Thursday, 28 February 2013

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday I had a great day out shopping with Sue and Lilly - so it was only supermarket shopping, but we enjoyed ourselves, bagged some bargains and of course the essential items from the supermarkets we visited. We shared some laughs and of course caught up on each other's news -the most important being that Lilly will be a year old on Saturday and Sue is taking up the challenge of baking a birthday cake- banana and blueberry -I hope she saves me a slice!

Today has been beautifully wet - rain has lashed down for most of the day soaking the garden, which will mean that the bulbs and plants that are keen to stick their heads above ground will be encouraged to grow and shoot up soon. Aside from that we've had a good day - I've been writing (surprise, surprise!) and wondering what to read next. There are several unread books on the bookshelf but none that really appeal at the moment- any suggestions?

Tomorrow is a big day at Casa TulStig - it will be the twins' seventh birthday. The usual question of where has the time gone is on our lips. So tomorrow they will start with the usual tuna breakfast and a chicken lunch. No doubt there will be plenty of cuddles if they are in a cuddly mood. We are looking forward to a lovely day.  May I say it again Int life grand!!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Writing passionately

Have I mentioned how much I love writing? I have well here I go again. My new blog, WRITEY HO,  which I hope you've been visiting, at least occasionally, is working wonders for keeping my mind actively creative, or is that creatively active? I am writing daily according to the prompts for a photographic challenge (Fatmumslim) that you may remember I was also doing some time back. Happily my mind is swinging wildly around all manner of styles, or genres as I come up with something to write to fit the challenge.

Today's writing - QUIET -  is linked closely to the new children's book that is awaiting publishing, and may be included in any sequel as I write... go take a look, oh and if you do I'd love a comment to keep my enthusiasm up!

At the moment I'm back at 'TulStig coms central' to write, but am hoping that the weather will soon start to warm up and I can return to my favourite writing spot in the garden: .......

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Another weekend rushes by.

Well there goes another weekend. Doesn't time fly when you're being lazy?!

Yesterday I had classes until 2.00pm. It was difficult to get up and get out there, but I enjoyed the classes once I got started.  The rest of the day went by in a blur and in no time it was Sunday.

This morning we had no internet connection, which according to the company (Orange) would have been back on at 1.00pm - but oh no -it didn't come on until much later.  Still it did mean I took it easy instead of spending the morning sitting at the PC.

This afternoon we met Denise, Paolo and Uncle Mario for a drink- I stuck to the mint tea, knowing it wouldn't upset my tummy. It was great to see everyone but a bit wearing. Oh how I want to be back to fighting form.

Good News - I have a new prospective illustrator. Dear Andrea has a friend that studied art and is willing to give it a go. She has the details I'm just waiting to see what she comes up with now... fingers crossed it's fourth time lucky. If not Andrea promises me she has a back up - her nephew has also studied art and is keen to give it a go if number four doesn't work out. I've still got my fingers crossed for an Easter release.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Friends above all..

Over the past days my belief in my friends has been confirmed and boosted no end.
I am a do-er and when I can't be doing I get frustrated (normally). The past couple of weeks I have been unable to do, but have felt less frustrated and less down than I usually get in such situations.
Having such caring friends around has been the reason for this, whether they be here on the doorstep or thousands of miles way on the other side of the world.

To start with I am thankful for all the wonderful friends I have met through the internet who live on the  other side of the world. Over the last few days I have received no fewer than eleven get well cards from Australia. Isn't it wonderful to know that people so far away care for my health and me. Thank you all.

 Just a few of the wonderful cards I have received.

From the UK  I've also had a wealth of well-wishes, including e-mails and messages, a card from my wonderful friend Pauline, and an offer from my incredible sister in law to pop over for a few days and look after us. and that's not mentioning all the concerned e-mails and whatsapp messages I have had.Thank you to everyone who has been in contact in whatever form

Then there are the wonderful people nearby -my ex-pat friends. Julie has popped in most days to take Cuddy for a walk and to deliver other essentials. Sue dropped round a bag of goodies, and now I'm back at school Liam and June are taking turns in giving me a lift home. The concern expressed by both other teachers and students alike has been more than heart-warming. Thanks to you all.

