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Wednesday, March 27, 2019 8 comments

Midweek Memories: Part "een"


Quiz time: What language is "een?" (No bonus points for Google searching.)

So, Mirjam and I are on a road trip and a bloody quick one it is, too.

I left Spain Tuesday at O-Way-Too-Dark Hours.com and flew to Holland.

Since then, we jumped in the moving van and travelled through three countries.

Here's some pics and drop by tomorrow-ish to see part "deux" of the latest M&M adventure.

PS: Mirjam didn't mention bringing a dog.... but she's grown on me.

(And the dog is cute, too.:)

Forgot to add this team photo from last week's amazing convention in Manchester...

...Where I always obey the law of the public landlord (pub owner:)

Back home. (But, is it only me who thinks someone poured his beer too fast?)

Flynn: "You're going on a what?"
Me: "A 1,400-mile road trip in 2 days."
Flynn: "But why?"
Me: "Ah sure, you only live once."
Priority Pass-accesible lounge at 06:00. Loving the peace & quiet

Flew to Manchester on "EI - DYE" ( but this was a much clearer flight...:)

Middle seat again :) 

Yahhy! (It's been a few weeks...)

So, after Holland, we drove through parts of Belgium...

And hit the outskirts of Paris, France

If I was a local English-newspaper editor, my life would be complete if I ever found an applicable way to make this the headline!!

Bon soir :)
Monday, March 25, 2019 5 comments

Monday's Musings: Lost in Translotion


I had an appointment with someone Friday evening who wanted to discuss listing his house with us. The address was close to my place, so when my colleague asked me to go over, I was like, of course.

"He's from Belgium, but doesn't speak any English."

"I'll be fine. My language skills is getting better-ish."

"Ok, Good luck."

Driving over there, I had a mini brainwave (it's hard to have a huge brainwave with the size of my cranium) hey, he'll be able to speak Dutch and with my bit of the Nederlanse and Spanglish, what could go wrong?

Sure enough, he was from the French side of Belgium, so had a very strong accent, (like I can speak anything in less than a dodgy accent. Come on now, Koopmans)

Good news was he also knew enough Dutch that the two of us winged our way through what will never be considered my finest hour in any language, especially when I tried to say something in Spanish and it came out in Dutch and then I corrected myself in English.

(At that point I was just confusing myself and had to start again!)

However, we got the job done, communicated our way through all the requisite questions and answers - and I earned the listing.

Where there's a will, there's a way:)  Si! Ja! Yes!
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 5 comments

Midweek moments: Restoration & Change


I didn't see the theme until I put my 12 favorites in a folder and said, well now, would you look at that...

I was on a bit of a mission, but when I turned the corner and saw this...

...Wow, a bullring right in the heart of the city. I knew there was one, but...

...didn't know where it was, until now!

Stores across the way watch as the renovation work continues...

...on the 143-year-old building

No idea re. the background of this group, but they were having fun!! 

Yeah, about that appointment next week...

One man's restoration project is another man's parking place!

Pffft... Who needs a dryer?

This picture won't make any travel guides, but it represents :)

How did they even do this?? (You may need to zoom in, I did :)

And, how the world is changing...

Monday, March 18, 2019 9 comments

Monday Musings: A Roundabout way of Saying Goodbye


I was in town the other day and traffic at the main roundabout was more snarled up than normal, but when I walked a bit further, I understood why.

A hearse had moved slowly up one of the hilly arteries, and was entering the roundabout. I noticed, with a little shock, the simple, wooden coffin lay not in the vehicle, but on the shoulders of loved ones or friends behind the hearse. Shock soon turned to a poignant awe as traffic came immediately to a standstill -- as did all conversations as the coffin passed several bars and bystanders -- on the way to the cemetery on the other side of the roundabout.

The coffin had six able persons carrying it on its final journey, with many pallbearers feeling the comfort of a spare hand on their free shoulder and it was such a beautiful, but private moment surrounded by dozens, if not hundreds of people that I didn't lift my phone to capture something I'll never forget.

We all have to go, and I've been blessed that I've not had to walk behind a funeral cortege for more than 40 years, but when I go, there are definitely worse ways to take that final journey.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 5 comments

Midweek Moments: Random. Life.


I was all over the place this week, and will share some musings on Monday, but for now, here's part of what made me go "wow" this week:

Can't get enough of  how homes are numbered. It's confusing, but oh so awesome.

Artsy-fartsy view of the (dirty!) balustrade next to the sea.

The chuch in the square next to the famous "Balcon de Europa."

Told you. It even has its own puzzle pieces (Only one should be missing!)

I get it now. Yeah, it's an ok view. I suppose.

Land is too scarce, too expensive, or too wet, so they build up.

Simple, but so different...


So nice to see someone there to care at the end of a day and life...

...And still, elsewhere and everywhere, life goes on...

...Paella will be made (Who needs hairnets, USDA regs -- or kitchens!) I LOVE this place :)

And, may you be filled with hope and love at the dawn of each and every day.

Monday, March 11, 2019 6 comments

Monday Musings - RIP Joanna Toole


I woke up yesterday morning, worried about the ongoing little things that are causing so much stress in my life right now.

Then I heard about the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that happened at about the same time I sat outside enjoying a coffee.

There were 157 people onboard, with no survivors reported, and the plane that went down was a new Boeing 737 Max-8; a plane I've flown in more than a dozens times in the last 18 months.

People from more than 30 nations, including Ireland, died on the flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya. One of the passengers was Joanna Toole, 36, from Exmouth in the U.K., according to the BBC news story.

Ms. Toole. who worked for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, was travelling to the UN Environment Assembly, when the plane went down only six minutes into its flight.

Her father, Adrian Toole, told Devon Live she was a "very soft and loving person" and had worked for international animal welfare organizations for the last 15 years.

"Everybody was very proud of her and the work she did, we're still in a state of shock," he said. "Joanna was genuinely one of those people who you never heard a bad word about."

There are 156 more stories are out there from people who lived in Ethiopia, Canada, Kenya, Italy, France, Slovakia, Germany and more...

Puts one's petty problems in stark perspective... Hug a loved one today (and everyday) and tell them you love them.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 7 comments

Midweek Moments: "Carnaval!"


When I looked up, I felt like treasure and then had to follow the line to see what was going on, only to discover it was -- totally unknown to me -- local "Carnaval" time :)

Well now, don't I feel special!

Must. Follow. The. Contrail. (Miss you, Art Bell...)

OK. The road is blocked. Cops are there. It's a parade!

So hoping the Walking W.C. has a body cam...

LOL, (That's all I had when the door swung open!)

However, I felt bad for this poor man, What a crap job.

Love the old man on the left who remains a little cautious :)

Meanwhile, bureaucracy doesn't stop not even for some stinkin' aliens

"Yeah, we'll be there soon. Jeff is signing in now. Save us some humans, er, I mean tapas."

It's not all fun and games at Carnaval.

Different countries have different cultural ways of doing things.

Would love to know the story to this!

Some familiar characters walk on while one Cpt. America takes a moment to chat!

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