Getting organised (help?)


Me and my Kangoo

I spent the entire! day yesterday messing about (didn’t even leave the horsey-house except for dog-walks) setting up somewhere else to do random writing stuff (about writing and random stuff, funnily enough); then a little time this morning vanishing random stuff from here that wasn’t related to mine and Bom’s little adventure.

Bom’s really excited about the fact that I’m getting organised – he’s snoring very enthusiastically right now; probably dreaming that I’ve stopped tapping on my laptop and am taking him out to eat horse-poo (disgusting I know – I ask him not to but regularly find him hiding behind the wheelbarrow licking his chops.)

So now that my OCD-monster is content with blogs and writing tools, I have only one little thing to worry about.

My Kangoo.
I love my Kangoo and I need to rescue it from its current plight.
It’s sitting in the driveway sadly displaying an expired insurance badge.

None of the stupid insurance companies in Jersey (that I’ve found so far – does anyone know of a magic broker?) will insure it for use out of the island for longer than 90 days.

The stupid UK company that assured me they’d insure it (having suddenly realised Jersey isn’t part of the UK ) declined the policy they originally offered. ???? I know.

The very friendly-helpful-polite people in the insurance companies in Portugal can’t insure a Jersey registered vehicle.

Fortunately the Wonderfully Funny Family have a great big beautifully battered (I like driving things with character) burgundy jeep that I can use until I sort something else out.
But how and what to sort?

The options:
1. Matriculation – register with Portuguese plate – Expensive, time-consuming, no resale value because it’s a right hand drive.
And what happens if I decide to go back to Jersey?
2. Buy something here and drive the Kangoo back to Jersey to sell it. Fly back here. Expensive. Time-consuming. Distressing for the Bom dog.
3. Buy something here and sell Kangoo to someone who wants to come and get it and drive it back?
4. Persuade one of my wonderful friends to come for a holiday and drive it back. 🙂 I like that one best.
5. Buy something here and let the Kangoo sit in the driveway for an indefinite period in case I ever decide to go back?

I numbered the options for a reason.
Because unless somebody can wave a magic wand or make a decision for me (I HATE MAKING DECISIONS) I’m going to get my dice.

6. Throw again

Seriously, I’ve been stressing about this situation (on and off – sometimes I just forget all about it and go for a surf or take the jeep for some dirt-track playtime to ease my pain) for weeks now and it’s mucking up my funtime and making me frown.

I know I should have been better organised but I didn’t know how long I was going to stay and I thought the UK insurance company lady knew what she was talking about and the Coles managed to get their car insured when they were here (company since stopped cover) and other people from Jersey (and Guernsey) have had their cars here for years, so I naturally assumed those law-abiding citizens had valid insurance – silly me.
Rant over.

Help? Anyone?

Dad? Haha


The Wonderfully Funny Family Part I – SheWhoDoesNotWishToBeNamed

The family I’m staying with are funny.
I don’t think they’ll mind me sharing that.
In fact, I imagine they’ll be quite proud if they happen to read this.

I don’t think I’ve spent a single day here without laughing, and laughing really is the best medicine for a person who’s a bit grumpy.

The dogs are mental. The horses all have very strong characters.
The cats don’t take any nonsense.
So Bom and I have fitted in very nicely and we feel at home.
I do get the odd occasion when I wish I had my own bathroom. and kitchen. and house 😉 But most of the time I really love it here and am chuffed to bits that they want me to stay (forever).
They do.
I think.
Yeah I’m sure one of them said something like that once. or maybe it was my interpretation of the time She-who-does-not-wish-to-be-named said if she ever leaves home she won’t have to learn to cook because she’s going to take me with her. That was nice, wasn’t it..
She’s so sweet.

This page is dedicated to SheWDNWTBN and her sense of humour.
She doesn’t do hugs.
She makes the best ewwwww-face I’ve ever seen.
She’s a little bit fussy about food. Dinnertime ewwwwww-faces are common.
She’s very pretty. I told her she looked especially pretty one morning and she called me a paedophile and made the ewwwface.

She sings beautifully in her room and closes the door in my face if she realises I’m listening. She’s singing now. Next time she’s evil I’m going to record her singing and share it on here.
She has an i-phone and lots of friends that send her amusing videos of themselves making silly faces.
She showed me some of them tonight to cheer me up after DJ ate my dinner.

DJ little boss dog is the King of Eating Food Left on the Table for Just Two Seconds.
Edwina was making quiche so I had a little bowl of gluten-free stuff which I was all set to tuck into, in what I thought was an empty kitchen.
I left the room for seconds and came back to find DJ standing on the table with his face in my bowl, belting down my dinner.

