Long overdue update…

Wow, a whole month has passed since I last did a post and life has been very busy.

Radio interviews, ultra-marathon training, yoga, a trip back to the UK, running my first retreat and now the last few days packing up to leave Spain for the heady plains of Portugal once again.

It is hard to believe that 6 months is up already and that we will be back on the road tomorrow heading up for Seville and an overnight stop before traveling into Portugal on Saturday.

But, we are ready to move on and get a change of scenery and a different pace over the summer. More time to spend on the online portion of my business together with more time for yoga and shifting up a gear with my ultra-marathon training.

I have to say that this time around has been the smoothest in terms of packing everything away which must been we are getting used to it – or maybe it means that I threw a lot more of our ‘stuff’ away in the time that we have been here!

Even the cats seem less phased by the idea that we are moving on again and are contentedly snoozing or sitting in the car trying it out for the off tomorrow – lol.

So, as we complete our third 6 month stint since leaving the UK I am happy to announce that this lifestyle is still as appealing as it was when we first got here. I love the fact that everything that we own can be fitted into the back of a car (albeit a rather large Ford Galaxy!) and that we are masters of our own destinies in terms of where we go and for how long. Life rocks!! 🙂

I’ll take some photo’s on route and promise to post again once we arrive.

 

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I love Amazon…..

Hubby and I are big Harry Potter fans (I know who isn’t!) and we are currently in the process of watching each one of them again once a week in preparation for watching the finale on Christmas Day.

We had been hoping to go and see the final film at the cinema but had trouble finding an English speaking version over the summer in Portugal. We did think we had tracked a cinema down at one point but on closer investigation it seemed that said cinema had been closed down about a millenium ago!

So we decided to wait until the Dvd came out and then I concocted the plan to watch them all in the run up to Christmas.

Buying Dvds in Spain costs an arm and a leg and so I decided to get onto Amazon last week and order it there. Amazon told me that the release date was the 2nd December and that I could pre-order it for the very reasonable sum of £8.47 + £2.34 packaging. Great I thought as I ordered it.

Over the next few days I then began to worry that we wouldn’t get it in time for Christmas as I am still waiting for my parents birthday card that they posted a few weeks ago. I think it has gone the long way around and is currently enjoying a cruise around the med!

So, you can imagine my delight when we got back to the site last night after a shopping trip to have Maria rush out with some post for me. It must be the card I said to hubby but no, Maria handed me a package from Amazon.

Surely not……I only ordered it less than a week ago…..it couldn’t possibly have come that quickly. But sure enough it has and we now have our shiny new Dvd sitting waiting to be opened on Christmas Day……..

I love Amazon……sooooo much. Never once have we been let down or disappointed by their service. They simply do what they say on the tin…….If one company can do it why can’t they all.

Oh and the best bit was that a day after I ordered it I received an email to say they had dropped the price further and that I would receive a 0.47p refund!!!

Happy Christmas Amazon……from a very happy customer.

 

After the sun comes the rain…

It had to happen but after over two months of hot sunny weather it was still a shock to be woken by the sound of rain pounding on the roof of the caravan.

I lay in bed this morning warm and cosy listening to the drumming drone of the sudden change in weather glad that we had already moved bags away from the edge of the awning last night.  The clay ground here is like concrete and so it will be a struggle for the water to drain away today but hopefully our ‘moat’ will do its job and keep the worst of the surface water out of the tent.

The ground desperately needs some rain, the meadows that were lush and green when we arrived are parched and stripped bare from the cows grazing over the summer. Sebio has been supplementing them on hay over the last month and has now moved them to the top field again so we have lost our inquisitive neighbours. 😦

Molly is cuddled up on the bed not wanting to venture out in the cooler wet weather and Oscar is curled up on a deckchair in the awning – a half way house as he is not quite ready to be a ‘bed’ cat again yet.

We are in for wet weather for the next two days and then the sun returns for the weekend and next week, but it is a sign that the seasons are shifting and our summer in Portugal is drawing to a close. We have about 8 weeks left here before we head back into Spain and it will be a busy 8 weeks as we have the bulk of our sightseeing and trips out still to come!!

It will be a struggle to drag ourselves away from our little oasis here in Portugal as we have had such a relaxing and laid back summer, but new adventures await and its time to get out and explore a little……… 🙂

 

Cómpeta

A break in the rain yesterday saw us make a dash out and head off to visit the town of Cómpeta. Sat up up in the hills (like most places are around here!) it is the starting point of one of the walks for Maramo and so had an added interest for hubby in particular.

