B-DAY PLUS 353

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 16TH

Feb 2017 group again

Tennis day!  the weather was awful!  it was cold and threatening rain , but eight of us braved the elements and enjoyed almost two hours of tennis at Rafol.  15 minutes into the play,  I was miffed to find that I was having trouble seeing the ball and the other players.  It was a migraine,- all flashing lights and fuzzy head.  I played as  long as I could, then had to go and  sit in the car for 15 minutes, self-hypnotising myself out of it and  dosing myself with the only thing I had to hand, Dr Bach’s Rescue Remedy.  It seemed to work, as the headache went away and the eyes got better, but when I started  to play again, it  came back.

This  is the first migraine  I have had for months (in fact I can’t remember having to write about one in this diary at all), but it left me feeling very odd as  usual.  I count myself lucky to be relatively free of  them, when I look back and remember the time when I used to have several in a week.  Even further back, one attack could last for a week, during which I would not be  able  to eat or drink anything.

I was saved by the rain!  We all gave  up at 11.30 as it started to rain and we felt cold.  So I was glad to go home and have a relaxing afternoon to shake off the nastiness.  I had been looking forward to yoga at the Dome, but Rod got all masterful and told me not to consider it.  It was the right thing to do, as with a migraine my head has to stay on one plane.  Joggling it about or going out of the vertical brings on head-splitting pain.

What a silly waste of a day!  I could have guessed yesterday when the day was just “wrong”,  that this was on its way.  It’s always a sure sign, as is feeling inappropriately cold, unusually hungry for weird things,  and being unable to get my  words out with any sense in them.  After 60 years of the attacks, I still get surprised !

I have always looked upon these migraines with gratitude.  They always always mean that I have been doing something wrong- usually getting too stressed or trying to achieve too much or simply eating the wrong food !  They make me take things more slowly; force me to acknowledge that I am going the wrong  way, and in doing  so they possibly steer me away from suffering something more serious.  Some people have heart attacks, some get other stress-related illnesses.  These are often fatal.  Migraines I can cope with.  They are nasty but  fleeting.

B-DAY PLUS 352

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 15TH

Sadly. the foot is not yet strong enough to go on a long walk, so I have had to forego the Wednesday Wanderers, but there was plenty to do at home, seeing that I shall be leaving at 7am on Saturday to go to Lex’s.

Mike and Sue have asked me if I will help them to learn Spanish, and  I am very happy to do that.  It must be about ten years since I took a class, so I had to make several  trips down to the underbuild  to bring up all my bags of Spanish lesson stuff.  For about five years, I had several classes a week and I really enjoyed doing it.  Then  after that, people stopped coming over here to live and a lot of English people went home.  The source  of students dried up, so I moved on to other  things.  meantime, I had a computer crash and had not backed up my handouts, so I lost them all.  I still have hard copies and all my DSC03749lesson plans, so it will be good  to pick it up again.  It was difficult going!  The three cats suddenly felt a b ig interest in the office, and kept wandering in front of the screen.  Every time I briefly left my chair, I  came back to find a cat on it!  After her epic day out on Monday, DSC03745Daisy has been relunctant  to go outside again, but we now have a catflap fitted, so we are trying to poke her out of it at every opportunity.  She hates it at the moment and will not push her head against  it, but we shall persevere.

Sue and Mike came over after lunch, and we made a start.  Just an hour to get them on the right track, and they will come  again on Friday.

Pepe came up for a meal in the evening, and hardly ate anything.  To me, he looks a bit thin recently so I must try to fatten him up !  He worries when he loses his appetite, so I don’t make a big thing of  it – just make sure I send him home  with a container of food!

So it’s been a very low-key day, made even lower key by really dreary national news.  Rod put the tele on, as he does every morning at 7 o’clock, and I was so miserable after just ten minutes, that I turned it off.  Every single news item was negative or bad  news.  I do like the BBC news app on the tablet though.  You can just choose to read  the positive items – much happier !    Why would I choose to subject myself to bad news  that I can do nothing about??  That would be nonsensicle.

So there I was, having started the day on the wrong  foot, having overslept and then having  been subjected to gloom.  But then, the Daily Om in my inbox set things right !

