The water in Mallorca……

Well you know the rest! actually the water here is in fact very good! We have enjoyed our month stay here in La Lonja charter marina, the staff have been very helpful and are really friendly. It is a small marina very well sheltered and as we have to leave on a Friday when the charter boats return we have anchored outIMG_4836 (1024x768)IMG_4840 (1024x768)

Raft building

Raft building

and also tried a couple of other marinas in the bay. the kids favourite was Real Club Nautico as it had a lovely swimming pool but I found the staff very unfriendly there.

Wakeboarding has been this months focus, James has been attempting jumps and simple tricks and Olivia still had yet to stand up….that was all soon to change with the arrival or a friend from the UK. Olivia’s friend Scarlett had been given a trip out here as a surprise birthday present. Her birthday was on the Sunday when she found out that she was flying on the Monday and getting 2 days off school! We let her break the news to Olivia by Skype, it was so sweet Olivia burst into tears! It was so lovely to see Emma and Scarlett even on such a flying visit, we spent a lovely day at anchor a dolphin spotted on the way and a few more on the return journey. Not to be outdone by her friend, Olivia was soon up on the board and zooming round the bay with  a big grin and a whoop of joy,IMG_4846 (1024x768)IMG_4847 (1024x768) they all had a great time, boarding, swimming and jumping off the boat. Both kids were quite subdued when Scarlett left with Olivia coming down with a sore throat and cough.

Friends

Friends

IMG_4850 (1024x768)

Luckily my dad arrived for a 4 day visit to pick everyone’s spirits back up. We took this time to explore further afield on the island and become tourists. We took the old wooden train through the stunning Tramuntana mountains from Palma to Soller,IMG_4851 (1024x768)IMG_4852 (768x1024)IMG_4861 (1024x768)IMG_4858 (1024x768)

stunning views from the train

stunning views from the train

IMG_4863 (768x1024)

then the tramIMG_4872 (1024x768)IMG_4871 (768x1024) through the lemon and orange groves from Soller to the Soller port where we had a lovely tapas lunch overlooking the bay. we anchored out one morning so the kids could demonstrate the new wakeboarding skills to their grandfather and he dutifully videoed everything to play for family at home.

The massive gothic cathedral of Santa Maria dominates the skyline of Palma bay and is a stones throw from the marina. We are lucky to be able to walk the dog in the morning and evening in the shade of the old walls and through the water gardens. it is as stunning inside as it is out and we all enjoyed our time exploring and marvelling at the beauty and splendour of it.IMG_4876 (1024x768)IMG_4874 (1024x768)IMG_4878 (1024x768) The Super yacht Cup started here in Palma the day before dad left, 21 sailing yachts over 24m in length competing over 3 days. On the first night Jon blagged his way onto the private jetty by saying that although he wasn’t competing his yacht was berthed next door! taking dad and the kids with him (dogs not welcome) they spent a furtive 15 mins marvelling at the size and luxury of the boats. On the second day of racing we went out to watch the start, to see boats of up to 60m under full sail going upwind was amazing and made us seem very small so we stayed well out of their way as they hurtled around us!IMG_4939 (768x1024)IMG_4949 (768x1024)IMG_4925 (1024x768)IMG_4958 (1024x768)IMG_4957 (1024x768)IMG_4953 (1024x768)

The stunning 56m ketch 'Marie'

The stunning 56m ketch ‘Marie’

ThiIMG_4954 (768x1024)s last week the kids have been setting their alarms early jumping out of bed and setting off in the dinghy with Jon to wakeboard in the bay before the sea breeze kicks in around 10am and IMG_4926 (1024x768)makes it too choppy. I walk the dog along the sea front with my walky talky and watch from a distance. They have both improved hugely, Olivia now boards one handed, singing away to herself they have trouble shaking her off when her turn is over! James has also been getting very good at free diving and can comfortably dive down to 10m/33ft while searching for fish amongst the sea grass and videoing with his Gopro. He has edited together a movie and set it to music, I of course think its awesome you can judge through the link here. Our time in Mallorca is up, we leave for Ibiza tomorrow morning where we are meeting up with friends from Alicante in our favourite bay Cala Hort, we will stay 2 nights then head for the mainland. we have a motorhome booked for a road trip home through France, we will keep the yellow brick on throughout as we draw our year of adventure to a close. P.S anyone want to buy a yacht?

