Saturday, 6 October 2012

October Thoughts

Today I am going to indulge myself in a little "Grandma" boasting.  Believe it or not this is something I don't often do, in fact I am probably a disgrace as a Grandmother as I don't even carry photos of my brood in a suitably capacious handbag!

However, my No.1 Granddaughter has just be made Head Girl of her Primary School - voted for by the staff and all the pupils.  What a sign of her popularity.  No.2 Granddaughter has just started "big school" at the grand age of 4 yrs and 10 months.  Photographs were taken of my latest schoolgirl in her uniform, blue and white checked dress, blazer [with room to grow!] and her straw boater set upon her head on rather a jaunty angle.  No. 1 Grandson [who will be 14 in December] delights in already towering above his "little Grandma" and the way he is growing he is likely to end up taller than his Papa too.  We recently took a photo of him with No. 2 Grandson [at his 8th Birthday tea] and they are both so handsome [OK I am biaised - but they are!].  This year No. 2 Grandson's school play in a small football league and he is really keen to prove he can be good at sport as well as his lessons.  Yesterday's highlight was winning "Man of the Match" - one proud lad.

Whenever people ask me whether I would like to move to our home in Spain I always reply that I couldn't be away from my family all year.  Our longest time in Spain was probably last year when we clocked up nearly 12 weeks, going out at Christmas, Easter, May Bank Holiday, and approx. 6 weeks in the Summer.  Of course the other vital factor is that we haven't retired, we still need to work. No-one these days can exist on a state pension.  I have spent most of my working life self-employed so haven't the comfort of any kind of end salary pension. 

To be honest most of the time I enjoy my work and I don't dwell on getting older ..... that way lies depression!  Groucho Marx's famous quote for men is that "you are only as old as the woman you feel" - I need to find an appropriate quote for women. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Summer Memories

Since my last post back in April I have been concentrating on trying to win more work projects for my Consultancy and at the same time marketing our holiday apartments in Spain.  Evenings, when I used to catch up on my blog, were used for increased marketing efforts for both new projects and bookings for Spain.

We did have a really good Summer in Spain with guests from the North of England, Canada, London, Dublin and Barcelona who shared with us and our family the most fantastic weather and who, to our delight, loved staying at Vista Alegre.  We watched the Olympics and most of the Paralympics via TV, as we did not manage to get tickets we thought we might as well be watching from Spain. Even from a distance the excitement of it all gripped us and we added to the crowd noise whenever a British medal was won.   

The planting we have slowly been doing over the last couple of years at Vista Alegre is now coming into its own and adds to our wonderful views.  

Sitting here on a surprisingly cold Autumn day in my office in London I do wonder how I manage to drag myself away - here's to Christmas and New Year back in Spain.  Let me know if anyone cares to join us.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Slave to TV

It seems I am hooked yet again on a Scandinavian Crime Series - this one is called "The Bridge" and is a joint Swedish/Danish collaboration. Watching expenditure has meant less theatre trips, cinema outings and meals in restaurants and more staying in at the weekend and watching TV. I have gone French watching "Spiral", Danish with "The Killing" [both series so far], "Those who kill" and "Borgen", Italian with "Inspector Montalbano" and now here I go again. Can someone tell me why the women detectives, whatever the nationality, have to be disfunctional? The latest Swedish detective is clearly very strange [even her colleagues mention it] possibly autistic? Then we have "Homeland" an American TV import [apparently a version of a previous Israeli series] where we are asked to believe that the CIA would employ a Bipolar operative....... The fact that I actually care about any of the above is a little bit worrying - I really need to get out more.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Back to work

March 2012 was not a good month, I, very stupidly by lifting a very heavy rubber plant, damaged my back. To cut a long and painful story short it got progressively worse until I was unable to even sit comfortably. With my Easter break in Spain getting closer and closer, with a two and a half hour plane ride to survive, things were looking decidedly dodgy. I had to stop doing my usual working days rushing around London and work from home between treatments at my osteopath. Thank goodness by 4th April when we were leaving for Spain there was reasonable improvement although I still needed to use a stick as the back problem had caused weakness in my left leg. There is however always a bright side - my walking wounded look gained us first boarding position on Easyjet! April in Spain was great and has completed my recovery so I am now back at work.

