Well slap me on the back …

… and call me slimline; the first 5lbs are off!

It’s taken a little longer than I hoped but it was the season of good eating; I could’ve really stuck to my calorie limit and lost more but the blood sugars weren’t super high; I have another three weeks before my diabetic appointment and if I’ve lost another 3 lbs by then I’ll be happy. I’m using an app on my phone called Lose It, (Thank you for the recommendation Richardsons!) it really helps keep track of the calories for every meal, I don’t have to count the calories, the app does it; also, I’ve become more aware of where the excess calories are. Alcohol is off limits temporarily – but they say “no pain; no gain” – p’raps I should say “no gin; get thin” or “no wine; look fine”.

I’d got a more than a little lazy so I’m increasing exercise both LWD walking and knitting. Knitting apparently uses 102 calories per hour so my cotton tops for the summer are being made whilst I  sit virtuously and lose weight! In fact I may give up the walking in favour of speed knitting! (Escape Route, I presume the Extreme Knitter is super slim?)

Over New Year my favourite ATM was attacked by an explosive device

I’ve got fed up with the back cushions on R0X1’s sofas being too deep and being unable to sit sideways without back support to snuggle with LWD; guests find sitting straight a bit uncomfortable as they’re pushed too far forward. So, as I don’t need the back cushions to use as a bed, I enlisted The Bezzie’s help to measure up for slimmer replacement foam and I then alter the covers to fit. Great minds having got together we came up with a plan, which we promptly jettisoned for another plan and the final plan really works for me. With the old back cushions removed I can lean back on the cab wall comfortably and sit along the sideways sofa without having to add a panel at the cab end to lean against, (loads of work saved). The thick back cushions have been replaced with scatter cushions on both sofas which sorts out the lack of room and also looks much more homely. R and I make a great design team!!

A dart got metaphorically thrown at my computer calendar and I’m off on the 12th February. I’ve got a couple more things to do on R0X1, spring clean for a start and a little more discipline in the storage area would help, before we head for Poole. (Anyone know of a good overnight stop in the Poole area – preferably free?) I have to admit to a twinge of excitement …

🙂 🙂 🙂

P.S. Seen in Tesco Friday 3rd January 2019

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Happy Easter 🤣

Sandfly swarm

The live singer in Saltash on New Years Eve was enjoyable even tho’ the mixing desk somewhat overly heavied on the decibels from the speakers. Frankly, her voice was very good and if he hadn’t had the backing up so loud she probably wouldn’t’ve needed a mic. The DJ who was on during her breaks was even more heavy handed on the decibels  – when will these folk realise that music does not need to be that LOUD in a small enclosed environment.

Okay that was the last rant for 2018.

New Year’s Day saw R and I walking at Seaton (Cornwall) sea front. I felt right at home steering R0X down a narrow, twisty windy to the beach and just after we’d parked illegally on double yellows the sun chose to come out to play. The warmth that came with the sun’s appearance must’ve convinced the sandflies that spring had arrived as the damn things swarmed everywhere. LWD was covered, R got one in her eye and I tried desperately to breathe through my blocked nose (I’m now into week 5 of the cold and cough from hell) to avoid swallowing a mouthful. Apart from that we had a great walk and lunch; R did impressively well on her new knee especially as she’d spent a fair bit of the previous evening dancing.

Seaton (Cornwall) January 1st 2019

So an auspicious start to the New Year for me and only six weeks to the start of my next trip … France, Spain, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, France, Germany and Denmark; I figure in the event of a No Deal Brexit they’ve got to find me before they can deport me!

Happy New Year dear regular readers! (I think there may be more than one of you) I hope 2019 will see you and yours happy and healthy throughout.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Solstice and a damp squib

Solstice celebrations with J & B, who came up from Torquay, were excellent. We gorged on roast lamb, pigs-in-blankets, stuffing, yorkshires, roast taters, loads of veg, and gravy and toasted the shortest day of the year. Summer’s coming! As a family we do this more years than not because unless Christmas Day is on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday J is working that night.

Just as well we enjoyed J & B’s stay really as Christmas got cancelled.

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Solstice celebration.

I’ve had a Brute of a Cold I can’t get shot of for well over two weeks, some days are less symptomatic than others; Christmas Day was not one of them. Unfortunately last week K started The Cold and was also having a bad day. We made do with staying in our jammies, snacking on biscuits and cheeses, mince pies and cheesecake. We did open pressies. The un(so far)infected Smart One had the most pressies and was then happy to take himself and his loot back to his teenage cave; K and I dozed, watched Strictly and a few old Christmas comedies and went to bed early.

 

Langport reflecting the damp squib that was Christmas Day.

It could’ve been much worse and I’m having a less symptoms day today – so we’ll have Christmas today!

I have high hopes for the New Year celebrations which, for me and the Bezzies, will take place in Saltash.

Thank you for reading my blog and I do hope, dear Regular Reader that your Christmas was wonderful and that your 2019 will be happy and healthy.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Festive Fotos …

as promised.

Unfortunately my creative juices, tho’ flowing again, are not yet up to par. I am pleased that I’ve actually had the camera out of the drawer for the first time in a couple of months, not so pleased with the results which seem a little lacklustre to me.

[One of the problems with my PTSD is that it hits me very unexpectedly. I’ve been well for such a long time that it surprised the hell out of me and this time, believe it or not, it was my GP who triggered it! At my meet and greet appointment she demanded  “Why do you take anti-depressants?” on hearing I have PTSD she then demanded to know the details of why I “presumed ” I have it. I very rarely discuss it and if I do it’s because I have made the choice; I’m in control of how much and what I say and the person to whom I am talking is familiar and trusted. I felt bullied. Suffice to say that following that appointment I started to have nightmares (this time about going to the surgery!), my startle reflex went into overdrive, my anxiety levels rocketed and my mood slumped. I have no intention of consulting that particular GP again.]

