What an exhausting day!  Thursday is tennis day, and despite the barking Back Consultant telling me not to, I happily drove along to take part in our tennis morning. (Rod is not supposed to play either because of his back pain, so we are a right old pair of decrepits!)   It was an absolutely glorious day with a hot sun,   and only 8 of us turned up.  This meant that we played without sitting out at all in strong sunshine for two hours, – phew !  Poor back.

Then a picnic lunch in the car, and off I went to our monthly Reiki afternoon in Orba.  I have been a Reiki Master for some time, having first joined the group six years ago.  Rosie, our leader, is the most gentle and wonderful person you could  ever meet, and has been a huge influence on my life.  Reiki changes your life.  A few years ago, I was lucky enough to have a framed edition of the Reiki principles given to me as a present from Tryph ….

(I love this picture, as you can spookily see me taking it in the reflection!)


By the repetition of “Just for Today” , it is put firmly in the present and implies there is no need to worry about what might happen in the future.  They are not a bad set of rules to live by!  Over the years, we have seen a lot of people arrive to join, many of them attracted to the group due to some sort of feeling that their life is somehow wrong. They encounter a group of sympathetic and confidential ears, and after only a few weeks, generally perk up and get themselves together.DSC02275Lovely kind Rosie sets up her couch in her lounge, asks her husband to stay out for the afternoon, and we take it in turns to use our Reiki on each other.  Usually there are 8 or 9 of us, but today there were just the 5.  The atmosphere is very calm and peaceful, and I find that I feel rejuvenated after giving the Reiki, it is such a powerful experience.  I am here on the couch,  receiving energy from Lesley, Trish and Sally.

I was very touched that Rod thoughtfully gave me a surprising present for my birthday ..a Reiki bear!  Hasn’t he got a beautiful face ??DSC02281





Reiki is all about allowing the energy of the Universe flow through you and be concentrated where it is needed, and this bear has been filled with Reiki energy before it was sent  out, and is renewed by the makers every day!  So he can give his healing to whoever needs it!  Far fetched?  Perhaps.  But it is a recognised part of Reiki healing that you can send out your healing energy over distances, and by having something to represent whoever you are sending it to is a help.  So if I need to send healing vibes to anyone, anywhere, I can use the bear and imagine him to be the person who needs to be healed. Distance Reiki works according to the Hermetic Law of Similarity, which holds that we are all connected, as we are all energy matter and part of a larger whole.

” Reiki is an energy healing treatment that works holistically; on the whole body, mind and spirit. Not a system of religious beliefs, Reiki is simply a relaxing treatment whereas natural healing vibrations are transmitted through the hands of a Reiki practitioner (acting as a conduit) to the body of the recipient.”

It’s ancient!  Some practitioners maintain that Jesus used Reiki.  It’s efficacy is difficult to prove, although there are many many reported cases of successful healings using Reiki, and I choose to believe that there is more energy available to us on this planet than we realise.

Any road up, my back is killing me after being punished too much today, and I wish I had a million Reiki Masters filling my poor bones with energy here and now.  Perhaps the bear will help.  Rod has just brought me a glass of wine.  Every little helps!  Thank you.




One of the first things I do when I switch on my computer in the morning, is to log into Facebook.  I look at all the postings which interest me, then turn it off until the next day, – because I know how easily I get addicted to these things!  I cannot have any games at all on the computer, or, experience has shown,  I would  be there all day and all night!  OK – Scrabble doesn’t count because I have a rule .. no more than 5 games at any time, and no more often than once a day on pain of DEATH.

So this morning, Lex had posted this …

”    Monty (5): Dad, how do you spell ‘u’? (Pronounce it like a 5 y/o would)
Dan: u?
M: how do you spell it?
D: how do you spell U?
M: grrrrrrr. YES. HOW DO YOU SPELL ‘U’?
D: U
M: what?
D: you just write an U
D: U
M: *pounds the bath in fury*. But how DO YOU ACTUALLY SPELL IT??!!
D: I don’t know what you mean, Mont
M: you don’t even know how to spell U? Aaaaagggghhhh *can barely speak as driven to tears at Dan’s incompetence*
D: mont, you just write U. You just write it. One letter. Like an ‘a’ is just an ‘a’
M: urgh. Stupid. You don’t even KNOW.  “

This is the sort of thing which brings it home to me just how much I MISS my grandchildren!!

