Sunday 25 December 2011

Saturday 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Merry Christmas to one and all.  I hope that you have a happy, peaceful, healthy and fun-filled time.

For me Christmas means relaxing away from the day to day slog and a chance to do all those things that I've wanted to do but just not found time to.

I, among many others, will be probably glad to see the back of 2011 with all its trials and tribulations and let us hope that everything improves in the coming year.

Above all:

Merry Christmas Everyone
Peace and goodwill to all

Friday 23 December 2011

A Dog is For Life

It's been 5 months now since my last cat passed away, and 9 years since my dog Charlie left us.

For someone who has always had some pet or other the house is really clean but rather empty!

After Charlie died Mick said he would never have another dog because you could never replace Charlie (a spaniel cross he was such a character).

Now I know how he feels as I can never replace Saysha or Garfie (my cats).  However I'm starting to think that it is not 'replacing' anything for when you are an animal lover you love them all, not just the special ones, and surely it is better to give a home and love to another pet than insist that you are never going to have another because it is painful when they leave you.

A second argument Mick has is that it would be unfair to have another pet while we are getting close to retirement and we travel back and forth to France and Spain.

My argument would be that a dog can come with us.  With a pet passport we are able to travel back and forth with our pet.  Hundreds of people in the motorhome forums spend all their time travelling with their pets and I think when you have done it once then you will know how to do it from then on.

Now I know that Mick is unable to walk very far these days with the problem he has with his back, but I can.

Thinking ahead to retirement, Mick is a great one for lying in bed until late morning whilst I am up and about at the crack of dawn.  The thought of being able to go out for a stroll with a dog and be back indoors even before he awakes is rather tempting.

But all said and done the real reason I want a dog is because I really miss having a pet.  I can't go out and look for one but if one 'turns up' I know it will not be turned away.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Royal Mail Recorded Delivery - Don't Bother

Royal Mail Recorded Delivery are useless.  The van deliveries, that is, not the normal postie carrying them in his sack.

Now I realise it is a busy time of the year and all that but if you pay for recorded delivery you expect it to be delivered and not returned to the seller because no notification card has been put through your door.

Our normal postie is excellent, he knows us and he knows our neighbours.  The service is normally excellent but as a person who works full time and who does most of their shopping online I am reliant upon the delivery people to put a card through my door so that I can go and pick up the items from the collection centre at the weekend.

Two purchases recently that were deemed too big for the normal postie to carry and therefore were being delivered by van have been returned to the seller because no card had been put through my door.

One of these items I am furious about because it is a present for one of my grandchildren and I needed to have it for next weekend.  How do you tell a 3 year old that Santa sent his present back!

I know what has happened:  the seasonal staff that are taken on to deal with the Christmas rush have come to the door with the parcel and could not be bothered to go back to the van; write the card; walk back and put the card through the door so consequently the item has been returned to the depot and the driver has said that they have left a card - when they haven't!

Now from my point of view I have ordered them in plenty of time but waited just a little bit longer before notifying the seller (putting it down to Christmas being a busy period) and now it is too late.

Also have you ever tried to complain to Royal Mail?

You go round and around their site attempting to find the link where you can email a complaint.  If you haven't given up after about the third attempt of going from one page to another then you eventually find a hidden link saying "notification form".


Royal Mail you are definitely not in my good books at the moment.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Blogger Templates

Well I have tried another template as the previous one seems to have wiped out my followers!

They haven't returned so I guess I will have to start all over again..

I wish I had known that I was likely to lose them and then I would not have updated my blog template in the first place!

Followers - Orihuela and Taberno - buying a property in Spain

Well I know that I haven't actually got many followers - but the ones that I have seem to have disappeared!

Either that or the internet at work is having a few hiccups.

What I was going to do was to go via the hyperlink to my follower in Orihuela and ask what he knows about Taberno as it looks fairly close on the map.  Well everything does on the map!

My regular email notification has come through with properties in and around Almería and one particular place in Taberno caught my eye.

I have researched the area as much as I can but I know there is nothing like visiting the area or knowing someone who knows about an area.

Visiting is out the question at the moment (no time left for holidays from work) and just sitting here gazing at the photo on the internet doesn't really give me much of an idea.  But the area looks lovely; it looks peaceful (how I like it); it has mountains (which I love) and as long as there is electricity and water then I'm happy.

Oh well I'll take another look tonight.  Meanwhile I'll dream on.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Nokia N8 Review

My Nokia N8 review.

Ok so I've had the N8 now for a few months and I think I've given it a good trial.  Now this is not going to be a very technical review, only my own personal observations:


  • Fantastic camera - love it as it takes brilliant photos
  • Camera button makes it easy to switch on the camera especially in bright sunshine
  • Great video camera - like the still camera it takes pretty good videos too
  • Nice looking phone
  • Good memory capacity with memory card slot taking a 16GB card easily (not tried a 32GB as these normally don't work too well in phones)
  • Battery life is excellent
  • Front and rear camera (front is only really suitable when chatting to someone face to face)
  • drag and drop capabilities makes accessing items while hooked up to your computer a doddle
  • Awful on the internet (so slow)
  • Ovi Store does not have the same variety of apps in comparison to the Android or iTune market
  • have to search around a bit to find where different items are stored behind all the menus
  • 3 home screens only
  • smaller screen than most touch screens
Now looking at the above I can only say that recently while commuting and being stuck in traffic queues I found it enormously frustrating when I was unable to get onto traffic news.  (Don't worry I'm not driving, I'm a passenger).

It hooked up to the internet easily enough but loading pages just took forever!  While I was waiting for the page to load my friend who had a Samsung had already opened, loaded, flicked through several pages and logged off!  I have to admit that I just gave up.

I tried both Safari browser and Opera Mini but both seemed to take just as long.

On another long journey home I got bored and tried to click on the iPlayer icon and see if there was anything I could watch on there.  Ok so I gave up again and resigned myself to the fact that internet browsing is not what this phone is about.

Digging out my HTC Desire that night I nearly thought about ditching the N8 and returning to the Desire but then I remembered the problem with that phone and how I had given up on that because of the rapid demise of battery life which necessitated carrying around a spare battery with you at all times.

