Brindleboy123's Blog

Archive for September 2010

Sometimes I think  someone is trying to tell you something and you have to listen!  More hastles this week with the holiday plans!  As usual, after phone calls and emails it is still on but hey, we are depending upon the flights taking off and our dear neighbours….THE FRENCH!  It appears that the French have just as many problems economically in their country as we have here in Spain and I’m sure there are in the UK too.  Problem is their land is bang slap in the middle of europe and so many flights have to fly over it to get from A to B! My 77 year old aunt and cousin came over to see us just for a few days and was due home this morning.  At 8.30 they received a text to say that the flat had been cancelled because of the French strikes!  After much tooing and froing on the internet we finally managed to get them rebooked on a flight for Sunday night. Fortunately we have been able to find them somewhere to stay too for a few days.  Can you even begin to imagine how they would have coped if they had simply been on holiday alone and just turned up at the airport?  Tony and I are both keeping our fingers crossed that our flight to Gatwick next week will go ahead.  You know what really niggles me? The fact that some airlines that were still flying hiked up their prices so much.  We looked at British Airways and they had a price of 1,177 euros for one way per person for today!

Anyway, we have had a few good days with Auntie Eileen and Karen.  Its lovely to sit and chat about the “old days”.  Auntie Eileen is really the only one left now that can give me little snippets of information about my childhood and about the family.  I’ve also been learning quite a bit about Auntie Eileen too.  She has travelled quite a lot and she was telling me about the time she was in San Francisco.  We talked about cable cars and trams and she was telling me about how she decided to hold on to the bars outside.  Unfortunately I had a “menopausal” moment as I thought she was still talking about the cable cars….how on earth could she be so brave as to hold on to bars outside the cable car?  DOH! She is only 4’11” and about a size 6!  I imagined her flying around like a flag on a pole!!  It was one of those moments when you say something and you know straight away how stupid you’ve been…..!

I will think of Auntie Eileen whenever I hear this song in the future…..have it on my ipod because when I was a little girl Mum worked for the Co-op delivering bread when Nimble bread came out….she told me that it made you lose weight.  Now to a 7 year old the logic was that you eat the bread and then have a figure like Twiggy!  The amount of Nimble bread I ate to look like Twiggy, its a wonder I didn’t end up looking like Hatty Jacques!

Yesterday we took my aunt and cousin to a market in Almoradi. It is a nice place to go just to have a coffee and churros (long hot donuts covered in sugar sold from cabins).  This weekend there seemed to be more people there than usual and when Tony and I were queuing up for our coffee, I mentioned the fact that there were so many people there.  A lady (British) turned around and said to me something along the lines of “well, you obviously don’t live here or you would know how busy it gets!”  I thought to myself, ummmm, damn cheek, I’m going to play along with this one!  I told her how we had in fact lived here for 8 years which I was glad to say was 2 more than she had!  She then went on to tell me that although she had an apartment in Almoradi she also had a country house too….ummm says Bell, we have an apartment  in Torrevieja and a place outside Madrid too (fingers were crossed behind my back at this point!)…next came “ours is a very large flat so we don’t get the normal riff raff over from the UK looking for a work”!  What a miserable so and so I thought….and didn’t tell her that my flat would probably fit in to hers twice!! Next it was the bit about how she was retired now and so she was able to use the local hospital for free….Bell came back with, “well we are retired but choose to pay privately”!! I think I won that one because she definately looked older than me and I have a feeling her last statement had turned around and bit her on the bum!!!   What is it with some people?  I can’t be doing with it all….so sometimes it is nice just to have a bit of fun at their expense – perhaps it will make her think twice before putting others down in the future.

My cousin said she had quite a night yesterday and I thought “good on ‘ya girl” and wondered who she had met seeing as I had left her quite late that night! It appears that she had a visit from Micky Mouse!  The carrier bag with her biscuits in was rustling and when she went over to see what it was, out jumped Micky and ran around the flat!  Karen ran in to the bedroom and jumped in to bed with her mum!  Guess I best tell the owner……..or do I?!!!!

