners for more timber for shipbuilding by Admiral Collingwood after the Battle of Trafalgar.
Fortunately, the trees avoided the lumberjack’s axe and have now grown into mature specimens providing pleasant walks within the plantation.
Similarly, the Community Orchard is another place where locals can take a leafy stroll in a historical setting.
The trees were planted on Hunts Common in 2000 by the parish council, with the aim of maintaining the orchard’s traditional use as an area for communal activities.
It was also designed to be a living museum through the planting of a specific selection of apple trees and species of berries and nuts, some of which were once found only in Hampshire and south-east England.
It is these rural suroundings, coupled with the strong sense of community often associated with village life, that make Hartley Wintney such a desirable area to live.
As Gavin Myers of Carsons puts it: “Hartley Wintney is a place for people who want a little slice of traditional England with red telephone boxes and duckponds, and who also like an outdoor life.
“It’s great for activities such as dog walking and horse riding, and there is also a nine-hole golf course. I would say it’s a niche market for a particular group of people and, because of this, the village has a special place in the hearts of those who live there.”
Traditional it may be, but that doesn’t mean the village is cut off from the outside world or stuck in the past.
Richard Day of Hamptons says: “Hartley Wintney has some interesting and quirky little shops, but when it comes to everyday shopping, it’s easy to get to other centres.
“Fleet is just down the road, then if you want something a bit bigger, there’s Camberley and Basingstoke nearby. And for serious shopping, Reading with its excellent selection of shops, is just half an hour away.”
Add to all this the fact that the area boasts some excellent schools, both state and private, and it is little wonder that houses in Hartley Wintney tend to sell quickly when they become available.
Steve Tetlow of Mackenzie Smith has worked in the area for 29 years. “This is a desirable area and it always will be, so when houses come on the market, provided they are correctly priced, they don’t hang around for long,” he said. “But right now, we could do with more houses for sale.
“We’ve seen a lot of activity so far this year and serious buyers seem keen to buy.
“This is good news from the seller’s perspective, but not so good for buyers as there is less choice at the moment.
“We don’t have problems selling the houses, it’s the shortage of properties that is more frustrating.”
But although there’s evidence that some would-be vendors are sitting tight at the current time, anyone looking to buy in the village can take heart from the fact that there will always be those people who have to sell - often referred to as the ‘three Ds’ — divorce, debt and death — so it’s worth keeping an eye on the market to see what’s new.
And there is a varied housing stock to choose from.
“Although there are a number of older, unique houses, there are also some newer ones too, so it’s not a place just for people looking for a Grade II listed home,” continues Gavin Myers.
“But one of the problems we face as estate agents is lack of availability of properties for sale, as they don’t come up very often. It also tends to be a seasonal market, with the majority coming on the market in the spring and summer.”
The knock-on effect of this is that, although as elsewhere, there has been some price correction, generally speaking, values have held up well in the village.
“In a recent survey carried out by, Farnborough and Fleet, which encompasses Hartley Wintney, have been listed in the top ten of areas in England and Wales which have seen least downturn in property prices,” says Richard Day.
“In Hartley Wintney, it’s very much a question of supply and demand. The demand is always there, but the supply is restricted, partly because it’s a village, so there are fewer houses, and also because once people move there, they tend to stay for years.
“This means houses sell well. We recently sold a three-bed-room terrace house at £240,000 within days of it coming on to the market.
“And yes, the area is expensive, but it caters for everyone, so you can pick up an ex-local authority house for about £180,000 through to a four-bedroom detached house from about £375,00, right up to country homes at more than £1,000,000.”
With prices now more affordable than they have been for some years, Steve Tetlow believes this is an ideal time to buy a slice of Hartley Wintney village life, if that is your dream.
“In a strong market, houses in Hartley Wintney attract a premium, but in the current market, this is not true to such an extent,” he said.
“This means, for buyers, it’s a great time to buy as houses have become so much more affordable in the village.
“In fact, this could be a golden opportunity because once the market recovers, houses in this area will quickly become very expensive again, which could mean a missed opportunity for anyone who leaves it too long.”