Apologies for lack of blogs I will try to get back into the normal routine soon once I have caught up with emails etc etc.

Friday, 2 March 2012


I just thought I would share with you some of the many photos of our home in Spain that cheer me up on foggy London mornings or when the workload gets too heavy. I just look in my photo gallery and dream I am lounging by the pool, walking in our pine forest or having a picnic overlooking the olive grove ah............... only a few weeks to Easter and our next trip. Some early bookers have reserved the two last weeks in August to rent one of our apartments and hopefully they will be the first of many.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Fond Farewell

Today we attended the funeral of a friend who died far too soon at the tender age of 62. His wishes were to have a Humanist celebration of his life as he was not a religious man and his family followed his instructions. The funeral had one of the largest attendances I have seen over 200 friends and family. It was incredibly moving, the music was perfect, the readings very thoughtfully chosen to reflect the man we all knew, and the tributes from his son and his oldest friend reminded us of the reasons why we had all come to say a fond farewell.

He fought his illness so bravely that until very close to the end many of us did not realise how ill he was, his sheer willpower kept him going to see his son married and to have the joy of being Father of the Bride last year when his daughter married. Both his daughter and daughter-in-law are both pregnant and it is truly a tragedy that he will not be around to be the full-of-fun grandpa he would no doubt have been.

But he lived life to the full, he was full of good humour, a born raconteur with an endless fund of stories. He was truly a good human being and will be sadly missed.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Twits on Twitter

I am officially beginning to act my age - I hate text speak "CU@4" will get the short repost "not if I see you first!", I have no desire to be on Twitter or even follow anyone on Twitter, the minute insignificant details of my own life bore me let alone reading about others.

I am just about staying on Facebook but this is mainly to keep my grandchildren happy but frankly this may go soon too. No, I am not turning into a Howard Hughes style recluse but I am beginning to think all this information and personal detail sharing is going to backfire.

I like getting hand written letters, cards even - am I alone?

I like actually talking to people on the phone not just leaving a voicemail.

It's raining, I am on antibiotics for a chest infection and coughing for Britain so perhaps the above rant is an extreme reaction or then again maybe not.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Winter Blues

Winter has arrived with a vengence in London, no snow as yet but very cold with what my American friends call the "chill factor".

I am trying to decide if I can face going out again tonight. I should be going to a rehearsal of a Comedy Sketch Show I have been helping to script over the last few weeks. I have contributed generally but in particular supplied lyrics for four songs which I want to make sure are performed well. So...... cold or not I suppose I better get myself to the rehearsal. The trouble with Winter is it encourages me to hibernate.

I will cheer myself up by looking through some new photos we took at our place in Spain at Christmas.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Long Time No Blog!

Frankly I do not have a real excuse for this protracted gap in posting - since our Christmas and New Year stay in Spain I have been concentrating on building up additional work projects and everything else has been put to one side. In these extremely difficult economic times and with our Spanish property to finance we needed to ensure finances for the coming few months. Anyhow, hooray I have had several new projects commissioned and the new year is looking much healthier.

I shall try to catch up with my blog reading soon too.

Highlights since my last posting have been a great time in Spain with beautiful weather and good times with friends, a "Sleepover" with our youngest two grandchildren last Friday where I discovered I could still climb up and sleep in a top bunk bed [not bad eh?] and the start of my work with Volunteer Reading Help.

With VRH I have been assigned to work at a local school with three 9 year boys who are "reluctant readers" and I am hoping to make real progress over the next few weeks - I'll keep you informed.