Now at home if I log on using wi-fi and my broadband connection the N8 whizzes along quite happily so maybe I am just not using the right connection.  That is something I will have to look into a bit more.  

Facebook app is not all that brilliant and although I have tried several apps there doesn't seem to be one that is as good as the traditional layout that you get with Facebook.

Twitter is ok and posting tweets is easy enough.

I do find though that you have to log into Twitter and Google quite a bit as it doesn't seem to remember your log in details.

Also the lack of size of the screen, although I thought the tiny difference would not make a difference, it does. You find yourself having to zoom into pages a hell of a lot more as the writing is just too small to read.

Maybe size does matter!

Complaints about the keypad I found did not worry me.  To start with the novelty of using the old Nokia keypad brought back memories but when I got fed up with that I just added the Swype app which I find great.  Trouble is I find myself trying to 'swype' anything touchscreen.

Overall summary I would say that this phone is a good phone; nice looking; good sound; great memory capabilities (although could do with more internal memory); good signal strength and battery life.  On the down side it is frustrating sometimes trying to find where things are hidden and the surfing experience leaves a lot to be desired.

If you want fast internet searching and loading and a clear big screen with plenty of apps, then I would recommend looking elsewhere.

I would also say that the touch screen is good although not quite as good as the iPhone but then I am not restricted to all things Apple.

Will I keep on using it?

Well for now, yes.  It all depends on what you use your phone for.  Mine is mainly taking quick photos, texting, tweeting and checking FB status.


Oh dear just seen an advert for the iPhone S - can't wait to see how that goes down - talking phone hey :)

Sunday 6 November 2011

Centro Sanitario Municipal de Protección Animal

Centro Sanitario Municipal de Protección Animal is a government run animal sanctuary near Palma, Mallorca.  

They take in stray or abandoned cats and dogs and try to find homes for them.  There is a vet on site who checks the animals health upon admission and if the animal is microchipped they contact the owner to see whether they still want them.

This is only part of their work as they also take in injured wildlife and care for them until they can be returned to the wild.  Also they run classrooms where school children can go and learn about the animals and their care.

What tugs at my heart strings though is the amount of cats and dogs that are abandoned or stray.

Naturally the centre is restricted to the amount of animals they can keep at any one time and it breaks my heart to think that these poor souls will be euthanized if homes aren't found for them within 15 days.

Looking at the fees of 33 Euros that they charge to vaccinate, microchip and a tiny admin cost I feel it is well worth paying to give a loving home to an animal that only had the misfortune of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time or that had an owner that no longer could or would care for it.

Here are a couple of the inmates and these are just two of the many that are requiring homes.

Bless them I hope they find homes soon and for sure if I was living there now then I would be taking a trip to Son Reus to get one! 

I especially love the Shi-tzu :)  

Here is a link to the site:

Saturday 5 November 2011

Update on Virgin Media Technical Problems

To be fair and to give a total review on my recent dealings with Virgin Media I will continue with my progress with them today.

After going through the labyrinth of automated telephone answering services I eventually got to the section that I was trying to connect to "are you thinking of leaving us".

A very nice man by the name of Tom was the unfortunate recipient of my phone call but I treated him with respect and giving him no blame whatsoever I told him about the saga of dealing with the call centre technicians.

He asked whether I had dealt with technicians in this country to which I answered in the negative and he explained that his department was in Sheffield but he had technicians in Liverpool that he could put me  through to.  AT LAST!

To cut this story short I was put through to Liverpool where another nice man, Peter, dealt with the problem.  I explained what had been happening and how I had been told that there was an "issue" with my blueyonder account to which he took remote control of my computer and within 10 minutes had sorted everything out.  There was no issue with my account apart from the fact that somehow my blueyonder account had disappeared from my log in details on Virgin Media Webmail site.

He could see my blueyonder account at his end but it appeared that a lot of the "fiddling around" that the out of this country technician had done had broken the link with my forwarding account.

Anyway my husband is now happy as he can retrieve his emails again from his Gmail account and we don't have to go on the Virgin Media site again (well until the next time there is a problem).

Now if this had been done over a week ago I could have saved myself a lot of time and stress.

I would add that I deal with a lot of out of this country call centre technicians in my line of work and although they may be a cheaper alternative for companies they are not always helpful and certainly do not give off a very good impression.

Also one comment to Virgin Media, if you are reading this, is please, please, please, do something about your site.  It is the most difficult and annoying site to negotiate your way around and I am computer literate!

Friday 4 November 2011

Virgin Media Customer Disservice

Now I love technology. I am always using it, always learning more and more about it. I love my computer, I love the internet, I love creating websites, I love my email.

But I hate the Service Providers that we are reliant upon to use all of the above!

Don’t get me wrong, the individual people who work for these organisations are probably very nice people but the organisations they belong to are so far removed from their customers that I really feel like screaming!

For example:

On the 21st October my husband realised that he was no longer receiving his emails from our very old email account that we took out when Cable was in existence under the name of

In recent years since Virgin took over we had this account set up so that all emails were forwarded to Live Mail (in place of Outlook - which is sooo slow on the computer) and then latterly they were forwarded to Gmail. All had been going well but upon this sudden disappearance of blueyonder emails I thought that perhaps something had gone wrong with the Gmail account settings and that was why we were no longer receiving them.

After checking all settings (that were correct) it appeared that blueyonder had disappeared. I then went on to our Virgin Media online account to check on their Webmail page and see what the problem was. Well the problem was that the blueyonder account had disappeared!

Ok well I will now cut a long, long story short here before I bore you all to tears.

1. After several attempts online to try and find my old email account there was no joy and so I reluctantly phoned their ‘help’ number. An hour and half later while the technician in India had taken over my account by remote it was discovered that there was “a problem” their end. Would I wait a couple of days while they fixed it?

2. Five days later I tried again as there were still no emails. No joy. Also the technician had changed the user name, passwords etc. So if anyone has had the joy of trying to negotiate their way around the Virgin Media site then they will know what I mean. “Enter username for so and so”, didn’t work. Request username to be sent to back up email address. Several new username and password requests later. I eventually managed to find one that would get me into the Webmail. Low and behold no blueyonder account!

