November 2018

The van hasn’t moved even an inch this month! It has been parked on pitch 425 at Camping Almanat about 30 km from Malaga, near the town of Torre Del Mar.  The camping ground is set on the beach and surrounded by market gardens, where they get three crops a year of onions, artichokes, eggplant, capsicum and potatoes. They also grow miles of zucchinis that were in flower this month – but no zucchini flowers on the menu anywhere, to Sue’s disappointment.

The month started with All Saints Day, which is a really big deal in Spain. The cemeteries are packed with people doing elaborate floral arrangements. It’s like a floral art competition! Michael was intrigued by the man selling lottery tickets as you came out of the cemetery – not what you would expect to see!

Sue and Michael have been a ‘tag team’ in their visits to Adelaide this year, with Grubie staying back to look after the camping car and whichever of Sue or Michael was with her. She is the ‘security dog’ after all!

As many of you know, Michael went back to Adelaide first before Sue and celebrated his return by slipping over and fracturing his left ankle. This happened near our sister Lindy’s house in Norwood as he and Lindy’s husband, JB were heading out for dinner. He’s had to endure many funny comments due to the rivalry between his beloved Sturt football club and the Norwood team.

It took Michael a couple of days to get over the shock of his fall and to consult Doctors, finally resulting in a ‘moon boot’ and the OK to fly back to Spain. Lindy and JB were fantastic, looking after him well and driving him around to appointments. He also had all his annual medical check-ups, which show that according to the battery of tests, Michael is getting healthier as he ages. Who would have thought?!!

A few days was all Michael needed to get back on track with his Adelaide plans to visit family and friends as well as ‘ticking-off’ annual tasks such as tax returns, international drivers license etc. He hired an automatic car and really enjoyed using the disabled parking permit!  He proceeded with his agenda of lunches and dinners catching up with old media mates, football club buddies, family and friends.

Two memorable moments were watching Casablanca in Schilgy’s  home movie theatre to ‘warm up’ for Morocco and drinking Chris Greening’s Yalumba Signature wine with him at Goolwa. This is a stunning wine named in his honor by the Yalumba label. We have brought a bottle back and will drink t on Christmas day in Morocco.

Michael continued with his love of wine, visiting the Cube at McLaren Vale to see what all the hype was about and also caught up with our nephew Sam Berketa, winemaker at Alpha Box & Dice.

Michael saw his Mum, Dad sister Jo and brother Rick several times.

When he flew back to Spain Michael needed to be wheeled onto the plane and between planes. He was very impressed with the ground staff and aircrew on the Emirates flights, who really looked after him.

While Michael was in Adelaide Sue and Grubie were still ‘chilling out’ in Torre Del Mar. The weather was very changeable, with a few days of torrential rain followed by a little sunshine. The few nice days were bright and sunny but not hot. Didn’t stop the northern Europeans from stripping off and lying in the sun to soak up every drop! Sue took a trip to Malaga one night and enjoyed seeing the lights from a rooftop bar.

It really wasn’t very well planned. Sue and Michael had less than 12 hours together, before it was Sue who took off for Adelaide. Barely time to get an update on family & friends and check out that Michael would be able to manage on one leg. Sue had filled the freezer with food and the ‘cellar’ with booze, as well as hiring a disability scooter (gopher) for Michael while she was away.

We have wonderful neighbours as well as good friends in the area and they all spoiled Michael and Grubie with meals, shopping and good company.

While Sue was home in Australia she spent a few days on a ‘girl’s trip’ to Victor Harbor, about an hour south of Adelaide on the coast. She went with Lindy and Nina and spent the time looking at the great views and visiting Michael’s parents and our friends the Greenings in nearby Goolwa. There were some highly competitive games in the evenings!

Sue’s sister Louise came over from Melbourne for a visit and the three Merrett girls had lots of laughs going through their mother’s photographs. Some lovely old ones to keep as well as boxes of terrible shots with people heads cut off!


Sue and Michael go to Adelaide in November because it is just such a gorgeous time of year! It really is a very pretty and orderly town and the beaches are beautiful. The Jacaranda trees that line the streets are in full purple/blue flower in November and the streets of lovely old homes are pretty. We have always loved the Central Market, going there every Saturday morning for probably 25 years. Having now been to many covered markets in Europe, we still think Adelaide’s Central Market is up there with the best.

Its also wonderful to eat good Asian food and visit favourite restaurants again – The Jerusalem, Wasai, The Ghan Caravan and Parisis- as well as to discover some good new ones such as So183 and Mrs Q.

It was wonderful to go back to Adelaide and see family and friends but it was good to all be back together again. Grubie was delighted to have her family in one place as we planned our trip to Morocco. Stay tuned!