“There may be times when we feel like our connection to the universe is closed.

Maybe things don’t seem to be going well in our day, or our lives, or we may feel out of our element. The truth is, the universe is always there for us. We know that we create our experience with our thoughts, and this is another way we need to make a conscious decision about how we want to experience life. It is up to us to do the work of making the connection, because nobody can do it for us, though sometimes the universe may send us wake-up calls.

You can think of it as getting some fresh air. We are always breathing and the air is always around us, surrounding us, moving through us. But we may need to step outside of where we are in the moment–physically, mentally, or emotionally–and make the conscious choice to take a deep breath in order to feel the air coming in and going out. Whether this means stepping outside physically or merely shifting our thoughts, it is only our perception that changes; the air remains the same.”

 

Life’s OK !!

 

B-DAY PLUS 351

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 14TH

I had been looking forward to this day for some time.  The Wellness Group which I have been to on a couple of occasions in Javea, have begun a new phase in their lives, which involves meetings in Calpe and in Jalón.  Today was the first to be held in Jalón, so I took advantage of this lovely opportunity to go to something so local.  Image may contain: pool and outdoorThe theme was The Law of Attraction (it being Valentine’s Day and all). Pictures were taken, so I did not take my own …. but this is what the venue was like .. La Gaia Retreat in beautiful peaceful surroundings.

It was marvellous to meet a number of Rosie’s Reiki Group there for herbal tea and healthy snacks sitting in the sun  before it started.  Then in we went to sit by a comforting fire and listen to Patricia Piper giving a very professional presentation about this interesting Universal Law.

I have spent a bit of time already considering this law …..

“This Law of Attraction shows how we create the events, people and things that come into our lives. All our thoughts, words, feelings and actions give out energies which, likewise attract like energies.

Positive energies will always attract positive energies while negative energies will always attract negative energies. It doesn’t matter whether you want the negative or not. What you place your attention on, is what you attract into your life.”

Various members of the 16-strong audience piped up with examples of how this law had worked for them, particularly in such a mundane thing as parking the car.  They say that if you are looking for a parking space, then you just ask the Parking Fairy to organise you a space in the right place, and one will appear !  Others had examples of asking for what they wanted and finding their request granted.  The speaker, Patricia, asked for a job on the Costa Blanca whilst she was living in South Africa – and got one within a week!

It was a lively and friendly group of ladies-  I am now looking forward to the next event there in March.

It being Tuesday, I had to go to Benissa to another physio session in the health centre.  It was HARD!  This week we were doing exercises sitting on chairs – the most uncomfortable chairs you could possibly get .  Half way through, I had to take  a break and lie down to ease the pain, which made the nice physio lady quite worried.  But it was no more than normal, and I joined  in to finish the hour.  By the time I got home, I was feeling a lot less than human, and doubting that the sessions are doing me any good at all.  But a small sit-down and a couple of cups  of tea, and I felt  hunky dory once again.

Rod had been talking about getting a third cat for some time, and is very adamant that we should get another from the cat rescue place.  As it’s a difficult week to fit this in, and I was already booked into the talk this morning, he very bravely went on his own, so that when I got back at lunchtime, we had three felines in residence.  The latest cat has been called Sammi, a female, and settled in from the very beginning, being very friendly with the other two. She is about a year old, so much older  than the others.  it was sad that, after an hour or so, it was clear to me that she was making me wheeze.  So I grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and took her into the bathroom.  She went absolutely still – as if paralyzed and let me wash her with Rod’s shampoo, making  the water very brown and dirty.  After I had done my best to dry her, she scooted  off and hid on a dining chair for quite a few hours, until I coaxed her off again to dry her a bit more.  I have promised her that I will never ever do it again!  Only after I had done it  did I check up online, where they say to never use human shampoo on  a cat.  Oh dear!  But the rescue centre lady did not say this, and I have done it now – can’t undo it!!  Fingers crossed for the health of Daisy and Sammi, who have both suffered this indignity.   Ooops.

