Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘family and relationships’ Category

Our little Peanut nearly has the muscle control to make a fist by now, but look how tiny the hands are!!!! 👶🏻❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️ It’s simply breathtaking to realise that a human being can be so incredibly tiny. Oh my gosh. It’s extraordinary, the miracle of nature

Read Full Post »

As I travelled home after finishing my latest assignment I had no idea that within a few hours I was to receive news that would change my life exponentially and forever. News that I been ‘praying’ for, hoping for, but beginning to reconcile myself to possibly not ever getting.

My daughter and her fiancé were busy planning their wedding, now just 2.5 weeks away and it was all systems go. She had the best fun planning this wedding, buying this and that, ordering little surprises for her bridesmaids, flower girls and her Mother (me 😉 ).

So when I got home, tired but excited to be in the final planning stages of the wedding, I had no idea what news was waiting for me. Greeting me at the door as if nothing was different from all the dozens of times I had arrived home after being away, we hugged, chatted briefly and made a cup of tea 🙂

Relaxing in the lounge she said, with a very straight face, that she had a little gift for me! Oh, that girl. Always full of gifts and surprises for people. I had no idea what to expect and set about opening the gift-wrapped box, thinking it was probably something to do with the wedding………little did I know.

Holding her phone up to record my reaction, and with firm instructions to not shake the box, to hold it still and open it at a certain angle, I complied. I’m used to her doing this type of thing, so my expectations were that it had something to do with the wedding, possibly something made of glass, which is why when I saw what was in the box, it took a good few seconds for my brain to register what I was seeing!!! Talk about a brain spin. Mine did a complete 360 degree loop!

OH. MY. God!!! There nestled in the box was this…..

first grandchild, we're expecting a baby, i'm going to be a granny

the best news ever!!!!

Staring at the words on the baby grow as if I had never seen English words before, it took me all of about 30 seconds to comprehend what I was seeing….my head whipped up at an alarming rate and the incredulity on my face was something to behold. You’re pregnant??? A tearful nod from the Mother-to-be and I was out of my chair in a flash, absolutely hysterical with unadulterated joy. I never knew sounds like that could come out of my body!!

At just on 3pm on the 12th May 2018 I got the best news ever!!! I was gong to be a Granny!! Oh how much I had hoped that my daughter would one day have a baby, for her to experience the exquisite joy of being a Mother, of holding that tiny little mite in her arms and know that she was the lifelong guardian of that precious bundle. For years I had hoped that she would have this experience and now finally it was true; she was to be a Mother and I was to be a Granny.

first grandchild, we're expecting a baby, i'm going to be a granny

I’m going to be a Granny

The tears flowed and the questions flew…when was it due? How are you feeling? What now? OMG is this really true and many many more. Once we had all settled down and the enormity of the news settled like a mantle over my shoulders, I realised that my life had changed exponentially and would never be the same again.

first grandchild, we're expecting a baby, i'm going to be a granny

this is what was nestled inside the Daddy’s box 🙂

They had their first scan done just the day before 🙂

first grandchild, we're expecting a baby, i'm going to be a granny

Due in January and just the size of a poppy seed 🙂

Isn’t that just the most miraculous image in the world!!! And so the adventure begins!

 

 

Read Full Post »

My daughter and I attended a 2 day Investment Trading Course in London this weekend.

It wasn’t, thank goodness, one of those rah rah happy clappy ‘guru’ type courses where they spend the weekend showing you snippets of how they made their millions and all the consumeristic tat they’ve bought with said millions, and then at the end of it all they tell you that in order to learn more, you need to buy their next course….a bit like the courses I attended ; Tony Robbins, Roger Hamilton, Christopher Howard and their ilk. All very deceitful. I won’t go into the details here, except to say that they always have a caveat that let’s them off the hook.

