Sunday 28 April 2019

What's in my wardrobe?

Courgette and Tomato Chutney 
I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer and The Sunday Salon at Readerbuzz.

I'm celebrating a cookery triumph this weekend. My first attempt at making chutney - including the whole sterilising the jars palaver - is deemed a success! I used this Courgette And Tomato Chutney recipe on AllRecipes and, surprisingly for me, didn't tweak any ingredient other than halving all the quantities. The chutney is delicious served alongside toasted pita bread with homemade hummous!

I read a great Treading My Own Path post back at the beginning of March where Lindsay was going to try to establish her absolute minimum wardrobe by wearing 3 outfits for 30 days. At the time, we were travelling so I only had about half my clothes in the motorhome, but I promised myself when we got back home (and I'd done the laundry!), I'd count up my clothing and see what exactly I have to wear. Then I'd keep track of what I actually Do wear!

So, excluding undies and swimwear, I have: 2 dresses, 6 long shirts, 12 tops and t-shirts, 4 vest tops, 4 cardigans, 1 fleece jacket, 6 skirts, 3 pairs of trousers, 2 ponchos, 2 coats and 5 pairs of shoes.

It doesn't look like much when listed like this and would probably all fit in a good sized suitcase - if I wore my hiking boots anyway. I am happy with most of what I've got and don't feel the need to rush out and buy more - even second-hand. I might be able to condense this wardrobe even further by using a trick Lindsay explained in one of her earlier posts. Basically, she tied a scarf around her clothes rail at the left end. Anything she wore was then moved to the left of the scarf when it was put away. At the end of three months, every unworn item still on the right-hand side of the scarf could be considered for discarding. I wonder what this exercise might leave for me?

Giveaways closing soon
28th Apr: Win an ebook copy of An Empty Nest by Sandy Day.
29th Apr: Win a signed copy of The Stars In The Night by Clare Rhoden plus a metal poppy brooch made by a Melbourne craftswoman, and a cross-stitch poppy card.

(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
5 Books, 1 Theme - The Great War
Books From The Backlog - Once Upon A Time In The West ... Country by Tony Hawks

Literary Flits
April In Paris by Michael Wallner review
The Seventh Train by Jackie Carreira review
The High Court by Chris Ledbetter Spotlight + #Giveaway + Guest Post
Caught In A Web by Joseph Lewis Spotlight + Excerpt
Demian by Hermann Hesse review
Once Upon A Time In The West ... Country by Tony Hawks review
The Garden Of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng review

Have a great week!

the biggest lizard we've yet seen living round our static caravan
about 8 inches long I think 
we loved the river views of Saumur, but were underwhelmed with the town itself 
this creepily beautiful sculpture is in the out-of-the-way village of Chateau Larcher. There wasn't any sign to identify the artist 

Sunday 21 April 2019

Back in France! Visiting Vannes in Brittany

I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer and The Sunday Salon at Readerbuzz.

Thank you so much for all your kind wishes last week. We've just about recovered now and have had a nice week pottering around discovering a few new places in France. It was frustrating not to be able to explore with our usual energy, but I think we both appreciated getting out of the motorhome for a few hours each day which is more than we'd managed the week before!

Vannes in Brittany is our great new-to-us discovery and most of the photos on this post were taken there. It has a kind of a La Rochelle vibe, but less touristy and with more open spaces. We loved the half-timbered houses, the historic (and huge) old town walls and the beautiful municipal flowers in the parks. There is a town-wide outdoor photography festival on at the moment with free-to-view galleries in seven locations. The theme is Music of all types so there are images of rock stars, classical musicians, rappers and breakdancers. I was a little disappointed that women musicians are almost completely absent other than in the classical gallery. The classical had the most inventive and entertaining images too. If you're anywhere nearby, the Vannes Photos Festival is on until the 12th May.

We parked up in a paid-for motorhome aire at Conleau on the coast which was perfectly situated for the bus into Vannes town. It wasn't the prettiest aire, but is in a lovely spot for coastal walking - and we could have walked into Vannes and back had we been healthier! The aire is one of 160 in the same group, Camping-Car Park, which we didn't know until we got there, and we now have a membership card so we can easily stay at any of the other locations too.

In bookish news, congratulations to Rebecca W who won the signed PBs of The Melt Trilogy to celebrate the publication of Listen To The Birds by K E Lanning!
If that's not you, there's more Literary Flits giveaways to enter ...

