Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday 30th September 2014……where did the month go!!!!

Well that huge rain storm last night caused the cancellation of my tennis this morning and I was not a happy camper!!!!!

Took the time to go visit my tennis buddy Barry and over tea we chatted about life, travel and how lucky we are!!!!

These kids were exercising at the junior school across from Barry’s casa!!!

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Came home after chores in town did the laundry and then went to Rita’s for the regular afternoon session with Roger of cards, treats and good conversation and of course I could tell you who won the game but I would be repeating myself the last 4 weeks!!!!!

This evening just a quiet time at home after watching the recording of a live European soccer game…

The month went by so fast but that is what happens when you have a full schedule…

This article was taken from the BBC website.

Man standing in the office Simple things like standing to take a call 'boosts activity levels'

 

 

In this week's Scrubbing Up, Dr Mike Loosemore, head of exercise medicine at the Institute of Sport Exercise and Health at University College London who has been involved in the development of commercial exercise programmes, says people should be encouraged to do more "low-level" exercise - such as simply standing up.

Ready for a sit-down or are you sitting comfortably already?

You might be a little less relaxed if you knew that lack of physical activity is the public health problem at the beginning of the 21st century.

“Start Quote

Recommendations are not just failing to engage the population, but are positively discouraging people to participate at all.”

End Quote

There is an overwhelming weight of evidence that humans need to be active.

And I'm not talking about hours in the gym or jogging miles around the local park, but simply avoiding the sort of sedentary behaviour that sees us spending hours of our day sat in front of a computer, at the wheel of car or watching the gogglebox.

It's time to stand up for yourself. Literally.

There is now enormous evidence that simply standing makes huge differences to your health.

It is estimated that being on your feet for just three hours a day can extend your life by two years!

Cure-all?

The great news is of course that now everyone can benefit.

If you are feeling unfit or fat, or too over the hill to walk up even a small one, it's time to think again.

Low-level activity, even regularly getting off your seat, can change your life forever.

Active individuals reduce their risk of heart disease by 40% against their inactive counterparts.

Other reductions are similarly extraordinary. High blood pressure can be lessened by almost 50%, the risk of recurrent breast cancer by almost 50% whilst the likelihood of colon cancer goes down by over 60%.

It has great mental benefits, too, with the risk of developing of Alzheimer's disease decreased by a third and depression eased as effectively as Prozac or behavioural therapy.

Activity is not only more powerful than drugs for most conditions, but can act as a cure-all.

The UK government's recommendation that adults in the UK complete 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week to achieve the above gains would seem to make sense.

No drugs are involved and this level of activity needs no special equipment.

'Impractical or unobtainable'

Man on sofa with remote and beer This may be a common sight at the moment

It would seem so undemanding yet so beneficial, you would expect the whole of the population to be following these guidelines.

However, what do we find?

When adults were monitored, barely 7% of men and 4% of women were carrying out enough activity to fulfil them.

It is perhaps not surprising that the UK has one of the highest levels of obesity in the world.

 

“Start Quote

Every action, even a single step on a stair or standing up for a few seconds, can put you on a positive path to better health.”

End Quote

So the governments' recommendations are not just failing to encourage the population to increase their physical activity, but are seemingly acting as a positive disincentive to people to participate at all.

For many of the population, 30 minutes of moderate activity is deemed impractical or unobtainable, so the idea that being more physical to improve long-term health is ignored or dismissed.

Most of us do not have the time, energy or inclination to make the effort, so the recommendations are not just failing to engage the population, but are positively discouraging people to participate at all.

But there is some good news.

Even a small amount of activity can make major health gains, and this is what the population really needs to be taught.

Every action, even a single step on a stair or standing up for a few seconds, can put you on a positive path to better health.

If you start to think that the smallest movement makes a significant difference, then every single person can take part and gain the powerful benefits of being physically active.

As you can see, feeling great is a walk in the park.

Blessings …Les

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday 29th September 2014….the start of a busy week!!!!

