Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It would been better for Vodafone if I had at least spelt their name correctly... Sorry Vodafone! Was difficult enough typing on my phone, without having to worry about spelling!!!

The trip to London this morning went well, and very quickly!

My confidence was lacking before my trip, the amount of times I have travelled on the underground is impossible to count, yet I was nervous of going on my own, even if I am with someone who doesn't know the underground just being with someone is better isn't it... or is that just me!

Anyway, I got on the mainline train just fine, and off, and down into the tube, and walked directly to the Northern Line and straight onto the platform, only a short wait, a couple of minutes, time enough to watch a cute little grey mouse walking along the edge of the platform... so sweet, poor little thing! Then I was on, and off at the next station, Warren Street, where I had to run down the stairs, the escalator not working... but ran onto the waiting tube... on the Victoria line one stop to Oxford Circus! No more mice!

Topside and there over the road almost was John Lewis, where I met my friend! He said, the coffee shop third floor, but there was a coffee place on the 3rd 4th and 5th floors! So let him know I was on the 5th... We had a good catch up, since Mom's service, and then off our sepertate ways, I did the return trip just as quick, but the mainline was quicker.... the first stop for my train was here! Just 30 minutes, so very good, took me longer to walk home from the station than the trip from London!

Yesterday, I met up with Sarah, and we had a couple of coffee's and walk around Aylesbury, I had a few things I wanted to get, which I did, then had to carry them home! Which would have been ok if I had just walked home from the bus stop in town, but I wanted to be sure where the station was and get the ticket ahead of time, so it was a 45 minute walk home... I was shattered, and didn't think I would make it, which would have been funny.... not! And even though it was cold, I was boiling, all that walking and rushing about, and it was only just gone 4pm, maybe 4:30, and pitch dark!!!! Although its lighter here at 7am than back home in Spain, it is still light at 7pm in Spain, or was!

Tomorrow I am back on bus....

This morning was icy on the cars and the paths, but felt lovely and fresh and wintry!!!

Well here I am on line from my phone! Wonderful Voderfone have given me 500 minutes free internet time... Thing is I will need all of that just to tell you about it! I am at Euston station London, waiting to depart for Leighton Buzzard, its the first stop. It took me the journey down to set up! More later. . .

Friday, November 19, 2010

Below is a link to see the photos from our Cudeca inauguration on Wednesday... I am in two shots! All hair and a little face it seems!

Cudeca official opening in Alhaurín el Grande


Thursday, November 18, 2010


I am beginning my post today with a poem...

..... Keep Ithaka always in your mind,
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with what you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

by Cavafy about Ulysses

I posted this before, on Nov 30th 2009... on the day I came over to England... Mom was getting bad... and the above poem reminded me on how its the journey through life we should make good...


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another hard day at work! Not quite so busy today, either in the store or in town actually! And when there are fewer people it just means we can get more stock out, and more tiding and cleaning done, so still lots to do...

I met up with the crew first of course, at the boardroom, for early morning networking! Lots of people away over the next couple of months, holidays to UK for, and before Christmas, our numbers will dwindle...

Tomorrow is the inauguration of our new store in town... our new Cudeca store that is. First we have a meeting, then drinks and bites to eat.... After the Mayor has done his stuff! So that's good, bit more advertising for the shop... wonder in Andalucia TV will be there again? I must make sure to wear something different from the two other times in less than 2 months they have caught me on camera!!!

Everyday many many emails are passing between my new cousin and myself, and Emma, the wonderful girl who has brought us together, who is still working, and finding some fantastic things out still...

The other night I was caught up in the search... Working backwards, sort of, I went straight to the graveyards! Luckily there are some people who must have wandered about the many cemeteries of the United Kingdom, writing down all the names and dates etc, on the tomb stones... Then listed them all here on the net!

While I searching I came across a... well an interesting inscription to a Mr Thomas Collier to died back in 1765, Blacksmith of his parish... in Rodborough, Gloucestershire at St Mary Magdalene's Churchyard... it reads...

