Saturday, 28 June 2014

Going away

For the next few days I will be 'out of the office' -if I haven't mentioned it before I am off on another Camino. 

So if you're interested in following what I'm up to for the next week or so pop on over to 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Kindness abounds

Aren't people kind?!

Selling our flat in London is proving to be as stressful as we thought it would be, but people are rallying round to help out where and when they can. If you read yesterday's post you'll know that i am kinda prone to worry. 

First of all our solicitor asked for proof of identification.  We needed to get copies of our passports certified by a lawyer. Ho hum, I thought (Stress level up a point) how to do this is Spain, as any documentation would be all in Spanish (of course).  I then remembered that one of our co-allotment friends is a Scottish Lawyer. I sent her a message asking if she could oblige, at normal rates of course. She has said of course, and at no charge as a Horta buddy (Horta is Catalan for allotment).

Then a few minutes ago I received an email from our tenant asking if I would like him to leave the phone and internet connected until after my visit, again no charge. He has been a model tenant, and good friend now, and is happy to help out even though we are kicking him out. 

And after my invitation for anyone around to drop in on the Saturday I am in London for a farewell to London party I have had many offers of help with the clearing, including an offer to bring round lunch one of the day I am there and another offer of picking me up and dropping me off around town as I need it. 

I am truly lucky to have such kind and thoughtful friends.  Thank you to you all. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Que Sera sera ....

Today I have mostly been worrying (see my Camino Blog for more details) - I know it does no good, but it's the way I'm built. 

I know worrying serves no purpose and just takes time from the present, and I am constantly trying to modify this useless behaviour, but more often than not I slip back into 'worry mode'. 

I have a mantra which usually helps - 'What will be will be' - I know a bit 'Doris Day', but there's nothing wrong with that. Today that mantra has been repeated over and over, and I am now in a place where I can relax. Stroking Cuddy and the cats always helps too.

I think my worrying in general comes from a place of frustration, a place where I cannot control or even have any effect on what's going on. I am not a complete control freak, but really dislike it when something may happen that I cannot influence to the better. But for now I am giving it over to the universe to manage for me. after all 'What will be will be'!! 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Good Life

This morning I spent over three hours digging, weeding and generally busying around, up the allotment. 

Whether it's the hard work of digging, and believe me it's tough as the soil is so dry and hard  in most parts, whether it's being in the peace and quiet of the allotment, or whether it's seeing things growing and hearing the bees and insects buzzing around on their daily chores, but I always feel buoyed up. This morning I was joined by Paul, Jen and the lads for while, as we all mucked in. 

Coming home I raided our tomato plants for a nutritious lunch. I also grabbed some of the basil that we've growing by the back door, and a couple of onions recently plundered from the allotment: 

Cream of Tomato & basil soup, with white beans.

Oh, it's the good life.... (remember Tom and Barbara?)

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Moving on ...

It had been feeling like the sale of our flat in London is taking forever, especially as most of it is being done by internet, meaning we end up waiting for replies -why don't people treat e-mail like the immediate communication it is? 

First of all the landlord's agents (it's a leasehold property) didn't pass on an e-mail I'd sent, claiming I hadn't given the information, until I resent the original copy with date stamp clearly showing a month before with all the information they had requested.

So over the past couple of days I was a little extra-proactive and today e.mails bounced back in from all parties concerned - Result. 

First of fall one from our solicitor letting us know that he had at last heard from the landlord's solicitors re the lease extension and requesting money, which was duly transferred- gotta love the rapidity of the internet. So that's all moving on.

Then an e-mail arrived from our tenant in reply to mine about my arrival in the UK in July to clear the flat. all sorted, and hopefully we'll meet up in July for a drink. I have to admit to feeling a little sorry about asking him to move on, but he seems quite okay with it all. 

And finally one from our prospective buyer confirming he has his mortgage all ready and is simply waiting for us to be ready to exchange contracts as soon as we're ready. Moving along nicely then.  

Hopefully everything will now rush along over the next few weeks ... watch this space for more updates... 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Holidays - Day one

No lie in for me today - been quite a busy one! 

  • First of all down to the ambulatori for more blood tests. All over quickly, but left bruised
  • TO post office - letters to the UK.
  • Dropped books off at school and picked up final pay.
  • To the Bank to pay in cheques
  • Viewed another flat, which I really liked, but someone else is viewing it tomorrow and is likely to pay the 'reserva' straight away. I refuse to be rushed into any decision, especially with Brockley still going through.
  • To the florists to pick up some 'cat-grass'
  • lunch
  • bit of reading and sunbathing in the garden.
  • Appointment at the Agencia Tributaria - rebate of tax agreed, and I didn't have to do anything.

  • Home for dinner.
Phew - I think tomorrow will be a bit quieter....

Sunday, 15 June 2014

It's all over...

