27. Feb, 2017


MONDAY 27-2-17

I wonder which British Red-Brick University will carry out research to calculate the number of hours men of a certain age spend in bed trying to convince themselves they really don't need to get up to go to the loo in the middle of the night, that they can turn over, drop off back to sleep and last until the morning. No doubt such research will take years, cost millions and be of little help to mankind. It was certainly not available to me last night in order that I could make an informed decision.

Up I got, only to notice that amongst the batch of rechargeable batteries sat in their charger on the kitchen worktop one group of two showed they had not charged. 'Suspicious' thinks I, worthy of investigation. Which I did, only to discover that amongst the batch of eight AA batteries on charge was a NON re-chargeable battery in there - and it had melted. Ooooops! That could have been dangerous. So I prised said battery out of the charging unit, put the rest in the box of fully charged batteries, and threw the melted battery in to the bin. So now I was left with three more AA batteries still to charge. In to the charger they go, on goes the power.......BANG!! A flash, a bit of smoke, and that was that, a knackered charger and the vehicle electrics out. Of course if I'd been thinking I should have switched the fridge/freezer over to LPG power before going back to bed, but I didn't. This would not be a problem as this Fridge/freezer is one mean motherf***er. The Chef took a pack of two pork steaks out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to defrost a couple of days ago. This morning she took them out to put in the slow cooker - they were still frozen, so we'll have to turn the setting lower still. 

Fortunately the first thing I checked this morning was the vehicles safety cut-out fuse box, and heavens be praised, it worked. It had tripped out doing what it is supposed to do. All I had to do was trip the switches back to 'ON' and we were back in business, but lesson learned, double, double, check that all batteries for charging are indeed rechargeable batteries.

This morning we went up to the Petanque pitches for a play. There was a group of four Brits there already who seemed nice folk. By the time they left I had compared their performance with the group we had seen on our last visit and concluded that players who know what they are doing, get all of their balls very close together, and even more important - close to the 'Jack'. Unlike ourselves who have the balls parked all over the pitch, and if we're lucky enough somewhere near the 'Jack'. I think it unlikely in the time we have available to us that we will reach such a level of excellence that we can turn up at the pitches wearing sequined capes and gold-coloured shorts and shoes and challenging all-comers.

After our marbles session it was back to base camp for a read and hang-out until lunchtime. Well I hung out whilst The Chef set about a batch of her hand washing.

Now the big problem with this delicious French stick-cum baguette bread is that it dries out so quickly. If it's not eaten on the day of purchase, that's it - the moment is missed. This results in our having several bits of dry bread every few days requiring eating or disposing of. So once again it was toast for lunch, with something on it. For me it was peanut butter on some, and marmalade on others. For The Chef, just jam.

I sat out and read some more of Guy Martin's book 'Worm to Catch' while at the same time catching a bit of sun.

Now I burn fairly easily, and I usually forget to put sunscreen on despite having plenty with me. This results in The Chef pointing out to me the areas of my face which have burned each day, this usually corresponds to the angle I have been facing the sun. To the point where I feel like a human sundial. 'Well, three-quarters of his left side is red therefore it must be four o'clock'.

Yesterday while having a 'conversation' with 'Herman wif der Husky' there was only one word I understood - it was 'tomorrow', which is today. And sure enough in to camp rides Herman with his backpack on and a couple of bits protruding from the top of it. What were they we thought. I guessed he had bought himself a couple of kites which he was going to put together and fly from 'Dog Shit Alley' the former railway track behind us. But back round the corner he came raising these packages aloft in delight. He'd obviously bought more stick-on rolls of film for his motorhome. Yesterday I suggested he covered the back of the vehicle with it, and he said 'Nine', or was it eight? He pointed to the whole side of the vehicle and said 'Tomorrow'. So now I have no idea what he's going to do with it, especially as he had given me a clear indication that the project was finished.

His wife spent a little time playing wif der Husky and a very small ball. The dog wasn't that stimulated by it and so I went and fetched a cheap but brand new tennis ball (did I mention that we have dragged two tennis rackets and a bag of balls all the way down here to have a knock about, only to find that they have closed their tennis court and built bungalows over it? Baaaaaastaaaards).

I offered the ball to the wife for der Husky to play with, but she declined saying that he would bite it. Then as she left the pitch to go and do some washing up I think she was explaining to her husband through der motorhome vindow what I had offered. Herman, bless him appeared and explained that the dog (using his fingers) was 13 years old. Then he held up three fingers, now I don't know if that meant the dog had lived three years beyond its expiry date or what, but I got the message that because it is old it doesn't do a lot. I just couldn't be bothered to try and explain that if the dog played with the ball, I was not expecting him to return the punctured Husky-saliva-laden ball back to me - they could keep it.

Before it got too late and cool I wanted to take a bike ride to find the railway station. As usual of course we went the long way round following the road signs to the station. On arrival the loos were closed,  but not to worry. I wanted to get a picture of a train coming in to land, and while I waited The Chef tried to make sense of the train timetable.

We understand they have excursions to Valencia from the campsite, the next due within the next couple of weeks, if so we're signing up for it, plan 'B' is to use the train to get there. In fact if we get there on a coach and like it enough we will make a second visit using the train.

Getting a photograph of a train which was due was a close run thing as I was looking in the wrong direction when the train arrived at the station. Never mind I got a picture in the end.

Then back to the campsite using the much shorter route of riding downhill along a one way street the wrong way, then through an underpass and in to the town centre.

In the past we have tried playing music on our vehicle radio for a bit of entertainment. The problem is that vehicles have their speakers mounted in the doors utilising the void in the door to create a good base sound. Fine if you're driving along, damned annoying if you have to listen to it when the vehicle is stationary. I came up with the answer which I found on my old mate 'Amazon UK'


This speaker is really good, gives a great bass sound and doesn't cause other people grief. We use it for playing back music from the MP3 player and plugging in to the headphone socket of the laptop when listening to a bit of BBC Radio 2 on the internet. I mention this only because our Welsh neighbours haven't yet discovered the alternative to noisy thumping music through vehicle door speakers.

I will attach pictures I've taken of Herman's efforts on his motorhome, though I doubt I can do his efforts justice. Basically what he does is cut out shapes then sticks them on to the vehicle. The interesting and challenging bit for him is to then cut other bits out to fit within the shapes he has previously created. Personally I wouldn't bother, and as I gestured to him last night looking down at the work he'd done on his front bumper 'Don't hit anything!'

We now wait in anticipation of what comes next.