Wednesday 27 May 2009


Posts will be a bit thin at the moment as I have R.S.I.

Am awaiting the arrival of a wrist brace and then hopefully I will be able to get it under control - even if I will look like some kind of Power Ranger :-)

Tuesday 19 May 2009

The Post Office is there to test my patience

Well I guess if you've read my profile you will notice that I say that I can be a little impatient :D

Well today the good old post office tested my patience once again!!!

Now I am a bit of a gadget freak - I love my laptop; satellite; mp3 player; like my phone to do all sorts of clever things, especially have a good camera on it (I've always got my phone handy, but not always a camera)and I gave in and bought a touch screen phone.

Well it arrived today - or rather it tried to arrive...

They would not let my husband sign for it, even after he showed them photo i.d. on both his driving licence and HGV licence and I'm sure if iris identification was around yet they wouldn't even have accepted that! "Your wife has to sign for it" he was told and so now it is lying around somewhere in the sorting office waiting for me to pick it up and as the hours they work are nowhere near the hours I work then the earliest I can get to collect it is Saturday. I just hope it's still in one piece by then!!!

Sometimes this 'jobs-worth' attitude just totally infuriates me.....

Oliver has arrived

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A rather disgruntled and clearly not amused Oliver made his entrance last night at 7.40 pm. He weighed in at a hefty 8lb 10oz - mother and baby doing well.

He has now tipped the balance and we have 5 grandsons and 4 grandaughters. Wonder whether anyone else will feel the need to make it an even 10 :-)

Sunday 17 May 2009

Grandkiddie number 9 is imminent

Well number 9 is about to join us in this world - more news later upon its arrival.

Friday 15 May 2009

Grab life with both hands

Yesterday I saw a friend who lives in rural France and they surprised the life out of me.

A few years ago they left London – for health reasons – and started living and working in rural France. Undoubtedly the life suited him and his wife for all his health problems disappeared with the relaxed atmosphere and better climate in the south of France.

I only got to see them at Christmas time but they loved France; the people and had created a marvellous life for themselves.

To my surprise he announced yesterday that within the next year they were selling up and moving to Florida. Work contacts and proposed business had created an opportunity and he was now needed in the States!

Oh how I admire people like them – they grab life with both hands – and it really got me pondering on life and what you do with it.

There is a part of me that wishes I was more like that but then I guess we are all made differently, or are we – maybe some people are just programmed to grab life while others think too much about it?

In my ramblings you will have noticed my desire to live in Spain – but also my hesitancy – as I think about those that I will leave behind. Sometimes I just think TOO much….

Sometimes I suppose we should leave behind the doubts; forget the ‘what-ifs and buts’ and just ‘go for it’.

Is it bravery, foolishness, courage or irresponsibility? I really don’t know. I’d like to believe that it is a wish to take any opportunity and see where it leads – nothing ventured, nothing gained – for at least at the end of the day you will be able to sit back and say “at least I tried”.

Wednesday 13 May 2009

Advice can sometimes work!

It's always a risky business when you get asked for your advice because it can work either way. You can only give your opinion based on your experience in life and try to look at that experience in relation to the person asking your advice.

So when you get asked from someone and it works and brings a big smile to their face then it just gives you a nice warm feeling.....

Sunday 10 May 2009

Pretty neat being 'cool' grandparents

Well we are according to our nearly-teenage grandson.

We had a visit yesterday from our Callum. His laptop was having problems and so the job was given to Mick to sort it out, which of course he did. Meanwhile me and Callum were online on my laptop and I was showing him my blog and numerous other things. I think I am probably the only 'up to date' grandparent (other than Mick) that he has, and in his case he has several sets of grandparents due to divorces, separations etc, and he thinks it's pretty cool being able to email/chat/video chat etc with his nan.

Of course, I think it's pretty cool that a nearly 13 year old boy likes to spend time chatting with his nan :-)

Friday 8 May 2009

Pondering on sensitivity

In this world we live in today is it better to be insensitive or sensitive?

Now I’m a ‘sensitive’ person. That doesn’t mean that people have to be careful what they say around me in case they upset me but it does mean that I’ve always been aware of atmospheres in rooms; of other peoples moods or just generally able to ‘feel’ what others feel.

Now this means that I tend to go through life trying to avoid hurting people and feeling their pain when they are upset. It also means that you ‘think’ a great deal. You sometimes read too much into situations which don’t warrant so much time and emotion being spent on them. After all we are all put in this world to lead our own lives; to learn our own lessons and to try and enjoy it along the way.

