Sunday 22 February 2009

National Grid blew up our multi-satellite receiver

I'm really cheesed off since the national grid insisted we have a new electricity meter and the consequence of that was that when we turned our multi-satellite back on it blew up!!!

I never realised how much I would miss TVE and my daily dose of Cuentame.

Even more frustrating is the fact that since we bought our motorised dish the connections to the new satellite receivers have changed and it means we will have to buy a new satellite receiver; new motor for the dish and my husband will have to climb back up on the roof to fit the new motor. So not only will it cost us a lot of money but it is going to create a lot of work to get it working...

Oh I miss my Spanish tv :-(

Friday 20 February 2009

If you don't have a dream...'ll never have a dream come true!

I'm focusing on my dream at the moment. Anything to keep me calm and give me something to look forward to :-)

If it is correct that by seeing your dream in detail it helps to send out the right vibrations for calling that dream to you then I should receive it fairly soon :-)

Any spare moment I think to myself what my dream is and I work towards achieving that dream. I focus in detail from the ground up - so to speak - in the hope that one of these days my dream will come true.

No I'm not saying what it is as I don't want to jinx it!

Apple Cider Vinegar

Well it's been a hell of a week and I know I've been stressed because it has set off the arthritis that I have in my neck! It's been about 5 years since the last flare up and I had forgotten how bad it was....

Strangely enough it's stress that tends to set it off more than the position I'm working in - and I've had enough of that at work in the past week. Also it's the 'come down after the stress' that's the worst. If you don't know what I am talking about it is basically as you start to relax when the stressful situation eases a little that then causes the flare up of the inflammation. Don't ask me why, I just know it happens like that with me.

So I have had to remember how I coped with it before and I remembered 'apple cider vinegar'. Now there are some that will scoff at that and say it's old wives tales etc etc. but for me it works. I know that I need it because I can feel the crystallisation in my neck and turning my head back and forth and from side to side creates 'cracking' noises and I can feel the crunching. Well a couple of spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar in water with a spoon of honey (to make it taste better) seems to dissolve the crystals - well it did last time and I'm hoping it will now!

Saturday 14 February 2009

Spanish History

I've recently bought a couple of books on Spanish history as we've been watching the Spanish soap 'Cuentame' and have watched them move forwards from the times of Franco into the post Franco period and it got us realising just how little we know about the history of the country of our friends.

Unfortunately due to the National Grid changing our electricity meter and blowing up our multi-positional satellite we are now missing our weeknight programme and our daily visit to TVE while we wait in hope that it can be repaired.

So meanwhile it is back into delving into books to educate ourselves.

Happy Valentine's Day & Caramel Flans

Have a lovely Valentine's Day to anyone reading this blog.

After 27 years together we don't actually celebrate it commercially by buying expensive Valentine's cards or go out and have an expensive meal. Instead we have an evening just enjoying one another's company watching a film, having a drink and celebrating another year of health and happiness.

Today I was looking through a new Spanish cookbook that I purchased recently and couldn't resist making caramel flans for dessert for this evening and tomorrow. I have made them before but it was years ago and I had forgotten how easy they are to make and how delicious they are :-)

Sunday 8 February 2009

It's in the Genes

I came across this old photo which shows me as a young child - around about 5 years of age I believe. What stunned me was that when I first saw it I thought the little 'me' looked just like my granddaughter Katie!

It was not just that we looked alike but it was the way we were sitting; the way we were laughing. I have several photos of Katie (who is nearly 4) in much the same pose.

Then I studied the photo a little more closely and I could see that a lot of it has to do with youth and innocence. The laughter is so natural with no forced smiles. Just a whole-hearted laugh. It is a time of our life before life's experiences robs us of our innocence; a time of unparalleled trust and naivety. Something that money can never buy and can never be re-gained once it is lost.

Nevertheless genetics also holds a key and it goes to show that my genes will continue on throughout this world once I am no longer part of it. Quite comforting really.

What a week - they will not break me!

Well it's been one hell of a week. What with the snow bringing us all to a stand still at the start of the week and then the ongoing chaos that follows I am really glad that it's the weekend.

Work has been absolutely frantic this past week with even more new 'technical' jobs being handed to me and my colleague, which we have to learn instantly. "We'll keep piling the work on until you reach breaking point" I was informed by our MD on Tuesday!!! Quite what will happen when we reach 'breaking point' I am not too sure but I don't intend to break! It doesn't make a very good working environment though...