Thomas COLLIER of this parish,
Blacksmith, 23 Nov 1765, 52
My sledge & hammer is declined
My bellows to have lost its wind
My fire extinct, my forge decayed
And in the dust my vice is layd
My coal is burnt, my irons gone
My nails are drove, my work is done
Elizabeth, w/o Thomas COLLIER,
10 Feb 1785
Benjamin, s, 16 Aug 1790, 41

Interesting isn't it, morbid? No.... I remember thinking when I went over to England next, I would take a trip to Crouch End, as I thought my Gt Grandparents were burined there... and now I know they're not!

I also used to wish when I was a kid, that I was miss smith, from 'simple address' with a normal Mom and Dad and siblings, all the family nearby who had always lived in the same place for all of time..... now I marvel at fact that life is so strange and so exciting, if a little confusing at times! And none of my family, on either my Dads, or my Mom's side ever stayed put.... Thousands of miles our family has travelled, must be why I feel so tired!

Ok to the present again, before I go off on yet another tangent.... Our car broke down again yesterday! Franco went up to the get the car and came back after ten minutes, it had been a non starter for the last few days.... At La Trocha market on Sunday, it started ok in the car park, but not outside the Brit food shop on our way home! And this had happened a few times... But yesterday, hopeless, Franco took up the battery charger, not because it was a battery problem, but he was wearing it down with all the trying to start it!

Franco phoned down to say it still wasn't starting, and I went up... came back home, and then went back up again! We called out the grua [breakdown], and after about 40 minutes I came back to the house to get a flask of coffee!!!! It was cold up there! The Mayor came out and down the back stairs of the town hall... shared a coffee with us! Just kidding! He may have thought we had moved in, or were spies! watching his every move!

So the grua phoned, he couldn't find the ayuntamiento[town hall], I walked up to the side of the Vera Cruz church, he called again and eventually found us! He was in a BMW estate car! He jumped out of his car, round to back pulled out his jump leads... and Franco and I both said, "no not the battery"... He then did this test and that test, then said he would have to called the grua pick up truck as he couldn't fix it on site, but then turned to and said did I have a mirror.... I didn't but offered him my mobile, in camera mode and said put that under and just take a photo of the bit you want... He looked confused, I don't know why, would have worked for me!

So down he got under the car on what looked like a yoga mat! and then after only a few seconds jumped up and our car started! A wire was loose from under the solenoid! all those bumpy roads down to the caost, you know since they shut the Fuengirola road we have had had more fall off our car than you would believe! Exhaust pipe, nuts and bolts ie holding the front panel on! Two tires, well they didn't fall off but were ruined all the same!

And apparently, so says the local news the road will open in the next two weeks or so.... I bet while I am away! What'its law isn't it! Its all tarmac, only white lining and a few more bits, and most important, barriers!

Well I am tired, have some washing to check on, when I got home I washed some woollies for my holiday... I did them as usual on the terrace, although, this I am whispering... Our washing machine worked on Sunday.... we talked to man at the market, just for any inside information on what the problem could be with it... He was a sexist... saying that Franco would be who would be fixing it! huh! It would be more likely to me me! He apologised!

Anyway, its probably dry now, the washing, so adió amígos...


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just realised I didn't blog yesterday? I though I had told you about my trip down to the Cudeca hospice, obviously not!

Well after a brief networking meeting at the boardroom aka té with mates outside Bar Cruz, I was down to the shop to meet up with the other going down to the hospice.

The mini bus arrived on time, mas ó menos! And off we went, we had a couple of women from the Marbella store already on board, the driver then took the longest and slowest route possible to get down to Arroyo de la Miel, an hour... via Fuengirola to pick up the volunteers from the store.

We went in and had coffee and biscuits before all sitting down for a brief talk, which was very good and informative, telling us mostly what we already do, but good to hear it over again, and to remind some people what we are supposed to be doing, and why... I think there were about 80 people, 78 women and 2 men, one guy was in a kilt... not sure why exactly, maybe it was his normal day ware???

We had opportunity to say anything we wanted to after Katie had finished, only a few did, some good ideas to add, others not... Then we had a questionnaire to fill out, not from Cudeca, but from a company who donates, they want what sounds like proof of where they're money is going, and photo evidence also...

