Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New life in December

New life in December
Who is that lady on the balcony?

Well, here I am friends, on placement, miles from home, but also feeling slightly at home too!  I am in Wales now, gone from Essex, two trains two taxis, a coffee with a friend, and by way of a friends home for one night only.... and arriving Christmas Eve into a families home for the celebrations... like an orphan on the doorstep, looking for an inn for the night!!  No donkey though.... arrived by car!  Well, it is the 21st century is it not!  Wonderful food, full inclusion into the family, I didn't feel like a stranger at all...

Three nights in the Swansea area and now further inland, about an hour and a half, out in the sticks!
Photo on the left shows how mild it has been here, trees coming into bud in late December, very late, tomorrow is new years eve... another year passes us by... No, I don't feel its passed by,  I have run with it, wind in my hair and jet pack on my back! It has been a truly amazing year, beginning with the birth of our first grand child.... the light of my life, my little peanut! I love her to the moon and back...  Can't wait to see her soon, its been way to long, but got a wonderful amount of time coming up and I really can't wait!!!

Also this year we moved back home, a plan that took some doing, a whole load of life passed on, sold, given, or just plain gone!  A tonne of items I refused to take back again to Spain, that had grown in size once I had acquired the 18 boxes of my mom's things from Tony's garage! I feel freer now, just as long as I don't dwell on some of those things, of course I have photos of them all... which its best I don't pause at for too long while searching through my collection... my melancholy gets bad...

I have left one job.... Did a short term for a maternity cover, then returned to the job I started with at the beginning of the year!  Started year in... Cheltenham and ending it here in Wales!  Wales?? Would you believe it?  Irony!

I have some stories to tell today, by way of a lovely lady...  No names, no towns...

Pink Marshmallows!

And my brother said I'm not afraid of a hefferlump! And then it turned, picked him up by his waist and put my brother on his back! (India).

Walking through the crowds, my father picked up my little dog, with me walking behind, she (the dog), licked a woman's ear as he passed nearby, the lady turned and stared shocked at my father, she must have thought it had been him who had licked her ear!!

(As a nurse) A soldier who had been torpedoed, didn't talk, shell shocked perhaps? Top room of a hotel turned hospital (Wales), his bed facing the cemetery over the road... His name Chatty!!! Sounded so wrong to call someone who couldn't talk Chatty! Turns out his surname was something like Chatsworth! And therefore Chatty! He was buried over the road of that hotel/hospital, and she said she would love to visit, to lay flowers, so say to "hello your not forgotten..."

At a show somewhere she had her little dog with her, a corgi, the young Queen Elizabeth came past, and said to her, what a lovely little dog!! Now, I wonder if the Queen already had a corgi? Or not!

Worcester, trips to the factory and the factory shop, a little old boy, would always keep special pieces for her... (he said the items were seconds, I think he had a soft spot for her)

A friend in a farm in Suffolk, unwell and in bed, there was a banging at the front door... The lady told her to go down, to open the door please... She did, a sheep was banging on the door with her head, and on opening came past, ran up the stairs, got the dogs off the bed and lay down next to lady on the bed... The sheep, Thorp, had been hand reared, brought up with the dogs, and thought it was one! 

Oh Christmas Tree....


ps... oh and that lady on the balcony, at the top of the page... An ornaments shadow on the window sill, of course!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Caught this new ivy fellow a looking in through the window yesterday, 'he' wasn't there the day before... I better check his progress for the remainder of my placement here in Essex, the whole window could be covered in five more days!

All for today, I think today less is more... Because more would be far too much!


Friday, December 11, 2015

Summer breeze... in December....

Today was like a mild summers day, absolutely glorious... Above an amazing Nativity crafted by one of the guys who build from sand... creative sculptors in their own right...

People were sun bathing!  Laying on the sun-beds between wind breaks, bathing costumes and suntan cream!  The bars were quite full, the streets were lovely to walk on, enough people but all taking their time leisurely strolling along, window shopping or checking out inside the stores with room to manoeuvre... The Christmas decs up everywhere, especially the wonderful old square by the church in the centre of town... The big old tree completely covered in small lights, just wish I could get back in the evening, but alas... [jeje], they will be all gone by the time I return from the UK and work in January... Next year....

I had to take a picture of this great lamp in a window of the most amazing shop... Very Glam/Punk/Gothic... A real fantastic shop I just wanted to run into and buy all the strange and elaborate things, that I could never wear out in public for fear of laughter!!!

Some photos above I took at Cabopino yesterday, they have completed board'walked the dunes!  And it looks fantastic now!  They want to preserve the dunes and the pine forests throughout the area there, they have done a great job of it too!  When I am home next we are going to walk, with the Pipster, the full length of it, see how far it goes...


Wednesday, December 09, 2015


The road is open!  It opened when I working away, typical!  But Franco waited for me and down it we went when we went to the lakes last week... Can't believe it!  It has appeared to be there on the maps since about seven years ago!  Now this road takes you, or me, or anyone, directly up from the coast, at the junction of La Cañada and the wonderful road takes us all to the A357, the Malaga to Campillos road...

It was about a quarter of an hour quicker... Doesn't maybe sound a lot does it?  But it means for us we can go straight to the new road to the A357, bypassing Alhaurín and Cártama...

Today we visited a local government office, as per the norm we came out more confused than when we went in!  I think we nodded and agreed when we should have said we didn't understand!

