Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cash in spain

Have you noticed when you have been at the supermarket or wherever that Spanish people mainly carry cash. Coming from the UK where we are so card dependent this seems so old fashioned but it is very necessary.

The problem is the supermarkets don’t offer the cash back facility that is offered in the UK. Not only that but you can often get caught out with a card as many shops and restaurants only accept cash. This has happened to us a few times when we have gone out for a meal with a limited amount of cash only to find that it doesn’t cover the bill and we all have to wait around whilst one of us drives around looking for a cash point.

Now finding a cash point is often much easier said than done. When you do find one that isn’t your own bank be prepared for some hefty charges of around five euros for withdrawing one hundred. Even if you do find your bank, it is likely to be out of order or out of money. So, any opportunity that you have to get money out for free, take out more than you think that you will need. You will just have to be a bit controlled in your spending and find a safe place to put it.

Unfortunately, I am not very good at practising what I preach and I never seem to have cash on me as finding a parking space at my nearest cash point is always impossible so that’s my excuse.Remember if you are carrying lots of cash around with you to be extra careful not to be robbed.

Feeling muddled

Yesterday I filled my diesel engine up with petrol! What a hassle. Now it has to be drained and god knows what they have to do to make it all better again.


At the moment I am feeling very muddled an disorganised and I really hate feeling this way. I have short term memory problems anyway but I am getting do frustrated with trying to find my keys, hairbrush and so on.

I couldn't make it to the gym Monday morning as I was feeling really dizzy which is in itself a good reason/excuse to stuff my face at regular interval. There's so much I need to do but everything involves driving for miles and then waiting in queues. I don't know how anybody could possible do a full time job out here with all the wild goose chasing that goes on.

I am so muddled that I can't even think how to end this post.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My weekend

On Friday night we went to El Estribo in Sabinillas. The place was packed and I am not surprised as the food is to die for. The girls had the juiciest burger and chips. We both had steak with pepper sauce which was divine. We rounded the meal off with a piece of rich chocolate to share.We took a stroll down the promenade and the girls played on the beach.

On Saturday, Justin arose declaring that he wanted to go shopping. This is a very rare event so I wasn't about to say no. We headed for Miramar in Fuengirola, stopping off along the way in Dunnes. I love Dunnes. People say that it is the Irish Marks and Spencer but it isn't, it's more Matalan. It has the most fantastic, up to the minute stuff for the house and quite a good underwear section. Until the 16th June they are running an offer where if you spend 30 euros, they give you a fifteen euro voucher back to use in another transaction worth over 30 euros. Now, you have to be careful here because one would expect that spending 60 euros would qualify you for two vouchers, 9oeuros, 3 vouchers and so on. But no, this is not the case. So, if you want to make the most of the deal make sure you split your shopping into multiples of thirty euros a go. You may want to go early in the morning to avoid queueing over and over again. Then when you want to use the voucher, you need to make sure that in each transaction, you keep it as close to thirty euros as possible to make it all worthwhile. It sounds complicated but you will see what I mean. So make sure you get there by the 16th to qualify for the vouchers and they are valid until the end of the month.

We also bought the girls some sandals. Now this wasn't easy as all the girls sandals in the shops were so impractical, you know fancy ones with diamantes for going out in the evening. When they are playing out and in the park, they need supportive shoes. Finally, I found some walking type sandals in Timberland in pink. Excellent I thought, practical shoes in a girly colour but of course, they only had the size to fit one of them. The only other colour was beige. I really couldn't get one pink and the other beige so I had to give up on them and carry on looking. I looked in Zara but it is shocking how flimsy the designs are for young childrens' feet. Okay they look pretty but the soles are completely flat and the straps are so thin and weak. In fact, they would be better off playing without shoes than going to the park with those on. In the end, I had had enough and I wasn't enjoying the prospect of an endless hunt for sandals so I went back to Timberland and bought the beige ones.

From there I went to C&A where they have lovely kids clothes in bright colours and I picked them up some tshirts and a couple of pairs of combat shorts.I have even got their new bags for going back to school.