We then had a tour of the hospice, all the facilities and services for people who visit either during the week, or to stay... They have everything to make life easier for people, in a calm place, with beautiful gardens, the rooms have they're own small shady patio area, and an extra bed in the room for family to stay over...

One room was vacant and we all went in to have a look and check out the interior, while Katie was talking about things in there I was wishing I wasn't in there... It was the first time I had been in a hospital room which just reminded me of Mom's room in the care home, I am still to raw and was upset being in there, then when we came out we collected together by the tiles, you can pay to have peoples names etc decorated onto tiles that run the length of the hospice and turn the corner now, that was staggering to see, although not all the people have passed on... I just only saw those that had.

It was a good visit, and I am glad that at last I have seen the place that the money goes to where I am working again now, and did for a couple of years previously. And next time someone asks for the item to be reduced from 2€ to anything less, I will have more feeling when I say "no"! If they knew exactly where it was going they wouldn't have the cheek to ask, maybe?

And the return journey was longer... we dropped the Fuengirola girls off first, then the Marbella two! Then to Alhaurín, back to the shop. I made a fatal error of getting as far as CJ's... before remembering that Pip had no food in the shoue, and that Mercadona was, by then, the only place open, so I did an about turn and walked all the way back! Got the food and then the walk back home, and got in about 4:15pm, shattered, fed Pip and had a nap!!!

Our car was playing up, again, but Franco thinks it was just a loose spark plug, it kept cutting out yesterday and the day before, but hopefully now... For such an old car it kept going about 4 years longer than we ever thought it could... and those black ties and super glue help!!

Today I copied out all the names and address's in my Grand dads little address book, from 1920! This little book is nearly a hundred years old! In the last couple of days has been opened and closed and pages turned more than in the past fifty years... at least!

As I was typing out the list I was googling the odd one or two, and I think I found one ladies name in the obits in Canada! Everything matched up! Shame she is'nt a relative though... Still amazed me finding her like that! Also my Gt Gt Grand dad, is playing hard to trace, so I looked in the church burial listings for the area we think he was in, found a guy by his name, but seems the name is quite popular... Still fun looking... and you never know...

My *new* cousin and I still can't get our heads around it all, I can't wait to get up to Javea to meet her, unbelievable we are both here in Spain isn't it?

Ok, been on here long enough today, think a piece of cake and custard is calling to me from the kitchen, now, second night with a glass of red wine, remember I opened that bottle the first night my cousin and I spoke, so last night and tonight I thought I better drink a bit more before I end up throwing it away and is the norm in our house! I don't think its doing me any good though, and I thought red wine was good for your heart? My heart beat is more irregular than normal!

I am sooooo glad this auto saves as this whole page just disappeared and when to my gmail, when I hit the back arrow, it didn't bring me back here.... I would not have typed this whole lot again... Oh thats reminded me, at last, when the clocks went back the other week... Walking Pippa was so much better, but even now a couple of weeks later, the sky has never gone back to being as dark as it was before the clocks changed... Which is good! But strange....


Thursday, November 11, 2010

At The Cross

Just a short chat today, definitely been over doing it these last couple of days... Been worth every second of it, emails back and forth, family out about family, and family secrets! Found out something about my Dad, bet my Mom has given him an earful by now... Or did she know? Seems I had another step Mom before Carol, and didn't ever know it!

Its been like rushing through the past on a time machine, gaining speed rapidly... I can't wait to meet my 'new' cousins! I still can't believe we have been so close in miles all the time really... Both in England and here in Spain!

The YouTube music above... I have just come across and is so beautiful, worth a listen.... and take time out to relax while you do...


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mom and I on her passport.... Awwwww!

I havent stopped today since I came home, so much to do, documents and photos to scan and email to ad to our family tree, as I said on fb, a tree now heavy with history! I am still in a state of shock I think! Its so amazing to be *found* like this, there was I hunting them! As much as I could, and the promise I made to Mom... oh if only she were here now, if only this had been a year ago, one cousin died this year also, he died in Bath, Somerset, on my birthday as it happens... but when Mom and I did our little trip last March we were quite near to him then!

And my cousin I have spoken with now who lives here in Spain! She was probably not more than an hour away at most when we were both living back in England! Never mind the fact we may have walked past each other when I was staying further up the coast with friends!