Nearly all packed up for the big trip.  My idea was to take 7 dresses that I could dress up for the night and just wear with sandals during the day…..so far my suitcase has 9 dresses, 5 pairs of trousers and several other things that have been in and out of the case more times than….well, I’m too much of a lady to use that analogy!  If it wasn’t for the menopause I guess I would have not had a problem….lots of bits and pieces that I could have worn…shorts etc, but at the moment I feel it is my duty to save America (they are our allies after all) from the view of me walking along the strip in Las Vegas in shorts! Mind you, my skirt isn’t much longer but that is staying in the suitcase.  I spent most of yesterday searching for a large handbag (probably with the idea that it would hide most of my body) but I didn’t find one that I liked, or that I could convince Tony I needed.  Auntie Eileen was very concerned that we hadn’t bought a bag for the flight and asked in her concerned voice what on earth I was going to do as time was running out.  Bless!  I felt a bit guilty telling her that I would have to lift the bed up and take one off the pile underneath……a woman can never have too many bags now can they!  Actually that is another story because on Thursday when I walked the dogs I came across a bag on top of one of the bins and it had two handbags in it.  As I came near our window, I held the bag up with pride to show Tony my find…..he just said “you’ve been bin dipping again haven’t you!”  (I don’t consider it bin dipping….it was on the top!)…anyway, apparently I don’t need (MEN) another bag and certainly not one from the bin so I had to admit defeat ….I put one back on top of the bin and the other I gave to a neighbour!  Result!

Right well I think that is about everything for now, guess I won’t get on here again until we get back (assuming to go!) from our holiday.  I will be tapping out lots of stories hopefully near the middle to end of October.  If we win the jackpot while we are there I will put something on the Carers UK forum and we can all have a get together…..anywhere in particular?

A meal out on the marina with Auntie Eileen, Karen, Tony and Menopausal Bell!

Take care everyone.  Chat again soon.

Bell x

“There are only two emotions in a plane….boredom and terror” Orson Welles

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Well, another week gone and did it whizz by or what!  It has gradually got a little bit cooler this week which is ok but the threat of rain is going to be a pain because we have my aunt coming over tonight and if the weather is bad I don’t know what on earth we will be able to do….still, worse things to worry about than that I’m sure.

We’ve been in and out of the doctor’s again this week.  Tony did some running in his little gym (the garage!) and I think he still believes he is 25 and able to do the marathons that he used to do.  Anyway, when he came back up he told me he had a pain in his chest.  It was only when he touched it and last month he had something similar when he heard something “pop”.  Took his blood pressure and all was fine but the next day we did go to see our doctor.  Cut a long story short, Tony had an ECG and the doctor said the results were better than his own!  That said, he still suggested that if Tony wanted to continue running (he wants to enter the Torrevieja half marathon next year) then he should see the cardiologist first as he does have arythmia (sp) and it is best to be on the safe side.

I should him the results of my mammogram and he told me that they were “ok at the moment”!  I could have done without the “at the moment” bit…men just don’t realise how women hold on to every word and then analyse them one by one do they…..or is it just me?  Just for spite I made him also look at my big toe again which is still giving me jip!!!  He’s actually really quite a nice man and actually speaks quite good English too which is a bonus.  I remember when I had shingles here a couple of years ago and they called it Herpes!  I was very quick to remind them that in English it was known as Shingles and just hoped that is what it would be recorded as on my notes!  I do have a reputation to keep up you know!

Tony’s brother arrived on Thursday, isn’t staying near us but Tony did get to spend some time with him.  He gave us a bit of gossip that Tony’s dad is coming over again in a couple of weeks or so and having a party for 18 people to celebrate his 80th birthday.  Seems like as his Dad doesn’t speak to us we won’t get an invite!  Families eh?!!

Samantha did a midnight walk in aid of the local hospice yesterday. She was one of 1,000 people that took part and they are hoping to raise £90,000 which will apparently keep the day hospice running for a year.  There was a lady that worked in her office that sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago and I think the office gave a good turn out for the walk in support of what the hospice did for the lady. I think it is wonderful what the hospice movement provide for people.  I know they were absolutely fantastic to Mum, both in the community and also when she had that short stay when my dear sister threw her out!  I remember one of the nurses then telling me that it can cost somewhere between £2 – 3,000 per week to keep a patient there.  Samantha had a bit of a headache this morning though because apparently they all wore flashing blue and red bunny ears and in the darkness all you could see where these ears flashing along the beach….!!  It must’ve been quite a spectacle to see.  Well done to them all.

