Our cream tea lunch

The temporary skirt preventing cold air and draughts from entering the awning

The motorhome relocated right next to the awning

Our Sunday Roast

SUNDAY 13-1-19

Our neighbours across the way, Steve and Jane, left yesterday morning with their  car and caravan heading back to the UK following a five week stay here. They had been good fun. It was their first experience of an extended stay in Spain, and couldn't stay longer as they have a business to run back home. They expect to be back in a couple of years.

After scrubbing up I lifted the bonnet and uncoupled the C-Tek charger from then vehicles engine. Now that it's fully charged I'll just give it a top-up every couple of weeks. It had been my charging the laptop and phone from the 12v plug on the dashboard which had identified the non-charging of the battery initially.

Next I wanted to drive the vehicle off the levelling ramps, having released some air out of the rear air assisted suspension, we were now on a bit of a slant, leaning the opposite way. Having done that I decided to bite the bullet and attempt to close the gap between the motorhomer and the awning in order that we could leave the large back flap unzipped and rolled up, which would allow us to open the habitation door and step straight in to the awning. After some careful manoeuvring being careful not to run a wheel over a tent peg we made it, and my word what a difference it has made for us, it's completely transformed the living space. I've had to botch the coupling a bit as I very foolishly cut off a piece of the awning, removing one of the two options for connecting the two together thinking I would never need it. Needless to say that will have to be put right when we get back, though I've no idea where I'll find a company to undertake the work these days.

By early afternoon we had new neighbours across the way, Brits with a motorhome, though I suspect they're pretty new to it as they kept many fellow campers entertained as they attempted to park the vehicle sideways across the pitch, even with up to three 'advisors' it was a struggle. Never mind they got there in the end.

Our main meal was a mid-afternoon barbecue of chicken drumsticks and home-made beefburgers, salad and chips. It was really rather nice, and very filling. We were pleased that we could add Spanish minced beef to our items of food which we could buy with confidence over here.

Sat there after lunch I spotted that, of course, we now had a gap running the length of the unzipped rear opening and the ground to underside of the vehicle. This would result in our losing heat once zipped up, but more importantly wind could get in to the awning causing stability problems, and so I need to make a strip to fill the gap.

Fortunately I have a piece of cheap groundsheet in the rear garage which I could use, and so we popped over  the road to the supermarket to buy five x 6ltr bottles of water at 59 cents each. These will be used to weigh down the bottom of the edging strip.

This morning we were able to throw open the motorhome door to be met with nice warm air, with the sun having armed up the awnings interior. That was such a nice change from the very cold air which usually greets us.

The bathroom I go to each morning is usually deserted when I go up there, but not this morning. The campsite is now full, with a waiting list of those wishing to extend their stay.  Brits dominate the population of the campsite by far, with some Germans, Dutch and Belgium's. It's getting to feel a bit like 'Warner's for Riff-Raff'.

Whilst I got started on making the skirt to fit in the gap under the vehicle, The Chef set about making some scones of all things, as we bought along a tub of clotted cream, which until a few days ago had been stashed away in the freezer.

So a cream tea became our lunch today as a very special treat.

This afternoon we went for a bit of a stroll down to the beach and along the promenade. It was good to get off the campsite for a bit. We have decided to make more of an effort to do things as from now, starting with lunch on the beach tomorrow and a bike hire on Tuesday.

We've been here nearly five weeks now and we've decided to shorten our stay here and start making our way back to the UK mid February. There are two reasons for this. Firstly we aren't really far enough south to enjoy the best of Spanish winter sunshine. At best we get up to about 18˚C in the regular daily sunshine, however the nights are very cold, dropping to about 4˚C although we have had it lower. Down south in Malaga they're getting a couple of degrees extra during the day but more importantly their nights are about ten or eleven degrees. That's a huge difference, and takes the pressure of having the heating on in the evenings, and making it possible to sit outside for longer. Secondly we prefer to tour. There's no adventure in turning up here and sitting around. It's just not what we do. The last time we were here we only lasted five weeks before taking off and touring further south. But this time we're dragging the awning around with us and that's weight and space I could do without having in the back. So we'll stick it out for as long as we can and then head home.