And Finally, the people in our Barrio have been just as concerned, asking after me each time Tony has gone out with Xali, or for a quick and crafty drink to avoid my malaise. On my first venture out to the car the other day I was swamped by several of the neighbours checking on my progress and telling me to take it poc-a-poc. Thanks to them all too.

Well I think all the above shows just how lucky I am, surrounded by such a wonderful tribe. I am grateful to each and every one of you for being there in whatever way and for helping to keep up my spirits.
Love you all!!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

One step...

One step forward, one back ... but hey ho progress will be made, and life is generally on the up still.

One step back:
It looks like I'm searching for a new illustrator for 'The Search for the Magic Key'. I thought I was sorted but have just heard from my most recent illustrator that she cannot commit to any time frame, and I really want a deadline as close to Easter as possible.  It's a real shame as I liked the work she had shared. So I'm back at square one- If anyone knows of somebody who might like to collaborate with a few drawings please let me know. :-)

One step forward:
MY health is improving day by day, and with a bit of luck by the weekend I may well be back to eating normally.  Although a day's work takes it out of me I am feeling much improved and less breathless.

Another step forward.
More royalties in from and 'La Magia' is on General Sale. I am now thinking about my next Camino book about the Camino Primitivo. Something's holding me back from starting writing and I can't quite put my finger on it. So I have today made myself a promise to start writing before the end of the month... watch this space!!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Indulging my passion...

Over the past few days I have been lucky enough to indulge my passion for reading, along with my passion for writing which can you check out over at my other blog WRITEY-HO.

IN the past week I've read two books cover to cover, two books of such diverse styles.

The first book I devoured was  -  State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. The book is a bout a scientist's search for the perfect drug in the Amazon jungle. She is focused to the point of ignoring her funders, who send two people off to investigate what is going on in the jungle.  It is beautifully written with a great plot that kept me captivated.

My second book of the last ten days was 'The Power of Six' by Pittacus Lore -clearly a pen-name. This is a sci-fi adventure, of aliens living among us, which I enjoyed although I felt it was aimed more at a younger reader. I did ant to finish the book and find out what happened, but don't think I'll follow it up with the rest of the series.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Spring back

This afternoon I will be back at the chalk face teaching the natives interesting facts about my language and how to speak it. I have spent most of the day preparing lessons for the week, or simply getting my head round a few ideas for things to teach.

This morning  I walked the dogs, although not their full run, but enough for both them and me after a couple of weeks of stagnation. They came home happy and I came home happy and nacked. It was lovely to see the trees in the fields with their early covering of pink and white blossoms. Of course these are the almond trees, always the first to signal the start of Spring.

It doesn't feel like the best day to get back to work being dismal and grey, but I guess it's  as good a day as any. Looking out the window now it looks like we may have a storm coming, which would be great, but I'm sure it will pass over and leave the garden as parched as ever. However dry the garden is it's starting to give up its spring surprises as the bulbs are sending verdant sprouts out of the soil, and the flowering plants like the camellia are energetically budding with teases of pink. It really looks like spring is on its way.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Back in the kitchen

Today I have felt much more like my old self.

A trip to the shops in Sitges to stock up a little- the cupboard have been ransacked a little over the last couple of weeks - left me a little depleted of energy, but after a cuppa and rest I was back at it.

This evening I was back in the kitchen with  vengeance. Dinner this evening was one of our favourite variation son a theme. Peas, Leek and courgette with rice and gravy. Basic but delicious even if I say so myself.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Camino Planning

Despite being confined to base for the past couple of weeks I have spent a bit of time planning and booking up for Camino 2013.

This year thee  are three of us hitting the trail. Janey, Kerri adn me, and we will be walking the Camino Ingles, followed by the Camino to Finisterre.