The problems I have had scanning today, the HP printer/scanner we have only works on Franco's lap top, I scanned 16 or 17 items, and hit the send button to email them... but it came up not possible to send... and the box had gone, along with the items! I expect there there somewhere, but I tried to hunt them down, in the *find* writing in English wont work of course, as its in Spanish!

I had to re scan all of it, and save to file, then open up email to send them to myself, to open on my net book, save in my pictures, cut them about a bit etc, then send on!

Then I had trouble sending them, well not sending them, they got bounced back by the receivers email and had to send them via Picassa and only one by one! Phew...

Hope I am ok tomorrow, as yesterday had a very bad head, was a bit iffey before I went down into town, had a cup of tea, and then once I was in work I got a lot worse, the worse being my head ache, but the rest wasn't far behind!!!

I left work quarter hour early, got home and went to bed! Whatever the national average is for being in bed... someone must be missing out of lots, to make up for me sleeping in mine so much!

I got up about 5pm? Something like that, still so excited about suddenly having all this new family history, and cousins, that are here, and now! Then Franco and I had a late night, and once in bed it was difficult to sleep, Franco was restless, Pippa was cold, so on our bed [I know, I know, but she is our baby!], only thing is she wanted to sleep across the bed and we had to accommodate, only I wouldn't, so had to keep moving her off, then I was hot and opened the window and all we could hear was some dog down in the valley I think, barked all night long, heard the rubbish man dragging his bin up the street, and the alarm went off... all too soon!

I have been too busy on here today to catch up on any of last nights missed sleep, so hopefully, tonight?

And the rain that was forecast never came, wonderful day for drying clothes, I didn't get it on the line until after town, and brought it in four hours later, jeans and sweaters all dry... Lovely, considering I am washing them up on the terrace remember... Never did get a wash board though! Just wet feet!

This morning, net working, of course, outside Bar Cruz, we sit at the boadroom table, and the people come and go, usually the last to go are a completely different lot than starts there! Today one of our *group* of networkers brought in a drawing he had done, inspired by an Oncé lady in town, [Oncé is the lottery for the blind, actually saying that, I think it could be the deaf too, and diabled, seeings how the two woman are deaf and the guy who sells it also is in a wheelchair], anyway, I digress as is the norm! So the wonderful drawing inspired by an Oncé girl! The other day, Saturday, there were a couple of us networkers left at the boardroom table there by Bar Cruz, and the Oncé girl came past, she was on her mobile phone, she is deaf, and she was holding out her mobile phone and signing via the video option to a friend! How fantastic is that Technology again! I cant imagine not having this now, or fb, with all my family and friends there, that if not for fb I would feel so so far away from now... and Skype... Twitter? Well its fun in its own way, and I enjoy reading all the people I follow! And the interaction, like the other evening, I was listening to LBC Radio, and *Twittering*, one of presenters who was on air, answered me whilst he was on air!

Ok, think I am all done in for today now.... I need to rest! Or at least calm down...

adió amigos..

Monday, November 08, 2010

Well amigos...Have I got news for you!

And I don't know where to begin! Well, last night I read my hotmail emails, I actually hadn't opened up hotmail for a couple of days... doh! And there was an email from someone who had found some of my information on very very interesting!

I couldn't believe what she had to say, her surname being the same as my Grand Dads, I initially thought she was a relative of mine, but turns out she was tracing someone else's family tree... Which turns out to be part of my family tree!

.... and the mega promise I made to Mom on the last day she was able to talk has been fulfilled, I never thought I would be able to do so... I'm sure Mom knows, I have had goosebumps all the time I have been doing, or talking about it this afternoon! Either that or I'm coming down with a chill!

This afternoon I got back home from town, switched this on and another email in my in box! This wonderful, wonderful girl has been working on behalf of the Grand daughter of one of my Grand Dads brothers... I have seen photos of my Grand parents on her tree, so strange seeing them there!

I could tell Mom that of the two brothers who went to Brazil, one didn't stay long, the other came back eventually, but another brother did move there, stayed and died there...