Hopefully the photography will improve soon, for the moment I’m just happy that the shutter is beckoning once more.

Langport Christmas Market 30/11/2018

Chez Crosby/Mepstead 1/121/2018

🙂 🙂 🙂

The sugar rush …

My intermittent next pitch neighbours, depending on whether any overnighters come between us, drove us up to Vejer today to watch the Three Kings parade.

It was like a very small carnival procession. The Three Kings were each in a separate float rather than on camels but there were also small children on donkeys and a marching band, lots of Guardia Civil and ambulances.

 

We understood the necessity of the following ambulances when the Kings, their helpers and the children on donkeys started chucking sweeties into the air and all the kids (and a fair few of the adults, including Jo) started scrambling around on the road like vacuum cleaners trying to hoover them up – some were holding umbrellas upside down as catchers, others had open bin liners, shopping bags etc., but no matter the method, the determination to harvest sweeties was the same. Jo said she only kept five, she gave the rest to some kiddies – Karina and I good-naturedly expressed our doubts about her counting ability.

 

The atmosphere was noisy, upbeat and exited, the Spanish didn’t seem to mind us foreigners in their midst and a good time was had by all. I’m sure I even spotted a few smiling dentists there, rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of charging for all those new dental caries they’re about to fill!

🙂 🙂 🙂

Beach ban and convivial company

Silly moo LWD is not a happy puppy; she does not learn.

Despite me politely suggesting she stop, she’s been rubbing her head around on the beach, grazed her ear on the sand and the inevitable has happened. Luckily I have some ear drops and, bribed with treats, she’s not making too much fuss about their administration . This morning her ear is not as red and hot. Hopefully we won’t have to make a trip to the vet for antibiotics.

So the beach is banned and yesterday we had a wander round the streets of Conil-de-Frontera. Its another white Andalucian hill town but with the added attraction of being a seaside town too. Temperature was in the 20℃s – what I have to endure whilst my family and friends in UK and northern Europe have Storm Eleanor to delight them!

My regular reader may have spotted that I’ve recently acquired a busy social life. Since arriving at Pinar San José, as well as the obvious socialising with the Bezzies whilst they were in residence, I’ve made new campals by the dozen, or more. I’ve joined small parties for dog walks, larger gatherings for afternoon drinks, live music, lunches etc. – in fact staying on here for a rest has turned out to be quite exhausting!

Last nights outing was to see the Christmas lights in Vejer. I wasn’t too keen on being the thirteenth member of the party but thankfully I wasn’t the unlucky thirteenth. We had a good wander and admired the shops (all open ’til eight/nine p.m. – this is Spain!) and the lights were beautiful. The Thirteen then popped into a bar, rearranged all the tables and chairs to their own satisfaction and flummoxed the poor barman/waiter/cook who was on his own, expecting a quiet Tuesday evening no doubt. After ordering 13 drinks, we considered, to great mirth, ordering 13 different meals but decided that might be a joke too far.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Spanish (and UK) New Year

Despite the site being at almost 100% pitch occupancy, I woke this morning at 9 a.m. to absolute silence and stillness. Hardly surprising considering that as I was giving LWD her final walk of yesterday/first of today at nearly 3 a.m., the site was still full of revellers returning to their places of rest.

New Years Eve was an Event here at Pinar San José. LWD and I wandered to the beach late morning, not our first expedition of the day. On the tide line was a busted dinghy with contents all strewn around. The general opinion was that all was abandoned by illegal immigrants who did not dare to stop and pick up their scattered possessions. The presence of the Guardia parked in a 4×4 overlooking the spot seemed to back up the supposition. Here’s hoping the occupants are safe and well.

I met up with Penny, David and Ghandi the Dog (campals) on the beach and we had a coffee before returning to site to ready ourselves for the festivities.

Said festivities commenced at 2.30 p.m. when a bunch of about 30 of us (mixed nationalities, no Brexit here) gathered in the bar/restaurant for the three course “menu del dia”, excellent meal for €11. Then after another “let’s tire out the dogs walk” with Dean, Rob and Sarah – Daize and Peaches did their mad chasing each other around in circles whilst labradors Star and Molly looked disdainfully on – back to respective mohos to rest up before the main attraction. I tarted up, even managed to find a pair of heels and wear them despite knowing my feet would regret the choice, which they did!

At about 9 p.m. I returned to the bar to suffer an evening of live music, disco, friendly banter (and some deep and meaningful discussion), drinking and dancing with our multi-national community. At midnight we celebrated the New Year with hugs, kisses and white grapes (Spanish tradition) then we danced some more; at 1 a.m. CET we celebrated New Year with the UK and had our English traditional songs for the sake of whomever with the Dutch and Germans, whilst the Spanish watched (and filmed) with a certain amount of bemusement. It was a fabulous day/night made all the better for its international flavour.

One moment really stood out for me; one of our own Jo, who happens to be gay, grabbed a chair plonked it down in front of a Spanish lad with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair, she sat down and proceeded to dance with him – he loved it and his smiling, spasming face was a joy to behold. It was a day of human behaviour at it’s best; age, nationality, disability, sexual preference all ignored.

I can only hope that these sort of moments happen more frequently in my life and in yours, dear reader, and wish you many moments of joy in 2018.

St Lucian sunset
Sunset in St. Lucia 2004

🙂 🙂 🙂