Many Reasons to Give Thanks

2 Jan

Well, what an end to the year we´ve had here Up The Mountain.

First of all, young Master Alfi, shaggy pup extraordinaire, runs under the wheels of Fish Man´s Van, but you´ve heard all about that already.

This was followed by a wonderful couple of days over Christmas with my parents, Big Man´s family, and way too much food and drink.

Then the first little disaster struck in the form of a terrible stomach virus which we are all still struggling to recover from today.  Hey ho, at least we didn´t put on weight and I still have a larder full of goodies to see us through a few weeks.

The most dramatic turn came on New Year´s Eve when my dad got taken into hospital suffering from a lung infection.  It was all rather scary for everyone, but after an entire day on drips and antibiotics he brightened up immensely and was allowed out, but only under condition that he took things quietly.  Supper was boiled rice and broth for him, and we officially declared 2012 at about 10pm when we ate our grapes, banged a saucepan with a wooden spoon and tucked him and my exhausted mum up in bed. Am giving huge thanks that it was quickly sorted and he is now on the mend.


At midnight, Big Man and I quietly celebrated again, so hopefully we´re due a double dose of good luck this year as we each ate 24 grapes that night!

Master Alfi then took a little turn for the worse, but now seems to have perked up.  Phew…not a few days I am likely to forget in a hurry.

All the drama-ramas aside, we did have a lovely time together and had plenty of fun too.

And awards….well, I was stunned and grateful to be given so many lovely awards over the Christmas period.  Time now to “say thank you nicely” as my mum taught me to do.

First off The Versatile Blogger Award.  Sandra and Kathy, two friends separated by many miles awarded me this, thanks ladies! Do check out their blog – I know you´ll love it.  The lovely Antoinette, otherwise known as Spree also awarded me the VBA – what an honour!  I´m still a fairly new reader of her blog, so join me in discovering all her wonderful posts. And this where I now have to make an embarrassing confession.  I was also given this award by 2 or 3 other blogging pals.  Sensibly I wrote the names of my kind awarders down on a piece of paper.  You know where I am going with this don´t you?  In a fit of Christmas helpfulness, lots of wrapping paper got thrown on the fire.  I can only think that this was the destiny of my list.  I am very ashamed that I can´t say a personal thank you to the very kind folk who nominated me…but to each and every one of you, I am humbled and grateful.  Thank you.

As I think I am already dumping a load of information on you, check out my previous answers here.

Now we come to the Reader Appreciation Award, passed on to me by ChgoJohn, surely a long lost Italian cousin.  Thank you John…you know I love your blog and am dying to pop on over one day and sit down with you and Zia and tuck into a plate of pasta and have a game of cards over a bottle of wine!

The “rules” of this award are posted here, but I am going to break them! I can´t pick out 6 people – far too few!  But I have updated my Blogroll finally and say that each and every one of you on there is deserving of this award in my (not so) humble opinion.  Yay – let´s party and celebrate!

I wanted to end with a chuckle, so as we haven´t yet got to the Christmas celebration of the 3 Kings on 6th January, have a little read of this story which relates the adventures of my very first Christmas out here with Big Man.  Thankfully, it was a little less full of drama…

My love and good wishes to you all, because without my readers and commenters I´d just be talking to myself… and that´s not always a good thing!


50 Responses to “Many Reasons to Give Thanks”

  1. ceciliag January 2, 2012 at 17:49 #

    Love it! I MUST get to my blog roll too and I Have that little piece of paper you wrote your names on but i lost it and i think you have mine or they both got lost together! I So understand that dilemma! Thank God your festive season is over and everyone is resting comfortably, now maybe you can tell me about the grapes. Is this a tradition i might like?.. c

    • Chica Andaluza January 2, 2012 at 17:57 #

      Aha – that´s what happened, we got each other´s lists! As for the grapes, the Spaniards watch the bells chime from the capital, Madrid, in the Plaza del Sol and on each bong you pop a (preferably peeled and seedless) grape into your mouth and swallow…I think they said on tv there were 36 seconds to do all 12 grapes (gulp)! Each grapes is meant to represent a month of good luck…then of course much kissing and drinking of Cava (lovely Spanish champagne) which is much more fun. You could do it next year with some little frozen grapes from your vine! Am so looking forward to a drama free week or so 🙂

  2. Mad Dog January 2, 2012 at 18:13 #

    I hope you’ve all recovered now – best wishes for the New Year 😉

    • Chica Andaluza January 2, 2012 at 18:52 #

      All is now calm Up the Mountain – thanks and best wishes to you too!