A cousin moved to Canada, we're all over the world! This cousin became a Canadian citizen who fought during WW2, he landed at Normandy on D-Day, was so badly injured he only lived another couple of days and is buried there... He also has a bay on a lake in Canada named after him!!

I am in such amazement over it all! My head is spinning, and its not a migraine for once, I had my dinner earlier than normal, I think I had burnt up so much energy I was starving! I also have a glass of wine by my side, well empty now... So much information gone into my head I thought it was going to explode!

And, wait for it.... and I have spoken to my cousin! I get confused how many cousins away, my Grand dads Daughter would have been my Mom's cousin, so my 2nd cousin, her daughter, my 3rd and Linda who I spoke to my 4th? Is that right!! I don't know, what matters is we have found each other and spoken.... And you'll never guess, her and her family live here in Spain! Well... of course eh! They lived in Hertfordshire before... Same as us!

I have been going through all the things I have, old documents, an old address book, names, addresses, dates etc, I am going to scan and email everything to both Emma, who has brought us together, and to Linda, can't wait to meet her now! Two years ago, is it two or longer? Anyway, when I was staying with friends up in Cumbre del Sol I was only about 15 minutes away from her...

I better get cracking now, so much to do, dust is piled high around the tv, floors to sweep, bathroom to clean! Been sat here all afternoon, so before I collapse with excited fatigue... adió amgios i think...

I want to phone my Mom even more than usual now, I so want her to know....


Sunday, November 07, 2010

A Quote today from Paulo Coelho's Blog...


All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.

First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak. All religions must be tolerated… for every man must get to heaven in his own way. Freedom is the right to live as we wish...




Saturday, November 06, 2010

Good and busy day in Cudeca yesterday, so many more people coming in to this new shop, as I may have mentioned before[?], yesterday someone told me that lots of her friends didn't even know of the other shops existence in c/Fuengirola, that only the ones who had children did, the school gates being just opposite the old shop, which is now not used.

Thursday I had the doctors, went in on time mas o menos, which was good, after the two hour wait the time before! I took a friend in to help translate, telling her ahead of time what the visit was all about, to prepare her!

When I am back from my visit to England I have to go in to have checks on my hips and heart! And I have enough meds to last me till then, we were only in there about 5 minutes which was good.

And this morning down to town, popped into friends on the way to collect her, and to check on her tv, she phoned me this morning to say the volume wasn't working, no sound, but when we finished our call and she switched it back on it worked fine! No luck with my friends lottery this morning though, the luck was quick and ran out of town!

We sat outside Bar Cruz, of course! We were joined by a couple of friends just as we were leaving, so had to stay for another cuppa!

But earlier on we were talking about stuff, you know, this and that, and something brought us round to special things, fancy candles, dinner services, clothes, even a favorite cup or mug, you get my gist don't you?

Oh I remember what it was, my friend had a beautiful bracelet on, and hadn't worn it for some time... Anyway, it reminded me of an email from yonks ago, about using special things, not just leaving them to gather [metaphorical] dust, to use those special cups or mugs, to wear the wonderful clothes, eat from classy plates... and for goodness sake burn those gorgeous candles... what's going to happen to them if you don't get round to it?

We should use and appreciate these special things, that's what they're for... Like ourselves. We are given a life to live, special lives every one, what would that be if we didn't use our lives to their fullest, you don't have to have money or live a grand life, be thankful for everyday, for all the things you do have, [there are some rotten things we don't have after all are there not!].

A simple walk, really looking at things and not just walking about as if your eyes are closed to the world, the air we breath, the sun on our skin, or rain! All of nature...

Everyday is a gift... We shouldn't waste a moment, like the beautifully constructed candles, we should glow brightly from beginning to end... Each lighting our place in this world.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Woah! Not blogged since Friday? That cannot be right? Its Wednesday evening now... My Memories isn't so great to remember so far back, need to do more puzzles and games!

So, I think I might have forgotten mention the bogus gas men we have that keep coming around! That's a bit of sarcasm there, sorry amigos! Only I may have forgotten the bit about the two that came to the house, hammering on the front door? I tried to get rid of them, but they wouldn't go, so luckily Franco was here [actually, did I tell you this?], so Franco and these two guys were out on the street shouting! Always shouting going on on our street eh! This time us! Eventually they left... But this was the final trigger to sort out our gas contract etc...