Or like the Jill Fielding course we did…provided just enough of the strategy and steps required to get you excited, then ended off with…if you want to learn more, sign up for my next course. They also don’t tell you beforehand that you need a lump sum to get started. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have signed up for a very expensive course. It irks me a great deal that these ‘professionals’ never give you the full picture, but get you excited about the possibility, then sign you up, and you only find out the reality once you’ve signed up.

No, this was a down-to-earth practical course showing you the actual steps and strategies used in her investing portfolio.

Our heads were not filled with ‘oh look how wonderful I am with my millions’, but rather we were shown a realistic presentation of this is what I’ve done over the last 10/15 years to gain financial freedom. There are no millions involved, no fancy lifestyle of big cars, mansions, motorbikes bigger than a small car, jet-set trips blah blah blah.

No, what I really appreciated about this course is that it was kept simple and straightforward with practical ‘this is what you do’ steps to investing over the long term.

Yes, you do need a decent lump sum to get started in order to gain that financial goal over 10 or even 15 years, but you can equally start with £100. You’re not going to be a millionaire overnight or even in 10 years time (if that’s what you’re looking for then buy a lottery ticket).

It’s even better than that….it’s an easy way to get started on investing money following a system that over the long term uses a simple strategy and takes advantage of compound interest, along with two other strategies that she shows you.

My daughter and I learned so much this weekend, and not just about investing, but also about the mindset you need in order to be able to invest regularly and sensibly. There’s no high-risk fast-gain strategy. But there is a simple honest way to invest and gain financial independence.

We were talking about the strategies on the train afterwards, and as my daughter said, if they taught this in schools, they could eradicate poverty within a generation. We are taught all sorts of shit in school that we never need again and nothing at all about financial planning. Rather the expectation is to leave school and either get a low-paying job or go onto benefits, or nothing at all in some cases. Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone, but the majority of people do fall into the cycle of financial poverty. And while it’s good to have a job, people are mostly not taught how to budget and how to invest, and so they fall into a cycle of never-ending debt.

It doesn’t need a huge investment to get started and if kids are taught how to budget and how to invest a small amount every month, by the time they’re adults, they could have a decent nest-egg to get started in life.

After a yummy meal, but tired we got home, relaxing on the couch and chatting, we happened to start watching a programme on minimalism which opened up a whole new train of thought.

We are influenced on a minute by minute basis, especially since the advent of TV advertising, and now social media platform advertising, that we are only happy when we spend spend spend : fancy cars, big houses, the latest technology, flat screen 55 inch tvs, holidays here there and everywhere, the ‘latest’ fashion, jewellery and high-end watches with lots of friends milling about the swimming pool in our garden sipping cocktails or beer and smoking… The height of fashion. This the advertisers say, will make you happy.

But it doesn’t. Besides that, it comes at a massive cost; to your family, your health, the health of developing nations and to the planet. Think plastic. One of the things they mentioned in the programme was how in the past, you had 4 seasons of fashion, but now they have 52 weeks of changing fashions. Consumers are constantly bombarded with messages that unless you buy the ‘latest’ this that or the other, you’ll be out of fashion and unhappy and a failure for not keeping up with the Joneses. Think Apple. What they don’t tell you is the massive, negative impact of buying all this stuff is having on the planet. It’s cheap designed to break down quickly and forces you to buy another. Of course I realise the latest Apple phones are not cheap, but they don’t last and every year they persuade millions of people to buy the latest model. They get nauseatingly wealthy and you don’t.

And are you happy?

So, after much discussion we’re now looking at serious minimisation. I’ve been downsizing anyway coz I’m tired of all my possessions that don’t serve me or bring me joy, but instead weigh me down with having to store them and restrict my freedom. But now, I’m going to be brutal. That jacket I love but never wear….out. The dozens of cds I never have time to listen to….out.

I have boxes and boxes of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years that I never look at or need…. Out!!!

I’m going to become even more of what I’ve been for the last few years….every companies worst nightmare : a non-consumer. I experienced so much freedom on the Camino I walked last year with everything I needed in a backpack. It had a massive impact on my life.

