Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Gregg

So handsome and full of life

Tragic Loss

I wasn't going to put anything online yet because it is still too soon. But seeing the vast number of beautiful messages on Gregg's Facebook wall has shown me how loved he was.

Only age 29 he leaves his young wife, son and imminently due second son.

Receiving the call on Monday night was just unbelievable. How can someone so young just die with no real cause of death. Everyone still remains shocked and dazed.

But to see all the messages I can only say that contrary to what some people think of Facebook it has given a platform for an epitaph that honours the short life of a very special person.

Why he had to die so young is not for me to know but I can only presume that he was so special that he didn't have much to learn.

All his family and friends will miss him so much.

Goodbye for now Gregg, give my love to your Grandad and Dora, until we meet again.  Love from your auntie Marion & Mick  xxx






Saturday, 29 September 2012

Countdown to Move

Well our house is under offer, so it looks like it is all coming together nicely.

Just got a hundred and one things to do and numerous lists and notes to write!  

A lovely young lad and his parents came to view our property and for his first time to buy he is getting a lovely little place.  I hope he will be as happy here as we have been.

Crikey we have so much stuff to sort through and sell, dump or give away - 30 years worth!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Day to Day Ramblings of Logistics of The Move

Well for anyone that wants a laugh if you look down the right hand side of this blog you will come across My Blog List.

I have added a link to my alternative blog that is going to detail my day to day frustrations and ramblings as I fight my way through the process of the big move!

Of course anyone with more experience than me (that's just about everyone) please feel free to comment or add advice for you may actually save me pulling my hair out.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Scary Stuff

Well the ball has started rolling now and it's a little scary!

After spending the past few weeks decorating we are almost finished and once done our house is going on the market.  I do hope there are still some buyers out there.

What had once begun as a future dream is hopefully about to become a reality and crikey what a lot to think about.  Move to Spain sounds so good but what a lot to organise.  My to do lists are growing every day.

So much to remember that I've started a separate site just to detail what's happening.  I will attach the link once I've finished setting it up just in case anyone is interested in reading about it all - panic attacks and all!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Kindle et al

I have to admit that over the years my eyesight has definitely changed!

I used to spend hours reading books with no problems.  In fact I love books and always dreamed of one day having my own 'library' if I ever had a spare room in my house!

There is nothing quite like holding a real book in your hand or seeing them stacked in rows on shelves.  But things have changed.

When the Kindle first came out I swore never to have one.  "It's not the same as a real book" - I'd say.  But times have changed.

With the aquisition of my iPad I found at times it was quicker to download a book when I needed to read up on something straight away without having to wait until I could get to the shops to buy a book.  Added to that was the fact that I could zoom up the print to whatever size I wanted and somehow it was easier to 'read' with the light behind the words instead of moving a book to the right angle and distance to see properly.  Also when travelling to have multiple books right with me at the tap of an app meant that I didn't load my suitcase up with loads of heavy books.

Don't get me wrong I still adore books and if I come across one that is definitely a 'keeper' then I still purchase the real thing - even if I have read the Kindle version - and it joins my multitude of other books sitting there awaiting my library!

Facebook as a Platform for Propaganda & Unrest

I have noticed more and more lately how Facebook is being used as a platform for propaganda and an aid to causing unrest and ill-feeling between people.

Facebook in the beginning was created as a communication between students, a way to chat to one another, a social network. Perhaps it has now got too powerful a tool, a way of getting your personal viewpoint to as many people as possible – whatever your viewpoint may be. This is sad because the normal person will begin to move away from Facebook and find some other medium in which to while away a bit of time, to relax, play games and have fun and not to be inundated with extremist viewpoints on what may, or may not, have happened in the past.

No country in the past is pure from atrocities and evil; no country is better or worse when looking back in history. All at some time have done things that are best forgotten and left to the history books. Just look at the great countries that have risen and fallen!

Surely we must learn from history to make certain that there are no reoccurrences and that the only way forward in this world that is so tightly bound together is to learn to live alongside one another in peace and harmony.

Just my viewpoint and whether you agree or disagree then that is your perogative.