3. Several days later and several more attempts I registered on the Support Forum. Good advice but all basically returned to the “call this number”.

4. Called the call centre number again after getting home from a 12 hour shift at work. “we can see it our end”. Yes but I can’t see it my end!!

5. “Hold on while I fix it”. So I held and held and listened to rubbish music. “Oh there is an issue I need to speak to another department, please hold”. So again I held and held. “Sorry I’m holding on for the other department, I’ll phone you back”

Yes you’ve got it – no phone call back. So I spent my evening holding onto a phone waiting for a technician (whose name I didn’t know) to tell me to ring off and he would ring back, which he didn’t.

So when someone said to me at work today “what are you doing at the weekend” I replied “holding on the phone waiting for someone from Virgin Media to fix my problem”.

I just really wish that you could get through to someone without running round and round in circles for absolutely ages. Then I wish that the person you got through to would actually tell you what the problem really is.

Finally I would just like to know one thing – am I ever going to get my email back?

If not I really think that I should be able to tell Virgin Media “please hold on while I rip up your contract”.  After all they are not fulfilling their side of the deal.

Customer Service does not exist these days and I know that all the others will be exactly the same. Press this button, choose this option, listen to this recorded message and finally if you have had the stamina to hold on this long, speak to a real person who will not solve your problem and will pacify you and then get rid of you because you don’t know who they are and chances are the next time you phone you will get someone else.

Surely there is some enterprising entrepreneur out there that can set up a new boy on the block that will offer what we the customers require:

• Satellite TV

• Decent broadband speed

• Telephone line

And most importantly GOOD SERVICE!

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Apple I-tunes Update 10.4 Causing Problems

Well I had been avoiding doing the update as my I-tunes was working fine but I thought that surely Apple know what they are doing.

After connecting I got the normal syncing notification, and it waited to sync, waited to sync, waited to sync.

Damn it my I-tunes was now broken!

Now I remember coming across a similar problem way back when updating an earlier version where I had to uninstall another program that uploaded with the update but I couldn't remember what it was called.

Searching around on the web I eventually found it mentioned in a forum and as soon as I read it I remembered.  BONJOUR.  Now that surely should have been a name not to forget.

So quickly nipping into the control panel I checked to see if Bonjour had been installed again and yes there it was!  A quick uninstall later I opened up I-tunes again and hey it's working perfectly.

All I want to know is what is Bonjour; why does it install when I don't ask it to and why the hell haven't Apple stopped it from being installed if all it does is create problems!

Well I had been considering getting an Ipad 2 but now I'm beginning to have some doubts.  Maybe it would be better if I researched other tablets before I make up my mind as I don't want to spend that amount of money if I end up with something not much better than a big version of the ipod 4.

More investigating to be done me thinks.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

New Kindle

I love the look of the new Kindle.

Now I love books and anyone that knows me knows that I dream of having a library in my house! I just like the feel of real books.

However when I am travelling I always end up with carrying at least 5 books with me and I’ve often thought about having a Kindle so that I would have all the books I wanted in one place and with only one item to carry.

With the original Kindle the only problem I had was that it was a little bit big to carry in my handbag but the new Kindle has solved all those problems.

This new one is only 6 ounces in weight yet holds up to 1,400 books – and you can read it in bright sunlight! Brilliant that’s what I want.

It also has built-in Wi-Fi so if I think of something else I want to read while I’m away I can download it there and then.

I think I may be adding this to my Christmas list.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Hedgehog Door

Now the other evening we were suprised to find that a baby hedgehog was snuffling about in the garden trying to find something to eat under our bird feeders.

After a bit of searching I found out what hedgehogs liked to eat - after all there is not too long before they are due to hibernate - and have been putting food out for it in the hope that it will fatten up before its long sleep.

Hubby was wondering how it got in the garden as in recent years new fencing had been erected with concrete bases so the hedgehog couldn't get in via that route.  Apart from that there is the side gate but that only has about a half inch gap underneath.

Well today hubby found his route in by the telltale sign of a deposit to let us know it had been there!  Low and behold it was getting in under the gate.  Mick was most surprised that it had managed to squeeze under there and added that if I carried on feeding it then it was likely to get stuck.

After he disappeared outside for a while he returned announcing that he had made sure that the hedgehog wouldn't get stuck by chiseling off a bit more under the corner of the gate!

I couldn't believe it!

I just smiled and told him that he's as soft as me.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Final Trip in the RV before the winter


Well we have had a long weekend away in the trailer.  We stopped at a campsite near my mum.  On Saturday we went round to see my Mum & Stanley.  Since Stanley had his fall and broke his hip he has been unable to get around much and has to use a walking frame.  He has been unable to get outside into the garden and the only time he has had chance for fresh air is when the ambulance has come to take him for his check ups at hospital.

Well at 96 he has proved he is still a determined man.  As you can see from the photo below he firmly intended to make it out into the garden and manoeuvre the steps on the way.  With a little help from us as we stood beside and behind him he made it!  Well done Stanley you are an inspiration to all.

Mum and Stanley

A little snack

Kelly & Stefan

Kelly & Katie

Steven Seagull

Four generations of females from age 6 to 84

The men

Friday 19 August 2011

Twenty Four Years in Spain in One Photo

When you start to look at old photos it is surprising just how many you gather around you over the years.

Below is just a small selection  from the 24 years we have spent returning to Spain.

I do hope that we will have another 24 years or more amid our friends in Spain and hopefully, if I am ever allowed to retire, we will change our 'visiting' our friends to 'living' among them.

Happy memories - how the time flies.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Wedding of the Year - Tracy & Elliott Law

My friend got married last week.  It was a very quiet family affair - after all she never intended to get married to her long term partner - but I have to say that this photo to me is the wedding of the year photo.

The dress came from Barcelona and amid the terrible weather we have been putting up with this year the sun shone for her special day.

I think she looks spectacular.