Getting back to the Investing Course, as I mentioned earlier, it’s not one of those £5,0000.00 courses where the presenter promises you that you’ll be a millionaire in no time at all (it never happens), and it’s not a ‘fake it till you make it’ type of course (think of any big name in the Personal Development arena), but it is a simple, straightforward, no bullshit, this is what you can do to invest your money and using a simple strategy gain financial security for the long-term.

If like me, you’re already ‘over the hill and still travelling’ then unless you have a large lump sum to invest, you’re not going to be wealthy overnight, but you can secure a decent amount of money to provide a boost to your pension. It is a long-term strategy…..Minimum 10 years, but at the end of it, if you stick with the strategy you should see a decent financial gain.

If you’re still young, 40 and less, then you can, with due diligence and discipline, be able to secure a decent amount of money for a more secure lifestyle.

Let’s face it, unless you earn megabucks (which the vast majority only dream about but never attain) then your pension is going to be shit. Mine will be £65 per week. Rah rah.

So consider your future and think about investing and give yourself a better chance of a decent financial lifestyle.

For me, financial freedom would mean being able to buy my motor home and having sufficient funds to travel and not work. It would be about having just enough money to sustain me while I walk along all the routes I want to do, take decent photos and have the time to blog about my adventures.

I don’t need a big house, fancy car, latest fashion or any of the latest fads. I just want to walk and live a simple lifestyle.

Read Full Post »

What a superb image. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the RAF, and in just 24 days, thanks to my incredible, amazing daughter, I’ll be flying in one of these gorgeous machines celebrating my 63rd birthday 😊😊😊 (altho I’d appreciate it if you don’t tell anyone how ‘old’ I am 😁). Talking of which, I’ve decided to switch the numbers around and make it 36!! 🤣🤣🤣 Age is but a number after all 🤔

raf centenary, spitfires, royal air force, the daily express

image cut out from The Daily Express newspaper. I’ll have to keep this in my diary 🙂

So wow, Spitfires eh. Aren’t they just beautiful. My favourite flying machine ahead of the Red Arrows. I can’t wait now to fly over the White Cliffs of Dover, I’m going to be a tearful mess 🙄🙄 Hope the pilot can cope!! I’m reminded of the Battle of Britain Airshow last year at Headcorn. What a joy to watch these superb little craft flypast

spitfire p fx, battle of britain aitshow headcorn, raf 100th anniversary, fly a spitfire

The Supermarine Spitfire P FX seen at the Battle of Britain Airshow at Headcorn 08/07/2017

I remember seeing this advertised at the entrance and thinking how much I would love to have a flight….and now I will be…in just 24 days whoo hoo. Although the flight my daughter has paid for is well over 10 times more than the one advertised here, and I’ll be flying from Biggin Hill not Headcorn.

spitfire flights, battle of britain headcorn, biggin hill battle of britain

The Spitfire Flight Experience at Headcorn. Although I’ll be flying from Biggin Hill which is just awesome

I was a tad disappointed with the various news coverage and programmes celebrating the 100th anniversary, since none of them mentioned the esteemed South African Statesman Jan Smuts, who was after all responsible for the founding of the RAF. So I’m mentioning it here. Hats off to one of my heroes. You are remembered. If you’re interested to read more about the founding father of the RAF, here’s the link to the relevant article

https://samilhistory.com/2018/04/01/the-royal-air-forces-100th-birthday-and-its-founder-jan-smuts/

Read Full Post »

The article I’ve shared here is a long read. It may be worth your time to read it through. I left Facebook earlier this year, (although I haven’t yet deleted my profile), because it was making me feel uncomfortable and I noticed that I was being manipulated by what I was seeing. My daughter sent me this article and having read it, I see now that my thoughts and feelings of unease were correct. I realise that some will of course say they already ‘knew’ all of this. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether to read it or not, but in case you don’t, everyone on social media is being mass manipulated and Facebook is one of the worst perpetrators. : “They have created billions of individual channels, each of which can be pushed further into negativity and extremism without the risk of alienating other audience members. To the contrary: the platforms help people self-segregate into like-minded filter bubbles, reducing the risk of exposure to challenging ideas.” https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/january-february-march-2018/how-to-fix-facebook-before-it-fixes-us/