Now that we have cats, I got to thinking about milk –  when we had cats before in the UK, we used to give them milk as a treat, but since  then it has become a big no-no, and I could not remember why.  Now I know – but have learned some new things too.  Cats are lactose intolerant, but got a reputation for liking milk when they were seen to love cream.  But it’s the fat in the cream that they like, so milk straight from the cow with the cream rising to the top is very attractive for them.

In recent years, many reports have been filed saying that cats are now refusing to drink milk – a sign of the way it’s processed to death and divorced from all its creaminess ?  Then by chance, I read a scientific article about breast cancer in women. (Yes – it IS relevant!)  Chinese women never get breast cancer, and Chinese people never eat dairy food,   and this has only just dawned on the rest of the world.  A woman doctor (Jane Plant) with a history of 4 bouts of cancer, and whose 5th bout resisted all previously successful treatments, changed her diet to eliminate all dairy foods and found her lump getting smaller within days.  In a short time it had gone.

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What are we doing to ourselves with our food?  Luckily, we can find out so easily about what is good and what is bad for us, just with a little click of the mouse and a short consultation with Sir Google.  Happy times !!

Food is Medicine” is a term which was originally coined by Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine; it was his belief that eating wholesome food is the basis for good health. Hippocrates said almost 2500 years ago “Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.”

 

 

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 350

MONDAY FEBRUARY 13TH

‘Bye Shirley and Dave !!

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Mid-morning and Dave and Shirley went on their way to Benidorm and Nerja.  We were sad to see them go, and looking back on the week, it has gone really quickly.  We were reminiscing yesterday on our long friendship, and were amazed to think that we first met them about 40 years ago!  Our children were all small at that time – much smaller  than our grandchildren are now, although,  of course, WE have not changed at all!

But the big news of the early morning was a huge cat-transplant in the house!  Maisy woke up with a different attitude, so that, as I sat on the floor sorting the washing DSC03738in the washing machine, she came running up and rubbed herself against my legs, purring!  What?  I fussed her and she wanted more.  Even when I stood up, she wouldn’t leave my legs.  What went on in the night?  When we went to bed last night, she ran at the speed of light if she thought she would find herself anywhere near a “person“!   Rod got up and had the same treatment – even Shirley and Dave!  This is too sudden!  Two weeks of hiding away from 8am. until 8pm. , and  eating championship loads has transformed this cat from a shivering wreck of an animal to a domesticated friend!

DSC03735Having seen off our good friends and done the odd jobs, we  shot off into Jalón for yet another load of cat litter (how do they get through so much ?) and kept on going through the village, out the other side, through Alcalalí and onto Parcent, where the car seemed to park itself just outside L’Era.  Hmmm. It was exactly lunchtime, by chance, so in we went and enjoyed a fresh paella and a bottle of the best , telling ourselves that it was because next Monday I shall be in the UK and not in Spain.  That’s plenty reason in our book !

Coming home, we got caught up with what we had to do, then started worrying about Daisy.  Daisy has not been outside much, but went running off at 11 o’clock when Shirley and Dave were packing their car.  By 5pm, it was raining a bit and not warm out, so we started to call her.  As it started to get dark, we paced a large part of the mountainside to find her, but could not.  At 8pm, it was dark, and she still was not home, and  we both sat gloomily on the settee, telling ourselves that she would not come at all now.

Half an hour later, we were still nipping out to call her every ten  minutes – and then, as we opened the door for another “last time”, in she ran, looking very pleased to be home and heading straight for the litter tray.  Urgh – more than 9 hours outside in the open countryside, and she comes home just for a poo!   We were SO pleased to see her – but now we have to think about the best way to train a cat to go to the toilet outside.  Scatter cat litter  over the bancalis? Perhaps.

Yesterday when the visitors were feeling relaxed, we put on a marvellous film.  The true story of   “Lion” is newly out and has been nominated for lots of awards.  It was one of those wonderful films that you go on thinking about well after it’s all over.  The opening sequences, in India  of twenty years ago where little Saroo’s mother earned a scant living by clearing rocks and the children kept themselves entertained when they weren’t working, simply by splashing in the river or by simple things that did not need toys or equipment.  I kept thinking about it all day, and feeling so lucky to be able  to watch any film at any time on our big tele. .    I also remembered the poor people of India and Asia that Rod and I met when we were doing our big 1998  world tour.

