Monday, 31 December 2012

Another New Year.

Just a couple of hours to go. 2012 is nearly over, and what a great year it's been, one of many.

In a couple of hours it will be 2013. I'm sure it'll be another good one with loads of fun, and maybe a few challenges, but I'm ready for it. I am grateful to have made it to another and look forward to whatever it may bring.

I wish you all a wonderful year with incredible times. May it be everything you wish for and everything you need.

Sunday, 30 December 2012


Been out and about a bit today...

I started by meeting my new chum, John - whom I met through NaNoWriMo, for a coffee on the seafront. We had a good old chin-wag.

From there I drove round to St Pere de Ribes to feed Loli, Victoria's cat, as she's away visiting her family down south.  Loli is lovely and sat on my lap for almost the whole hour that I was there.

I've spent the afternoon doing bits and bobs, as well as reading - I started a new book a couple of days ago - Home to Barcelona: A foreigner's story, by Richard Manchester Set in Barcelona it's about an American that has settled there and is, at the part that I'm reading, working as an English teacher.

Doesn't really sound like much, but it's filled my day.

And for today's photo I'm adding perhaps my favourite from one Christmas day- Cuddy thrilled with her present.  Good grief how much do I love that dog?!?!?

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Still ...

... going on about food.

Christmas Day we had a right old feast - starter of a TulStig Medley of guacamole, pate and coleslaw. Main course of 14 veggies plus stuffing balls and Yorkshire puddings with lashings of onion and red wine gravy. Dessert of orange and chocolate trifle and late Chocolate bombe.

Boxing Day we had the same veggies again but casseroled in the oven, more trifle and mince pies for pud.

27th we took advantage of the voucher that the other Supernova teachers gave me for my birthday and lunched out at Gilda's. 3 course feasting again.

28th had some of said teachers round for late lunch - Veggie curry, Leek and espigalls in cheese sauce, Cheese and onion Quiche and a variety of other dishes on the buffet. Luckily I wanted everyone to bring Tupperware so most of it left with our guests.

Today. Lentil soup for lunch, remaining curry for dinner... 

If I haven't put on a few pound over this festive season I will be amazed.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Reviving Passion...

Needless to say we've had a great Christmas- a techno free one too -The PC laid dormant all day yesterday.

Friends, food and fun were the orders of the day. And today a bit of relaxing, but still plenty of food and friends through the ether (whatsapp, facebook etc etc). Technology was on the cards today. So much so that in the last couple of hours I've even heard from a first cousin who I've not seen or heard from for maybe 25-30 years - I really can't remember when we last saw each other. We're just starting to catch up now!

I've also been thinking of one of my passions over the last couple of days.... the Camino.... The bubbling in my blood has begun again. Last week I bought my new trainers - a December tradition now (more or less), so that they will be broken in ready for June. The style are exactly the same- why change something that ain't broken? - can you tell which are the new ones?

Next year I plan to do the Camino Ingles- from Ferrol to Santiago, then go on to Finisterre and Muxia. Dates and timings not really decided yet. I know that some readers of this page indicated a thought about joining me. If you are keen and have any particular dates that wouldn't suit around the end of June, beginning of July let me know before it's too late!

Just writing those few words about something that is ingrained in me know has stirred up feelings of excitement and nervousness for the walk, and it's not just a head thing I can actually feel tingling in my arms and legs for it all. How rare and exciting and how lucky am I?! ... 

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Sunday

After I'd walked the dogs, and fed everyone, and Tony had been round the corner for his morning drinkie we set out for a local shopping centre. We wanted to get there early-ish so as to miss any crowds.

Anec Blue (The Blue duck) shopping centre in Caseldelfells (I have no idea why it's called that?? either!) didn't have everything we wanted so we headed on to Gavá (Olga's home town) and shopped some more, finding most of what we wanted/needed.

Happily neither shopping centre was too busy and we had a really nice time shopping together- Now this doesn't happen too often. Tony doesn't usually join my on shopping trips and when he does we tend to have a word or two. This time none of that- clearly 'tis the season to be jolly.

So tomorrow we have to take R2 back to the vets for a booster antibiotics shot, then Tone is shopping down town while I hit the supermarket for the final purchases. Then we shall hunker down and start the preparations in earnest. So far we have a selection of 8 vegetables, plus stuffing and Yorkshire puds, plus all the usual trimmings and peripheries.