DJ attempting to look boss while surrounded by daisies. Check out his supersonic bat ears. I love him but don't tell him that

DJ attempting to look boss while surrounded by daisies.
Check out his supersonic bat ears.

When I told SheWDNWTBN that I hate her dog she tried very hard not to look amused, then offered to make me some food.. I’m not that brave so I went to make something myself and she decided to grace me with her presence in the kitchen to ‘cheer me up’.
She did this mostly by laughing at me, especially when I tripped over Buddhacutepuppy and swore as I almost spilt my dinner version 2.
She then began to take photos of herself on her phone and when I asked what she was doing she replied ‘I’m taking pictures of myself having a good time.’

She gave me a hug after that. And she doesn’t do hugs. Ewwwww.


What am I doing here?

I read an article recently which really hit home, about whether being away makes your world better and how easy it is to feel that the grass is greener, the sun sunnier.
I totally agreed with it. In many ways.. but!

It made me start wondering whether being here, in mostly sunny Portugal, is making my world better. And if so, how? and why?

Last week some nasty logicthief snuck into my room and stole a chunk of my brain. Everything was horrid, nothing made sense and I spun into a mean little vortex of feeling lost and alone that got me thinking about going ‘home’ and whether I wanted to and what I would do and then questioning why I was here and what I wanted and what I’m doing and what AM I DOING?!

I think I’ve figured it out.

I’m figuring out what I want to do. That’s what I’m doing here.

I’m also avoiding the feeling of suffocation that comes with living in a small community.
When a friend suggested that I share a link to this blog on a website from ‘home’ about Islanders who are away from The Island, a shudder ran through me at the thought of all those people* reading my posts and knowing my business.
For me, that’s one of the many reasons that, for the moment at least, the grass is greener here.
There are none of those people* here.

I wrote a list of how many people I know in Portugal (total 26) and it made me smile, that’s a bit weird isn’t it? But I love it – I’m not associated with anyone or anything. I have no history. That brings with it an immense feeling of freedom.

What else am I doing here?

I’m enjoying the mild temperature and more reliable sunshine.
I am a sunshine creature (that sentence makes me want to write a jaunty little song and make up a dance routine in the style of The Nolans).
I don’t like dark nights and cold wet mornings. They make me feel depressed.
Of course there have been (and will undoubtedly be many more) moments here when I feel depressed. Living in Portugal isn’t transforming me into a constantly smiling, relaxed and superjubilant being who’s able to shrug off a bad mood or ignore irritations.
But I can have a grumpy day without anyone telling me to cheer up, be grateful for what I have and think of others who are far worse off.

I can be myself. I don’t feel pressure to conform to anything or anyone’s expectations of me.

I can surf if I want to, in warmer water than I could in Jersey, with no boots or gloves or hood.
I’m still wearing my 3mm suit and wondering whether to sell my winter suit because I really don’t think I’m going to need it.
And there are so many choices of beaches and breaks and coasts and points and hardly anyone in the water on weekdays.
I’m a fussy surfer** and I hate crowds*** so having such a choice of places to go works out for me reeeally nicely. (I could possibly find words to express that more eloquently but reeeeeally nicely will do.)
And guess what else?!
Surfing makes me ridiculously happy, deep down, inside, wholly totally wonderfully happy (for at least the preceding 24 hours, if not longer.)
Even if I’m not a superhotbrilliantsurfingmachine and I’m scared of big heavy waves and I’m a bit clumsy so I injure myself regularly (my board broke my nose a few weeks ago, which served me right for dropping it in the car park the previous day) surfing makes my world feel better and brighter. 

That was a great big chunk of the page on surfing, hey. I feel like I should attach a photo of me surfing to justify the content of this post but I don’t have any. I have one of Nina B, who bears a spooky resemblance to me, or I have a couple of my shadow or my back or my silhouette with my bum sticking out (thanks for that PWD), but I’m going to have to just attach a wave picture cos that’ll serve better.
Here’s a lovely perfect-gail-size-wave-day at Cordoama.

Post-surf wave pic.
The day before my new friend made me lunch – if you haven’t heard that story already I’ll tell you it another time. It’s a good one.

There are lots of other things that are making my current world an easier place for me to be
– I’m living with an exceptionally patient and easy-going family who leave me alone when they can see I want to be left.
– I can survive comfortably on my savings with a stupidly small budget in exchange for working between 20-35 hours a week (it varies but average is probably about 28)
– I have time. to write. and breathe. and sit. and idle. and think. and read.
– I can drive for miles without going round in circles.
– I don’t have bills or paperwork or dull responsible grown-up stuff.