Giveaways closing soon
26th Apr: Win a $15 Amazon gift card to celebrate the Writer Get Noticed! by Colleen M Story blog tour
28th Apr: Win an ebook copy of An Empty Nest by Sandy Day
(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
Book Blogger Hop - Do you check how many views your posts have received?

Literary Flits
When the Pipirite Sings: Selected Poems by Jean Métellus review
A Change Of Time by Ida Jessen review
Fatboy Fall Down by Rabindranath Maharaj review
One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez review
Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback review
We, The Survivors by Tash Aw review
The Stars in the Night by Clare Rhoden review + #Giveaway

Have a great week!

Sunday 7 April 2019

Bristol #StreetArt and getting #GasIt for our Hymer Motorhome

I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

It's been much longer than I thought since my last weekly roundup post. Sorry about that! I'm still way behind on returning blog comments although 'making progress' as they say, and I seem to have managed to suddenly be several ARCs overdue as well. It's amazing how time rushes by when I'm not paying attention!

We're in the UK at the moment and spent last weekend in Bristol. I took the two street art photographs while we were in Stokes Croft which is a fab bohemian part of the city these days. We wandered through and then headed for Gloucester Road which I was told is the longest street of independent shops in the country. I bought a gorgeous new-to-me vintage skirt for just £8!

Just prior to Bristol itself, we had an appointment to get a GasIt system fitted in our motorhome. What this means is that instead of having to lug heavy gas bottles around to exchange them every time they're empty, we can now just refill two permanently plumbed-in bottles at any petrol station LPG pump. Hopefully this will work out to be much easier, more convenient and even cheaper in the long run. It does away with that problem of every European country having non-interchangeable gas bottles too. Now we just have a small bag on pump adapters which we've put into a Safe Place (never to be seen again ;-) We got the work done at GetGas and were very pleased with the service and the price so I am happy to recommend this company!

Hare Art Print by
Jen Buckley Art 
In blogging news, I was surprised this week by a unexpected burst of enthusiasm for a Top Ten Etsy Finds post I first published about this time last year. It seems as though everyone is suddenly mad for handmade March Hares. They are all beautiful creations! This reminded me how much I used to enjoy curating these arty posts so I'm hoping to get back to doing more of them.

Giveaways closing soon
11th Apr: Win a paperback copy of Lanterns In The Sky by P S Malcolm
11th Apr: Win a £15/$15 Amazon gift card to celebrate the Culmfield Cuckoo by Celia Moore blog tour
11th Apr: Win a $25 Amazon gift card to celebrate the Bulwark by Brit Lunden blog tour (post on 8th Apr)
12th Apr: Win a copy of From An-Other Land by Tanushree Ghosh plus 1 winner will also get a $20 Amazon gift card

(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
A Month In Books - March 2019
March Reading Challenges and Bookish Bingo
#WorldReads - Five Books From Colombia
Book Blogger Hop - Which fictional character would you like to be?

Literary Flits
Still Alice by Lisa Genova review
Lanterns In The Sky by P S Malcolm spotlight + #Giveaway + Excerpt
From An-Other Land by Tanushree Ghosh review + #Giveaway
Listen To The Birds by K E Lanning spotlight + #Giveaway + Excerpt
The Other Americans by Laila Lalami review
Love + Life + Death by Hezron Henry review + #FreeBook
Culmfield Cuckoo by Celia Moore spotlight + #Giveaway

Have a great week!

Sunday 17 February 2019

From Gelves marina to Presa de Beznar embalse

Gelves Marina 
I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

I struggling to get my head around it not yet even being a week since we left Sevilla after our weekend there! It hasn't felt like a particularly busy week, but we seemed to have crammed a lot into the time. On Monday we returned to Gelves Marina where we had left our motorhome. We were parked up between the marina basin and the river with boats either side of us. It's a fab location for visiting Sevilla - the bus takes about half an hour and costs just €1.60 each way and the marina parking is €12 per night without electric hookup.

Tuesday saw us driving to Olvera and their municipal Pueblo Blanco campsite. Situated up on a high plateau, it had long views across the countryside but, probably due to the time of year, was ridiculously windy. We managed to get one reasonable walk in but, despite having gone there for the Via Verda cycle path, our bikes stayed put on the bicycle rack! We stayed three nights in the hope of the weather easing before we gave up. A shame as it was a nice campsite, albeit a bit pricey at €18 per night.

We had Olvera campsite pretty much to ourselves! 

