Thursday 30 December 2010

New Year approaches

Well as the New Year approaches I thought it would be a good idea to sweep away the old one.  Mick is back at work while I have the rest of the week off while using up the remainder of my holiday allowance.

So there I was yesterday cleaning and sorting out with a vengence.  Anything that was no longer useful was being cleared away and put out with the rubbish or bagged up to go to the charity shops.

I cannot believe it took the whole day to clear out my lounge!  I must admit that I went through every single cupboard and cleaned everything - but a whole day!

It is surprising what you gather over time but I was ruthless - if I hadn't used it or didn't particularly like it then out it went.

By the end of the day I have to admit that I felt shattered and was aching all over.  All I longed for was a nice soak in a hot bath but no, the boiler has now decided not to give us any hot water.  Not quite the same just having a strip wash with a kettle full of water!

This morning I am up and ready to continue with the onslaught but I think it will be a little less zealous as my back aches and feels stiff - oh the joy of getting older :-)

Monday 27 December 2010

More Celebrations

A great day was had at mum's.

 Stefan, contemplating life.

 Stefan & Katie

 In his 96th year Stanley still enjoys family around.

 Mum at 84 is already thinking about a family party for her 90th!

 Kelly, Katie, Paul, Mick & Stefan

 This is four generations of females - shame I was looking down at the time!

 Couldn't leave the men out!

Me & Stef

No doubt Mum & Stanley are dozing in front of the TV now that we've come home.  I bet the place seems quiet now!

It was a great day and always a little sad when you leave.  We only get to see Mum two or three times a year and although she says it was her choice to move to the seaside I know she misses us when we go home.

Lovely day.

Thursday 23 December 2010

RSS Feeds

Well I'm trying to get the hang of RSS feeds.  I've got my forum set up and running well but my webstore is proving to be a little difficult.

You know the saying about trying to run before you can walk?  Well I guess that's what I'm trying to do, but all I want to do is link my webstore to its Facebook Page.  Is that asking too much :-)

Sunday 19 December 2010

Well the snow didn't ruin our party

Well we made it - just!

We had a great day.  All the food I had prepared was put to use and the snow just added to the party atmosphere.

Great fun!

Saturday 18 December 2010

Is Christmas on or off?

Well it is the day before the family all come over.  I am in the kitchen cooking goodies and preparing what can be done the day before.

I have my Christmas music playing in the background while I test out the new music I've downloaded and all the time I'm looking out the window wondering whether the Christmas party get together will be on or off!

With the UK on severe snow alert and with a light dusting already having fallen I'm wondering whether tomorrow I will awake to find us under 20" of snow again, or not.

While the snow definitely gives a romantic Christmas look to the country the reality of snow means that people cannot travel or get out and about.

If the kids can't get over tomorrow then I won't see them until after Christmas.  Not quite the same!

Already the country is in bother with Christmas cards and gifts stuck in the post office sorting offices or on courier vans.

I know Christmas is not about presents but it is about families and whereas in days gone by families lived close by one another these days everyone is spread all over the country - and other countries - and a hell of a lot of people will be spending Christmas apart.

As I write this I can see the start of the snow falling; only very light at the moment; and I hope that above all those that are travelling in these hazardous conditions reach their destinations safely.

This year the weather has really been bad - in all countries - and it feels more like we are heading for a new Ice Age not global warming!

Oh well back on with the cooking - que sera - the weather I can't control. 

If I don't get back on before Christmas may I say a Happy Christmas to all who read my blog and Feliz Navidad to all my Spanish friends xx

Monday 13 December 2010

Some People!

Well my other half has been off work for a couple of days with the flu.  He was laid up in bed and he hasn't eaten hardly at all.

Did his company care?

Well they did phone to make sure he would be back at work today and just to welcome him back they gave him a job that meant he had to get up at 3 am this morning and he didn't get back home until 6 pm tonight!  Very caring indeed...

When I got home from work I was greeted by him saying how he wished we could just sell up and go off in our trailer.  Very tempting I must agree but I did explain that what happened if we got to a point where one or the other of us was unable to continue 'on the road'.  We would have spent all the money we got for our house and would have nowhere to live!

Must admit to be tempted at times though :-)

I think "on the road again" must be our favourite song...

Sunday 12 December 2010

Christmas is a time for celebration, family & remembering.

Now that the snow has cleared everyone is rushing about trying to get done all those things that should have been done before.

Christmas is creeping up on us rapidly – the amount of Christmas lunches goes to prove that!

Now in our family as we have so many children/grandchildren all trying to fit in everyone over the two days holiday that they get we have always had our get together the weekend before Christmas.  This year it falls on Sunday 19th December – next weekend!

So this weekend I’ve been gathering together lists of everything I need to get for the buffet that I put on.  It has to be a buffet nowadays as with 9 grandchildren and 10 adults I no longer have a table (or a room) big enough to sit us down to a meal!

With Mick off sick with the flu we haven’t even had the opportunity to go to Iceland and get a load of frozen goodies so it is all buy it online with my weekly shopping or make it myself.

Add to that the clear up of the house and getting the boiler fixed (why do they always break down when you don’t want them to!) and this weekend has been rather chaotic.

As I ploughed my way through my old box from years gone by which houses the remnants of Christmas paper, cards & lists left over, I decided to have a clear out of all the old lists. 

Then I changed my mind.

There were the lists from 2000 onwards which showed all the presents bought and cards sent, food prepared and rough menus.  In those days we still all sat round the table on Boxing Day :-)

Then we moved on and I saw when I started to move onto the buffets and weekends before.

