I’m trying to see ‘difficulties’ as ‘challenges’

Although the above is hard when I write a partial post, save it (or so I think) as a draft and then can’t find it again.

Having little things to look forward to, or to do, on a daily basis is great. When I was in Madrid for three days earlier in the week I didn’t have access to my lucky bag of 100 little treats and was surprised by how much I missed it and how much I looked forward to picking some out when I returned.

A little diversion – I was pleasantly surprised at how well my Spanish came back when I had to visit the bank. Spain in its wisdom has decided that if holders of bank accounts don’t go in person to their bank branch and present ID documents before the end of April, accounts will be frozen. Great if you live abroad but own a property in Spain, serviced with utilities paid for from a Spanish account. It’s not quite like popping up the road to the bank! Anyhow, I was in Madrid, my bank is in Madrid so I popped in with my passport, which they photocopied and added. They also tried to change my status from widow to married, after my happy remarriage last year. That was a step too far for the computer. So in Spain I remain a widow! Of course, they wanted the document I didn’t have on me. The flimsy piece of paper I acquired twelve years ago when I got my Spanish tax number. I gave them the number, which they already had anyway. But Spanish bureaucracy is like a complicated game! And they wonder why their economy is suffering. They have, however, graciously said I can scan and email it to them.

100 little treats – number

6. This is a little prosaic but as I am beginning to earn a little money now through my long hours at the computer, (and yes, the tax man does know!) I need a little investment plan, so shall amuse myself with that this week. I might also plan for my mythical Euromillions win!

As I missed a whole week, I’ve got five to catch up on.- I’ve dipped in again and lined up another  few.

7. When I was writing an article I had to research different ways of wearing scarves. Now, scarves are one of my weaknesses and I have loads. But, I usually just throw them around my neck. I shall put my research to good use and get creative.

8. I always do a few minutes of Pilates every day as a way of keeping supple. One day this week I’m going to spend a whole hour doing Pilates with some relaxing or uplifting music playing in the background.

9. I’m going to get out the few poetry books I own, have a browse and choose one to copy out in my best (beautiful!) handwriting. None of us take time to actually enjoy putting pen to paper these days.

10. Buy and use a beautiful new mug.

I’ll let you know how I got on and will get to grips with adding more photos to my blog.

A dip into my 100 little treats!

It is all very well rambling on about Faro, but part of this blog’s reason for being was to share my search for contentment and happiness. Which treats have been pulled out of the bag so far!

1. This one is providing an on-going pleasure – I had to buy six packets of fruit flavoured teas and jumble them up in my Abbotsbury Swannery tea caddy and enjoy one or two a day. It didn’t cost much and each cup of tea is a surprise flavour. Using this caddy which had been lurking at the back of a cupboard also reminds me of a lovely day out from about 12 years ago.

2. This one would have been easy to do in the UK but was a little trickier here, (in Lisbon) but I managed it. I had to search out the ingredients for and make a traditional English trifle. It was delicious and gave us two desserts. S was very impressed and I shall definitely make it again.

3. This shows this blog is a little retrospective at times. The third treat out of the hat was to learn how to, and start my blog. As you can see I’ve done this, although I need to find time to explore all the different ways of making it look more attractive. And start searching out, reading and interacting with other people’s blogs!

4. Simple one – I painted each nail on my hand and foot a different colour. A little daring at my age, so I didn’t keep my hands painted for long, but the toes can see me through the first couple of weeks of summer shoes.

5. Last one so far. Choose ten old films that I want to watch either again or for the first time

  • Thelma and Louise
  • Mary Poppins (!)
  • Breakfast at Tiffanys
  • Sound of Music (!!)
  • Casablanca
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • It Happened One Night
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Some Like it Hot
  • The Lady from Shanghai
  • Mrs Miniver
  • How Green Was My Valley

Well, I know that is 13! But I couldn’t decide. I’m off to Madrid tomorrow to spend 3 days with St, so will maybe watch one with him. Off to pick out another treat now.

Weekend in Faro

 

A lovely relaxing weekend in Faro, arranged at short notice. Faro has grown on me. I wasn’t too keen when we first visited it last September, but actually staying in the town and getting a real feel for the qualities of this place, made a difference. And it is only two and a half hours away by car. Once away from Lisbon, other cars on the road are few and far between.017

Here Goes – My Very First Blog at the Grand Old Age of 58!

achangeforjoy

When I left home at 18 to start nursing I never dreamt that my life was going to involve so many changes, so many side turns, some reversals and a lot of excitement. Although I haven’t travelled a lot in a conventional way and seen as much of the world as I’d liked, I have certainly had some journeys. Physical and emotional.

For a person who has no links with the military, I have managed to knock up an impressive amount of addresses in my life, 22 at the last count. And it’s not over yet. My family and friends complain that they need an address book just for me and I’m well versed in the legalities of changing my address and dealing with the relevant authorities. Or not!

Friends who have spent most of their lives at one or two addresses think it sounds exciting and that I ought…

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Here Goes – My Very First Blog at the Grand Old Age of 58!

When I left home at 18 to start nursing I never dreamt that my life was going to involve so many changes, so many side turns, some reversals and a lot of excitement. Although I haven’t travelled a lot in a conventional way and seen as much of the world as I’d liked, I have certainly had some journeys. Physical and emotional.

For a person who has no links with the military, I have managed to knock up an impressive amount of addresses in my life, 22 at the last count. And it’s not over yet. My family and friends complain that they need an address book just for me and I’m well versed in the legalities of changing my address and dealing with the relevant authorities. Or not!

Friends who have spent most of their lives at one or two addresses think it sounds exciting and that I ought to write my memoirs! I don’t think my life is exciting enough to warrant memoirs but maybe a few musings along the way.

Things have been a little tricky in the last few months and we don’t know really what is going to happen. If things turn out well, business wise, we should be set up for life. If not, who knows. I find uncertainty harder to cope with than my husband and need things to look forward to, to spur me on. Unable to book holidays and make firm plans for the next few months I was feeling a little dispirited and out of control – so I thought how can I give myself some motivation and incentives and get some joy back in my life.

I don’t need much, I’m not materialistic and enjoy the little pleasures of life – so decided to focus on little treats. 100 to be exact – and it really stretched my imagination and thought processes to think of a 100 treats. In fact, I’m not quite there yet – but as I think of more I add them.

I took a 100 post-its. Scrawled my treats onto these, folded them up and popped them in a bag. Shook them up and was ready to go. Truth is, I’ve already forgotten what most of the treats were, so when I pull one out it is a real surprise.

The intention was to pull one out everyday, but I found I haven’t needed to be so greedy. Some need a little preparation, or have to wait for an opportunity. That becomes part of the pleasure, a little planning and something to look forward to.

I have pulled three out so far and am looking forward to the next one later.

So, we arrive at my purpose at last and the reason for the name of my blog. A Change For Joy – little steps that hopefully will energise my life and help me deal with the day to day problems we are encountering at the moment. And a hundred reasons for blogging – more or less! Here goes!