Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year


I find it almost impossible to believe that another years as slipped by so quickly. For us it has been a year that as had highs and lows and we have dealt with them all in different ways. Some had us crying, others had us worrying with sleepless nights and thankfully many made us smile and laugh.

I do hope that your year was one that you can reflect with happy memories and without too much pain or sadness.

None of us knows what the future holds, thank goodness! But I wish  for you that 2011 will be a year of many smiles and much laughter, that the only tears that spill are those of joy, that good health walks at your side and holds you hand tenderly, that peace is not only in your heart, but all around you and good friends are a plenty.

Thank you for all your wonderful support, you have made me smile a lot, you've made me feel very humble, and at times, when I have tried to share your pain, very sad. But most importantly, thank you for taking time to share some of your time with me.

As always.....Hugs!
Pauline xx
The fantastic picture I have used above came from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images





Friday, 17 December 2010

My Tasty Sausage Rolls!

We all love sausage rolls this time of the year, along with everything else and like most things, I make my own. There are so easy and tasty. When we lived in the UK, I use to make them every Christmas for our office....they were never any seconds!

Here is my little recipe.

I have to buy British sausages as we can not get sausage meat here, so I get the best I can.
Once thawed I skin them, then place them in a mixing bowl. I then add a chopped onion, chopped garlic gloves, mustard, salt & pepper (amount is to your taste!) Mix everything together and leave whilst you roll out your pastry - I tend to roll out one long oblong sheet - then with floured hands, roll the sausage mixture into a long sausage, place in the centre of you pasty, roll pastry round, then cut onto small rolls. Bake as normal......very tasty indeed hot or cold!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

No Stamps for Christmas!

Doesn't matter where you live, the Post Office at this time of the year is the last place you want to be, but you know you have to go. The queues snake round and round and round and you wonder if you will be out before Christmas, let alone that your cards will be delivered on time. So you can imagine my surprise when, at last it was my turn to be served, not only did I need to post cards, but also to buy a few stamps for later, and was told there was none! The only stamp available was their rubber stamp, which, in true Post Office style, was thumped on all of my envelopes.  The lovely man on the other side of the counter, smiled and said, there were no stamps, so I could not have any. It is the main Post Office in our town. But despite this, I smiled, nothing could be done, after all they had a rubber stamp! It could only happen on our little pebble in the middle of the ocean! 

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Versatile Blogger Awards!

You can imagine my surprise yesterday when I was bestowed with the Versatile Blogger award from the lovely Suzy Turner. It is the first award I have had for Blogging and I am thrilled!


And according to the rules, I now must tell you seven things about me, so here goes!


1.I live on Lanzarote with my best friend -my hubby - and our two rescue dogs (we have no children). Before we came here, we lived in Holland for several years. I originate from Yorkshire, but have lived in Suffolk and Surrey.


2. My qualifications when I left school were not something to be proud off, so in the mid eighties I studied with Open University until I gained a BA (Hons) degree

3. I have loved writing since I was very young and once wrote a song whilst at junior school. It was sung by the entire class on parents day and the teacher proudly announced who had written the song...Pauline....and then she called out the wrong surname and gave the credit to the other Pauline...I cried!


4. For many years I worked in Communications writing for the oil industry such things as press releases, articles for the national and international press, corporate magazines etc.


5. In the last year I have had two books published and I am busy working on my third, due out early 2011

6. I love the colours black and red


7. I loved Abba, every single song!


Now this is the really exciting bit, because I can now bestow the Versatile Blogger Award to seven fantastic Bloggers!

http://rosalindadam.blogspot.com/2010/12/was-this-last-train-out-of-london.html
http://homethoughtsweekly.blogspot.com/2010/12/home-and-away.html
http://www.helenhollick.blogspot.com/
http://shirleywells.blogspot.com/
http://highheelsandbookdeals.blogspot.com/2010/12/first-draft-howlers.html
http://debcarrs-daydreams.blogspot.com/
http://preselimags.blogspot.com/2010/12/gallery-white.html

Sunday, 5 December 2010

There will be no Snow this Christmas!