So here’s our schedule…

Tues 18 June             Kerri & Jane fly Gatwick to Barcelona 
Weds 19 June           we all fly to A’Coruña. 12.30 – 14.10  - Then Bus to Ferrol
Thurs 20 June          Walking starts   Ferrol – Pontedeume                     25kms
Fri 21 June                                       Pontedeume – Betanos                   20kms
Sat 22 June                                      Betanos – Hospital de Bruma         29kms
Sun 23 June                                      Hospital – Sigueiero                     24kms
Mon 24 June                                     Sigueiero – Santiago                     16kms    

Tues 25 June            Part Two         SdC – Negreira                        21kms
Weds 26 June                                 Negreira – Olveiroa                 27kms
Thurs 27 June                                 Olveiroa – Muxia                     21kms            
Fri 28 June                                    Muxia – Finisterra                    16kms            
Sat 29 June              Bus back to Santiago at our leisure
Sun 30 June              Day in SdC
Mon 01 July               Fly from SdC to BCN 13.50 – 15.25  

As soon as I feel well enough I will start walking again to build up my muscles, stamina and strength... I have the shoes I can do it...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Love is...

... often-times over-analysed.

Another day spent in the company of my significant other, and despite my not being 100% we are enjoying the time together.  We have even spent time talking and dare I say it listening to each other.

We fit each other so perfectly that it's scary sometimes. We know each other inside out, yet still have pockets of surprises hidden from each other. I can finish his sentences as he can mine, yet I cannot remember his favourite colour.  I sense his feelings before he even says anything, and accept his foibles.

What is love? Hmmm ... it's being, enjoying, knowing and accepting and so much more. It has a new meaning every day, yet has a lasting one too. I'm not sure I'll ever get a handle on it completely, but I do know I love him wholeheartedly with all my being!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Summer planning...

It's usually much later in the year, whilst walking the Camino, that I drop back down to my fighting weight. Over the past week, however, I have lost over 6kilos (just under 14 lbs), simply by almost giving up food. Due to the recent stomach viral infection I contracted I have been unable to eat normally and have been following a super-bland diet, with minimal portions. I am now ready to fit into my summer wardrobe again.

Thinking about summer wardrobe we have been pre-planning our next cruise. Although it was nice to spend time in Venice last year the flight was a nause with me having to lug cases all over the place. With this in mind we have decided to leave out of Barcelona port this year -so much easier. We've been looking a various options and it looks like we could be aboard the Costa Favolosa once again. WE both fancy a day in Malta (Valetta) and this seems to be the only cruise line and the Favolosa its only cruise ship that stops off there. Most of the other ports of call are ones we have already visited, but as we only got a short time in each we might enjoy another visit to some of them.  Anyway we are thinking of going mid-September again when the prices appear to be even cheaper than last year (under 700 quid each!). Just have to check with Janey about babysitting possibilities.Anyone fancy joining us for a week of relaxing on the Med?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


It seems I've missed a few things over the past week or so.. one of those being Cuddy's birthday.
Normally for the animals birthday's we get a chicken or special piece of meat - just for them of course, but having been confined to barracks she has missed out this time. However I am sure she has been happy to have me about 24/7. once I am back to full strength I'm sure I'll spoil her a little...
I've also missed writing over the last few days, but have had ideas buzzing round in my head like billy-o. I have today done something abut that and set up a new blog specifically for my forays into the writing world.  If you're interested in my little stories take a look over at Writey -Ho! on wordpress - It will be a writing-dedicated site, whilst this blog will be my usual ramblings.
If you're following me here, perhaps you'd like to follow me there, and PLEASE do comment -I relish feedback on my writings, and your encouragement makes me feel great....

Monday, 11 February 2013

Bouncing back... slowly

It's now a week since I was rushed off to hospital to be diagnosed with a couple of nasty viral infections and a doe of flu to maintain balance. I shall not dwell on the ins and outs of my illness, except to say I have been laid lower than I have been in years, but am now on the way back up.

Murphy's law took hold at the end of the month when I promised myself to upload a daily blog entry. So much for that. I think I've posted once this month.