The over-riding impression these children left us with, was how they made the most of what was available to them, and how genuinely cheerful and happy they always were.  We had a big bundle of cheap pens in our bags to give out to the children.  In this pic, we were on a boat in Kerula, and the children tan along the bank shouting, “Give me one pen!”  We were not the only ones throwing pens, and many of them fell into the water.  But the children simply jumped in and rescued them!  We know that if they haven’t got pens and notebooks they can’t go to school, so they are so valuable to these children.  A sneaky part of me suspected that a lot of these pens were sold on – but at least they were providing a family income !!

EPSON MFP image

 

EPSON MFP image

This second one was taken in one of the main streets of Vientiane, the capital city of Laos.  These puddles were everywhere, usually with a happy gang of children jumping in and out of them, shrieking and laughing and having a whale of a time!

 

My point to ponder is ….  have we more prosperous people lost the knack of laughing at, or making the most of,  simple things ?  Who are the happier children – those enthusiastically jumping into the dirty river water to dive for pens, or those in inner cities in developed countries ?

 

Makes you think.  Let’s help the poor ones anyway and keep them laughing.

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B-DAY PLUS 349

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 12TH

IMI’S 9TH BIRTHDAY !

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It just doesn’t seem possible that 9 whole years have passed since we first welcomed Imogen Araminta Foster into our family!  Imi has been a pleasure … sparky and determined, and always knowing her own mind.  It has been lovely to see how Noah and Imi have been friends from Day One – Noah always looking out for his little sister.  In personality , the two of them are chalk and cheese, which will make for interesting times, I feel sure !

Happy Birthday Imi!   We gave her a call, and found her on the settee with a very bad chesty cough – poor Imi.  Luckily she had been out bowling with her friends on her birthday treat the day before, but even so … bad luck!

We had planned to have a nice walk over the mountain this morning but my foot was just not up to it, so instead we drove  over  to Calpe and made for the Exotic for a coffee.  It was marvellous , sitting in the sun watching the very rough sea and the surf boarders.  At my suggestion, we then set off for a  walk along  the promenade, even though my foot was screaming “No! NO!”  After about ten slow minutes, I admitted that I couldn’t walk any more, at which, all three of the others immediately turned around and started back with great sighs of relief !  Are we all getting old??  We sat and had a beer, and then headed home so that I could get the meal ready for us all and Pepe.  Meatballs in tomato sauce – a favourite of Pepe’s, followed by oranges in caramel sauce and ice cream  –  although why I took ages to make the caramel sauce when all everyone wanted was ice cream, I don’t know!DSC03731

Dave was feeling a bit under the weather, so he and Shirley were early to bed.  We had all enjoyed our day in the sun, and were sad to think that this was the last evening.  I was glad that I had hobbled to the mimosa tree and picked some

DSC03717Today has seen a big breakthrough  in our cats, who are  now firmly called Daisy and Maisy.  Since we had Maisy, about ten days ago, she has been hiding away all through the daytime and we have searched the house and not been able to find her anywhere.  Then, at about eight o’clock, she has re-appeared and eaten a huge amount of food, then stayed around, peeping at us and  occasionally walking past us if she felt brave.

But today, she has voluntarily come up and rubbed herself against our legs.  We feel ridiculously honoured, but have not risked  reaching  down to touch her.  Daisy continues to be a delight and keeps jumping on us for a bit of fuss, and Maisy has started to peep at all this with a more  than a hint of jealousy !  I am amazed but very grateful that I do not seem to be reacting to them.  Could it be the essential oils I put on the bottom of my feet each night, or could it be the hypnotherapy treatment I had ??  Whatever it is – I am SO glad !