Everything is subject to change, but our thinking for the future is that we'll stay at home for the winters, taking a ten or fourteen day holiday in the Canaries in the January, just to give us something to look forward to and to warm the 'ol bones up a bit. On alternating years we'll set out for Spain in the motorhome at the beginning of March, travelling light and touring around. We really did enjoy the bit we did a couple of years ago. So our first such trip will be next year. The following year we'll probably have a crack at delivering a new motorhome from Chicago to somewhere like San Francisco, which will give us the chance to revisit some places we went to ten years ago, as well as visit new ones. We'll return to Chicago using Amtrak the American railroad system. We can travel up the Pacific coast to Seattle and then across the northern states such as Oregon, Washington and Montana. Locations we never got to see ten years ago thanks to the Yanks not granting us enough time to do so. We could do it next year but with all the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit fiasco, which is badly effecting the currency exchange rates, we'll postpone such a trip in the hope that the Pound versus the Dollar situation improves.

Our second extended trip this year is planned to be a circular tour in September and early October, taking in the former U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France, in the Bay of Biscay, though I'll have to dress it up a bit to convince The Chef it's a good place to go, the Cognac area, then on to Provence, an area we love followed by a trip in to northern Italy, as I want to revisit Sienna, which I know The Chef would have liked to have seen more of.

But for today, we have returned 'home' this evening having enjoyed our weekly Sunday Roast, Spanish-style, and very nice it was too.

Tomorrow I will start 'Benicassim 3' as this page is filling up. Hopefully we'll see you there in a couple of days.

All my chores today

The town's theatre

The bullring

A back street in Castellon

FRIDAY 11-1-19

Well, bit of a result at Wednesday night's Quiz Night, we finished up just two and a half pints from winning a prize. It's probably the best we'll do as Steve and Jane our neighbours and fellow team members are off back to the UK tomorrow.

On the way back to pour motorhome I did check at Reception to see that my name was up as having received post. Finally, the charger had arrived, only problem was the security guard wouldn't give me the package as he said he didn't know where the post was kept "Try the room your sat in" I thought. Never mind, yesterday morning I was up, scrubbed and presenting myself at the Reception Officer for the official handing over of my C-Tek intelligent battery charger, having waited a week for it to arrive. Without wasting any time I went back and made all the necessary connections before commencing charging of the vehicle's battery. I just hope no permanent damage has been done to the battery due to it getting so flat.

Thursday night had been a very windy indeed and I tossed and turned during the night listening to the canvas joining the awning to the motorhome flapping about. In the morning the second job I did was to separate the two and peg and tie down the material. It is what is known as a 'Drive-Away' awning because it is freestanding and allows for the vehicle and awning to be separated so that the vehicle can drive off, maybe for a day out, and then return to be coupled together again. We don't do that, but it's an option.

Next it was pegging the awning down with DIY guy ropes using nylon rope from the local Chinese shop and a couple of pegs I had left. This should reduce the amount of bouncing about the awning does in strong winds.

Once we were ready we made for the bus stop - next stop Castellon, for a fare of two euro's each, single. We were surprised, and pleased to be taking a different route, before remembering there are two different routes, the first, which we've always caught in the past, runs all the way along the seafront before turning right at the large roundabout near the port before heading for town. We both always enjoy such journeys, rubbing shoulders with the locals and seeing the real Spain, or wherever we happen to be.

Although we had a blue sky and sunshine it was a cold day with the temperature down to just 9˚C, probably not much warmer than home. Never mind it got us off the campsite and we enjoyed revisiting a number of locations around town, including the town's large department store, a Spanish equivalent of John Lewis, where we were hoping to buy a replacement electric kettle, which is not an easy thing to do as we need it to be of a fairly low power consumption to avoid it tripping out the electrics on campsites in other European countries which have something like 4-6 amps of power to each pitch. We weren't successful, however we did manage to find the town's Carrefour supermarket, a large French chain, on the outskirts of town, thanks to the bus driving right past it, so we may pop back there another day to see what they do in the way of kettles.

Lunch was at a good-value eats joint we came across the last time we were in town and then it was back on the bus for the ride back, this time taking the more familiar route along the seafront.

On our return I found myself soaking the one remaining slice of bacon from a meal we'd had two or three nights ago. We found it so very salty, and a wanted to see if some of the salt could be soaked out. It has since been dabbed dry, cling-filmed and refrigerated, so I'll cook it at the earliest opportunity to see if it has improved matters.