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Rightmove Overseas

I’m always on the search for properties for sale in Mallorca and I was surprised to come across Rightmove (well known estate agents in the UK) who have an overseas department and amongst other countries they include Spain and Mallorca in particular.

I searched for properties within my price range and was pleased to see that there were twelve pages of properties!

They weren’t all in the area I wanted but they were on all parts of the island so I will be keeping a lookout on that site.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Private Health Care in Spain

From what has been reported it would appear that Spain are no longer going to abide by the EU reciprocal health rules.

Reports say that retirees are now going to have to buy private health care as the national health scheme that they paid into in their own country will no longer be acceptable. Now I am not sure of the cost for private health care as you get older in Spain but it will be an added expense that those budgeting on a pension will have to bear.

It is said that the government are hoping to save about one billion euros through this action.

However it does make me wonder how much they will lose by people going to spend their retirement in European countries that abide by the rules.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Time For Research

Doing a lot of research at the moment on prices, properties and all we need to know for relocating to Mallorca. It gets quite mind blowing when you start looking into NIE, Padrons etc.

I guess in reality it all comes together but my to do list will be quite extensive when the time comes!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Missing Mallorca Already

As I sit here the rain is still falling and the sunshine, our friends and relaxation seem a long time ago.

So just to remind myself here are a few photos.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Fortnight in Mallorca

Well we are nearing the end of our annual pilgrimage to Mallorca! It has flown by and it has been fantastic as usual. Our friends have been fantastic as usual and we are dreading the return to England. After 25 years we find it harder each year to leave our second home. This year we have been privileged to experience first hand the progress of three feral kittens as they have been guided by their attentive mother in how to move toward independence. I know there is a problem with feral cats in Mallorca but I also know that the Spanish aren't as uncaring toward these animals as they like to pretend. However early I have arisen I still haven't caught sight of the person responsible for leaving food for them but I have seen the result of this kind act. For all the macho and bravado comments that are made I know that they are turning a blind eye to the antics of these kittens until they too are full grown and move on to their own patch. Viva espaƱa!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Amazon & City Link - Tweets

If you search on Twitter for @Amazon or @Citylink you will find a multitude of people complaining about the service they have (or should I say have not) received from the above companies.

I cannot believe that a company as large as Amazon is not taking notice of the complaints they have received regarding the shoddy service supplied by their premier service courier "City Link".

It would appear that Prime Membership to Amazon means deliver as cheap as possible (a.k.a. City Link).

Take a look at the Tweets if you don't believe me.  Perhaps it is about time that Amazon monitored what was being said on the social networks!

Suppliers Who Use City Link

After another frustrating attempt at a delivery by City Link in which they put a card through the door without even knocking or ringing the bell resulting in a 30 mile trip to pick up the parcel I am now compiling a list of all the suppliers that still insist in using City Link.  Beware of the following:


  • eBuyer - please note they have now stopped using City Link
  • Amazon.co.uk - after several complaints regarding deliveries they still insist on using City Link

I will add to this list as I discover who else uses them.  Feel free to leave comments regarding your own stories and I will add them to the list.

Please note that City Link WILL NOT:


  • leave without obtaining a signature
  • give a depot phone number
  • accept a safe place to leave a parcel (even if you leave a signed letter requesting such)
  • knock on your door or ring the bell
  • deliver on a Saturday
  • keep your parcel for more than 5 days before returning to sender
  • give an approximate time for delivery (any time between 07.30 and 17.30)


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Family Life

Every Saturday morning at 9 AM my mother is sitting by her phone waiting for my call.

At 85 years of age and living a distance from me I can allow her to expect my call - come rain or shine.

From my mum's perspective the only way she knows what goes on in the family is by a phone call updating her on the previous week's activities.  She revels in hearing every detail and it helps her to feel as though she is still involved in our family lives.

In reality she hasn't visited my house for over 15 years as her fear of driving any distance prevents her from driving to me and therefore our only visits are when we make the journey to see her.  Perhaps that is what you come to expect as you grow older.