Living here in Lanzarote in the Canary's has many advantages, the weather being one of them. And whilst Christmas is a huge affair in the UK and northern Europe, it is still, by comparison, low key here. We most certainly will not be expecting snow, frost and cold temperatures. Though like most places, we are seeing a change in the weather pattern. But Christmas is still Christmas for us, we put our tree up and our outside lights out - wrapped around one of the palm trees, though none of the lights will be turned on before dark - around 6.15pm. The streets do have one or two decorations, though compared to the UK and other European cities, it seems very little at all. Shopping here, is a million miles away from UK shopping, for a start we do not have any large shopping Malls, we do well to have large shops! The local supermarkets, tend to stock lots of chocolates and cakes for Christmas, that's about as far as it goes here. A few years ago a new shopping centre (outdoors) was built and opened in Puerto del Carmen, the centre always makes a huge effort to decorate for Christmas and only when it is dark can you appreciate just how festive it looks.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

When you're Rich!

I was talking with my friends the other day and in conversation said that if I was ever rich enough I would have a chauffeur. One of my friends smiled and said, 'I'm not as expensive as you I'd just wear brand new knickers ever day!' To which my third friend sighed, 'I'd have clean sheets on my bed every single day.'
So what would you indulge in if money allowed?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

All Things Bright and Beautiful!

Living in the hot sun with little rain, means plants have to be pretty robust. Here are a few that live in the little wall gardens down our drive. By the way the bananas belong to our neighbour, I have my eye on them turning yellow!












Sunday, 21 November 2010

First Gift - Blog Hop!

Hello and welcome, please take a seat and I'll pour the wine, do help yourself to the cup cakes, homemade of course. This is my first Blog Hop and was not sure what to expect, but having read several of your wonderful stories I am glad I came along. For my First Gift, I am going to go back to my childhood days. I hear you sigh, yes it was a long time ago, but despite the advancing years, I do still remember!
I was very young and had just started school, I was given a large parcel, it was wrapped in crepe paper and I was so excited at having such a large gift. Excitedly I pulled off the coloured paper and was surprised to see a small child sized bag. It was black and had the maps of the word printed all over it in lots of different colours. I was very pleased and immediately thought I could get my dolly in there and take her to to school, but as my little hands clasped the zip to open my new bag, to my disappointment the zip broke. Despite cries from my mother that she would get it sorted, I didn't mind. For years I carried around that little bag with the maps of the world and its broken zip until the entire bag fell apart ....I loved it!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Inspiration!

Inspiration! What inspires you to sit down and write? Is it the need to write a best seller or the need to write because you love writing or because you have the time and a vivid imagination? There are probably many good reasons that have you putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboards, but whatever the reasons that have your creative juices flowing what brings out the passion in your writing? Is it sitting at your desk, fingers racing across the keyboard whilst listening to your favourite music or are you curled up in your most comfortable chair with the TV quietly chatting away in the background? Some of the best sellers have been written in environments that would have our eyebrows knitting together and wondering. For me, I like to sit outside in our pergola lounge, I love being outside and should we ever live again in a colder climate, I would definatley have to have a conservatory with a big comfy chair. Just being able to see outside changes my thoughts and mood and gives me the inspiration I need to sit down and write. But we are all different and that is why there are so many wonderful books out there, so what inspires you to write and do you have a special place you love to go to?

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Mashing the Tea!

I’ve been thinking about the different words used to convey the same things. These thoughts came about as I was writing one of my character’s many dialogues. As I stepped into her shoes, I realized that she would say words that would not necessarily be understood by someone who had not come from the same part of the UK as she had. I was brought up in Yorkshire, though spent many years living in Suffolk and Surrey before moving to live in Holland. Even to this day we still ‘mash’ the tea in our house. Despite my husband being from Surrey, he's adopted some of my sayings! By the way, for those who have no idea what ‘mash’ the tea is, it is making the tea of brewing the tea.

Other little words now spring to mind, I still tend to say ‘our’ as in any member of the family. For example, ‘It’s our Nigel’s birthday.’ Other little words stick in my mind too, when we lived in Suffolk they always referred to Yorkshire puddings as ‘batter puddings.’ They called little girls ‘my maid’, which I still use, a lovely term of endearment. In Holland we learnt the value of being a family. You didn’t address cards, notes or email to Mr & Mrs Blog or Pat & Sue, but to Family Blog. So if you see a card addressed to you as ‘Family…’ you know where it came from!
 
I love using my local words and learning new local terms and sayings. What about you? Do you have sayings that are used only in your area, if so maybe you will share some of them with us!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Rain Drops!

This lovely specimen I grew from just one tiny pod!

Happy to live with very little water!

Despite the heavy rain shower we had moments ago, there is little evidence of any of it on our plants. These are just two of the hot climate plants we have in our garden and I am sure they are smiling having drank all the rain so quickly!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Too Much or Not Enough!