Last night was a very cold night, with temperatures forecast to drop to just 1˚C, and it felt like it, though we didn't keep the heating on overnight. I think the answer may be for us to go for five mile runs in the morning followed by long cold showers, just to toughen us up and better able to cope with the climate.

This morning we popped up the road to Lidl for bits and pieces including some of their beef (oh Lord, I do hope it is) mince, which I made in to beefburgers this afternoon, ready to enjoy as part of a barbecue tomorrow. needless to say it was not without event in that I cut my thumb on the mandolin whilst slicing the onion (it never pays to take short-cuts), and then wiped bits of raw meat on the bathroom hand towel which I'd only washed this morning, whilst washing and wiping my hands trying not to get my cut thumb wet.

Petanque this afternoon, was as popular as ever, with up to 26 people playing on the four pitches. I only stayed for one game before making my way back.

Well looking back, what a day it has been. Chores, chores, chores. What with bits of hand washing, doing the dishes (I swear I've done it about four times this week), and making the beefburgers I feel I've earned a lie down.

Tomorrow is planned to be housework, moving the motorhome off the ramps, a barbecue lunch and who knows what else.

WEDNESDAY 8-1-19

Well these have been a couple of nothing days, best laid plans and all that.

For the past two nights our TV viewing has been an episode of 'The Choir, Military Wives' with Gareth Malone and wives of Royal Marine Commando's away fighting in Afghanistan. It always brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye whenever I watch it. Maybe you have to have been a part of that Military environment to truly appreciate it. What he and the wives accomplished between them in what was the third series of such choirs, was amazing, and although there was, I think, just one series afterwards nothing touched what was achieved in that series AND they bagged the Christmas number one spot in 2011 That must have put Cliff Richard's nose out of joint. Following that was one more episode of 'Blacklist'.

In the end we didn't hire a bike yesterday, it was rather breezy and The Chef wasn't feeling 100% and so I said it wasn't worth getting the bikes out if it wasn't going to be enjoyable, it just wasn't worth the risk.

The afternoon was instead spent creating 'Satan 3', my latest answer to yapping dogs on site which have become more numerous recently, no doubt due to the increasing number of Brits who have been arriving. 'Satan 3' is more directional and upon detecting a dog bark, transmits an ultrasound signal, undetectable to humans, to a range of fifty feet.

According to the online BBC weather forecast we must expect a couple of cold days and nights as from tomorrow.

For that reason we are setting off for Castellon on the bus tomorrow for a day out, where we may well treat ourselves to a new motorhome kettle as there are signs of bits of rusting on the inside of the one we have. The problem is we can't buy just any kettle it has to be a low wattage model, able to cope with as little as 4 amps mains power, before tripping out the system.

There's a lot of influenza going around the campsite at the moment it seems, I guess that's what the miserable old sod in the pitch next to us, went down with over Christmas. Monday at Petanque a number of people were saying they weren't feeling too good. Well thanks a lot, spread it around why don't you. So for that reason we didn't go up there this afternoon. I'd rather not go down with the Flu given a choice. But then I did say in a previous posting that it would be handy have some folk go down with a plague or something to reduce the numbers currently attending Petanque. So it just goes to show we should be careful what we wish for.

On Monday another Billy Smart's Circus arrived in town. I'm not sure if it is a Caravan Club rally or an 'Autotrail' Owners Club affair, since nearly every vehicle arriving was an 'Autotrail' brand. Sad really, people spending lots of money to buy a vehicle to give them independence and then play 'Follow my Leader'.

My C-Tek battery charger is supposed to be arriving today which is most welcomed, as I need to breathe some life in to the flat vehicle battery. I tracked the package during its journey to find that once it arrived in northern France it spent two days in a warehouse going nowhere, so I suppose the warehouse workers were either sat munching garlic and snails for that period, or just on strike, which is the French way.

I have in the past mentioned 'Motorhome Experts', a small business in Kent which act as agents for people like 'Cruise America' who are a very large motorhome rental company operating in America and Canada. Now because they are so large they commission large numbers of new motorhomes to roll off the production lines up in the Chicago area each year. Having bought them they need to get them to the locations across America where they are required. So rather than them pay drivers to deliver them they invite people like us to pay them to deliver their vehicles. Not a bad deal for them, but equally not a bad deal for folk who fancy trying the motorhome lifestyle at a far cheaper rate than normal.

The Chef and I had intended to do one this spring (always early in the year) but with the current crappy exchange rate we'll give it a miss for the time being.