In some ways I can understand her predicament for already at my age I find myself "left out of the loop" when it comes to the every day lives of our children and grandchildren.  Working full-time (myself and the children) and being a distance apart means that I learn a lot of what goes on by logging on to Facebook.  There seems to be hardly any time for phone calls or Skype and it is a little sad that a social networking site is the main source of information regarding family activities.

My mum always says that she prefers to talk on the phone than an email or text message and I suppose in some ways she is right.  But in these busy days the old poem seems all the more poignant:

"What is this world if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare"

Or to contact one another... and I'm as guilty as the next!

Queens Jubilee

Well watching the pageant of the Queens Jubilee it is amazing to see so many boats going down the River Thames.

Whatever your views on the UK and Royalty today has to be acknowledged as a moment in history.

The Commonwealth countries have of course all attended and it is certainly marvelous to see.

For me it is a shame that Spain has snubbed the occasion due to political reasons, but is lovely to see all the other countries that have wished to be involved.

Spectacular just a shame that the sun isn't shining!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Who Wants To Live Forever

Life chucks a bit of reality at you at times just when you aren't expecting it.

Today a friend of mine who is only in her early 40's was told that her school friend had breast cancer very badly and also a friend of mine whose father is battling with lung cancer got told by the hospital that they were stopping his treatment as there was nothing more they could do.

So what do you do, go home and wait to die?

Life is so very short on this side that you have got to make the most of it, to enjoy each day, and take chances just so you can say you tried.

My friend said that after receiving the news from her father she walked back to her desk in a daze and as she looked around her life was going on as normal with everyone oblivious and getting on with their work unaware that for her at that moment her life had stood still.

I know the feeling well.

So we have to remember that life is for living and to enjoy the experiences it brings for tomorrow we may ... Live it to the full!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap

Now as you all know the last of my cats unfortunately died last year. Why wasn't this around when my cats were young! This microchip cat flap is ideal for us cat lovers. I can always remember the sounds of my cat hissing and crying madly at unearthly times of the night and early morning as she tried to scare away neighbourhood cats that were trying to get in through our old cat flap and steal her food. Another concern I had was with the fox that regularly patrolled our gardens in search of food. I would wonder if he would find the cat flap and invade our house - and scare the life out of our rather timid cat. The microchip cat flap can be found here at Amazon So if the time comes when I have another cat then this is what I will get.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Here in sunny France!

Well we have been here 6 days tomorrow and I can’t believe that the holiday is almost over.  Tomorrow is the last full day as we have to be up bright and early on Friday to start our journey back to England.

Here are a couple of photos.  The first is our fifth-wheeler on the site at Parc Verger and the second is the view from our bedroom window of just a little of the gorgeous countryside that surrounds us here in the Limousin.

campsiteinFrance

champagnacderiviere

 

We have had some sunshine but there have been a lot of showers this year and even a couple of claps of thunder.

I have kept busy though.  When the internet has been on (a bit hit and miss at times) I have been researching and working on my sites.  When the internet has been off or I wanted to just relax I have been getting out my paints.

One big problem though is our close proximity to the Spanish border.  How I wish we could just carry on down South and across the border into Spain, not helped by the fact that I have been painting a flamenco dancer!

We have once again met up with people who have just up and left the UK.  Selling their property in the UK they decided to wait no longer and have packed all their belongings into their RV and gone full time.

I am not as brave as that, I still wish for a solid foundation and my own garden.  But I don’t blame them and I admire their courage.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Time to get serious about living in Mallorca

Well the time has come when I should really start planning seriously now. I looked at some notes that I had made previously and could not believe that nearly two years had gone by!

Since that time Mick has reached 65 and while I am supposed to work until I am 65 I will give it about another 18 months by which time the mortgage will be paid off.

Somehow I have to make it work by that date for if we wait until my 65th Mick will be 72 and we don't want to wait until that age before we start enjoying our retirement living in our adopted home. We have already waited 25 years, I think that is long enough!

As usual finances play a strong part in how soon we can move. Mick does not have a private pension and although I do the estimated annual pension is not very much. My state pension will not start until I'm 65 so we have to bridge the gap. I have studied the cost of living in Spain and from what I see if I take an average in the UK then it should cover expenses in Spain.