Loving Ibiza

We spent 4 lovely weeks exploring Ibiza, after 4 nights of anchoring we went back to Ibiza town to the much more reasonable Marina Botafoch to wait out some very windy weather approaching. However we were visited by the port police telling us we couldn’t be there, some political nonsense about the marina owning the quay but not the water! they came twice both times when the office was closed and issued us with a parking ticket, but telling us as we were foreign nothing would come of it. Whilst in port we took a long walk around the harbour and up into Dalt vila, the old town with windy streets and amazing views.IMG_4789 (960x1280)IMG_4783 (1280x960)IMG_4782 (1280x960)IMG_4791 (1280x960) We learned that sadly as we sheltered from the high winds, a Belgian boat anchored in Formentera had hit rocks in the night and 3 crew had lost their lives 3 others were rescued from the water by locals and the emergency services.

Formentera was our next stop, a small island off Ibiza. we stayed a few nights in the marina a pleasant change from the bustle of Ibiza it was very quiet and friendly. A popular anchorage is Espalmador a privately owned island with one house on it connected to Formentera by a sand bar, its white sand beach and crystal clear waters were stunning.IMG_4797 (1280x960) (1024x768)IMG_4796 (1280x960) (1024x768)IMG_4795 (1280x960)IMG_4794 (1280x960) We had bought the kids a wake board in Ibiza and James was desperate to try it. He turned out to be a natural, up on his first go and zooming round the bay with one hand waving to me with the other!IMG_4800 (1280x960) (1024x768)IMG_4802 (1280x960) (1024x768)IMG_4807 (1280x960) (1024x768) Olivia found the board harder to control and with the water still a bit cold she had a couple of goes and had to stop as she was blue! However on her second day she managed to get up and was so surprised at herself promptly fell off a few seconds later! We returned to Ibiza and our favourite bay Cala Horts, a big bay with a sandy bottom and stunning views of the mysterious island Es Vedra. We were the only boat there for a couple of days and the kids swam and boarded then on our last day we were joined by a super yacht.IMG_4817 (1280x960) (1024x768)IMG_4738 (1280x960) We planned to set sail for Mallorca on the Monday with a 2 night stop in Cala Llonga first for a roast dinner while watching the Monaca Grand Prix, the wind was against us and we ended up spending an extra night before departing on Tuesday. An uneventful crossing mostly on motor but the wind picked up and we had a lively sail for the last 3 hours. Having negotiated (me hassling the poor man until he caved in!) a good rate for June we decided to take a berth month here in Palma and explore the island by car and sail to anchorages daily returning at night, it is the chrter boat marina so on change over day on Friday we have to exit and can return late Saturday. On first impression Palma is a lovely city and we are looking forward to exploring. Internet is a bit more accessible here so I will endeavour to update more often, hoping we get a few visitors while we are here, as it is nearly time for our year to come to an end. Yellow brick remains active but shows us cutting a lot of corners across land!

Pirates!

Pirates!

IMG_4814 (1280x960) (1024x768)IMG_4793 (1280x960)

Having a nap!

Having a nap!

Barbers?

Barbers?

Tranquil dinner location

Tranquil dinner location

Cala Salada

Cala Salada

Crazy running

Crazy running

Sunset

Sunset

On the beach, had been removed on our 2nd visit

On the beach, had been removed on our 2nd visit

IMG_4759 (1280x960)IMG_4742 (960x1280)

James caught a cuttle fish

James caught a cuttle fish

Swimming with the fish

Swimming with the fish

Too hot

Too hot

 

On the road (sea) again.

IMG_4667 (1024x768)

Spot the tuna

We found it hard to leave Alicante a place we had grown to love in our 5 months there and where we will probably leave the boat when we return to real life at the end of the summer. A couple of stops along the coast, first in Altea again to meet up with our friend Paula who’s villa we stayed in back in January. Then on to one night in Moraira and from there we would cross to Ibiza. We saw the biggest blue fin tuna feeding frenzy ever between the two places, it was amazing…..we still didn’t catch one! IMG_4665 (1024x768) IMG_4669 (1024x768)The 60 odd miles from the mainland to Ibiza was uneventful and done mostly under engine as little wind, we saw our first turtles go floating by right next to the boat, they looked as surprised to see us as we were them, blowing bubbles and practically bouncing off the hull. Ibiza loomed large and beautiful in the late afternoon