... the school year for me that is.  I had my last class on Friday, to which only one student turned up, picked up her certificate and left, leaving me to go home early - the first tiem ever this has happened. Bit of a result, methinks. 

Then last night we had our annual 'End of year' party. This year it was held in the  'Sindicat del Vi' bar and restaurant. 

Tony and Karen

Tony and I arrived slightly early (well actually dead on time) to find June waiting on the doorstep too. We were delivering the puddings for the night's festivities, made by yours truly: Lemon Meringue, Raspberry Cheesecake and Tiramisu. 

June hacks away at the puddings

 The entertainment was provided by various staff members, all talented musicians, accompanying Roger (one of the Jefes). or playing solo. all were brilliant. Made me think about picking up the guitar again 

Roger & Bill

The food was good enough -I know, I know, I'm far too damned fussy (well I like my own cooking so much) - veggie croquettes of mushrooms and mozzarella and basil salad being the main fare for us. And of course the desserts sublime, not that I had any, but had some complimentary reviews from the other teachers. 

Mozzarella, basil & rocket salad

And there was an additional celebration for Liam, whose birthday is during the holidays , when he will hit the big 4 oh! 

So that's me unemployed again, for at least the summer, just the way I like it. Now I have plenty of time for me and doing those things I love. 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Today I have mostly ...

... been baking. 

Having been asked to prepare a few puds for tomorrow's Supernova end of year staff party I've been doing a little preparatory cooking, preparation etc. 

First of all I've made a tiramisu ... which will be topped off with chocolate before delivering

Then I've thrown together a raspberry cheesecake, which is languishing in the fridge. In the heat of the day (currently 28º) it'd melt in no time.

Additionally I have prebaked the base of a lemon meringue pie which I will make tomorrow, and also cooked up a few sausage rolls for my students this afternoon, as I just have two classes left before I'm on holiday (unemployed), and I really like my students to get a taste of England. 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Allotment update

Yesterday and this morning I spent a couple of hours  each day up the Lottie, watering and doing a bit of this and that. 

Most of the plants are suffering from lack of water so I made sure that they have all had a very good drink for the last couple of days, and will be doing the same tomorrow. The gooseberry bush we have in the garden at home is watered every other day and is thriving. The ones planted the same time at the allotment, clearly have not had such a good deal: 

I love messing about  'on the land'. watering, weeding, trimming the plants - all these so called chores I find quite therapeutic. Fortunately our lottie is in a fairly quiet space, so the sounds tend to be the birds, especially the chickens  of neighbouring allotments, and the buzz of insects going about their job of pollinating the plants. 

So I'm getting away from the hustle and bustle of life in VnG and also getting sun and a bit of a workout before I set off on the Camino later this month. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Bloomin luverly

As the school year draws to an end (hurrah) I am finding more time to do those things I love. So today, besides preparing camino stuff (- see the other blog),  I've been pottering around the garden: 

Cherry tomatoes, Sage, sunflowers, lobellia and a couple of the family. 

Nuff said. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Stationery or Stationary

I love paper, pens and all things stationery but get really frustrated when things appear stationary. 

Today I have spent the morning phoning and e-mailing various people. My prime motivation being I need to sort out the dates for our Camino and hopefully tie this in with a trip back to the UK to clear the remainder of our possessions from the flat.

  • Firstly I have been communicating to the best of my ability about the sale of our flat in Brockley. Solicitors, Landlords, and Management company  My paper trail was deficient so couldn't provide all the information I wanted to, but think I have managed to dislodge the blockage that had slowed things and look forward to everything speeding up now. 
  • Then I tried to change a hospital appointment to fit in with the point above, but the next available one wasn't until late September, and I really don't want to wait that long. 
  • Finally I have been 'chatting' to my prospective mobile phone operator to ensure that I do not lose service as part of the changeover. They have promised it will all be smooth, and all I have to do is go to the post office on Thursday to pick up my new sim card....
So after all this I am a few steps forward and am now net-surfing to finally arrange the dates for our Camino, after which I will go directly to the UK. As always watch this space... 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Back on track

Look what I saw today as I walked the coastal path from Vilanova to Sitges.


For quite a while now I've not been my usual positive self. I can put this down to a few things:
  • A difficult break up with someone who I considered to be my best friend -none of my doing - my friendship just wasn't good enough apparently. 
  • A recently diagnosed problem with my kidneys which caused me to feel over-fatigued, but that (at least for the time being) is improved.
  • and of course the loss of our little man, Xali, in December. 
but in the last couple of days I've started to plan a Camino for Janey and me to do (check out my Camino Blog for updates), and this morning I got my act together and set out for a walk along the coast. Walking in nature always raises my spirits and energy - 'why didn't I do it before then?' I ask myself, and seeing the letters J -O -Y written in the sand as I arrived in Sitges just about topped off my up-beat feelings. 

At last I feel I'm back on track. Energy levels back up, Spirit soaring, who knows I may even write a little something as well.....