Tonight is Quiz Night, so we'll see how we get on. It's all a bit of fun, but it would be nice to have the opportunity to combine fun with prize money.

 

HERE IS ANOTHER UPDATE ON THE ONE-WAY NEW VEHICLE RELOCATION SPECIALS – AND WE NOW FEEL THESE NEW SPECIALS WILL JUST KEEP COMING!

We now have not only Toronto to Vancouver or Calgary, and Minneapolis to several location, but also Chicago to Seattle!
Every PRICE we offer you includes:

200 miles per day (USA rentals to several other USA cities, from Chicago or Minneapolis) or 320 kms per day (Canadian rentals from Toronto to other Canadian cities).
Full insurance (C$/US$ 1500 excess) and all taxes on the amount paid is included.
PLUS there is NO ONE-WAY fee whatsoever for these very special rentals.
Minimum rental period is seven nights; there is no maximum rental EXCEPT the vehicle must be at the return location by the date shown.

Here is availability at January 9th 2019:
 

Departure Location

Return Location

Class

Rate week one

Extra day rate

Depart On or After

Arrive By

CHICAGO

SEATTLE

C25

$447

$64

02-May-19

18-May-19

MINNEAPOLIS

DENVER

C30

$630

$90

10-May-19

28-May-19

MINNEAPOLIS

LOS ANGELES

C25

$484

$69

03-May-19

18-May-19

MINNEAPOLIS

LOS ANGELES

C30

$630

$90

02-May-19

21-May-19

MINNEAPOLIS

SAN FRANCISCO

C30

$520

$74

02-May-19

18-May-19

MINNEAPOLIS

SALT LAKE CITY

C30

$520

$74

09-May-19

28-May-19

TORONTO

MONTREAL

C25

C$630

C$90

09-May-19

04-Jun-19

TORONTO

VANCOUVER

C25

C$520

C$74

30-Apr-19

18-May-19

TORONTO

CALGARY

C25

C$447

C$64

02-May-19

21-May-19

 

 

 

There are a limited number of new vehicles available for each offer so please contact us promptly if you would like us to request one for you.

You cannot book these special offers on our websites and must email linda@cruiseamerica.co.uk stating the offer you wish us to request for you: the pick-up and return date/city; number of people in your party and of course your full name, postal code and telephone number please.

Please do not assume the booking is made and firm until we have given you a confirmation number for your booking. Full payment will be due by credit card immediately we give you that confirmation

Thank you for your time today 

After almost 40 years working with Cruise America in the motorhome rental business to the USA and Canada, we believe we know what you expect from your holiday.
We include everything you may need in our quotations – showing you the optional items of course.
And there is no booking deposit! Full payment will be collected from your credit card, by Cruise America HQ, 70 days prior to pick up.
For 99.9% of our clients we provide a first night hotel and a personal driving route/ itinerary with overnight campground suggestions.
We make it easy to rent a motorhome in North America and will always try to beat an identical quotation!
Call us on   0844 910 3271 or 0739 423 1163
Except for one way rental which must be requested, YOU CAN BOOK ON LINE AT:
www.themotorhomeXperts.com or www.cruiseamerica.co.uk
OR CALL 0044 (0) 844 910 3271 or 0044 (0) 739 423 1163
OR EMAIL linda@themotorhomeXperts.com or linda@cruiseamerica.co.uk
Noon to 8pm GMT Monday through Friday
Noon to 3pm GMT Saturday 
 
For your security, please do not include credit card or driver’s license information in email correspondence.

MONDAY 7-1-19

Well, it's been a pretty quiet couple of days. I had a late Saturday night trying to download the video I took of the three sales reps parading through the town centre. I think I was up until 00:30 trying to crack it.

Yesterday was a National Holiday here in Spain, so we sat around in the awning to give us a bit of warmth in the earlier part of the day, before setting off for a walk, again in the direction of the port. We had expected it to be very busy, with kids out playing with their new toys etc, but it was in fact rather quiet. Lots of restaurants were busy with families enjoying a lunch at the British taxpayers expense, given the level of subsidy we give the EU.