Today was a busy day.  Hospital day, to see the results of the X-ray on my back.  The lady doctor was not impressed by the severity of my affliction – no sharp intake of breath or pitying looks.  She was a real barker though – bark bark at me and not giving me a moment to say anything!  “Where does it hurt what exercises do you do do you do them slowly how long have you had it when was your operation what was your job….”        Then she pushed an A4 sheet of exercises at me across the desk, and it was my turn to tut tut.  I have suffered with back problems since 1965 and by now I know what’s good and what’s not.  I just couldn’t stop myself jabbing my finger at the diagrams and telling her they were wrong!  But then she started saying things like “Ooh no – don’t do that! – Oooh , this is right and that is wrong”,  pointing out that the sheet was many generations away from the original photocopy and had lost vital instructions along  the way.  I just took her gnarled old sheet and binned it when I got home, but the incident re-enforced my conviction – that we have to take real responsibility for our own bodies!  Anyway, at the end of it all, she has arranged for me to have a scan.  Should be interesting.

Ten minutes after getting home, I was in the car again, taking Pepe to the English dentist in Orba. He was very impressed, and doesn’t even mind that he has to go back in a fortnight for a 2-hour appointment , for which he will be 350€ lighter.  In fact he was so relieved at the gentleness of the dentist man, and the cheapness of the quote that he paid for a whole load of fruit and veggies for me on the way home!

THEN – as I am away next week, it was haircut time for Rod

Mar 30th haircut

I have been cutting his hair since we got married …    every 6 weeks for 48 years, equals …… er….. ummmm –  A LOT!

Only just enough time to sit for an hour in the sun finishing my book (Highly recommended . The Butterfly Box by Santa Monefiore ), before setting about more chores.


Mar30th naya

My eye alighted on this Clivia plant that Nick and Yvonne gave me for my birthday!  How cheeryer can it get ??  The gift that goes on giving, buds opening all the time.  How lovely it is when people give you plants, and have the thoughtfulness to buy you the sort that don’t die.


I don’t think I have a point to ponder today.  Unless it is to think about a few quotes in that book I have just finished.  One of the stars is a Kahil Gibran fan, and as the story reaches its crescendo we are treated to one of the verses from The Prophet ..

“Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

But you are life and you are the veil.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.

But you are eternity and you are the mirror.”

Well I have been staring at this for some time, and still can’t understand it.

In our cells, we have loads of genes which clever scientists can’t allocate to a role.    Could some of them be poetry-understanding genes??    If so, I must have missed out on those ones.




























Mar30th naya




Woooo  Whoooo!

So now I know what made my lovely stone from yesterday – and who designed my ghostieman from the beach, the one who has been guarding my computer now for a couple of years !  Thanks to Fount of all Knowledge, Nick, I know that the holes in rocks are caused by small bi-valves called Piddocks.  The young Piddocklet floats about a bit in the sea, until he senses a stone which has been settled by his ancestors.  He then attaches himself  with a sticky foot, then grows himself a special shell with serrated knife edges.  He then wriggles about in a special way, until the shell cuts into the stone and makes a hole.  When it’s big enough, and  he can disappear into the hole, he (or she) settles down for the rest of his life there, poking two tubes up into the water, one for feeding, one for waste.  He can live for 10 – 12 years , occasionally contributing to the species by sending out, through his tubes,  his equivalent of eggs or sperm at the right time.

Just imagine ! 10 years just sitting there filtering sea water !  Nothing to look at.  Nobody to talk to. No music to listen to. Nowhere to stretch your legs. No legs.  There would be no stress, this is true, but no colour either.  All his needs are met until an unkind wave throws the rock onto the beach and there is no sea water to wallow in. Then it’s fortunate that he has no brain to resent his lack of life support.

But it’s a life, not dissimilar to plant life, and all life needs respect We don’t know that even such a lowly life form does not feel pain – and who does know what part even this small mollusc may play for our benefit in the future.  I would  say that any animal capable of boring through a hard stone like mine has a lot to teach us. Which human can do this?  Having struggled with the electric drill to make holes in seashells, I doubt whether even our drill could make such holes.

And talking of cleverness – here is the best our tele could do over the past couple of days:

Mar 29th teleNot much entertainment there!  You might just as well sit at the bottom of the sea inside a stone.