Three Musketeers have been pretty good this week which is a nice change….I think no it is getting a bit quieter here they don’t get so worked up.  The children do keep coming over to the gate and Evil Edna wants to go out with them and when she can’t she just turns around and bites poor Bobby’s tail!

Right folks, time to go…need to shower and then off to the airport to pick up my aunt and cousin.  Evil Edna has also decided that she can touch type again so….time to close down this before it rebels!

Take care everyone…fingers crossed everyone has a happy and healthy week.

Love as always,

Bell.x

“Never miss the opportunity to make others happy ….even if you have to leave them alone  in order to do it!  “

Author Unknown.

Hi there everyone….nice to know you are there!

Its been a very quiet week here in sunny old Spain!  The temperature has at long last started to drop a little and we are now in or around 82 degrees which is a little more comfortable than it has been so we have at last started to venture out a little bit more!  I really would like to get away somewhere a little cooler next year in August.

The holidaymakers have now more or less all gone.  We are now in the “oldies” time of year!  All those that either like us don’t like it too hot or they don’t like crowds and children (or both!).  Only about 2 holiday makers here now so the block is slowly but surely coming back to us! The complex cat, Mumsy, is once again walking around. In July and August she tends to hide away from the children who torment her all the time.  Fortunately, there are quite a few regulars who she goes to for cover.  She will be back at our door real soon without doubt!  She is getting on a bit I guess, probably around 18 years old.  From what I’m told she was a stray that came in to the block  and had kittens in someone’s wardrobe! The English that were here at the time managed to find homes for the kittens and had Mumsy spayed.  She has never left since!  We look after her most of the year unless she thinks she is going to be offered better elsewhere!  Unfortunately, there are quite a few strays around here but the plus side is that there are also quite a few people who will feed them.  There was a terrible story this week about a stray Shar-pei dog, similar to our Ugly One. He had been thrown onto the street to fend for himself.  That in itself is bad enough but this poor little man couldn’t see anything either because of the folds in his skin that is covering his eyes.  He has been named Sharpey and one of the charities is now looking for an owner for him who will be willing to pay for an operation too.  We always seem to have more strays around after the holiday period.  I am pretty sure that people come here from other parts of the country and either decide to just leave their little dogs or genuinely lose them.  If I could afford it I would love to pay for them all to be given a home somewhere safe, warm and comfortable.

September 13th today.  It would have been my Mum and Dad’s 53rd wedding anniversary today.  I can’t believe that it is over 3 years now since Dad passed away so suddenly.  It was just a few months before their golden wedding anniversary so on the day I went all over the place looking to buy 50 yellow roses to put on the grave.  Mum and I spent hours there arranging them and putting balloons and cards on the grave.  If Dad was looking down on us he would have thought we were crazy, especially if he could hear us….we both had headsets on and were listening to his hero, Bing Crosby singing the song that we had played at his funeral..Goodnight Sweetheart.  I like to think that they are together again now, probably giving each other hell mind you! Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad, Love and miss you both.  All forgiven. XXX

Very tired this morning as last night we were picking up friends from the airport in Alicante that have an apartment here.  They were due to land at 11.15 but it was delayed so they didn’t actually get here until 1.15am!  Must have been almost 3 before we went to bed.  Unfortunately, the Ugly One (aka Fat Albert, aka Chunky) didn’t care one bit and was still awake at 7 am!  I think I did the whole 45 minute walk this morning with my eyes half closed!

Someone told us about a restaurant which is just behind our block that we have never really bothered to try before. We decided that we would give it a go today for lunch as it is only 5 euros 50 cents for a Menu of the Day.  (3 courses plus a drink, bread, salad).  It was so funny because we arrived at about 1.15 but there were only a couple of people in there….at 1.45 we were still waiting and the waitress just smiled sweetly! Unusually for Tony he didn’t just walk out..I think we were still too tired to even worry about it.  At 2 o’clock the hoards ascended!  Spanish came from everywhere and the place was full to overflowing. I didn’t realise there was that many people left in Torrevieja!  It was just like having a school dinner….all the meals came out together!  Paella, pork chop and tirimusu!  Can’t grumble at that can you for the price!  I love it eating with the Spanish…I know I’ve probably said it all before but they do just go to battle when they have a meal!  Everyone just gets tucked in…if you don’t stab something with your fork…its gone! No one sits back on ceremony..join in or miss out!  Perhaps when we have plenty of time we will go there again!

