Feb 19th – What do you see?

Art is a weird old subject. Today’s picture won’t win any prizes, or be hung on any walls, so why did I take it?

When out and about, I keep my eyes open and let my imagination run free, and this image represents a challenge, along with curiosity. My darling wife doesn’t call it curiosity, rather calls me a nosy so-and-so.

When we were wandering along with the dogs, taking in the sights, sounds and smells around us (one smell being that of the dogs who had just rolled in a dead swordfish carcass washed up on the beach).

Seeing this, I just wanted to jump on my bike and ride the trail going up the hillside, wondering what was around the corner? How far did it go on? How fast could I ride it? I love being outdoors and taking on a challenge.

Maybe tomorrow….

What’s at the top?

Feb 18th – Derelict buildings

Sorry, but I have a fascination for old, derelict buildings, and we have seen many on our travels, especially in Spain.

I am not quite sure what the appeal is, but that is not a surprise as I have so many random thoughts running through my skull, it would take a coach load of psychotherapists happy for decades, but I’ll throw a few pointers out there.

The first is the history. When was it last occupied? Who were the owners? what happened to them? How was the building used? Was it a happy or sad place?

The second is about the present. Who owns it now? What are their plans for it? Will it ever be restored or completely demolished?

The third is sadness. With so many homeless people in the world, why do we have empty buildings? How could it be used for the greater good?

The forth is opportunity. If I owned it what would I do with it? What is around to help bring life back into this building? How much work would be required?

We came across today’s picture whilst walking the mutts, high in the hills in the middle of nowhere.

I think with its position so close to a mountain bike track it would make an ideal centre for a campsite for nature lovers, walkers and cyclists. With a little cafe, and reception area, toilet / shower block this place could be a fantastic venue for the outdoors type…. What would you do with it?

Feb 17th – To plan or not?

Isn’t life strange??? We left our base from last night and headed back towards the coast. I assumed (incorrectly) that the dear lady in my phone that has been giving directions so far would take us back the same way as we ventured yesterday, but you know the old saying about assume – It makes an ASS out of U and ME.

Anyway we followed the dear ladies instructions, as all good tourists should, and left a perfectly good highway to go down a single lane track with our 2.3m wide, 3.85 tonne motorhome (named Dizzy).

Just before I started to cuss (yes, I know it’s a shock but I have been known to cuss), we came across a disused railway line and just after it was an area of dirt we could safely park Dizzy. Perfect for a dog walk we think….

Well it turns out it couldn’t have been more perfect had we planned it. The dogs had a good run thanks to the local rabbits, the scenery was stunning, and there were plants growing wild everywhere, including rocket, tobacco and fennel.

The workers in the fields were picking oranges and cabbages and the sun shone brightly. A fabulous walk.

I’m a great believer in fate, and we struck gold today with our little detour. We got back to Dizzy and found a great little spot almost immediately to camp, even though it was only lunchtime, so out came the barbeque, we had lunch and enjoyed a sunny afternoon listening to the gentle sound of the sea lapping the shores whilst we read our books.

The 4 legged children got to go for a swim in the sea, so they we happy. A great day, completely unplanned, which for someone who spent the majority of his working life having plan A, B and C ready is very refreshing.

A perfect woofer walk

Feb 16th – Mountains or sea?

A dear friend at home has been following our travels and he used to live in this part of Spain. He sent us a message yesterday and suggested that we took a trip inland to see Velez Blanco, a pretty village in the hills with a castle.

We looked at the map and were unsure? It was an hour inland… what about the dogs?? … ya-de-ya….

Anyway we awoke this morning on the coast and walked the woofers on the beach, but the weather was very overcast, and so we decided to take a trip inland.

We are so glad we did. As we drove inland and up into the mountains we rose above cloud level to see beautiful scenery en-route. We got to our destination, parked up and went for a wander with the 4 legged children. The village was very pretty and the castle fabulous. I won’t bore you with the history here, but google it if you’re into that.

After the wander we sat outside and had a bite to eat in the sunshine, done some more people watching, practised a bit more Spanish and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The weather was so good we stopped in a small Aires mid afternoon, and read our books. Siesta??? Well maybe just a short 40 winks. We’ll probably head back down to the coast tomorrow but who knows…. That’s the beauty of this trip. We have a start point, and an end point but what happens in-between is up to us, a little bit like life itself. We are all born (although some claim I was hatched), and we will all die but what happens in-between is up to us and the choices we make.