This evening we have been watching 'Morecombe and Wise' and the 'Victoria Wood' - oh such memories. 
Christmas is well under way in the TulStig household, and I can feel it in my water - it's going to be a great one!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Let the fun begin

Well the festivities have well and truly begun.

Thursday evening we had our Christmas bash from the school. A few glasses of the red stuff and a a few tapas. Unfortunately something disagreed with me -I'm sure  I tasted fish in the salad, and that always makes me hurl! Otherwise it was a good evening.

Friday was a full day with far too many classes for the last day of term, but they all went well and by 10.00pm I was on holiday. So Andy & I stopped for a beer before returning to our homes and spouses.

Today we've been shopping in the market for veggies for Christmas day, went our own ways for a bit of Christmas shopping and then met up for a coffee. This lunchtime we went to Julie's for a celebratory lunch, which was delicious. She'd even made Egg Nog. We are now watching a mash up of Christmas programmes, and the final of 'Strictly come dancing'. All very relaxing. And the sunset from Julie's balcony was stunning:

Tomorrow we're off to the Anec Blau shopping centre for a bit of festive shopping and lunch... holidays are under way and we're making the most of them.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Two days to go

..till the end of term, or even time!

Well that's that then.

For some time now I've been biting my tongue, and finally I've shared. I feel better for it, but am wondering what happens now- Oh well -In two days time it is the 21.12 -The Mayans predicted some kind of sea-change!

Busy day running round, especially when I was out in the wilds of Catalonia and realised that the tank was nearly empty. No matter I got back to Sabeco for petrol - all okay- someone's always watching over me.

Tomorrow I have another 'last-before-Christmas-class' and they all decided they would like the lesson in a bar- OK by me, so we're having a drink while they practise their English. After that we've got our Teacher's Christmas party in a bar on the Rambla -watch out for those candid photos on Facebook and Picasa Friday.

Friday is the final day for final classes before Christmas, of course Mayan predictions being for change and not apocalypse.  Then that'll be me done until 7th February. A little time for some R&R and catching up on the things that I've let slide a bit recently, and of course a quick trip to the UK.

For now I'm off to my bed... but just before I retire here's a pic of one of the shop-fronts in VnG -Cute Santas!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

He's back...

I picked up Tony at the airport this morning - I enjoyed myself while he was away, but it's nice to have him home. He's come home bearing gifts and cards. My most favourite is a swede - yummy for Christmas lunch, and so appropriate for such a foodie as me.

I have realised over the past few days that I have a very close relationship with food. I love it. I love preparing it. I love cooking it. I love sharing it. I love eating it. I just bloody love it... I love healthy food, and perhaps too often food that isn't that healthy or good for me,, but all in all I have a great relationship with it, even though it rates high up on my priority list!

Christmas English style has also hit VnG big time as Lidl  are now selling mince pies, and from Thursday they are going to be selling Christmas pudding... There we are back to food... so on another subject....

This week had been a good one for 'The Magic of the Camino'. Sales continue to creep up on the Lulu page. I've sold 3 more signed copies today, with three more orders for the same (one from Canada). The Canadian request also informed me that a copy was on sale on Amazon.Ca for nearly double it's normal price. I e-mailed the guy who was selling it and he's taken it off- cheeky! Then I found an advert on a charity site that I regularly visit- what a surprise that was:

Sunday, 16 December 2012

It's beginning...

... to feel a lot like Christmas...

This weekend I've been doing things all christmassy...

But before that I must just share my most exciting news- The translation (to Spanish) of the magic of the Camino is finished... Victoria e-mailed me to let me know it's all done. Now it's up to me to format everything and prepare it ready for publishing... watch this space for more news... HUGE THANKS to Victoria!!

SO Christmas -

On Saturday I went up to Al Campo in St Boi to do a bit of Christmas shopping, after having dropped off a cake for Andy's and Sue's birthday, at school.

After a bit of shopping I made my way over to Deirdre's in Casteldelfells for a festive carol concert and mince pie extravaganza. Even Gizmo was dressed up for the occasion and happy enough to pose in front of the tree in his finery.

Then today I met Sue and Jordi(and Lili) in the Town square for a bit of Ice-skating. The first time in over 30 years, and the last time wasn't even on real ice. I was surprised to find that they did actually have boots in my size. TO start with I was really nervous and held onto the side almost all the way round as kids whizzed past without a care in the world.  A cute young man did ask if I needed any help, and I foolishly said I was fine - flirting on ice is far more difficult than on dry land!

After a few circuits around the ice we met up with John and while Sue and Jordi went home for Lili's lunch time John and I went off to Lizeran for a bottle of cider and a few tapas. 

