So we’ve finally found a moment to catch our breaths. Today we actually did things we would normally do on a bright, warm Saturday in September like tidy up in the caravan, under the bed, in the awning, under the gazebo etc. That’s because Greg and Karen have gone home. We drove them to Barcelona Estacion del Norte on Thursday at 16.30 and off they went on the Megabus of all things! Such a pity that that particular bus broke down 3 times en route to Paris, meaning that the poor souls only reached home this afternoon, but Greg told me they’ll almost certainly get the full fare back so that makes up for the nightmare a little.

We have had a brilliant time with number 3 son and fiancée here at Vilanova Park campsite over the past 9 days and we’ve all four genuinely enjoyed their stay. They were in a Lifestyle chalet again, not five minutes from our pitch and we spent equal amounts of time in our caravan and in their chalet, although I cooked the last 4 meals at theirs just because there was more room.

One of the things I got them to help me with was putting up our Gazebo which we’ve had for 2 years but never used. Disassembled and with no instructions, it turned into a Krypton factor type puzzle but we followed a certain kind of logic and eventually worked out which poles went where. Mary was absolutely delighted with it when she got back from town and I’m sure we will spend many a happy hour beneath its not insubstantial shade.

On Sunday we’d promised to pick Scottish Annie up from the same bus station in Barcelona which meant we had to miss out on taking the kids back to the Biker Bar but we made it up to them by driving down to Roc de Gaieta, one of the most beautiful villages in Catalunya. Greg and I even managed a wee swim off the beach while the girls looked on admiringly!

Wet ones!

Wet ones!

Tuesday was an absolutely stonking day. After breakfast of bacon and eggs we prepared a picnic, jumped in the Audi and sped off to Tibidabo, the high hill to the North-West of Barcelona. The weather was again really good to us although there were some clouds to be seen and the sky wasn’t for once clear and blue. However, once we were up there (at the second attempt, thanks to Victoria not being able to find a signal) we were treated to a fantastic view of the Catalan capital and the Mediterranean beyond. They say that on a good day you can actually see Majorca from there.

Duck!

Duck!

This time though, you have to remember we were with 2 youngsters and, as Tibidabo is famous for the funfair it has perched on its uppermost slopes, there was always the chance that this visit would be different from our previous ones. And so it turned out! Once we had taken in the view and gobbled up our picnic underneath the funfair’s aeroplane, we bought some tickets and went for it despite butterflies all round. Well, that was great fun and we really enjoyed (is that the right word, Karen?) being swung out over the steep slopes of Tibidabo in a mock-up of the first ever plane to fly from Madrid to Barcelona. It felt like being in an Indiana Jones movie.

They're fine, honest!

They’re fine, honest!

Once back on terra firma we decided to stroll down to the north end of the plateau top, a maze of paths joined by children’s chutes. As I stood at the bottom of one I’d just slid down, waiting to capture a photo of Greg as he emerged from the silver tube, I noticed Karen wide-eyed and telling me “it’s behind you”. Suspecting another annoying wasp, I spun round with hand raised, only to find myself face-to-face with a wild boar! No kidding, there it was about 5 metres away and heading straight for me. Have you any idea how quickly you can get up a flight of stairs when motivated?

Bacon, anyone?

Bacon, anyone?

With the 4 of us up above the path on a wee wooden bridge we watched the creature wander about below us then suddenly jump up to a level opposite us before thankfully wandering off down a path. Suspecting it was a young boar (no tusks you see!) Greg and I tracked it away down through the bushes before the four of us moved on towards the car park and some more great views. But on our way back to the funfair we were attracted to an East-European group of young folk who were standing close to the animal taking photos. Emboldened, we joined in and got some really good shots before the interesting boar (is that a contradiction?) slunk off into the bushes.

We spent a bit more time looking at the churches on the hill before deciding it was time to drive back to Vilanova where I had a nap while the others did various things they needed to do. Mary prepared her lessons for the next day and Greg and Karen went for a swim at the pool. That evening I prepared a cheeky wee sausage casserole for us all and the evening finished with a classic game of “Newmarket”.

On the Wednesday, despite the soaring temperatures and while Mary was at work, Greg and I finally had that game of tennis we’d been trying to have since he arrived. Although he claimed he’d overdone his warm-up against Karen, my 6-4 6-4 triumph against him was as sweet as ever and cheered me up no end. Nice to know you’ve still got something worth cheering about! Our final evening was by request Dad’s Spaghetti Tuna in Martini sauce which proved as tasty as it always does and then a final few hands of cards together before we had to say “Last Jack in the Box” and go to bed.

As you would expect, Greg and Karen were rather subdued on Thursday morning in anticipation of the end of their holiday, but Mary and I jollied them along as best we could until it was time to take to the road again and brave the streets of Barcelona. We got them there ok and after a tight set of hugs we left them to finish their own adventure while we made our way back to Vilanova and a wee rest.

Yesterday I finally got to work on putting the photos into my new book and I’ve made reasonable progress today as well. Sitting here in the awning just after midnight, we’ve been treated to one of those classic continental thunderstorms we get every so often and it provides us with quite a show. This morning I managed to book our flights home to celebrate Mary’s birthday (I won’t say which one but she’s 49 at the moment!) and we’ll be flying to Edinburgh via Brussels for a change just to save a few bob. We’ve managed to arrange to be back for 5 days from the 29 October and we hope to see as many of you as possible in the Invergowrie Inn on Hallowe’en for her party.

Midnight flashes

Midnight flashes

Dundee Sandra’s friend Amanda and her Dad have come back for a week’s holiday and she’s been complaining that I don’t post on my blog often enough. Does she have any idea what it’s been like these past few months? How I ever found time to do a full-time job I really don’t know! Now where have I heard that before? Bye for now!

Got this photo from my cousin down South.

Wee Georgie plus girls from Yorkshire

Wee Georgie plus girls from Yorkshire

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