I’ve kept my profile open simply so that I can pop in from time to time to contact friends whose phone numbers I don’t have, particularly those who live on different continents, and because I have never downloaded the Facebook messenger app since I didn’t and still don’t trust them or the app. I don’t see messages or tags anymore because I literally go onto my profile for a few minutes and off again. I won’t ever again be an active user.
I’ll still use instagram because I enjoy sharing my images and love seeing all the wonderful images of places around the world. It’s also useful to compile lists of where I want to go. WhatsApp has unfortunately become a necessity.. for now, but that will change in time. And Google is Google, a useful tool for research. Fortunately I’m not a very good consumer, so that’s their bad luck.

Anyway, I’d suggest you take the time to read this article, so that you can be aware of how we’re all being manipulated. Knowledge, as they say, is power.

https://www.wired.com/story/inside-facebook-mark-zuckerberg-2-years-of-hell/amp?__twitter_impression=true

Read Full Post »

Quite a few months ago my future son-in-law decided to bake a cake. Now, under normal circumstances there’s nothing remarkable about that at all….except that he had never before baked a cake 🙂

The end result was – delicious, albeit somewhat lopsided and needed refinement. In that regard there has been no problem, over the last few months he has progressed in leaps and bounds and now whips up a cake in the blink of an eye…with his secret recipe fillings that are to die for. Delicious. I have no problem at all eating as much as possible when I’m home…if there’s any left LOL…his fiancé quite likes them too!!

After a conversation with my daughter about what he’d like to do with this new-found enthusiasm for baking going forward, I decided that a talent like this needs to be encouraged and nurtured, and so, as an early birthday present, I sent him for cake icing lessons.

After some research on the internet I found a lovely young lass by the name of Billie who has her business in Deal, which is just a short train ride or drive away from home, and so I booked him in for a 3 hour lesson.

The big day came and off they went, my daughter drove them there in Fiona and they made a day of it with her going along to view the proceedings and capture the moments. What fun.

The lesson progressed exceedingly well and the comment I had from Billie is that she thought he’s a natural, was very steady and patient and she couldn’t quite believe he’d never iced a cake before.

The final result…looks remarkably like a wedding cake and I wonder if there’s a future career in that direction 😉 I’m well impressed at the end result. I used to do cake-icing myself in my younger days, and iced and decorated a few wedding cakes as well as sold a great number of occasion cakes, so to see this talent in our little family is marvellous.

So, here’s my future son-in-law; Simon….a possible future Bake Off 2019 contestant!!

bake off contestant 2019, cake icing lessons

getting started

bake off contestant 2019, cake icing lessons

making excellent progress

bake off contestant 2019, cake icing lessons

a future Bake Off contestant in the making

I wonder if I should enrol him? LOL

If you’re wanting to know more about Billie’s cake icing lessons, here is her website

 

Read Full Post »

I was chatting to my daughter yesterday and remarked that I had been particularly blessed this year. Usually when you get to the end of the year you kinda feel like there is more that could/should be done before the year ends (well I do), and the last few days of December are spent cramming in just a few more activities. But this year I can truly say that I have had a year jam-packed with adventures, and for that, I am truly grateful.

inspirational quotes

Die with memories, not dreams

So to that end I decided to list my 2017 adventures, and was astounded at how much I had actually done, and how many places I have actually been to besides all my Camino 2017 practice walks that took me to some fantastic places. So this is my final blog for 31 Days of Gratitude – Day 31 – 2017 in review.