In the evening we enjoyed our weekly Sunday Roast meal up at the restaurant. We reserve a table each time and I am so flattered that the young lady there remembers my surname (well not exactly, but close enough, and I am truly flattered that she does, given the number of people she has to deal with). Maybe it's because we always leave a tip, but believe it or not so many people do not. I couldn't believe it, when, after our Christmas dinner on the 25th, cheapskates were slipping away (it was pre-paid) without leaving a bean. The poor staff had given up a day with their own families to pamper us privileged old beggar's, yet so few customers could put their hands in their pockets to say 'thank you'.

..................Now where was I? Oh yes, a very nice meal, with me polishing off most of the carafe of wine, thus saving The Chef from herself.

Today was back to normal, with the Spaniards doing what they do best ......... not very much , nor very quickly.

It was a rather a cool day, and we had a quick trot right through the 'High Street' to the other end in order to find out if the larger 'Supermacado' supermarket stocked curry sauce in jars, they did not, so what a waste of time that was. We're determined to find out how many food items we can buy locally thus saving us the hassle of bringing some of them with us.

On the way back I bought from a Chinese shop a vital part of 'Satan 3' my cunning weapon against yapping dogs, the number of which have increased noticeably of late, probably because more Brits have arrived with their yelping balls of fluff. 'Project Fear' claim that the Pet Passport scheme may come to an end come Brexit..............bring it on!!

We just managed to get back in time for lunch before setting off for the Petanque pitches and an afternoon of fun in good company with fellow Brits and German campers (we don't mention the war).

I have today attached the Spanish propane gas cylinder to the motorhomes system , which, in theory, if I've got it right, will allow us to enjoy gas fired central heating using gas from the Spanish cylinder rather than our own.

On Saturday 12th we will be summoned to the Headmasters office to pay for our first month's pitch 'rent' plus our electricity consumption, which could be pretty high, hence, for us, the switch to gas.

Tomorrow we plan to hire freebie bikes and go for a nice ride out of town, we do need to get off the campsite more.

The Three Kings Eve parade

SATURDAY 5-1-19

Another cool night but thankfully another blue sky this morning. Just a few chores to do before we popped down to the shops for a few bits, they're closed on Sundays and so we have to make sure we've enough fresh provisions to see us through to Monday

On our return we had a nice sit out in the sunshine, though most of it was spent in the awning with the side zipped out as there was a bit of a cool breeze. Lunch was late as we'd decided to barbecue some steak and serve  it with chips, mushrooms and a lovely crusty baguette. This was to see us through to late evening as we wanted to walk down the road in to town to see The Three Kings Eve parade starting at 17:30.

Three Kings Day, or Dia De Los Reyes in Spanish, and falls on January 6 every year, Epiphany. It's the day the children of Spain and Hispanic countries receive presents for Christmastime. Much like children from other parts of the world eagerly await Santa Claus on Christmas Eve night, the same can be said on the eve of January 5, when children leave their shoes by the door with hopes that the three kings will leave them gifts in their shoes when they wake the following morning.

The day is also celebrated by eating the roscon de los reyes, or ring-cake (a term now used  by Australian gays) of the kings, that is decorated to look like a crown that a king would wear. It is often topped with glazed fruits, representing the jewels on a crown. Buried inside it is a toy, often a figurine of baby Jesus. The person who finds it is said to have good luck for the year.

In the Christian Bible in the book of Matthew, is the story of a group of travellers who followed a star to the birthplace of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. They gave gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The King James Version, an English translation of the Bible dating back to 1604, translates the word 'magi' to mean "wise men." Now I always thought 'Magi' made stock cubes, seasoning, dried soups and gravy granules. Thinking about it, what would Mary and Joseph have done with a load of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. How would Joseph have got that lot on the donkey for the return trip home, as well as Mary and Jesus?

Given that stories get changed as they are retold through the ages, I'm inclined to think that these three men on camels were probably sales reps for 'Magi' doing a bit of cold calling and chanced upon Jesus in the stable. Having a few free samples available they left some for the family to enjoy, which would have been more use to them than fancy gifts. And were they wise men? They arrived two weeks late. Granted there was no Satnav in those days, but everybody else managed to make the 'Crib Party' in time. Blimey, Jesus was a busy man, in his short life of some 32 years he had to change the world, and he didn't have time to hang around waiting for three lost sales reps. He was probably teething by the time they arrived.