Driving up the windy road from the coast was interesting in itself as driving around here always is. Tight hairpin bends, roads that are dangerously subsiding, not to mention the drivers who take the opportunity to get their quota of thrills in for the month by driving as fast as they possibly can meant that by the time we arrived and pulled over in a scenic spot for some lunch I had my heart in my mouth and my stomach in the back seat!

After some food and a revitialising cuppa (only the English right) we headed off on foot to have a little look around.

Competa has a fascinating history that dates back approximately 2,000 years to the Romans. The village was used for trading purposes by the Romans due to its idyllic location in between the coast and the mountains. Competa also has 800 years of Muslim history, which you can still see from the magnificent Arabic architecture found in the village today.

The town is typical of many around this area, all white buildings and lots of steep narrow streets. You can feel the age of the place as you wander around stopping to take in the breathtaking views that are afforded at regular intervals. We made a pit stop at a hotel with a fantastic view across to the sea for a coffee and basked in the sunshine. Not much is open on a Sunday in Spain and with the tourist season yet to take hold the streets were empty and it was lovely and quiet as we walked around. This is the kind of sightseeing we enjoy! My Spanish is also slowly improving and ordering coffee, asking how much the bill is AND understanding the answer are all becoming easier. Unlike in other European countries where you tend to have receipts brought to the table every time you order here it is much more casual. At first this can be a little disconcerting as you struggle to understand but we are getting better at it for sure!!

The rain is back again today, but we are hoping it clears mid week and the sun is forecast to make its return on Wednesday. We are finally hoping to climb Maroma on Saturday so fingers crossed!! Below are some piccies from our day out.

The Church

Cute little shops

Coffee stop

Three very friendly but very grubby street urchins!

All life here has to cling to the mountainside and these horses are no exception

This little mamma had her baby tucked in safe and sound beside her

 

The count down has started……

It feels as though we are officially counting down to the off. I had the first of many ‘farewell’ lunches and nights out on Monday. Its amazing what saying you are moving abroad can do for your social life!! I have never been so busy – he he.

On the home front about 95% of our furniture has now been sold. We have two wardrobes and a washing machine left to shift and a huge car boot sale to do and then whatever is left after that will find its way to either a charity shop or the tip.

So, does this mean we now have a new shiny exciting caravan sitting in the drive………….emmmmm no…………… not yet anyway but I have every confidence that we will be looking out the window at our future home very soon. I’m positive of it……absolutely certain…….no problems………..

In the meantime it is all systems go with scanning photo’s to store digitally, downloading CD’s onto the computer and going through my wardrobe once again to make sure that I really do need everything that is still in there. I am still filling bin bags with clothes and trust me there are still plenty left!! (hubby don’t read that bit!).

Boxes are being sorted for storage, money being changed into euros and lists written, rewritten, ticked off, added too and amended on a near hourly basis.

We have also booked our channel tunnel crossing which has definately made it all feel much more real. We have gone for a very early crossing which means that travelling down to Folkestone in the dead of night might be slightly easier than fighting our way around the M25 in daylight hours. I figure that until I get used to towing a caravan the less cars, lorries and other caravans I have to deal with the better.

I am also beginning to make a list of raw goodies that I need to prepare ahead of time to see me through our 2 week drive down to Spain. We are mapping the route out this weekend complete with a few stops off along the way to do some sightseeing and have a bit of a holiday as well. I think after the events of the last two months we are all going to need one……….

Lifestyle Change

As our moving date creeps closer and the adrenaline starts to build the anticipation of what we can expect when we arrive is making for some sweet daydreams.

There are many aspects to my lifestyle that I am hoping will change when we embark on our ‘adventure across Europe’ and I thought that I would spend some time today explaining what some of them are.

For me living in the UK feels like it has a very heavy energy attached to it. I think that a big part of that has to do with the fact that for many months of the year we are couped up inside simply because it is just too cold or wet to do anything else. I’m not a girl that enjoys being couped up. I love bare feet and sitting/lying in the grass. I love listening to the birds singing whilst eating my food al fresco – straight from the garden if possible. I love flinging the windows open and letting the fresh air flood through the house without running the risk of hyperthermia. I don’t enjoy being swaddled in hats and coats and scarves – don’t panic I’m not about to go all naturist on you – but do prefer to wear fewer rather than more clothes. I love the sun on my skin and generally living outside and I HATE BEING COLD……..

