Brindleboy123's Blog

What a difference a month makes!

Posted on: April 24, 2011

Howdy folks!

Here we are then at the end of yet another month…May 2011 on the horizon. Unbelievabubble! I have now entered the brown brigade….at the moment I look more Jamacan that I do Bristolian!  As many of you will know, we have lived here in Spain for coming on 9 years and until this month I would say that we had been on the beach probably 2, maybe 3 times!  May not sound remarkable but when you consider that we live right opposite the sea, people do often find it strange!

Since we have been without Chunky boy, our life seems to be very different and we don’t seem to have such a routine as we did previously.  Quite out of the blue (probably a “tropical moment”), I suggested that we went to the beach and sunbathed!  Not sure if it was the shock of the suggestion or what, but within a few hours there we were…on the beach! We had a great time, just relaxing and people watching…excellent!

Now when the Spanish “go to the beach”, they “go to the beach”! They walk past our window with chairs, bags , umbrellas the lot usually tied together and pulled along on wheels from some old shopping trolley that they have found by one of the bins!  Not to be outdone (that just wouldn’t be right!), the following day we took ourselves off to Carrefour to buy in our supplies!  Two fold-down chairs, an umbrella (largest possible of course!), a tray for the umbrella pole, a cool box and the obligatory battery operated water squirting fan!

Our next trip to the beach we were prepared!  The wind had picked up a little but everyone seemed to have their umbrellas up so we didn’t envisage any problems.  But there was…..the other umbrellas were your standard “umbrellas for the beach” type….not ours!  Let’s just say a family of 10 could probably sit quite comfortably under it and still have room to invite their friends around!  Anyway, the umbrella obviously required a much calmer day and probably something more substantial (like a bulldozer) to secure it into the sand, so we decided that we would just play it cool and pretend that we had decided to toughen out the sun and keep the umbrella down!  The tray by the way didn’t fit on the pool anyway!  The fold down chair was fine although something that didn’t fold quite so low would have probably been preferable.  I wasn’t too keen on the fan…the idea of something squirting water directly into my eye just seemed to be ridiculous and a complete waste of me investing in new lens’s for someone to just squirt water, mixed with the odd bit of sand, directly into them! Loved the cool box though!

Also for the first time in 9 years, we bought some sun cream.  Probably a bit late to feel the benefits as my skin is now something akin to a wrinked up piece of paper that has been ironed out in places, but as least we were now trying.  As seemed to be the norm, Tony covered me and I covered him….why I ended up with bruises on my legs led me to believe that perhaps he was purposely a little heavy handed though…ok I could have got it from falling over my own feet but I’m not going to tell him that!

Tony had taken me to the Chinese shop up the road (my man knows how to treat a woman) and bought me some new swimwear so there we were, all kitted out and ready for our relaxing afternoon.  What I didn’t know was that when you visit a Spanish beach it is also necessary to take everything with you, practically including your bankers card! We were approached by 3 moroccans selling sun-glasses (hey, I’m wearing some!!), one chinese lady who was offering me a massage on the beach… that really decent?!, another chinese lady offering me every DVD or CD known to man for 2 euros, a leaflet for a night in a new bar, 5 lemons for a euro and another woman who threw a bag of bikinis on the sand and every Spanish women within a mile radius came over and just stripped off in front of us and started to try them on…..the best bit was they were the exact same ones that I had bought previously in the Chinese shop!

Several visits later, we are now apparently “looking well” as several people have told me…have to say that Mum always used to say that I “looked well” although I normally found out that what she really meant was “you have put on weight!”  Hopefully that is not the case now, particularly as Tony and I are still “eating sensibly”.  Tony has managed to lose 18 kilos through his continued keep fit regime and I still have no idea what I have lost although some of my clothes seem to be fitting me better (fitting at all is an improvement to be honest) this year.

This being Easter weekend has seen a huge increase in the number of people that have arrived in our block.  It is now probably 2/3rds full and completely different to the block we have known over the last 6 months or so. It feels like we are sharing our “front garden” with everyone as we have been so used to being able to walk outside the front door and not seeing anyone.  Now when you go out there are people sat around the pool and children running around everywhere…joy of joys!  It is actually quite nice to see the old faces again.  On the whole they are a very friendly lot and its nice that they all take the time to come over to say hello and give the obligatory kiss.  Did I ever tell you about dear old Carlos’ mother in law?  She was in her 90’s and sadly passed away a few years ago.  She used to come down from Madrid with Carlos and his wife every year and everyone loved her.  She was very independent and would walk around the pool area with her stick saying hello to everyone that she passed.  The best bit was when she gave you a kiss.  She would practically suck your cheeks and Tony always used to say “you’ve been kissed…you’ve still got the marks on your face!”  You would hear granny kissing someone from 100 meters!  God bless her.

Heard from Samantha that my other daughter, Colette, is planning to get married in December.  I’m deeply sad that I will not be invited to the wedding as Colette still prefers not to have me in her life.  Nothing would make me happier than be able to see her marry but I know that is just not going to happen.  I know it is terribly sad when divorce comes and I don’t know where I failed in handling the situation but although in my mind I was leaving my husband of 25 years, I also lost a much loved daughter in the process.  Perhaps one day the situation will change, at the moment is seems to be unlikely but who knows I just have to hope against all hope that one day I will be able to share life with her again.  In the meantime I am blessed with Samantha and her husband Ben and the fact that in just 7 weeks or so my first grandchild will be born.  Samantha is doing ok but I think she is very tired.  They have been coping with so much, moving home, office and the baby that its no wonder she is tired.  Not too long now….soooo excited!

In Spain, each “community”, ie block of apartments etc has by law to have a meeting each year to elect its president, discuss finances etc.  Our normal meeting is in August but this year we have had to have an extra meeting because of problems with the pool area – leaks into the garages below etc.  Well, this meeting was on Friday.  Started at 8 and finished at 11 and total madness is the only way to decribe it!  Everyone shouting to be heard…hands flying around (why do Spanish need to express themselves so much with their hands?).  Our 3 hour meeting achieved absolutely nothing to do with the repairs that were needed on the square and only succeeded in an agreement to repair the pipe that is leaking into the street!  So we get to go through the whole lot again in August….just can’t wait.  The funny thing is when they argue and moan at each other you would assume that they would not speak to each other again.  Funny thing is, as soon as the meeting is over it is as if nothing has happened and they are all sat together having a glass of wine!  No grudges whatsoever….isn’t it a shame that isn’t the same everywhere.

Right, I’m off now to put the TENS machine on my back…..stupid here cleaned the toilet and managed to twist awkwardly and put my back out – old age doesn’t come alone does it! Small problem compared with what others have to put up with.  I’ve seen that several friends on the Carers UK forum are struggling at the moment….big hug to you all, thinking of you all often….hold on in there folks.

Take care everyone, see you again next month.

Bell x

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.  ~Frederick Keonig


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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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