Thursday, 29 March 2012


Today was the General Strike in Spain, and this evening in VnG thee was also a demonstration. The effects of which I don't know yet. Hopefully it went off peacefully, and the fact that we were given the day off for security was a wise overestimation.
For me it has been  a lovely relaxing day. After walking the dogs this morning I had a light breakfast in the garden, then played around on the PC/Internet.
Julie popped in soon after midday for a cuppa and a chat (oh and a slice of Tiffin cake of course).We had a nice catch up, and of course the animals were happy to see aunty Julie.

This afternoon I sat in the garden and did some writing- logging up over 2,000 words in the novel to sequel- all on my new laptop with the Carpenters playing in the background - the writing flowed and the music took me back to yesteryears!

We've just had a tasty dinner -veggie burgers and are now sitting comfortably sitting watching the box, whilst I type this too- who says men can't multi-task.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A Day in pictures

An early morning walk:

Followed by a visit to Denise and Paolo's- it being Paolo's birthday we were dropping his present off- sorry no pic.
Then lunch in the garden again -leek and potato soup. Spot the cats enjoying the balmy weather (just one missing an he wa son the roof sunning himself!).

Tony enjoying my offering.
 And a little baking too- Raspberry muffins.
And just look what's just satrted to blossom - our Camelia:

And now as I type this up on my ne gadget we're watching 'Venice 24/7' and hav ejust seen the cruise ship that we are planning to be on in September coming into town- It looks like we're going to be in for a great view of the city.

Finally thoughts of tomorrow - There's a general strike here in Spain so our schools closed- a day off with pay- a great result. I  just hope there's no trouble in town to mar the demonstrations.


I was forwarded this message this morning and just wanted to make sure it's spreading. So am making an extra post today....

 All we need is love

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

From the sublime to the ridiculous


As it was such a nice day today I made a tasty courgette soup and for a change we had lunch in the garden. Even the dogs and cats joined us for a while.


Today  I did something that I have never done before - I forgot one of my classes. This afternoon at almost  5.30  I suddenly realised I should have been in a class, just as the phone rang - the school checking where I was. I threw my stuff together an ran round the corner for the bus, and was there in ten minutes. My student was very sympathetic, but I felt wretched and embarrassed. Admittedly it was a class that was only added to my schedule just a few weeks ago, but still I can't believe how my mind slipped a gear.

Monday, 26 March 2012


First job this morning was to pick up my new meds, which I'll be starting tomorrow. Fingers crossed everything will be okay.

When I got back I had a phone call from Sue saying she had managed to get out for a change- remember Sue's the one who had a baby just under a month ago. She hasn't been able to really get out since because she's either had Liliana clamped to one breast or the other, or she's been trying to get her to sleep. However when she called she said that hopefully they'd turned a corner and she'd be freer now. So we agreed to meet at a cafe just down the road, and I must say it was really nice, and little Lil' was so well behaved.

this after noon on the way to my first class I dropped off some Tiffin cake that I made yesterday for one of the other teacher's birthdays. Tony and I have since had a couple of small slices ourselves and I have to be immodest and admit it's jolly good. And here's a stack of it for your delectation!!

And whilst on the subject of food some of you may have noticed that 'Grub and Stuff' my  foodie blog has disappeared- no (well that just proves it). I kinda thought I was putting a lot of effort into something that wasn't being viewed or utilised, so have decided for the time being to suspend it. However, fear not if you are , like me, a foodie. I will be posting on here from time to time foodie things, pictures, meal ideas and even recipes (if they are wanted).
And on that note, here's what we had for tea (dinner?) yesterday- double baked potatoes with macaroni cheese and rucula salad

Sunday, 25 March 2012


Where to begin?


Well at the end of last week I had an incredible dream, that actually woke me up. I dreamt I was at a well-known publishers discussing the rights to my book. Now I'm not sure which book it was but who knows - let's hope it was a premonition type dream - wouldn't that be a hoot.

Saturday Shopping

Saturday morning, as it was my weekend off, we decided to head up to Barnasud, the shopping centre in Gava (a town just up the coast) and see if we could find some paper to cover the Easter Eggs I'm planning to make as I'm not having any luck finding anything suitable in VnG. We also planned to check in MediaMarkt to see about getting me a Laptop so I can sit in the living room and type etc, and no longer be banished to the hallway. And guess what- that's exactly what I'm typing this on at the moment. It's taking a  bit of getting used to, and of course I've had to transfer all my favourite programmes form the main PC onto here, but little by little I'm getting used to it. What FUN....