So a legitimate gas man came, from Guadalgas company in de la Torre, we were given his name and phone number, and when he called to arrange the appointment his name came up on the phone... great! He came as arranged yesterday afternoon at 2pm, we did have a gas leak, he changed the few bits that needed changing, we could see they needed it, the cooker was fine, all the parts, and nothing needed doing there, although we had heard the section coming out from the back of the cooker had to be steel[?], but not to worry, probably a bogus gas man collecting on someone's vulnerability! Including a new contract, which will last five years for this house, the cost was 111€... A lot of money, but its done, and legal and we're all safe now, Franco often would light the boiler, unknowingly with the gas leak going on right in front of his face!

We spent the weekend down at Maria's... It was *Game Over* for the trick 'o treater's this year...

Franco and I went down early on Saturday, got a few bits and pieces of shopping, relaxing the rest of the day, Sunday too! There was no stopping us, just relaxing! Well, for me, trying to relax, no internet, I took some books I never read, we just watched tv really, and I still had the thing I do with the candles, food etc, for All Souls day, and night, and the names beneath my candles this year had grown by far too many, 15 more names than last year... And unbeknown's to me, another friend died on Saturday, gave up her fight against cancer....

My Mom's name on the top of the other names/hearts, I must have been in denial, because I never, ever, imagined her there.... I had a bad time really, looking at the flickering candle mostly, talking to Mom in my head, all I think is, this time last year, this time last year....

So, there's Mom and [Step] Dad up there! Dad is wearing his work clothes... What a wonderful apron, full of his paints and staining materials... Mom's cup seems to be matching her outfit there! Heck, wish I had shown her this! This day was a visit from Carol, my Step Mom who was over from Los Angeles... So long ago, now, the boys were little, have a photo of them too.... hang on let me look...


Nope not scanned onto here... Phew says Barry and Tony!

Back home on Monday morning, back to the here and now by the way.... keep up folks! Franco did some more of the red rubber paint work up on the terrace, so now two thirds done now, Pippa just does not understand the concept of wet paint, we told her her feet would be rubberised for life if she kept that up! Little red Wellington boots, wouldn't she look cute!

And yesterday, Tuesday I was back in Cudeca, very very good day, loads of people in the shop, all buying, and loads of incoming stock, I went over the road for coffies and bought four little biscuit things for a treat, for all our hard work, and the lady in the shop gave me four other lovely biscuits free, cant be bad! She said she wanted to look around the shop, but was open the same time as us, longer in fact either side, and I offered to watch the shop for her, all the wonderful cakes and pastries.... Yummy, not much would left when she came back I said, it would all be in my belly! She laughed, don't know why I was being perfectly serious!

Doctors tomorrow, taking a friend with me to translate... See how we go, so much to tell the doctor and my lessons, and time here so far hasn't included all the medical stuff I need to say, and more, to understand. Another friend is going to doc's an hour before me and has a translator going with her too! We should have shared an appointment!!! Maybe not eh!!

Franco did some more painting yesterday too, but inside, up the stair well, [down the stair well?], and this morning we went down to Fuengirola and had a coffee with friends, we went to the bar that me and the boys first went in back in 1989!!! Only now none of the same staff are there, one was, up to about five years ago.... This morning two guys pitched up outside, one with a guitar and the other a keyboard, amplifier etc, and they were brilliant! People were stopping and enjoying their music, the two guys were really enjoying themselves too, really getting into it, laughing and smiley, not the sort where your trying to get past as fast as you can... They moved on and played in the church square after our bar...

When we said our goodbyes, we headed off to Aki[like Homebase etc, do it yourself store], we needed to get some grilles, we have to put them in the back door, and the kitchen door, to help with ventilation, although we never really shut the kitchen door.... We also have to put one in the outside wall at the front of the house, not sure where, or how! When the reform was done RSJ's run around the both side walls and the ceiling, and there is no gap big enough for a grille! Still the gap around the front door is wider than the gap between the trains and the platform at Berkhamsted train station! A *Mind the gap!* sign should be hung above it!