Brindleboy123's Blog

53…..how did that happen!

Posted on: April 3, 2011

Hi there everyone,

Long time no write!  Its been a month now since we said our farewells to our mate marmite and it has been quite a tough month in many ways emotionally.  I haven’t really felt much like writing and have just spent much of my spare time doing mind numbing things on the internet.  Anyway, today I have celebrated my 53rd birthday!  I really can’t believe it….53 alwys used to seem “so old” and now, I’m there….does that mean I am now middle aged? I received some lovely cards and the funny thing was, they all referred to either food (on the whole, cake and chocolate), handbags or shoes!  My friends and family must really know me better than I thought! Tony did a brillient one on Moonpig and it is like a magazine cover with the story of my singing and hopes for a record deal!  I can but dream!!   I don’t feel my age, in my head anyway, my body gives me constant reminders that I am older now and it is about time  to stop walking on sea-walls, skipping along the road with Tony (don’t worry, we always check that no-one is watching…the thought of a 6 foot 2, 17 stone man and a 4 foot 11 inch (not daft enough to type my weight!) woman skipping would be too much for anyone!) Then again, why not…so long as I can get my leg over the wall and we don’t fall over as we skip along, who gives a damn!

At the beginning of the month we sorted out Chunky’s bits and pieces and passed on some things to a local charity that cares and raises money for the Spanish galgos dogs.  They do a brillient job and need all the help that they can get.  Life, or should I say the people in it, can be very cruel to these dogs so every little helps them with their attempts to not only save the animals that are being mistreated but also to raise awareness of their plight.  It was interesting that this particular charity have also started visiting children in local schools…wht a great idea.  Please take a moment to read about the charity here:

http://www.torrevieja.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=76794

Other things belonging to our big boy have now been placed in a box and put away as I think we both found it too painful to have the reminders that he is no longer with us around.  We still have his photo of course and I’m sure he is looking at me…let’s hope so anyway!  Bobby seems to still be in a bit of a depression and has changed quite a bit in his ways since Chunky boy died.  He no longer will sleep with us but insists on sleeping in Chunky’s old bed and like Chunky used to do, he has began to refuse anything at breakfast time.  In fact, he is a bit of a misery and very clingy.  We took him to the vets yesterday just to get him checked out and the initial blood tests took fine but we have paid to get a further analysis done just to be on the safe side.  Evil Edna is fine and is keeping Bobby on his toes! Actually, they are both fast asleep next to me and it is actually quite nice to see them actually snuggling close together.  Peace in our time!

I went over to the UK just for a weekend to see Samantha and Ben.  Samantha was almost 30 weeks when I got there and unlike her mother is carrying her baby  very neatly.  I really did resemble Demis Rousos (not sure of the spelling but I’m sure you will recognise the name!) very early in my pregnancy but Samantha just seems to have a bump and doesn’t even look pregnant from behind.  It was really lovely to see her.  She seemed very tired which isn’t surprising as she has had such a lot to contend with lately. Apart from being pregnant, she has also moved house and the company she works for have moved offices so she has further to go each day.  Not sure how much longer she will be able to cope with working full time as well.

We went to the Eastgate centre where they have shops such as Mamas and Papas, Mothercare and Boots…everything you could wish for when little one is on the way.  Now, buying a pram is no mean fete.  It is like going to battle without knowing the apparatus.  Pregnancy and menopause both play their part in ensuring that you are unable to make a decision so 3 hours later it was time for me to move the car.  For some stupid reason, you can only stay in the car park for 3 hours and you can’t return within a certain time either so I had to leave Samantha and leave the car park to move into Ikea next door!  Not exactly a rule that encourages you to stay in the area to shop!  Obviously a rule put in place by a man!

Neither Samantha nor I knew what to get when it came to prams.  It all seemed so difficult and we walked around Mamas and Papas looking very much like newby’s to the pram scene.  It wasnt too long before a very kind shop assistant took pity on us and showed us exactly what all these machines do and the way she turned that pram into a car seat carrier was truly professional!  Sold to Mrs and Mrs Gullable!  Add to the bag plenty of baby clothes, a moses basket and stand, blankets and bibs and a very harrassed Mum to be was ready to go home.