 

 

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 348

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11TH

The foot was still throbbing and protesting when it was asked to bend this morning when I got up.  But I had promised Shirley a trip to Jalón market – so stout shoes at the ready ! The weather was not very good, so the market was actually quite pleasant, but without 50% of the normal stalls, whose keepers had been put off by the looming rain clouds. DSC03730We both bought some scarves, and little else, but enjoyed our poor-foot-friendly slow potter. However, even more  than that, we all enjoyed a trip to Suzi’s for a wonderful lunch.  My goodness!  Fabulous lunches two days running!  What IS the lunchen-met-muziek-bijworld coming to?  OR – as Pepe would say “Too good for the working man!”  

Rod and I groaned when the singer arrived at the bar.  This man has been travelling the mountain restaurants ever since we arrived in Spain – first as one of a trio, then as one of a duet, and in the last three years he has been on his own.  He is a fantastic guitarist, but my goodness he  has a piercing voice !  He plays all the tourist specials – Una Paloma Blanca and such.  Being tourists, Dave and Shirley thought he was great – and I suppose he DID make the atmosphere a bit party-ish !  The restaurant was full to overflowing  ……  a sure sign of the consistent good food and good value that Suzi offers.

DSC03727So after a lazy afternoon, we were ready for an evening of card games, which I spectacularly and consistently lost  .  I had made a cake in the afternoon, which we consumed greedily as we played.  You’d have thought they would have been grateful enough to let me win at least one game ???  But no.

Obviously the over-riding thing of the day was my poor aching foot.  It throbbed all day long in various degrees.   Rod showed me in little ways that he was sorry that he had done it.  I was grateful  that all I had to show  for the accident was a lot of bruising.  Had it been on hard ground and if I had worn sandals, things might have been very different. 

Yesterday it took a bit of an effort to forgive.  Today, at a distance from the event, it is a lot easier.  I have always held true to the value of forgiving.  If you harbour a grudge or resentment, then this becomes a habit that’s hard to break, and pretty soon there is no room for warm, happy, positive feelings.  You become so wrapped up in the past,  that you can’t enjoy the present. And what’s  more, your body reacts by sending you tumours, heart disease, cancers and the like.    What’s the point?

Today I find it no effort at all.  The foot is  beginning  to work a bit better (especially after a rest), and I am so grateful that the accident won’t interfere with my passion for hill-walking.

I am now almost 70 years old !!  My days may be numbered – who knows ??  All my days are precious to me, and I will not waste them in negativity.

” Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. “

This is by the American, Walter Anderson, who I particularly like for his quote ..

 “I think writing has a cleansing effect, and although it is easy enough to keep the body clean, the mind seems to grow clogged.”

I feel the same.  My year of this diary blog is almost gone, and I shall cherish the extra time in my days that it completion will bring.  At the  same time, I shall miss the cleansing process !!
 

B-DAY PLUS 347

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 10TH

A beautiful day!  I went for a long walk on my own in the morning, DSC03720and marvelled at the lovely almond blossom everywhere.  In the last few days, the whole area has been inundated with walkers and bikers out on the road to admire the trees .. we are lucky enough to have them just outside our windows!

When I go walking, usually I come back with DSC03722a stone or two – often a big one to decorate the garden.  Today though, I came back with another fossil.  I have a lot of them now,  and assume it’s because this area was once under the sea??  I do love stones – whether crystals or just nice pleasing rocks .. they are all welcome!

Being Friday, we had a lunch booked at mid-day for all of us – Pepe, us, Mike and Sue  and Shirley and Dave.  For me, it was spoilt by a horrible thing to happen to my foot.  the car was outside our house, and I was helping the back-seat passengers to get their seat belts done up, when Rod drove off suddenly, – right over my poor foot!  Ouch!  It did hurt!  It started  to throb and smart, but I had no choice but to get into the car and be taken to the restaurant, – all shaky.  Luckily, I had some of Dr Bach’s Rescue Remedy in my bag, so I squirted some into my mouth, and that helped lighten the situation!  I  think I consumed a lot more than  my share of the wine to try to deaden the pain, but for the rest of the day, the foot hurt even when I did not have it on the ground.DSC03724 - Copy

BUT – nothing broken and I still have all my toes!!   I was very angry indeed to think that Rod  could have done this to me in such a careless way – but then who’s perfect ??

