Monday, April 30, 2007

Tivoli

Saturday afternoon we went to Tivoli World in Benalmadena with our friends and their little girl. They were all so excited and went on so many rides. There was an offer that if you went over the weekend they gave you a free return ticket for today or tomorrow. Have a look at Justin on a ride . Scary, eh?


Yesterday, the three of them spent the morning in the pool whilst I went to Agro Jardin to look for a table and chairs for the apartment terrace. I managed to find a little, fold up compact one which fits perfectly. It is wooden and comes in a choice of white, blue, lime green or fuschia but I opted for the white because I knew that I would go off the coloured ones. That afternoon, we went to a little girl in their class's party.It was a fairly typical spanish party where the kids play and the adults sit chatting and stuffing their faces with ensalada rusa (russian salad) and spanish omelette.The men tend to drink lots of beer whereas the mothers don't consume any alcohol at such parties because they have to be, well, mothers in the traditional sense, I guess.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bob the Builder Fans!

For anyone who needs to learn construction related Spanish, Bob the builder is on TVE 2 at around 8 in the morning. The girls were delighted to find an alternative to the dubbed Japanese cartoons.

Also, a word of warning: Do not buy Zara Home towels. They become brick hard after a few washes despite using fabric conditioner. Although, they are very tempting in the store, neatly fold amongst an array of coordinating accessories, the reality is that they are very poor quality. In fact, I find Carrefour towels to be much better.

When your five year old doesn't return from the school trip

After baking in my jeans yesterday, today I am dressed for Spring/Summer but there is no sign of sun yet. In fact, it is threatening to rain.

Yesterday, I experienced one of the worst moments of my life. The girls went on a school trip to the Sea Life Marina in Benalmadena. Each bus held a different class. As mine are twins in the same class, I assumed that they would both jump off the same bus. Well, the bus emptied and only one jumped off. The sharper one jumped off. Panic set in and palms started to sweat. I looked around for the teacher who told me that there wasn't enough room on the bus and she had been put on another class's bus. I ran over to the yellow bus and no sign of her.

I ran round to the other bus and didn't recognise anybody. Her twin was getting frustrated as the other mothers were pushing to the front to collect their children. There was no sign of her. My biggest nightmare had come true. You see the thing is she is so easy going and lives half the time in a dream world of her own. You wouldn't even realise she was gone until it was too late.This thought had been playing in my mind all day.


The helpers and teachers stared blankly at me as I asked them if she was on this bus. She is such a good girl that they wouldn't even know her name. She is too good to the point that she just never makes a fuss, just blends in with the crowd. Then one piped up that she thought that another little boy's mum had taken her off the bus. But his mother had seen me, she knew I was there. They must have been mistaken By this point I have started to cry, convinced that someone had snatched her as she had lolled behind the other children, distracted by a pretty fish or something. My stomach churned, my head was spinning and I wanted to vomit.


I ran around frantically searching and then she appeared. You cannot imagine the relief like nothing else mattered or would ever matter again.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The cinema and more

On Saturday it rained heavily all day. After lunch we decided to check out the brand new Agro Jardin in Los Barrios. It's an improved version of the Estepona one. It was so quiet that the girls had the ballpark to themselves enabling us to have a relaxing coffee in peace. We then went to the cinema to see the new Mr Bean film. It was hilarious and the girls loved it. We also got some money off coupons which we will be using really soon, possibly to see the new Charlotte's Web film.

On Sunday we went for lunch in Jubrique at Venta San Juan. They do the most delicious meat dishes and since Justin's brother was over, we had to take him up there to sample the wonderful food. We noticed that there is a campsite right next door to the Venta so we may do our first camping expedition there in the summer.

Today we went desk shopping. We hunted everywhere including all over Estepona and finally settled for one in the Bernardo Munoz shop in Sabinillas. It seems that there is a real shortage of office furniture shops out here as there is very little choice in the standard furniture shops. So anyone thinking of coming out here to sell furniture, make it office furniture.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My week

Tuesday was the girl's actual party so friends and family over again. In the morning I went to Gibraltar to buy a British style birthday cake since they had had a Spanish one on the Sunday. Headed straight for Morrisons where I picked up a Cadburys Buttons one and a packet of sausage roll which we all wolfed down that afternoon. I love the smell of British supermarkets. Morrisons is a dodgy one as sometimes you get there and the shelves can be in desperate need of stock but on Tuesday my luck was in.