Hola Ibiza

Hola Ibiza

and we decided to head to San Antonio marina as the wind was forecast to be building during the night and the following day. Early Saturday morning we set off to sail the 27 miles around the other side of the island to Ibiza town where we were meeting another friend who was in town for the weekend, it was lovely to catch up with Dawson and his new girlfriend Adri. IMG_4700 (1024x768) IMG_4697 (768x1024)Dawson went to uni with Jon, was our best man and is James’s godfather, it had been a whole year since we last saw him. Unfortunately we spent about 2 weeks budget in 2 days as the marina was a whopping 170 euros a night…IN MAY! Goodness knows how much it would be in July, and we ate out much more than we would normally. The kids and I spent a lovely couple of hours at Talamanca beach, they tested out their new skim boards and swam in the shallows while I sheltered under a sarong as I had too much sun the day before on the sail over.IMG_4692 (1024x768) IMG_4689 (1024x768) IMG_4688 (1024x768) IMG_4682 (1024x768) IMG_4681 (1024x768) IMG_4678 (1024x768) IMG_4677 (1024x768)

Dawson kindly drove me to the supermarket so I could stock up before we left the marina to anchor and try and spend no money for as long as possible! Our first stop Cala Llonga was idyllic, only 3 other yachts, crystal clear water, a large sandy beach and even a small private cove opposite the boat to ferry Dora to first thing in the morning and last thing at night.IMG_4703 (1024x768) Our first night was eventful, I stayed up as the wind had picked up and I rarely sleep well at anchor anyway, good job I did as at around 2am we had moved back to the end of the chain and were getting tangled with a mooring buoy. I woke Jon and we took in a bit of chain to move us forward, we took turns in keeping watch and in the end I slept from 3am to 6.30am. The result of us taking in some chain was when the wind really began blowing the next morning (from the opposite way it was forecast surprise surprise!) we started to drag our anchor a bit, we pulled it up and moved to another part of the bay and as no one was near us we put out a whopping 50m of chain…..nothing was moving that!

Jon and the kids went over to the beach for a few hours while I relaxed on deck with a book. A much better sleep on our second night as no wind. The following morning James caught a strange looking fish that he declared to be a wolf fish, it clearly had big poisonous spines on its back so Jon put on some gloves to get it off the hook….it stung him through them! As he was running it under water and looking very upset I did a quick google search and discovered it was in fact a Great Weaver fish and has one of the most painful stings and can even penetrate leather boots! Luckily a mild sting but his finger was swollen and painful for days. WE decide to move round the other side of the island as the wind was changing but halfway there changed plans due to unexpected swell, a bad choice as the bay we anchored in Ensenada de la Canal got the wakes from the jet ferries and cargo vessels all night which made it very rolly. A beautiful place by the salt flats with a lovely long beach, would be great for a day anchorage but not overnight. We discovered the next morning that our batteries were not charging and we did not have enough power for anything, after a couple of hours trying to fix it we decided to head to San Antonio marina to try and sort it out. No power to raise the anchor…Jon pulled it up (impromptu WOD) no power for the Nav system, no autopilot (helming all the way!) very old school sailing. We arrived in San Antonio 4 hours later after beating up wind the whole way (forecast was wrong) Great practice for James who helmed most of it, tacking and with Jon teaching him how to steer to the wind and get that extra bit of speed by trimming the sails well. The plan is to spend 2 nights here at a very reasonable 64 euros a night, then head to Formentera for as long as we can stay at anchor, sand is a big issue on board as Dora brings on a beach load about 4 times a day and it gets to the point where everyone is sleeping and walking in sand, that’s when our cleaning OCD clicks in and we head to port to vacuum and clean! The battery problem seems to of resolved itself, hoping it stays that way. We plan to stay in The Balearics for May and June at least, taking in Mallorca and the Menorca, our yellow brick is back in action so you can check out the bays we stop in, just waiting for the water to warm up enough for grownups to jump in then it will officially be summer.

Chilling with my (James') teddy

Chilling with my (James’) teddy

IMG_4706 (1024x768)

Cloud forming on the top of the rock at Calpe

Cloud forming on the top of the rock at Calpe

Making chocolate bowls

Making chocolate bowls

Special dessert

Special dessert

IMG_0204 (765x1024)

James comforting Olivia when she hurt herself

James comforting Olivia when she hurt herself

Snug med mooring

Snug med mooring

A Wahoo

A Wahoo

IMG_4657 (1024x768)