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide January 2, 2012 at 19:50 #

    Sounds like things are getting better and you’re taking them in stride. Glad you had a good new year’s all things considered.

  4. Food,Photography & France January 2, 2012 at 19:55 #

    You deserve all your awards and I hope you’re recovered. Looking forward to your 2012 posts.

    • Chica Andaluza January 2, 2012 at 21:42 #

      Thank you so much Roger – am on the mend and I hope you are too…

  5. gardenfreshtomatoes January 2, 2012 at 20:17 #

    Ahh, now the truth comes out – you were completely exhausted by the time you read my New Year’s Eve post, rather than overcome by the beauty of my prose… 😀

    Much love to all of you for the coming year…after the week(s) you’ve just had, if you can still smile, there’s nothing that will ever stand in your way.

    • Chica Andaluza January 2, 2012 at 21:43 #

      Ha! Not true! I loved your post and it came at just the right moment. I am mostly a “glass half full” person, so am definitely still smilinh 🙂 Thanks RaeDi for your good wishes.

  6. kathryningrid January 2, 2012 at 21:11 #

    I can only hope that this means you and your family have gotten all of the unpleasantness out of the way for the entire year right off the top!! Wishing you all better health, great happiness and a beautiful 2012 from here on in! And many congratulations on your much-deserved recognition with VBA and Reader Appreciations. Happy blogging in the year to come, my friend!

  7. sportsglutton January 2, 2012 at 22:05 #

    Congrats on the awards and all the best to you in 2012!

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 10:57 #

      Thanks Jed – the sun is shining and we are all starting to feel better, so everything is good!

  8. Christina January 2, 2012 at 22:36 #

    Sounds like you had a bit of a stressful end of the year! So glad to hear that your dad is doing better! Congrats on your award! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 10:58 #

      Thanks Christina – everything is going so much better now so here´s to 2012!

  9. chaiselongue1 January 2, 2012 at 23:42 #

    So glad it seems you have all recovered now, and hope that 2012 can only get better!

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 10:59 #

      Thanks Teleri – as you say, it can only get better…and fortunately it all seemed to sort itself out quickly 🙂

  10. Florence January 2, 2012 at 23:57 #

    Happy New year T. My goodness! Sounds like something you would see in Faulty Towers!!! not in real life. Hope all is ok now.
    Regards Florence x

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 11:00 #

      Well, we definitely had a Spaniard in with us for comic relief!

  11. ChgoJohn January 3, 2012 at 04:03 #

    Well, 2011 sure went out with a bang, didn’t it? So glad to hear that your Dad is doing well and that you all are on the mend. Very happy to see you’ve won so many awards, Tanya, for you and your blog are certainly deserving of each. Thank you for the kindly mention of my “place”, too. Wouldn’t it be something if a few of us actually found ourselves on the same side of The Pond one day? What fun that would be!

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 11:01 #

      My, what a party that would be. Apart from the fact that we´d be drowning in food and drink…imagine the conversations, laughter and story swapping! One day…one day….

  12. Tandy January 3, 2012 at 06:41 #

    I have not read any blogs while on leave and see I have missed a drama or three! I wish that 2012 starts off on the biggest high with no more troubles! May the sun find you everyday 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 11:02 #

      Thank you so much Tandy. In retrospect, it was all not quite so bad in the end, but at the time these things can be stressful. Sending you sunshine and happy days too!

    • promenadeplantings January 3, 2012 at 11:14 #

      Lovely to hear about your awards. Now for a bit of peace and quiet in the new year….. ok how long did the peace and quiet last!

      • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 12:08 #

        Thank you so much Claire – peace and quiet…what´s that?!

  13. The Spain Scoop - Scoopette January 3, 2012 at 08:49 #

    You’re right, there’s so much to be thankful for, even though it does seem like you had a bit of bad luck there for a while! May 2012 be a good one!