Then I came across another one, and as I sat here listening to an old CD of ‘oldies’ from the 50’s, 60’s I wondered why on this list I suddenly had a menu for Christmas Day dinner as well as pre-Christmas buffet.  Looking at the date scribbled on the back I realised it was Christmas after Dora (my dad’s wife) had died.  That Christmas my dad came to stay with us for Christmas dinner.

I looked at the lists again and I noticed how as the years have gone by that names have been scratched out.  Whether by leaving us from the passing of this world to the next or by a removal from our lives when jobs and circumstances have changed.

Yes Christmas is a time for family and remembering.  Remembering all those that came and went from our lives.  That for a short while made a mark on our lives and for being grateful for all we have had, all we have and all we will have in the future – and that is not meant on a material level.

Monday 6 December 2010

Leave the title for now - Complaints

I'm not quite sure how to title this one.

I sometimes think I come from a different planet!

Today the 'girls' from work went out for a pre Christmas lunch.  The menu was a standard Christmas menu with starter, main course and dessert and a glass of mullled wine.  Total cost £21 per head.

You had a choice of starter and dessert and the main course was a turkey dinner with trimmings.

The starter I opted for was the goats cheese on a flaky pastry with rocket - it was lovely.

The main course (of much contention) was turkey, brussels, carrot, parsnip & potato with a splash of gravy.

This is what caused the most complaints.  Where were the roast potatoes?  Where was the stuffing?  Where was the sausage?

They complained so much that someone in charge came to the table and offered free desserts and still they were not satisfied,  They ended up giving us two free bottles of wine as well.

The comments continued with regard to the dessert (oh well the chef didn't make them so there was no problem) etc etc.

I have to admit to cringing rather a lot and having a desire to tell the chef that I was not complaining about his food - after all you go for cordon bleu type food and that's what you get.  It just left me feeling embarrased about being with the group.

Am I wrong and should you complain?  All I know is that I felt that for £21 the three course meal was sufficient,  I am sure that those living in countries without food would have been only too pleased to have eaten what we did.

Should you complain?  I don't know.  All I know is that I felt uncomfortable.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Snow Pics

Just a few pics taken this morning.  It doesn't look as bad as it really is when you are trying to walk in it.  In fact it looks quite pretty :-)

Absolute Chaos!

Well my birthday has started with a bang this year!

For those of you who don't know England is under an enormous blanket of snow.  Last night I had to get the train (instead of coach) home from London.  The train only got me part of the way and then we got chucked off because it wasn't going any further.  I was then faced with an 8.5 mile walk from Dartford to Gravesend through, at times, up to 8" of snow.  Doesn't sound a lot but it sure is hard going on the legs and feet.

So there I was, just verging on my 57th birthday, walking home through snow for 8.5 miles!!!  Well I now realise why people curl up and die when lost or stranded in the snow.  There were times when I really didn't think I could walk any further and all I wanted to do was sit down and curl up under a tree.  However with sheer bloody mindedness and determination I made it.  I mean I wasn't going to give in!  I used to walk that far in my youth - but then I am talking about 40 years ago!

Helped along by the occasional passer by who was also walking and would actually say "good evening" when at other times would ignore you completely I plodded on.  At one time there was just me and a little finch that was flying in the same direction and would "beep beep" at me as it flew from post to post.

Well it certainly was an experience and by the end of it I could hardly move one foot in front of the other and upon reaching my house I had to climb up the stairs on all fours as my feet and legs just wouldn't take another step.

How do these marathon runners do it? 

Anyway today I'm sitting indoors with a central heating system that has decided to play up - but at the moment it is warm - and I have repaid the birds by sinking a foot deep in snow to clamber out to the tree in the garden and put some food out for them.

Crazy isn't it!

Sunday 28 November 2010

Wagner out at last

For those who are watching X Factor I am pleased to see that Wagner is out!  I have nothing against Wagner personally but this is supposed to be a singing competition.

It would appear that people have been wasting their money voting for Wagner in an attempt to 'hurt' Simon Cowell.  I went on Twitter to have a look at what was going on and I could not believe the comments that were being made.  Why do people hate someone they don't even know?

I can only assume that it is jealousy that provokes such behaviour.  The language 'tweeted' regarding Simon Cowell was unrepeatable and I believe they are now going to switch their voting to Mary in an attempt to ruin "Simon Cowell's" show.

Do they not realise that it is not hurting the said Mr Cowell and that the only people they are hurting are the young people trying to forge a career in the music industry.

It would be a shame if these talent shows were hijacked by people who are not interested in the show but only in getting back at the producers.

What a world we live in!

Friday 26 November 2010


Wow, November and 0˚C in the middle of London!

I’ve dragged out the fur lined boots and the sheepskin hat (heavy duty wear – only used in extreme cases LOL) but the commute to work this morning was still cold. My feet and head were warm but the body still felt a bit cold. More layers I think – or a sheepskin coat!!

Keep warm everyone – the snow is on its way…

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Live for Today

Last Easter while holidaying in France in our trailer we got chatting to several ‘full-timers’. One insisted that you should not put off doing something because you never know what will happen tomorrow.

Now last night on the commute back home we got into what has become quite the norm – a queue. We sat for a while and then slowly edged forward. I could see the flashing blue light and saw a fire engine and ambulance heading up the motorway on the other side of the road. I guess they were trying to get up to the next exit so that they could return down our side of the road.

Apparently the ambulance could not get down the road because of the volume of traffic and the fact that some idiots had blocked the hard shoulder so the police started to let some of the traffic slowly go passed the accident.

I happened to be sitting on the offside and had full view of the fast land and as we approached the accident I could see a couple of vans and a car stopped in the fast lane. Well another case of vehicles hitting one another up the backside – or so I thought.

