B-DAY PLUS 181

TUESDAY AUGUST 30TH

Tuesday is market day in Jalón, and I do love a potter around, buying my fruit and veggies for the week.

Today, I decided to take advantage of Rod’s wanting to go along too, so I set off at 8.15 for a walk into Jalón, arranging to meet him at Bar Olé at 9.45 for a reviving cup of coffee.  It was a beautiful walk along the footpaths, and the timing worked out  perfectly.   Image result for bar ole jalon As I passed through the market, I saw a tempting display of tomatoes at 50 cents a kilo.  Too good to miss!  I filled a bag, added a few peppers and onions and could almost taste the tomato chutney !

I have always enjoyed making chutney, but have invariably struggled to get a good recipe.  Today, all the recipes seemed to have apples in them, and sadly, Spain is not the country for a good crisp cooking apple.  I didn’t even have any limp eating apples !  So I decided to branch out and fling into the pan all the stuff I had bought and add DSC02973any extras I thought might enhance the finished product.  I stirred and stirred for 2 or 3 hours, and it looked and smelled very good.  Unfortunately it will have to mature for at least a month before it can be judged, – so fingers are crossed !  When it is ready to eat, we can tuck in, knowing that there are no nasties in this chutney – no preservatives or artificial anythings.  Just the smallest possible amount of brown sugar.  I know that tomatoes are not too good if you have arthritis (which I am assuming is my problem with the back and the feet), but I wonder if this will be offset by the turmeric I have slipped in, and the fact that I used apple cider vinegar, which is excellent for joint pain ??

I shall enjoy it whatever !

I was miffed that, as I approached the café, my left foot was excruciatingly painful across the ball.  This is a joint which has given a bit of bother for years.  In fact, when I was 16, I began to learn judo and really enjoyed it .  But the strain on this joint proved to be too much and I had to give it up.  I did get my first belt however, for which I was very proud!

The pain persisted for the rest of the day, alleviated only slightly by slatherings of Voltarol and essential oils. I could not bend my foot whatever I did, and began to get depressed about this.  Walking is my absolute pleasure …  and tennis starts again this week too, after the summer break. The Wednesday walking group starts next week too.   To be denied all of these things is going to test my determination to be positive to its utmost.

By tomorrow, I am sure I will have reminded myself of all the things you can do to relieve arthritis pain.  But for today – it hurts too much even to put my foot on the ground.

At least it didn’t hurt too much when I was sitting in the sewing room.  In a bit of a grump, I sat myself in there and finished making a birthday card for Monty. who will soon be six.  He is a bit of an expert on sharks, so I hope he will accept this card in the spirit in wDSC02979hich it was made !  I have done my best, even though I am no artist !  At least it will be unique !  Thank goodness I have something to take my mind off the foot.

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B-DAY PLUS 180

MONDAY AUGUST 29TH

We got up to bleak skies this morning, and when we looked online for the forecast at the coast, it was worse !  But Mondays are our usual days at the beach, so we were massively disappointed.  Half an hour later, things were looking a bit brighter, but the forecast in El Verger was for thunderstorms !

Half an hour even later, the forecast for the beach had changed to “cloudy”.  We were really fed up by this time, so decided to GO!  We loaded the car and got off at 9.30, with the sky marginally better, and by the time we got to the beach, it was not bad at all but we were two people out of a total of six on the entire big beach!

We had a lovely morning.  Gradually the sun came out, and although more people did arrive, we were there, in prime position, with our chairs and our books.  The sea was wonderfully warm and the waves were enticing.

We luxuriated in the ozone for a couple of hours, then went off to find a nice place for lunch.  I have a list of restaurants local to the beach, which I got from the internet, and the plan is to work through them one by one.  Today was the turn of El Corinto, a very cheap and cheerful place on the main road, which advertised :

DSC02963SPACE DAY MENU !!

All the other languages offered their readers a Special Daily Menu, but our sounds better!  We declined, however, and went for the Menu del Día for 9€,  with four courses, bread and alioli and wine included.

It was OK – we had a full bottle of wine between us, as well as a big bottle of water, and there was plenty to choose from.  However, we entertain ourselves by marking these places out of 10, and poor old El Corinto just scraped  a 4.5.

Never mind – it was worth a try  –   better luck next time.

I had to chuckle to myself coming home along the N332.  We pass this view:

DSC02967I don’t know whether they are only found in Spain, but this arrangement of three adjacent filters next to a carpenter’s workshop is quite common around here.

