Reflecting On Our Travels

My recent trip to Fairways Country Club in  Quinto do Lago in the Algarve, Portugal was my most fun trip there to date, which I put down to a couple of facts. Firstly, my daughter came with us, for the first time in 7 years, and secondly my MIL wasn’t actually well enough to get out of the villa much, which meant I could go out and be a tourist. This meant that I had much more say in what we did, whilst we were out there. Instead of going to the same restaurants on the same day of the week, my daughter and I were able to get out and explore the area, like I had never done before.

We went on the pedalos, at the lake, a first.

We went on the Buggy Safari, a first. You can read my review on Trip Advisor by clicking here

We discovered The Shack, a first. My Trip Advisor review is here

We played tennis, a first.

We ate at the new restaurant Bovino’s, a first.

We listened to live music at The Shack on Thursday night, a first.

My husband and I ventured into Faro, after dropping my daughter off at the airport, a first.

I went shopping in the local area either with my daughter, or on my own, a first.

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We also did  some things that we do most visits to the Algarve.

We Barbecued a lot, more than usual, as my MIL wasn’t well enough to go out to eat. Fish, just 2 minutes each side, with barbied veggies and boiled new potatoes. These meals were simplicity in themselves, and so delicious.

Simple food, fish, algarve, quinto do lago

We had a Pimm’s most nights.

We visited the gypsy market at Quateira, for an hour, where I had my first donut there.

We watched Andy Murray playing at the French Open at Roland Garros.

We had freshly squeezed orange juice and loads of fresh fruit for breakfast.

We swam in our pool everyday, we read lots and we chilled lots.

What Now?

Well the case has been unpacked. The bikini and suntan lotion have been left in the case. As we live in Scotland, there won’t be much call for either before our next holiday in warmer climes in January 2017. My DD and I are off to the Caribbean for my Birthday on the 5th, and New York for my DD’s 21st on the 14th. We have been planning this since she was 15, so 6 years in the wait. It is all booked, just needs to be paid for. Luckily whilst I was away the phone kept on ringing and I have even more work this week, to make up for the weeks I was away.

The artisan dishes that I bought to transform our dated hors d’hovres tray are now in situ, with a little creativity to get them to stay in place when the wheel revolves. What do you think?Dishes transformed

Caribbean and New York awaits, but before that, MB and I have a short break in Budapest in October. I hope that my holiday exploits have kept you amused and informed. I have writen several reviews on Trip Advisor, links are in this post.

Blessings Joy

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Would the Real Joy, Please Stand Up!

Can you remember where you were when you first saw the clip of Susan Boyle making her debut on Britain’s Got Talent? Can you remember your thoughts as you heard that 47 year old, “Just 1 side of me!” comment? I certainly do. Yesterday I saw another “Talent” clip, although this one was on Facebook, and from America’s Got Talent, and was shown I believe on Tuesday 9th June 2016, the same day as the Daily Propt was “Transformation”. What with being on holiday at the time, the time differences between Europe and the States, and the power of social media to mess with your head where timeframes are concerned, I apologise up front for any incorrect statements that I have just made. Anyway to the point of this blog.

This is the clip I saw. If you haven’t seen it yet, I say, “Where have you been?” and take a look now.

I think it apt that Grace was on AGT on the day that the Daily Prompt was transformation, because this young lady’s life is going to chnage beyond all recognition. I hope and pray that her transformation is handled in such a way that she rtains her innocence,beauty and “Grace”. Her singing and music was touching in it’s simplicity and the rawness of emotion that it evoked in me.

 

Grace Vanderwaal, I Don't KNow who I am,

 

Why did it do that?
2 reasons I think, summed up in the first 2 lines.

“I Don’t Know My Name!”

What adopted person does? We are born with one name, but then someone decides they might prefer another, and so we grow up with that. It is something that we grow up with, the uncertainty of knowing even the basics about ourselves, like our name at birth. For those of you who are not adopted, you will probably not understand how much you take for granted, the ability to ask your parents about yourself, your family history on health and genetics, where you come from, that sort of thing. We for the most part are left wondering do we have inherited diseases in our genes, will we develop something later in life, that we are already programmed at birth? Where do I come from? What can I expect to develop in my lifetime? Not just in health, but are there any Gifts and Special Abilities in our genes? The questions go on. Is this a Gift, wrapped in newspaper? The fact that my life can be completely written by me, because I don’t expect to develop the family traits, cos I don’t know what they are, I don’t know what makes me who I am?

Secondly “I Don’t Play By the Rules”

No neither do I. Why? Well I guess the first rule of a new life is that your Mother hangs around to show you the game and the rules to play by. If that cardinal rule is broken, then you are given carte blanche to say that I don’t play by them.

I will reflect more on this young ladies work and music. I hope she retains her innocence and grace, as she, and the rest of the world discovers who she is. I feel that her music and me discovering and writing about who I am, are going to be closley linked, even though I am probably old enough to be her granny. Who knows we may yet find out that we are related. Now wouldn’t that be a miracle?