A question I was asked they other day and that was how much and how often should you Blog? I admit to having no idea!

I tend to go for short Blogs and maybe once or twice a week. Blogs that give a glimpse into what I am doing so you can learn a little more about me and the world (be it at times fantasy!) I live in. I like to do it this way because I want my visitors to read whatever I write and hopefully enjoy, maybe smile, but equally importantly will come back for more - I add this last point with fingers crossed!

I know we all have so much to read and keeping up with our reading lists is pretty manic at times. So I thought I’d put the question to you; you now know my Blogging thoughts, what are yours? Do you like to write lots or a little, often or occasionally?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Best Backup a Writer Can Have!

















There's nothing like good support when you are working hard on your WIP sitting at your laptop. Our latest rescue puppy, found that despite having a cosy bed of his own, being close to mum was the best yet! So whilst I perch on the edge of my chair, trying to work on my latest novel, Barney makes himself comfortable.


Sunday, 31 October 2010

Getting Our Skates On!


This year’s Music Marathon Festival, the 2nd year for this event, in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote started at 1pm on Saturday 30th October. The event consisted of five categories:

½ Marathon (21.1 km)
¼ Marathon (10.55 km)
1/8 Marathon (5.275 km)
1 Mile (1,600 m) Kids from 10 to 16 years
½ Mile (800 m) Kids from 4 to 9 years.

My little mascot!


Despite not having put on our skates for longer than either of us can remember, CB and I signed up for the ½ Marathon (21.1 km) tempted as we were just to forget the word Marathon and instead write ½ Mile. It turned out we were the only two skating in this category, everyone else was running!

Saturday arrived, hot and not a cloud in sight! The temperature in our garden late morning was 30c, and we didn’t need to get our skates on until 3.30pm…it was going to be a hot one!

The course was along The Avenida (sea front) and as we had signed up for the ½ Marathon we had to complete four loops - each loop being 5.275km. Starting outside Los Cocoteros we headed along and up The Avenida towards Hotel San Antonio where we turned and headed back along The Avenida towards Hotel Fariones, turning to begin all over again. The Avenida is long and with many inclines that are not too steep but have a gradual climb and just when you think you are not going to make it, it’s downhill….phew! Along the route, were very kind people pressing water cups into your hands along with fruit and energy drinks. But the highlight had to be the Fire Brigade who had their fire engine standing by and with a massive fire hose, doused us down with water as we rolled past them….in total eight times! And as you go brrrr, no it was so amazingly welcome!



Having not carried out any preparation for this event, we had only learnt about it on the Tuesday, so after signing up, we were out there on the Saturday, but we finished and got our medal, and we loved it!

As I write, the official photographs are not yet available, but will post one as soon as I can!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Vienna to Broadway


Photographer: James Mitchell.eu

Vienna to Broadway was the second concert in the beautifully presented ´Concerts Under Canopy´ at Puerto Calero.

We bought our tickets early so not to be disappointed and after a short taxi ride and a respectable glass of Rioja, we took our seats in the open air theatre. Vienna to Broadway was an evening of pure pleasure as Glenys Roberts (Soprano), Hanah Pedley (Mezzo Soprano) Frances Hill (Piano) and the John Morgan (Baritone) each delivered outstanding performances. The evening´s programme included: Medleys from Ivor Novello, Lerner & Loewe, Johann Strauss, Lehar, Cole Porter and Offenbach.


Performances of solo, duets or when all three performed together including songs from West Side Story, Les Miserables, Oklahoma, Die Fledemaus, The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, Showboat, Evita, Porgy & Bess, Evita, Phantom of the Opera, to mane just some of the evening´s programme. Needless to say, it all ended too soon and with a resounding applause and a standing ovation the evening we had all waited so eagerly to enjoy had come to an end. It was a memorable, one and not just for ourselves, but for the island too as this is something very new here. But there are two more concerts planned this year and we are most certainly booking for the December evening, The Family Christmas Concert.

Monday, 18 October 2010

On Your Bike!

Sunday was a beautiful day and despite it still being hot, (it later got up to 29c in the shade in our garden). But as the heat was still down in the mid twenties we dusted of the bikes and went out cycling. We cycled along the seafront, which is just minutes from our home, and on to the cycle path. This path now goes all the way to Arrecife, some 15 kms away, and all along the seafront!