Went off to yoga this morning at 9.30am and did some chores in town…I like this frontage

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after the chores I went to meet a couple who live in New Zealand but are here for a few months…my tennis friend Barry put me in touch with them and we arranged to meet in a coffee shop  and they were going to give me information on the Islands as my intention is to travel there in October next year.

At the coffee shop Athol was there but his wife Gail was still at a class but coming shortly…sadly to say Athol received a call from his wife saying that one of her friends she was with had taken sick and was transported to the hospital..so obviously Athol left to go there so we did not get to talk but will re schedule another day.

As I came home I came across this horrific accident at the  roundabout by Mega

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This had just happened and the ambulance were still trying to get some of the people out of their cars…I found out later that the truck was coming down the slight hill to the roundabout and lost his brakes and slammed into at least 5 cars I sure hope there were no fatalities!!!

 

This bird was on the wires outside the house

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prepared my lesson for class later and did some computer work and before I knew it time to go to class..I got about 100 yards from the house when the heavens opened and it started to pour… so quickly came back and exchanged Little Blackie for Little Bluey…for any new readers who are thinking what the heck is this man writing about Blackie is my scooter and Bluey is my car!!!

Class was great the students are so wonderful and now I see them getting more confident every week and now like to come to the front of the class and talk!!!

They all said how much they enjoyed last Wednesday when we went down town and met my friends and they asked if we can to that again and we will and I am also working on another project to do with them something like the Amazing race on TV…have to figure it out.

Yesterday was Christina’s birthday so I bought a cake and we all sang to her!!!!

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Sorry I messed the shot!!!

This article was taken from the web….

The Second Life of San Miguel de Allende

For decades, Americans have escaped to San Miguel for the culture, climate, and to pursue their artistic passions. But can the city retain its charm even in the spotlight?

So what do you do after you’ve been anointed the best city in the world? Is it a jinx, like being put on the cover of Sports Illustrated? How do you appreciate the new money and interest coming your way without changing what made visitors love you in the first place?

 

That’s the quandary facing San Miguel de Allende, the quaint mountain town 166 miles northwest of Mexico City. According to Condé Nast’s discerning travelers, this is the número uno place to come for the climate, the culture, the countless roofs with a view, and the friendly, laid-back ambience that seems to reignite personal talents. After a rather magical week in “SMA,” I came face to face with what residents and recurring visitors call the inevitable test: “No one only comes once.”

It’s interesting to ask Americans how they ended up in San Miguel de Allende. “I was on my way somewhere else,” said one man, who ventured here from New York 19 years ago. “Failure,” said another, who has lived in Philadelphia and Maui but has made this his home for the last decade. Doc Severinsen, when he retired from The Tonight Show, came for solace and relaxation and got that and much more. Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Neal Cassady came through for the booze, and Cassady actually died in SMA in 1968.

San Miguel may be a new idea for many trendy travelers, but it is hardly a new location. Founded in 1542, the town was the birthplace of the victorious Mexican War of Independence against Spain. The visionary most responsible for making SMA what it is today, Stirling Dickinson, was a Chicago art student who got off a train—and then a donkey—in 1937 and saw natural beauty and amazing potential. He spent the rest of his life there, founding art institutes and centers, charitable organizations, and even a baseball team. His name is right up there with Allende and Hidalgo as the town’s beloved heroes.

A lover of the Mexican way of life, Dickinson was already sensing the town’s loss of innocence near the end of his own life, lamenting how new residents were destroying the native flavor. If only he knew that in 2014, among the 100,000 residents, about 11,000 would be Americans. Coldwell Banker realtor Greg Gunter, who moved here five years ago from Colorado, says, “The renewed interest in buyers has really been in the last 18 months, since the new Mexican president was sworn in and the daily headline-grabbing news about cartel violence stopped scaring away the travelers’ market. We have also definitely seen an increase since the Condé Nast award.”

Indeed, the city comes perilously close to having a Hamptons-ish feeling on the weekends, with the increased sound of car horns and money pouring in from out-of-town visitors. A gorgeous but controversial Rosewood Hotel has recently opened overlooking the city, striking the locals and regulars as “soulless.” One can hardly sit on the Rosewood rooftop bar without seeing $200 flip flops and overhearing name and place-dropping. Could Peso-trash be a serious threat to the lively and tactile scene down the hill?