There are people I miss. There are days I’d love to see my son for a rib-crushing bear-hug (he crushes mine, not the other way round – he thinks he’s funny.)
There are evenings when I want to call one of my friends to meet for a beer.
I can’t pop round to my parents’ house and raid their fridge.
I haven’t seen my niece, except on Facetime, for 4 months and she’s growing fast. I don’t know how long it’ll be till I see her but I’m missing out on her formative years.
I don’t have a shed here (yet).

But it’s not enough to make me want to return.
I needed to get away from Jersey and while I could ramble on for hours about why, the BIG ONE, the reason that I remember when I fancy thai in the shed or a tree-planting snot-dangling competition or a spot of mikey-dancing (huhu hullo madam) is that for some inexplicable reason, I never really felt like it fitted.

Right here, right now, fits.

*all those people – I say it with a shudder. They are all those people who know who I am, but don’t know me. Those people who know my brother or my son or my parents or my friend’s brother’s ex-girlfriend’s sister’s current husband’s boss or one of my ex-colleagues or previous library ‘customers’ or eeeeurgh it’s making me tense.

**fussy surfer – unless I’m absolutely desperate to get in the water, I only really want to surf waist to head-high waves that are glassy and clean and only really on sunny days with a gentle breeze at most and not with other people or crowds*** [shudder]. If I was an ambitious surfer I’d surf anything and if I was a passionate surfer I’d always be in the water no matter what but I’m a fussy lazy surfer; it suits me just fine and means less people in the onshore slop for you passionate and ambitious surfers so don’t tell me to change. I hate it when people tell me I should get in the water no matter what cos otherwise I’ll never get any better at surfing. I don’t need to get better cos I’m quite happy catching little waves on sunny days so errrr. Gosh I nearly swore. See how annoying you ambitious surfers can be?

*** crowds – a crowd for me consists of more than 8 people. Now I know that’s not technically a crowd, but it makes me feel crowded therefore I will continue to refer to more than 8 people as a crowd. I hate crowds.
Now go back and click on the post-surf pic to make it bigger and count the people in the water 🙂  Aaaah that was a beautiful day.

2014 wishes

This is maybe a poem, for my friends.

I must be nice
I used to think
because I have lots of
really nice friends
who love me. They do.
(You do, don’t you. I’m not putting a question mark on that one)

Today I wondered
I made my I wonder face
and I wondered

Are my really nice friends so wonderful
that they could still love me
if I were not nice?
They are. (You are.)

So, I concluded,
I’m not that nice
but that’s ok
cos it only makes my really nice friends
even more so
it makes them (you)
even more than

I feel very lucky
but I daren’t say blessed.
Pip – I added that especially for you. I knew you’d like it

Dear brilliant friends who are so tolerant, kind and well.. just really so very very nice,
you are super
and I wish you a year filled with marvel, magic, love (ruv) and wonder xxx



I started writing itsnotallaboutmybombom because
– I thought it might make a couple of my friends smile
– I like writing

I was unaware at the time that there was a stats widget that would tell me how many views my page had received and from which countries and another that would tell me how it was found (whether via facebook/google/other referrals such as links on another pages..)

And I certainly didn’t consider that people I didn’t know might come across it and follow it or hit a like button for what I’d written… so I was quite excited to find that some had and went clicking off  to look at their posts and whatnots to see what these other blogging people are writing about and liking and doing.

This is the serious bit.
I learnt that there are people who write blogs* about how to write blogs, and or blogs about how to make money from writing blogs.

That’s amazing.

If I ever begin to take writing a blog seriously, I might read the advice properly and take note of it, however, in the meantime, I don’t need to make money from writing a blog cos I’m a little bit rich** and I definitely don’t need to think about what I could do with all the money I could make from writing a blog about writing a blog because oh god I’ve confused myself now..

But. I did find some really cool blogs that I like.
I’m going to post links to them, not because I want the writers of them to look at my stuff or return the favour or send me chocolates, simply because if I ever fail to make my friends smile these might work better.

This is funny. Especially so if you like King Kong. I love King Kong.

And this one gave me a chuckle too

I like*** it when people like my stuff.
My friend who takes beautiful selfies recently told me that ‘Each time someone clicks like, you get a small hit of dopamine. Its proven.’ and I feel inclined to believe her.