If we are expected to live on the state pension in this country then we should be able to in Spain. My little private pension will be just a little extra.

Now what we would like to buy to live in will be the problem. Mallorca is a very expensive island on which to buy a property but it is an island that we feel at home in. We have many friends there and know our way around it almost as much as where we live now.

Looking at property prices in Mallorca selling our house here would probably only raise enough to buy an apartment or a small finca in need of modernisation. Of course there are also the charges and moving expenses to take into account.

So I have a lot to think about and while we are taking a break in France over Easter I am going to have to do a fair amount of number crunching... If only it was France we were in love with then property prices would be much more affordable. Oh well you can't choose what country you love anymore than what person to love. Much to contemplate I think.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Transformer Cake

Well today I undertook the mammoth task of creating a transformer cake for my grandson Stefan's 4th birthday.

First task was the template that I drew on white paper.

 

 

 

Next came laying the cake out.

 

 

 

Finally all the covering with icing, painting it with edible silver food colouring.

 

 

Sorry about it being sideways but haven't found out how to flip the photos yet on my iPad.

Also I now need to find out how to clean my brushes to get rid of the silver leaf!

Still I'm sure little Stefan will love his cake and that's all that matters.

 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Further testing on the iPad

Well a week has gone by and I have tested the iPad to the fullest.

I hate to admit this bit I love it!

So far I have downloaded all the apps that I think that I need and every day I seem to find more.

Apps so far are:

  • Games
  • Shopping
  • eBay
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Ancestry
  • Books
  • Office hd that enables me to import, edit, create and export all word documents, spreadsheets etc.
  • Spanish dictionaries, verbs, grammar etc.
  • This app for blogging which is brilliant
  • You tube
  • Skype
  • Oh many, many more
The only downside is that the games I used to play on Facebook have to be played via an app and of course with a smaller screen they are not so easy to play.

Also being a touch typist I find the virtual keyboard not as quick or easy to use as a normal keyboard so I have ordered a Bluetooth keyboard for when I do long documents, but for on the move quick notes it is great.

Of course it will not take the place of my laptop for a start it doesn't have the memory but on portability it can't be beaten.

As the Olympics are threatening a further 67 minutes travel time both ways I can see that this will come into its own.

It also prints without any problem and found my wireless printer with no problem at all.

Of course my favourite pro point is the fact that I only open the case and it is ready to go - no waiting for it to boot up!

Overall brilliant for on the go, great fun and easy to carry around but I am glad I went for the 64G as I would soon fill up a smaller one! It is a shame that Apple don't allow the capability of adding a memory card but then that's Apple for you. Still glad I've got it though.

 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Testing my iPad for Blogging

Well I am trying to see if my iPad can be a useful tool in mobile blogging.

Sitting on my settee at night with my laptop on the arm of the chair does tend to make me sit a bit twisted and probably doesn't help my neck problem.

Of course sitting typing on a virtual keyboard is not quite as quick as using a physical keyboard and I think for long posts there is nothing quite as quick as touch typing, but this is pretty impressive for a first attempt!

Lets just see if I can now find the publish button...

 

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Remember the Elderly during this Cold Spell

Now I realise that –6.5 C or –11 C (due tonight in our area) might not be cold according to some countries, but here in the UK we are not used to such extreme temperatures.  So please remember the elderly.

Unfortunately my elderly mother lives too far away from me to enable me to pop in and make sure she is ok but I am really pleased to hear that in her area she has so far had four neighbours (not immediate ones that she knows) knock on her door to ask if she needed any shopping.

She does live a coastal area that has a high majority of elderly retirees but it is still refreshing that while they still have snow on the ground the elderly that are unable to get out and about for fear of falling over are not forgotten.

It is a sad reflection of our lives nowadays that we are all working such long hours that we do not see our neighbours during the winter months.  In fairness there are not too many elderly around my area as they are mostly people of working years but I barely know anyone apart from my immediate neighbours.

While my mother could not think of much except for bread and fruit it took one enterprising caller to just ask her to visualise walking around her normal supermarket and think of what she would normally put in her trolley and that she has now run out of.  Her list of shopping suddenly went from bread and fruit to quite a long list!