Saturday Evening

This week we've been to the pictures. at the local cinema in town they weer showing 'The Artist' and seeing as it is basically a silent film we thought we wouldn't have too many problems watching it in the Spanish cinema. we knew it had got a load of Oscars, but didn't know anyone who had seen it. We weren't disappointed though- it's a great film, equal measures of laughter and a few tears - we really enjoyed it and I have to admit to having a guilty pash for the leading man!

After the film we went for an Indian, and enjoyed the food immensely once again. It's just a real shame it doesn't get busier.

And so to Today:

 I've even managed to get a few more thousand words added to the Winner sequel, which was on hold for while when I was unable to sit at  the PC cos of my back/leg.

I've also done a bit of 'baking'  well I've made another Tiffin cake - teachers beware -chocolate goodies coming your way tomorrow......

Friday, 23 March 2012

My kids....

This morning I took Cuddy and Xali on a slightly longer walk, feeling that my leg was well enough to do so. I really love the way the gamble around. Cuddy loves water and after the rains of a few days ago there's a huge puddle on our walk that she loves to play in. She's completely crazy playing in it, and sticks her head right the way under, blowing bubbles, just so she can find just the right stone to carry around for the rest of the walk.

Xali is more reserved and gently walks along the edge of the puddle occasionally sipping as he pauses. However he does love to run in the sports field, and it is a pure JOY to see him gambling about, and a relief to see he is still full of the spark of life. He may be heading towards 13 years old, but still acts like a puppy now and again.  At times I feel like I am dragging myself out of bed to take them out, but as soon as we get in the fields and they start their antics I realise it is all, and always, worthwhile. 

The cats are happy the sun is out again too, and have spent a lot of the day running, or rather chasing each other around the yard and back in. This does means that the floor is grubby as quickly as it is cleaned, but their games give me the greatest of laughs too.

If you didn't know by know, my animals are my JOY and get and deserve the love I lavish on them. I couldn't imagine our house without them.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Moving, keep moving....

This morning was my quarterly check up at the docs- and I am more than pleased to report that everything is just about tickety boo - including a drop in my cholesterol levels to 4.0.

After the meeting with Doctor Dishy - and that is no joke he's seriously date-able and so much more - I had my final treatment with JanWillem, the vet. Once again I left there floating and hopefully things will continue to improve. I haven't had any real pain today so that's a plus one... I'll be keeping you posted.

Driving up into the mountains the rain was lashing down and it so much reminded me of the day on the Camino when Jane and I walked in the rain for almost the whole day down from O'Cebreiro... oh such happy times.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

And it's getting better.....

Hurrah it's been raining on and off all day- a great relief for the garden, now the bulbs will have a good chance of making the garden an Easter's delight.  Cat's however, are stir crazy, and as I type away I've one staring at me, literally in my face, Sprout wont leave me alone, so errors are likely!

I've had my third treatment at the vets, and aside from a bit of pain while waiting for the bus this evening I am remarkably better (Thus I am remarking). Thank goodness for complementary therapies. I'm sure dear Andrea's homoeopathic remedy is doing its magic too. Tomorrow will be my last treatment in the series then we have to wait a couple of weeks to see that everything is settled. Fingers crossed I will be cured!!

After each treatment I stop on for a cuppa and a chat, partly because the treatment leaves me a little spacey and I don't want to drive straight away. Today I was sitting in JanWillem's kitchen enjoying a cuppa when one of his cats jumped up and sat on my shoulders like a fur stole. he was so happy there purring loudly in my ear- cat therapy now that's a must!

Walking the dogs early this morning I had a mini echo of the Camino when I saw poppies sprouting up in the fields, not is such numbers as in the photo Janey took for the cover of the magic, but lovely nonetheless.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

So little time

Well today it is officially three months before I start my next Camino, and happily I am recovering well from the sciatica, after my second visit to the vets today. It looks like I may be going solo this time too, as Nick is almost definitely out of the picture, and Janey is a probably not. Now this scares and excites me in equal measure.
  • How will I cope on my own?
  • who will I check directions with?
  • who will eat all the food I cook (I can only cook for a minimum of four people)?
  • Who will I moan at/to when I'm at my low ebb?
  • Who will I point out all the amazing sights to?
Well I know I can very well manage to do these all on my own, but it will be most strange to be walking without my usual walking partner (Janey), or without my expected walking partner (Nick), but fear not I can and will do it.  BTW guys this isn't to make you feel guilty or change your minds. If you could/can make it that'd be great, if you can't I'm sure I'll have a ball too.

