Saturday, 28 February 2009

A Trip To London - Part One

I have just come back from a much needed and enjoyed trip to London with my husband, and thought I would share some of my photos with you...

Above is the London Eye, or the Millenium Wheel (as it opened in 2000) and a "flight" on it offers fantastic views across the whole of London. You can even book to say your wedding vows on it! and it is Britain's most popular paid-for visitor attraction.

If you visit London, I can recommend the best tube stop to get off at - to see a large amount of sights in one small area - is Westminster. From here you can see right along the Thames, and of course Big Ben above,

the London Eye,

this majestic statue of Boudicea, by Thomas Thornycroft,

and of course the iconic, and important, Houses of Parliament. This is a peek into a beautiful carved passageway which I took through the railings,

and this is of course Sir Winston Churchill, known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom in World War II, standing proud in Parliament Square.

I liked the way Big Ben (which is of course the bell, not the tower) peeked over the buildings here...

and this is my husband peering up at the Jewel Tower across the road, which was built around 1365, to house Edward III's personal treasure and wardrobe, and now hosts an exhibition about the Houses of Parliament and House of Lords.

This is The Royal College of St Peter in Westminster, this picture is taken from Dean's Yard, the lucky pupils that attend here can expect the highest Oxbridge acceptance rate of any secondary school or college in the UK!

And what a fantastic building to learn in it must be....

Join me again tomorrow for more pics and history from London! Seeya then x

Sunday, 22 February 2009

It's Bunny Sunday!!

.. It's Bunny Sunday!! .. Why?? .. Because I said so!! .. And I LOVE bunnies, yayyy!! xx

Soooo cute.. and they cheer me up every time!! See you in a few days xx

Friday, 20 February 2009

Empty spaces - what are we living for
Abandoned places - I guess we know the score
On and on, does anybody know what we are looking for...
Another hero, another mindless crime
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime
Hold the line, does anybody want to take it anymore
The show must go on, The show must go on
Inside my heart is breaking
My make-up may be flaking
But my smile still stays on.

Whatever happens, Ill leave it all to chance
Another heartache, another failed romance
On and on, does anybody know what we are living for?

I guess Im learning, I must be warmer now
Ill soon be turning, round the corner now
Outside the dawn is breaking
But inside in the dark Im aching to be free

My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies
Fairytales of yesterday will grow but never die
I can fly - my friends

The show must go on, The show must go on
Ill face it with a grin, Im never giving in
On - with the show
Ill top the bill, Ill overkill, I have to find the will to carry on
On with the show -The show must go on...
- Queen - "The Show Must Go On" -

The sun glares in upon my sorrow
Trying to melt my pain away
But it can’t stop what comes tomorrow,
Another problem, another day…

Why is life so damn unkind
You struggle on, yet just to find
When one thing’s good, ten more are bad
I wish my time on Earth I’d had…

A Favourite Poem From Childhood

The Spider and the Fly
Mary Howitt

Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there."
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, " Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple -- there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

A Day With A Difference

Today in Benidorm there was a casting session for "extras" for the upcoming series 3 of the popular ITV comedy, "Benidorm", see the cast below...
The audtions were held between 2pm and 6pm at the Melia Hotel in the Rincon de Loix area, and were very well attended indeed! I myself went along - well, I could do with the cash and why not hey!? - and was quite (maybe naively) amazed to see tens of people there... within the half an hour I had to wait to be seen I counted about 100 people, so I would say well over 1000 people turned up during the few hours the agency was there to see them, and I know they started seeing people well before the 2pm start too..

All that was required was a few details then a snapshot or two (I put on my best cheesy smile, how embarrassing, lol!) and then it was "Next!" and on to the rest of the hordes... The filming starts on Monday for the lucky successful applicants - in particular the lucky "special" extras who will get paid more, we were told rather mysteriously - and continues right on til the end of May, therefore they said lots and lots of people will be needed, and to wait for a phone call with details of what to wear, and where to turn up, if you are picked! All sorts of people were there, of all ages and walks of life but mostly Brits, the only stipulation was that you were "English looking".. I thought a group of biker-type guys and gals that turned up were particularly cool, with their shaved dyed hair and piercings and tattoos and leather waistcoats.. hope they think up a storyline to fit them into - not that they couldn't just be lying about on sunloungers on their hols of course!! Many people didn't have the correct papers to be able to work in Spain even though they live here, so they've been sent away to get them at the police station in the Old Town.. I would think the place will be mobbed tomorrow, and it's normally chaotic enough down there! Anyway, fingers crossed that I get a call but I'm really not expecting it.. but at the reasonable daily rates they're paying I might just hope that little bit harder!

After meeting my husband for a shandy or two to tell him all the goss, we walked up to our apartment for lunch then a little siesta, as you do... When I woke up I made a shepherds pie for tea, and watched from my kitchen window as the sky changed from hazy blue to burnt orange and then a glorious dusty pink..
It was a beautiful sunset, with a blazing red orb of setting sun.