So thank you to those kind and considerate neighbours for keeping a watch on my mum and I hope that anyone else that has elderly living around them will do the same.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Dogs needing homes in Mallorca

One of my favourite sites is http://sinhogarmallorca.es/ and the work they do rescuing and trying to find loving homes for the abandoned and unwanted dogs on Mallorca is exceptional.

Sin Hogar has a Facebook page and their webpage above will tell you all about them.

Here are some of the latest dogs that need loving homes.

 

So if you live in Mallorca or mainland Spain and can find the room in your hearts and homes to give one of these or the many others a lifetime home then check them out on their website above or their Facebook Page.

Both my husband and I intend to give a second chance to an abandoned dog once we move to a permanent home on the island.

Snowy UK

Well the forecast snow did in fact turn up as predicted.

As usual some parts of the country got it worse than others and here in North-West Kent we had about 4 to 5 inches.  It’s not too bad and the fact that it has fallen on a Sunday is even better.  Here are a couple of pictures.

snow at front of housesnow in backgarden

There is no snow forecast for tonight and apart from freezing temperatures overnight leading to slippery surfaces tomorrow I would think that there should be no problems getting to work in the morning.

It was fairly amusing watching the birds this morning as they attempted to get the snow off the bird feeder.  The technique was to cling to the bird feeder with their claws and flap their wings frantically until the snow fell off.  One Magpie did have a surprise though as it landed beside a piece of bread and disappeared under the snow.  It flew away pretty quickly!  However a blackbird made use of the dent in the snow that the Magpie had made and quite contently stood in it to eat the bread.

Still wherever you are keep warm and keep safe.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Snow Everywhere?

Well the weather over the past week has been dreadful everywhere!

As we watch TVE every night we have been seeing snow on the beaches in Spain.  With temperatures in the rest of Europe plummeting down to –22 or lower the thought of global warming seems far from our minds.  More like a new ice age!

However those of us that are “over 21” can remember the cyclical nature of the weather on this planet we call home.

As a child I remember well the walks to and from school wrapped in coats, scarf, hats and wellies (that only just prevented the snow from tumbling over the top and soaking my feet).  Snowball fights and snowmen were an every winter occurrence and photographs showing snow in May are stored in old black and white photo albums.

In those days thoughts of turning up the central heating were not a reality but putting more coal on the fire and huddling in the one warm room was our life.  A trip to the kitchen or WC was an ordeal that you put off until the last minute!  Bedtime was warm pyjamas, flannelette sheets and hot water bottles.

But moving on in time I can recall only about 10 or 15 years ago when villages close to where I live were cut off completely when the snowfall reached drifts of 6 feet or more.

We have definitely had it easy (although last year brought the first chaos of the returning snowfalls) and we have all become a little softer as central heating has kept us warm and cosy.

No-one went out “panic buying” all the milk, bread and other food for our parents could not afford the luxury of doing such a thing.  We just got on with it and made do with what we had.

So as England once again approaches the chaos that snowfall causes on our roads we can at least rest assured that within time the cycle will continue and the milder winters will be around again.

Olympics 2012

Well Transport for London have just released the maps showing the problems that will occur on public transport and the roads during the 6 weeks around the time of the Olympics.

I honestly do not understand whatever state of mind they were in when they chose Stratford for the Olympics!  There are plenty of other places that the Olympics could have been held that would not have such an impact on the travel situation.

I for one have no intention of watching any of the Olympics at all as all I can think about is how my usual long commute is going to become unbearable during that period!

The route that is taken by the coach company I travel with (and all the others) has to go right through the red zone both early mornings and evenings.  With coaches that provide no toilet facilities or any other facilities it is going to be a very long journey.

There is already absolute chaos on the roads in the mornings/evenings and journey times have almost doubled over the past 7 years.

But what option do I, and all the other commuters (whether by road or rail) have?

The companies that operate within the City will suffer due to staff either being late in or not turning up at all and the staff will suffer the stress of trying to get to their places of employment.