And this will be where I will be planning to be walking the first day (21.06.2012) Oviedo - Grado (21kms)

SO as the clock really starts ticking I am feeling the old Camino spirit starting to burn in my blood again- be gone damned sciatica I need to walk.......

Monday, 19 March 2012

Energetic Vet

Today I had an appointment with the vet. Nope none of the animals are unwell, and not with our usual gorgeous vet (Oscar) either, but with Jan-Willem, the Dutch vet up in the mountains. And guess what I came away feeling so much better- painless in fact!

A little while back Jan-Willem did a Bioenergy course and has been looking for clients since. I'd heard that this could cure sciatica, and quite frankly having been 'suffering' for over six weeks now I have been willing to try almost anything.

The treatment was little like a Reiki session, with energy flying around, but so much more powerful than anything I've experienced before, and without a word of a lie I really did leave there painless. I now have three more sessions over the next three days, and have high hopes that by the weekend I will be sciatica free. And here's the deal - if it doesn't work I don't pay- I so know I'll be paying (this is the first time I've been able to sit at the PC for a prolonged period without jumping up every now and then to relieve the pain), and am so happy for that too. Watch this space.....

On the way back I drove down the cherry tree lined Rambla that I mentioned just the other day:

BTW- this was taken trough the car windscreen, so not a perfect pic.

Sunday, 18 March 2012


Today was the first 'TulStig Baking Masterclass' here at Casa TulStig. Some time back Christine - The French teacher from S/N had told me she'd like to come round and learn how to bake muffins just like wot I do. I think I mentioned it in the Carnaval Blog entry.  So after having given her a list of ingredients she arrived with provisions bag in hand ready to bake. We set her up with an apron (now there's an idea for further merchandising!) and set to in the kitchen.

Christine wanted to bake chocolate muffins, and plain muffins- easy, and I think she thinks so too now. She's said she'll be off out to get a muffin tin soon and who knows will perhaps brings some into school too, I'd relish the competition.

So here are Christine's first efforts, and both Tony and I can confirm that they are just as delicious as those made here before. (for some reason no matter what I do I can't get it to spin round for the correct view?!?)

SO if you want a master-class in any of the recipes you've had here, or at any of the venues I've cooked at/for, or any of the recipes on my other blog just let me know and we can arrange it!!!

Oh and Pauline I may be onto you for a master-class in some of the goodies you cook too- your cakes on Facebook today looked D-licious!

Saturday, 17 March 2012


Over the past few days the sun has been rising noticeably earlier, which means I am waking earlier, which is a good thing as during the longer nights of the winter months I have become a bit of a stay-a-bed. Waking earlier means I either have the opportunity to rest and enjoy the peace of the early mornings, or that I can get up and start my day.

For the past couple of days I have chosen the later, being up and  out with Xali and Cuddy earlier than they have recently been used to.  Whilst walking I have also notice that so many of the plants and trees are waking after their winter slumbers too. The main rambla which crosses our walk of a morning is lined by cherry trees which are starting to become festooned with blossom, making the world a prettier, brighter and more wonderful place.

On a deeper level I am also grateful that the inner author in me has been awoken from its slumbers over the past year, and continues to fill me more and more. I'm not saying that I no longer have doubts about my writing ability, but more that I trust that what I write is 'good enough', and anyway I'm doing something I love, whether this later translate to my first best-seller, well we'll have to wait and see.

My back/leg continues to be a source of pain and annoyance, but this week I am stepping into the unknown and seeing a local practitioner who has success in the past in totally curing a bad case of sciatica- I have my fingers crossed and my hopes high. The treatment will be over four days, and is much like Reiki, alongside the homoeopathic remedy I'm taking I hope I shall be back to fully functioning soon. My biggest fear being that this condition will not improve enough for me to be able to walk in the summer- no scratch that -I will walk, I may just have to take it slower and carry more painkillers than before!!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Career Choices

This morning I had a meeting with the owners of the school to talk about what I wanted for next year. Yes they really are that facilitative!

We talked about this year, and they thanked me profusely for my work  - now do you get the idea why I like working for S/N?

I said I want to pretty much do the same as I have been doing this year, and it was pretty much agreed. Of course it will depend on the needs of the business come September, but the future still looks rosy.