Blessings Joy

How Connected Are We?

At the moment, in the UK, we are having fierce debates pre Referendum on whether or not we should stay within the European Union (EU) This post is not about the pros and cons about whether we should stay in or get out, there is enough of that, without me adding my 5 pence worth, but what struck me, is our close ties to the Continent, including Scandinavia, with our history of invasions and occupations going back 2000 years and more. Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Danes, you name them, at one time or another we have been a country that other nations and peoples have tried to invade and connect us to their homelands.

I am now on my second piece of reading material, on holiday, and this time it is Edward Rutherford’s “London”, a 1300+ page tome, which is giving me an insight into how our Capital city of London has evolved over the millenia, as 1 by 1 the home forces and the invading ones, left thier mark, notably in the place names of the city itself.

So when I came across this video on Daniel Arendzen’s blog just a few days ago, which coincidentally is called konexxion the 2 seemed inextricably linked. I think I know where my ancestors came from, but chances are I have very little idea, if this clip is anything to go by.

I would love to know who I am connected to, wouldn’t you? Would you dare to take the DNA test and find out?

Blessings Joy

Daily Prompt “Connectedhttps://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/connected/

Playfulness Returns

For much of my adult life I have had the responsibility of being a single parent, and I think it led to me loosing some of my playfulness for a while. I took my parenting role very seriously. For example I never drank alcohol when I was on my own with my daughter, because it would have left me unable to care for her, had she fallen ill and needed taking to hospital.

Even on holidays that we had when she was a young child, I perhaps did not let my hair down too much as I should, as I believed that I should act like an adult, and to that you may possibly read boring. Added to that I had a car accident when my daughter was 6, and for the next 3 years I was in a lot of pain, and being playful was something I was not.

Playing Grow Old George Bernard Shaw

So these past 9 days it has been good to do some playful things with her, as adults. Here are some photos of us on holiday doing fun things together.

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As I write this and look at others who have writen for the Daily Prompt of Playful, I come across A Sunken Thought who talks about her Mom as a single parent, and I begin to remember playful things that I did do, when my daughter was younger. To make Christmas a bit more fun, when it was just the 2 of us, I would make a Treasure Hunt out of her presents, and write her clues that she had to solve to win a present. When we moved to Scotland when she was 11, I had exhausted all my clue writing talents, so when I came across some mice in stockings, I bought a dozen, and now every Christmas I hide those, 1 for each present. Maybe I am playful after all.

What have you done today to be playful?

Blessings Joy

Dailp Prompt Word Playful https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/playful/

The Smoothest of Holidays

We like things to go smoothly anytime of our lives don’t we? But holidays we truly prefer to go smoothly, above all else, and there are plenty of things that we want smooth for our holidays too. They are, in no particular order:

A smooth journey, for us that started when the taxi arrived to pick us up and take us to our local airport.

A smooth transition through the airport, all passports to be present and correct, along with all boarding passes.

Smooth take-offs and landings.

Before we even get to leave, smooth legs, armpits, and bikini lines.  Not sure that my MIL is worried about those though.

The smooth cold marble floors that seem to be in every villa we have ever stayed in.

The drinks that go down so smoothly on the hottest of days.

DSC_0183

The smooth and even tan that we hope to obtain whilst we are away.

The smooth departure this morning, as my daughter prepared to leave us, and travel on her own on a plane, for the very first time.

Here’s a couple of not quite so smooth things from our holiday:

Last night we ate at a restaurant that seemed to be plagued with biting insects that came out in their droves as the sun set. Today our skin is not so smooth.

Our smooth flat bellies before we left, now appear to have a bit more roundness to them.

Have I missed anything from the list of smooth things on holiday? What does it conjure up for you?

Blessings Joy

Daily prompt word Smooth https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/smooth/

Last Day on Holiday for Daughter

Today is my daughter’s last full day on holiday with us. MIL, MB and myself are here for another 4 days. DD had wanted to play tennis all week, and so this morning we hired some tennis racquets and went out for a knock-about. It is near on 40 years since I last played a game of tennis, when I was at school. At my first secondary school, tennis was obligatory, and I was in the school team, but when my parents moved, when I was 14, I was sent to a school that didn’t do sport’s at all, let alone tennis. I took up squash instead, out of school, and never really played tennis again. So I was quite pleased to see that old skills rarely leave you. We hired the racquets, but we had to buy the tennis balls, so now we are the proud owners of tennis balls, 4 of them.

Tennis Four Seasons County club Algarve

When I was a child I would play with 2 balls against a wall. Did this have a name? There was a rhyme we would chant as we bounced the balls off the wall, and caught them again. Can anybody remember it? I could also do it with 1 hand. I am going to practice again to see if I can recapture my childhood skills. Have you retained any childhood skills recently.

Blessings Joy