We’ve had a few winds – of course just over Easter when the telemen are out enjoying their days of rest.  Rod has tried to fix  it,  (again, and again, …. and again …..)  but to no avail.  But then …. (  “If at first you don’t succeed, try , try again” ) … this is the sight I came across up by the disc…

Mar 29th Teleman

Whatever part of the Riot Act Rod was reading to it, the disc has come to heel, and we now have the TV back in our lives!  Rod is like those little bi-valves, he just keeps plugging away at things until  he gets where he wants to be!

One more really nice thing  for today –

mar 25th rainbow

This is a picture of our duvet cover,  –  with a rainbow shining out from it!  I have a piece of crystal glass hanging in the window, and at this time of year (and the autumn) I sometimes go into the bedroom and am stunned by the sight of a dozen or so dazzling rainbows like this all over the room.  Sometimes they move with a breeze,  but they are so BRIGHT!  It’s like it’s saying – “Well I might look like just a bit of sunshine to you –  but on special days, I will show you what beauty I keep hidden away!  “



Mar 28th beachOn breakfast television, we saw footage of Brighton Beach in a gale, and somewhere in Essex where a child had been killed by a bouncy castle blowing away.  We have this!  Two hours on a sunny beach in temperatures of 25degrees.  If it weren’t for a bit of a chill in the breeze, we would have been exposing even more flesh, but it was plenty warm enough for several children to be playing in the sea.

We has a lovely relaxing time until the arrival of a Spanish extended family.  I stuck my arm up and took a picture of the empty beach behind us … (nary a soul) …

Mar 29th beach behind

Then the beach to my right …  (nary a soul) ..

Mar 28th beach side

To the right of us was just the sea,  and then the beach three feet away from us in the front ….

Mar 28th beach in front

Huh?  This was only part of the group.  I was a but scared to include all the children as they might have set upon me.  We were FORCED to pack up and leave, and seek solace in a Chinese restaurant, where we blued a whole 20 euros between us on a slap-up meal !

This is the beach where, last time we went, I picked up the shells and rocks to make my artistic hanging decoration,  so I went a-looking again.  The beach flotsam was all different, but I did find something dramatic ..

Mar 29th stone

This stone is just amazing !  How does it happen?  There are small pebbles inside some of the holes which seem impossible to get out, as if they were there before the entrance hole got opened.  As I can’t find any sensible answer to my question, I am going to accept the name “Fairy stone” !  It seems that any natural stone with holes in it can be called a “Fairy Stone”,  or “Witches Amulet”, and these special stones have been revered for eons.  If I hang it by black ribbon above a doorway, I shall have all these advantages:

BENEFITS, MENTAL:     Anti-Nightmare.    Enhances psychism.

BENEFITS, HEALTH:    Absorbs disease.    Assists healing.
Maintains health. Said to improve eyesight.
Said to increase lifespan/longevity.

If, on the other hand I hang it by a red ribbon above the bed , I shall never  have a bad dream again.

It’s a lovely thing, however  you think of it, and I shall keep it in a place of honour.  The legends also say that they give you powerful protection  if you wear them round your neck. As this one  weighs over a kilo, I would NEED protection from falling  over.

Easter Monday point to ponder:

My stone looks as if it has been formed out of bubbling, boiling molten rock.  However old is it?  What was our beautiful planet like while it was being born?  How did it travel to El Verger beach?  Am I the first to pick it up an appreciate it – or have there been others??




EASTER SUNDAY !  What excellent timing!  The little cat had to go back today as she was causing me all sorts of bother, and yesterday evening was just a washout  for me.  Like a zombie with swollen eyes and palpitations, I shuffled off to bed early , after suffering a day of getting worse and worse.  Poor little cat, she really was a delight to know, but my body just said “No – no – no!”  This morning I loaded her into the car with all her luggage and took her back to the rescuer’s house in Benigembla, getting back with only 20 minutes left  to shower away all the cat dander from myself and my hair before going  out.

We were invited to a birthday celebration just five minutes’ drive Mar 27th Mas la Paufrom our house, at Mas la Pau.  This huge house lies in a beautiful position in a small valley of its own, and is the perfect venue for celebrations.  Graham Quirk, whose 70th birthday is  today, is a keen member of a church which meets there every Sunday, and organised his party to seamlessly evolve from the service.  What a fantastic setting for a church service! Mar 27th view from Mas la PauFrom the inside, the view over the valley is stupendous, with not a building to be seen.  There is a track there, but his is no more than my regular walk – the one I did on Friday when I found  the alien stone.   It was lovely to spend time with our good friends Derek and Anne Martyr, who are always a tonic to meet and chat to …. always cheery! Mar 27th Derek and Anne Look at those colours!  Like me, Anne loves to wear turquoise or purple, and today she looked marvellous in a beautiful turquoise top with a dramatic skirt in swirly complementary colours.  Derek blended well too!  I had on my purple skirt, so as usual, we could stand together and not clash!

