Saturday 27 May 2017

Friends reunited

So much has happened in a short space to time.

I am delighted that 6 years ago a friend recommended I start blogging. It has meant that every month I have had something to reflect on, something to cherish and so much to be grateful for. 

Forgive me for the mega photo "fest" below. Be grateful that you are only viewing a few of my celluloid memories!

Empire State Building
Do you recognise the tower on the left? Yes, that's where we were - New York, and like the good tourists we are, we visited this iconic tower, the Empire State Building. Although it is showing some similarities to the Leaning Tower of Pisa due to the photography. 

Our holiday cruise with our friends Billy and Catherine, started in the Big Apple. Andy and I had a quick turn around after our impromptu visit to Canada and returned once more to trans-atlantic travel. 

View south from the top of the Empre State Building
We made some new friends when we boarded our cruise ship. Claudia, our cabin... sorry stateroom steward, used towel art every night. Meet two of the cool dudes, Nellie and Oscar. Shades are compulsory on a Caribbean cruise...

Yep you read right... we were cruising the Caribbean after a few wonderful days in New York.

This holiday was organised long before our Canadian adventures and our home relocation and it seems that every two years we go on a cruise ship with our pals, Catherine and Billy. Much fun is had by all.

This time we visited islands under blue, blue skies.

 Folks on Water taxi to Bermuda

Eileen chillin'

Sheltered under palm trees...
Beach at St Maarten
when the blue, blue sky was a tad too hot and...

San Juan, Puerto Rica

There were even moments when I couldn't believe my eyes. The cruise ship was bigger than some of the buildings in San Juan! Andy and I are looking down from the battlements of one of the San Juan fortresses at the Anthem of the Seas. Although the mega size of the ship challenges me regarding what effect it has on the ocean; the many towns, villages, cities and islands of the Caribbean rely on the tourist trade from the cruise ships to survive in a very fragile economic climate.

Billy and Catherine on a ferry
So many moments to be grateful for ... fun, laughter, friendship ... not to forget the "odd" gin and tonic and frequent visits to the spa. Every ferry trip a delight and so much fun to be had when there is a cruise "eye" taking you well above the normal level to view the horizon. No whales or dolphins spotted but a fun moment with children insisting that they saw mermaids!

Eileen on Balcony
Eileen taking flight
Being up high was what I thought would be my 2017 moment of taking myself out of my comfort zone. However it was surprisingly comfortable ... my out of comfort zone is to surprise me on my return home ...
What a view!

We had a balcony and enjoyed many views and even dressed up for the posh events although not without some resistance. We also enjoyed many evenings of chillin' and know that we are blessed with our friends and our retiral situation...

 There were also some "uniform" moments when the "me too" was very obvious

Andy and Billy shipmates

"Landmates" on Labadee

We went internet free for nearly two weeks ... and at the end of the hols ... look who is trying to reconnect now!

We have much to be grateful for and top of the list is our family. For those of you having withdrawal symptoms from no recent Murphy photos ... here he is with his Mum, Lianne, as she enjoys her first Mother's day! No matter what is happening in our lives we should work at being this happy!
A smiling Lianne and a laughing Murphy

p.s. Now just a little mention as a postscript for my 2017 out of comfort/enjoying life moment. I will be featuring this over the next three months. A friend of mine, Sue Bradley, is walking Land's End to John o' Groats this year as a life affirming exercise. I did say to her that she could jump out of a plane but she is steadfast in her commitment to walking.

She sent an email requesting some moral support on some of the "legs" of her walk and I have signed up to accompany her on the 32 mile Clyde Walkway. Training began this month with the intention of walking 5 miles every second day and building up to 10/12 miles twice a week. 

It will be great to be reunited with Sue and to put another two of my friends to work ... my legs!

Monday 1 May 2017

Family reunion

Guess where we have been and who we have been with?

The Adoring

... and doesn't Andy look surprised. Yes we enjoyed a wonderful impromptu visit to Canada to see the adorable Murphy and of course, his adorable parents, Gordon and Lianne and the added bonus of Kenneth and Natalie being there too... and yes they are adorable too!

The Adorables

 Our plan of changing homes and altering our lifestyle to give us the opportunity and the "where withall" to travel has been realised. This holiday/vacation with our boys and their partners is a fabulous outcome and Murphy is the icing on the proverbial holiday cake ...
all the family

Sleeping Beauty

He looks like the perfect angel when asleep but believe me, he loves to be part and parcel of the party when awake...

 Bedtime reading was an awesome moment in his Grandpa's schedule. It even outshone the golf! and that is saying something...

Story Time

The many changes in our recent lives have given me much to be grateful for... and a lot of time for reflection.

Taking time to reflect is essential if you want to notice your blessings. Sometimes they turn up as opportunities disguised as obstacles and I am not sure how good you are at hurdling. I know I have the tendency to knock them over in the pursuit of a goal... metaphorically speaking of course. My legs are just not long enough to ever hurdle in reality.

So back to obstacles, they are there to challenge your understanding of what you are capable of or how much you are willing to commit to. And once overcome, you look back and reflect on how everything worked out despite your misgivings... and of course also when it didn't work out it, you realise that not working out was the perfect solution all along!

It is, what it is folks. So let's have fun with it, whatever IT, is! Life shows up as swings and roundabouts... which one do you prefer to be on...

Swing Time