Our destination for Friday was the Presa de Beznar embalse - a free motorhome parking spot on the edge of a dammed up lake. There are absolutely no facilities here because it isn't a campsite as such, just a place where motorhome parking overnight is allowed. It's beautiful! We thought we'd only stay one night, but actually stayed there for two - the sun being higher in the sky than at Messines in December means our solar panel charges up much better. We had a great walk aross the top of the dam - scary for height-phobic me! - and then down into the river valley from where we could look up and appreciate just what a feat of engineering it is. We saw and smelt lots of wild rosemary which got me thinking how I should pick a little for delicious fresh rosemary tea. We gleaned a handful of leftover almonds too. The trees are in blossom now so last year's nuts definitely won't be part of any harvest. We need to add nutcrackers to our travelling kitchen utensils though. The two almond shells I did manage to open yielded perfect nuts with an unbelievably strong flavour!

Dave by Beznar lake 

In bookish news, I've just finished (about 20 minutes ago!) reading Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli. Wow! Just wow! I don't think this is one that will appeal to a wide readership, but I loved its dense prose and stream of consciousness style. I had thought that The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo was probably going to be my Book of the Month, just ahead of The Swooping Magpie by Liza Perrat, but now I have this other contender as well. 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for bookishness :-)

Giveaways closing soon
None closing this week
(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
Books From The Backlog - Above The Bridge by Deborah Garner

Literary Flits
The Sign of the Serpent by Majanka Verstraete spotlight + #Giveaway + Author Interview
Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - vintage review
The Unwinding Of The Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams review - cancer non-survivor memoir
The Ghostly Father by Sue Barnard review + #Giveaway - Romeo and Juliet retelling
One Last Prayer For The Rays by Wes Markin spotlight + Excerpt
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo review - Malaysian weretigers!
The Migraine Relief Plan by Stephanie Weaver spotlight + #Giveaway + #VeganRecipe

Airing Out
None this week - must post soon before I start to forget where I've been!

Squint and you might just make out motorhomes above the dam wall 
Beznar dam from t'other side 

Monday 11 February 2019

Our Weekend in Sevilla

View from the Setas sculpture 
I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

We're both pretty exhausted today after a long weekend exploring the gorgeous Spanish city of Sevilla. Dave's family flew out from the UK so we rented a lovely Airbnb apartment for everyone. It's five years since Dave and I last visited Seville so there were a few places, like the amazingly tiled Plaza de Espana and the beautiful historic Real Alcazar, that we were keen to share. This time around we also toured the Setas sculpture - huge wooden mushrooms with a skyline walkway around them! - and got to see a stunning dance show at the Museo de Flamenco.

A significant proportion of our time seemed to be spent sampling delicious tapas and simply wandering around soaking up the Spanish sun and atmosphere. Perfect! A few foodie recommendations for your own Seville visit, should you be planning one, are:
Bar Patanatas - for good traditional tapas.
Arte y Sabor - a fusion restaurant with a great choice of vegan or vegetarian dishes as well as a meaty menu.
Cafe Piola - for the best hot chocolate, plus cocktails and excellent cake for Dave.
El Paladar - a tiny restaurant so get there as they open if you can. Amazing stacked vegan burger and excellent vegan lasagna, plus good meat menu too.
Of all the places we stopped to eat, I think El Paladar was my favourite. It's got a brilliant atmosphere and the waiter's explanation of the menu (mostly in English, occasionally in mime) was great fun!

In bookish news, Reem at Kotobee got in touch this week to let me know about the book fairs section on their blog. Apparently every international book fair is listed here and it looks like we could spend the whole year doing nothing else but touring them!

Giveaways closing soon
11th Feb: Win an ebook of The Night Knight by C H Clepitt
14th Feb: Win an audiobook of Ink by Jobie Baldwin
14th Feb: Win a $10 Amazon gift card to celebrate the publication of A New World - Contact by M D Neu
16th Feb: (post 14th Feb) Win a signed copy of The Ghostly Father by Sue Barnard

(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
January Challenges WrapUp and Bookish Bingo
#WorldReads - Five Books From Northern Ireland
#Veganuary Food Diary - Week Five and Wrapup
Cover Characteristics - Swimming

Literary Flits
How To Create A Vegan World by Tobias Leenaert nonfiction review
Salt of the Earth by Jozef Wittlin historical fiction review
A New World - Contact by M D Neu Spotlight + #Giveaway + Excerpt
How to Lose a Country by Ece Temelkuran nonfiction review
White Walls And Straitjackets by David Owain Hughes horror review
The Swooping Magpie by Liza Perrat historical fiction review
Love In No Man's Land by Duo Ji Zhuo Ga romantic epic review