So for me a big part of moving to a warmer climate is so that I can spend more of my days outside than in. I love the ease that comes with living that kind of life. Being closer to nature has a calming effect on me. I have never been a city girl – I tried and gave it a good shot but as soon as we moved out of the city and into the country I knew that I had come home and that I would never live in a city/town again. Give me a view of trees, fields and open spaces and I am a happy bunny……

I also love travelling. Moving from place to place and having new experiences and new perspectives in each one is very refreshing to me. We have moved around a lot during our time together and although it is always fairly stressful moving (I suspect because of the vast collection of ‘stuff’ that we have to drag with us each time) it has become something of a pattern for us.

I’m not overly concerned with material things (am even letting go of my vast wardrobe of clothes!!) or with having the latest technology . My mobile phone is years old – and doesn’t take pictures, videos or make the tea, I have a MP3 player not an IPod or Blackberry or whatever else is the latest must have and gasps for effect we still have a tape deck…..Much of our furntiure that we are getting rid of has been with us since we first set up home together some 20 years ago. Of course we have special sentimental knick-knacks that we wont part with but on the whole we are preparing to travel light and the thought is very liberating.

So, to be able to travel and live with minimal stuff is very exciting and something I am really looking forward to. Being the masters of our own destiny – quite literally feels very empowering.

I am hoping that we can simplify most areas of our life and change some of the patterns that we have. For instance I am anticipating that we wont be shopping in big supermarkets quite so much if at all. One of the things I remember from living in France is going to the weekly markets for fruit and veggies. It was such an experience with stall after stall of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, cheeses and bread. You don’t see those sort of markets here and the whole shopping process was so much more fun than aimlessly walking up and down aisles pushing your trolley and feeling like you would rather be anyway but there. The markets were so much cheaper as well and that for sure will be a big plus. Food shopping here has become ridicously expensive over the last 12-18 months. It always astounds me how much I spend on seemingly so little. Also because we will have little storage space I am hoping to get out of the habit of buying things to pop in the cupboard – they invariably never make it out again for quite some time. I am convinved that there is a Narnia style world at the back of my food cupboard where things disappear only to reappear months later when I have forgotten all about them.

One of the biggest things I hope to change when we get to Spain is the amount of driving that I do. Although I love my job I certainly don’t love the driving that I do to and from clients. It is such a waste of my day and I can’t wait to not have to do it. Having all those hours free to be creative with my business and to do YOGA – I will literally have hours everyday just to do yoga……..bliss.

We will also get to immerse ourselves in another culture. Another way of doing things. People who live in hotter climates always seem to have such a ‘manyana’ attitude to life that I love. Relax, do it tomorrow, it will still be there. When we first moved to France it was infuriating to us that they took lunch breaks and actually closed shops, supermarkets, everything really. They actually sat and enjoyed lunch and each others company and then went and slept it off. I mean come on……but by the end of our stay we too were enjoying siestas and long lazy lunches and it was soooo much better than the rush that is a lunch break over here. That I am looking forward to getting used to again.

And lastly for now (although I am sure that I can think of many other changes that I want to make) I want to learn how to Flamenco dance……….pause for laughter.………seriously though I think that it would be really cool to actually learn how to dance properly and Flamenco always seems so strong and powerful to me – all stamping feet and swirling skirts – I could so do that……

Watch this space as they say and see how this all evolves……

38 days and counting

There are 38 days before we are due to drive of to sunny Spain with our new home hooked up to the back of our new shiny car. Too bad we have neither car nor caravan at this point in time – he he……

What I do have though is a house that looks like an atomic bomb has exploded in it, 3 cats who are getting more and more anxious by the day and a hubby who declared this morning that ‘why don’t we just throw of the whole **** lot away as it would save a lot of **** time and ****effort’ – I’ll let you add your own expletives in there for good measure and trust me there were many!!

Despite all the chaos around me at the moment I am actually feeling rather calm and confident that all will prevail and we will be happily trundling off down to the channel tunnel in just over 5 weeks time – when I book it of course!!

Tomorrow we are hopefully going to look at some suitable vehicles (fingers crossed) and at the weekend we are doing a big car boot sale to get rid of the smaller items that aren’t worth putting in the paper. There is so much to do that it can get a bit overwhelming but I am trying hard to look at the bigger picture and breath deeply…….

Glasses of rose wine are helping greatly along with glasses of white wine of course. Happily though my raw journey of which this blog is supposed to be about – not much of that lately – is going remarkably well under the circumstances and it is actually proving quite easy to be raw as I have so many other things to think about that eating any other way is not even entering my head – if I knew that all I had to do to stay raw was orchestrate a move abroad in less than two months – well lets just say that we would have been in Spain three years ago……

Adios for now ………..     emmmmm where did I leave that wine……………..