So while everyone celebrates the Olympics bear in mind the vast majority of people who keep the City of London businesses going and who are approaching the Olympics with dread in their hearts and who cannot for the life of them understand the logic of holding this event in an already gridlocked area!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Pension Service UK

Well today I received a notification from the Pension Service to let me know that they have moved my pension date again and added on another 18 months working life!!

Just when I thought there was only 5 years 7 months to go they have decided that no I can't retire, I have to carry on.

I really think they just want people to die before they can draw a pension!

I would like to see the politicians and local government workers retire at that age too - oh and come to that I would like to see them survive on the same pension.

The thought of getting up at 5.30 and returning home at 7 pm for an extra 18 months on top of the already increased pension age is certainly depressing...

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Amazon & City Link

I just looked on the Amazon forum and in one discussion thread I found 859 complaints about City Link.

The question then leads me to wonder why with so many unsatisfied customers Amazon continues to use the services of City Link.  Sounds a bit suspect to me.

If I was running a business that relied upon using a courier service then I would go to one that had a good reputation, had good customer service, was easy to contact and delivered the items that they were paid to deliver.  If the said courier service resulted in me getting complaints then I would cease doing business with them.

I pay to be a Prime Member of Amazon but now I know how they can send items with free postage - they use an inferior and cheap courier!  I shall be considering whether to renew my Amazon Prime Membership when it is up for renewal.

It also leads me to wonder whether Amazon themselves care about their customers nowadays.  Getting a bit complacent I believe.

City Link AGAIN

City Link Couriers are positively the worst couriers I have ever had the misfortune to come in contact with! They really do not want to deliver your goods, avoid them like the plague.

After one aborted attempted delivery I held onto the phone for an hour while I waited for the depot to answer their phone.  After being told what the terms and conditions of delivery were by some 'woman' I then got allowed to give instructions of where to deliver my goods.  Her reassurance that the driver would do as instructed where to no avail as he took it back to the depot again and this time it will be returned to sender.

There is absolutely no chance of nipping down to their depot as they are 30 miles away and close before I get home from work.

Once again City Link have lived up to their nickname - one I will not put on here as I am too polite.

Customer Service - what service, it doesn't exist anymore!

Friday, 13 January 2012

When is a dog not a dog?

Well a dog is not a dog when it is a specialised breed!

At the risk of upsetting all those involved in the Kennel Club, Crufts or pedigree breeders I have to say that sometimes the snobbery amongst different breeders is unbelievable.

To cut a long story short my daughter recently added a rather lovely dog to her family and among our messages and photos to one another on Facebook I added a link to a brilliant video on You Tube where it showed this type of canine doing what it is supposed to do and that is be a gun dog. I joked with my daughter about showing it to her new dog so he would know what to do.

I could not believe it when the “breeder” of this particular dog commented and told me that it was the wrong breed and that her breed was wire haired and not smooth coated!

Well pardon me but I do have eyes and I could see the difference but when it came down to it they were both of the same breed – just that one has smooth coat and the other wire haired and to be quite honest did it really matter!

I was joking with my daughter not asking to be corrected on the intricacies of dog breeding!

To me a dog is first canine, and then group (gun dog/hunting dog etc) then breed and lastly the difference between the breeds (short coated, wire haired etc).

I guess this type of person would have looked down her nose at my old dog who happened to be a Spaniel cross but he was the most loyal, well behaved and easy going dog I have ever met.

So spare me the pedigrees and their breeders, I will stick to good old common cross breeds and mongrels!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Wind & Rain

Well it certainly has been a lovely start to the year.  With gale force winds and driving rain it makes for an uncomfortable and cold journey to work and back.

I don't know about you but I always find it very hard to get motivated at this time of the year but I guess after having ten days off work that doesn't help.

It is not just the awful weather or the dark mornings/nights but it is also the lethargy that has set in so that I don't really even want to 'play around' on the internet!!

I've always said that we should hibernate and come out in the Spring.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Time for Reflection & Cesar Millan - this is a long post


It has been great having these ten days off over the Christmas/New Year period but they have been tainted a bit by the problems I have had with regard to the migraine and inflammation in my neck.  It has, however, given me time to think!