The psychology of colour has always interested me, ever since I learned that blind people can often identify colours by the sense of touch.  I should be wearing turquoise at the moment,  as it identifies with the immune system – just what I need as my immune system is having to work hard to get rid of the effects of the car fur and the pollen which is beginning to swirl around  at the moment.

” This is a colour that recharges our spirits during times of mental stress and tiredness, alleviating feelings of loneliness. You only have to focus on the colour turquoise, whether on a wall or clothing and you feel instant calm and gentle invigoration, ready to face the world again!

And purple ?    “This colour relates to the imagination and spirituality. It stimulates the imagination and inspires high ideals. It is an introspective colour, allowing us to get in touch with our deeper thoughts.” 

Anyway – back to the party!  Graham’s wife Maureen was the star turn in the pre-lunch entertainment, displaying a real talent for singing.  She has a delightful voice – I never knew!
mar 27th Graham
What a lovely touch!  After the meal, Graham came around with a basket of little Easter eggs for us all.
This was especially thoughtful  as Eater eggs are not hugely available here in Spain.  In our part of Spain, as in others,  Easter starts the Monday beforehand, at the beginning of Semana Santa, or Holy Week.  It is a festival centred around the church, and on the Sunday families will go to church, the various religious icons will be given an outing and are carried around the streets on  their plinths, sedately followed by the families.
The traditional  Easter gift for children in the Mona de Pascua.  When we first came here, I translated the word mona as the dictionary would  have it – monkey!  I couldn’t make it out!  I had never heard of an Easter Monkey!  But then I found out that mona is a Moroccan word meaning gift,   –   Morocco has a huge historical influence here.  The supermarkets are alive with these monas de Pascua during Semana Santa – a sort of big doughnut with a few brightly coloured hard boiled eggs sitting on the  top.   But no sign of any Spanish chocolate eggs.
Easter Sunday is certainly different here – but ours this year was lovely.
I came home from this relaxing party and got the vacuum cleaner out to go all through the house sucking up all traces of cat.  She had only been with us little over 24 hours, but the house seems a bit empty without her. The rescue centre man advised me to just buy a pot cat and forget about the live ones.  Perhaps I’ll do that.  But it would be a pot dog.
Finally today’s thought.  It stuck in my mind from the Spiderman film we watched yesterday.  The film was Spiderman 2 and was rubbish, but someone said-
“Friends are family you choose for yourself”.

I am glad to have chosen Maureen, Graham, Anne and Derek – they are always so ready with cheery smiles.



Good Friday comes this month—the old woman runs
With one or two a-penny hot cross buns,
Whose virtue is, if you believe what’s said,
They’ll not grow mouldy like the common bread.” (1733 rhyme)

Well in OUR family tradition, it is very bad luck indeed not to eat a Hot Cross Bun on Good Friday … and indeed very bad luck also to eat one on any other day of the year!   I lasted out until lunchtime yesterday, then had to get the recipe books out and start the yeast working!  Lots of spice and cinnamon, and  very very sticky on top!  Rod and I sat there and were very greedy, although we did save some for Pepe and some for today.  I was looking into the history of these lovely buns,  as I can remember a song being sung on “Listen with Mother”  on the wireless (light programme!) when I was small.  The words said “If you have no daughters, give them to your sons” !  What?  Feminism turned upside down?  I couldn’t find why these words came to be, but did see that the origin of the buns is lost in antiquity.  From Ancient Greece? Ancient Rome? The ancient British Pagans?  It could be any of these – the cross taken to be a form of  magic to keep the buns from going mouldy.  The Jews have been known to claim them too, the cross simply being a means to divide the bun equally between four people.

Does it really matter?  The fact is, they are delicious and if you can only have them once a year, they become  even more delicious. Like Christmas Cake.  And pancakes.