Things that go bang in the night

We had just turned our lights out one night last week when I heard what sounded like a gunshot and running feet, popped my head out of the hatch above our bed and saw a huge column of black smoke nearby – fire! We grabbed some fire extinguishers and ran to the next jetty, but it was already too late to help. We were the second people there but already the flames were at least 30 feet high and racing up the foresail of the yacht. Within 5 mins the fire brigade had arrived and thankfully as there was no wind only 3 boats were affected and no one was hurt. According to marina gossip a motor boat had left an electric fire on and gone out for dinner, it caught light and took out the 2 yachts next to it. It was pretty scary to watch as they could not put the fire out and it burned until it sank.IMG_3110 (1024x765)IMG_3111 (1024x765)IMG_3112 (765x1024)

The end of February saw our last visitors arrive, Jon’s family stayed in a nearby hotel as they have 2 small children. Lovely to have everyone here but we had forgotten how much work little ones are! James and Olivia were great at keeping the kids busy with James being a particular hit with 16 month old Emilia who demanded to be with him constantly.IMG_4540 (1024x768)DSC02080 (1024x683)

Uncle Jon

Uncle Jon

Cousins

Cousins

Jon's mum and her pint!

Jon’s mum and her pint!

Brums

Brums

We were hoping to move on in the middle of March but forecast bad weather and some nasty winds has seen us pay for another month here in Alicante. We sail as much as we can around the bays here and are still trying to catch the elusive blue fin tuna that are running through at the moment. Last weekend we sailed along the coast for a few hours and anchored overnight in a bay near Altea with another boat from Alicante.P1040406 (1024x768)IMG_4611 - Copy (1024x768)IMG_4609 - Copy (768x1024)IMG_4610 - Copy (768x1024)P1040391 (1024x768)

It was a stunning location but I rarely sleep well at anchor, even though we were on a mooring buoy I was greeted by the sight of our neighbours very close at 6am!

6am, too close!

6am, too close!

An amazing sail we saw 9 sunfish on the way there and dolphins, sunfish and blue fin tuna (none caught!) on the return journey.DSC_2536 (1024x681)DSC_2537 (1024x681)DSC_2539 (1024x681)

An exciting evening was had when a film crew stopped right next to us in the marina to film the pilot for a new soap opera. Lots of fight action and guns it went on into the evening so we had an impromptu deck party with front row seats.DSC_2481 (1024x681) (1024x681)DSC_2494 (1024x681)DSC_2492 (1024x681) Getting back from lunch last week we were surprised to have neighbours, British neighbours! with children! Zulu had set sail from Gibraltar in March with 6 months off school and work to travel the Med. DSC_2487 (1024x681)

Zulu

Zulu

Brilliant way to keep a 2yr old still while casting off!

Brilliant way to keep a 2yr old still while casting off!

The children had lots of fun chatting and fishing together for the 3 days they stayed and we hope to catch up with them in the Balearics in the next month or so.P1040420 (1024x768)IMG_4615 - Copy (1024x768)IMG_4614 - Copy (768x1024)IMG_4571 - Copy (1024x768)IMG_4570 - Copy (1024x768)

Boys walking the dog at sunrise at anchor off Tabarca island

Boys walking the dog at sunrise at anchor off Tabarca island

DSC02136 (1024x683) (1024x683)

Marina at night

Marina at night

Sunrise sail

Sunrise sail

Spot Olivia falling off the keel!

Spot Olivia falling off the keel!

Paella

Paella

all hair and legs!

all hair and legs!

Stunning natural waterfall

Stunning natural waterfall

DSC_2562 (1024x681)

Benidorm

Benidorm

Volvo ocean race museum

Volvo ocean race museum

 

Friends and family

February has been the month of visits, planned and surprise ones. 4 lots of visitors sometimes with only 24 hrs in between was pretty hectic hence the lack of posts this month. Our first visitor was the lovely Rachel who came bearing cakes,IMG_4474 (768x1024) if you take a look at her blog you will see that she is an amazing baker so we were very lucky. She bought gifts and cards from friends and also a surprise which my family were also in on…..the morning after she arrived I was making the bed when I heard a familiar voice on deck asking me for a cup of tea, I raced up to find my crazy friend Vana who had flown in for 24hrs.IMG_4473 (1024x768)IMG_4475 (768x1024) The three of us had taken a day trip to Paris last year to mark my 40th, so this year a coffee in Alicante for the day did not seem too strange!

