It isreally important to me that my son,HG is able to swim. I looked into lessons at the local indoor pool and decided the 15€ half hour lessons could wait until he was a bit older. 

But there was no harm in him and I having a little dip together,was there? 

Well, I was hooked. My kiddo took to water like a duck. And it made my heart sing. I knew he liked water, I just figured all kids did. That was until I saw the lessons we had forgone happening. And the little niños bawling their eyes out. HG was a bit worried,looking over at them,then went back to splashing about and trying to eat the foam noodle. 

There has been an unexpected but very much welcomed side effect of swimming with my son. We’ve had a deepening of our bond. Of course he trusts me,he has no need not to. But when you on purpose dunk your son under water – It can be a bit of a heart stopping moment. I worried and still sometimes worry that I don’t love him enough. So when he is trying to stand up on me or kicking his little chubby legs, I know without a doubt I love this monkey!

Ive also realised if I count him in,he’ll close his eyes just before the moment of contact with the water. It’s perfect. 

Swimming indoors in Spain and indeed Europe is tres sophisticated. Showering before entering the pool,thongs only for the pool,swimming caps and chaps in speedos.

Now you may have realised! I like to have organised bags,and it is an art. And it’s even better if you remember to take it with you. Unlike myself today.

Luckily I have gotten into the habit of putting my swimmers on before I leave the house. And there was a spare swim nappy in the car. 

If you are in Australia,it’s essential to have a Country Road tote.*  I recommend this as the best bag for carting to pool,beach etc. It can double as a baby change table if the only other one is being used or is a bit dirty looking. Also,it’s a great opportunity to use those cute cosmetic bags we have all collected over the years. I use a plastic lined one for my swim cap and goggles. 

I recommend keeping a plastic bag to pop wet things into. I hang it all out to dry as soon as I get home. By having it all in a plastic bag,I can then peg up the plastic bag on the line, whilst the towels and swimmers dry. Then once they are dry,they go straight back into the plastic bag. It also means I can leave the tote in the car and not forget it!

  • I wouldn’t normally use one but a two in one shampoo is very handy.
  •  I use a Turkish towel-how did I ever get by without one? Easy dry and getting softer with each use.
  • Like I said, I use a small cosmetics bag for my goggles and swim cap. I keep a euro coin within as well,so I don’t have to go searching each time I need one for the locker.
  • A BB cream,I’d recommend the H and M one. For details,see my January beauty haul post.
  • A lip Balm of some type. Pick a colour that is natural but pretty. I like the Baby lips by Mabelyline in a red berry tone.
  • Don’t forget pads and tampons. Nothing worse than remembering once you’re at the pool.
  • I keep enough swim nappies and normal nappies for a week. Whack an elastic band around them to keep them together. Note, I have a reusable one to pop over the top and once I’ve used up the throwaways,I’ll just use the reusable.
  • The Bonds wondersuits are very easy to pop on a wriggly baby after a swim.
  • Don’t forget a bra and a pair of knickers for you! 

I know that swimming might be a bit of a sticking point,feeling self conscious about not being the best teacher or that parts of your body may not make you grin with pleasure. But I’d really recommend it. Both for you and Bub. I found that by getting back in the pool,it has in a most positive way,made me feel like going for a walk in the afternoons. Or to be more willing to get changed in the back of the car to go for a unplanned dip in the Mediterranean Sea. All to see that smile and hear that laugh HG has when he is splashing about.

Tell me about your experiences and your little niños in the water.

*Not sponsored. My grandfather had a CR tote and it held wonderful memories for me. I treated myself to one just before I left Australia.

Love and loquats.


Romantically stranded

Currently the area I live has been hit pretty bad by a tremendous storm. 

At he beginning of the week,we had two days of rain and snow. My husband had to delay his trip to Barcelona but the rain as subsided by Friday,he packed up the car and drove away. We can see the road from the house, so I wait to wave him away-pretending like I’m a pioneer wife. Well Elizabeth MacArthur was pretty badass…

Anyway,as his car rounded the bend,the rain started up again,and got harder and it got windier and windier. The firewood got wet,the washing under cover got wetter,and the rain kept on coming. Then the power went out, and came back on,and then out again then on again. Over the course of the weekend this happened 10 times. The wind shook my 200 year old house as I attempted to light a fire,hearing the hiss of rain hitting the newly lit fire. The sound that makes your heart sink, is like hearing the little cry babies make when you’ve just spent an age trying to put them down for a nap…

Anyway, at least I had the essentials. 