I can’t stop myself waiting for the three men on top of the barrels to start singing and dancing!  When we lived in Puckeridge, Hertfordshire, we belonged to an Old-Time Music Hall group called the Pavilion Players.  It was great fun, putting on shows and performing for charity around  all the villages.  One show we did featured three Mexican-dressed members of our group singing Three Caballeros :

”  We’re three caballeros
Three gay caballeros
They say we are birds of a feather
We’re happy amigos
No matter where he goes
The one, two, and three goes
We’re always together

All: Ahhhh!
We have the stars to guide us
Guitars here beside us

To play as we go
We sing and we samba
We shout: “¡Ay caramba!
What means: “¿Ay caramba?
Oh yes, I don’t know.”

Brilliant!  Originally I remember it came from a 1944 Walt Disney film, but I am sure the Andrews Sisters used to sing it too.  Every time we pass the three men in Mexican hats on the N332, it sets me off, remembering a time over 40 years ago, when our good friends and neighbours, Ann and Doug, persuaded us to join them on stage.  Not that we needed much persuading; we were very stage-struck at that time.  It was a very happy and friendly little group of troubadours!

Further along the N332, I still had my camera out to record this :

DSC02970It is the roof of a MasyMas supermarket which suddenly, without any warning, became covered in solar panels a couple of years ago.  Once you have noticed this, you also notice that there are quite a few factories and warehouses along that stretch of road who have done the same.  It always makes me heartened.  I am already singing away when we pass this building, and this roof proof of a big company caring for the environment puts an even bigger smile  on my face!  I do hope it is successful for them, and am only disappointed that they are not shouting about it from the rooftops and trying to persuade all supermarkets to follow suit!  I have been onto their website, and can’t find anything about it at all.

I have written about countries supporting themselves with power from renewables before.  Germany is one of the latest to report a big increase in energy usage from wind, biomass, solar and hydro sources.  Earlier this year, there was a day when there was so much power available that suppliers were virtually paying customers to use it!  And every year things improve.  They just have to tweak the system now, so that when all this clean power becomes available, the other sources such as gas, coal and nuclear can be closed down quickly and easily.

With good news like this, we can keep the faith that our human cleverness will overcome our human greed and our planet will have a good future.  Yes?

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 179

SUNDAY AUGUST 28TH

These lazy days won’t go on much longer – already it’s nearly the end of August !  Sad really, but today was so hot, it was impossible to do a great deal except enjoy the lethargy.

I have been pestered more and more each day with comments on this blog; one that I am writing predominantly as a record of my own 70th year, so that my great-grandchildren can look back and see just how primitively we all lived in 2016.  As I near the half-way point of the year, the comments are getting bigger and bigger and more and more silly.  I give you a typical one in its entirety.  This is ONE comment, despite the variety of styles  …..

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——————————————————————

Phew.  As much as I mark them as spam, the same ones appear again and again from a different email address each time.  Perhaps a couple of these a day, and another half dozen others, many from people going on about dialysis, randomly enough, and many people worried that I don’t provide any means for readers to pay me.   Some people must have a lot of spare time on their hands, and few internetting skills!

Once I had dealt with all these, I could get on with my day, providing a hearty lunch for Pepe and spending time in my sewing room.

The news this week has been full of the great burkini controversy.  Here’s what the Guardian had to say …

” Last week, Nice became the latest French resort to ban the burkini. Using language similar to the bans imposed earlier at other locations, the city barred clothing that “overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks”.

The Nice ban refers specifically to the truck attack in the city on 14 July that claimed 86 lives, as well as the murder 12 days later of a Catholic priest near the northern city of Rouen.”

Image result for burkini

As far as I see it, this garment has been around for a few years but it is only now that it has hit the headlines.  Muslim women have been banned from swimming pools, being accused of wearing street clothes in the water.  30 French towns have banned it from their beaches, but where do you draw the line ?  It is very much like a wetsuit, and similar to what any of us might wear on the beach in the winter.  Are the French police also against Nuns wearing habits ?    Does it go against human rights to dictate what women can wear ?  Or, is a country within its rights to dictate what its own countrymen and women can wear?  If Muslims do not like living under such a system, they are free to go elsewhere.  Most women travellers do take care to respect the views of modesty when visiting a Muslim country.

Now the French courts have overturned the ban, but the local mayors are declaring that they will ignore this overturning.

