New Year’s Eve, Menorca

Finally, the end of 2020… my fervent prayer is that this time next year we don’t find ourselves looking back on 2020 with nostalgia. ….

Sis is home (she came home Dec. 1st, and has been making slow but steady progress ever since). Chris has gone. We are bereft. Two and a half months of the most buoyant company and support – Saint Christopher indeed… Now comes the hard part… but we will manage… and we have so much to be thankful for…


December 2020


Sept-Nov


Dec.2nd

The Queen is home, finally… yesterday, on our third attempt… first try was Nov.18th, but the bathroom renovation wasn’t finished; then Thanksgiving, but there was a knock-on problem with the kitchen plumbing; and finally Dec. 1st – and a beautiful day it was, she even took a slow (assisted) walk around the garden and sat out on the patio for a while, before retiring to her new “cama articulada”… And now it’s raining – but we’re all home and snug… Sis even took a short walk outside this morning in the cold and damp (with the aid of the walker, and Chris) – after two and a half months of recycled air, she has a new appreciation of fresh air!

I had a bit of a ghastly morning: we got home to find there was only one oxycodona pill left, so I got up early and went to the farmacia for more, only to be told that the prescription had run out, no more refills – what? How could they not have told me?? So I walked over to the hospital (in the rain) where luckily the doctor who had taken care of sis had just come in. She said it was a controlled substance and I’d have to take it up with Diana’s personal doctor. I explained that it took 3 or 4 days to get an appointment, and meanwhile what were we to do? After a lengthy to-and-fro, she finally wrote me a prescription. I walked back (in the rain) to the farmacia, only to be told that the doctor had made a mistake in the precise wording of the prescription, so back I walked to the hospital (in the rain)  to. find that luckily, again, the doc had still not started her rounds. She amended the scrip and I walked back (in the rain) to the farmacia. Third time’s a charm… But really… And I hadn’t even had breakfast…

On a more optimistic note, the “new” bathroom is a great improvement – really quite good. The shower is fabulous, tho’ it does make you want to take a lovely LONG one, which is so against the rules here… But it was definitely worth the trouble (I haven’t seen the bill yet –  I dread to think…). In reality all ‘we’ (Sebastian and Chris) did was take out the bathtub and replace it with a walk-in shower, but this ended up taking FOUR WEEKS – Jesus me beads, as my mother used to say… old houses… you disturb one thing and that leads to another and another and another…. the whole waste pipe had to be replaced which involved digging through a 6-foot-thick stone wall into the pozo negro, aomngst other things… then there was a knock-on problem with the kitchen plumbing, after an old metal pipe in the back of the house was accidentally punctured during the bathroom work (nephew Chris finally solved the kitchen problem with a little extra piece of rubber washer – after Sebastian spent TWO DAYS trying to figure it out…). But meanwhile, much other necessary work has been done: Chris bleached out all the mould in various bits of ceiling, and we have taken care of a lot of the noisy outdoor work – cutting wood, weed whacking all the tancas (and little bits of the gardens – the oxalis is really taking over), getting rid of all the porqueria in the lane from the bathroom excavation, also all the old irrigation tubing lying about in various fields, and a few of the smaller bathtubs that used to provide water for sheep and horses, etc…) – so that all might be quiet and peaceful for the Queen’s return… On Monday, the day before she came back, the cleaner bailed, so I had the joy of cleaning the house as best I could, plus doing. a massive shop, while Chris got hold of Sebastian’s hedge-trimmer and went to town on the plumbago, setos, and many other things – if we had our own (hedge clippers), there would probably be no vegetation left on the finca! But the place looks really spiffy and cleaned up – thank you St. Christopher…

We finally had a half day of rain last Saturday, and another today, with more on the way – the garden is sooo happy, after almost two months without… The bad news is that the potato plants have the blight – damn! It seems the best thing to do is just cut them down, burn them so as to not pass the blight onto the soil, and dig up what potatoes there are – wah! it’s way too soon… but I took out the last plant on each row a few days ago as an experiment, and some more this afternoon, and garnered a pretty good crop of decent sized tatties – so the blight hasn’t reached the roots yet, only the leaves… the Menorcan reds, which came up much later than the rest, are still not too bad, so perhaps I will try the organic “fungicide” – a solution of bicarbonate of soda and water, with a little oil to make it stick to the leaves and a little washing up liquid to emulsify it… if it stops raining for a few days…

Thank heavens for Chris – not only is he great muscle to have around. for a myriad jobs, but he is such a sweetheart, so kind and considerate and loving, and good company, and gets on better with his mom than anyone else in the world – me included! I’m atually writing this in my studio – where I’ve not been in months – safe in the knowledge that he is in the house cooking up a big batch of pesto lasagna, while sis is tucked up in her room, and the fire is blazing in the sitting room. All is momentarily good with the world – tho I know things can change in a heartbeat – kenahora, kenahora – surrounded by white light etc etc…. I must take a short walk before it gets dark… Saludos to one and all…