Unfortunately, we have a rather handy little corner-type shop under our apartment block, and I just couldn't resist going in today for a quick look around, even though I actually didn't need anything and wasn't really hungry either, ahem.. anyway, I came out with these rather smashing looking Animalitos! (little animals) which look rather like the Cadburys animals my Mum always used to buy me as a child.. and has often bought me since when I've been back to England to visit her, thanks Mum.. anyway, as suspected, they were awfully sweet (the Spanish have SUCH a sweet tooth!) and rather tea-biscuity rather than proper-biscuity... however, of course, I got used to the taste rather quickly and if the words fiddler and elbow mean anything to you in the same sentence, then you can guess how many are left!! heh heh
So a pretty mixed and slightly unusual day, but hopefully a fruitful one.. and if not, ahh well, you can only try can't you! Have a good evening xx

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

I Need A Laugh Today...

Heh Heh Heh.. I needed that! Hope it cheered you up too xx

Monday, 16 February 2009

Hello again, well it's a gorgeous day here today, and I woke rather late - thanks to my upstairs neighbours alarm going off intermittently for over an hour at 7am, hence sending me into a deep sleep when it finally stopped, grrr - to a warm sunny day, with a moderate temperature of 13 degrees, and a happy heart! Funny how the sunshine always makes things seem that little bit better.. The pictures above and below are some of the old Spanish villas that are dotted around the area I live in.. complete with pools, stone fountains, and plenty of glossy green palm trees.. I always find it a bit sad that they are now sandwiched in between so many towering apartment blocks, bars and restaurants...
However, they are very pretty and well kept too, even though the villa by itself at the top seems to be abandoned.. I imagine it was once a bustling family home in the 1960's before the resort grew to the monster it is today, or maybe the owners just use it for Summer sojourns to the Costa Blanca, who knows?

I spotted a plane soaring into the sky at about lunchtime, he seemed very close (relatively) when I zoomed in on him with my camera on video-mode.. I would assume it had taken off from Alicante but wouldn't have thought I could have seen it so well, then again from my high-up apartment you can see for miles, quite literally..

Unfortunately he zoomed overhead too quickly for me to capture him! and when I raced out onto my balcony he was just a speck in the sky, disappearing into the hazy sunlight..

After appreciating the views, which I do on a daily basis, I made this warming pork chop and pepper casserole for tea tonight.. as although I'm in Spain it is after all only February, and still pretty nippy at night! I thought this dish would do just right for a late supper, with lots of fresh vegetables and maybe a glass of wine, or two, beforehand heh heh..

And so to siesta now... well, I have had a busy day haven't I! lol... xx

Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Enchanted City...

Well, it's a most miserable day here today, all grey skies and rainclouds, so I thought I'd show you somewhere my hubby and I have visited in Spain... also on a rather miserable day! But we still set out in our car back in November 2002, determined to see all the sights the region offered, to "La Ciudad Encantada".. or the Enchanted City, which lies about 35kms north of the city of Cuenca.

The Ciudad Encantada is an amazing natural site of limestone rock formations, and you are allowed to wander freely round the structures.. most of them are named after objects or animals etc.. although some have been named rather optimistically! and you'd really have to use your imagination to guess what they were supposed to be, lol...
The formation above is called "The Theatre" and is a photo I have downloaded off the Web.. it must have been too wet and windy for me to have taken a pic of it myself at the time!

This impressive outcrop is called The High Tor, and as
you can see I am absolutely dwarfed by it.

This structure is called The Mushroom, and is one of the more obviously named stones...

And I can't find the names for these massive rocks behind me, but maybe they should be
called The Sentries, as they look like they're guarding an entrance to something
magical and mysterious, don't you think?
You can just see my husband standing in the cave entrance in the bottom right hand corner in this photo.. trying not to slip over I should imagine, as it really was a wet and wild day!

Here is the official link to the website if you are ever travelling that way, and
are interested in visiting this magical and unusual place:
Well that was a lovely trip down memory lane for me! and the rain has now stopped.. but the mountains have still got their heads buried in cloud so I don't think we're in for much of a bright day.. best I get the kettle on then, and cosy up with a book or some tv! Enjoy the rest of your weekend everybody x

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Views From The Puig Campana

As promised, here are some views of my walk up the mountain, and out to the Mediterranean.

Welcome To My World!

Hello, and welcome to my first blog post! This is an account of my life here in Spain - good and bad - and my daily thoughts, pictures, and any other bits and bobs I fancy adding really!

To the left, is a picture of the imposing Puig Campana mountain that dominates the skyline of Benidorm, it is pronounced pweesh campana as the name is in valenciano, as opposed to the traditional castellano, which is the "standard" Spanish used in the majority of Spain. Benidorm is situated in the Comunidad de Valencia,and many people speak both dialects, especially those in more rural areas.

It is possible to climb the Puig Campana, and there are many hikers and joggers routes up, down and around it! I have only been a little way up it, along an established route, and the views were amazing, see below. This photo is taken directly from my apartment terrace, and I love gazing out at the mountain and seeing it in all the different lights and weather and seasons..

I hope through my blog you will see that the resort of Benidorm is many things - inspiring, beautiful, clean, frustrating, ever-changing.. and yes, more than a little tacky in places, but only because that's what the tourists have demanded over the years!

Anyway, I love it most of the time, and hope you will enjoy it with me too x