It seems to me that the "credit crunch" is definitely being used to the advantage of employers at the moment. With the 'fear' of unemployment being used as a way to make employees do almost anything that their employer wants without giving anything in return. You just have to consider yourself lucky if you have a job - they say...

What goes around; comes around?

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Virgin Trip

Well after the excitement of booking our trip to France over Easter the doubts and fears are beginning. I guess when you are a ‘virgin’ motor-homer you always start with a few fears, so I’ve compiled a list of ‘what-ifs’ to answer my own questions. Maybe then I can start to enjoy planning the route etc! I sometimes wonder what happened to that naivety of youth that leads you to embarking on anything without thinking; that allows you to just experience and be impulsive and carefree and full of confidence. I suppose that life in itself tends to knock some of that out of you. It’s a shame but never mind I will try to find it again.

So here goes:

 What if we break down
o Well that’s what I’ve got European breakdown assistance insurance for.

 What if the battery goes flat
o Well make sure to take the battery booster or spare battery

 What if no-one understands my French
o Well I’ve got fingers – I can point at things. I’m not the only person who has travelled in a country and only known a bare minimum of the language!

 What if the gas bottles run out
o Then I buy another one – after all I believe that France is fully equipped – more so than most countries – for people in motorhomes

 What if we are involved in an accident
o That’s what van insurance is for, also personal travel insurance

 What if we get lost (impossible – we have maps and a sat nav) or get involved in something where we need to speak the language
o Well we have phone numbers of English people living in France – use them and get some help

 What if we don’t know what to do at any of the services or how to fill up with water/empty waste etc
o Well watch other campers or try to work it out – after all we are not stupid

 What if we don’t like being on the road all the time
o Well either find a camping site and stay put or turn round and make your way home – you have your ‘home’ on your back

If any more silly thoughts come to mind I will add them to the list and then when I have doubts I can re-read them because it's about time I started enjoying life without worrying about the what-ifs...

I do realise that one of my main worries is because I only speak a minimum of French. When in Spain I don't worry because I can speak Spanish very well but French - well my schooldays are long gone and that's where I learned it, so it's get the books out and study again, but I can't focus on French and Spanish at the same time, can I? Well can I??? Mmmm I'll have to think about that...

Tuesday 3 February 2009

Easter in France

Well I've booked Eurotunnel and now there's no going back...

It will be the first time that we have taken the old van on such a long trip - oh how I hope it copes well! Now all I've got to do is to work out some kind of route. I know that Mick wants to go to Millau again so I guess we'll head down that way somewhere. I will study Google Earth and try to put together some sights that we want to see.

I have to admit to being a bit nervous about this trip as we are beginners at this motorhoming lark but what the hell "nothing ventured; nothing gained".

I must learn to start being more optimistic :-)

Will let you know more about the route when I've investigated it more...

Monday 2 February 2009

England comes to a halt

Well I got up this morning and was just about to leave to go to work when a friend text me to say that the coaches were not running this morning and neither were the trains! After a few more phone calls it was apparent that no-one was getting into work today :-) Hopefully by tomorrow they would have gritted the roads and got the country moving again.

I had to laugh as my friend, in Canada, would have hysterics looking at the photos of the small amount of snow that brings us to a standstill.

Oh and here's a photo of my cat, Garfie, refusing to move another inch. He's now hibernating on our bed....

Sunday 1 February 2009

Looking Forwards

Well so far this weekend, apart from my 'nursing' duties, I've checked the prices/availability of ferries from Barcelona for the summer; checked the prices for Eurotunnel to go away to France over Easter and insured our Motorhome for European breakdown cover. So things are getting moving...

There appears to be quite a good deal on the Eurotunnel. We intend to leave England on Sunday 19th April (after the christening) and spend the next week in France coming home on either the 26th or 27th April. I just need to read up on travelling around France in a motorhome and also work out some kind of route. I know that Mick wants to go and see the Millau (is that how you spell it?) viaduct again so I guess we will be going down that side of France. Time to open up Google Earth and take a look...

As far as the summer holiday is concerned, we will be travelling in our car as we have to get to Mallorca, the ferries are still offering cabins but we can't book them yet because the dates haven't been put up for the end of June/beginning of July. They are almost there but not quite!! We've decided to book a cabin on the way back this time as well. Last time the cabin across was a God-send because it meant we had a good night's sleep but we didn't bother coming back because it was daytime. However it's a long crossing and we got bored and tired so I think a cabin en route homewards would be ideal as well. It would at least give us a chance to have a lie down if we wanted to and somewhere to put our bag. It also only works out about £50 extra for the cabin both ways.