An online adiós and hopefully real life hasta pronto!

I began this blog three years ago, not long after our adventure hit a bump, or should I say my head hit a kerb! I was hugely fortunate to recover quickly but for a few quiet weeks I had time to start writing Adventures not Dramas. To be fair my having a fit and passing out while Walt was driving was pretty dramatic for him. I am never allowed to nod off in the car now . I began writing it for two reasons, one as a diary and way of saving memories and two with the vague idea that I might find that I could write well enough and consistently enough to create a book. Reason one …definitely. Reason two? I am a reader, love playing outside and enjoy making stuff. I am not disciplined nor consistent enough to be a writer! I was a very similar scholar, if the sun was out , why stay at your desk? Therefore nearly four years, many brilliant adventures and a global pandemic later ( who would have believed it) I have decided to say goodbye to blogs. My memories will be photo books from now on! It looks more than likely that my teaching will continue and as permanent member of staff. Instead of an expat retiree , I have found myself with a job, social security number, healthcare and residency. When I showed my passport at Alicante last week the young official said that if I hadn’t been going to the UK, my residency card would have been fine….I am European!

My working days are now not quite as full or stressful as they were four years ago. It’s the anniversary of my retirement from school at the end of this month, but with mornings teaching , afternoons quickly disappear in a blur of doggy walking and gardening when cool enough , sewing and reading and now going out! We are back on the road again! Starting small, we had two days in Benidorm in July . Walt had also done a Portuguese road trip in May as soon as our borders opened up so he started big! I then moved on to two weeks in Edinburgh! I have to admit to being pretty stressed by the whole PCR, passenger locator and quarantine malarkey but it was nearly a year since I had seen the family. It had to be done and it was truly wonderful. I hope that it won’t be so long until next time. Getting bolder, tomorrow we head north again to the Picos on Suze! We will leave around 6am to avoid the heat here but pack waterproofs for Cantabria!

Hendaye four years ago, moving Walt and Ben to Spain.
Benny had lots of adventures too!

I am incredibly grateful for technology and the world wide web . It has kept us connected to loved ones and kept many of us employed but I am now a little internet exhausted. It will continue to be a work tool, family and friends chat platform and of course provide the odd bit of shopping! However I am bowing out of blogs and social media. I want to get back to real life and not a virtual one! To all my friends on social media and here, I have loved seeing all your adventures and ways of staying positive over the last crazy year. I have loved having chats with old friends and long lost family . I really appreciate all of you. So please forgive me if you don’t see ‘likes ‘ or comments or birthday greetings, I can still be contacted for a chat and will check messages but I am saying goodbye to everything else!

Does this sum up 2020!!!
Altea viewpoints and the beautiful beach in Benidorm old town. 2022 beginning to feel a little more normal.

I know Walt and I will continue to have adventures but the moving abroad, finding your feet with new cultures, language and everyday living when everything seems different was a major part of this blog. When I popped down to the village yesterday, Sangonera felt normal , no longer ‘foreign ‘! Enough said. Hasta pronto amigos. Keep in touch…there’s always snail mail. I love getting letters! Besos y abrazos a todos.

A wee gallery of Edinburgh and North Berwick after quarantine with Arthur. So grateful.

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The new direction is not clear at the moment..time simply to be!

No truth so sublime but it may be trivial tomorrow in the light of new thoughts. People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I finished my last ramble with a hint that the blog may be heading in a different direction… there was only one problem, writer of said blog has no idea what direction to go in! I have pottered about with bits of poetry, crazy 3am thoughts and reactions to other people’s writing and opinions then scrubbed the lot! ( see on line media and nonsense). Most of this ramble was written a month ago. Only two months to go until dose two of AZ! Only two weeks until the Scottish government makes its announcement on international travel, tension mounting! Therefore in its scrappy state, I am pressing the publish button on this post along with the quote above,which was also posted in an article by a much younger expat in foreign climes…. it made me feel better! Thank you! I’m off up to the huerto now, it’s a jungle after all the rain but wow! Lettuce, chard, onions, parsley, oregano, mint and coriander a plenty!

There’s always food to pick in Murcia..it’s níspero season and our huerto trees are providing plenty!

Nasturtiums , wandering wonderfully! It’s taken nearly four years but I think I’ve got a handle on the growing seasons now! My sweet peas should bloom very soon..before it’s too hot for anything so delicate.

My writer’s block therefore lead me to simply cataloguing ‘ More stuff’ that I have realised about life and myself during the pandemic.

1.Just because I am reading addict, I am not necessarily a writer. Result? Allowing myself just to read! Bliss.

A recent 25 cent Noah’s Ark purchase. I read the A Short History of Tractors in the Ukraine years ago. This was better! Excellent.
A Good Friday hike with neighbours…it’s Easter not Christmas…I think!

2. Time is bizarre, especially in a Murcian spring where one minute it’s warm enough for the beach and next day we have the stove on.

3. Couple this with year 2 of the pandemic starting …Easter feels like Christmas? Is it just me?

Walking in the rain..
And swimming in the Med!

4. Waiting another 3 or 4 months until I see my family no longer feels like the lifetime that it felt like last April. The patience gene is definitely being strengthened. Walt and I have had the first dose of the vaccine, only 3 months until the 2nd…no time at all!

5. My left eye begins to wander after two hours on a zoom class…not a reassuring look for my students !

6. I love not being on my computer but being outside or making stuff. I had no classes during Holy Week /Semana Santa. We went to the beach, had lunch with friends and hiked a new and beautiful route just a few kilometres from home. It was bliss. I do enjoy my teaching and until our state pensions kick in, I need to keep going but those few days were super special!

New fabric …new projects!

7. Despite my wandering left eye, I am so grateful for technology. A chat this morning with a very special friend in Scotland, story time last night with the bairns and a chat with my brother in the afternoon, my online employment and fabric arriving from Germany for my next project, none of which would have been possible without my trusty old HP. ( it’s nearly 10 but Walt is very clever and keeps it going for me. He is on Zen and push bike maintenance today, Monday it was the motorbike. I am hoping that little Red, our 11 year old Hyundai is next in the queue for some TLC!)

Suze admiring the view!

8. I start sentences with ‘so’, ‘and so’ OK and ‘well’ far too frequently. I realised this earlier today when describing ‘filler’ words to students. Oh dear! Time for a cup of tea.

9. I need to keep busy , it’s my way of meditating, but sometimes my 63 years catch up with me and I need to nap!

10. I would much rather have a proper newspaper and books but technology does fill the gap a little. The trick I think is to keep online media in its place…most of it is nonsense! When we we allowed to leave our municipality recently, I took some clothes and books to a British run charity shop some 40 minutes away. They have a huge book section with paperbacks costing 25 cents! Result! That’s my summer ,when it’s too hot to do much, sorted!

And so …( two conjunctions at the beginning of a sentence…naughty) I can only sum up by writing that life goes on pretty much as normal here in the unpredictable Mediterranean spring…lots of rain, cuckoos, frogs at night and almost as green as northern Spain…for a couple of months. We are still not able to leave the region or travel to Scotland and that is the hardest part of all this but we still have so much to be grateful for. I began this blog three years ago almost as a diary of our adventure. I have made friends and had some wonderful chats because of it. I have learned through it. I would love the chats to continue and to hear more from you even if the blog doesn’t! Hasta pronto! Abrazos y besos. Xxxxx

Some of Murcia’s spring flowers…