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B-DAY PLUS 346

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 9TH

What?   It can’t be Thursday againDSC03716 These days of the week certainly roll around at a fast pace of knots !  Leaving our visitors to fend for themselves, we went off to Rafol and had a wonderful couple of hours on the courts in the sunshine.  What great value this tennis has become – we pay 40€ a year to include every Thursday and the balls. This works out at about 2€ a  week, if you count in days missed through holidays or weather.  It’s strange – the Spanish courts are not built to cope with rain.  Back in the UK, we used to play in all weathers, – if you didn’t do that, you would  never play at all !   But here, just a scant covering of rain  makes them dangerously slippy.  Last week  it started to spot with rain towards the end of playing time, and we then had to give up immediately.   Really odd!

We met up with Shirley and Dave at Lena’s Bar in Llíber.  They had made  the walk from the house in about an hour, and were there waiting  for us.  We sat and lingered over a couple of beers and a tapas lunch in the sun, and then enjoyed a lazy afternoon at home.

The media today are all about David Beckham.  It seems that some of his personal emails have been tapped, and it seems that, in private,  he has called the knighthood-making committee some fruity names because he hasn’t been knighted yet.  Well!  If that’s the worse they can some up with, there’s not much to worry about in this world!  Thousands of emails have been hacked, but only three , to a colleague of many years standing, contain anything to make a fuss about.

 

The Mirror says he hasn’t been  recognised in the right way because he is just a “plebby footballer from Chingford.”:

Whether he’s done charity work with one eye on that prize or not is irrelevant – he has raised millions of pounds for good causes, when he could easily have written any one of the last four prime ministers a cheque and been confident of ennoblement.

He’s been a UNICEF ambassador for 12 years, they say he’s ploughed “significant personal funds” into their organisation, and he’s carried out more private trips to trouble zones than publicised ones. You don’t spend that much time in refugee camps if you don’t really want to be there.

David Beckham hasn’t got a knighthood because he hasn’t gone about it in the right way. He’s done charity work, captained the national team in the national sport, and been named one of the greatest 100 footballers of all time.

He’s made millions, somehow kept his marriage going through four children and heaven knows how many women making eyes at him, and provided stable employment to hairdressers, tattoo artists and thousands of shop assistants who sell his pants.

What he SHOULD have done was preach homophobia on Saturday night telly, force himself onto our iTunes playlists and chat up SamCam over dinner. Had he done that, he’d be not only knighted but probably in government.”

According to the Telegraph, he has been overlooked because he invested a couple of his millions in a film-making scheme which was perfectly legal but gave him a tax incentive.

Now if there was a National vote on it, I would give Becks the knighthood after all he has done.  He’s been a marvel – setting up training schemes for young footballers and helped to get us the London Olympics.  If Bruce Forsythe can be Sir Bruce just because he entertains people on the tele – why can’t Becks be Sir Becks as a thanks for all his efforts?

In a way, I am glad this has happened.  I have always argued about knighthoods with Rod, who believes they are out of date and should be scrapped. So many celebrities seem to become knights or dames  just for doing the job they are good at. This is not what they were intended to be for, and perhaps it is time the system was revamped completely and modernised.

BUT – what really gets my goat about all this is the hacking.  Why is it that all I hear is arguments over Becks, and yet nothing about the utter wrongness of hacking personal emails.  Isn’t this a crime?  If not, it should be!!

 

 

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 345

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 8TH

I was so taken with the walk we did a couple of Wednesdays ago, up to the lighthouse at Albir, I suggested that we should tackle  the same walk today – Rod and I with Shirley and Dave.  What I didn’t do was look at the weather  forecast!

DSC03702We set off in high spirits mid-morning and found the car park with no trouble at all.   The information board re-affirmed that it was about 5-6km round trip, the way was well-surfaced, the sun  was shining, and we could see the attractive lighthouse on the top of the cliff.  BUT, as soon as we started to walk, we realised just how windy it was.  It was blowing us up the path, but even so, it was not pleasant in its chilliness.

This was Rod’s first walk of any distance for a long long time, and I admired the way he set off at a brisk pace, saying that if he only had twenty minutes’ walking in him, he wanted to get to the top before  the  time ran out!