View at Matagorda
We cycled along from Puerto Del Carrmen to Matagorda, where we stopped for breakfast. After breakfast we carried on past the airport, here it is amazing because you can sit and watch the planes come in and take off. The planes are so close you can almost see the passengers! Several people were sat, camera´s poised ready to take pictures of planes coming in or leaving the Island.


CB Cycling near the Airport
The cycle path goes all the way round the airport perimeter, and for those who have visited the Island they will know just how picturesque around the airport it is. The airport is nothing like the international airports most tourists fly from.

Path towards airport
Beach at Playa Honda
From the airport we carried on to Playa Honda, once a small village, now something between a large village and a small town these days. As the heat was ramping up we decided to turn around and cycle back home. Arriving back at our villa, the first thing to do was to cool down and so we jumped into our pool....bliss! It was only 11.30am but it was defiantly to hot to be out on our bikes by now.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Happy & Safe!

Just over four months ago we brought home another little rescue doggie, you have already met him in previous Blogs, but this week I met the wonderful lady who rescued him, Margaret.

Margaret and her friend Judith have spent over two decades rescuing and helping animals badly treated, abandoned and worse on the Island. When I showed her the latest photographs of Barney, she was thrilled to see him so happy and then went on to tell me how she had found him. ´I had to get on all fours and crawl under the table to get to him he was so afraid. His eating and water bowls were full of sand…no food or water! The neighbour´s told me they had often heard him cry when he was smacked.´

All played out!

Poppy, adored by Barney


Barney is now 14 months old and the very thought of anyone hurting him, makes me feel sick. He is a beautiful doggy both to look at and his personality. He loves our other rescue doggy to the point of not going anywhere unless she is there too.    It is beyond my imagination that anyone could hurt them, but of course people do, but thanks to the likes of Judith and Margaret, little doggies like our Barney are helped. Margaret is looking into doing her own Blog and when it is all set up, I will let you know, maybe you might be able to offer something to help with their fund raising.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

In Pictures!

I was asked the other day if I would add a few more pictures to my Blog page of the lovely island we live on. As I write, it is another beautiful day, the temperature as just nudged 28.5c and it is 3rd October!

Anyone who comes here for a holiday is seldom disappointed, though like most of the world, the weather is changing. This summer was very hot and although we will complain about the winter, we rarely see daytime temperatures below 18c. Certainly not here in Puerto Del Carmen and if so, it would be a very cold day! Fortunately we do not get many of these days in a year, if any!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Perfect Fit!


Spare a moment and take a peek at Daisy, my beautiful new card wallet. Last week I had new cards printed for my two novels, which have been designed to reflect the book covers. And to add a little more sparkle when I hand them out, I ordered a new card wallet, but it is not just any card wallet. My cards are just a tad larger than the average and BaggieAggie, who designs and makes the most gorgeous things, made a wallet to fit my new cards perfectly. 
 
I ordered my little Daisy on Monday and within a week it was sitting in my post box waiting for me! You can not believe how fantastic that is. We live 4,000 kms south of the UK on a little pebble in the middle of the ocean and getting things here can be very easy or simply a nightmare!


Thank you Rosie for making my little wallet to fit my cards so perfectly!



 
If you would like to see more wallets like my Daisy, take a peek at:BaggieAggie

Friday, 17 September 2010

A Short Story - Carla!

For those who never mead it to my web site, here is my latest short story...enjoy!

Carla

      Copyright: Pauline Barclay

The fragrance of the garden drifted on the breeze, Maud was almost intoxicated with its perfume.
She closed her eyes to help concentrate and identify each blossom and bloom; her nose was an expert on garden bouquets.

She had the ability to sniff the air carefully allowing the fragrance to pass through her senses; her nose to the flower garden was likened to that of a wine connoisseur. Gently, she took another intake of air and twitched her nose. Then slowly, twisting her head from side to side, she quickly and easily identified each unique fragrance. The garden was a paradise of colour and perfume. She had loved her garden for as long as she could remember.
 

Taking in the vista of the beauty that surrounded her, she knew that her garden looked as good today as it had ever looked. Over the years seeds had been scattered willy nilly with the help of the wind and the birds who frequented her sanctuary. But even with this intervention of nature, Maud still knew exactly which plant grew in her garden and where.

The planning and all the hard work had been done so many years ago now. They had been young and full of energy; they'd had a wonderful zest for life when they had first moved into Carla Cottage. But that was back in 1925, when the twenties were roaring and the Second World War was unthinkable.