I hope your life journey is happy and healthy.

Enjoy the journey

Feb 15th – Plants

When travelling (or even at home), there is an opportunity to learn whilst out and about. We came across a bush with loads of flowers on it, and I wondered what it was.

When I was growing up, you’d have no chance of finding out but nowadays, with mobile phones in our pockets, there is no excuse not to constantly learn about the things around you.

It’s also a good thing that we have these tools as my memory isn’t terribly good so I do re-educate myself a lot. Have I mentioned I have a poor memory?

The app I use for plant identification is called Plantsnap, which takes a photo and then matches the image taken against 585,000 species in its database. Pretty nifty.

It reminds me of a brilliant sketch from Michael McIntyre about our reliance on our phones – It’s just a few minutes long so have a view https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46PgxESLktA

Your challenge today is to learn something new 🙂

Feb 14th – Valentines day

What is love? Is it about bunches of flowers, dining out in fancy restaurants, or greeting cards expressing how much you love someone? I don’t think so …. (and thankfully my wife agrees 🙂 ).

Spending time with people you care about, making others smile, and being kind to those in need floats my boat. Being out in the fresh air, listening to birds sing, and appreciating what’s around us in our world is what brings joy to me.

Hopefully some of my photo’s (and maybe a few dad jokes here and there) will bring a smile to your face.

Whatever love means to you, I hope your life is full of it xx

Flowers from me, to you xx

Feb 13th – community

On our travels we have stopped at a lot of different places, from scrub land with no facilities, to campsites with all the bells and whistles you could imagine.

We like the quiet life, and so we were a little apprehensive about the choice of stop for the last few nights. It can only be described as a Super-site with nearly 1500 pitches, bars, restaurants, spa, etc etc

We were pleasantly surprised at how well this stay turned out. Although the complex is massive, it was spacious, with pitch sizes very generous compared to other sites we have visited.

There is a diverse number of nationalities using the site, and generally everyone has got along well, are respectful and are friendly.

I truly believe that most people in the world want quiet, peaceful lives and are friendly, but good news doesn’t sell and so we only hear about extreme views and conflicts. Isn’t it about time the world press started spreading good news??

Feb 12th – What do you do for a living?

Today’s photo is about w-o-r-k….. That was a struggle to say :)….but this guy is a hair-dresser for palm trees. If I’d asked him he probably replied ‘I’m a tree surgeon’, but I’ll play the ‘artist license’ card, and with the machete being tossed around 25 meters up, and didn’t think he would appreciate being interviewed, and I don’t need a hair cut…..

Whilst travelling you come across a diverse range of sights and skills not seen in your own country, and this guy will be busy judging by the number of palm trees in Elche.

I remember going into a barbers many years ago (when I had hair) and I asked for a cut like Simon Le-Bon. The barber finished and got the mirror out. “Simon Le-Bon doesn’t have his hair cut like this” I complained, “He would if he came here” he replied….

Feb 11th – "Dad, I'm Thirsty…."

Again Alfie stars in today’s post. He is a love-able, but dorky dog, and I’m sure he thinks he is more human than canine.

We walked along the beach again with our good friends John and Karen, whilst the hounds played in the sea. John offered Alfie some drinking water and he was then occupied for a good 5 minutes whilst he drank from the bottle. (Was it water???)

Like everything in life, there are pro’s and con’s, but our dogs bring a smile to our face at least once a day with their crazy antics. Hopefully something has made you smile today x

Feb 10th – House by the coast???

Whilst travelling you come across some amazing sights, and today was no exception. We had a fabulous day roaming with the 4 legged children, and met up with some ex-pat friends who now live over here.

The place is idyllic, with winter sun, 20+degrees Celcius, and gorgeous coastlines, but…. today’s image demonstrates that all is not well with our planet . This seaside home was completely destroyed by the recent storms that hit Spain.

I feel incredibly sorry for any folk, be it in Spain (recent storm), Australia (bush fires), Zimbabwe (droughts) etc etc affected by these UN-natural incidents although sadly the predictions are that they will be more common place.

Antarctica recorded its highest ever temperature of 18.5C. No one government can make a difference in isolation sadly, but GLOBAL education and peoples choices can….. It’s down to us as humans that live on this beautiful planet to champion the change for our children, and grandchildren’s sake