I can see the sense in banning the burqa in these fragile times.  A large woman in a burqa could easily be a man with an arsenal of weapons hidden in its voluminous folds.  And I have no idea how a passport photo could be dependable when all you can see are a woman’s eyes.  But you couldn’t hide a machine gun inside a burkini.

To me, one of the delights in going to the beach is to feel the sun,  the breeze and the sea water on my skin.  A burkini allows for none of this, yet I somehow sympathise with a Muslim’s indoctrinated life-view.  When we were in Morocco a few years ago, one of the saddest sights I saw was a small Muslim family on the beach, where the mum was in full regalia, paddling with her small son up to her knees in the sea, with all her robes dragging in the water around her. Did she choose to do this, or was it imposed upon her by her upbringing ?

I think it’s rude to hide our bodies. We have been given this wondrous gift – a body which is gloriously different for everyone, yet generally speaking WORKS!  WHY be ashamed of it?  If you gave a friend a present, and they told you that they were ashamed of it and needed to keep it hidden away, then you would be very hurt.

La Provence newspaper has said:

“The burkini is not a new range of swimwear, a fashion. It is the expression of a political project, a counter-society, based notably on the enslavement of women.”

I feel very uncomfortable about all this.  Burkini wearers would counter this statement by saying that the burkini brings them new freedoms to enjoy a swim in the sea.   I hope it’s not stirring things up even more than they need be, and inculcating more race-hate.  There has been so much killing recently attributed to Muslim extremists, is this just playing into these extremists’ hands ?

The world doesn’t have to be like this.  I am so grateful to have been born into a fairly open-minded society.  And grateful  to be  born under the sign of pisces, the fish swimming in both directions, and always seeing every single point of view at the same time.

B-DAY PLUS 178

SATURDAY 27TH AUGUST

Big walk to Senija this morning – leaving the house at 8.15 in order to try to get there before the sun gets too hot.  It was great up there on the mountain, and although you would think that you would meet DSC02957no-one, for the second time I met my friends from long ago, Sheila and Rob Topham walking their 6 dogs.  They live in Senija and told me about several new walks on this mountain which I must try when the weather turns a bit cooler.

It took me the usual 45 minutes to get to the Café Lorenc Botero in Senija, where Rod met me and we enjoyed a coffee together before going on to Benissa and Mercadona for the weekly shopping.  This café is run by a couple of men with a passion for the works of this South American artist, Botero.  When we took Noah and Imi there, Imi was bursting for the toilet, so I bundled her in to the nearest one as soon as I could.  As she glanced at the urinal, she tentatively asked “Is this the men’s?”.  “No!”. I hurriedly replied, “It’s a shared one”.  But as she was occupied inside, I happened to see what I hadn’t seen before.  Image result for botero picturesOn the wall outside the toilet door was ….

It did make me titter !  She obviously WAS in the men’s one.

 

Then I looked at the other door next to this one, and I laughed even harder !

 

Image result for botero pictures

All around the walls of the café there are these wonderful pictures by Botero …  I hadn’t even heard of him before this !  Some of his paintings are a bit spooky and dark, and he himself looks a little on the dark side, but most of the ones in the café are just light-hearted laughs !

Image result for botero pictures

I have no idea why he his known as Fernando, when the café is called Lorenc Botero??

The day continued as a Saturday does.  We cleaned and we watched football results,  Rod cooked us a mackerel each, then we watched Casualty.  Lovely.  Casualty is 30 years old now, so it was a special episode.  I can remember the first one, but perhaps we’ll gloss over that.  It was in the days when Saturday nights were our only ones with wine and specially nice food, and came with the thought that our only day off would be on the morrow.  I always believed Rod when he told me that things would get better.  They certainly did !  It only took forty years !!

Image result for things do get better

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 177

FRIDAY AUGUST 26TH

Friday again – and after a mor5ning sorting out Pepe and his medical check-ups, I was ready for him to take us out for our weekly lunch.  Off we went to Gata once again, as he had chosen to try  a new place on the main road through the little town. However, once there, we found that they don’t serve food !  Incredible !  Fortunately El Arrel was just across the road, so, for the third Friday in a row, we plonked ourselves in El Arrel !  No worries – it was the usual marvellous food.  We have never, in fifteen years of Friday lunches, been to a place two weeks running.  Let alone THREE weeks !