Whilst I was chatting with them we talked about my writing. One of them has already bought 'The Magic', but they didn't realise it was a one off. They were most impressed when I said I already have a second published, and am writing a sequel, with a kids book in hand for a future project.  They were a bit worried they might lose me to the heady world of best-sellers, nice dream but one step too far a the moment, notice I'm not saying never! I hadn't realised that I hadn't already told them of my 4th cousin relationship to Mr William Shakespeare, (I thought everyone knew by now!) they thought that could be a good selling point for my books and should appear on the dust cover, and also wondered about using it for a school's promotion!! (hahaha) It did make me think though- just how much I love writing, so as soon as I got home I attached myself to the PC and set down a few more thousand words. In my daydreams I am already a wildly successful author, and I guess that's the biggest career choice for me!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Well I guess today's title for the blog says it all! So I'll shut up then- yeah and you all know that'll be the day.

I've been a little (read 'a hell of a lot' for that) uncommunicative of late as I've been busy concentrating on excruciating pain- there I've said it. Short of detailing everything just to say I have had, and still have sciatica. But I'll not moan about it (unless you ask). It's being alleviated now by a heat pad for which I am more than grateful. I thought I had a high pain threshold but by golly this one sucker punched me for sure. But enough of my back - I'm back.

Yesterday for the first time in over a week I took the dogs for their morning walk- lucky we have a garden or the flat could have got a bit messy!!  I enjoyed a gentle walk round the fields and was amazed and delighted to find spring blossoming out all over the place.

I'm not sure what these flowers are, but they remind me of my nan's favourites 'cowslips'.

Whilst out I decided to hug, well touch up more than hug, a tree- and was amazed by the jolt of energy I received from it. It was amazing and so so pleasant. I used to 'chat' to this tree quite regularly, but we kinda fell out of conversation- having renewed our acquaintance I'll be keeping well in touch- it really was/is good for me. 

I'm hoping our back garden will be blooming well soon too -I bought 101 bulbs some time back and planted them so we're waiting expectantly. There area few sprouts peeking out of the ground and as soon as there's anything to report pics will be on here. Tony's been busy out there re-varnishing the table and chairs etc -and a blooming good job he's done too. 

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Welcome Liliana....

Yesterday at 11.40 Sue gave birth to Liliana Ivy - 3.2kgs.  Being in a meeting at school meant that we didn't get the message until later on,. Happy to report the whole Jimenez family are doing well. They will be in hospital for a few days though as Liliana wouldn't turn round (breach) so Sue had to have a cesarean, and thus has to wait until everything is healed a bit before they'll let her home. As further updates come in I will keep you all posted , as proud Daddy Jordi is happy to keep us all informed -Sue would just like to get home and join Tony for a burger in Burger King- The food at the hospital being of the usual standard one comes to expect.

And here's a pic Jordi sent us yesterday:

Aside from that there is very little to report from Sunny Spain at the moment. Today was my weekend to work- classes as enjoyable as ever. This evening we are planning a romantic dinner in- well we'll have dinner at home, and the rest of the weekend we'll see how we go on.

Fortunately my sciatica seems under better control, thanks to Liam's little muscle relaxant pills and the pain is negligible, although at night it still kicks in on ad off- perhaps it's time for a new mattress- I shall check out the Internet for something.....

Thursday, 1 March 2012

UPs and DOWNs

An interesting couple of days here at Casa TulStig!

Today was the twins birthday - my boys are six years old now!! That's them on the right (with Tommy on the left) so they had tuna for breakfast, chicken for lunch and by teatime none of them were hungry so they've spent the evening lolling around the house- Yup they are spoilt. BTW the tuna and chicken went to all the animals- Tone and I had soup for lunch and veggie burgers with all the trimmings for dinner

Yesterday during the early hours the bar next door was ram-raided. All very odd. We heard a big bang and thought nothing more of it, then our bedroom was lit up by blue lights -The local police had arrived. Just how a car could ram-raid the bar is incredible- the road is so narrow, the bar had heavy flower pots in front of it and it's hardly a fort Knox full of dosh.

Today I've spent a lot of time with Sue. we went shopping and had a coffee, then this evening I picked up her and Jordi to take them to the hospital in readiness for their baby daughter to make her appearance- all very exciting. She's due to pop out tomorrow- I await a text!!

On top of that the Camino Primitivo plans are all up in the air. Nick might not be able to make it, well it's looking less and less likely cos of thing occurring in his life, and maybe Janey will cos of changes in hers. I'm still going, but at the moment the question is will I go alone, with Janey, or with Nick, or even with Nick and Janey.... watch this space!!

Oh and my back/leg  -sciatica. At last I've had a good night's sleep, and even woke up pain free for the first time in about a month. Yesterday Liam gave me a muscle relaxant to take before bedtime. I did and slept well. Today the pain has been minimal. I shall be taking another tonight and hopefully the pain will be on its way for good.

So there you go that's the good and not so good news from Casa TulStig -on balance at least for us things are good.