As we passed the vehicles I could not help but notice something under the middle vehicle. I have to admit to feeling quite sick. Just visible was the wheel of a motorbike. The remainder of the bike was underneath the van.

I do hope that whoever had been on that bike was thrown clear, although I saw no sign of anyone. But the fact remains that in the blink of an eye life can change forever.

Which brings me back to my first paragraph.

Just how long do you go on planning and working and living with the future in mind? What if there is no future, have you missed your chance of doing what you really want to do?

I don’t know if I have the courage to grab life and enjoy the moment – but it has given me something to think about, once again!

Saturday 20 November 2010

Our House is a Workshop!

Well so much for a peaceful Saturday!

So far we have had visits from the children to repair:

  • laptop
  • computer tower
  • playstation 
  • playstation remote
  • earset for using with online games

Just as well that Mick is handy at repairing all of the above.  But my lounge looks like a workshop.

Meanwhile I have had an order from my site from an ice-rink in the north of England.  I do hope that it is being delivered to her work address although I kind of like the idea of someone skating around an ice-rink wearing one of my outfits :-)

Monday 15 November 2010


Rubbish journey in; lousy day at work; rubbish journey home.

Why do we do it?

If that's all I can say I should be posting on Twitter :-)

Thursday 4 November 2010

Where are the weeks going!

Well it's Friday again tomorrow and yet it seems only yesterday that it was the weekend.  The rate that time is flying by it will be summer again before we know it!

I know I haven't written much on here recently but I hardly seem to have time to breath and there is not much really to chat about.

You all know what it is like this time of the year.  Dark in the morning, dark in the evening.  I'm beginning to feel like a mole already...

I'm doing my web design at the weekend (when I get the chance) and inbetween that I'm working on my forum and other sites.  So much to do, so little time...

Now I've heard that before!

Mick, on the otherhand has decided to get interested in Stocks & Shares so he is searching the web on info on that.

The trailer is all set up for the winter and we have a mains connection on the side of the house now so we can keep it plugged in all the time which allows us to keep the thermostat set to stop it from freezing during the winter months and also serves as an extra room (and bathroom) if we need one.

My scatty cat is still ripping her fur out on her back.  She gets nervous at the best of times but Nov 5th makes her even worse!

I'm working on keeping fit and training Mick on what food to cook should he get in first in the evening - and that is about it.  Nothing exciting happening, just every day living...

Friday 22 October 2010

Back on track

Well apart from a bit of a stiff neck and twinging muscles I think I'm back on track.

Got the urge today to get on with some more web design so am taking loads of breaks but studying the course as I can take it in a lot better without distractions!

Tried out the new Tempur pillow last night and it is really weird but not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be.  I did wake up with a few more muscles aching but think it is because I have been forced to lie in the correct position.  Oh well we will see.

I've also been participating in the trial version of Tell Me More (a Spanish course) which is excellent but does have its niggly bits.  More my computer than the course.  It has voice recognition which I thought would be an excellent way of checking my pronunciation - and it is good - however at times the program cannot pick up my voice properly and it is frustrating!  I have checked and double checked my microphone settings and they all appear to be working correctly.  But when you carefully pronounce a word and then it asks you to repeat it - again and again - I just feel like shouting at it!  Guess that's not good for my blood pressure lol!

The first week I was off sick all I wanted to do was sleep but now my mind is working again and I have to start using it.... not in excess though!

Thursday 21 October 2010

Nice Surprise

I do love nice surprises :-)

Today I received a bouquet of flowers from my friends at work.  It was such a surprise and very kind of them.

Now as far as I know there is only one of my work friends who reads this blog - and you know who you are - so thanks for letting me know that my presence is missed and don't worry I'll be back at work on Monday.  Only I am not playing superwoman anymore!

I must be starting to get back to normal as the laptop is back on and I've started blogging again...

Thanks again x

Tuesday 19 October 2010


Most of the time recently I've always said "I haven't got the time" or "if only I had time".

This second week of being at home I now have the time and boy isn't it great!  I am cherishing the fact that I can get up when I wake up and am not jolted out of sleep by the sound of the alarm.  (Usually no later than 8 am)  I can leisurely get myself showered and dressed and wander about and do what I want to do.

I am limiting the time that I am on the computer because I need to keep moving.  So what have I been doing?

Well apart from taking it easy I have been cycling on my exercise bike; I have been doing neck exercises and I have been playing around with my hair.  With my hair being long I normally just chuck it up into a bun but I have been practising with different styles - a different one each day - because I have the time to experiment.

I have also been looking at different Spanish courses.  Most of the time I listen to Michel Thomas but he does get a bit boring after a while and I need a break from him - but more of that in my next post.

I have been able to do the cooking instead of it being a rush and a matter of who gets in first gets on with it!  So our meals have been a little healthier!

I wondered if I would get bored at home alone and without transport but no I haven't.  If I need anything from the shop then I walk there - great exercise - and because I am not in a hurry I can enjoy just strolling around.

The headaches are starting to subside now and I'm beginning to feel quite chilled.  I wish I could bottle this feeling and take it with me when I go back to work next week :-)

I am still doing some artwork - whether painting or drawing - as I find that relaxing, and being at home, well that's great too!

So Time is great when you have the time to do things at your own pace and time does not really matter at all when you are not rushing around everywhere...

Friday 15 October 2010

Breaking News - I am not Superwoman!

Well got the blood test results today and all is fine and normal :-)

I guess I've got to realise I am not superwoman and I cannot carry on doing the job of 2 people and everything else I do....

