Monday, 31 December 2012
2012 was a mixed year. Work was constantly stressful; I had a number of minor but frustrating physical injuries; there was a feeling of not being entirely in charge of my destiny. However there were good times. I loved the Olympics. We went to Iceland, Spain (many times), Italy, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine and Bulgaria. And of course we bought a house in Spain. I enjoyed games of golf and tennis. We had some good theatre and concert visits. And Andrew kept me sane.
2013 has the potential to be a difficult year. And also the potential to be a life-changing year in a positive way. I guess that all depends on whether I can take big decisions or whether I delay those decisions. Do I take the risks inherent in making those decisions, or take the safer way forward? I probably need to decide that within the first month of the year.
As for resolutions, most of those need to be ones I can reasonably achieve. And they are all based round my health and fitness. Less eating, less alcohol and more exercise. It sounds simple to say but it harder to actually do.
But I think if I can improve my health and well-being, I can then have the energy and drive to make the necessary decisions and to do so for my own sake rather than for the sake of others. I am not suggesting that I need to be selfish or self-centred but I do need to be self-reliant and more instinctive.
So lets confront issues and solve them. Onwards and upwards.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Monday, 24 December 2012
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
Friday, 9 November 2012
We boarded the Queen Elizabeth in Venice after a fascinating couple of days in the city. We then visited Mykonos, Olympia, Istanbul, Odessa, Yalta, Nessabur, Izmir and Santorini. Some I had been to before, some were new to me. Andrew and I were quite adventurous and took local transport rather than organised shore excursions. That worked well and got us away from the endless series of coaches and away from the crowds. We had coffees and beers in local cafes, and spoke to locals. Odessa and Yalta were much nicer than I had expected. The weather throughout was great. And we had a good couple of days in Athens before flying back to to the UK.
Pied Piper Travel gave us a ready-made crown of like-minded friends. Not having to pack and unpack was wonderful. Our cabin was spacious and had a balcony. So yes I would go on a cruise again. I certainly came back feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Work is getting busier and more stressful. I try to use my time off properly but find myself increasingly tired and just needing to relax quietly.
However things have moved on in Spain. In June we were there for 10 days and looked at a few houses. One was a bank reposession and we decided to put in a low offer. It was accepted.
So last week we went back to Malaga to sign the legal deeds. We now own a house near Alhaurin De La Torre. Scary - but exciting.
It needs a full clean and some cosmetic work before we can move in. We will still be working in the UK for the next couple of years but hopefully we can spend gradually-increasing time in Spain, espcially in the winter. I am so looking forward to that.
Monday, 21 May 2012
In future I will try to do everything with a good grace. If I have to do something I don't want to do or something I am annoyed at being asked to do, that is no reason not to do it as well as I can with as much enthusiasm as I can. Others do not need to see my annoyance. Grumpiness is not helpful. A smile is.
I must make a new will. I want to try to protect my future and have enough to live on for many years. But if I have any assets remaining when I shuffle off this mortal coil, they should go to the person(s) or organisation(s) of my choosing.
Wasting time, when there is so little of it, is not clever.
I should never take the love of others for granted. I must ensure that I tell people when I love them and tell them when I am grateful for something they have done for me.
Age gives me an opportunity to be the person I am and not the person others want me to be. I need to take that opportunity.
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Thursday, 3 May 2012
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."
That gives me something to work on during the next decade. I think I have already made a start to some of these. I hope I have.
Saturday, 25 February 2012
On the Saturday we went to Gulfoss Waterfall and the Geysirs, on Sunday we walked round Reykjavik before going to the Blue Lagoon and on Monday we did a trip to Snaefellsness. The scenery was amazing, the hot water pools were weird and wonderful and the weather was an interesting mixture of extreme cold, sunshine, snow and some rain.
Here are some of my photos.
The highlight? Not sure. The Blue Lagoon was relaxing and fun - swimming in driving rain was an interesting feeling. Stopping in Sneafulness and walking through a snow-covered lava field to a warm pool in which we soaked, despite the snow, was memorable. And the ethereal light over snow-covered mountains in the early evening was magical. I'd like to return.
Friday, 17 February 2012
We are on a 'Northern Lights' weekend. And the chances of seeing the northern lights appear to be quite good. That tour takes us outside Reykjavik tomorrow night. The weather forecast is for mainly clear skies and the aurora forecast states the following -
Auroral activity will be active. Weather permitting, active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Tromsø, Norway to as far south as Umea, Sweden and Trondheim, Norway, and visible low on the horizon in Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki.
So, fingers crossed.
Even if we don't see the northern lights, I am looking forward to the weekend. It will be a busy one. On Saturday during the day, we take a Golden Circle tour. Then we are meeting a friend of ours, Gudrun, before the Northern Lights tour.
On Sunday we are heading for a swim in the Blue Lagoon.
And on Monday, we take a GoEcco tour of Snaefellsness.
And during the weekend there is a LGBT festival in Reykjavik so we hope to find time to visit the gay bars, particularly Truno.
It should be fun and I am looking forward to it.
Then we return early Tuesday.
Friday, 3 February 2012
I have never had a diabetes test. However recently I have been experiencing some issues which are symptoms of diabetes, notably tiredness, bruising which is slow to heal, skin itches etc. Time, I reckoned, for a test.
On Thursday, a week ago, I firstly weighed myself. 13 stone 5 lbs. Not good.
Then I went off to Lloyds pharmacy for a diabetes test. Apparently a normal reading is between 4.2 and 4.5. A reading of 6.0 of above results in an immediate referral to a diabetes specialist. My reading was 5.9. Borderline. Defined as pre-diabetes. Scary.
I was asked to go back in a month and in the meantime improve my diet and increase my exercise levels. Not easy as in fact my diet is reasonably good. And I have a very sore left knee, so I cannot play tennis or go for a run at present.
But I will need to make some changes. Less wine. More vegetables. And, particularly, more fruit. I also had porridge for breakfast each day last week. And salads at lunchtime instead of sandwiches.
This morning my weight was down to 13 stone exactly. Which I guess is a good start. Now I need to work on reducing that still further. I will be really stressed if my diabetes reading has not gone down when I am tested again. Which I will have done towards the end of this month.