It took almost an hour  to get to the lighthouse, and the last 20 minutes was very difficult when the wind became gale-force .  There was nowhere to shelter from the gale, and the wind was blowing us about  remorselessly. The view was marvellous -yes!  But none of us felt like hanging about to appreciate it, instead we opted for getting down the path as soon as we could.  Rod was in pain for most of the way down, battling against the blizzard, buttoned up to the eyebrows.

Once at the car park, we  all piled into the car and  set off to find an alcoholic reward for our morning’s work!  Shirley was delighted ….  she has a new Fitbit on her wrist and has a daily target of just over  10,000 steps to achieve.  She hasn’t been able to get to this many for a long time,   but today, already she was approaching the 10,000 and it was only mid-day!  Soon we were ensconced at a beach-front bar , feeling a lot better !

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Once the thirst was slaked, we hopped into the car again and drove off to Sabor in Altea to enjoy a delicious lunch.  Fantastic!  We all ended up choosing exactly the same DSC03707from the Menú del  Día – goat’s cheese salad (pictured) followed by lamb with ratatouille.  It was all served by very well-trained and polite English-speaking waiters, and washed down with lovely wine.  My dessert was lemon sorbet with limoncello – an idea I am definitely going to copy! At €25 per DSC03709head in total, it was probably twice as much as we usually pay for a lunch out, but my goodness, it was perhaps almost twice as delicious!!

We rolled home  feeling fit to bursting – but by eight thirty, when it was time to think about a game of cards, we all managed to pick at crisps and a salad!   Amazing fortitude.  One nice thing about being older, amongst friends of a similar age, is that we are all happy to go off to bed at a sensible time!  How wonderful it is, to get into bed feeling contented after a happy day, feeling clean and relaxed, sipping at the chamomile tea and having a half-hour’s read to settle down!

 

 

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 344

TUESDAY FRBRUARY 7TH

The first task today was to go to the ITV centre in Ondara to get Rod’s car checked over and certificated.  This is equivalent to the MOT in the UK., and because Rod’s car in getting on in years, it has to go every year.  So off we go, ready for the annual challenge that is the ITV.  Every single year, there is a new system to rise above.  We think we have it sussed, – then wham!  So we queue up in the car and a man gives us a little ticket. We take this ticket to the office, pay 44 euros and are given a piece of paper.  We return to the car with the paper and prepare for a half an hour wait.

DSC03701Once inside the testing place, the Man tests all the workings, getting het up because he mumbles instructions which we can’t hear as we are so low down. Then he gets annoyed and starts barking at us, single words like “Brakes!”, which are supposed to tell us what he wants to do. “UP!”, he shouts- indicating the bonnet. We know from experience that there is no use in saying that the engine is in the back, so we just comply and prepare to suffer his scowl when he sees an empty void where a motor should be.  Then – here is the exciting NEW addition, he has to get into the driving seat and read the dials and sound the horn! THEN – new again, we have to demonstrate that the seat belts are fit for purpose.  Having passed all these tests, we can then take the car onto the next Man for the underneath-the-car bit.

Once we have satisfied him, we gat another piece of paper to take to another Man-behind-a- window, for him to exchange this for a certificate and a sticker for the car, after a suitable wait in a queue. naturally.  Success!

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Shirley and Dave had enjoyed a lie-in when we got home, so we joined them in a coffee and chatted until lunchtime.  Rod and Dave then went off to chess, while I sorted out my stuff for the Borrowers meeting later on.  Shirley was happy to sit in the sun with her cross-stitch challenge.  Shirley loves crafts, as I do, so it’s so nice to have her around to bounce ideas off!  She looked through my file  od stitched cards patterns and I photocopied her a few to take home.Free Puppy prick and stitch e-pattern

Borrowers was great!  About 14 of us there, and all with exciting books to recommend to the rest.  I came away with three which I can’t wait to get stuck into, and passed on a similar number which I had enjoyed in the last few weeks.

We had a lovely evening, mostly sat around the dining table, and all toddled tiredly off to bed at 10.30. Old friends are a boon .

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