Had quite a good morning including a bacon roll oozing with ketchup in the Star Bar in Irish Town and a tea later in Saccarello's. Had a mooch around Marks and Spencer and treated myself even further to a freshly baked muffin. I usually have their huge cookies which are divine but I thought I'd try something else. It's actually quite a good little M&S with a good sized lingerie section. You are probably aware by now that bras are the bain of my life in Spain.

So we partied again that afternoon and by that night as I cleaned up the mess, I was all partied out. So partied out that I couldn't face the prospect of another children's party that we were invited to the next day. To top it all off I had no sleep that night what with a snoring partner and night cramps.

On Thursday Justin decided that we would go to Habitat in La Canada to look for a desk. They were all glass and very aesthetically pleasing. However, with the way Justin hurls his keys and himself about we decided it wouldn't be practical. So if anyone knows a good shop for desks, let us know.

Yesterday, their cousins came over and we went out to eat in a lovely bar tucked in Plaza Ginebre in Sabinillas. We were all quite happy and the children were in high spirits but well behaved. Anyway as we were leaving a group of women who looked German in appearance piped up (in English) "Good they are going". So my brother in law gave them what for and then I had a good go and told them that they would have to get used to kids now that they are in Spain. It's the kind of crap that I used to have to put up with from people in the UK. There was no excuse for it as the kids were being really good and it was only about 8 in the evening (early to eat out in Spain). We've never had this in Spain before as the Spanish are so tolerant of children but this group of bitter old bags just couldn't bear anyone to have a good time around them.I mean I didn't complain about their smoking with their puckered up old mouths chomping on an endless stream of cigarettes. But hey I am afraid you are going to get frustrated old birds wherever you are.

Monday, April 16, 2007

El Fin de Semana

Well the weather is holding up. I could never have imagined that weather was ever going to be an issue for me in Spain. The weekend fly by so quickly that I can hardly remember it. I wasted Friday morning in five different supermarkets on the hunt for easy party food. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy by making life difficult for myself.

On Saturday I got the girls ready and turned up for a party that wasn't until this Wednesday after school. I was so annoyed with myself after having driven around like a mad woman looking for presents at what I thought was the last minute.

On Saturday evening I really thought I deserved a Peggoty's fish and chips so we went there for dinner with the girls.

On Sunday we spent the morning preparing for the girls Princess Birthday Tea. Their actual birthday is tomorrow and they will be five. I can't believe it is nearly five years ago that I was taken in and induced. As they were twins, I expected them to arrive a bit early, not have to be induced. Just like their father, always a bit behind schedule!

Anyway, we went down to Decathalon in Los Barrios to buy their new bikes. There's a pretty good choice in there and they have a fab selection of tents. I have been trying to convince Justin to do camping but he is a bit of a diva and is not too keen on the idea. Well, he wasn't keen until we spotted the mother of all tents with mosquito nets, a cooling system, en suites and chandeliers for 200euros. I am a complete camping novice so would appreciate any advice.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

End of the week already

Well this week has flown by and I am pleased to say the weather wasn't too bad today and I even managed to stick the washing out for a couple of hours. Our guests went off to Seville on Monday, where just two hours away, they enjoyed the most glorious sunny weather to the point of heatstroke!

I nipped over to La Canada yesterday morning to get my girls birthday presents and whilst I was there I picked up a little present for myself in H&M. I mean it's got to be done as you don't schlep all the way over there and return empty handed. Anyway, to my dismay, when I got home I discovered that they had put the wrong size tag on the skirt. What a hassle as it's not as if it's around the corner. Justin had to go in that direction anyway so he exchanged it for me but they didn't apologise for the inconvenience or anything. I have probably spent more than the skirt is worth in petrol driving back and forwards but oh well.


I also went to the Chinese shop in Sabinillas and bought a load of old tat that I didn't really need such as spare sellatape, serving bowls and trays. I mean I have survived up until now without the stuff, did I really need to buy it.

Early evening, I came over all dizzy and nauseous. I hear there's a bug going around.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Its sooo cold

It's been a proper winter's day. I am sat typing this by my heater. I really believe that the weather in Spain isn't what it used to be. We used to come all the time in April before we moved here and the temperatures were never as low as they have been recently. On Saturday we went to La Canada to return some shoes for the girls, whilst our guests spent he day in Malaga. Marbella was heaving with tourists mainly from Madrid.

We soon got fed up with the crowds in the shopping centre so decided to go to the cinema in Banus to see The Robinson Family (I think it's called in English). It was a lovely, relaxing afternoon.

On Sunday after an Easter egg hunt in the garden, we took our guests for lunch in Jubrique at a lovely restaurant which uses local produce. Unlike on the coast, you will only find meat dishes on the menu including bull's tail and rabbit, yum, yum! After lunch we drove on to Ronda where we gave our guests a tour of the bullring and bridge, and stopped off for an ice cream.