Airing Out
None this week

Alcazar palace ceiling 
Tile motifs in the Alcazar 

street art in Sevilla 

Sunday 3 February 2019

In the Donana National Park

I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

We arrived in the Doñana National Park on Friday afternoon, a huge protected area of pine forests and sand dunes. Our current campsite is about 5km from the little town of Hinojos (which translates as Fennel). We cycled to and around Hinojos this afternoon along the dedicated off-road cycle path and spent three hours yesterday hiking in the National Park. We plan to stay here until Wednesday although, on arrival, we weren't even sure we'd last 24 hours. Our magic internet gadget Doesn't Work. Quelle horreur! Fortunately the Donarrayan Campsite has good wifi, but it's pricey so we're sharing an access code. My being quiet(er) online over the next few days will be due to this.

Music news: one of my favourite singer-songwriters has a new Kickstarter currently running. I've only seen Peter Mulvey play once - at the Lewes Con Club supporting Birds Of Chicago - and it's high time he got himself back over to Europe for a tour!

In bookish news, congratulations to author Erato who won the Literary Flits Spotlight Post giveaway this month for her historical fiction novel The Virgin And The Bull! I'll be posting that Spotlight on the 22nd Feb, I think. Any authors reading this, add your own book links to the giveaway page to enter next month's draw.

And thank you to Terry Tyler for tagging me in #7books over on Twitter. 1 book I've loved per day, just posting the covers. If you don't already follow me on Twitter you can Do So Right Here!

Giveaways closing soon
3rd Feb: Win a copy of Oh What A Pavlova by Isabella May to celebrate her The Cocktail Bar blog tour).
7th Feb: Win a 4-seat dinner at HiR Fine Dining in Costa Rica (value $580) or win a paperback or ebook copy of Accessible Fine Dining by Noam Kostucki.
Win one of three copies of Piggybacker by Mikki Noble.
Win copies of Melding Spirits by Michael E Burge and $20 Amazon gift cards.

(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
#Veganuary Food Diary - Week Four
State Of The ARC - January 2019
Books From The Backlog - White Walls And Straitjackets by David Owain Hughes
A Month In Books - January 2019

Literary Flits
The Night Knight by C H Clepitt review + #Giveaway
Piggybacker by Mikki Noble spotlight + #Giveaway
Melding Spirits by Michael E. Burge spotlight + #Giveaway
The Judgement Of Richard Richter by Igor Stiks review
The Cocktail Bar by Isabella May spotlight + #Giveaway + Q and A
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell review
Ink by Jobie Baldwin spotlight + #Giveaway + Excerpt

Airing Out
None this week

Sunday 27 January 2019

Hill walking in rural Andalucia

I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

I've had a fab week here in Andalusia! Our current campsite, Camping Rural Presa La Vinuela, has fab views out over a reservoir lake and we have been going walking by the water and over the hills for a couple of hours pretty much every day. We initially thought we might be here 3-4 nights. Tonight will be the 10th night and I think we might well be doing a few more yet. Right now I am watching a flock of 200-300 (at least) smallish seagulls (terns maybe?) who group together and fly around the lake every evening, presumably just for the hell of it!

Yesterday I amazed myself by walking to the local grocery shop without stopping on the way. It's only a kilometre or so away and I know that doesn't sound like much of an achievement! However, as you can see if you squint at the photo below, the campsite is just downhill behind me. The shop is one of the white buildings at the top of this hill in front of me. I swear if it was any steeper, I'd need ropes and crampons to get there ;-)

We've managed to avoid ghastly weather so far this month. There are frequently high winds here, but it's dry and there's no sign of snow coming this way. (That's a cloud on the hill in the top pic.) Commiserations to anyone who's already fed up with miserable winter weather or who is baking in Australia. I can't even imagine how to cope with day after day of over 45 degrees.

In bookish news, congratulations to Ichabod who won the Witch's Moonstone Locket by Marsha A Moore giveaway! Hope you love the book, Icky!
Did you all get your free Mamachari Matchmaker by S J Pajonas short story? Stephanie (fab name, no?!) is offering free downloads until the 1st Feb to celebrate her birthday so Happy Birthday to her!