Three Kings Day Eve

The days leading up to January 5, children are supposed to write letters to the three kings asking them for gifts. The day before Three Kings Day is a day for parades and processions throughout Spanish cities, like Madrid, Barcelona (where the kings arrive by boat), or Alcoy, which has Spain's longest-running parade which began in 1885. The parades represent the journey made by the travellers on camels to Bethlehem. The three kings throw candy into the crowd. Parade-goers bring umbrellas to the parade and turn them upside down to collect the thrown sweets.

The parade itself wasn't as big as we'd expected. We have seen some really good ones here never mind it got us off the campsite rubbing shoulders with the locals for a while.

Tomorrow we plan to catch up with the washing before going for a nice walk in the afternoon. I expect the town and seafront to be very busy as it will be a really family orientated day.

Finally these celebrations featuring three wandering sales reps should not be confused with THE Star, THE King - Elvis Presley.

FRIDAY 4-01-19

Yesterday found us getting up face another bright sunny day, though a bit cooler than usual. First I set about doing the housework in the motorhome while The Chef tackled the inside of the awning. After that it was down in to town. First to the Sports Centre where we intended to complete the paperwork which would allow us to hire a bicycle each for up to seven days in a month, all for free. On our arrival the only member of staff available was a young man in the office behind the reception desk who was sat having a conversation on his mobile phone. But hey, no worries, this man can multi-task and whilst having his conversation with whoever was on the phone was able to assume what we wanted, and with phone still stuck to his ear, unlock the bike store and began unloading bikes, with us trying to tell him we didn't want them today, we just wanted to do the paperwork in advance. Eventually the penny dropped and he told us that the paperwork, passport check and deposit, has to be done on the day. So we didn't gain very much there.

Just around the corner was the weekly market which we had a quick look around and bought some more walnuts. We had intended to buy some more Satsuma's as well but they didn't look too special, having sat around a lot over the Christmas and New Year period I suppose, so it was up the road to Lidl which is on the way back to the campsite.

The afternoon was spent soaking up the sunshine in the 'back garden' as there are so few hours each day during which we can do so.

In the evening we through caution to the wind and decided to use the motorhome's gas hot air central heating system, and I'm glad we did because it has a much better performance than a fan heater. So many people are using Spanish gas cylinders here that I'm guessing they've had their calculators out and decided that using gas is cheaper than electricity. We're due to get our electricity meter read in a week's time so we'll get a better idea of just how expensive keeping warm during the evenings really is. So we've decided, sod the expense, that we'll be using gas in future, with no nasty surprises at the monthly meter reading as we'll be buying the cylinder refills as we go along.

This morning was another exciting walk to Lidl for a few bits followed by an afternoon of Petanque. It really is getting popular up at the pitches. Today there was something like 26 people for four pitches. Perhaps we should start wishing for a nasty dose of pneumonia or Asian Flu to sweep through the campsite so that we can have a bit of 'Mother Nature's Thinning Shears', giving us a better chance of playing in smaller teams and maybe even winning.

Just about all of the Spaniards have gone from the bungalows across the way, taking their feral kids with them. Throughout the Christmas and New Year period these little beggers completely took over the indoor swimming pool, and very noisily too.

I see on the BBC News website that Leo 'Pinky' Varadksar, Prime Minister of Ireland isn't talking quite so tough about the Irish border now that reality is starting to dawn on him. It has been recognised that his country will be the worst affected if there is a 'No Deal' Brexit, and that his country will feel rather isolated, surrounded by water and a border with a free UK nation. A bit like the Isle of Wight but with more rain and thicker citizens. All we have to do now is keep a cool head and go for the 'No Deal' exit unless the EU comes back to us, and are prepared to talk sensibly rather than like the school bully. At the end of the day if we leave on 29th March with 'No Deal' then the Irish border problem will HAVE to be sorted, and with no complication regarding a 'back stop', back scuttle or anything else.

The icing on the cake has to be the story of Abu Hamza Al Masari, the former Imam of Finsbury Park mosque in London, and referred to as the 'Hate Preacher'. This is a man who stood in the street and preached hatred, and condoned the killing of our troops abroad. What came out of that man's mouth was unbelievable, and coppers stood by and watched him in action. After the government finally plucked up the courage to do something about it, this man was given access to Legal Aid and his spiv lawyers screwed all of us for a total of £1.9,000,000 in his attempts to avoid extradition to Jordan on terrorism charges. He went eventually, but not before the Home Office Minister at the time, one Theresa May promised to fund regular medical and welfare checks for him for a period of three years. This bill has now reached £200,000. Up until that point Abu Hamza was living in a huge private house paid for by the taxpayer because a traditional council house was considered too small for the size of family he had.