This year, 2012, is the year when my husband can retire.  He is, however, going to continue working until we have finished paying off our mortgage, and I am not due to reach retirement age for another 5 years 7 months.  But it has led me to think about the future and about my own personality.

For those of you that read my earlier post about wanting a dog this is not, as yet, the same opinion of my husband.  He always said that when Charlie died 11 years ago that he would never want another dog, as he could not replace him.  During that time and since then we have always had cats but since our last cat left this world we have had no pets and he has been quite happy with that because of his desire to move to Spain.

Just lately I have been getting rather restless with this decision (I agreed at first) and due to my inactivity over the Christmas period I have been watching Cesar Millan (Dog Whisperer) who not only gave me a psychological insight into the canine species but he has also made me question my desire for one.

Now I am an impulsive person I know so I have questioned myself quite thoroughly as to why I want one ‘now’.  Why not wait 5 years or so until we have moved to Spain?  Well the answer came over this period of inactivity!

For those that know my hubby they will know a chilled out, relaxed person, who can sleep in until midday – no problem – and although he works dammed hard on whatever project he is undertaking he can likewise be quite content just sitting.  Whether he is sitting at the computer or sitting on a balcony observing life passing by, he is content with that.  Also into this comes the fact that he has trouble with his spine and cannot therefore walk very far.

I, on the other hand, get bored very quickly.  Ok I can sit at my laptop and do whatever I want to do but I can’t sit and watch TV without having my laptop on so that I am ‘doing’ something.  My mind and body needs stimulation.

So what does this have to do with a dog you may ask?

Well all my life I have been a walker.  If I didn’t have a car then I couldn’t be bothered to wait for a bus – I would walk.  If I had a problem on my mind – then I would walk and think it through.  But as the years have gone by then the walking has slowed down.  Work has taken up all my time and hubby’s bad back has even made our long walks on holiday a thing of the past. 

However the thought of retirement has brought with it the thought of “what on earth will I do”? 

I initially thought that I would pass the time working on my computer, but over the passed few days when I couldn’t be bothered to even blog, I realised that I need more than that.

Whether in a house or an apartment after the initial relaxation stage I start to become like a caged animal.  I pace up and down.  Housework only conquers a bit of the surplus energy that I have and working on a computer or painting does not fulfil my need to escape the confines of the four walls.

I am also an early riser and so the ‘waiting’ until my hubby rises is also spent just waiting!

Ok so I could go out and wander around on my own but that all seems without a purpose, also these days it is not always safe!

So my vision of retirement is not to sit around or pottering about in the garden; it is not spent waiting until my hubby arises; it not even spent working on my computer.  All of these I will and can do when I feel like it.  My vision is to have a dog as a companion.  Someone that will wake up when I do, who will enjoy going out for walks to escape the four walls, and someone who will help me to keep fit.  I know I can still do it – the 8 mile hike home from work in the snow last year proved I can still do it!

So why now and not 5 years or so from now?

Well I have always exercised from 5.30 to 6 AM every day before going to work but just lately I have been losing interest.  Exercising along with a DVD starts to get boring.  I am concerned that sitting at a computer at work all day and then sitting at my laptop each evening is starting to affect my health and fitness.  I don’t want to wait 5 years to get fit!

Hubby is concerned about having a pet and going on holiday.  Well the answer to that is easy.  A cat had to stay at home, but a dog is mobile.  My daughter is a vet nurse and has a house full of animals, another dog for a couple of weeks is just “the more the merrier” plus it would get used to socialising with other animals and get to run in the field while she takes care of her horses.  It would be a holiday for the dog too!

Hubby is concerned about when we move to Spain.  No problem there either.  I have already checked out the procedure for a pet passport.  When we move we will be driving there so we just take the dog with us.  Eurotunnel welcomes pets and they stay in the car with you and the ferry has kennels for the overnight journey.  Once in Spain it is not my hubby’s intention to come back to the UK and our children/grandchildren definitely want free holidays!

So there you go.  My reflection on what I want and why.  Sorry to go on so much but I wanted to see it in black and white to clear it up in my mind.  Now all I’ve got to do is 1) find a dog and 2) convince hubby.

Wish me luck!