Giveaways closing soon
27th Jan: A Moleskine travel journal to celebrate the A Heart in the Right Place by Heide Goody and Iain Grant blog tour
31st Jan: Winter's Heist by Emily Duvall paperback
$25 Amazon gift card to celebrate the By Any Means by James Morris blog tour
$10 Amazon gift card to celebrate the The Princess of Baker Street by Mia Kerick blog tour
Free Literary Flits Spotlight book promo post
3rd Feb: (post on 1st Feb) Oh What A Pavlova by Isabella May to celebrate her The Cocktail Bar blog tour)
(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
#Veganuary Food Diary - Week Three
The best of Gibraltar? Alameda Botanical Gardens

Literary Flits
By Any Means by James Morris Spotlight + Giveaway + Excerpt
The Princess of Baker Street by Mia Kerick Spotlight + Giveaway + Excerpt
Mamachari Matchmaker by S J Pajonas short story review + Free Book
A Heart in the Right Place by Heide Goody and Iain Grant Spotlight + Giveaway + Excerpt
The Monsoon Ghost Image by Tom Vater thriller review
Vizilsan: Blue Rabbit's Crystal by Marko Marković graphic novel review
Pocket Poets: Rupert Brooke poetry review

Airing Out
Aire - Alcaidesa Marina - La Linea de la Concepcion - Spain

Love this Patricia Vonne song Guitarras y Castanuelas, inspired by her Andalusian heritage

Friday 25 January 2019

The best of Gibraltar? Alameda Botanical Gardens

Tree sculpture at Alameda 
We spent three nights last week parked up at the Alcaidesa Marina at La Linea de la Concepcion in order to spend time with a friend whose boat was berthed there. Being within easy walking distance of the Rock of Gibraltar we decided to visit. It's a strange place! Still owned by Britain, our visit began with having to show our passports, then we had to wait a few minutes for a Moroccan Airlines aeroplane to take off before we could walk across the airport runway to enter Gibraltar proper. Neither of us had ever walked across an international airport runway before so it seemed quite weird. It was easy to spot the tourists because we were all taking pictures and videos of ourselves right by this plane! The locals weren't at all fazed.

To be honest I didn't much like Gibraltar. After the relaxed attitude of Spain it was difficult to immediately adjust to the British all-in-a-rush style. Even things like pedestrian crossing etiquette becomes British - in Spain cars nearly always voluntarily stop when a pedestrian appears to want to cross the road. On Gibraltar (and in Britain) cars won't stop unless they have a red traffic light and absolutely have to. The shops are predominantly British chains - Marks And Spencer, Costa Coffee, etc - aI was overwhelmed by just how packed and busy it is. And expensive! We had been told that the monkeys at the top of the Rock are essential viewing, but it was going to cost over €15 for the return cable car ride. €15 each! And I hate heights!

Instead, we kept walking just past the cable car base station and climbed a crescent-shaped flight of steps into a welcome oasis of calm - The Alameda Botanical Gardens! The Gardens were founded just over 200 years ago, in 1816, but had been allowed to fall into disrepair in the 1970s. The Gardens we strolled around are a result of rehabilitation started in 1991. There is an outdoor theatre, a small wildlife area which houses exotic pets confiscated by Gibraltar customs officers, an allotment area where local children are growing their own food plants, an outdoor art gallery with additional sculptures dotted around the Gardens, and, of course, an impressive array of botanical specimens from countries around the world. We didn't visit the wildlife, but did spend a while admiring the art which, at the moment, is a selection of winning images from the Photographer Of The Year competition. Our favourite was this photograph which was taken in South America:

Ingenious irrigation system in the allotment 
Alcaidesa Marina at sunset

Sunday 20 January 2019

Discovering proper Sherry in Jerez de la Frontera

I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

Our two-night stay in Jerez de la Frontera got off to a great start when, upon arriving at our motorhome aire, La Morada Del Sur, we were each given a complimentary glass of locally made sherry. I remembered sherry as a dubiously tasting liqueur that Nana might sip out of a tiny glass at Christmas. The dust-covered English bottles are a totally different beverage to the real Spanish version. Spanish cream sherry is delicious and dangerously moreish! We just had to buy ourselves a whole bottle!

Jerez de la Frontera is a lovely historic town. It's a little bit touristy, but not too much so and we enjoyed spending a day wandering around and pointing at things. The highlight was undoubtedly the beautiful Alcazar which was bought in the 1920s by one of the rich sherry families and has been restored for the town. Originally a Moor fortress and palace, it contains a bath house and a small mosque, both with wonderfully elegant architecture. The three-roomed palace overlooks a fountained courtyard, and the current custodians have recreated a typical kitchen garden as well.

