Thursday, March 15, 2018

TIck, tick

Two big things ticked off the list....

We've got tenants in our house, contract signed, deposit paid!!!  YEAH!!!

We've signed the contract and gotten the keys for an apartment for youngest!!!!  YEAH!!!!

To do:
Move our stuff out and sell stuff
Move Youngest's stuff out
Rental insurace, us and youngest
Utilities for youngest's apt and get them to fix the toilet (Younest's work, but I'll be involved)
Youngest finishes school

Oh, and buy a boat so that the man, Chuck and I aren't homeless in 6 weeks.....

Once that's done:
Airline tickets,
Car rental
Cruising guides

And then there's work:
Report cards are the biggest looming issue...bring on Setmana Santa!!!

Everyone hope for warm Swedish weather!!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Goodness how I love the Olympics!  Such cool sports like Biathlon and speed skating!!

Plays merry hell with my reading and exercising, but it's only a couple of weeks every couple of years.....

Biathlon is such a cool sport.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

House is rented

Well, step by step, things are getting done!

The house is rented, we should be signing the contract next week, which is very good indeed.  The 28th is the final survey of the boat we hope to buy. Fingers crossed that all goes well.  We certainly hope it will.  The paperwork is in to rent the apartment for Youngest, fingers crossed that also goes well. 

In the meantime, to keep our spirits up as we find ourselves buried in paperwork and home repair and hassles, we've got a new book!  A listing of the navigation signs in the European Canal systems! Sounds dull, but will be incredibly important!  So we can start studying!!!!

And see what's inside?

Lots of fun for everyone

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Well, it's never dull

There's another boat we were looking at, in Sweden....but the owner wasn't willing to negotiate the price at all. So we went looking elsewhere.  However the Swedish boat is a better boat and the location is much better for us and what we want to when he got back in touch with us aiming to negotiate, well, we did.  And now we've got an agreement on buying the boat, just waiting to check the engine and hull.  Unfortunately the boat is currently frozen in (which does make me nervous) and we have to wait.

Not my favourite thing.

However, I trust the boat is in good shape and it's just a matter of waiting for the weather.

Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Buyin a boat, another boat. Another vega

Well, I'm in Glasgow right now seeing Eldest who just handed in their dissertation, and I came to look at a boat.  An Albin Vega.  It looks like we're going to buy it!

The man went up to Sweden to buy one, which I was pretty excited about honestly, the location was great, the boat looked really good, but the surveyor said that it needed a couple of thousand to repair the electrics, and we didn't get the engine tested and they didn't haul it.  So we wanted to get them to reduce the price because we'd have to pay for the electrical work, and there was a lot cause it was a really fancy boat, all tricked out, and to get anything like our money back, we'd have to keep that up. 

He wouldn't reduce the price, not even a little bit.  Ho hum.

So, we went and looked online at other boats. And there's this one, near Glasgow....and I came up on Sunday (bought the ticket on Saturday) and saw the boat on Monday and paid the deposit. 

The engine looks really really good, the hull looks sound (WAY too many thru-hulls - but that can be repaired) the rig looks fine.  The sails and cordage, not so much.  There's a CQR and chain.  A dingy we can sell and an outboard. 

We'll get a composting head I think and a heater.  Maybe a Dickson, I've always liked them.

It has a propane stove and oven, which we may well keep, but I have no idea where I will keep the pans if we do.  Have to think around that one too.  Might sell it as well.  We'll see. 

Now to get the house rented and youngest's apartment rented, then it's down to the details. 

Look at that tartan!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Mary, many many Marys

I went off to Vic today with the Man to visit the Medieval market.  It was fine.  They sold a LOT of tcotchka, but it was still a very good day.  We went to the Vic Episcopal museum, which was really neat.  I think there have been a lot of moneyed people in Vic for some time, and when great grandpa died the family would give all the stuff in the attic to the museum, and they've got some very cool stuff!  They also have a lot of work that was (somewhat dubiously) removed from rural churches all over Catalunya. That's a whole other post.

A lot of the material dates from the early middle ages, like the 11th century, and it seems that there weren't such strong ideas about what Mary should look like, so there was quite a lot of variation......


All of these are the classic Madonna with Jesus on her knee. 

This one below is my favourite I think....

I think these ladies are lovely and I adore the variation of expression and beauty.  They are not all teh same classic Madonna face and expression that became codified later, and they are charming.  When we get later into the Renaissance, things got a little creepy.....check these two out....These are statues to saints who hold, embedded in their chests, parts of their now dead bodies....