Carla Cottage was then, and still is today, the perfect picture postcard image of a country home. Of course in those days, it wasn't romantic; the beams and inglenook fireplaces were part of the way it was. There was electricity, but no plumbing for the water system. The well, which had served as the main supplier of water, was now a major feature on the east side of the garden. It had been the garden that had captured the heart of Reginald and Maud. In those days it was a field, a wilderness in which nature had firmly taken a hold. Reginald had dug and rejuvenated the soil and Maud herself had carefully planted hundreds of flowers and sprinkled thousands of seeds to encourage a wealth of colour and fragrance. It took years to turn their wilderness into a beautiful garden, and eventually it was stocked with every bloom that would grow in their well-loved soil.

 
The children and even the grandchildren had long since grown up and each one had taken into their adult life the joy of the garden. Maud had patiently taught them how to identify each bloom and how to capture its special fragrance. She could still hear their laughter as they chased each other through the gardens, hiding and seeking with one another. She had invented fun games to help them learn the names and identify each plant. They had been so keen to learn and she had loved every moment of their childhood. The tree house Reginald had built for the grandchildren was still visible to this day. Maud put her hands over her eyes to shield the bright sunlight, now she could see the tree house clearly. It looked as good today as it had when her dear Reginald had build it, almost breaking his legs in the process when he felt out of the tree. She smiled at the memory of the day. Fortunately, her dear husband sustained nothing more than a sprained ankle and a few bruises.

Maud moved her head to one side, as if she still could hear the childlike chatter of her grandchildren as they played in their special tree house. Her own children's tree house had long since fallen apart. But the memory of their childhood days was still with her. She had taught them so much and they had wanted to learn. She had shown them how to carefully cup each bloom in their tiny hands and then very gently inhale its fragrance. Their eyes opened wide and their faces had lit up with joy and delight when they were able to identify many of the garden blooms by the fragrance - a game they had played time and time again. She had made sure there were lots of rewards, they never lost interest – she had loved those years.
 
Throughout each childhood, thousands of seeds had been sown, hundreds of tiny seedlings had been pricked out and finally a garden full of blooms had been planted. Each child and later grandchild had had their own garden plot to grow what ever they wanted. Nicholas, their son had grown beautiful flowers and Emma had insisted on growing vegetables. The grandchildren had experimented, each year changing their minds, but fortunately their joy of the garden never waned. The plots today were no longer tended by the children, like the seeds on the wind they too had found pastures new. The plots were now full of wild flowers sown by her and the birds.
 
The garden had suffered for a time when Reginald had passed on. Maud had found that her haven had lost its charm and what had seemed to be welcoming and warm, now held her at a distance, as a stranger might. To walk in their garden alone was never the same without her all-time beloved partner. They had bought Carla Cottage for its garden and they had lived there together for over sixty years. He had brought her there as a young nineteen-year-old bride. They had been lucky; they had found a perfect life together. Her thoughts were broken by the noise of an old Tigermoth plane has it growled above her, she looked up and waved at the goggled pilot. The noise unexpectedly reminded her of how the garden had looked during the war. Apart from a small patch of flowers they had grown vegetables; “You can’t eat flowers, pretty has they are,” Reginald had said every time he had to dig up their much loved flowers to make way for essential food. After the war they had returned their garden back to its former glory as quickly as possible.

Maud bent down and touched the roses near where she was standing. “Yes,” she said aloud to the old English rose; “We were very lucky indeed.”

Monday, 13 September 2010

A Beautiful Day!

Yesterday, Sunday, we decided to treat ourselves to an English breakfast. There is a little restaurant on the seafront in Matagorda that does a lovely one, so with the doggies walked and fed, we left them in charge and off we went.

After eating our breakfast we walked along the seafront, it was hot and with little or no breeze we were soon glowing! The seafront at Matagorda is wonderful. There are no cars and plenty of room for walking, cycling or roller blading. As we approached the Hotel Beatriz we saw a few people having a little workout on the new sports equipment that has been installed on the seafront. There is something for everyone here, cycling, twisting, weightlifting and much more.


On the beach there are people enjoying the relaxing atmosphere and being Sunday, many locals like to spend the day with their families on the beach. The sand is soft and fine and the sea clear and warm. And as we stroll along, we have the rich blue sea to one side and the beautiful volcanic mountains in the distance on the other. The island is very stark this time of the year, as this particular part of the island has had no rain for six months. This is normal!






Now having walked off our breakfast, enjoyed the tranquillity of our walk along the seafront, we climb back in to our car and head for home.