|Yes Mum, yes Dad, it is a lovely view. When can we go home?|
Almost every day on this adventure we are having to learn something new. Where can we get water? Is there a shop near here that sells fresh milk? How do we ask for directions in a strange language? As well as the practicalities, we are all learning how to adapt to being together all of the time, living in a small space. I can't help but feel that whilst challenging at times, all of the newness and the problem-solving requirements are a good mental workout. Also, there is a certain buzz to be had when a particular problem is surmounted.
We have been asked a few times if we are trying different foods. Because we are on a strict budget we are not really eating out, save for the odd take-away lunch so our opportunities for eating new stuff is limited to whatever the chef (me) is willing to prepare. So far we have almost exclusively stuck to what we know from the English supermarkets when shopping for food and whilst Tom really wanted us to buy - and eat - the whole rabbit we found in Lidl's chilled section, I was less enthusiastic at the prospect. Ditto octopus tentacles. I am pretty adventurous when it comes to trying food when eating out, but slightly squeamish when it comes to preparing meat that isn't ready-portioned and wrapped in cellophane. I think this is a perfect example of what I said at the beginning, but somehow I can't see Nathanial volunteering for kitchen duties in the spirit of pioneering.
|Please can we get it Mum, pleeeease!!|
In France Nathanial and I ate a lot of Camembert, having never really eaten it at home. We also ate quite a lot of croissants, pain-au-chocolat and almondes, all of which we did eat at home but the French ones are so much better. We are missing them a little now we're in Spain. I have discovered that I can make a delicious rice-pudding with long-life milk and risotto rice. I wonder if you can make risotto with pudding rice? If memory serves, it is cheaper to buy.
Another new thing we have learned is that you can rent a lovely Spanish villa for not a lot of money in the winter months. Secondly we learned that Spanish villas are designed for HOT weather.We have also discovered that Spanish electricity is pretty pants. Don't expect to be able to use the electric heater in your chilly villa if you also want to cook your dinner/dry your hair/iron your clothes, because the power will trip out. We have surmised that these are the reasons we seem to be living in a ghost town where all the neighbouring villas are unoccupied, but we are enjoying the extra space all the same.
I am learning more about myself too. As someone who has always told herself that my motto is 'worry about it when it happens', I have noticed on this trip that the phrase 'I'm worried that.....' falls from my lips on a very regular basis.
|I'm worried that the boys will climb up that wall. Oh, they already have. I'm worried the boys will fall off that wall.|
|I'm worried that the van will tip over when you back it on the drive..|
|It's a bit steep, this road we're down, can't even see over the horizon!|
|I'm worried that we're about to re-create a scene from 'The Birds'|
I'm worried that Christmas is going to feel really strange (more on that later).
Perhaps over the next few months I will manage to ration my use of the phrase, or perhaps I just need to give my "'ead a sheck" as Nathanial would say. I'm sure a certain amount of worrying lends a degree of caution to proceedings. Sometimes it's hard being the only grown up in the family.