I have also spoken to Tony this evening who has had a nice Christmas lunch out with the family. Tomorrow he leaves for a hotel near the airport in Leeds and as it seems everyone is busy his mum is paying for him to take a taxi from hers to there.  Travel in luxury, at least as far as the airport... then on Tuesday he'll be flying with Ryan Air... hmmm, no comment!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Day two - home alone...

A fairly busy day to report her at TulStig Towers, despite the old man being in Blighty.

First thing was the usual dog walk, although we changed the route slightly today- madness I know, but there you go. Spontaneous little me!

I then threw together a banana, apple and raisin cake which I shall deliver to school tomorrow for Andy and Sue's birthdays which are both this weekend. At the same time (well more or less) I made some vegetarian sausage rolls to take to the Carol Party that I am going to tomorrow afternoon.  With a little bit of cleaning and tidying that was my morning, pretty much. Oh and had a chat with Janey, while the cake was in the oven, about my trip to the UK in January. We have decided to have a little  get together on the Saturday at theirs -A Three Kings' Party!

After a light lunch of cheese rolls I took a customary Friday siesta, only to be woken halfway through by the phone, which I studiously ignored.

On waking I prepared lessons for this evenings classes then dutifully wound my way to school to teach for a few hours. Whilst preparing said classes I was Whatsapping with Andrea in England, and e-mailing Nick, also in England.  Technological issues sorted (well as far as I can tell).

Arriving home this evening I cooked up a spaghetti delight for my dinner, whilst chatting with hubby, who called from Withernsea.

I've just enjoyed a relaxing couple of hours with the animals eating my dinner, imbibing of a can of beer and reading in the light of the Christmas tree lights. Ah such pleasure...

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Alone again...

... naturally. I'll name that song in (go on then -song artist and year!)

Well at Casa TulStig one is never alone with six sets of four-paws running around. I really couldn't imagine our home without a few of the furry creatures that share our world in it to cause some kind of chaos.

This week R2 was a bit unwell. Well to be precise he was unwell at the weekend. Some time back he had bladder crystals which blocked his urethra- very serious. It was touch and go for a while- the worry was that the blockage had back-fed into his kidneys. He had to be catheter'ed and have a load of drugs and fortunately was okay. Little devil pulled the catheter out himself- that must have stung (how many of you winced then?). Anyway this time despite my panic he only (only I say) had a urinary tract infection, and after a couple of shots is on the mend and running round like the others. He's been put on a special diet which is supposed to stop this happening again, but that's no problem, apart from the other cats all enjoying it too.

Anyway that was just an aside -I am sort of alone as Tone went off to Yorkshire this morning, well almost this morning. His flight was delayed somewhat by freezing fog in Bradford, but he's just called to say he's arrived safe and sound.  English bloody weather!!

So whilst I'm on my own I tend to not cook well for myself- Huh - says who. This evening on arriving in from work I threw together and ate a spinach pizza, well most of it anyway:

This evening I've had a wealth of technology issues that I shall overcome, but for now am off to my bed, where two sleepy dogs are waiting.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

12.12.12 and all that

So that was 12.12.12 - what an amazing day  - My world changed unbelievably- For a start I'm not using sarcasm any more.... Tee, Hee!!!

Sorry for the tease. Nothing changed here,a s far as I could see. Walking, Working, Washing, W... and so on.

Tomorrow Tone's off to the UK for the weekend. Not an easy trip, especially for him with his walking issues.  As I've an early morning class Julie is going to pick him up and drop him at the airport, then when he gets to Leeds/Bradford Lynne is picking him up for onward journey to his mum's in Withernsea. Aren't we lucky to have such kind friends.

So my weekend here will be free and easy... I've a pile of washing to do, the flat needs a good cleaning too, there'll also be a bit of shopping, and of course Deirdre's Christmas carol and Mince pie celebration on Saturday. I'll squeeze in a bit of work too... and who knows I may even get a bit of 'Key' edited and proofed.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

I'm back...

I've been away.... Yes but I'm back now - a cheeky steal from which movie? answers in comments PLEASE!!

MY last post on here was few days ago, but he I am ready to write again. I0'm not sure what happened there, but after finishing the NaNoWriMo challenge in November I kinda lost the ganas as we say here (inclination is probably the best translation). IT wasn't that I was anti-writing it was just that it really wasn't in my head. Until just the other day when one of the children in my novel piped up with a starting place for the next book. MY characters are brought to life and rule me!