That is where SMA enjoys its true ex-pat appeal, as compared by many to that of Buenos Aires. While Buenos Aires has generally attracted a younger crowd, those seeking to begin lives, San Miguel feels like the capital of the next-pats, those hoping to find new, or recover, old passions. John Scherber, for example, suffered from writer’s block for 37 years before settling here six and a half years ago. He has since written numerous books, including Into the Heart of Mexico: Expatriates Find Themselves Off The Beaten Path. “I’m doing what I love, and, at 70, I’m having the career I always wanted. My wife rediscovered her equestrian interest and rides three times a week.”

The city is, without question, an international arts community, and artisans of all types have found inspiration—and rejuvenation—amid SMA’s cobblestone streets and colonial architecture. Doc Severinsen was invited to one of the city’s many clubs to hear guitarist Gil Gutierrez. With three others, they now constitute the San Miguel Five and play a combination of Afro-Latin, classical, and gypsy jazz.

 

Monica Galera, 41, came from Mexico City 11 years ago, but it wasn’t until she moved into a house just outside town—replete with untended greenery, orange trees, and its own river—that she created a home-grown gallery called Fibras Naturales. “I was not even an artist before,” she says, “but when I came here, art found me.” Dawn Gaskill, 66, was a corporate strategist in Dallas before giving herself a year in SMA to see if the artist inside her would emerge. “I used to do mission statements for companies. When I came here, I did one for myself.” She’s been in San Miguel 13 years and is thriving.

Lulu Torbet, an artist and photographer, was raised in New Jersey, spent 25 years in New York, and 15 in San Francisco before arriving in Mexico nine years ago. “The beauty here is in the details,” she says, “the luminous tarpaulins in the open markets, the battered cars, the tangled wash lines…which convey with lively immediacy the spirit and essence of everyday life.” In 2001, a large textile factory was transformed into an artist’s collective called Fabrica La Aurora, a blissful center of galleries and eateries. It has a waiting list of 200 artists hoping to rent space.

If there is a power couple—though they would cringe at the description—in town, it would be Mayer Shacter and Susan Page. They moved here permanently 11 years ago and have a beautiful spread that includes a contemporary house and the Galeria Atotonilco, his world-famous collection of Mexican Folk Art. Shacter, too, claims he discovered his passion upon arrival: “I didn’t come here intending to do this.”

“When I first got here,” Valerie says, “I was told all the men are either married, gay, or leaving on Tuesday.”

What he’s doing for folk art, Susan is doing for literature. She created the Writers Conference and Literary Festival, which met for the ninth time in mid February. “The first year we had 26 participants,” she says, “and this time we had 286. And 1000 people showed up for the keynote speakers.” (They included Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi, and Calvin Trillin.) When the dogged Page—“I milk my network to death”—tracked him down, Trillin responded by saying, “If this were Youngstown, Ohio I would say no. But San Miguel de Allende…”

Page and Mayer are next-pats who have totally integrated with the “locals.” Another couple, Robert and Karen Adams, did the same when they bought a home in San Miguel 13 years ago. “Frankly, we find many of the ex-pats insular and boring,” says Robert, an anesthesiologist who goes back and forth between SMA and San Diego. “They bring in good income to the tourism business but don’t really interface.” The Adamses—who pride themselves on being the only  “gringos” on their street—began their love affair with SMA 50 years ago when, as college students, Karen was doing a semester in town studying art, and Robert came to visit during his spring break. “I got drunk, sunstroke, and dysentery,” laughs Robert, “but I also got the girl.”

The truth is, you can live here and have a great time without offering more than the basic kindnesses. “San Miguel is Mexico on training wheels,” says Gunnar Erickson, who left a successful career as an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles to move here about 13 years ago. “You don’t need to speak Spanish, there are familiar amenities, and lots of other people with a sense of adventure.” He admits it’s not for the kind of type-A people he used to make deals with in Hollywood. “We had one friend come, and, in 24 hours, he felt he’d done and seen it all and was ready to move on.”

