I was looking forward to New Year’s Eve.
Actually I was looking forward to 2011. It seems, that for a lot of us, 2010 has not been the best of years.
The journalist in me usually enjoys doing a review of the year. I think I’ll skip quickly over this one and mention a few of the reasons that haven’t so far been included on this blog.
After a disagreement on a job early this year Partner left that job. A few weeks later all the windows on our vehicle were vandalised leaving the vehicle undriveable. I have no idea if the two were connected.
Moving swiftly on to summer. On one of our trips back from the finca in Spain, we stopped as usual to let the dog out and give him a drink of water in the back of the vehicle. Meanwhile, some toerag sneaked into the front – this is a van body so you can’t see the front from the back – and stole our bags with passports, ID, money – everything really. Not to mention my contact lenses, a nice pair of gold ear-rings, favourite Cross pen, Swiss Army Knife etc etc.
In the heat of the August sun, we left the autovia and searched for the nearest police station to make a report. It was too hot to leave the dog in the vehicle, so Partner went to find a shady parking spot and then sat outside with the dog while I braved the policia.
It seemed the whole world wanted to file reports at the police station – it is a popular activity after all. The nice officer at the station wasn’t sure whether the denuncio would get us across the frontier. Great. No passports for any of us, including the dog, no ID cards, and no money. But it worked. The Spanish police let us through, helpfully saying – ‘but you can’t come back without passports’. So if the Gib police didn’t let us in, we would be stuck between the two for ever and a day. Luckily they did.
So there we were grounded in Gib. And just a couple of weeks later, we were due to celebrate our Silver Wedding. I’m not sure that we would have gone out of Gib anyway, but as we were waiting for all our replacement papers to be processed we had no choice.
Our wedding was pretty small, just us, two invited witnesses and a couple of gatecrashers – they were known to us – but we hadn’t planned on inviting anyone to the Register Office apart from the obligatory two. For our 25th, there was definitely just the two of us. I meant to write about it on here, but, somehow it’s nicer to keep some things private. In our typical low-key fashion, we went down to Europa Point, the most southerly tip of Gibraltar and gazed across the Straits of Gib to Africa, and across the Bahia of Algerias towards southernmost Spain.
I thought about our wedding 25 years ago in Sydney (Australia), and everything that had happened in the intervening time. I defy anyone who’s married not to have their moments when they wonder if they will make the next anniversary let alone a milestone one. But here we were in Gibraltar 25 years on, which oddly reminds us both of Sydney. Not least because we live in a tiny flat again.
Looking back on the year, that’s the one day that stands out for me as being memorable in a pleasant way.
Moving on to December and our dog suddenly seemed to deteriorate. Before 8am we had put him in the vehicle and we were rushing back to see his vet in Spain where he is registered and who had seen him only the previous week for annual jabs. After a couple of days of waiting for the results of a blood test, it turned out he had very high levels of white blood cells and proteins – indicative of erlichia canis. Another couple of days and the confirmation was through that he had tested positive for that and we immediately had to double his dose of doxycyclin.
I have to say this news probably coloured my views about Christmas and my lack of interest in it. Erlichiosis can kill and cause a number of other illnesses depending on how far it has progessed. But for dog people out there, more on this later. Thanks at this point to everyone for their comments on my gloomy Christmas post, I did appreciate them all.
We’d agreed on no Christmas presents this year, a bit like no Silver Wedding presents. Seems a bit silly spending a load of money on presents when money is thin on the ground – another downer of the year, like many people I suppose. On Boxing Day, we went over to our neighbours’ luncthime buffet and enjoyed a lovely afternoon. I guess it cheered us both up a bit and made the holiday slightly less of a non-event.
And for New Year’s Eve, we were at the finca. Less fireworks for the dog than in Gib, a nice log fire, and fresh asparagus with beurre blanc for supper. So, my somewhat different annual review and … onto 2011.