January

New Year’s Day swim 01.01.2017 Broadstairs Beach, Isle of Thanet, Kent

New Year's Day, Broadstairs

New Year’s Day, Broadstairs

Wedding Dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping…so much fun

Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England

visit the isle of wight

A visit to the isle of Wight

Places I went while I was there; Nettlestone (1086 Domesday Book village),20170116_144130-01 Bembridge Windmilll, Brading Roman Villa, Carisbrooke Castle, Cowes, Ryde, rode on a Hover craft, The Needles and Quarr Abbey.

And Osborne House


Magic Lantern Festival – Chiswick Park, London

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

February
Oxted, Surrey – the Greenwich Meridian runs through the town

Oxted

A closer look at Oxted

Limpsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

Down House – home of Charles Darwin

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Tatsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

tatsfield surrey

South East England’s highest village; Tatsfield. Ref wikipedia: “In Anglo-Saxon England, Tatsfield lay within Tandridge hundred. In 1086 it was held by Anschitill (Ansketel) de Ros from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its Domesday assets were: ? hide. It had 2 ploughs. It rendered 60 shillings (£3) to its feudal overlords per year.”

Tandridge & Crowhurst, Surrey

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Dublin, Ireland

 

Trim Castle & Trim, Ireland

March
City of Winchester, Hampshire, England

Winchester

Winchester

Torquay, seaside resort – Devon

torquay

Torquay

April

Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Poggibonsi, Sienna, Lucca – Italy

 

May

Newcastle, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

 

Dark Hedges – Game of Thrones, N. Ireland

the dark hedges northern ireland

The Dark Hedges – scenes for Game of Thrones were shot in this area

Sevenoaks, Kent, England

 

June
Tonbridge, Kent, England

Ironbridge, Shropshire, England – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lenham, Kent, England

Lenham

Lenham

July
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales route – Southwark to Canterbury

Battle of Britain Airshow, Headcorn

St Augustine’s Way – Ramsgate to Canterbury

August
Arundel, and Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England

Bromham, Houghton House with my lovely friends Lynne & Tim and Elstow (birthplace of John Bunyan) – Bedfordshire, England

Bronham, Houghton House, Elstow

Bromham, Houghton House, Elstow

Zip Line with Zip World in London with my daughter

September
Walked the Caminho Portuguese – Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain 240 kms – Both UNESCO World Heritage sites

Coimbra, Portugal – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

October
Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

November
Caernarfon Castle, Wales – site where Prince Charles was crowned Prince of Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway Line Train ride; Caenarfon to Portmadogg through Snowdonia

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Porthmadogg, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Portmadogg, Wales

Climbed Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd – highest mountain in Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Montgomery, Powys, Wales – The Treaty of Montgomery was signed 29 September 1267 in Montgomeryshire. By this treaty King Henry III of England acknowledged Llywelyn ap Gruffudd as Prince of Wales.

Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery, Wales

December
Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Christmas in Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, Kent

xmas 2017

Christmas 2017 with my delightful family

And in total, between 01.01.2017 & 31.12.2017 I have walked well over 1100 miles.

What an extraordinary year; 2017.IMG_20171231_100927_404

p.s. Days 14-30 Days of Gratitude will follow shortly….I eventually ran out of time 😉

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

accessyourbrilliance

Its Your Time to Shine

Shamrocks & Shells

Camino Society Ireland's online magazine

With Love & Veggies

Healthy families grow with love and veggies

A Very Sisu Life

SISU: a Finnish concept for special strength and persistant determination-- an almost magical quality to be full of courage, tenacity, resolve, willpower and an indomitable spirit.

robbo worldtraveller

Because I am a traveller I can look down on the birds and up at the fishes. I collect moments and can venture back in time to lost worlds. I seize life and simultaneously escape it at will. Because I am a traveller I envy no man at home.

FiftyFourandAHalf

More than just another wiseass

Ger's Camino Blog - Camino de Santiago

Making sense of my Camino Francés

Paw Prints Weekly

The student newspaper of Glen a. wilson high school