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cyclone hits Spain from the west

El temporal destroza 35 chalés y un paseo de costa en Cala en Bosc.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Little picture

Found this on facebook. Nice picture of Becky and Tabitha. Any more folks on facebook?
BTW Damien and Hayley, did you know Jim Crouch (you had to call him Uncle Jim!) has died, from Miango, remember him? Look at the facebook page.


"Here there is more silence than noise, and more calm than hustle; as well the island is safe with a very low crime rate and, above all, it isn't industrialised," Bartomeu Riudavets, manager of the Fundaci Turisme Menorca, enthusiastically described the island of Menorca"

My study, with door out to patio with views of the sea. My siesta bed. My thinking room. Not many thoughts lately. Any ideas.

Sunny day last May!!!! With new awning over table.

Shower room, larger, nicer, roomier (for two).
Brian's study on the first floor. Don't know why these pics are coming out small. Perhaps one a page.


This is our place, some new snaps, taken by estate agent. Now reduced again, many lookets, no takers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Adopting an English Setter
Every English Setter we re-home is very important to us and we take great care to ensure that the dog goes to the most suitable home where he/she will be loved and happy for the rest of its life.

When you agree to adopt an English Setter it is important to realise that you will probably not get much information about his/her past life. However we do pass on as much as we are given about each dog so that the new owner is as well informed as possible. Many dogs come to us with no papers and even those who do we do not pass on pedigrees or KC registrations for obvious reasons. It is the dog that is paramount to us when the e-mail arrives or the phone call comes, “Can you help? I have an English Setter I need to re-home.”

A period of adjustment is necessary for a newly re-homed dog and new owners should be prepared for this. They should not expect to be welcoming a perfect, well behaved, trained dog into their home – rescues come ‘warts and all’!

Some English Setters who come to us will need short term veterinary treatment before they can be re-homed. Others may already be receiving medical treatment and this may have to continue for the rest of their lives - this will be discussed at the time of re-homing.
Very occasionally dogs come into Rescue with behavioural problems. These dogs require extra special attention and new owners who are prepared to give them love and, most importantly, time. They can be helped. Eventually the adopter will be the proud owner of a dog that rewards them with total devotion. Our regional helpers are always available to offer advice and give support.

It is a fact that a few Setters come into Rescue in need of a new home for the last years of their lives. They ask nothing more than to have your love, to be cared for and to share a place by your fireside in their old age.
**** SPECIAL HOME NEEDED ****click here for details

The setter above is almost the same as Valentina, the same colours in the same place.


Balearics have 171,072 foreigners with certificates or residence cards

By nationality, the Moroccans account for the greatest number of immigrants with 24,098, followed by the Germans (19,412), British (15,906) and Italians (11,955). These are followed by the Ecuatorians (11,879), Rumanians (10,096), Bulgarians (7,656), Colombians (8,874), Argentinians (7,041) and Chinese (4,006). Other nations represented include Senegal (1,904), Nigeria (1,878) and the Phillipines (1,303).

Road problems

Lots of rain, many roads closed. This is by the hospital, you almost have to go all round the town to get there. Oh well. It is winter, better than when the tourists are here.

Natural Menorca - Biosphere

Just beautiful.


Our part of Ciutadella. The best part.

17 Jan 2009 (annual) 17 January - Menorcan National Day
A National holiday and also known as Sant Antoni day, the patron Saint of the island.

In the deep midwinter on the island of Menorca, when the tourists are long gone, a colourful celebration of the island's liberation from Muslim rule takes place in the old capital, Ciutadella, coinciding with St Anthony's day.