We are testing another cat today.  She is lovely, and at first I thought I was going to be  able  to tolerate her.  But as I sit here typing away, my swollen eyes feel as if they have sandcastles in them, I could fall asleep at any time, yet my heart is hammering.  I took precautions yesterday , and made myself an eye wash with chamomile tea and chamomile essential oils.  It certainly helps,  but only temporarily.  Rod is really taken with the cat, who has come to us from the rescue centre with the name of Skinny Minnie, poor thing.  What a dilemma.

My breakfast routine includes going around the kitchen switching things on.  Washing machine, kettle, working lights,  coffee  maker, hob and radio.  I love my internet radio, and this morning as it came to life, I was just in time for Thought for Today, – a tiny short programme I have loved since schooldays. The speaker  quoted Steven Covey :

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

Don’t get lost in trivia! Sort out the priorities and have the courage to say “No” when you need to.  I got to wondering what exactly my “Main Thing” was.  After a week of being concerned about “World Peace” for one reason or another, and having done what small bit I can about that by donating to Sport Relief and sending all concerned with the Belgian bombings my best and  most sincere healing thoughts, the speaker has steered me back to what’s most  important to ME.  And  that’s to see that my family are all well and happy, as the future of this beautiful planet is in their hands.



The day has been a really “good”one!  It all started  with a bit of a tramp along the footpaths,  Rod had to visit the apartment which we own in Llíber and which we let out to holiday makers.  It has been up for sale for well over a year, and he had to go and  see a prospective buyer (No – Mar 25th feet

he came back less than excited about it all).    So I donned my trusty boots, got a lift with him, then walked home the pretty way, taking just over an hour to do it.  As I looked down at my feet nimbly nipping over the rough stony ground, the thought went  through my mind  – how lucky I am to have a pair of boots!  And socks!  My mother never ever had a pair of socks to her name.  Socks were for schoolchildren and men!  How times change, thank goodness.  There’s nothing as comforting as a pair of nice socks, although funnily enough, I always have to have men’s socks due to enormously large pedal appendages.  Here they are in their natural habitat, taken from far away so they seem to be small.

A generation ago, I suppose  women were unfit, partially due  to the fact that they minced along in silly shoes, instead of striding along, like I do , in stout boots.  My mother was forever telling me not to “walk like a man.”  “Be ladylike!”  Poo.

Whilst I was walking, I was having a think about the importance of the day.  Good Friday.  I have made a commitment to myself in this blog, to be totally honest, so I am going to own up to a line of thought which has been gaining strength in my mind for several years.

Background – we were always told when young that it was absolute blasphemy to question anything at all in the Bible.  This did not sit at all comfortably with me since I do have the constant need to question every little thing and put an opposite view.  We took the children to church when they were little, because we felt that it was the right thing to do.  But I used to come out feeling stressed.

My infant teacher signed my autograph book:

“Prove all things: hold fast that which is good.”  (I Thessalonians)

Well – that’s a Bible teaching, so I’ll go along with that one!  So it was only about six years ago when I took the courage to start a study of the historical aspects of the Bible, thanks to chance encounter with a very nice and clever lady.  What I read sent my mind rejoicing!  I found that a lot of research has been done in recent years , especially after  the discovery and translating of the Dead Sea Scrolls ( scrolls found in a cave in my birthday month – February 1947 … how spooky is that?)  So now I have quite a lot of books by different authors which give the true accounts of these Biblical stories, as they see them and can offer proof for their views.

Now for the shock.  It seems to me that Jesus did not die on the cross.  He was nailed up there in a most cruel and painful  way, but was cut down whilst unconscious, nursed back to health, and went on with his work for many years.  There are irrefutable historical accounts of his children, and reports of him being in Rome in AD64. .  I don’t have the time or space for all the many the proofs and  theories here, but I’ll just say that all the gospels have a different account of the Crucifiction.  Mark’s gospel originally ended before any account of the “appearances” after the body had been put into the tomb,  Jesus was supposed to dead when the soldiers stuck spears into his sides and watched him bleed.  Dead bodies just don’t bleed!

Lecture done!  All this does not in the least water down my admiration for Jesus, and I respect his teachings.  It’s just the Church which I have issue with.  For over two thousand years, they have repressed evidence which they don’t like, whilst preaching honesty  That can’t be right.


Mar 25th vineSo along the track I marched.  My breath was taken away by the stunning way the sun was shining on the bursting buds of the vines. The photos are a bit disappointing – you don’t see that the fresh green of the new leaves is almost fluorescent in the mar 25th Susi'd vinessunlight. I just marvelled at the glorious sights all around, and gave thanks to this wonderful  Universe for putting me on this planet!   But did humans get here?  Did we evolve as Darwin would  have  it?  Or were we made as rapidly as the Bible tells us ?  Or is there another explanation?