Congratulations Tracy & Elliott

Sunday 7 August 2011

Nokia N8

Well I've decided to give the Nokia N8 a try.  I've had enough of iPhones and have tried various other makes but they are all missing something.

My decision to try the Nokia was based on the fact that my phone is hardly used as a phone.  I text, I surf the internet and I take photos with it, so with its 12 megapixel camera, HD video, Carl Zeiss optics and Zenon flash I thought the Nokia was worth a try.

Also the monthly rate is less because it is not an iPhone!

It has been ordered as an upgrade and should be delivered in the next day or so and I will try it for a while and give my review.  I read various reviews before going for this one and from what I've read you either love it or hate it.  I'll let you know what category I fall into later.

Either way I have it on 14 day trial so if I should hate it I can always send it back.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

R.I.P. Saysha

Heartbroken to say but Saysha lost her fight for life.  She had a massive heart failure.  Just 14 years of age (nearly).

You will be sorely missed xxx

Cat on Oxygen

Get well soon Saysha

Rush trip to the vet today and she was rushed straight into the theatre and put on oxygen.  I can only wait now.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Cat Heart Problems

Well I'm feeling a bit down this weekend.

What I thought was my cat being unable to rid itself of a fur ball seems to be more serious.  She is 14 years old and was the runt of the litter.  I've looked after her and nursed her through the many ups and downs of her life so far but I believe that this time I won't be able to make her better.

The rapid breathing, the listless and her quietness is really worrying me that she won't be around for much longer.

I am faced with a problem now.  She is by nature a shy and nervy cat who is only happy when she is at home, with us, and she hides from strangers.  By the very nature of the problem a vet would want, at the very least, to do an X-ray with probably scans and EKGs being the next on the list.  This would entail stays at the veterinary clinic; anesthetics, injections, strangers and being apart from us.

Having a daughter who is a Senior Vet Nurse does help but trying to decide what to do for the best is awful and heartbreaking.

Friday 22 July 2011


My thoughts are with you all in Oslo today as you come to terms with the tragic bomb attack and the murder of all the young people on the island.

The utter terror cannot be imagined and the fact that we are not even safe from our own people is soul destroying.

Words are useless but our sincere condolences to all.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Two Chimneys Campsite

As summer is fading before its even begun our thoughts have turned to using up the last few days of our holiday allowance.

This year when we do our annual visit to my mum we are taking the trailer to a different campsite called Two Chimneys.  Based in Birchington, Kent, it is not too far from Ramsgate where my mum lives.

The reason for the change of site this year is mainly due to the amount of rain we have had this year.  There is no way our old campsite will allow us to park on their grass this year with our 26' fifthwheel trailer.  We would end up sinking into the ground!

Two Chimneys have hardstanding fully serviced pitches which include electricity, water, and drainage and all for £19 per night.  So at the end of September we are off to have our last little trip in our trailer before shutting it up for the winter.  Oh my that's making me sad - winter coming already.

Anyway for anyone wanting to take a look at this Hoseasons Campsite here is the link

Two Chimneys Caravan Park

I do love our trailer and it will be great to have another break even if it is only for a long weekend.

Sunday 19 June 2011

A Funny Thing Happened in the Bar Last Night!

No not really but it sounded like a good title.

We never left the bar until it had closed again with the last hour or so spent with me on the floor playing with our friends young children.

If you can imagine water, mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, a bucket and a couple of glasses then you can get a rough idea of the mess we were getting in.  Oh and don't forget the pajita (straw) for blowing bubbles.

We had fun and I awoke full of life this morning - after all it has been over a week now and I am well and truly rested.

However on a serious note I do realise that I am not ready yet to hang up my brain and spend the next goodness knows how many years doing nothing.  I do need mental stimulation and I cannot be a 'normal' grannie who sits at home doing the knitting or just watching life go by.  That is fine for a couple of weeks but then I need to do things again.

Thank you my friends I have had a brilliant time, I have given my brain and body a well earned rest but I do need to continue with my search for something to do when I do eventually retire.

One thing that this has shown me though is that the migraines I was suffering from have to be connected to the amount of pressure I was putting myself under as I have been migraine free ever since I've been here.

So as the Mallorquians say poc o poc.

Saturday 18 June 2011

Happy Doing Nothing

It is very strange to be doing nothing.  Here I am lazing around on holiday, I have my laptop with me and my books and even my artwork - and I'm doing nothing.  Well apart from blogging that is.

There are so many things I could be catching up on but apart from reading a few books I just seem to be quite happy just sitting here gazing out to sea and people watching.  Even while writing on this blog I am sitting at the kitchen table with the doors open and a view to the beach so I can look up and gaze away whenever I feel like it.

Yes today is a kind of "I'll move when I feel like it" day.

I knew I needed to chill out but I think I've come to a complete standstill.

Friday 17 June 2011

Lunar Eclipse

Sitting in the bar last night we were surprised to see a red moon.  Now I wasn't expecting a lunar eclipse and it was spectacular.  Unfortunately the camera is only a normal point and click and so the photo isn't that great but here it is - you will just have to use your imagination!

Sunday 29 May 2011

Countdown to the sun

Well it's been a while since I posted!  Mainly due to the amount of work waiting for me when I got back from France and everyone sending stuff through to get done before I go away to Spain.

By the time I've got home at night I've been 'computered out'.  Made up word I know but that is just about the only word to describe it.  My eyes have been bleary and my brain likewise.

Still with the countdown well and truly here and only 8 more working days before I'm saying ta-ra for now I have to admit that I can't wait!

It's going to be an interesting time on the island this year because it's the first year that our friends have to implement the no smoking ban.  Now whatever your views on the subject you have to feel sorry for those bars that don't have much outside space.  After all if you are a smoker and you are on holiday and going out for the evening to meet up with friends for a meal, drink and good old chat then along with the food and drink goes a smoke.  The bars that have outside space are lucky because the smokers will choose to sit at one of those outside tables where they don't have to keep getting up and going outside when they smoke.

The smaller bars will therefore lose some of the casual custom.  Old timers, like us - who having been returning year after year since 1987, will of course still go to our favourite bars whether we can smoke or not.  After all we are used to it in the UK but it will be a pain and it never looks nice with congregating smokers hanging around outside, but I guess there will never be a happy medium.  There are smokers and there are non-smokers and they will never see eye to eye.