DSC02952 - Copy

In the afternoon, when the sun was on the other side of the house, I took myself off to my little sewing room, and happily spent the time with my radio and with my jewellery- making and my card-making.  Then, to top off a lovely day, Rod sheepishly said that he was going to treat himself to a sundowner!  After all these days of food-deprivation, he was going to treat himself, so it would have been very rude of me to allow him to do this all by himself.

DSC02953He’s hardly set foot in the kitchen all week, so this was a novel sight !

 

 

 

Cheers !DSC02955

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By chance, I had peeked at the next item in the 30 things to start doing for yourself…

  1. ”  Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them.   Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life.   And no, it won’t always be easy.  Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.”

This is old obsession of mine.  Long ago, I decided that if I was miserable, it was my own fault for not doing anything to change the situation or my attitude.  You make your own life.  It’s been given to you as a personal gift, and only YOU can direct the way it goes.  I know that some people have a rotten deal.  Like the poor people in Syria, for example.  But you CAN decide how you cope with a bad situation in your head !  You never have to lie back and be a doormat.

So I chose to let Rod look after his own life at this instant!  Instead of telling him the sensible truth; that a sundowner was incredibly fattening and bad for a person who has had little food (he obviously knew this anyway and had thought about it), I accepted his invitation to join him. We both sat there in the late afternoon sun and thoroughly enjoyed our long cold glassful  of nectar.

Image result for man does not live by bread alone

 

 

 

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 176

THURSDAY AUGUST 25TH

Yet another lovely lazy day in the summery sunshine !  I started the day pottering around the garden until the sun got too hot.  The compost heap that I sorted out on that rainy day a few weeks ago is going great guns.  It’s amazing.  I fill it up to the top with layers of soil, kitchen waste and old dried grass and weeds, give it a watering and leave it.  Then when I go back the next day, it’s only partly full again!  Magic.  I know you can buy compost starters to get the bacteria going , but that seems like a bit of a cheat really and I am really suspicious about buying anything that may have animal faeces in it.  Animals today are fed all sorts of nasty chemicals to make them grow, and these can end up in the poo. Chicken poo is a popular ingredient in compost activators, but we are hearing almost daily about the damage which the salmonella and campylobacter in chickens can cause.    No – just water and the occasional treat of human urine will do !

Composting is yet another example of knowledge being different here in Spain.  I don’t know how I know about composting !  I only assume it is because all my family were keen gardeners (some – not so keen, but in the years during and just after the War,  food was scarce and if you were keen to be well-fed, you jolly well had to knuckle down and grow it yourself!).  So conversation about the various qualities of the family compost heaps must have seeped in to my young brain, because I just KNOW how the system works without having to read it up!  Ha!  However,  English folk knowledge is no good here, where we do not have the essential grass cuttings; we don’t have weeks on end of moist weather;  we have no earth worms;   but  we do have unrelenting scorching sun.  In England, fallen leaves lay on the ground and decompose nicely, all juicy and smelling distinctly of rotting vegetation.  In Spain, fallen leaves lay on the ground and are dried up in a trice, and no matter how long they are left, don’t change in consistency !

So compost has to be worked at, and watered along with the most precious of plants.  As we eat a lot of veggies in our house, I do have a lot of green stuff to keep the microbes happy.

Most of my garden is in the shrivelling  sun, and it is a fight to achieve healthy plants.  Pepe, on the other hand, has an area that gets afternoon shade, and the plants love it!  I have to keep his DSC02961bougainvillea well trimmed otherwise he can’t hold onto the railings when he goes down to his front door.  The plant has made this beautiful archway all by itself!

My afternoon was brought to an abrupt halt by Rod.  He loves finding himself a film to watch at about 5.30, and today he found one called “About Time”.  I am afraid I was soon hooked , and sat down to watch it with him.  It was so good,  brilliantly written and directed by Richard Curtis, and with a marvellous part played by Bill Nighy.  The plot centres around a family with a secret.  All the males inherit the ability to go back in time, – only as far back as their own lifetimes.  As the young Tim learns how to make this work for him, he comes across some hilarious pitfalls, but being a true romcom, it all comes out in the wash.  Marvellous escapism !  So I lost 2 hours of my day , and some things never did get done, but it was so worth it!