So although I've still got headaches I have at least got my blood pressure more or less stable.  The doctor advised all the normal things; don't eat too much fatty food; don't have too much caffeine; don't smoke (like hell I'll stop - my bp only went up 3 points while smoking!); don't do too much; don't lift heavy items; sleep with one pillow; eat a banana a day etc.

On my own I found that by doing aerobic exercise the bp comes down and then today I got out my brushes and paints and just sat down and painted.  Well Goya or Monet I may not be but my bp came down to 129/75!  That's art for you :-)

I've been told to have another week off work and if the headaches continue to go back to her after 4 days so I have decided just to chill out and paint and relax with the bit of aerobic exercise on the side. 

Hopefully that will work!

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Well Done Chile!

Watching the miners coming to the surface today and being greeted by their families has to bring a tear to the eyes of most people.

The fact that they are getting them out much quicker than previously expected is a tribute to the rescuers and their equipment.

Just what long term effect this will have on them has yet to be seen but I can only wish them all a full and speedy recovery.

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Exercise bike has arrived

Woke up this morning with a pounding headache and high bp again.  Now I would have thought that it would have been less in the morning but apparently no.  Your adrenalin rushes through your body when you first get up and with it up goes your blood pressure which should normalise itself a bit later.

But that's not the topic of this post...

I spent a bit of time thinking over the decades of my life and came to the conclusion that in my 20's, 30's and 40's I was very active.  I loved walking and would think nothing of walking for miles but time restraints and getting lazier and older has changed the way I live. 

Whereas the majority of exercise in the earlier years was aerobic exercise with a fair amount of weight training in my 30/40's in the last decade I have tended to do more stretching with yoga and pilates being my favourites.  The most aerobic I have done is belly dancing which is just fun and didn't get me out of breath.

Even up to a year ago I was at least going out for walks at lunchtime - just to get away from the desk.  But this past year I don't move from the office.  If it wasn't for the fact that I smoke and go up and down 2 flights of stairs everytime I go for a ciggie then I wouldn't get any aerobic exercise at all!

The coach I commute on picks me up 5 minutes from my house and the walk from the coach stop to work only takes about 10 minutes.

So after Friday's shock I have purchased an exercise bike.  Instead of spending 30 minutes in the morning doing other less strenuous exercises I will bike around in my conservatory while watching the morning news.

Well I've given it a go.  All I managed was 4 kilometers!  After I rested I decided that I should post my certificate off to work so I walked to the post office and back which took 25 minutes (and tired me out).

Boy, am I out of shape!

But there is no need to rush this.  Little by little.  Until I have the results from the blood tests - which should be Thursday or Friday - I won't know what I'm dealing with but in the meantime I have to do something to try and get fitter.

A lottery win and retirement wouldn't be a bad start :-)

Friday 8 October 2010

Hypertension - what is that?

Well the outcome of my visit to see the doc was a blood pressure of 160/100 (taken twice with a rest in between) and a diagnosis of hypertension!

Oh add to that a week off work and a request to pop along and queue up at the local hospital for a blood test - that should relax me!

While they are at it they are going to test for thyroid; cholesterol; kidneys; liver; diabetes and anything else that I've forgotten.  Crikes I'm having an MOT!

Now my blood pressure on routine examinations has never risen above 140/80 which I think is pretty normal so I guess my body is telling me to SLOW DOWN!

Mmm well exercise is supposed to be good for high blood pressure (aerobic) so I've dragged out the little trampoline and will have a go at exercising myself by bouncing around in the conservatory.  That should amuse the cat...

Time For a Check Up?

Now anyone that knows me will know that I avoid doctors, hospitals etc like the plague!  I prefer to self treat myself using natural remedies/exercise whenever possible.

However this morning I awoke with the pain in the back of my head - something that I've been putting up with for about the last fortnight - so I've decided enough is enough!

I know I have a problem with arthritis in my neck but the last couple of weeks I haven't been able to shift the burning in my neck and the continuous headaches.  The only thing that seemed to ease it was a good night's sleep and laying down.  But this morning I awoke with it!  Now that's not fair for if I start with it what will it be like by the end of the working day.

So today I'm taking a day off sick and am going to try and get an appointment at the doctor just to get my blood pressure checked.  I've ignored the dodgy eyesight, the dizziness, ringing in my ears but a headache in the morning and a nose bleed (I never get them!) I think is a sign that something needs to be checked.

The problem is that I got up ready to go to work and took a couple of 500 mg painkillers (only strength that will touch it) so by the time I get to the doctor it probably will have eased.

Wish me luck and I must remember that when the doctor says "how are you" I must not answer "I'm fine"....

Sunday 3 October 2010


Well I've been downloading some old 60's tracks today - just for the hell of it.

The teenage grandchildren have been putting lots of comments on Facebook recently about being 'bored'.  Crikey I can't remember the last time I had time to be bored!

But it lead me to thinking about my schooldays (yes I can remember back that far) and how it is that while you are going through your school years all you want to do is to grow up and be earning a living. 

Now in my latter years I realise why everyone used to say that your schooldays were the best days of your life!  Well I can't actually say I totally agree with that - suffice to say that there is only one person from my school days that I am still in contact with - but what is true is that while you are at school you do not have the stresses and strains that you have as an adult.  Add to that the fact that your body is in its prime with no aches and pains - well you have to admit to them being 'good old days'.

Now I'm not taking away the  problems of being a teenager but you can get a bit nostalgic when you think back to those days.

As I played back some of the music and I danced around in my kitchen (alone of course!) I was transported in my mind back to the teen age and early 20's.  My how time goes by so fast...

However, I don't remember getting out of breath so quick!

My mum still insists that she feels like a teenager inside and that it is just the body that is falling apart - and I go along with that. 