So I spent a while on here... filled out a rather long and annoying form which got lost in the ether, and I had to repeat it and print while I tried to keep my temper and not throw printer and lap top out of the window and onto the heads of any unsuspecting passers-by!

We had no rockets or celebrations in our town yesterday, which was strange, it was the Immaculate Conception, which usually brings about a nervous Pippa from the rockets and streets full of people and statues!?!  Even lots of shops were open... Whats happening?? And Christmas is everywhere!  All over the TV, adverts and promotions... In every store, its a bit like Halloween... Its grown out of proportion here in this area now... Christmas trees, Christmas decs.... the lights and baubles and tinsel... Santa's hanging precariously from balcon railings, flashing lights in windows and on terraces!  LOL... well, you see, if you know Spain, its the 3 Kings that bring the presents and that's not until the 12th day... So seeing the more western idea of Christmas seems strange... I blame a particular food shop advert! LOL they did it with Halloween and now they're bringing the Christmas theme in early here in Spain.... Not that I am bar hum bug... This Christmas I shall be arriving on a strangers door step, in a strange place... I shall come bearing gifts! Well, not really, maybe a bar of Turron de Navidad!


Friday, December 04, 2015

Medieval Church near Dunmow, Essex

Stunning church, no amount of photos can do this beautiful church justice....Began in/about 1340 and completed in/about 1510... I wish I could step back in time, pass through like a spirit five hundred years ago.... see what was to see, the sights sounds smells.... The times of the reformation....

Very few stained glass in the windows, giving the church a light airy open feel...  Some churches feel they are at the end of they're time... But not this one forsure!

Full of light and life... Restoration going on all over, from ceilings to plaster work, to wood work...

This amazing ceiling....

The pulpit...

And modern organ... the older one at the bottom of the nave as you enter the vestibule...


Wednesday, December 02, 2015

DC - Abundance

I have a whole bunch of photos to place here lol.... I loaded them into my Picasso photos on my lap top, and they usually scoot over into my cloud thingy without a bye or leave!  I am guessing its not reached the cloud, and seeing as I have switched off the lap top... they are not here yet!!

Veronica Drawing challenge for last weekend was... is! Abundance! And as I was at work I had trouble really with it, but I did want to be 'there'... my abundance really is a feeling of having my life so full, for me now... Full of being at home at last back in Spain, full of work, here, or there, back home for two weeks now... full of wonderful family and friends... an abundance of fullness!

The photos are one taken in an amazing church where I have been placed for a few weeks, medieval roots, such a pretty town, and everyone so friendly, it was a like a walk down the movie set of The Truman show! lol... Smiley happy people, very welcoming... I took far too many photos inside the church, and spent far too long chatting to a lady about it!  Although, in all seriousness she didn't want to stop telling me!!

Photos to follow here soon.... bare with amigos!

Just edited to add these photos.... these are Abundance of amazing cakes and ice cream... and dearly wish these were within my grasp right now! lol

Other photos in next Blog!

I am going back for just over a week then moving on elsewhere for Christmas and New Years before coming home for a month.... I'll need it by then too!

Coming back home via Stansted airport I was very impressed with the airport, we flew into and out of it last about ten years ago going to Sardinia... it has changed considerably since then, bag check was amazing, I just walked up to a machine, put my case on the scale, held my QR coded check in under the reader, the tag was printed and came out for me to tape to the handle of my case.... I walked to conveyor, a lady there said it would be the last time a human would check my passport, and my case went off on its merry way into the abyss of the suitcase system!

Amazing!  Going through the passport control bit was a bit more harrowing, but only four people at a time filling our boxes with belongings, no pushing and shoving therefore... and through!  More shops than the average town centre, and food hall massive!

I got a bit lost going to the gate, misread the directions, thats the only point I would mention to the great Stansted airport people, of course now I know that you head down one corridor, then following the left right and straight ahead signs, and not before!!!!

Tuesday morning, after Franco finished his Spanish lesson we went off to the lakes, trying hard not to take photos I have taken a million times before... bit difficult now, seeings as I have been going there for nearly 30 years!!!  We followed up the lakes by of course having our second coffee break at El Chorro railway station, sat under a blue sky... amazing mountains and eagles circling high above... Bonelli eagles so the sign says, amongst others...


And today we went down to Fuengirola's paseo maritimo, after shopping for a washing machine, still some good bargains going in this week of bargains!!

We had a McDonalds... I know, I know, shame on us eh!  But we had never been in this newly opened restaurant, it looks great, and has the new machines... you know the ones yet?  You order your food on the computer screens, pressing all the correct bits, pay... and collect when your number is up! So to speak!

On our way back to the car we took a side road, it runs parallel to the paseo maritimo, and here we came across this restaurant, The Old Swiss House its called, you know I have seen the sign for this restaurant since 1989, when I first came to Fuengirola... always seen it, there, by the side of the road, always thought it must be the house by the sign, tried to see the restaurant now and again in the first few years, then just stopped thinking about it!  As we do sadly, we get used to seeing something and stop seeing it all...  Then here it is! Hiding about a hundred yards at least from the main road where the sign is!  I nearly fell over and then crossed over the road to just stand and stare up at at it!! And of course, take a photo!

Franco bought some beautiful colorful poinsettias plants, standing in out plant boxes from the front balcon... and the streets look extra bright and white, our little Andalucian village is being painted white for the forthcoming celebrations of December 8th The Immaculate Conception....