There is a general strike scheduled here for the 29th September.  Normally wouldn’t be a problem as Spain seems to have more holidays than any country I have ever known but this time it has caused us a few problems.  For the first time in many, many years we are going to go away on holiday! We have had to change our flight and stay a few days in London just to make sure we are there for the flight! It is usually cheaper to go from London than Madrid anyway.  We are off to Las Vegas! We have been really looking forward to it but have had endless problems with the travel agent.  Yesterday was yet another problem.  We just by chance phoned the hotel as Tony had a feeling there would be a problem with the room….(sixth sense I guess!). Sure enough, the room we had booked was not right…..it is now with the agents to sort out.  I won’t bore you with all the details, but just to say that this is about the 5th time we have had to get them to change something that they had messed up…..I’m beginning to think this “holiday of a lifetime” isn’t meant to happen.  I’ll keep you posted on that and how it goes.

This week on Thursday Tony ‘s brother comes over for a week.  He isn’t staying near us but Tony will go to visit him.Unfortunately, his brother and I don’t see eye to eye which again is a long story.  Families! My aunt then comes over on Sunday for a few days. So I think the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty hectic here.

Those of you on the Carers forum will have read about the problems I have had with my sister.  It really knocked me back a bit when I had the letter from her solicitor last week.  She is fully aware that I have invested the money in accordance with Mum’s will but has obviously gone to the solicitor giving him some story about me!  Fortunately, I have everything documented and also checked with a solicitor that I am not under any obligation to give her details of the accounts.  I am desperately trying to ensure that she doesn’t get her hands on the children’s money.  When I sold the house to my cousin she was constantly trying to get my cousin to give her half the money rather than go through the solicitors!  The awful thing was that she was then telling my youngest daughter (whom I love dearly but who I don’t have a very good relationship with because I left her dad), that I had been asking for the money!  Fortunately, my daughter realised that my sister had been telling lies.  My cousin was getting into a bit of a state too over it all because he was being bombarded with phone calls from my sister and her husband.  At the moment I believe my sister is looking to move and I presume, rightly or wrongly, that is why she is making one further attempt to find out about the money. How sad is it?  Even the solicitor that I had dealing with Mum’s estate wouldn’t have anything to do with my sister.  He said she was very aggressive!  Tell me about it! I owe him a big thank you because he did make me realise that I needed to stand up to her once and for all.  Sorry, rambling on again as usual…you can tell there is still a lot going on in my head about the whole situation.  Anyway, since my last reply to the solicitor I have yet to hear anything so I am keeping my fingers crossed (and toes) that this will be the end of the situation and I can just move on.

Tony is still doing well with his keep fit.  I decided this week that I really needed to do something too….everyone needs a fat friend and I didn’t want to be his!  Nice things to eat are out and I’m cycling a bit now too…..oh to be 25 again instead of 52…..the weight just used to fall off in the old days but nowadays I only have to look at something and it finds itself a nice little place to settle on my hips!

Well….time to move on I suppose.  The 3 m musketeers will need walking soon…I should be stick thin the number of times they go out!

Keep safe everyone.  I will write again before we go away, assuming that we actually get to go!

Bell x

“families are like fudge….mostly sweet with a few nuts”  Author unknown

Hello one and all.  Still hiding inside away from the sun here…although at the moment it is a much more pleasant 82 degrees….seems crazy doesn’t it for 7.30 at night! Still, not much longer and the old jeans can come out again, just keeping my fingers crossed that my body will still remember that it has to actually fit inside them completely rather than leaving parts hanging over the top! (apologies if you are eating!)  Each week I think I will try and do a little more exercise but my body normally objects to the thought of it.  Tony is still doing really well and now his foot is better he is managing to run on the machine for about 3 mile every day.  He would love to do the Torrevieja Half Marathon next year but not sure he will be ready in time for that as it is quite early in the year, still, he will be far more ready than I will!  He did get me running once when we were living in Weston. I managed a mile before work several times but that felt like I had done a half marathon!  Tony has done several marathons over the years to be honest including the London and also the New York marathons….a man with quite a sporty past huh?!

