Tears Fell, Blurring Our Vision


View from Our Bedroom at the B&B

This week has gone by in a bit of a blur. It started on Monday morning at 7 am, with a call from the hospital where my Mother in Law had been since Christmas. The nursing staff had found her un-responsive and they had called to inform us that they were keeping her under observation. Half an hour later they rang again, this time to inform us that she was being transferred over to the A&E department of the general hospital. The rest of the day is pretty raw in my mind.

The 3 brothers all managed to be at the hospital, accompanied by their 3 wives, together, to hear the Consultant tell us that this was “End of Life Care” She had suffered a major stroke and that their focus was now not in treating her but to keep her comfortable.

The family kept a vigil around her bedside for the rest of that day and through the night, before she peacefully passed away early Tuesday morning.

The week then progressed with visits to the hospital to collect paperwork to enable the death to be registered, to funeral directors to arrange a funeral, hours on the phone to various people, some to notify her passing, others to arrange equipment that had been on loan, such as hospital beds and other equipment designed to make caring for a loved one at home, easier on the carers.

I managed just 2 visits to the gym, I think my legs thanked me for that.

By Thursday my husband had had enough and just wanted to get way for the weekend and chill. I was left to make the arrangements. We are in an enviable part of the world, with Loch Lomond within a 2 hour drive, but after many hours searching the internet for a room for 2 nights, I was unable to find a vacant room, so one night when I couldn’t sleep, I came across a B&B in the Trossachs. It was all he had asked for, quiet, somewhere he could sit and relax and contemplate.

So after a stressful week, we drove away from it all, to spend a weekend in a remote place where the view from our bedroom was divine. This morning, we woke to an absolute still morning, where the surface of the loch was a millpond, the reflection in perfect symettry. The view of the ridge was a bit blurred, but it revealed itself at times as the mist lifted, much as our vision became clearer when the tears which flowed, abated.

Training for the 10k was achieved mainly by walking in this beautiful landscape

I hope your week has been slightly better than mine.

Thank you for reading, and if you have been affected by death at any point I would love to know how you are dealing with it.

Blessings Joy x

via Daily Prompt: Blur


24 Hours Later

It has been a full 24 hours since I stood on this spot and watched my daughter’s plane take off, as she headed back home, leaving me on holiday with my husband (MB) and my MIL.DSC_0270 I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

Hubby and I spent a lovely morning exploring the old parts of Faro. This put me in my element, I love exploring old towns and cities, I almost have the sense of having lived in those times, and I know the twist and turn of the narrow streets. Our holiday has taken a twist of it’s own too, since my DD left.


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There has been a sense of serene-ness, interspersed with some paranoia from my MIL. She accused me of “going into her room early this morning, and telling, nay demanding, that she should get up”, she told my hubby. At this point I had not even set 1 foot downstairs, and hubby knew this, so for once I heard him defending me. All too often I hear her saying things, and he doesn’t defend me, but in this instance he did. Much as I think that she needs to kick her own arse out of bed, before this holiday is completely over, and we are heading back to the UK, I hadn’t actually said it out loud…..I hadn’t even set 1 foot down the stairs at this point.

MIL has now gone into whimpering child mode, which really sets my darker side on alert. I really must try and remain calm, so that I can enjoy the rest of my time here. Husband is now piggy-in-the-middle as he tries to get her to at least get dressed and go out once in the holiday. So far she has remained in a nightie. It is 10 days now! I can hear her whimpering to him, but we really do need to get her out so that the cleaners can get in and clean the villa, including her room!


Well we managed to get her dressed, and take her out to lunch. What a saga that was, she moaned and groaned all the time we were out. Nothing that we did could make her say anything pleasant. It was too hot, her feet hurt, her legs hurt, she didn’t want anything to eat, she wanted to go back and lie down on the bed. We went for a short drive after the non-event of lunch, and she was like a spoilt child, just wanting her own way all the time. Hubby wanted to take her round the area to show her the work that had been taking placce since she was last there. Well she refused to even look out the window. I realised that I sometimes act like this, and that her behaviour is a mirror being held up to me. I vowed that I would try and be a little bit more pleasant to MB in future.

Well only another 2 full days here. I will miss this place, but I sincerely hope that this is the last time we bring MIL. Her health is just not up to the journey, and then the heat. This saga is about to come to an end. I will now look forward to holidaying out here in the future and seeing more of the Algarve than I have done in the past.

Blessings Joy

Holiday Saga: Day 3

This is my sixth visit to Portugal, and in all the previous trips I have mainly gone along with my husband and MIL and trailled along to where they have always gone in the past. This has meant eating at the same restaurants on the same evening of the year, going to the Country Club barbecue on Wednesday evenings, going for early morning walks along the same part of the beach, visiting the same Michelin star restaurant on our last evening here. It is very pleasant, but hardly adventurous. It took my husband around 25 visits, before he managed to get to Lisbon, with me, and see a different part of Portugal, away from the Algarve.