Now there are no prizes for guessing what happens next - he is extradited to Jordan, and his family continue to this day living the life of Riley at taxpayer's expense, holed up in that same house. Well, not all of the family are living there presently as one son is busy fighting in Syria and has vowed to return to the UK when the war is over, whilst another son, Imran Mostafa Kamel, the sixth of Abu Hamza's children has just been arrested in London  and held pending the investigation of the murder of a security guard.

Do you think we'll ever have politicians with the courage to revoke the whole families rights to live here, kick them out and save ourselves a fortune? But we'd better get on and do it quickly before they commit terrorist attacks against us here on our home soil.

This whole disgraceful saga is an insult to young families across the nation who work hard, probably on minimum wage, worried about how to pay their bills, keeping their noses clean, probably still waiting to reach the top of the council house list.

I'm currently sat in the awning with hypothermia slowly creeping up on me and The Chef toiling behind me creating tonight's offering - pizza, chips and salad. Soon we'll go indoors and bask in the warmth of our gas central heating.

Tomorrow are the 'Three Kings Day' Eve celebrations - see you there!

The engine shed

The miniature railway complsaex

WEDNESDAY 2-01-19

Well we did get to experience New Year's Eve Spanish style a couple of nights ago. What with the feral Spanish kids from the rented bungalows across the way running wild in the street, and the noise from the disco/band in the bar-cum-restaurant we didn't get to sleep until gone 02:00.

As we lay in bed in the morning I thought I heard the sound of a steam whistle, so I said to The Chef that I fancied taking a walk down to the miniature railway down the road in case they were running their trains today as it was a Bank Holiday. After we finally scrubbed up, off we went, only to find that it was very doubtful it was a steam whistle, even a small one, that I'd heard. Maybe somebody had trod on a cat. Never mind, it had got us out for a walk, and it wasn't as if the place was completely deserted, sheds were open and there were a couple of chaps in the engine shed working on something, but it wasn't a steam whistle or a train.

There were no shops open, quiet rightly too, and so we made our way back. Today's culinary offering was to be a spatchcocked chicken barbecued nice and slow with baked potatoes and salad. 'Twas I wearing the chef's hat today, and I have to say it all worked out quite well, and the chicken will do us for another two meals. Whilst patiently waiting for the chicken to cook we enjoyed a few nuts and a bottle of bubbles.

The evening was spent indoors again watching DVD's, which is a bit frustrating. Months ago I bought an 85cm satellite dish, tripod and a special decoder box to enable us to watch the main UK television channels down here in sunny Spain. Unfortunately I never got to test it out and practice the dark art due to the fact the three oak trees at the bottom of the garden were right in the line of sight for the satellite I needed to tune in to, and rather than make the effort to take the motorhome for spin somewhere else and set things up, I chickened out and, due to the lack of storage space in the motorhomes garage I left it all behind. Chatting to a Cornish motorhomer in the morning he confirmed I had bought the right kit and it's what he uses down here, in fact he reckons we could use it all the way down to Gibraltar. Never mind, lesson learned, it will come with us on future trips, after of course, I have mastered the art.

This morning I went up to the Reception Office and asked to borrow a battery charger to try and breathe some life in to the motorhomes' engine battery. Clearly there was a breakdown in translation as a member of staff turned up with a vehicle and some leads to jump start me.

Off in to town we went as there were still a couple of shops I hadn't managed to look in on Monday because they were having a nice afternoon nap. No luck in either, but one of them did suggest I try the caravan shop on the edge of town. Not far when you're driving of course, but a bit of a hike where you're walking. We eventually found it, but no, lots of scruffy caravans in storage behind the shop, but in it, just a camping trailer and a few accessories, but no battery charger - it was a long walk back to the campsite. On the way we popped in to the Tourist Information Office for some info on bus services and what happens and where for the Three Kings celebrations (more of that at the time).

Upon my return I wound the laptop up and ordered another intelligent charger from Amazon.eu giving the campsites address. It should be here in a few days.

This afternoon we went up to the Petanque pitches for an enjoyable couple of hours of throwing balls about. Our neighbours across the way, Steve and Jane came with us for an hour or so.

This evening was Quiz Night, and I have to say that we're getting better, not good enough to win, but not worthy of being mocked.