Our stay in England ended with a flight back yesterday afternoon, an experience I was not looking forward to. As if I hadn't enough discomforts already I managed to put my back out on Friday; I don't know how, but that night I didn't sleep too well as whenever I moved I was aware of pain in the muscle of my lower back. All day Saturday was a day of shuffling around timidly, and Saturday night was worse, an almost sleepless night with a violent jab of pain whenever I tried to adjust my position. So by Sunday morning I feared I would have to extend my stay, but with the help of paracetamol, ibuprofen and an adhesive heat pad I made it to Gatwick where I had a wheelchair from bag drop to the door of the plane, and then by wheelchair from the plane to our waiting village taxi at Málaga - and finally we were home with just the twenty eight steps from the front door up to the living room to contend with. The relief just to be home is hard to describe. I'm beginning to think I should just stop travelling (first Dresden, then Winchester, now this), but I probably won't.
Our elder daughter has a senior position in the large, multi-national company where she works, and has worked now for thirty years since leaving school. So as we approach the end of the year there are many work cum social demands on her time, mainly a series of dinners in London, which can be problematic with two young daughters. So on Wednesday we flew into Gatwick to be around for our granddaughters on those evenings. We knew that we would be coming to cold temperatures, lots of cloudy skies, and probably quite a lot of rain, which is ironic because although it's cold, we are seeing plenty of sun and hardly any rain. Back home in Frigiliana meanwhile the autumn rains appear to have arrived with a vengeance, with a string of yellow alerts, and today an orange alert with its eastern edge perilously close to the village. So it turns out that we have come to England to avoid the worst of the weather. Last year we saw very little rain, and not enough the year before that, so the farmers and the reservoirs desperately need an extended period of proper rain.
This visit has given me the chance to remember how fortunate we are in the south of Spain generally, though. The clocks went back and darkness arrived earlier, but not so early as in England. We're used to it getting dark around six thirty in the evening, and even in a month's time it will still be light until about quarter past six. Here in England night time arrives around half past four, and it's surprising how different that feels.
The day before we flew to England I had my latest appointment with the orthopedic specialist, along with a new x-ray of my upper arm and shoulder. Bone growth is progressing to his satisfaction, but he detected some calcification and thinks they may have to operate to remove one of the nails. News I would prefer not to have received of course, but paradoxically welcome as well. Recently I have felt that we had ground to a halt so far as physio is concerned. The particular manipulation now being worked on yields no more mobility and no less pain while undergoing it, so it is some comfort to know that there looks to be a treatable reason for that.
If you have ever been to Frigiliana you'll have noticed that most streets are not accessible by car. You may have wondered how people at the top of the village cope. Well, this video clip is in Spanish, but the pictures say it all, really
Just a quick recommendation. If you want a really good red wine to go with the turkey, one that doesn't cost too much, head for this website and order some Flor de Nieve red wine. It's from a lesser known region, Somontano, in the Pyrenees and we love it. Oh and it's cheaper if you buy six bottles; they won't be wasted!
On the other hand if you live in La Axarquía, drop into Vinomar in Torre del Mar; they stock it.