Also I've heard a lot of people talking about their holidays this year in Spain and the vast majority of them are opting for 'all inclusive' deals.  Again this is going to hit the local bars.  The increase in VAT has made it expensive to eat out in comparison with what it used to be like and when you are a family it is far cheaper to go all-in.

Yes I think it will be a difficult year for our Spanish friends - I do hope I am proved wrong on this.

Thursday 12 May 2011

Earthquakes in Lorca & Totana, Murcia

Nuestros pensamientos están con usted todo mientras que usted se recupera de los efectos de los terremotos anoche y de nuestras condolencias a las familias de los que murieron en esta ocasión triste.

I apologise if my Spanish is not correct but our thoughts are with you all on this sad occasion.

Friday 29 April 2011

Au Revoir

Well first thing tomorrow we say au revoir to our little piece of tranquility as we start our journey back home and return to the frantic pace of life that we call normality.

It has been relaxing, the people are friendly, the sun has been shining and we've probably eaten too much!

The Royal Wedding was fun to watch today and it was lovely to see something on the TV that was happy and brought people together.  It also kept me occupied when I otherwise would have been feeling a little sad.

Oh well back on the road again.

The good thing is that in 5 weeks time we are back on the road and en route to Spain.

Thursday 28 April 2011

One of our neighbours - the Salamanders

Must admit I am going to miss our neighbours, the Salamanders, who pop in to see us several times a day.  They appear to be quite brave and come quite close to you (until you move) and it is so funny watching them dashing around.

One has taken a liking to resting in the shade of our trailer and just popping out between the wheels when he wants to sunbathe.

Must be careful when we drive off on Saturday!

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Real 0 Barcelona 2

Well Messi scored the goals for Barcelona and meanwhile me and Alejandro Sanz were commenting on the match on Twitter!

The fact that I could see what Alejandro was saying was quite good except I doubt that he could see what I was saying as I doubt that he follows me lol!

For a brief moment there I felt like we were having a conversation.

Mad this internet business isn't it.

Real Madrid v Barcelona

Here we are in the middle of a field (campsite) in the Limousin watching Real Madrid v Barcelona!

Football gets shown everywhere :-)

Oradour Sur Glan

Well went to Oradour today, like we promised ourselves, and wished we had visited it last year.  I don't wish to go into the details on this blog about what occurred at Oradour on 10th June 1944 (Google it if you wish to find out more) but if you are visiting this area of the Limousin you must pay a visit to this memorial site where time has stood still and the village remains as it was when it was destroyed and almost all the inhabitants lost their lives.

I did take many more photos but I put a few here as I pay my respect also.  It needs no commentary.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Photos of Champagnac le Riviere

Just a few photos for now to show you how lovely it is here in the Limousin.

road to Champagnac le Riviere

This is an old railway track

Getting further along the track

road to Parc Verger

Mick taking a stroll

Champagnac le Riviere - a small village in the Limousin close to Chalus and Limoges

Nice French house

More of the railway track

Mick setting up the satellite dish

Me enjoying relaxing

This was the services we stopped at overnight on the way here at Salbris

Friday 22 April 2011

Parc Verger

Well brilliant drive down here.  Found a new route we can use when en route to Spain in June.

The weather is fantastic 33C today.  My body is wondering what on earth has happened - suddenly plunged into summer temperatures.

Last night before arriving on site we found a lovely services to park up and there were no problems.  Good nights sleep and as we had made good time coming down we had a lie in too!

Wi-fi up and running and got a great pitch next to the chickens and cockerels - Just as well we love wildlife lol.

Cockerels crowing; crickets chirping (or whatever they do); cuckoos cuckoo-ing and a beautiful blue sky.

This is the life!

Monday 18 April 2011

'Felices Pascuas'

To all our Spanish friends making their way back home to see family and friends we say 'Felices Pascuas'.

Sad to say we could not join them this year but who knows what next year or the year after may bring.

The countdown to Easter has being going on for a few weeks now and we've been watching the build up to the celebrations and parades on TVE.

I would say from an outsiders point of view that Easter is celebrated more than we celebrate Christmas!

So not long now. Have a fun and relaxing time in preparation for the summer months ahead when you will all be rushed off your feet.

Hasta pronto.

Sunday 17 April 2011

New Hair Day?

Well this has been a busy weekend as the countdown to Easter begins.

To start with I decided to try a different hair colour than normal and it has come out darker than I expected (see profile picture) but I am gradually getting used to it and hey it's about time I had a change!

I've been loading up the trailer and organising all the documents etc that are needed for a week away and I think I've remembered everything.

I have to admit to really looking forward to some peace and quiet and time to catch up on some of those things that never seem to get done (finishing a course or two perhaps?)  I might even get time to read a book!

I did not realise how tired I have been getting until last night after only a couple of drinks at home my eyes just would not stay open any longer and I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Mick has planned a new route to try to get down to the South West of France and after one night out we should arrive on site by about lunchtime on Good Friday.  There is wi-fi on site and with our trusty satellite dish we should be able to watch the Royal wedding.  I wonder if they will be celebrating it on the campsite.

I still have 3 more days at work which I know are going to be flat out in an effort to try and get as much completed before I take my holiday but I'm not superwoman and I can only do what will fit into those 3 days.

Wednesday night will be the last chance for having a bath and washing my hair before we arrive on site and then we are off bright and early Thursday morning.

If I don't get chance to post before I leave then I'll post once I'm on site.  Bye for now.

Friday 8 April 2011

Which phone now?

Well time is nearly here to get my upgrade.  But this time I'm really confused as there are so many new phones available.

So far I've tried the Samsung Omnia, iPhone 3G, Android HTC Desire and numerous others before that and no one phone seems to have everything that I need in the one place (or phone)!

So let us do a summary of what I've found so far...

The Omnia was the first touchscreen that I had tried and boy was it a pain.  Having to use a little stylus to click on the screen was frustrating and it was either that or your fingernail.  However it was a step up from the Nokia N95 and when going back to the Nokia I kept finding that I would tap the screen while forgetting that it didn't have a touchscreen.