It also means that I put too much into relationships and therefore face the real possibility of being let down – over and over again. For example I had a friend that I’d known since we were teenagers. We weren’t the type of friends that saw one another all the time and quite often we would go for ages without hearing a word from one another, but then when we met up again the years would just drop away and we would be exactly the same as where we last left off. Now I accepted this type of situation and after all we were both getting on with our new lives. However to me she was my best friend; we both knew that whenever one or the other of us was in trouble we could just pick up the phone and we were there for each other. I held great store in this remote friendship. We understood one another – or so I thought.

Then one day a couple of years ago I was approached by her daughter to attend a surprise party for her 50th birthday. Of course I would go and Mick was only too pleased to go too as it was this friend who had introduced us to each other all those years ago.

Well the day of the party came and off we went to this party – it was about an hour’s drive away – so no drinking for Mick :-) On the walls of the hall there were old photos that her children had gathered – lots of them showing pictures of her and me as teenagers – and I was excited to see her again.

We only knew a handful of people there and everyone else were strangers to us but that didn’t matter and we waited for our friend to arrive. Well it was awful. For a start she only saw us as we were sitting by the door and she just about nodded to us. Then a bit later on when I went to chat to her I was introduced to her new friends as “someone I used to work with many years ago”.

She then proceeded to disappear with her new friends and after about another hour we just left and went home. She didn’t even notice we had gone.

Now that hurt as I realised that to her I was just a friend that she used to work with – no memory of the tears we had shared together on and off over the years. To her that chapter in her life was over with while I still carried the memory of that friendship.

So I’ve had to accept and understand that she didn’t mean to hurt me – she just didn’t think, after all she never was sensitive to other peoples feelings, and I’ve had to accept that the friendship I had with her was now over.

I’ve tended to find so far in life that in hindsight you can see people that have come into your life, and have disappeared from it, that they tended to be around for a limited amount of time. You both had a need at that time for each other and when that purpose was over with then the person tended to leave.

Instead now I’m grateful for these ‘fleeting friendships’ knowing that the real, true, never-ending friendships will always be around and time or distance will not fade them and that there are many types of friendships that occur in your life – some to last and some to fade – and that this is just the natural order of things.

So getting back to being sensitive or insensitive – well we are all made differently and we all have to find our own way in life – but if I had the choice then I would still remain ‘sensitive’ for that’s the way I am – and that’s the way I was meant to be....


Well I've downloaded a verb programme - I won't say what it's called yet because I want to give it a good test. It was a bit of a pain trying to install it but I managed in the end and first impressions are that it's going to be a great help with my progress in learning Spanish.

You have so many options on the way that you can choose to learn with it but the one that I'm trying at the moment is to hear the verbs in a sentence form - in both the present; past & future. The rest of the verb conjugations I'll go through at a later time but I feel the minimum I need at the moment for the maximum effect is to be able to talk in those three tenses. It certainly is very versatile and you can choose how many seconds you have before you answer the questions and how many times it is repeated etc.

I've really intensified my studying this year - after all after 24 years I should really be speaking it a lot better than I do! I have to admit that 'teaching' my friend Spanish has encouraged me a lot more as I have to concentrate a lot more on what I am saying; how it is pronounced correctly etc.

Also our weekday TV viewing of Cuentame has helped enormously with tuning my ear to the spoken word and listening daily on my commute to podcasts in Spanish and Spanish music - favourites Joaquin Sabina; Alexandro Sanz; Selena etc etc - all help to immerse me in the language.

Reality has finally hit me and if you look at my countdown to retirement widget you will see that those 8 years will certainly go by quickly and I want to be as fluent as I can get between now and then.

Oh and not forgetting it's only 6 weeks before we go and visit our Spanish friends :-)....

Monday 4 May 2009

and here's some more of France

Mick actually having time to read!

Here's how I like a road to be.

Stefan's Christening photo

I forgot to add a photo (seems to be happening a lot just lately!!). So here's little Stefan with his mum. The one and only time he's clean and tidy :-)

Friday 1 May 2009


I love Extremadura and I'm researching the history etc as much as possible. I have been trying to find a blog by someone in the area so that I could read what's going on but so far no luck.

Why Extremadura you may ask. Well for a start our friends come from Cordoba (not a million miles away) and I love the countryside and tranquility. Unspoilt; natural surroundings amidst the Spanish people - that's my idea of bliss. I crave an area not full of ex-pats (no insult intended) as I want to immerse myself in the Spanish language and way of life.

We used to watch a programme a few years ago - I think it was called 'Flight over Spain' and that epitomises what I love. It started with an eagle flying over Spain and you got a birds eye view of the country. I wonder whatever happened to that programme?