I am not back to full strength but have a full head of things to write.  Watch out for the verbal flow when I do get back on-line in earnest!! 

For now I am heading back to my cosy sofa, but beware I shall soon be back with daily ramblings....

And just a quick but huge thank you to the incredible Julie for being there (as always) - R2 had to go to the vets today and Julie was our saviour- there would have been no way for me to get him there, and Tony was unable to take the young man on his own. She's even been kind enough to take Cuddy for regular walkies, which is great as her energy (Cuddy's not Julie's) has been building up and she has been driving the cats mad.

And whilst 'thanking' -I'd also like to say thank you to the two lovely ladies from Australia (Michelle and Andrea) who sent me cards last week which arrived today to raise my spirits.

Friday, 1 February 2013

February ONE - Spring??

This month I am taking the photo challenge that I've mentioned on this blog a step further and turning it into a writing challenge too. I'm hoping to satisfy the photo challenge in the usual way, but then add a short story to whatever picture I decide on. Today's is 'Fork' and is already uploaded      If I get into this I may even start a side-blog to host my stories and pictures. OR maybe host them on my HoT website.  I'd love to hear what you think of the stories and pics - a short comment would be much appreciated!!

In the meantime here  in VnG it feels like Spring is springing up. Yesterday Tony treated all the garden furniture with a teak coating and even cleaned all the windows. In the fields the trees are starting to bloom and in the garden the bulbs are poking their heads above the soil. Whether they make it fully will depend on the cats- fingers crossed they decided not to dig them up this year?! Last night it was so warm  that the cats didn't even join us on the be, but stayed in the living room cuddled up on the sofa, although they had commandeered the bed all afternoon for a mammoth siesta. 


We'd already been walking for hours and there was no sign of civilisation, or so it would seem. We had been alone on the trail for approximately five hours now and the day was warming up. I was ready to take a break but here we were  at another fork in the road. At the last three forks we'd chosen the left hand path, and I was sure we had come full circle to where we were now. I could almost swear that we had been at this very same place just a couple of hours back.
"If we keep taking the left hand forks we'll eventually come back round on ourselves," I suggested. Jake was having none of it.
"If we keep heading left we will eventually end up in the next town which we were originally heading for he said.
"But we're not on any old path I'm sure," I asserted once again.
"Not that again." Jake sighed. "What's with you and this strange energy vibe you've had going for the last few miles?"
"I just have the strangest of feelings that we're on a fools errand and that we have been going in circles for like forever, but if you're so sure let's take the left hand fork again."
I was trying to keep my spirits up, but for some time now I had the strangest of feelings. The forest seemed to be taking on a life of its own, and I had a strange sense that we were being followed. Nevertheless I trudged on, whistling gently to try and banish the stranger thoughts from my head.
Within another half hour we were at yet another fork, and for sure I knew we had been here before.
"We've definitely been here before, Jake," I said. "Look. Those sticks lying there - that's just how I placed them the last time we passed this way."
"I hate to admit it, but I think you're right... wait a minute I can here someone coming, perhaps they'll know which way to go."
We stood back from the path a little to await whoever it was that was coming up behind us.
As the two men got closer I was sure I recognised them. As they came to within easy I sight I knew I recognised them. The one on the right was wearing fawn shorts and a striped blue t-shirt, and was carrying a pair of wooden poles, just like me. The one on the left was shorter with identical clothes to what Jake was wearing. I was dumbfounded the couple approaching us were us. It was clear they could neither see nor hear us, but we could hear and see them very clearly as they discussed which way to go...
"If we keep taking the left hand forks we'll eventually come back round on ourselves," the other me suggested. The other Jake looked sceptical.
"If we keep heading left we will eventually end up in the next town which we were originally heading for he said.
"But we're not on any old path I'm sure," the other me said.
"Not that again."  The other Jake sighed. "What's with you and this strange energy vibe you've had going for the last few miles?"
"I just have the strangest of feelings that we're on a fools errand and that we have been going in circles for like forever, but if you're so sure let's take the left hand fork again...."