THe last week or so was tremendous.

First of all we had Sussi staying for afew days so were out and about entertaining, and the car had to go into the garage following the bump it had a little while back.

This last weekend was a long (holiday -  puente) weekend. Thursday to Sunday no work.

Thursday we put up the decorations for Christmas - whilst sipping sherry and eating home-made sausage rolls and mince pies.

Friday - My big day (number 52) we had a day out with friends down the coast in Salou. A walk along the coast followed by a traditional Christmas lunch - fun, friends, food and a drink or two- a prefect birthday all in all.

Saturday - now where did that go?

Sunday. I went to  Christmas market with June and bought a few goodies. June is going to find out about the possibility of me having a stall there next year for my fabulous cakes, pickles etc etc.

Monday back at work was a bit of a shock, but with just two weeks to go till Christmas it really is all downhill from here.

Writing -
  • I've been going through the Spanish Edition of the Magic today- Victoria has done a wonderful job, and just has the final chapter to translate. Then it's down to me to format everything and get the publishing under-way. With a bit of luck it'll be on sale in the New Year. Alan is on hand ready for the cover.
  • The Search for the Magic Key is sitting on my desk waiting edit. I think I shall tackle the first one during the Christmas Holidays.  Illustrations are being sourced, and a sequel is already banging around with an energy of its own. Don't worry Janey I shall have a copy for you as soon as humanly possible.
  • MOre royalties popped into my paypal account this week. I am so grateful to everyone who has purchased a copy of one or more of my books, and am thrilled they are still selling worldwide -the Magic of the Camino primarily.

So that's just about where I am at the moment. AS the year comes to an end, just ater my personal year came to an end I am also reassessing and re-evaluating things - but more of that later. For now I've rambled enough....

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

December photo Challenge 3&4

Day Three: Something I held.  Gosh this could have quite easily have gone such a different way, but I'll just leave that to your imagination! So here are my sticks from Camino Three - on the Primitivo... I held them and they held me up!

Day Four Black and White - A little too obvious maybe...  Vinnie

Coming soon ..... Day five ....
December is bundling along very nicely here in VnG. The cold snap has been a bit of a shock to us humanoids, but the dogs are loving it.  Xali particularly is enjoying running in the field of a cold morning.

This week we have Sussi staying with us - remember her? The crazy Finn from Camino number one! Last night we were out at Gilda's (Yes gain -we do love that place- staff excellent, food excellent, wine excellent and ambiance just about excellent too. Even the price is amazingly excellent at just 12.50 € a head. We have been a bit limited in our activities what with the car being in the garage, but we've been out and about. Yesterday afternoon we even walked up to Decathlon with Sue for a little bit of shopping.

This morning, so I could plan lessons for this evening and catch up on a few bits and bobs Tony and Sussi took themselves off into town on the bus. Tony arrived back laden with a bag which he kept secret - is it Christmas goodies, or something special for Friday I wonder?!?

Yesterday I finished reading Mitch Albom's latest book -The Timekeeper, having started it just under 24 hours earlier. It is amazing. I loved it.  An interesting tale with messages interwoven, as always, and enough pathos to bring a tear to my eye. I thoroughly recommend adding this to your Santa list.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The first Sunday in December...

Normally the first Sunday of the month would see us putting up our Christmas Decorations. Not so this year. Far too much going on today.
This morning I shared a small part of a stall with Sue and Jordi at the second hand market -yes this hoarder is still clearing the clutter, and it made me a few Euros at the same time. One man's garbage is another man's treasure. Whilst on the stall I also had two enquiries about my books- follow up should achieve more sales, and an enquiry about Reiki classes.
Immediately after the market Tony and I went to a wine tasting just down the road. It was also an oil and Espigall tasting.  Espigall is a locally grown green (Cabbage family) veg that we love, an is peculiar to this region and this season. Unfortunately the tasting was very limited, with just one Espigall dish. I was hoping for a few recipe suggestions. Frankly my achievements with this veg already outstripped what I saw today (big head did someone say?)

We stayed for a short while then returned home.  I needed to catch up with the Newsletter, which I am happy to say is now winging its way around the world via e-mail.
In a short while we are heading out to the airport to pick up Sussi (remember Camino 2010- one of the Famous five) and then we will be heading straight off for dinner.
December is always a busy month in TulStig towers, and this year is going to be no different.

And this month I am back into the Fatmumslim photo challenge:

Day ONE - 8'clock - Walking with my kids- Cuddy so loves a puddle...