This year, with having my daughter with us, has meant that she and I have managed to get away and do entirely new activities, like taking  the Buggy Safari Adventures, up into the hills around the Algarve. What a thrill that was. Due to the amount of dust that this trip involves, there are no action shots at present, but our wondeful guide took numerous photos, which they assured us they would edit and get up onto their facebook page in the next few days.

There were 3 couples on the tour, and I bet they took one look at me, and decided to put me at the front as the slowest driver, and let everyone go at my pace. Well they got a shock once I got the hang of the steering, I can tell you, I was off! A pro they said, making their best efforts to keep up with me.

The view was superb, although there was little chance for me as the driver to stop and admire it. The smell of the foliage was also devine, when it wafted into the nostrils, but was unfortuantely drowned out by the smell of the fuel fumes of the buggy.

I saw the most amazing colours on 1 plant, which appeared an incandescent blue, which I assumed was due to the amount of azulene in the plant. It reminded me of the Blue Mountains in Australia, which are named after the blue haze from the Eucalyptus trees. There was more than the blue haze to remind me of my time in Australia. There were areas here where the dirt was red, like the Outback around Alice Springs too, and one of the few times I have swum in a river was in Oz.

Our time in the buggy was interspersed with stops at places where we could grab a drink and a bite to eat, at places that MB has never dared to venture near. One such stop was in Querenca, a pituresque town situated on a hilltop. We stopped for a coffee and cake, and I discovered the most delicious cake imaginable, it was so moist. I think it had honey in it, as well as almonds. I bought 4, to bring back to the villa and let everybody have a taste of our adventure.

If you ever find yourself out here in the Algarve, I would highly recommend this trip. We did the 6 hour adventure, which was possibly a tad long. The final part was a “lap” in the dust, well to be honest I had had enough at this stage. We were running late, and I was beginning to get concerned about MB who was waiting for us, to pick us up. He had been told to be there for 4.30pm it was already ten past 5 and we were still a little way away. He would probably have told MIL that he would be gone an hour, and we were now looking at a couple of hours, so I was anxious to get back, not to drive insanely in the dust. We had had our swim in the river to cool off, and were slightly damp, the sun was now lower than the shade on the buggy, and getting in my eyes triggering the start of a headache,and I was beginning to feel hot and bothered. I watched and waited whilst the other 2 did their laps, but I was glad to get back, to get my dusty body in the bath.

For Algarve Buggy Tours check out their website http://algarvebuggytours.com/#_=_

Weather; 28 degrees celsius

Clouds; Negative

Book; The Sea Lady: Margaret Drabble

Swimming; Zero, bath straight after getting in from Buggy Tour.

Blessings Joy

The Holiday Saga Begins

Well we have arrived, Hubby, Mother in Law, my Daughter and myself, in the villa which is going to be the space we inhabit for the next 2 weeks. For those of you who read Saga, you will know that this is an annual “treat” for me, bringing my MIL to her time-share villa in Portugal. 30 odd years ago my MIL had the misfortune of falling victim to Guillam Barre, a virus which affects the nervous system, which in turn affects the muscles of the poor victim. And so for 30 years, she has walked with the aid of  a frame. She is now 84, having had her birthday just 10 days before we came out here.

And now we are here!

Today is a recovery day, MIL has not yet surfaced, other than the comfort breaks. It is 11 am. I don’t expect to see much of her before Tuesday.

I have spent a few hours outside in the sun already. I like to build up slowly. Living in Scotland we have little chance to start a tan off before we leave, so I sunbathe between 9 and 11, and then again after 3pm  There is the reason of Andy Murray in the French Open Tennis tournment to watch this afternoon, to bring me in out of the mid-day sun. My holiday was looking even bleaker last week, when he took 5 sets in the first 2 rounds. How would I have coped without Andy to retreat to our room with?

At the last minute of leaving home, I grabbed a book from the bookcase. I randomly pick up books wherever I see second hand ones and add them to the bookcase for travels like this, airport/holiday reads. Nothing too strenous on the old brain cells. Le Carre is definitely a no-no for airports and planes. Without my glasses on to really read the title, I grabbed The Sea Lady. The gist of it is that 2 adults, who met during one summer as children, are on a collision course to meet again. They share a past, which at the moment we are not too privy to. What fascinates me is that the beginning of the book is the 2 characters reminiscing over the past. The cost of scone tea in  /- and d. (shillings and pence), the candlewick bedspreads and seersucker bathing costumes. All things so reminiscent of my past, and good reminders when I need to go back into my childhood, for my new blog. Still chewing the title over in my head. I am hoping that this holiday will see some definite moves forward on that, so please keep checking back.

Weather; 21 degrees celsius

Clouds; Negative

Book; The Sea Lady: Margaret Drabble

Swimming; Zero

Classic comment from Mummy’s Boy today.

Me; Looking for the port for my camera card on my new laptop; “everythings moved!”

Hubby: “It’s not moved, it’s just in a different place”

So for now there are no photos to show you, as everything has moved! Apart from MIL, she is still in bed.

This 1 is of 3 years ago!

portugal breakfast algarve holiday timeshare lisbon

Holiday Breakfasts

How’s your Sunday?

Blessings Joy