Yesterday evening I had a big clear out for the charity shop. I love clearing out stuff as a claustrophobe, I find it so cathartic to get rid of the stuff that closes me in. I mean what do you really need to keep hold of in life. I am unsentimental about objects and I like the thought that someone is benefiting from my things. Since I don't do runs for charity or fund raising, I feel that in a way I am doing a bit.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Tuesday morning

Okay just to catch up. All last week the girls had been going on about going to the Water Park. They had only been once before to Bahia Park in Los Barrios. Since this one wasn't open yet we decided to try out the Mijas/Fuengirola one. Well, one of them loved it, the other didn't as it wasn't what she had anticipated. I have to admit I do prefer he one in Los Barrios for little children as the layout is better such as the toilets are next to their play area. Whilst we were there we managed to get burnt despite applying factor 30 and sitting under an umbrella. The sun is really powerful this year so invest in some good quality cream. We used Mercadona's own brand as I couldn't find my cream from the chemist but it was pretty useless. It really is best to buy the best sun cream that you can afford.

Justin went off to play with the girls and I sat under the umbrella with the most delicious apple tart from opencor (the corner shop version of supercor/hipercor which is open everyday of the year). Whilst they were gone, I spotted a group of Eastern European, maybe Polish, young people, probably in their early twenties. They were happy and having a good time but one was wearing his pants not trunks. They were so obviously white y front pants.One of the conditions of aquaparks is that you wear proper bathing attire. I watched one of the lifeguards spot it and signal to the other one. Then, they had a little private chat about what to do. They decided upon "I didn't see it and neither did you". At this point I was bursting to point it out to their attention just to watch how they would handle it, but I looked at the guy with the pants practically skipping with happiness around the pools hand in hand with his pretty little girlfriend and I just couldn't be so mean.

Yesterday morning I hit the gym. After many failed attempts to get it all together,I had all the necessary paperwork for joining properly apart from the subscription fee. I am sorry but I can't guess everything, a bit of information would be nice. Thankfully, she was an approachable, pleasant girl not the usual perfectly coifed dragon.

Grey's Anatomy has filled a huge television void in my life, I am hooked. My soul was at the point of total destruction when my friend took pity and lent me serious 1 and 2. For the first couple of episodes I was a bit "oh ER again" but once the character development kicked in, there was no going back for me. We have been watching at least three episodes per night until the early hours of the morning.

This morning Justin is interviewing a really big name on the coast so I am waiting in anticipation to get the low down.Today I am aiming to do about three days worth of work in one day. Let's see what happens!

Friday, June 01, 2007

She stole my brownies

Last night I made chocolate fudge brownies and we ate half of them. I have to say they were pretty yummy. The other were left on the counter in the kitchen. Every Friday the cleaner comes to give the whole house a proper going over. I consider it a treat in the same way some people might have a takeaway or a massage. Anyway, mid morning I went to make myself a cup of tea and couldn't find my brownies. It turns out that she threw them away. Is she trying to tell me something??? I was a bit miffed as my taste buds were working up to it and tea is so wet to drink alone.Short of going in the bin and getting them out (I admit I did check to see if they were still edible) what was I to do but hold on to lunch, working away with plummeting sugar levels.

It really feels like the end of the term and my girls are literally dragging themselves to school and I am dragging myself out of bed in order to take them there!I didn't even do the food shopping today and I know that tomorrow the supermarkets will be heaving and on Sunday they will be closed. I know I am hopeless and disorganised but the truth is I am bored, bored, bored with the supermarkets. They are so uninspiring and unappetising but why oh why doesn't that stop me from eating. Oh I know because eating out is just so good!That's secretly the reason why I didn't do food shopping. I needed a reason not to cook tonight. I am fed up with cooking every night and I am sick of the taste of my own cooking. Surely, I have a skill that I can exchange with someone to make some lovely meals to put in my freezer. I can't face another night at the stove, I need to eat out or get a takeaway.