The iphone has great apps but the signal strength is atrocious and I spent more time with "no signal" than I did with a signal!  Also you can't use a micro SD card to store all the music on.

The HTC Desire is the best so far but the apps aren't that good and the touchscreen keyboard isn't that good.

So what else is on offer:

iPhone 4
Nokia N8
 or the newcomers

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc
Nokia E7
or a Windows phone...

Now the Windows phones would appear to be a no-no as they only have internal memory (up to 16Gb) and do not allow external SD cards.  Shame I rather fancied something different.

However both the Nokia and the Sony have excellent cameras - with Nokia coming out on top with that one.

I know a phone will never be a 'camera' but bearing in mind I always have my phone with me but not always my camera it would be nice to have one that took a fairly decent photo.

I thought I had found a pretty decent HTC newcomer (Focus) but then found out they were only releasing it in Canada!

It's a shame you can't go in a shop and give them all a bit of a try first as they are such expensive items to make a mistake on - even if you can sell the rejects on eBay :-)

It's the weekend

Well almost!  It is Friday evening and I've finished the working week, so for me the weekend starts here.

The weather is brilliant and I'm hoping for a busy but fun weekend.  Tomorrow we are off to take the Indiana cake to Stefan for his birthday; then on Sunday we are off to deliver Easter eggs (early I know but we are away at Easter) and are going to see baby Sophie for the first time.

In-between all that I want to start sorting out the fifth wheeler.  I need to check what food we have in the cupboards, start loading up the freezer and make the bed so that it is fully aired.

Mick had his first treatment at the chiropractor today and it seems to have helped.  He informed Mick that at the moment he has one leg slightly longer than the other proving the point that his hip is out of alignment due to the problem with his spine.  He reckons that he can fix it within about four treatments - so we will see - but at least it has given Mick some hope.

I'm also going to get the pilates machine back out of the loft and show Mick how to exercise on it as it protects your back while building up the core muscles.

I think Mick has got desperate enough now to try anything :-)

Friday 25 March 2011

Good Day

Brilliant news today.

First of all Stanley has now been allowed home and is endeavouring, with the aid of his 3-wheeler trolley thing, to get back to normal.  Welcome home Stanley.

Secondly, we welcome into the world today little Sophie - our 10th grandchild - born 12.14 lunchtime today - just gave me enough time to nip out to the shops and get her an outfit :-)

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Japan, New Zealand, Haiti and the rest

With all the natural disasters that have been occurring recently it does tend to make you wonder what on earth is going on with the world we call home.

My mother is even wondering if the world is coming to an end!

It has been mentioned that it is all cyclical - perhaps on a 1,000 year cycle - and therefore any memories of past events would be long gone.  However when you have no control over events it does make you ponder on your own mortality.

It also reminds you of the important things in life and not the every day niggles that irritate and annoy you.

My heart goes out to all those going through these disasters or still trying to recover and come to terms with what has happened.

Words cannot express what horror and pain they are going through and I can only hope that soon time will heal a little.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Indiana Jones

Well my next project is to make an Indiana Jones birthday cake for little Stefan who is Indie mad - at age 3!

He runs around with his little leather jacket on pretending to be Indiana Jones and watches the films over and over again.

So I've got less than a month to figure out how to make an Indie cake while still working full time!  Crikey I better get better organised this time as it will take a bit longer than the Hello Kitty cake that I made for Katie last week :-)

I'm no expert but the kids seem to love them anyway.

Saturday 5 March 2011

El Leon Rojo

Please excuse me as I test out my link to

Just want to check that it's working.  For anyone that has used this link before remember to refresh your browser in case your cache is storing the old site!

Done it!

Done it, done it :-)

Doesn't it make you feel good when you solve the problem yourself!

Website is up and running but just got a few more alterations to it to make me happy.  Then I'll let Cefe know it's ready.  But got to add a gallery first and a review page but the most difficult part was getting the website to load in when you typed in the address.

Feeling chuffed with myself at the mo :-)


Drives you mad!

Well I've finished the new web site for my friends but have spent two days so far trying to get the URL to point to it!  When you type in their web address it still goes to the old website...

Now I've been into their web server and done everything I should have done but still it keeps pointing toward the old site that was created by someone else.  It doesn't help that the site is based in Spain and all the instructions are in Spanish.  Wow am I learning all the technical terms in Spanish!

I understand that the server only allows one website on the package he is on but I thought that I had asked it to overwrite the old existing one with my new one so why won't it go to it?  If you look at the site created on the server it is there and the old one does not exist - so what am I missing?

I guess I am also a bit wary of actually deleting everything and him ending up with no site at all...

Oh well I'll plod on today and see what I can do, after all it has to be something simple, doesn't it?

Oh and anyone out there with any advice - it would be gratefully received.

Sunday 27 February 2011

All systems go...

Well I managed the drive back along the M25.  Nearly 100 miles - that's pretty good going for me!

We have spent today trying to get the abuse out of it from the previous owner who appeared to be a dry-liner who liked fishing; sweets; an occasional roll up and had a black dog!  Well that is what the evidence we found told us anyway... But here is the car.  I think that it is quite big enough to enable us to sleep overnight in it when we are en route to Spain in the summer.  In fact with the back row of seats taken out of it I can lie down quite comfortably so that should give us a good night's sleep and help prevent Mick's back from playing up.

I ache rather a lot now though - can't do as much as I used to!  A nice hot bath relaxed me but it hasn't taken away the aching muscles and now I feel quite tired.  Just hope I remain that way because I am a dreadful sleeper normally...

So now I have the registration number I have booked the ferry (crikey it's gone up a lot this year); booked Eurotunnel and am all set for the summer hols.

You may think I'm eager but our break at Easter is less than 8 weeks away and then when we get back from there we only have about the same amount of time before we are due to go to Mallorca.

I just won't think about the money, I'll just keep on working :-)

Saturday 26 February 2011

New Motor

Well today I drove almost 100 miles in our truck which is not bad going for someone who hasn't been behind the wheel for about 6 months!