I love it when a film or a book is truly “escapist”, – a story that can transport you away from your own life into an alternative one.  For a while you are living someone else’s life and laughing and crying their emotions.  What better exercise for the imagination muscles?  And when it’s all over, and you have to say goodbye to the characters you have grown to know and to accept as your alternate family, you can sit back, process all the life lessons you have learned and generally feel like a new clean you.  To me it is similar to meditation.  I give my brain a short rest from having to think about day-to-day things, and it comes out refreshed and shiny clean.

To hark back again to my schooldays, I remember so well that my English teacher was scathing about such “trash”.  Of course, it was all books in those days – we had very little on the tele..  Only “worthy” books were fit to claim our time.  By “worthy”, she meant great thick, heavy things whose name she put on a list for us, and which were guaranteed to be boring, and make you feel grim.

Lucky lucky us!   We get to appreciate a good romcom for the absurd, happy, incredible, uplifting treasure that it is.

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B-DAY PLUS 175

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 24TH

At last the pool is blue !  Since just before the guests went home, it has gone through various shades of green, and Rod has spent a lot of effort to get it back to blue.  Effort and expense !  He has spent about 80 euros getting the pool back to clean again this time, – that’s a hefty hourly price for swimming !  He reckons that it costs about 160€ a year on basic maintenance, but next year we will have to have a lot more work done, as we have a lot of tiles falling off, a suspected leak as we are forever topping up the water level, and we would like to convert to a DSC02949more ecological salt water installation.  It is a real luxury really!  Rod does not swim much at all, but enjoys dunking himself on a hot day.  I find too much swimming gives me a painful back, so it is only the visitors that get full value out of it !  How lucky that they really, really do !

Pepe has been saying for some time that , after a couple of hours of reading, his eyes feel tired.  At 95 years of age, and wearing no glasses at all, I don’t think that’s too bad at all.  Especially since I have had to give up reading in bed as I can’t focus on the words any more.

I saw an Specsavers advert in the local paper, so made us both an appointment.  It promised glasses from 59€, and two for the price of one.  It’s been a good 20 years since I bought proper prescription glasses at an optician’s, so I had forgotten how misleading this could be.  Yes – they had got FRAMES from 59 €.  But then you see the better ones and paying 59€ seems like a bad idea and false economy.  Then you have to pay for the lenses.  Then extra for varifocal  lenses  (you can have bi-focals cheaper, but , well, you have already spent so much, why be penny-pinching?), then it’s Spain, so you need anti-glare ( 40€).  Then why not have sunglasses for your free pair !!  Only another 80€ for Polarised lenses (by this time you are punch drunk and will agree to any old extra they fling at you).  So by the time we had been TWO HOURS in the shop, and Pepe was the only one served, I had lost all will to live and couldn’t care a jot about buying myself some glasses.   His bill came to a whopping 418€ !!  What a good thing the eye test was free.

I am going to think about this.  I did have the free eye test, and the nice lady said I should not be driving without glasses, so needed either two pairs of different glasses for reading and driving, or these expensive varifocals.  For 418€, I could buy 80-odd pairs from the market and have the joy of a different colour for every whim.  But would I still be unable to read in bed when the light is not good and my eyes are tired ??  I shall leave the decision-making, and one morning I shall wake up and someone in the night will have told me what to do.

After all this, we did not get home until 2.45 and I had not had lunch.  I am much better at waiting these days, but all the same, this wait for food was a bit extreme and I was fit for nothing, even cooking a proper lunch. A bit of old cold rice and a tomato did the trick, even though it did not set my soul singing.

DSC02944Luckily, it is Wednesday, and Pepe is still managing to make us a good meal every week.  I have offered to help, but he will have none of it!  I shall play it cool for while, I think, then insist that I help.  I can at least cook the veggies or something.

Now I love my veggies, and you can see that Pepe always gives us a carrot or two and either cauliflower or broccoli.  Foe ages broc has been pushed as a super-goodie, but I have been amazed just lately to see cauli pushed as a hero in disguise.  Recently I have begun to roast it in olive oil and turmeric, and it’s been delicious.  When I think of the limp and tasteless cauli that was common when I was little, this bears noi resemblance at all.  I have seen lots of recipes for a sort of pie crust using cooked and mashed up cauliflower.  I looked up the nutrients and was astounded that there were so many!  Perhaps because it’s not GREEN, it comes as a surprise to find it’s so good for us.