Our guests were following us and we somehow managed to lose them on the way home. We were so worried when they didn't show up at home. They arrived a couple of hours later having taken an obscure route through the mountains.


Anyway, think I'll have to make a nice hot cup of tea with a chunk of Easter egg to warm myself up now.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Entertaining Guests

Hi just a quickie as our guests are cookin for us tonight, yeah! On Tuesday the girls and I met up with their friends who are over at the minute. They used to live here but went back to England but it´s as if they´ve never been away. We met up in the favourite meeting place for people with children on the Costa del Sol , Agro Jardin. We then moved onto the Paseo Maritimo in Estepona where they have the most fab park for kids. Its only downfall is that it is really long and if you are not careful, the children can easily go out of your sight. The girls had a great time together as it was as if they hadn´t been apart.

On Wednesday we took our guests for some sight seeing and some unavoidable site seeing on the way, ha,ha! We started off in Estepona where our guests sampled some churros con chocolate. Their two year old son went wild for it and was buzzing around the said park for the next hour. We then had lunch in a chiringuito and the kids managed to have a dip in the sea and a play in the sand. Determined to cram in as much as possible we then drove up Estepona mountain to Parque de Los Pedregales. It´s like a small natural park with log canins that you can hire, picnic area, outdoor pool and an adventure playgound. We finished the day with a trip to Casares where we had a coffee and a walk right up to the castle.

Today we took them to Gibraltar for a trip up the Rock. We went in the impressive St Michael´s Cave, had a walk through the tunnels and fed the apes. One of my daughters was really disapointed when an ape stole her bag of crisps. There were some really cute baby ones. It is well worth a trip up there to just watch the antics of the apes. At the end of the day we nearly did a Dolphin Tour but with two almost fives and a two year old in tow we were all a bit worn out so we opted for Agro Jardin to allow them to expel their final bit of energy for the day in the ball park whilst we relaxed with a coffee.

It´s amazing how much fun you have when guests are over as it really does motivate you to do get out and explore as you can get a bit lazy once the honeymoon periood of living in spain has worn off.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Guests are coming

Not going to be able to blog a lot of the week as girls are off school and we have two lots of friends out. At the moment we have water problems on the urbanisation so when there is water you have to seize the opportunity and shower. Yesterday, Justin went to pick up my friend and her cute little girls from the airport. They will be staying at her parents' apartment and we will be getting all the girls together this week.

Our other friends are coming out today and are staying with us for ten days. I only found out yesterday that they were coming today as Justin had kept saying Wednesday for some reason.

I think he felt a bit bad that it was such short notice so he offered to come to the supermarket with me. Big mistake taking Justin as you always spend double the amount that you usually spend and come back with nothing to cook with!

Like I said before, it's day 1 of the half term and depite going to bed at 8 last night and getting up at half 8, one of the girls is really cranky right now and lolling about aimlessly. To irritate me even more, she didn't eat her lunch and will no doubt be climbing up the cupboards looking for snacks over the next couple of hours. That kind of behaviour really annoys me.

I spent half this morning engrossed on a 250 piece puzzle that their grandmother bought them. She must think that they're Einstein or something. Anyway, of course, they started off doing it with me but soon went off, leaving me to do it alone. I can't bear to leave a puzzle half done so I completed it, forgetting that the guests' bed had to be made.

Well, I thing I am going to snatch half an hour of Brick Lane, which I find really difficult to put down, and let the pair of them get on with it.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

My Saturday

Yesterday the girls had a sport/fun morning which is included in their municipal multisports. It is fantastic. At the beginning of the school year you pay 60 euros for the first child and 40 euros for each sibling. They have two hours of sport every week, a tracksuit, short, tshirts and some Saturday morning events. The teachers are so enthusiastic and great with the children. Anyway, whilst they did that I had an opportunity to catch up with emails and read a bit of Brick Lane.

Our friends came over in the afternoon and we had tea and did an Easter egg hunt in the garden. We decided to go out for dinner and headed for Laguna Village in Estepona, only to discover that without the sun shining on it, it was all a bit dull and incredibly child unfriendly. We headed for the Port in Estepona which again, looked a bit less unappealing against the grey backdrop and finally decided to head for the infamous Pegotty's for fish and chips. I can't recommend it enough, they have really got that place right. It's child friendly and the portions are enough to satisfy the hungriest truck driver.

We finally came home, put girls to bed and watched a hired DVD. I think it was called You, Me and Dupree. A really easy, light film to watch at the end of a busy day.