The problem with commuting to work is that I never get chance to drive anywhere and boy was I nervous about all that mileage on the M25!

My incentive was the fact that it is Mick's birthday in about a week and the only thing he wanted was a car that would be comfy to drive to Spain in, and I had received a small annual bonus, so I promised if he could find one within the price range then he could have it.

Well we found one that was in auction but we had to travel to pick it up.  So I told myself I could still do it and I did.  Mind you the weather didn't help - it was raining.

So now we are back to two vehicles.  The truck for pulling the trailer and a Chrysler Grand Voyager for driving about in comfort and it has cruise control which is essential when driving all those miles to Spain.

Now Mick is making a shopping list for Halfords for cleaning equipment etc....

Mind you I told him not to expect a birthday present like that next year!

Sunday 20 February 2011

Good Weekend

Well I have enjoyed the two days where I didn't get up until I felt that I had rested enough.

Yesterday was spent doing all the normal chores that I have to fit in over the weekend but today I took it a little easy.  I've been going over my web coursework again because it's surprising how quick you forget what you've learned!

I feel quite satisfied that I am getting somewhere and have to admit to enjoying creating my own websites even if no-one else can see them yet.

I feel a lot better today and not quite as drained as last week.

Only just under 9 weeks until I get my week away at Easter.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday 18 February 2011

Easter Holiday

Well we had wanted to take the trailer to Cordoba for Easter this year but unfortunately due to the fact that Mick can't get enough time off work we have had to rethink our plans.

If we were driving to Cordoba it would take two days to get there and to get there in time for the Semana Santa parades we would have to leave on the Tuesday before Good Friday.  Mick just does not have enough holiday available to do this.

So we have booked to go to the South West of France again.  It will enable us to leave on the Thursday night and get to the campsite by Good Friday and then with the bank holidays available we will be able to stay there for a week yet only using up 3 days holiday allowance.

Very sorry we can't make it to Spain and sad we will not be able to join in with the Easter celebrations.  Sorry Cefe if you are reading this but it just wasn't possible this Easter.  Still not long until we join you again for our summer holiday.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

National Health Service! Stop treating my step-dad as a senile old man

Four days after his major operation and still Stanley has not come back to us!  He survived the operation and is physically quite robust but mentally he is a changed man.

Now I am talking about a man who at the age of 90 took a computer course; I am talking about a man with a great wit and sense of humour;  I am talking about a gentle, kind man.

Whether it is the drugs he is on or something more serious we don't know because the only answer my mum gets from the nursing staff is "well he is 95".  No he is not a senile old 95 year old!  All we want to know is why he is behaving totally out of character.

I managed to get my mum to phone a fellow lodge member who is going to meet her at the hospital tomorrow and see if he can get any further information from the nursing staff and hopefully he will see Stanley and also assess the situation.

Don't judge a book by its cover and accept that family members know when something isn't quite right!

Friday 4 February 2011

Replacement replacement hip op

Well I am so pleased today that Stanley has come through his emergency operation.

My mum phoned in a panic yesterday as Stanley, age 94, had fallen in the kitchen the night before while taking his cup out to wash it up before bed.  As he fell he landed full weight on his hip and it broke!

Now he already has two hip replacements but undergoing emergency treatment today entailed a 6 hour operation which was quite tricky and in which they had to remove his previous hip and insert a longer length hip replacement.

Bless him before his operation he even arranged for his Masonic friends to be notified and they called round to see my mum today with a bunch of flowers and to see if there was anything they could do for her.

Have to admit that it brought a tear to my eye that even as he was in pain his first thought was to make sure that mum was being looked after.  You don't find many like him nowadays.

So while he is in the recovery room I will just say "Bless you Stanley, make a swift recovery".  After all he is wanting to get his telegram from the Queen!

Sunday 30 January 2011

Our 29th year!

Well we are in our 29th year together and with our anniversary coming up in May I just can't believe how the years have gone by.

In the words of the song "looks like we made it".

I guess that should silence the doubters who, when we met all those years ago, told me that I was "out of the frying pan into the fire".

Ok so there have been many obstacles and hurdles to overcome (doesn't everyone have them) but I know that I wouldn't change a thing and for those that don't believe us I can confirm that in all that time we have never had an argument.  Cross my heart... we can get bad tempered and snappy but arguing just isn't one of those things that we do.

So here's to the next 29 years :-)

Sunday evening blues or Winter woes?

Well I have to admit to feeling a tiny bit low tonight.

Not sure if it's the Sunday blues or just purely the Winter woes...

It wasn't as cold today as it has been and the sun did actually pop out from behind a cloud for about 5 minutes.  That didn't help, it just made me want to see more!  I really am missing the sun and the daylight.  Where is it that goes for weeks on end without any daylight at all during the winter months?  Crikey that would drive me crazy.

I've had a great weekend but as usual it goes by far too quickly.  Now as I'm sitting here watching Dancing on Ice I know that in a couple of hours I've got to go to bed ready to get up at 5.30 in the morning.

This weekend has been quite productive.  Mick has repaired 3 computers for people from where he works, I have been creating a new design for my webstore (not finished yet) and then learning PHP which I enjoy although the brain does go a little dead after a while and we did manage to stop and have a couple of drinks last night.

I spoke to my mum who is due to go into hospital next month for another wrist operation and whose 84th birthday is this Tuesday and I did manage to get some housework done.  Not bad for 48 hours!

Friday 28 January 2011

If you won the lottery would you go into work the next day?

Ok so it’s a silly subject but it is Friday, it has been a very tiring week, and tonight is the Euro Lottery. So I’ll ask again. If you won the lottery tonight would you go back to work tomorrow or Monday?

Now I hate to let anyone down and the same applies to my job – I would hate to let them down. But being realistic here (in a fantasy scenario) if I won millions tonight could I actually swear on my heart that I would go into work and work out my notice period to enable the company I work for the least amount of inconvenience.

One part of me says that to work another 3 months wouldn’t be any hardship but there again another part of me says

“Hell – get me to the sunshine, NOW”

Friday 21 January 2011

Snow in Palma today

Well Palma de Mallorca has had snow today.  Not just the snow covering the mountains but in the middle of the city!