As I’ve mentioned previously, we live in a semi rural area,I am separated from our nearest town by a small river.

This is a today’s photo of said river. 

My husband returned yesterday,only to spend three hours trying to get home,eventually climbing this small mountain to reach us. 

And today,he again climbed the small mountain to get baby formula and bread (also chocolate!) 

Our driveway is totally out of action for now,it could be a week before they even get up to look at it.

For now, I am content to use up our store of baked beans and brown rice,admire the snow capped mountains and spend countless hours getting little one to roll over and crawl. I guess I am happy being romantically stranded,my inner pioneer wife is stoked.

 Love and lipstick 


Want to read more about Elizabeth? http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/macarthurs-and-the-merino-sheep.

Food Shopping…





Food shopping is one of those tasks that you have to do. Weather you do it online, at a street market or a supermarket. Maybe even a warehouse or a mega mart.

I’ve been here for 13 months now. I’ve gone through bottles of washing powder that stink and make my skin itchy. I’ve bought something that I thought was cottage cheese and it certainly was not. I’ve craved Oak chocolate milk and some decent vegetable stock cubes.

Settled for chocolate milk and now know which stock cubes will give the best flavour, after many, many purchases!

When I first arrived my in laws invited some friends for dinner and I had a list of questions. Where to buy meat, free range eggs, etc etc. I was given some half hearted answers and sent in the direction of the expensive spanglish supermarket. Not the best place seeing as though we didn’t have a car and it is more than 15 km away!

So I experimented. I tried the local supermarkets (it was still a 2.5 km walk into town each day) and when we did get further away I trotted into any supermarket I saw.

As I said, 13 months in, I now purchase most fruit and vegs from an outdoor market on a Sunday. I purchase cat food, box juice and toilet paper from the biggest chain of Supermarkets in Spain Mas Y Mas Carrefour is a once a month run for washing liquid, always two for one. Mouthwash and frozen peas. Booze for Mr E comes from an independent supermarket catering to English, German and Scandinavian clients. We also go to a very Scandinavian supermarket for my pickles and Resin caramel cravings (It’s all the baby’s fault!)

Mrs Green, a rather stylish mature lady who promises to teach me the secrets to perfect bread and making lemon curd in the microwave. Today, I asked her to take me to her supermarkets and to see what new things I could find.

Mr E is for the most part is perfect, however me standing in front of the spice section umming and ahhing about which smoked paprika I want to buy seems to test his saintly patience. So off we went as two ‘single’ ladies. My friend Mrs Green has a husband, Mr Green who suffers as Mr E does when shopping is involved. So we hit a rather well known international chain of supermarkets. I proved good for ‘fun things’ Cheese, jamon, even a swimsuit. As it has a high turn over Mrs Green advised me that you can’t always rely on what will be in store. Shop here- including a hunk of ginger and some button mushrooms came in at 13 euros.

Our next stop was the other huge Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona, where the majority of Spanish people shop. I’ve not been to one and I was impressed. There is lots of variety, even self raising flour.

*Spainards don’t do self raising flour. You have add the self raising to the regular stuff. I was even able to purchase tofu for Mr E. Shop here came in at 20 Euros, including some fresh yeast and some baked beans!

Mrs Green was super helpful; from what washing up gloves are the best, to what is the Spanish equivalent of Napisan/bread flour/ Worstershire sauce. It seems like a no brainer, with I-phones to translate and pictures on most packets-right? But its not, and on top of getting yourself to the supermarket, a list, reusable bags, getting used to saying Hola to everyone you meet it can be a big job.

For my English/Spanish readers. What if someone was to take you around to the supermarkets when you first arrived? Do you think it would have helped?

For my Aussie readers, maybe someone new moves in on your street. How about offering them a lift to the local shopping centre and being a tour guide for the day?

Love and Loquats