But now here’s another spooky thing!  I was pondering upon this, and upon yet another book I had been reading.  This one was talking about the possibility of life from other planets having visited Earth some thousands and thousands  of years ago., and having a lot of input into man’s evolution. (Subject for another day’s blog?)  I was looking down at my feet as the way was rough, and what should I see!!

Mar 25th face

It is, isn’t it?  Ir’s a Grey!!  Looking up at me.


Ha!  Another book may have to be bought…………..






Mar 24th tennis

Thursday is tennis day!  We had a really enjoyable morning on the tennis courts today, with our group – The Old Bats and Balls!  This group have been playing for about 4 years on these marvellous courts at Rafol, and it has cost us nothing at all.  We are so lucky here in Spain, the village Town Halls seem to consider it their duty to provide a lot of facilities for their inhabitants, – all free.  Especially amazing in Rafol is that only one of our group actually live there!  However we have heard this week that Rafol is changing its ways and the new mayor is all out to make a bit of money.  So Rod and I had to go to the town hall this week to negotiate the weekly hire of the 2 courts for the Old Bats and Balls.  As from April, the courts are going to cost us 60 euros a month.  1€ per member per week!  Where else could you get such value?

The one Grandfather I ever knew died when I was 12 years old, but he had a deep impact on me.  Today is his birthday, and I always remember him specially on this day.  A few years ago, I did a lot of research into our family history, and was amazed at what this man did.   Bill (my Granddad) was only 6 when his own father ( a house decorator ) died, leaving his young wife to bring up 4 small children.  She never re-married, and of course it was pre-Social Services days..

He must have been very clever, as he joined the Royal Flying Corps as a Flight Mechanic at the age of 19-ish and came out of the Great War, together with his 3 brothers, unscathed.  He played the violin, collected old coins, was a Freemason (but shhh!), and served on the District Council.  Had not the second War intervened, he would have been Mayor of Kettering.WAS 1952

He worked tirelessly for the British Legion, sang in the Church choir, and was just a lovely lovely man!  He was interested in everything, very funny and very kind!  How on Earth did someone who had such a hard childhood turn out like him?  None of his family were well off, and my Grandmother’s father was a white smith (possibly a tinker!) so they weren’t well off either, yet by all accounts he was liked and admired by everyone he came across.  It just shows that, if you take charge of your own life, as he and his mother seem to have done, there is no end to what you can achieve.  I remember sitting on his knee,  gazing at his very shiny suit, which he always wore, complete with waistcoat and  tie, and feeling very comfortable and safe.

This was one of my role-models then, and I hope I have not disappointed him in my life.  These nasty bombing people who have caused so much grief during the last few days , have probably got the other sort of role model, where they are brainwashed into thinking that it’s honourable to kill people.  Would Bill have imagined, as he sat there trying to read his newspaper whilst a young grand-daughter was getting comfy on his lap, that just by being patient and kind to her, he would inspire her to live her life in a patient and kind way?

He died at the early age of 66 from heart problems.  My own dad started to get heart problems at the age of 60, and he is still here at 95.  Bill’s dad died at the age of 35 from Rheumatoid Arthritis.  There’s a pattern here.  At the age of 69, I can still thrash a tennis ball about.  I don’t agree with a huge lot of conventional medicine, but at least I am still getting a lot out of my life thanks to a few interventions!  How lucky we are to live now!


4On this special day, just 38 years ago, a very special SON came along to enhance the Waspe family!  Happy Birthday, Barnaby!

Everybody immediately fell under Barney’s spell, he was no trouble at all.  and immediately fitted in with the family routine, patiently enduring all the ballet classes, swimming lessons, Brownie events, etc. that his sisters were engaged in.  All the Brownies loved him – he was their “pet”, and for a long time we joked that he was an honorary Brownie.  As I was Brown Owl and had to go to everything, and Rod was usually working,  there was no option but that Barney joined in the Brownie fun!

8 Spring 1980It can’t have been easy with two elder sisters !

What a delight he was!