Not quite enough for a snowball fight but they look like they are enjoying it and the monastery at Lluc is snow-covered and the road to Soller is closed.

The temperature is still warmer than in this country though!

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Ginger as a cure

Well if I've been a bit quiet it's because I've been coping with the pain that comes along with the inflammation associated with arthritis in the neck.

It doesn't sound much but take my word for it the headaches are so bad they even hurt the back of your eyes!

Anyway after trying the using things - anti-inflammatories, ice packs; heat pads; pain relieving gel etc nothing seemed to shift it this time.  Well after a week it gets rather tiring!  So today at work as a last resort I searched on the internet to look at the acid in tea and coffee.  Not surprising there is rather a lot and as the inflammation is caused by excess uric acid in the system I thought I better cut back on it for a while and see if I could clear out the problematic acids from my body.

Now I drink loads and loads of tea....  What to have instead?

Ok so I have to admit to doing a course on herbalism some time in my past and trying to remember the rules I remembered that you treat like for like.  So inflammation is hot so I needed to treat it with something hot.  Looking through the cupboards at work I came across some herbal teas - lemon & ginger to be exact.  Well the lemon wasn't so good (acidic) but the ginger certainly was (hot).

Well two cups later I suddenly realised that the pain had stopped....

Tonight while sitting at home I got another massive attack so searching through the house I came across a bottle of ginger wine (my mum recommended it for upset stomachs).

So the result is that the attack has passed and I'm a convert for ginger at the moment.

Now can you have ground ginger sprinkled on porridge in the mornings?

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Warning against bogus caller

The latest con trick seems to be cold calling at your doors and saying they are from the council with regard to your loft insulation.  They state that they 'have to' see your loft insulation to check that it is in line with the council's recommendations.

Luckily the man called when Mick was at home and he wasn't allowed to put one foot inside our house although he was very persistent and bordering on being aggressive!

He basically got the door shut in his face but I wonder how an older or more vulnerable person would have coped with him.

We reported it to our neighbourhood watch guy who likewise reported it to his police liaison officer who confirmed that they had received two other complaints on the same night and that officers were on the look out for him.

The guy is wearing a shabby suit, carrying a folder under his arm and has a strong Asian accent.

Less tolerant as we age

Now I know that I've probably mentioned it before but do you get less tolerant as you age?

In this busy, fast track world we live in nowadays you become used to the fact that if you are not good at your job there is always someone else waiting to take your place so you work hard, try to be as competent as possible and it is so frustrating when others are not.

Now this is no biggie - just a parcel that was being delivered and has been returned to the depot, with a note on the tracking system saying that a card has been left.  Guess what - no card!  With no card there is no phone number for the courier, no reference number to enable redelivery and a charge if it gets returned to the supplier!

In the meantime I have spent the evening tracking down the supplier online and sending an email - and of course I now have to wait for them to reply.  I have to leave a note on my door in case the courier should try to redeliver tomorrow anyway and it is just so annoying.

So I've come to the conclusion that you definitely get more intolerant as you get older - either that or you get more stressed out :-)

Well I still have broadband

Ok to cut a long story short I've still got broadband and I'm still with Virgin Media.

After several emails and phone calls to both O2 and Virgin I eventually got through to a person in the disconnection department of Virgin.  After they wanted to know why I was leaving they offered to better the deal offered by O2, but more importantly, they offered some advice on broadband speeds.

Well I checked out the speed that I could get by going through O2 (via BT line) which showed about 3 Meg and then checked out the speed I was getting at the moment via cable 9.4 Meg!  Ok no contest.  I did not realise that I would be dropping that amount of speed so Virgin won - sorry O2 when the speeds pick up I may reconsider but I use my broadband far too much to lose that amount of speed.

Oh well at least I learned a bit more about broadband.

Monday 3 January 2011

No Broadband - Well thank you Virgin Media!

Well I have to admit to getting slightly panic stricken. I may be without broadband for a week.

I decided to change my broadband provider to O2 who I have had a mobile phone with for years. They phoned me up and suggested I change and the package they were offering was very good. Previously I had been on cable who had been taken over by Virgin Media. Now the dealings I had with Virgin were not very good. On a couple of occasions when the system had not been working properly or there were problems with our satellite box I tried phoning their support line. I was not impressed!

I will admit to being a bit of a technological geek and I love all my gadgets and computer etc so I am not completely stupid when it comes to technology. After all I can program and create web pages, I have blogs, websites etc galore but I was spoken to by the support department as if I was a silly child who couldn't understand anything!!!

Anyway to get back to the point in question.

I arranged to have my broadband and phone changed over to O2. I wrote to Virgin and I emailed Virgin giving them the date that I wanted their services to end (to coincide with my new O2 services) but could Virgin get that right - oh no they informed me they were cutting off my phone and broadband a week earlier than I asked for....I wrote to Virgin again pointing out the date I asked for but so far there has been no response. Not surprising!

So my dear friends, although I have phoned O2 and they are trying to rush it through quicker, it very much looks like I will be without broadband for about a week to ten days. I really don't know how I will survive.

If necessary I will log on using my mobile but it is not the best way to go online and the screen is not very big, but I will do my best.

Date for disconnection by Virgin is 9th January

Saturday 1 January 2011

Four Generations

Well thanks to Stanley for this photo - at least I have my head up - of Mum, me, Kelly and Katie.  Four generations of females.  Not something you see every day although with lifespan being longer it may even be possible to get a 5th generation photo!

Happy New Year

To one and all may it be a healthy, happy & prosperous 2011.

We stayed up and watched the New Year in with TVE but I have to say that this year it was a little disappointing.  Now I'm used to the UK TV being rubbish seeing the new year in but normally the Spanish party all night long.

But last night no sooner had we eaten our 12 grapes than they said goodnight and switched on some old archive stuff that just ran and ran.  No big parties, no famous people.  What has happened to the party nation?

Oh well

¡Feliz y próspero año nuevo!

and may you find your spirit again soon :-)