 

Dr Mercola conveniently lists them :

“8 Top Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Because of its beneficial effects on numerous aspects of health, cauliflower can easily be described as a superfood. Ten of its most impressive benefits follow:

1. Fight Cancer.      Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells,

2. Boost Heart Health.        Sulforaphane in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function.

3. It’s Anti-Inflammatory.      You need some level of inflammation in your body to stay healthy. However, it’s also possible, and increasingly common, for the inflammatory response to get out of hand.

Cauliflower contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check.

4. It’s Rich in Vitamins and Minerals.  One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.

5. Boost Your Brain Health.   Cauliflower is a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development.  It may even diminish age-related memory decline and your brain’s vulnerability to toxins during childhood, as well as conferring protection later in life.

6. Detoxification Support.  Cauliflower helps your body’s ability to detoxify in multiple ways. It contains antioxidants that support Phase 1 detoxification along with sulphur-containing nutrients important for Phase 2 detox activities. The glucosinolates in cauliflower also activate detoxification enzymes.

7. Digestive Benefits.     Cauliflower is an important source of dietary fibre for digestive health. Researchers have determined that the sulforaphane made from a glucosinolate in cauliflower (glucoraphanin) can help protect the lining of your stomach.

8. Antioxidants and Phytonutrients Galore.   It’s packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients:  vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, cinnamic acid, and much more.
As long as you have these important micronutrients, your body will be able to resist aging caused by your everyday exposure to pollutants, chronic stress, and more.”

 

Who’d have thought it ?   I certainly wouldn’t, and I have a life-long interest in all things foodie. I shall  eat up my humble cauliflower with even greater gusto now, even when it hasn’t got a thick tangy cheese sauce over it, made spicy by the addition of health-giving turmeric,  smothered in garlic and nuts toasted to a tasty brown-ness and sprinkled lavishly with fresh herbs.

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Gosh. If I was writing this forty years ago, I would not have any of these amazing tastes.  Lucky lucky me  !!

B-DAY PLUS 174

TUESDAY AUGUST 23RD

The day started well, with a lovely walk in the fresh cool morning up the mountainside.  It continued well, with a happy morning catching up with first my compost bin, then with my computer, then it turned DSC02947out very well indeed with a happy time making myself a bracelet from lovely lapis lazuli crystals.  I had some left over, so a pair of earrings soon followed.  I’m loving this new hobby!  All my bits of broken jewellery  are coming back to life.

As the day got dark, the solar lights came on !  I had fixed these up, after experimenting with them when they arrived through the post a couple of days ago.   Unfortunately the wire is quite long DSC02943enough to stretch outside and bathe in the sunlight, so the actual solar panel is under the naya and never gets direct sunlight.  But still !  How cheery !  I don’t think they will quite work in the winter, but for now, they look lovely on the mantelpiece.  How solar panels have improved !

What does my list of 30 things to start doing for yourself say today??

  1. ” Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.”

I have told Rod the truth about how I feel about his not eating any meals.  I hate it!  I am tired of just grabbing left overs out of the fridge without bothering to turn them into something nice.  I am tired of eating alone and not arranging a nice meal on a nice plate.  So there you have it.

I know what it’s about – I’ve read the psychology!  I have no feeling of self-worth and have learned to live with it, and it’s OK..  While I am making a nice home environment for my family, and nice healthy food, I can feel fulfilled.  So “come ON Rodli Waspe!  Lose that weight and let’s return to our life!”  I am behind you all the way in your struggle, and won’t LET you give in!  If I have to exist on mouldy old lettuce for a few more weeks – it’ll all be worth it.

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B-DAY PLUS 173

MONDAY AUGUST 22ND

Rod has not been looking forward to today.  It is his regular checkup at the hospital for his manly business.  For about 12 or 13 years, he has had to have periodic checks to see whether he is in line to get cancer in a particular swollen part of his anatomy!  Good news today!  His level of whatever it is they measure is lower than I can ever remember!  He takes no medication for this, just follows the advice for diet, and occasionally takes a few  supplements.  It seems to be getting better all on its own, so we had a good reason to celebrate!

What a pity it’s Monday though – so many restaurants are closed, it’s hard to find a good one.  On the coast itself, it’s OK, they open every day of the week for the tourists, but here inland they have a conspiracy against a Monday.

