I’m loving being able to spend more and more time writing. The SiDreamPlanActionmple Team Meetings blog is one of the sites that I’ve made a number of contributions to recently. If you’re interested, please pop on over and take look as there are some great tips, ideas and advice not just on the business side of thing, but on self-care too which is such an essential part of being able to function at optimum levels both in the business and personal sense.

I’ve got a Women in Business series on the way too for this site. However, I’m always looking for suggestions on other topics to add to  that everyone might like to read about, and so if you’ve got some thoughts I’d love to have your comments.

I’ll be doing more Spain posts very soon – got one done over the weekend but then my computer played up on me and my work was not saved….grrr!!


Fiction – Inspired by my recent visit to the Alcazar

Something momentous is about to happen for why else would everyone be scuttling about, murmuring in urgent low whispers. Is it fear or excitement?

When I was younger, I loved to run, to play hide and seek in the garden maze, dash between the orange trees as my nanny chased me, but as I’ve grown into womanhood, I am told to behave with decorum. I’m expected to spend my days doing needlework or strolling through the exquisite gardens taking the air, my head held high and proud, accompanied by my handmaidens. No more carefree running about for me, at least not in public where someone might see.

I feel restless and trapped within these confines of the palace, which they say is one of the finest in the kingdom. I yearn to escape, to feast my eyes on the outside world and ponder the wonders that I have only managed to snatch momentary glimpses of from a carriage. The whispers of the courtiers as they bustle about their business only make me more impatient.

I put aside my tedious needlework, and slip quietly from the room whist my handmaidens are busy gossips amongst themselves. I don’t wish to attract attention so I slow my pace crossing the inner courtyard, the place where the royal women whittle away the hot days besides the water features and pools designed to create a serene and peaceful sanctuary. It makes me want to scream rather than feel serene or tranquil.
As I reach the other side of the courtyard, I slip into the corridor that leads out of the confines of this beautiful prison which is the women’s quarters. Gathering my long skirts about me, and wishing that I was allowed to wear breeches, I hasten with a very unladylike dash up narrow stone stairs that takes me to the walls above the garden.

I am forbidden to be on the walls. It is considered dangerous and worst still most inappropriate. If I’m caught I know I face severe reprimand, but so far I haven’t been and life on the other side of the walls looks so enticing that I am prepared to risk any punishment. Squeezing into the small nook, that affords me coverage so I cannot be spotted from the gardens below, I feast like a famished person on the scenes of the city below.

From my hidden position I see the town is abuzz with energy as townspeople go about their business in what seems a heightened state of excited anticipation. The atmosphere is palpable and all my senses are on full alert when I notice the royal guards supervising the erection of a dais in the city square.

PS – the cover photo of my blog was taken at the Alcazar in Seville

A Week in Yorkshire

My last blog post was from Malaga just before I headed to the UK. To Yorkshire to be precise, which is where my mother’s ancestral roots lie. I spent many a wonderful holiday in my youth with my grandparents in the picturesque village of Green Hammerton which lies midway between York and Harrogate. I also lived and worked in England both in York and London for a few years, but that was a long time ago, it’s been 14 years since my last visit.Spring Tuba The Ship_Aldborough Mailvan_Phoneb GH20150330_112141-1

It was a delightful week, which flew past all too fast, and although the weather was cold, I was in my brother’s flat which is beautifully heated so I was very cosy and warm. Before I hopped into bed each night the electric blanket made it all warm and toasty before I slipped between the sheets each night.

The coming of Spring is certainly a wonderful time of year to visit England, as daffodils gaily line roadsides and tubs filled with spring flowers added a splash of colour, so even though the air is cold, the outlook is bright.

I spent a very happy time catching up with friends and family, eating favourite foods, both at home and out at the little country pubs which are so unique to the UK. They have English pubs all over the world, but they are just not the same. There is a special atmosphere that oozes from the buildings, the stone floors, the wooden beams and furniture that echo with hundreds of years of history, these places existed long before Australia was even colonised.

I know people say that English cooking is terrible, but that’s not true. It depends on who does the cooking. I feasted on steak and kidney pie, chicken and mushroom pie, Whitby fish stuffed with spinach and prawns served with white wine sauce, roast pork with proper, homemade Bramley apple sauce and much more. In between meals I feasted on homemade shortbread, Wensleydale cheese, Jaffa cakes, Pontefract cakes and the odd piece of fruit for good measure. I’m not sure how much weight I stacked on but who cares!

I arrived back in Spain last night and am all set to start work again later today on what is the final term of the school year here.