Tuesday we went to post Samantha’s birthday card in an “English” shop that arranges for post to be sent to the airport etc by courier. Stopped nearby as Tony felt like a change and wanted a full breakfast.  There are lots of offers around in the area there so we opted for one where I could just have some beans on toast and he could have a large breakfast – the works for 5 euros.  The waiter though told us that as the grill wasn’t working, he could only give us the small breakfast which was really when you looked at the menu, roughly half the large one but for just 2 euros, he then suggested that Tony could have the 2 euro breakfast on the same plate.  Now is it me, but doesn’t that work out as the same as having the large breakfast, ie same space needed to cook it???

When we came out of the cafe, we ventured into the shop where Miss Daisey used to buy her clothes in preparation for the holiday that we never had together.  The lady that used to serve us was in and actually remembered Miss Daisey and asked how she was doing.  Brought tears to my eyes when I had to tell her that my dear Miss Daisey had passed away.  Seems the tears are never that far from the surface when it comes to that lovely lady of ours.

Wednesday we were out on our last “long” walk of the day with the 3 amigos.  Evil Edna (aka wee wee kid, aka Lola) is such a trollop!  She really knows how to play up to a crowd.  Walking home, there was an elderly man stood outside his house….”ooooh thinks Lola, he looks like he’s got a big front garden”.  Before you know it, she stops, and does her normal “stand on my back legs and wave my front paws” bit before turning round and round in circles and doing a bit of a shimmy with her rear end.  She eventually stops and you can almost hear her thinking “Ok, now you can stroke my nose”….which the old chap did, right on cue!

On Thursday I went to have my Mammogram at the doctor’s surgery…..god how I hate those things, it feels like they put your boobs on a George Forman grill! Normally I go to the hospital for an ultrasound every 6 months but as I hadn’t actually had a mammogram for 2 years (over here they like you to have a mammogram each year after the age of 40) I decided I needed to be brave!

The lady that did it was lovely, didn’t speak a word of English but we managed quite well….its surprising how well your Spanish can improve when someone has your boob in their hand and is about to squash it! You know when they go off to check their prints and leave you there wondering whether you should get dressed or just stand there like you always stand in a room the size of a cupboard with your boobs around your waist! I had that moment and it was broken by her coming back in to tell me that she needed to one of the prints again as all my boob wasn’t on the frame….charming, what was she trying to say! Mind you, Spanish women don’t seem to get boobs until they are in their late 70’s and then they usually appear just above the waistline!

Thankfully I didn’t have too long to get the result and I have been on edge all day waiting for them.  The receptionist phoned at about 7 this evening to tell me that all is well and I don’t need to go back for one year…excellent! I used to get a lot of pain in my breasts until I went over to the UK last and got myself measured and bought new bra’s.  Nowadays, it feels so much better….just needed to get the right tools for the job, ie Scaffolding!

We were very concerned this week when we heard the news about the earthquake in New Zealand. Those of you on the carers forum may remember that I have been in contact with a cousin that I didn’t realise I had until after Miss Daisey passed away.  Linda and her family live in New Zealand but thankfully everyone is well.  We do get the odd tremor here but thankfully nothing normally over 4 on the scale.  The first time we had one was not long after we first arrived in Spain.  I was led on the floor (as you do) and the whole block of flats seemed to rattle…it was really quite scary.  Many years ago (1829) Torrevieja was hit by a very bad quake that flattened most of the town although the main church in the square did survive. Two thousand people lost their lives.

I’ve spent the whole afternoon today listening to music on Itunes….just rediscovered Agneta Faltskog from Abba and downloaded one of her albums. I particularly like the words on this song Remember me, Agneta Falskog for me, they are the words I would like to be able to say to my youngest daughter Colette.  Perhaps one day she will listen to the song.

Right well its time now to raid the fridge….only a few hours of Sunday left and then its back to “healthy eating” again for the week (yuck) so may as well take advantage whilst I can!….

Take care everyone…pop in again soon, its good to know I’m not talking to myself!

Bell x

The Cardiologist’s diet…”if it tastes good, spit it out”!  Author Unknown


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  • Linda: Thanks Bell, I'm currently in the 'will I or won't I' situation. This has certainly been helpful. All the best Linda
  • Andy: Hi Bell, I am very interested in having my eyes done too. However, prices in the UK are outrageous. Could you tell me the name or website of the clin
  • Carol Harshman: Had my right eye done 3 days ago. Felt like 3-4 grains of sand in eye for 2 days. Unrelenting pain. Saw Dr. yesterday and all is well, except corne

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