DSC02937Finally we ended up sitting outside in the centre of Orba and had a delicious meal from the Restaurant Placa at only 9€ all in! Wonderful!  This was the meal out that Pepe was treating us to, and part of his stipulation for the enjoying of the meal was that it should be , in his words, “slap up”.  Oh well!  All the “slap up” places were closed, and at least this way we have enough for a  meal out next week too!  We thoroughly enjoyed the food and the ambience, especially as Rod does not have to go back to see his doctor now until next May.  Celebrations all round then.

After all this excitement, it became a bit of a lazy day. ( No – that’s wrong;  it became a VERY lazy day !!  The hammocks called us and we made no protest !  I am really enjoying the chance summer brings to read lots of books, alternating between novels and non-fiction.  And also . I really enjoy by breakfast outside with my headphones on, listening and watching Youtube.  At the moment I am working my way through a 90-minute film, detailing many of the unexplained monoliths in the world, such as this one in Bolivia.  When school history tells us that men lived in caves and their only skills centred around hunting for food, somehow they were able to cut and shape huge pieces of rock to precise measurements.

In 5.500 BC,  about 3000 years before the Sumerians invented the wheel, some unskilled “caveman” in Turkey carved out this “toy” .  He got some hard old rock, and somehow carved a car shape, using, we are told, nothing but flints.  He then pierced it in two places using animal bone (!) to take the axles.  He then carved two pairs of wheels with his old mammoth bones, then fitted them neatly onto axles and attached them onto his toy, which was a copy of a thing he had never seen, as it couldn’t be invented with the tools he had to hand.

 

Turkey, as well as other places, also abounds in cart-tracks, which some researchers claim to be millions of years old. The wheels made ruts in mud, which they say then hardened  into stone.  Most of these ruts are now laughingly  described as “Roman remains”  .

Brilliant!  So much is being brought to light now, and I revel in it all !  I contrast this so much with my time at school, when I was told  so sharply NOT to question the opinions of experts who “knew better”!  It’s a wonder anything got discovered.  It took quite a while for the Catholic Church to stop killing people for believing that the Earth was spherical and travelled around the sun.  Perhaps I should be grateful to still be alive, when I should be burnt at the stake for whitchery!!

B-DAY PLUS 172

SUNDAY AUGUST 21ST

Today was just as a Sunday should be !  A little bit of this and a little bit of that, and all very enjoyable.

Pepe came up for his lunch as usual. and I had cooked it all in the slow cooker yesterday.  What a marvellous plan that was!  Cooking a meal is getting very painful for me these days, and by the time it’s done, my poor old back is breaking.  So just having to warm it up and cook the greens was a treat!  Good old slow cooker.  6 hours of cooking, and the meal is wonderful.

The Olympics is as good as over – just the marathons and the closing ceremony at midnight,  and then we get our tele back to normal.  Hoorah!!   Last night on BBC1, there was nothing but Olympics.  That can’t be fair.  There must be millions of people paying their licence fee of 145 pounds a year who don’t like sport.  Luckily most people now have a lot of choice what with catch-up TV and all that.  Unluckily it is the old folks who can’t cope with the extras and rely on the BBC, and also can hardly afford the 145pounds, and also probably don’t like sport,  who lose out.

Anyway, all that aside, the results from Rio de Janeiro are amazing !

This is what Wikipedia has to say :

“At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio Great Britain became the first country to win more medals at a Summer Olympics immediately after hosting a Summer Olympics when they won 67 medals overall coming in second place in the medal table ahead of China, two more than in London in 2012 and came twenty years after finishing 36th in the medal table winning just one gold medal and fifteen medals overall at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta which led to significant changes into the management and funding of British sports and facilities.”

 

Makes you proud !!  All our successful athletes seem really nice people too.  There were broken records all over the place –  Nicola Adams was the world’s first female boxing champion at the London Olympics, and won gold again this time, yet remains so modest and humble.  Mo Farah became the first British track and field athlete to win three Olympic gold medals by retaining his 10,000m title.   Max Whitlock made history by becoming Britain’s first Olympic gymnastics gold medallist.  Andy Murray was the first tennis player ever to win two singles gold medals. Alistair Brownlee became the first triathlete to retain an Olympic title as him and brother Jonathan became the first British brothers to finish first and second in an individual event.  I am sure there were others too – but just too many to include all of them!

Next time, Tokyo – and the bar’s been set very high !!

 

Just had to include this photo of our very own athlete.  Mike posted in on Facebook today.  Imi was so taken with the Olympic divers, that she practised and practised in the pool while she was here, and sure enough, eventually she got the hang of summersaulting into the water!    Amazing !