Some times you just want to feel like a child and dance and sing and be silly because most of the time life is just too darned serious.

So enjoy your youth, while you can, for soon you will be my age dancing in the kitchen remembering what it was like to be young...

Monday 27 September 2010

That Went By Quickly!

Well that's it over and done with and I'm feeling a little sad.  We got home about midday today but we've had to get the trailer emptied and ready for closing up for the winter.

It was a lovely weekend - even though the wind blew and it rained a fair amount.  It was great fun.  We watched as the only other visitors to the campsite at this time of year came and went.  There was a young couple in a tiny tent which they put up in 5 minutes!  They had a car and a small sail boat which I guess they took down to Ramsgate and left it there (they didn't have it when they came back to sleep the second night in their tent).  I felt sorry for them and hoped they were warm.  We were as snug as anything in the trailer and the gas furnace kept the temperature at a nice 22 degrees.

Then there were a couple of people who came and stayed with their caravans, and also a couple of weekender vans who only stopped one night.

My mum popped round for an hour or so on the Saturday morning for a coffee and chat and then came back again on Sunday when Kelly, Paul, Stefan & Katie arrived for the day.  It was manic and fun and when they left last night I felt sad that it was over.

We both slept well on Friday and Saturday but I have to admit to finding it difficult to get to sleep last night.  I could blame Mick's snoring (but it hadn't affected me previous nights) and have to admit that I didn't want our little excursion to end.

There were several reasons for this; one of which is my mum was so pleased to see us (and likewise Stanley).  When you only get to see your mum about once or twice a year it is always sad to leave.  She is 83 now - nearly 84 - and Stanley is 95 (almost 96) and you realise how short life is when you know that it will be quite a while before you see them again and they are not getting any younger.

Mind you my mum reminded me that I'm not getting any younger either when she commented on the fact that she could see my grey hair!  Now I know I need to put another colour on my hair :-)

So here we are again back home and back to work tomorrow.  But Stanley is a role model for us all.  I took my laptop with me and although I couldn't get internet access he wanted to take a look at it.  He was so impressed that he has gone home and ordered one for himself because his laptop is getting a bit old now!  My mum encouraged him because she is not known for her tact and reminded him that he better get it today because he might not be around tomorrow!

He is marvellous and it is only when he needed a bit of a helping hand to get down the steps out of the trailer that I had to remind myself that he is nearly 40 years older than me!!!

Great weekend.

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Last Break

Well tomorrow I will be setting up the trailer ready for the last trip of the season.

Just a quick visit to Ramsgate on Friday where we will be spending a long weekend at a campsite to enable us to visit my mum.  Kelly, Katie & Stefan are popping down on Sunday so my mum gets to see her great-grandchildren and then it is back home again on Monday.

After that we will be settling the trailer down for the winter; emptying all tanks; giving it a clean and bringing indoors all bedding.  It is always a little sad when we shut it up for the winter especially when we haven't been able to spend much time in it during the summer.

I do hope the weather holds up and we manage to get a good weekend although the forecast is not very good and is threatening rain!  I hope not as the campsite owners get a little twitchy about letting a 26' trailer park on their grass - I think they have visions of it sinking deep into their turf and not being able to get out!  I think our four wheel drive truck should be able to handle that.  I don't know what is wrong with this country - the campsites are so picky and particular - not at all like France where you are welcomed with open arms.

The UK definitely has a lot to learn about camping.  I don't think they are aware of how popular it is becoming with all Europeans these days and they really should be more friendly.  I've seen many programs on TVE over the summer months this year where it shows you the Spanish in their motorhomes - they are definitely a popular way of holidaying these days especially with all the problems with airports and the high cost of flights and hotels.

Add to that all the caravans, motorhomes and RVs that travel over from France, Germany, Holland & Belgium and you could fill your campsites with no problem.  In fact you only have to look at the traffic during the summer months and the roads are full of potential clients.

Well fingers crossed for the weather but whatever happens we will have fun; peace and quiet (except when the granchildren are there :-) and a chance to get up when we want and go to bed when we want. 


Sunday 12 September 2010

New Laptop Arrives Tomorrow

Well today I'm busy sorting out my old laptop ready for the new arrival tomorrow.  My, how much you accumulate is amazing!

Now my old one isn't that old but the 120 GB HDD just isn't enough any more.  Coupled to that I do have an external 250 GB hard drive that I store all my backups and files that aren't needed all the time but even so I found I was running out of space.

So, impulsive as we are, when good old eBuyer sent an email with a special offer on a 250 GB new version of the laptop I have now it was too much to resist :-)  It also has Windows 7 OS instead of Vista - so as my grandson said recently "I'm surprised you haven't got Windows 7" - I will now have Windows 7!  That should surprise him next time we see him.

Thursday 9 September 2010

Oh no, another one

I'm only joking folks!  Today we were told that grandchild number 10 has been conceived!

While I love the kids, it does get rather expensive at Christmas time and barely a month goes by without a birthday or two :-)

Well, congratulations to Ian & Sue on child number 4 for you.  I look forward to meeting our tenth grandchild early in March.

Tuesday 31 August 2010

Last Break Before Winter Sets In

Well I've managed to book a long weekend at the end of September at the campsite near my mum again.  It was a bit hit and miss to start with as all the rain has left the campsite owners worried that our RV will sink in their grass!

However they have confirmed today that there is room on an area that has the grass reinforced so our booking is confirmed.

I was beginning to wonder whether the whole of the UK had gone completely motorhome unfriendly including campsites!