Juggling

Moving abroad is quite a tall order, moving abroad with only two months notice – well that may well seem like madness. But that is the order we have set ourselves and so long days and sleepless nights – interspersed with nightmares about caravans disintegrating (I kid you not) are what we have to get used to for the next 6 and a half weeks.

Its a strange job packing up all your belongings with a view to selling 90% of them off. This weekend we had the first of what I’m sure will be many house/garden and garage sales. The house looks like some sort of warehouse at the moment with boxes everywhere and most of our furniture congregated in our conservatory to make it easier for people to view it.

Having people trapse through your house umming and arghing over your wardrobes and bookcases is also somewhat surreal. Then they start to haggle with you over the price and although you know you have to go through the ritual (people love to haggle right) all you really want to shout is ‘just frikin take it’ but obvioulsy you can’t and so you politely go through the whole procedure.

Chilled white wine seems to make the task easier to bear and has made a welcome return to our house this weekend. I fear it may now be our steady companion until we take to the road at the end of October. Its amazing the effect that first sip will have at the end of a particularly stressful day.

This week will see more ads being placed and more lists being made and more boxes being sorted. My wardrobe which was once vast is now shrinking by the day as I keep sifting through it and consigning most of the contents to the ebay/charity shop piles.Somehow I don’t think that the Betty Jackson faux fur jacket (that I have never worn but which brings a smile to my face everytime I see it) is going to come in very useful in southern Spain – at least I hope not….

Despite all the upheaval and disruption there is an underlying sense of excitement that is building by the week. I keep having to stop and remember that very soon we will be on the road and living what we have been dreaming about over the last few years. When I think of that then I break out into an enormous smile and the mad juggling that is going on at the moment is all worth it……

Taking my Raw Food Journey on the road

We’ve been sitting on a big decision this last week. It is one of those decisions that is  exciting and scary in equal measure. Our landlord gave us notice to quit our little bungalow as he wants it back for himself and so it gave us the kick that we needed to turn a long held dream into a reality.

We have spent the week talking and thinking and talking and researching and then talking some more about how we could make our plan work all the while trying to let go and allow the universe to make the decision for us (always best to leave the deciding part to someone else!!)

Anyway, it seems that we arrived at the point over the weekend where we moved from making the decision to making the plans and so I think we are on our way……

We are planning to set out from Englands green and pleasant lands at the end of October and travel with caravan across to France arriving down in Spain in the New Year. We will spend some time in Spain whilst I complete some yoga teacher training and then Europe is our oyster!!

It is our plan to travel and live full time in the caravan and for me facilitate ‘Raw Food and Yoga retreats’ as we go.

The thought of completely downsizing is very liberating for me at this moment in my life although the reality of two adults and three cats – yes they are coming with us – living together in a glorified tin can maybe somewhat difficult to adjust to at first but I’ve no doubt that adjust we will.

It has long been our dream to roam at will and it definately suits our nomadic lifestyle – we have lived in 30 houses between the two of us 7 of those together so you could say that we are not the types to put roots down through our physical abodes.

So, my raw food journey is going on the road. Living simply will be the key and raw food suits that type of living extremely well. I intend to continue to blog and start to add videos as well to document our travels.

We are full of lists and plans at the moment and everything is evolving by the day. Hubby is dealing with the more practical stuff like purchasing a caravan (which we then plan to gut and redesign so it is more conducive to full time living) buying a bigger car that will be able to tow said caravan and finding a suitable mobile connection that will provide us with enough bandwidth to run our businesses through – this could potentially be a stumbling block so keep your fingers crossed.

I am dealing with packing up the house and selling most of its contents, storing those few items that we simply can’t part with but which can’t come with us and deciding what we can fit in and take. That and finding a caravan towing course for yours truly to go on so I can at least get some experience of what it is going to be like to tow this monster before I have to hit the M25 on route to the English Channel!!

So, that is our big news and what has been keeping me occupied this past week and stopping me from getting on with anything that doesn’t involve thinking about caravans, sunny climates and packing. It is what has been making me eat raw deserts for breakfast, lunch and tea – seriously has to stop!, it is what has made me avoid my yoga mat like the plague – just can’t concentrate on anything else for 2 seconds let alone a whole sun salutation! and basically it is what has taken over my life. Now it is out in the open I hope that I can calm down a little and that normal service can be resummed. Lets hope so because October is still a way off yet and I could even bore myself to death by then……..