There's a small art gallery within the main house displaying a dozen or so large vintage posters for Jerez events and fiestas - one was from the late 1800s. On the top floor is a superb recreated pharmacy which was rescued from a convent in the early 20th century. It has huge dark wood display units with all kinds of bottles and jars as well as lots of the pharmacist's tools and equipment for making lotions and potions. Jerez Alcazar is a fascinating place and excellent value at just €1.80 each to get in.

In bookish news, I'm currently reading a memoir written by a Vietnamese woman who is not going to survive colon cancer: The Unwinding Of The Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams. It sounds like it should be depressing, but is unexpectedly uplifting. I hope to blog my review on Literary Flits on Wednesday.

Giveaways closing soon
I've got four new Literary Flits giveaways for you this week starting with romantic suspense novel Winter's Heist by Emily Duvall today. There's several closing this week too:

24th Jan: Win paperback copies of of Flygirl by R D Kardon plus a notebook and a mug
24th Jan: Win a signed copy of all three books in the Women of Purgatory series (Raven's Breaths, Dark Abigail, and Holli's Hellfire) to celebrate the release of Holli's Hellfire by Tish Thawer
26th Jan: Win an ebook copy of Witch's Moonstone Locket by Marsha A Moore
27th Jan: (post on 24th) Win a Moleskine Journal to celebrate the A Heart In The Right Place by Heide Goody and Iain Grant blog tour
(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
#Veganuary Food Diary - Week Two
Books From The Backlog - The Judgement Of Richard Richter by Igor Stiks

Literary Flits
Flygirl by R D Kardon Spotlight + #Giveaway + Excerpt
Spiral Of Silence by Elvira Sanchez-Blake review
Holli's Hellfire by Tish Thawer Spotlight + #Giveaway
Spiral Into Darkness by Joseph Lewis Spotlight
UK2 by Terry Tyler review
All Things by Amber Belldene review (Veganuary read)
Winter's Heist by Emily Duvall Spotlight + #Giveaway + Q And A

Airing Out
Aire - La Morada Del Sur Parking - Jerez De La Frontera - Spain

Sunday 6 January 2019

Sitting On The Border

Oil drum wall 
I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

I'm writing this post from a campsite  near the village of Odeleite - practically on the Portugal-Spain border, up on a plateau with gorgeous panoramic views for miles and miles. We can see the Guadiana river (the actual border) from our pitch and we're still just on the Portuguese side. Our current campsite is actually a motorhome aire owned by the local hunting association which, admittedly, isn't very Veganuary, but we've not heard anyone shooting at the wildlife yet! It's an amazing 8 euros a night including electricity and there's fantastic walking routes right from our doorstep. We've been out for great hikes on each of the past three days and are considering delaying our planned departure from Tuesday until Friday or beyond so we can do even more wandering.

Our motorhome is second from the right 

The oil drum wall pictured at the top of this post is part of a small ramshackle encampment nearby where a woman seems to live on her own and keeps an assortment of ducks, geese, chickens and guinea fowl. Most of the place looks as though it was built from recycled materials. It's brilliant!

Traditional farming is apparently still practiced around here (according to one of our Walk Route leaflets anyway). We've not yet seen anyone using a horse-drawn plough, but a wandering shepherd brought his flock of sheep and goats across the land just below our aire on Friday. He had about half a dozen dogs 'helping', only one of which looked like how I envisage a Collie sheepdog. The others were mostly guess-the-breed mutts, but they were certainly enthusiastic!

In bookish news, I've got two giveaway winners to announce today! Congratulations to Keith who won the My Dream Woman by C H Clepitt ebook and to author Marsha A Moore who is this month's Literary Flits Spotlight Post winner!
Also let's welcome chucklesthescot to WorldReads. She's blogged books set in the Arctic.

Giveaways closing soon
6th Jan: Derrick by Russell ebooks
(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
A Month In Books - December 2018
Books From The Backlog - UK2 by Terry Tyler
December Challenges Wrapup - Bookish Bingo
#WorldReads - Five Books From Argentina

Literary Flits
Crush by Richard Siken review
Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey review
Crazy As Chocolate by Elisabeth Hyde review
The Bead Collector by Sefi Atta review
Incident At Diamond Springs by Kendall Hanson review + #FreeBook
Farm Land: Sentience by Gemma Lawrence review
Black Holes by Ochi review + #FreeBook

Airing Out
No new campsites this week

One of the views from our pitch 

Guadiana River