I am, however, somewhat suspicious, as one has a skull and no jaw, and the other a jaw and no skull....and those teeth!!!


Monday, December 4, 2017

Year of the brain, year of the brawn

Well, last year was really intense, a lot of work, finishing the Masters and it was all very very mental.  Last summer was also pretty intense with work, but I did almost no exercise.  I stopped doing any exercise at all more or less in March cause I just didn't have time, and I had barely done any before that anyway.....

Last summer I swam, which was marvelous but it was only 6 weeks, and ran a bit till I took a bad fall....

And my brain was w.e.a.r.y by the time September came around.  I am not studying anything.  Nothing.  I am reading detective novels, and doing a lot of physical exercise.  You see, I threw my back out in September because I hadn't done any exercise....I had to use a cane to get around for a few days.  Not fun.

So now?  I swim twice a week, I am doing weights twice a week, I do pilates once a week, I ride my bike three days a week and I wish I could get motivated for some yoga (unfortunately Chuck the dog wants to join me and it is not very successful) 

My back is just getting to the stage that I could think about running, but it is freaking freezing here.  Not by Canadian standards, I know, but still, we're sitting at about 6º most of the day and it is NOT motivating for going running.

However, this morning?  This morning I swam 3.2 km.  3.2!!!  In an hour and a half!!!  Ok, not exactly making Phelps worried, but still!  That's a lot of front crawl!!!!!  I've been working on technique, and I got that a lot better, then the breathing went down the toilet, but today it all came together and I just swam and swam and swam.  I could have kept going too! 

That said, my arms are a little weary, but I went to do weights and it went far better than I thought it yeah!

In the New Year I'll introduce a little mental work.... maybe......

Saturday, November 4, 2017


Graduated from the Master's today and I have to say that it felt pretty sweet!!!!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

What happened next

Well, Puigdemont declared independence, and Catalunya was independent for about 1 minute, and then he suspended it, asking for dialogue and mediation.

Disappointing, but wise.

The Spanish responded by shutting down the website of the Assemblea, almost instantly, charging the two Jordis, heads of Assemblea and Omnium with sedition again, alongside the head of the Mossos, Trapero.

Rajoy came on line and basically told Catalunya to fuck off.

They have made the first step towards invoking Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution that will remove Catalunya's autonomy and the Spanish will have complete control of Catalunya, the schools, education system, police, government, health center etc......

They have also sent to orders to the Catalan education system and the  much loathed Vice-president (whose entire family are actually fascists, except for one brother) came on to say that there would  never be dialogue.

They require Puigdemont to clarify his statement, and he has until Monday to answer.

The pro-Spain group had a demonstration in Barcelona today, with predictable violence.  Trashed the Cafe Zurch, etc....

Life is not that peaceful or comfortable.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On the proclamation of independence

I feel like I should have been writing more here about what is happening, but I just haven't.  Too stressful maybe?

Anyway, I just wrote this to a friend, and it seemed apt for the moment.  A declaration of independence, as a republic has been made.  Pretty amazing stuff right there.

October 10th, 2017.
Sort of all holding our breath.  Puigdemont, the Catalan president declared independence, and then suspended it to give the chance for mediation and dialogue.  Mostly Catalans are concerned as he didn't put a timeline on it, some are disappointed, but it is the wisest course in my opinion, especially considering the people asking for mediation and discourse.  Let them find out how intransigent the Spanish government is.  About 20 National police riot vehicles roared at high speed through the downtown of Barcelona with their sirens on while Puigdemont spoke, like toddlers who want attention.  Unreal.  If talks fail, they will invoke independence.  There seems to be a good chance that they will arrest Puigdemont, and possibly soon.  They may also dissolve the government in Catalonia, but the Catalans and the Catalan parliament won't recognize that.

It still doesn't look good.  The Spanish government's vice-president was positively rabid about this being illegal, and there being no movement and no dialogue, and the Guardia Civil, one of the two groups of police that were beating people up have (again) shut down the website of one of the two big non-governmental groups that are organizing this.  We have a variety of chat groups, like whatsapp, but more secure, that are based out of the States and out of France, that they cannot touch, but it is not a good sign.  China 2.0

Held breath is the best description.

So far so good, I guess.
Especially as the ruling party threatened to arrest and kill Puigdemont yesterday.