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 11:19 #

      Thanks Scoopette! It´s already so much better with my dad on the mend and the virus on its way out. The sun is shining today too, so all is well! Thanks for visiting…

  14. Scrambled Megs January 3, 2012 at 13:14 #

    Such a beautiful post and blog. So glad I found you! I will be subscribing. Feel free to stop over some time. Megs

  15. TBM January 3, 2012 at 13:27 #

    Sorry to hear that your father had to go to the hospital. I am happy to hear that all of you are recovering from an eventful holiday season.

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 13:43 #

      Thank you – as we say “all´s well that ends well”!

      • TBM January 3, 2012 at 13:59 #

        I love your positive attitude.

  16. spree January 3, 2012 at 16:20 #

    What a scare you had with your Dad. So happy to hear it was a relatively quick turnaround! From where I sit, it looks like you finished up your year with more than one person’s share of surprises. Seems that 24 grapes were in order. I love the Spanish tradition of the 12 grapes – I do hope I remember it come next New Years eve (which happens also to be our wedding anniversary)! Maybe you’ll remind us ahead of time? Best of all things up on your mountain, all year long!

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 16:58 #

      It was certainly an eventful end of year for us all! What a wonderful night to celebrate your wedding anniversary and I shall certainly give you a little reminder ahead of time to get your grapes ready 🙂 All the best to you too.

  17. Karen January 3, 2012 at 17:11 #

    First of all I am happy that everyone is starting to get better, especially your father. That must have been frightening for all of you. I hope that all of your bad luck is left behind with 2011 and that 2012 will be a wonderful and healthy year. 24 grapes just might do the trick.

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 17:38 #

      Thank you so much for your kind words Karen. Parents are a worry as they get older! We are all looking forward to 2012 and I hope that the excessive amount of grapes does the trick!

  18. spicegirlfla January 3, 2012 at 17:14 #

    Tanya, you and your blog are so deserving of these wonderful awards! I look forward to following along with you in 2012! Hope everyone is feeling much better and ready to start off the new year!!

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 17:39 #

      Thank you so much Linda – all is looking much brighter now…and what a relief that is! All the best to you and yours too 🙂

  19. PendleStitches January 3, 2012 at 18:17 #

    Oh good grief. I hope you’re all feeling better now and I’ve got everything crossed for a happy and healthy new year.

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 19:15 #

      It was memorable – but all seems to be on the up again now!

  20. Michi January 3, 2012 at 21:16 #

    I’m sorry about your father, and am glad that he’s okay and getting better. Whew, those situations are tough, any time of the year. I hope you and Big Man do get a double dose of good luck this upcoming year. Felicidades and sending over happy, healthy vibes!

    • Chica Andaluza January 3, 2012 at 21:27 #

      Thanks Michi and ¡igualmente! to you and your loved ones 🙂

  21. ....RaeDi January 3, 2012 at 23:57 #

    What does not kill us makes us stronger, you all will be fit for a New Year and God help us all! You all have earned it that is for sure! Love the photo!

  22. thecompletecookbook January 4, 2012 at 13:02 #

    Oh my Tanya, I am so pleased to hear that everybody is on the mend! Have a fantastic 2012 with everything that is beautiful and happy.
    I was also going to ask about the grapes – interesting – so no chewing then, just straight down the hatch…
    Wish I could say that I have not put on any weight and I still have family visiting until the end of January! Oh deary me, I do hope I still fit into some of my clothing by then!
    🙂 Mandy

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 13:37 #

      Straight down the hatch as you say! Maybe we´ll have to do a little workshop on adjusting clothes to cope with the Christmas weight gains…as a not so skinny gal, this is ALWAYS useful for me 🙂

  23. naimh lye January 4, 2012 at 18:59 #

    Honestly – only you could start the New Year like that ! Hopefully that’s all your bad luck for 2012 done with in one go and the next 11 months and 27 days will be plain sailing for you and the Big Man. I’m so pleased to hear your Dad is on the mend. B xx

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 23:22 #

      Thanks B – it was not quite how we expected to be celebrating but hopefully all is now on the up!

  24. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise January 7, 2012 at 21:38 #

    Glad everything is better now..sounds like a scary couple of days Tanya

    • Chica Andaluza January 7, 2012 at 22:02 #

      Memorable – and in not such a good way! But hey, all over now and things are looking MUCH brighter 🙂

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Entre El Comal Y La Olla

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