Next up was family, my big sister and her partner Jason arrived for a week, 4 nights with us and 3 in a hotel as my sister has bad motion sickness and didn’t want to spend the whole week dosed up on tablets.photo 2 (3) (1024x1024) She did brilliantly and we even managed to go out sailing for a few hours.IMG_4500 (1024x768)IMG_4498 (1024x768)IMG_4497 (1024x768)IMG_4495 (1024x768) With a whole week we managed to get to bits of Alicante not yet discovered by us. We finally boarded the replica galleon Santisima Trinidad which sits in the marina and we walk past every day, for a 5 euro entry fee you get to poke around the decks and then a drink on deck is included.IMG_3062 (1024x765)IMG_3063 (1024x765)photo 1 (768x1024) Another 24hr turn around and the arrival of a school friend of James’s, IMG_3086 (1024x765)Piers is a very keen sailor and last year came 2nd in the RS Feva World Championship. Both kids enjoyed having him here and it was lovely to see them all getting on so well. As you may have read before we are regulars at the Volvo ocean race museum next to the marina. Piers’s dad had arranged through his friend the Olympic silver medallist Mark Covell who works at race control for a special tour, what an amazing experience seeing behind the scenes and learning about the massive support and media set up attached to the race. IMG_3095 (765x1024)IMG_3094 (1024x765)IMG_3092 (1024x765)IMG_3091 (765x1024)IMG_3090 (1024x765)

Common factors in all visits were lots of ice cream, churros and long lazy lunches out eating amazing paella, cuttlefish, pinchos, pizza etc. it has felt a little like a 3 week Christmas so we are now trying to detox in the 7 days before then next visitors arrive!

We have laughed, cried, drank and laughed some more and it made me realise how much I miss people. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the amazing family time we are spending together, but I miss people. Seeing the children with their friends I realise they also miss the social interaction of kids their own age. I have started to dream of houses and sofas….am I nearly ready to come home? Not quite yet. I want to explore a little further, find small bays to anchor in, watch the kids leaping from the boat, planning where to go next and hopefully meeting new people! I am sure the next 4/5 months will fly by and we will be at the end of this adventure, Jon is starting to look for a new position, then onto the next step and whatever life has waiting for us….I just hope it involves people.

Jason has the huge 5 euro cone

Jason has the huge 5 euro cone

photo 3 (768x1024)IMG_4505 (768x1024)IMG_4504 (1024x768)

Puppy love

Puppy love

IMG_4493 (1024x768)IMG_4494 (1024x768)

Cold cold water

Cold cold water

IMG_4486 (1024x768)

Watching the 6 nations rugby

Watching the 6 nations rugby

IMG_3075 (765x1024)

Ready for carnival

Ready for carnival

IMG_3084 (765x1024)IMG_3077 (765x1024)IMG_3053 (765x1024)

A terrible Penny board accident!

A terrible Penny board accident!

IMG_3068 (765x1024)IMG_3031 (765x1024)

 

Three Kings

Traditionally in Spain only a small gift is received on Christmas day, the main present are given on 12th night when the 3 kings arrived bearing gifts for the baby Jesus. Chairs were set out from early morning along the route of the procession.IMG_2997 (1024x765)IMG_2998 (1024x765) We saw the kings arrive in the marina aboard the Guardia civil patrol boatIMG_4416 (1024x768)IMG_4415 (1024x768) and then we went along in the evening to watch the festivities, the kids armed with a bag to try and catch sweets being thrown from the floats.IMG_4417 (1024x768)

A king!

A king!

IMG_4426 (1024x768)IMG_4425 (768x1024)IMG_4424 (1024x768)IMG_4423 (1024x768)IMG_4422 (1024x768)IMG_4420 (1024x768)

Another tradition I had read about and felt we should try was the eating of the ‘Roscon de Reyes’ it’s a bit like a hot cross bun, filled with fresh cream with a toy hidden inside….YUM!IMG_4413 (1024x768)IMG_4411 (1024x768)

Eventually after the extended holiday season everybody was back at work. Volvo arrived and removed the intercooler for no reason we could see, oil is still leaking out and they are going to address the issue when the boat is back in the water. We were told to be in position ready to be lifted at 10.30am as the lift driver does not like to wait! Typically no one had thought to check the lift after the holidays and it had a flat tyre.