The statue of San Antonio, which normally resides in the cathedral, is given an outing by the locals on St Anthony's Day. The statue is paraded through Ciutadella's centre, followed by the mayor, other dignitaries and the townspeople. In addition to the parade, there is a market where the fruits brought to Europe by the Ummayad Muslims from Damascus in the 9th century are sold. The Muslims may have been ousted by the Christian Aragonese king, Alphonso III, in 1287, but their gifts of dates, oranges and chestnuts are cultivated still. Sample them for yourselves in Ciutadella's Plaça San Antonio after the St Anthony's Day procession.
Related Information
Ciutadella Council Website
Visitor Information
Tourist Offices

The status of capital has changed hands several times between these two towns but since the first British occupation began in 1722 it has been Mahon, or Maó in Catalan, that takes the title. This probably had much to do with the fact it has one of the worlds deepest natural harbours which has been a prize sort after by many an invading force, including the British, over the centuries.
The old town of Mahon is picturesque, well preserved and easy to get around on foot if a little steep in some places. It has four pretty small squares, Plaça Espanya, from which you can see right across the bay to the fantastic fish market, Plaça Carme, with shops and food stalls, Plaça Conquesta and Plaça Constitucio which is home to the towns main church Santa María and the attractive Ajuntament (Town Hall). The main square is Plaça S'Esplanada though it doesn't have the charm of the smaller ones.
At the opposite end of the island, Ciutadella is also perched on top of a hill looking down at its harbour and suffered from quite a few invasions itself but was always second prize to Mahon in terms of strategic importance. The British left the great and good of Menorca to pretty much do their own thing in Ciutadella and because this it doesn't have the Colonial air that yo may feel in Mahon. It's a very attractive, compact town and though small manages to squeeze in its own Cathedral.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day of the Kings - three wise men.

Above a photo of - from left to right - Emily, Freddie, Gaby, Jack, Tabitha and Isabella at the back.

El dia de Reyes

Los Tres Reyes Magos literally means "The Three King Wizards", but is usually interpreted to mean "The Three Wise Men" or "The Three Kings". Their celebration day (January 6th) is refered to as "Three Kings Day" or just "The Day of the Kings".

As you may know the Three Kings, Balthasar (Spanish = Baltasar), Gaspar and Melchior (Spanish = Melchor) arrived twelve days after the birth of Jesus, bearing their famous gifts of gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

On January 5th in most Spanish towns is the "la cabalgata" (the calvacade) which is a parade marking the arrival of the Three Kings. The Three Kings ride on floats throwing candy to the children. In the Canary and Balaeric Islands the Three Kings arrive by ship! Not in Ciutadella...

Last night, 5th January, the three Kings paraded through Ciutadella in fine style. There were many highly decorated floats with lots of children collecting sweets as they were thrown by the Kings. (The three wise men)

After the parade the children return to their homes to prepare for the arrival of the Three Kings. They place their shoes on the windowsills and fill them with straw, carrots and barley for the donkeys of the Three Kings. Sometimes they might also leave some food for the Three Kings. The next morning the children wake up early to open their presents. Although the children like all of the Three Kings, their favorite is Baltasar because he is the one who it is believed actually leaves the gifts. This is also the day that adults will get their presents although of course these are not delivered by the Three Kings.

We went to Billy's house where we got in the spirit of things until the parade, just gone 7pm. We went back afterwards to get warm and eat the sweets we had collected - for once I picked up more than Brian.

A brisk walk home around ten and hot chocolate.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Some photos from Damien - thanks

Freddie (Hayley's) playing with Tabitha (Damien's) with Gabriella in the background (Lynda's).

Freddie with big sister Emily.

And again but this time Tabitha has joined in.

Kissing Cousins xxxxxx

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ghost pictures

My birthday and the camera has decided to go mad, making us look like ghosts. Perhaps we are. If anyone has any ideas on how to solve this then let me know. It seems the colour is to blame, further away perhaps we would be better, of course we would anyway...

Showing off my necklance and scarf... prezzies.

Had a pleasant meal in the new restaurant near to us, cheese salad, lamb chops and proffs, all served nicely and a glass of wine. Puts an end to me giving up meat for the New Year - I forgot to! Or wine!

I think we had better buy a new camera, as this one is four years old and will most prob cost as much as a new one to fix. Comments...
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