So please go ahead and like as much as you like; I feel very flattered when you do and am always appreciative of a little dopamine.

Thanks for reading.

*blog – massively overused word in this post

**rich – my definition of the word may vary from that of most-other-people****
***like – another overly used word. I’m a very bad writer.
****most-other-people – probably just about everyone but me

Kaboom! It’s time..

In a couple of days I’ll have been here for 3 months.
What on earth have I been doing?

Not publishing much on my blog, that’s for sure.

I just logged in for the first time in a while and checked the how many views of the blog stats. Unbelievable; I thought it’d be about 12.

It should be easy to paste the chart thingy here but having spent an age trying to work out how, I realised that this is one of the reasons I don’t publish stuff… I get sidetracked (BOOM  *reason not to write* no. 1), so I figured it’s easier just to type them.

All time itsnotallaboutmybombom views total 84.

30 of those are from Australia, which means dear Miss H checks my blog more often than I do. Either that or the lovely Linzi happened upon it when I shared a link to her website (sorry – I later deleted that post because I felt it was too personal BOOM *2. I’ll do another link to it in a minute because I’m going to mention you very soon and not delete this one.)

26 views from Jersey.
I imagine my dad checked it once, showed it to my mum, perhaps she forced my son to have a peek, and that the rest are Nicki with a ‘C’ and The Ninny. Possibly Miss Bobby Marmite checked it once or twice. I might have given Barb the link and that’s about it. What a following.

Portugal 18 views. Errrr, probably me.

United States 6 and Ireland 4.
Given that I’ve only passed the web address onto a handful of people (because I’ve been too shy BOOM *3 to share the link on facebook) and I don’t know anyone in the US or Ireland, I suspect some poor souls suffering from a horsefly infestation were trying to find some helpful advice regarding their situation. Apologies if that’s the case. I have, since the previous post, discovered some invaluably useful information and almost foolproof methods for dealing with horseflies – I’ll share them on another post once I’ve finished with Kaboom!
I only hope they’re of use to you.

Other reasons I still haven’t been writing
Flies – covered previously and comes under *1 – Distractions
BomBom – as above
Fear BOOM *5.  This is a big one. I don’t feel brave enough to publish what I’ve written most of the time. Sometimes I write a draft and then I’m too frightened to publish it because I think it either
– reveals too much about myself *2 – Personal
– isn’t funny or clever or interesting *6 – Modesty/lack of confidence?
– gives away my location and I might get stalked * joking
– is a bit grumbly and I should be being positive and thankful and not grumbly *7
– isn’t entirely honest *8
– is too honest  *2 – Personal again
– refers to someone who might not like what I’ve written if they ever read it and they might feel hurt, angry, disappointed, or even in one particular case, flattered, which I certainly don’t want. *9 – Libel Slander Lawsuit
There are more but I’m beginning to bore myself.

So, what I have been doing?
I’ve been looking after the horses and walking the dogs and doing a fair bit of cooking and cleaning. My work hours range between 3 and 5 (or maybe 6 at the very most) hours a day, 7 days a week.
I’ve been surfing and bouldering and sitting on the beach, usually reading and/or thinking.
I must confess I’ve done a little plucking but not as much as I’ve done in the past, and I’ve convinced myself that it helps me think. For those of you who’ve never witnessed me with a pair of tweezers, please let me reassure you that I do mean plucking; it’s not a euphemism.
I play on facebook more than I should. I email friends and family. I’ve made a few friends at the beach that I chatter with if I’m feeling sociable. I can’t be bothered to do bold any more.
I drive around a lot, mostly looking for perfect waves. I explore the dirt tracks that often lead to nowhere but my Kangoo loves them. I drink wine. I like wine. I like drinking wine. And it’s so inexpensive. It’s cheaper than buying water.
God I love wine.

I’ve also done some occasional shopping, sent some postcards and little gifts to a few of my favourite people and helped Norberto with building a new stable.

I’ve avoided making decisions (even the most basic ones, like which beach to go to) by throwing my dice or tossing a coin.
But the thing I’m supposed to be doing, the goal, the priority, the dream!

I’ve not been doing it.