Flat (ish)

Flat (ish)

These are special aircraft tyres it even says on the side that they are rated to 265 MPH! So we had to wait for a ‘special’ compressor to arrive to blow it up…….3 hrs later….out she came with Jon pacing around nervously!IMG_4438 (1024x768)IMG_4439 (1024x768)IMG_4441 (768x1024)IMG_4445 (768x1024)IMG_4446 (768x1024)IMG_4447 (1024x768)IMG_4448 (1024x768)IMG_4450 (1024x768)IMG_4452 (1024x768)

We had hired a car once again and leaving Windfall to be blocked up in the yard we proceeded to Altea for our week’s holiday in a friend’s villa, a real house! Sat at the foot of the old town

Calle ripoll

Calle ripoll

and also only 2 mins from the beach (50ft from the black dog restaurant, they let Dora in)

The Black dog restaurant

The Black dog restaurant

it was a lovely place to relax do lots of walking, eating and drinking. We went on a beautiful walk in the national park, past stunning bays to a light house with wonderful views along the coast.IMG_0044 (1024x765)

Our destination, the lighthouse.

Our destination, the lighthouse.

IMG_0046 (1024x765)IMG_0042 (1024x765)

A quick trip to Benidorm was disappointing, we walked along the beachfront which was ugly, deserted and built up, not sure what we expected really! A highlight of the week was finding ‘Expats’ a cash and carry outside Benidorm that stocks all British items, pickle, salad cream, organic peanut butter, Cadburys cream eggs! We stocked up on a few essential items. Back on the boat and in our regular routine, the children are working hard to get ahead in their school work as we have a full month of visitors in February before we hopefully move on when the weather improves in March.

View from terrace

View from terrace

A favourite with the children

A favourite with the children

They do love each other!

They do love each other!

A strange name for donuts!

A strange name for donuts!

Churros

Churros

Happy New Year

The weather gods were kind to us and Christmas morning dawned bright and still, so we motored out and anchored in the bay to enjoy breakfast and present opening.IMG_4391 (768x1024)IMG_4393 (1024x768)

Kids cooking breakfast

Kids cooking breakfast

The children were overjoyed with their penny boards which they had both wanted for a long time…..not easy presents to hide in a boat!

Waiting for a surprise

Waiting for a surprise

IMG_4395 (1024x768)IMG_4396 (1024x768)IMG_4397 (1024x768)IMG_4398 (768x1024)

Another favourite present was the t shirts I had made by a friend in the UK. Since seeing lots of crew on big boats with named t shirts they had liked the idea…naturally we are all crew and Jon’s says SKIPPER. IMG_4399 (1024x768)

We have with us a cast net that James has started practicing with and is now very good at throwing from the swim platform, hopefully one day it will be used to catch bait fish to then catch a bigger fish! IMG_4400 (1024x768)IMG_4401 (1024x768)Surprisingly all the restaurants were open on Christmas day and we had already decided on one we had found earlier that week called ‘Depinchos’, pinchos are pieces of bread with many different toppings both hot and cold and they mad a lovely Christmas lunch with some more tapas and white wine to wash it down.

Pinchos

Pinchos

IMG_2991 (1024x765)

Christmas lunch

 

Boxing Day was a scorcher, the main beach was very busy so we walked ac couple of kilometres to the next small beach that Dora is allowed on, she had a lovely time running and swimming for an hour while the kids paddled and spotted fish. IMG_2993 (1024x765)IMG_2994 (1024x765)

Both Jonathan and I were craving a cold turkey sandwich on Boxing Day but it was not to be so we settled for some Christmas cake. It is the first time I have iced a Christmas cake as I always manage to delegate that job to someone with more experience – mum or mother in law. First challenge was the royal icing, I happily followed Delia’s recipe until she said whisk for 10 mins with an electric hand whisk..that meant the whole family whisking by hand in relay for as long as they could manage it was an endurance work out. Aiming for stiff peaks we settled for floppy ones! And with arms of jelly I iced it, not too bad for my first attempt and it tasted amazing (Sainsbury’s cognac soaked cake supplied by mum!)IMG_4387 (1024x768) We had planned to stay up late and venture out to see in the New Year, but the kids were in bed by 10 and we went not long after…although the fireworks at midnight then 1am then 2am then 3am…meant I knew the New Year had arrived. The big festival here is the 3 kings next week, with big processions through the town, we are looking forward to that then the boat comes out of the water on the 12th eeek!

Pig in a trolley? one of the weird sights at the market!

Pig in a trolley? one of the weird sights at the market!

kidsIMG_4408 (1024x768)

Christmas eve gelato

Christmas eve gelato

Many mince pies were consumed

Many mince pies were consumed

Getting the last drop of sherry out!

Getting the last drop of sherry out!

Huevos a la flamenco and sticky toffee pudding ready to go in the oven for new years meal

Huevos a la flamenco and sticky toffee pudding ready to go in the oven for new years meal

HAPPY NEW YEAR xx