For the first time on my travels to the UK, I hired a car.  I have to admit I was a little nervous because I really haven’t driven for a couple of years.  I booked through Argushire on the internet and it was a fairly good price at £47 for the 2 days.  They picked me up at the airport and took me down the road to their offices to fill in all the paperwork.  I was waffling on to him as I normally do about how I hadn’t driven and how it will be strange to be on the “other side of the road” when I realised that he looked abit worried!  When I asked him if he had a pillow he asked if he should get one to go all the way round the car!  Cheek! Anyway, I decided to pay the full excess of £15 per day because if you don’t do this they automatically put £750 on your credit card and this is taken off again when you bring the car back in tip top condition!

On the Sunday my flight home wasn’t until just before 8 o’clock at night but I had to get the car back for 3.30 otherwise I would be liable for a further day’s hire.  I filled up the car on the way back to the airport with another £5 as it only had to go back quarter full, drove around the forecourt of the garage and noticed that the petrol guage hadn’t moved so went back to the pump and put in another £5 and paid the now very confused attendent!  When I drove away and along the road, the guage went right up to nearly half full!  Typical…mental note not to do that again in future!  I pulled into the office of the car hire feeling very pleased with myself that all had gone well on the driving front….then I met him. Mr Jobsworth!  He must have been 16 (ok, probably more like 19 but he still had spots!) He looked all around the car, ticking as he went on his clipboard (every jobsworth should have one!) Then he invited me to return to the office with him.  I was then told how lucky I was that I had taken out the excess otherwise I would have been charged £150 for the damage!!  What damage I asked???? Apparently I had damaged the wheeltrim on the kerb.  I defended myself demanding that I hadn’t parked anywhere near a kerb all weekend.  (Actually that was absolutely true because I had only parked on Samantha’s drive and in the shop car-park where there were no kerbs.  Mr Jobsworth just looked me in the eye and with that Easyjet manner (you know the one, its on all the programmes you see), asked why I was making such a fuss “Madam” when “you are not being charged”!!!  Little upstart…I hadn’t parked by a kerb!  Mr Jobsworth told me to just “sign the paper”.  I signed but made a note on the page to say that I hadn’t parked by a kerb!!!  I was taken back to the airport by Jobsworth who, obviously feeling sorry for the old dear, said that it was possible that the trim had been damaged in a pot-hole!!!  Must have been a very deep pot hole and I think I would have noticed don’t you!!  Mental note to try a different car hire company next time and to definately make sure that we pay for excess.

Back at the airport I had 4 hours to kill so I got myself a paper and a sandwhich and settled down in a comfy chair to phone Tony to let him know that the flight was on time.  Tony suggested that I went into the VIP lounge…ummmm not a bad idea!  Went upstairs to the lounge and paid the £16.  Payment has to be made by a card not cash…ok.  Then, I give my boarding card, home address and then have to show more id! Come on, I have just got through departures easier!  Eventually settled down and have to say it really was worth it.  Free drinks, snacks, papers, internet for 3 hours.  I was able to phone home and Samantha for free on Skype and don’t tell anyone, even managed to sneak a can of coke into my bag for on the plane!!! When we went to Las Vegas Tony and I used the lounge in Gatwick and it was great because they served hot foot too, so it was really worth the money there as food costs an absolute fortune in Gatwick.

Flight home was ok and the wine I had earlier meant that I didn’t even take that much notice of the man next to me snoring…it was just like being at home actually!