I thought writing a blog would help me to get into the habit of writing, but I haven’t even been writing a blog.
I write in my diary, every day. I write the date. I do a little picture to represent the weather. I keep an account of where I’ve been, what I’ve done and who I’ve seen. If I’ve had a bad day I write about how I’m feeling and why. If I’ve had a particularly good day I usually finish with a ‘NICE DAY’ comment. I underline the spot I surfed in and any highlights.
It’s more of a record of what I’ve done, in truth, than a diary. The idea is that when I’m old (yes, Mrs L, I know it’s not that far off but I’ll never be as old as you) and want to do some sighing and reminiscing, I’ll be able to dig it out of a box and smile fondly as I recall the golden sunny days of my escape to Portugal.
However, if I’m unfortunate enough to suffer from dementia or some similar loss of mental faculty, I will have absolutely no idea what I did because most of the entries read like this ‘Did horses and walked dogs, went to Zavial, Ingrina, Mareta, Beliche, Tonel, Cordoama, Castelejo, gave up and went home, did the horses, walked the dogs, cooked dinner for the family, read book, snuggled up in bed with Bom and read my book.’ and I’ll be sitting nodding, probably frowning, saying to myself ‘I wish I’d taken more photos.’

I also write lots of lists. Mostly of things I need to do which I then mostly don’t.
One of my most commonly written lists looks like this..
Write some blog.
Write the book.
Learn some Portuguese.

Then I make a cup of tea, roll a cigarette, brush my teeth, eat some snacks, bake a cake, go out to give the horses some carob, try to teach the Jack Russells to ‘sit/senta’ (there are three of them. Tina started to obey about a week ago and DJ did it today for the first time – that was so exciting I did a little dance – Buddha, the puppy, is better at bouncing than sitting, but she’ll learn), swat flies, roll another cigarette, oo that reminds me. Here’s an example of another list I regularly write..
Stop smoking
Go running
Eat more fruit
Drink more water

I don’t know why I bother writing lists.

I’ve digressed. Another thing I’m good at. Back to the point.

Kaboom! It’s time. I’m going to start writing the book. Properly.
And I’m going to write something on here every single day much more regularly! (Updated after MASSIVE FAIL)
I’m not going to give up smoking or drink more fruit because the priority is to write.

I’m not going to worry about who thinks what about the content of my blog because I’m not forcing anyone to read it.
I’m going to check the stats regularly because it motivates me to write something when I realise that people are waiting for me to do so and I hate to think of one of you fabulous people clicking on itsnotallaboutmybombom to find that I haven’t written anything.

So, here I go. Starting from now.

Thank you, Miss Bobby Marmite, for the wonderful book you sent me
I sat on the beach yesterday afternoon (avoiding the Boxing Day lunch crowd in the horsey house) and read a few pages then wrote some lists about what I’m good at and what I love and what I want and it was just what I needed 🙂 x

Thank you, Linzi Wilson of Hello Glow ( for being such an inspiration. Every time I read one of your articles, emails or updates I admire your honesty, enthusiasm and openness and I want to be just like you when I grow up 😉  I hope you ask for whatever you want and get it, because if anybody deserves it, you do.
And I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to steal your ‘three awesome things’ idea and tweak it a little x

And last but not least, thank you to my dear departed Great Aunt Bessie for enabling me to spend the last three months meandering about and thinking about what I want to do and the next who knows how many months doing it. xxxX

Reasons not to write on my blog

I’ve been here a month and I’ve written one blog, about horseflies.. how unimpressive is that.
I could blame it on the fact that I’ve been having lovely times and doing wonderful things and not feeling the need to share it all enough to write about it and risk boring some poor soul’s socks off with my smug self-satisfied newfound happy state.
Either that or I’m a great procrastinator.
In fact, in all honesty, there are a multitude of reasons why I haven’t been writing loads.

One of them is on this fabulous blog here
It’s good advice. And I really like that blog.

Another of them is FLIES.
Normal ones, not horseflies, don’t panic.
I spend a lot of time getting comfy to write and then a fly lands on my leg, so I slap it away and it lands on my foot, then it flies at my face, then another one lands on my gammy sore scabby leg (naughty rocks), then another one lands on my shoulder and one on my hand and one buzzing in my left ear so I growl and get my fly-swat and kill them all. Then it starts all over again.

I am currently wearing leggings and socks and a long sleeve tshirt so I can ignore them for longer than usual, just so I can write this.
The alternative is that I go inside and shut the patio door and sit on the bed or at the desk but then Bom starts chatting at me so I give him a bit of a fuss and then we play a game and then we discuss what to do tomorrow and then it’s time to get the horses in and cook the dinner and I haven’t written any blog.

Excuses, excuses.. or perhaps just nothing more exciting to write about than the above. Either way is fine by me.

How could anything not be fine when I wake up to be greeted by this beautiful face every morning?

oops wrong one. it was supposed to be of my bombom
He fell in the swimming pool. Twice. What a dufus.