So Ricky is booked to spend the three nights with Saysha our remaining cat and my mum has been told that we are coming to see her after all.  Just hope the weather picks up a little bit so we can enjoy our last outing in the trailer before we drain it and shut it up for the winter.

I think Mick was ready to hop on the train and go across to France - where Motorhomes & RVs are welcome everywhere.

Friday 27 August 2010

DHL, UPS & City Link

I know I've moaned about it before but I really do wonder why people use the above to deliver their parcels!  (Cheap I suppose).

I have had parcels delivered (or awaiting delivery) from all the above just lately and their customer service is abysmal.

City Link (Chitty Link) - will not allow your parcel to be delivered elsewhere unless really pushed.  They totally ignored a signed note from me asking for delivery elsewhere and just popped one of their "we tried to deliver" cards through the door.  Do not deliver Saturday and only open 9-5.

UPS (Oops) - well they are the best out of three - they did deliver it (but Mick was at home or we would have got one of their cards too)  - but they charged VAT on the parcel.  Funny how not all of them do!  Do not deliver Saturday and only open 9-5.

DHL (DH 'hell)- left a message to say that there is VAT due on parcel and it is awaiting delivery and with the courier.  Tried to phone straight back to find that they had been shut for half an hour (funny how they phoned me during that time) and when you go online to track the package you find that it is sitting in a van somewhere waiting to be delivered (on Tuesday after the bank holiday as they don't deliver Saturdays).  They do have a pickup point about 15 miles away but there is no phone number for them and you can't pick it up unless you make an appointment.  Atrocious site that sends you round and round in circles.  Do not deliver Saturday and only open 9-5.

Well we work as well and the rest of the time it seems we will be running around trying to pick up a parcel!

Why oh why can't people use Royal Mail - at least they deliver on Saturday and their sorting office is close at hand.

If I know that a parcel is going to be delivered by the above terrible trio I normally go elsewhere to purchase an item but unfortunately you don't always know which courier the shipping company is going to use.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Autumn & Winter Stock is now in

Well the autumn and winter stock is now in and the way the weather has been just lately anyone would think we were in November not AUGUST!

So think of me trudging to work in the wind and rain; coming home to put more stock on my website and then studying the web design in the remainder of time available.  I need more hours in a day...

So amidst the Halloween and Santa outfits I sit gazing out the window into the dark and try and remember summer.

Boy do I hate winter, and it's not even here.

Saturday 21 August 2010

New Stock Coming Soon

I've put in an order for some new stock for my web store and it should arrive some time during the week.

Unfortunately I will have to increase my prices this time to fall somewhere close to the other online stores as I am having one particular person who is putting photos of my stock on her site and then when she gets an order she buys it from me (for half the price she is selling it for) and I have to send it direct to her customer without putting an invoice or anything showing my site.

Now I know a sale is a sale and all that but it does get a bit irritating when I'm having to dash around making sure that I get it posted the next day (free of charge) while this other person is getting double the money and the postage costs plus looking as though she has a lot of stock!  Nothing is shown on my site that I don't have in stock!

I will leave my prices as low as I can but without making it too easy for others to gain too much out of my products.  After all if I was going into being a drop shipper I would have done that in the first place.

Good bye old motorhome

Well this morning the old motorhome was handed over to its new owners.

We showed them how to work all the bits and pieces and left a rather excited couple and two kids to plan where they are going to go in it.

The kids have already named it Betty and are arguing over which bed they are going to sleep in.

I hope they have many years of happy holidays in it.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Ok I'm Back

Well the weather here for the past week has been awful.  But then saying that the weather elsewhere hasn't been too good either.

Only tonight we watched TVE and saw that two people were killed when their all-terrain vehicle was swept away by flood waters in Aguilar de la Frontera, about 50 km south of Córdoba. Another perished from a wall collapse at his home in Bujalance, 35 km east of Córdoba. These were caused by flash floods when I believe the report said that there was 40 litres an hour falling during thunderstorms.

This has certainly been a wet year!

Looking at the berries forming already quite prolifically on the bushes and trees I would say that it is going to be another hard winter too.

Already the mornings are getting darker and when I get up at 5.30 it is necessary to turn on the light.  Boy how I dislike the winter time.

Hopefully August won't finish off the way it's started and I do hope we get a few more days of sunshine before the autumn is upon us.  Don't know about you but the summer always seems too short and the winter far too long!

Sunday 15 August 2010

Time to Move On?

It's funny how this little house that we call home no longer feels the same.

We bought this house, from new, in 1983.  We have been through so many years with so many experiences that I often wondered how I would feel leaving this house for good.  I always used to cling to the thought that maybe we could still keep it and rent it out while living in Spain.  All that has now changed.

I look around me and it is just bricks and mortar.  The memories and life that we have shared in this house are in our hearts not in this material building.  I no longer want to be here.

I really believe it is now time to move on.

Tuesday 10 August 2010

R.I.P. Garfie

Rest in peace Garfie and I curse a thousand times the speed freak that was going to leave you in the middle of the road. xxx

You were a stray who came into our lives in 2002 and you were a right character who made me laugh so many times.  You will be sorely missed.

Saturday 7 August 2010

Today is a good day

You know when you just have one of those relaxing, do what you want, get a lot done, and feel great days - well today is one of them.

So what have I been up to. Well I've done the normal boring bits like housework etc but I've also had a clear out of all those clothes that I haven't worn/can't get in to or just don't like. The pile of charity bags popped through the door gave me the incentive and so I've dragged out all those hidden bags, cases and piles of clothes and spent the afternoon trying things on and filling up bags for the charity.

The day started well with Millie Skyping (not a proper term for it I know) us from Mallorca. It was lovely to get a connection at last - the wi-fi there can be a bit hit and miss!