Tony has continued his “keep fit” regime and is still doing 1 hour a day down in the garage on the walking machine and all the other articles of horror otherwise known as gym equipment!  So far he has managed to lose around 11 kilos which is very good for him.  I have avoided the “gym” but have followed the healthy eating  (don’t really have a choice do you when your significant other is doing so well with his diet?!) I have a phobia about scales…don’t go near the things for fear of what they may say…but can tell from my clothes that I have obviously lost some weight.  I think perhaps I need to do some exercise too so have decided to wait until the swimming pool is warm enough to do an hour or so a day (yeah right!).  Unfortunately (!) the weather is still a little too cold at night to keep the pool warm but the day is near.  I actually woke Tony in the middle of the night on Wednesday because he WASN’T snoring!  It scared me because I guess I am so used to hearing him howling grunts into my ear throughout the night.  I think it is because of his weight loss as it happened once before when he lost weight.  Can’t win can you….snoring keeps me awake because of the noise and nowadays I can’t sleep because he isn’t snoring.  Not sure which I prefer!

Torrevieja is still rather quiet with very few holiday makers arriving in our area. No-one has arrived at all in our block which is unusual for this time of year.  I think nowadays it is probably cheaper for people to take once again, the package holidays which  became less popular over recent years.  To pay for a flight, apartment, food and car hire it is very expensive and probably far cheaper to buy a complete package deal.  I think several people will be struggling this year as many seem to rely upon the rental market to survive and more and more apartments and villas are on the market at extroadinarily low prices.  One two bedroom apartment here has recently sold for just 67,000 euros whereas just 12 months ago it would have been expected to get a minimum of 100,000 if not more.

I was talking to a young lady that makes a living out of renting apartments and asked her why she didn’t do more “long term” rentals.  I knew it can be a little complicated here in Spain but didn’t realise how complicated!  She told me that it is very, very difficult to get people to leave if they don’t pay the rent and the courts will always look favourably on those who are renting, allowing them to stay up to 5 years without payment.  Surprisingly (or not!) it is apparently not the Spanish that flaunt this law the most.  I’m told that the most problems are from those from immigrants who quickly learn the rules and take full advantage.

Well, today was Mothers Day in the UK and I had a lovely card from Samantha.  Next year she will have one herself from her little one.  How strange it is to think of your own baby having a child.  We were due to go out this evening to celebrate my birthday and it was very difficult to find a restaurant that wasn’t full of families celebrating Mothering Sunday, even though Mother’s day in Spain is later in the year.  We did manage to book somewhere but have had to cancel because we are absolutely full of cake.  After our joint fasting (ok, should call it healthy eating), I decided that I wanted chocolate cake on my birthday. Tony and I took a trip to town this morning and I had a lovely piece of chocolate cake with coffee. We bought some more cakes and ate those when we got home!  Then just after, our dear friends Jane and Gordon came around with a huge chocolate birthday cake for me!  I can almost hear my arteries thickening and the warm air is obviously shrinking my dress as I type!  Ah well, tomorrow is another day and I have the joy of yet more carrots, cabbage and broccoli awaiting me!  Lovely!!

Forgot to mention, have I told you about my attempts at Karaoke?  Tony and I have avoided it like the plague since we came over here but about a month ago we were persuaded to go to a local bar with friends.  Now Gordon sings wonderfully and his rendition of I Pretend (Des O’connor) can bring me to tears but there was no way I was going to get up and give it a go.  The following week I don’t know what happened but I found myself up there, in front of all those people singing (well trying to) Que Sera Sera! Four weeks later that is my signature tune!!!  I sing like an angel, unfortunately a tone deaf one but hey ho, I don’t care…I have a laugh and really enjoy myself.  I know I should be looking at songs by Adele, Janet Jackson but for some reason am drawn towards Doris Day, Connie Francis!  One song that I adore is Frankie by Connie Francis but it would appear that no-one else has heard of it and the Karaoke man has to put in a special order for me!!!  So I guess I really am old!……..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-Jetds-O38 ..

Take care everyone and I would just like to thank everyone for their emails following my tribute to Chunky Boy.  It meant a great deal to us both.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Speak to you all again real soon.

Love Bell x

They say that age is all in your mind.  The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body.  ~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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