Days can be special for many reasons; birthdays, anniversaries, and so on, but today was special for me because I got to combine two things I really love doing. I spent the morning catching up with my gorgeous twin daughters over cups of tea and jammie dodgers, which is my most favourite pastime in the whole wide world. Just seeing their faces and listening to all of their news fills my heart with joy.
In the afternoon I took full advantage of the sunshine and went for a three hour walk in the countryside to a quaint little town next to a river. Spring had well and truly sprung and the air was full of birdsong as I wandered along the winding pathway flanked with hawthorn bushes in full bloom.
Upon arrival there were plenty of nautical things to appreciate and as I sat on the quayside, enjoying the warm sun on my face and the sound of the splashing of boats passing by it occurred to me that sometimes the best things in life are the things that money just can’t buy…
I had two choices regarding my remaining annual leave; stay at home and generally potter around doing not very much, or return to the Canaries. Guess what I did… Yes, just three months after returning from Lanzarote I chose to return there for a cheeky, Spanish spring break.
I’d been to Costa Teguise before so it seemed a wise move to stick with familiar territory, albeit at a different complex this time. Just four minutes walk to a giant beach and literally surrounded by fabulous shops, bars and restaurants, the location was spot on. I was allocated a great apartment with sunset views and although the weather was bordering on insanely hot on a few occasions, there was always plenty of iced sangria to cool me down.
During my stay it was the annual triathlon and I’ve never seen so much lycra in all my life; wasn’t sure where to put my eyes! I also managed a return visit to Puerto Del Carmen to see how it now looks eight and a half years after my last visit (quite different as it turns out!) I wonder where I’ll be off to next?
As I’ve never held a proper salaried position before, and am therefore unfamiliar with the concept of annual leave, I genuinely thought I’d used up all of my hours when I spent half of December in The Canaries – but apparently not! After a quick check of the works HR website I discovered that I had over a week of paid leave to take on a use-it-or-lose-it basis. So after a hectic couple of hours trawling the holiday websites and a bit of maths, I’ve managed to nab myself a cheeky week in the Spanish sunshine in the spring. OMG I just love being an employee.
I’ve only just lost the tan from the previous holiday and here I am now planning yet another all-inclusive week of sun, sand and sangria. This time last year I was self-employed, and only bringing in enough cash to just about cover my bills. Never in a million years did I think that within twelve months I’d be enjoying all the perks of being paid to laze around under palm trees for the second time in under six months. It just goes to show that you never, ever know what’s just around the corner… so you should make the most of any opportunities while you still can.
The minute I was told about yobs using the local woods as a bike race track, I knew something had to be done. I’ve spent a lot of time there, and on the adjacent meadows, enjoying all the wonderful nature, and I wasn’t about to allow a bunch of cretins to ruin it. Within hours I’d emailed a local Counsellor requesting that the issue be dealt with as a matter of urgency. The following day I took my camera along to gather evidence. I was horrified to see branches ripped off trees, wild flowers flattened, earth mounds created to act as jumps and and tyre tracks going right across the main footpath.
A second email, with photos, ensured that the authorities were now aware of a major Health and Safety issue, and within 3 days the local council had implemented an action plan to return the area back to its former glory with immediate effect. Official warning notices were ordered to be installed and leaflets distributed to residents to report any further bike activity to the police.
Now, with any luck the birds will feel safe enough to return before spring and dog-walkers and families will all be able to enjoy their woodland strolls again without the fear of being mowed down. If you want something to happen, you have to make it happen…
When dealing with a major change of circumstances, spring cleaning your personal life gives you a good excuse to spring clean your home at the same time. Chances are that when your partner left, they took a fair amount of household stuff as well as their belongings, which can be a bit of a shock to the system if it was done in a relatively short space of time.
When I was first faced with the sight of the lounge after the filing cabinet, CD racks and so on were removed, and cupboards and drawers emptied, I was shocked and overwhelmed. I imagined this must be similar to the feelings of seeing your home the first time after a burglary. Even though you’d possibly nagged for certain items to be tidied away, the fact they’ve now vanished completely can be quite unsettling.
However, the good thing now is that you can actually get to all those neglected nooks and crannies in order to give them a damned good clean. I have to admit that all that dusting, hoovering, polishing and scrubbing was really quite cathartic and did help to take my mind off other things. It probably helped burn off a few extra calories too. Result!