The sun tried to burn its way through the clouds and the day ended up quite warm.

Finally, I still did a 'bit' on my laptop. I updated my blog and gave it a bit of a facelift; created a second one and checked in on my websites.

Now we've had something to eat, watched You've Been Framed and soon I will relax in a nice bath, sit down to watch a film and have a couple of Cuba Libre.

Yes today is good.

Friday 6 August 2010

Paul and Rachel Chandler

As the months fly by I suddenly thought that I had heard nothing with regard to Paul & Rachel Chandler who were taken hostage in October last year by pirates in Somalia.

Now I don't wish to say too much in case there had been news which I missed in which case I do not want to upset anyone or say anything out of order.

However if the couple are still being held hostage almost ten months later then why has the news dried up? Is anything being done?

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Website Design Update

Sorry if I'm not saying too much at the moment but I'm busy learning web design in my spare moments!

I've finished the HTML course and am now learning the CSS side of things. I'm finding it very interesting (and a little challenging) but it is great fun.

It is definitely more time consuming than I thought...

Sunday 1 August 2010

Lazy Sundays

Once again it is Sunday morning. The sun is trying to shine a little and it's about 20C at the moment. Not as warm and bright as I'd like it to be but at least the windows and doors are open and the birds are singing.

Already Garfie (our ginger cat) has been in for his daily treat (tuna). Normally during weekdays he has a little tuna in the evening when Mick gets home, followed by a little bit of Felix from me when I get home. Saysha (our grey tabby) goes along with the tuna but doesn't like Felix so has a drop of milk instead.

But at weekends the timetables change. As far as the cats are concerned as long as I am up and out of bed then it's time for a treat! They do have complete dry biscuits and water down at all times but the little treats are just that - little treats.

So Garfie has had his treat, has had a little chat (he meaows so much more these days) and has now gone on his way - off to find his favourite bush to hide under no doubt. Saysha being the indoor cat that she is has just decided to lie on the conservatory floor. She is never far from my side and will venture out into the garden only when she has to!

So why am I rambling on about the cats. Well it sets the scene for the lazy day I have planned. Already the washing machine has done its job and now I can sit here gazing out at the garden and do a little more work on my HTML course. I am finding it very interesting and building a website totally from scratch is fun. (I know, sad aren't I). The subject of the website is of course Cefe's Bar - El Leon Rojo - and although he probably thinks I've forgotten about building his website, I haven't, I was just not happy with the templates that I found and so I am doing this course and building what I think will be an individual, unique website for him.

It might take a little longer - but hopefully it will be worth it!

On with the work then... oh and just to add what I know Cefe would say "you're crazy". Yes I know I am!

Saturday 31 July 2010

Mini Señorita

Just a couple of pictures of Katie wearing her dress we brought back from Spain.

Time now to have a couple of Cuba Libres!

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Time to go back to Alcudia?

Well I've been back in the UK now for nearly 5 weeks and it feels like time to go back to Mallorca....

I miss our friends; I miss the blue skies (ours are grey!); I miss the sunshine (even though I know it is very hot there at the moment) and I'm running out of cigarettes :-)

Most of all I miss the way we feel when we are there... "home is where the heart is" - how do you say that in Spanish? "El Hogar es donde está el corazón" perhaps...

Time to go back - I wish!

Monday 26 July 2010

Ficcare Hair Clips

Now for a very female post - hair clips.

As you can see from my photos I have long hair. Most of the time I have it in an updo as I can't work with hair hanging around my face. The problem I have is finding something that will 'hold it up'.

I've tried numerous different clips etc and most of them are not very secure. I've tried hair barrettes, hair pins, hair claws, banana hair clips, you name it I've probably tried it but my hair is quite slippery and none of them really felt secure.

Well I've been looking into the Ficcare Hair Clip - see below:

The gap in the centre allows for hair to be bunched up yet allow the clip to close completely and therefore keeping all the hair in place.

But they are just so difficult to get hold of!! I spent quite a while checking around the internet to try and source these (thought it might be an additional product to sell on my websites) but you just can't get them unless you are a big company like Harrods or Selfridges. There is just one company within the UK that sells these online and the pricing is very expensive.

I, for one, can't justify paying $30-40 for one hair clip!

The idea is brilliant and the styles are great but the price leaves a lot to be desired. For those with plenty of money to spare I guess.

So come on Ficcare let us normal working women have a range that we can afford to buy lots of - and how about allowing us with webstores to buy them from you wholesale.

Sunday 25 July 2010

It's a lovely day

Well a lovely weekend in fact.

Yesterday for the first time for ages I got out my paints (artwork - not painting the house :-)) and spent the whole of the afternoon just painting.

I had forgotten how relaxing it was. Now I'm no Renoir but to me the finished product is an expression of what I was thinking about and what I could see in my mind and I am pleased with the result. It was an acrylic painting as I've gone back to my favourite medium - acrylics - as I find them more suitable for me than watercolour. I guess I can't paint well enough for watercolour and with acrylics there is the opportunity to correct any errors as you go along.

So that was yesterday. Today I'm up early while Mick is still sleeping and I've sat in my kitchen/conservatory with the doors open listening the birds singing. Sunday mornings are always great because no-one else is up and it is so peaceful.

Later on this morning we are going to the garden centre nearby as our water feature in the conservatory is getting a bit past its best and Mick spotted some new ones which he quite liked during the week when he popped in for some grass tonic. Yes, he's still off sick but the physiotherapy is working and he is feeling better than he has for a long time. I think he's got one more week off work before he is pronounced well enough to return to heavy lifting but we have to wait until next Friday to see what the Physio says.