When he was 16, Rod was away from home for three months, and I relied on Barn to keep me going.  I was working hard to do Rod’s job and my own, and also working through an Open University degree.  Barn was a real brick, and I will never forget the support he gave me, even though he was doing his own GCSE’s

62 1993 - Copy

We’ll skip over the forever sticky doorhandles, the  revolting student houses, and the disappearances for months on end, and all the vile things that growing up brings, and remember the clever and caring Waspe Junior!

By chance, it’s a full moon today, and I looked to see whether this would have any bearing on a birthday boy.  It does ! ..

”  The full Moon on March 23rd will fall in the sign of Libra. It is the sign that rules relationships, partnerships, marriage, collaboration with others, doctors, therapists, employees and employers. The 6 months should bring about a great sense of compromise and harmony in relationships, partnerships and even working alongside others.     If you’re having any problems in a marriage or relationship this would be a great time to work out the issues and problems and come to a compromise a resolution. It also works great if you are having any problems with a friend or family member. You will feel a greater sense of peace and harmony and equality. Do not be surprised if these ideas open the door to better job, finances, career, ventures or relationships. It seems to be an exciting time.”

Wow there!  I wouldn’t grumble at that!

Being Wednesday, we had a wonderful walk in the sunshine this morning.  A short one today, just a couple of hours as one of our group has had a bereavement.  Suddenly, with no warning, her 54-year-old husband died in the early hours.  Calls to mind the quote by Mahatma Ghandi :

Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.


The news is still full of the 34 people who died horribly in the Brussels bombing yesterday.  “Islamic State” has proudly claimed authorship of this absolute atrocity, and promised that there is more to come.  Police are looking for one terrorist who is on CCTV cameras, but the rest of  the gang seem to have been suicide bombers.   About 250 innocent travellers have been injured.

It’s hard to fathom out how they could do such a thing, but I suppose if you are brainwashed you cease to be yourself.





My young brother Nick says that he never had long hair !  What a fibber! I had forgotten he went through this phase too , till I dug out the photo from 1974.

Tuesday today, and the day dawns cloudy and rainy again.  The house is cold, as the rain last night cut the electricity supply to the central heating.  This is normal procedure, and to be expected, but we were lucky, – usually it cuts the internet off too!

Mar 22nd Jalon








I had a real treat this morning, and met two lovely friends Geraldine and Jan in Delaney’s Bar in Jalón for coffee.  Jan has now moved to Hove after spending several years living in the Jalón Valley, and it was good to get news of  an alternative life in the UK..  Sometimes I feel that we live in a little bubble here, and listening to Jan and Geraldine reminisce about theatre and other cultural outings in the UK, made me aware of that there is a huge outside world out there.  I shall always be grateful to Jan, as she was a very vocal member, with good ideas, of a small group who were responsible , with me, for setting up what would become “The Borrowers”.  We are the readers of books – not screens or Kindles, but real books with paper pages !

When Rod and I first moved to Spain 15 years ago, membership of a lending library was one of the big lacks in my life.  I had been a library member since I was 7 years old (no children’s libraries like those today, at THAT time!), and I remember fondly the regular weekly outings to renew our books whilst I was growing up.  So how to fill that gap?    By setting up a group of like-minded souls who meet to pass on well-loved books, of course!  I have been introduced to so many new authors, it’s been a real treat to belong to such a group, and these days we have about 20 members with different tastes and preferences,  – but avid readers!  Only two weeks before our next meeting – I can’t wait!

Although I made a conscious decision to NOT watch the news on the television, I haven’t been able to escape the terrible reports of wanton destruction in Brussels. At the airport and the metro station, the figure for deaths stands at 30 at the moment.  Just pointless, heartless mayhem.  I am just glad that it has happened so close to the good news about Comic Relief.  This week, I was really moved by the achievement of Eddie Izzard, – 27 marathons  in 27 days.  Last week, we had the details of Jo Brand, another blatantly non-athlete. completing a horrendous walk across the country – 135 miles, mostly by hobbling.  Just under 57 MILLION pounds has been raised by these and other gruelling challenges.

Sure, there are maniacs in the world who see a point to senseless killing, but while there are others who will put themselves under incredible pressures to improve world conditions, we stand a chance.


As I type this, I am deafening myself with singing away – “All You Need is Love” .  YES!  I do believe that !  When I Googled the full lyrics, I admit I was a bit disappointed. I had forgotten that I couldn’t understand them when they came out, and still can’t get what they mean .

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy

There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn to be you in time
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Anyway – the chorus is good and it’s not a bad mantra to use to get better vibes circulating the globe.