Hello August

[su_dropcap style=”simple” size=”5″]A[/su_dropcap]nd where did July go?? Well, at least half of July was spent here – or somewhere close to this spot.

… which you might already know if you follow us on Instagram. Unlike the years before we found (working) WIFI spots this time to post pictures. And, like the years before, we have been in Catalunya on the Costa Brava, and we drove down, thanks to the horrific price tag attached to flights with your dog from and to the UK. So, ze car (also known as Bruni the knight bus) it is. We have written en detail  how you can leave the country with your dog in tow. We might try the night train (with ze car) next year, but I only thought about this option when we came back (of course!) and I need to do the maths to see if it’s worth doing that. Currently it looks like a neat option. We will keep you posted on that.

Ok, so back to July, what happened? Part one was a mad rush through a possible knee surgery for Micro (not happening now), writing a sensible abstract for a conference, packing (2x – G went to Switzerland for work) and cleaning: still issues with the landlady and the hallway carpet – for which condition she would like to make our dog responsible – fun fact: we were away for weeks and the hallway carpet was at least as dirty  as always and I cleaned the day before we left. Hum. It’s a light carpet which is 9 years old, and has had builders trampling over it last year for the (cosmetic) repairs/ re-paint – what are the options…?

Part two: holidays! As you can see all of us had a great time at the beach, which is also one of the few dog friendly beaches in the area (during holiday peak time, otherwise you can go to any beach). The vet is nice (you need him for the de-worming to go back to UK, and hopefully for nothing else) and Micro made some new dog and human friends. Honestly, this dog, he had people recognising him on the market after day one – next thing you know they would have started feeding him treats… ehm, good that he’s totally not food motivated. Dogs are allowed on the market (difference to Germany), but (technically) not in the meat and fish halls, which means you still see some dogs.

Having learned the hard way, this year we bought a plug-in cool box (with power supplies for both the car and in the house) to keep our things fresh or (in Micro’s case) frozen.  We bought exactly this model and are very happy with the outcome. Arrived in Spain after 49 hours (thanks to the dramatically early start due to operation stack and numerous sleep stops at service stations, plus one night in a hotel) with the dog food being 95% frozen. We only lost one pack due to the incredibly weak fridge in the house in Spain – ah!

We made one roadtrip, which G requested as she has not seen much of this area. And it turns out there are lots of places you can take your dog, with the exception of Cadaqués, because who can make the dog walk on hot pavements for 20 minutes (assumed time to walk from parking spot outside town to town centre) to have a coffee? Otherwise the town is very picturesque and relatively quiet (thanks to no parking in town) but with a one-way system that reminded us strongly of Wandsworth (you know what I mean if you have driven there, if not, be happy). The rest of the time was spent eating, swimming, playing with Micro on the beach, buying food (or thinking about what food to buy), going for coffees (and in G’s case for ice creams), doing some shopping (finally cracked and bought Birkenstocks – everyone did, ok almost everyone) and unlike every year, we didn’t touch a book other than a cookbook, hm, that was strange, but there were enough things to talk about and of course there are audiobooks…

We came back to temperatures 20°C lower (eek!), which was a real shock to the system for all of us, and ended July and began August with a short weekend trip to the Cotsworlds. Now we are waiting for sunny days in August.