Then this afternoon I have a lot of sandwiches to make - 4 loaves in fact. Connor the second eldest grandchild is 11 years old on Tuesday and Ricky has arranged for a party for him with about 60 friends - from his old school that he will be leaving. Well we have all taken on a role for the supplying of food and mine is making sandwiches - tuna; ham; cheese; tuna & cucumber, ham & cheese - and whatever other combination I can think of. We have been invited to drop in, if we wish, but it is about an hours drive away and is not starting until 7 pm tonight when I will be getting ready for work tomorrow. Not being a miserable grandparent but I think I'll leave the 60 eleven-year-old's and disco to themselves :-)

Right well I think I've nattered on long enough...

Friday 16 July 2010


Well if I've been a little quiet just lately it's because I'm having a go at learning html. Why? Well I've been using templates available online for websites etc and I just wanted to see if I can learn how to create them myself from scratch.

I guess I'm a bit of a 'control freak' - that is, I like to be able to control what I do - not have something control me. Well the templates are brilliant but there is only so much that you can change and then you can't alter anything else because the overall layout is normally hidden (well the designer did design it after all).

So in-between working; doing my forum; my website; and Cefe's website I am doing a course on html. Well it was Cefe's fault - again! (and mine) because I started creating a website for him from a template and wasn't happy with the way it looked.

Hence the "if you can't find what you want - do it yourself".

Who knows how long it will take............

Thursday 15 July 2010

Enrique to bear it all?

Enrique Iglesias' rash statement about water-skiing naked if Spain won the World Cup has not been forgotten by his fans and admirers.

After many inquiries as to whether he intends to pose naked Enrique said "a bet is a bet" and he will honour his bet but he's not telling anyone where or when yet!

Mind you it's getting good advertising space for his new album 'Euphoria' due out shortly.

I, for one, will watch for news of him getting his kit off - oh, and I will buy his new album too.

Monday 12 July 2010

Congratulations Spain!

Champions of the World! - Well World Cup 2010 :-)

I'm sitting here watching the team in the open topped bus going through Madrid and Mick says it's been going on since about 1pm today.

Enjoy your celebrations - you deserve it.

Campiones olé olé olé

Sunday 11 July 2010

Buena Suerte España

Well I'm sitting here in my David Villa shirt waiting to cheer on the team.

Good luck Spain I hope you win the World Cup tonight.

Viva España

Thursday 1 July 2010

Back to reality

After having a fantastic two weeks we are now four days into a reality check!

To start with the boiler repair was not as easy as expected and although the new pipework has been put in we still have to await for a new part to stop the boiler from cutting out and then the new exhaust chimney will cost us another £150.

Mick was back at work for two days and has now been put off sick with his back for 2 weeks while he awaits to see an orthopedic consultant.

Plus my work has been frantic and I am now wondering whether I really had a holiday or not!

But, of course, I know I had a holiday as I keep seeing entries on Facebook from our friends in Spain - some of the old photos are certainly funny and Cefe has a new Facebook Page called El Leon Rojo Restaurant.

Meanwhile I am working on a new website for him to replace the current one that he has because he can't alter anything on it. I just need to find the time to do it!!! Roll on the weekend when I will have some time to myself again...

Monday 28 June 2010

England Out - We are supporting Spain

After the abysmal performance by England we will be wearing Spanish shirts and supporting our adopted country.

We returned back to the UK on Saturday night and I'm certainly glad we weren't sitting in the bar when England were thrashed by Germany.

Why can England only appear to play down one side of the field and didn't they know that you have to mark your opponents!

Personally I think there are too many players with egos that play alone and not together as a team. Now I'm no expert on football but it certainly was an embarrassing game.

Oh well viva España!

Thursday 24 June 2010

The Morning After

Woke up this morning to find a puddle on the apartment floor. Panic - what happened - do we have a leak?

Oh I remember. David soaked me with the hosepipe on the way home last night :-) Now all I've got to do is dry my clothes before we leave!

Also I think we need to pay the bill from last night!!!

No quiero salir....

Sunday 20 June 2010

A Good Night

Well today we have been recovering from too good a night last night. The boys from Dos Torres and our friends stayed well into the early hours and had a few too many as we celebrated them winning the championship and receiving their cup.

Promises were demanded and 'a date' has been promised and we are to celebrate Semana Santa with them in Dos Torres. We will be embarking on the journey with our trailer and it will probably take two good days journeying before we arrive in their area of Cordoba. But it is one of those journeys that we just have to experience.

So I've told our children - no giving birth/having christenings/parties or anything that we need to attend around next Easter because this time we are going to make it to their village - ¡ojála!

But today the realism that we have only four days left hit me as I booked my shopping online for next Sunday. We will have to leave here on Friday morning so Thursday night will definitely be a 'dry' night and only coffee will be drunk. Then there is the journey back through France and going home to no hot water or heating as Ricky phoned to let us know that the gas engineer that was servicing our boiler has discovered that the "gas fitter" that installed the boiler used the wrong size pipes and it is dangerous! He would have tried to repair it before we got home but unfortunately the trailer is parked in the way of the meter box and can't be moved until we get home.

Oh well we can always shower in the trailer!

So as I gazed outside at the rain today (the rain in Spain falls mainly on Mallorca today) I know that all too soon this holiday will be over.

Already Millie has gone home so one of us is missing. Then it will be us. Then it will be Steve, Maureen & Irene. We always make plans for next year - but in life you never know what can happen.

In this world of hard work and learning there are just the few occasions when you just relax, enjoy & have fun. It's a shame that there are not more of them.

So, I will cherish the last few days here; plan for the next visit and know that here in the Island I have lived some of the best memories.