That said, there are countless activities, from lectures, walking tours, and readings to yoga and gallery openings. “Every day we have a list of about eight things we might do and maybe we get to half of them,” says Valerie Tapscott,” who hails from Houston, fell in love in—and with—SMA eight-and-a-half years ago. “Or you go out to do one and you end up doing four. But you’ve always had a good day.”

Her mate, Monty Dennison, is almost an “honorary mayor” of San Miguel’s next-pats. Now retired at 74, the former journalist sums up what people love about this place. “There is just a courtesy here that we lack in the states.” Caroline Elam visited 27 years ago and “fell in love at first sight. I lived in Nashville 60 years and never just bumped into people, here you do all the time. No one comes here just once,” she says. SMA seems like a mecca for single women, of which there are reportedly seven for every one man. “When I first got here,” Valerie says, “I was told all the men are either married, gay, or leaving on Tuesday.”

What SMA also offers—so far—are great prices. John Scherber owns a 5000-square-foot house and pays $120 a month for all utilities. “A couple could live very well here on $25,000 a year,” he says. One night, I bought drinks for five and the bill amounted to $15 (less than one drink in Manhattan). Dinner for three at The Restaurant, arguably the best eatery in town, was $150. That one, by the way, was started by 41-year-old chef Donny Masterton, who grew up in Los Angeles and trained in New York under David Bouley before taking the plunge in SMA. “I came to visit ten years ago and basically never left,” he says.

 

Masterton may have brought nouveau cuisine to a town best known for its hearty Mexican fare, but he also honors SMA’s sense of giving back. One month a year, The Restaurant donates 10 percent of its proceeds from Sunday dinners to the San Miguel Literary Sala, one of more than 100 highly active non-profits in the area. John Scherber and his wife became friendly with neighbors and paid for their son’s $130-per-semester high school tuition. (Education, while highly regarded here, is only compulsory through middle school.) “How many places can you really make a difference and change someone’s life without bending your own budget?” Scherber asks.

While they are proud of all the attention, those who came long before it was trendy know their city is on a cusp. “Whenever a place gets discovered, what made it so great can get lost,” says Lou Christine, who has been living here for 19 years and created the VIP Club Card, which offers 10-20 percent discounts at many restaurants.  “When I first came, it was more vibrant with the local people creating amazing art. Now every Long Island divorcee thinks she can come and be a sculptor. I just don’t want to see it become Disneyfied.”

It’s a legitimate concern, but for now, the next-pat spirit remains, confirmed on one of my last nights in San Miguel. I attended a gallery opening for Peter Leventhal, a 75-year old painter who was born and raised in New York but found his real home here decades ago.

Leventhal contracted Parkinson’s disease in 2001 and lost all use of his right hand. Rather than give up, he learned to paint with his left. His colorful, glorious expressionist new works include numerous nude women. Leventhal pointed toward a second room, which featured only self-portraits. “It’s my favorite,” he smiled,  “it’s all about me.”

“Nudes?” I asked.

Eyes twinkling, he said, “Next time.”

 

Yashi Kochi!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday 28th September 2014……..two days in one!!!

I had some Internet issues yesterday so grab a coffee or tea or wine and here we go to yesterday which was my sports day…up at 7.00am and watched a live soccer game from England whilst having breakfast and getting ready for tennis and as soon as the game finished off to the courts for yet another wonderful start to the day…we have lots of fun and it was sunny the whole morning.

I came home for lunch and to pack lunches for the girls as I watched yet another live game from England and then when that was finished went to get Paola and this time Miriam was not feeling well so she stayed home but her sister Monsay came and we went to the pools but they told me they wanted to go to La Gruta this time which is another swimming hot springs and this one has a neat cave where you swim through to a lovely cave with the sun shining in and hot hot water…for this I have to go with the girls so sorry no photos of them in the water but these were taken on the way out..

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They had a great time and they are so well behaved and polite fun to be around.

At night I went into town I had a ticket for an Improvo show at the local theatre it was sold out and came very well recommended and advertised but I have to be honest and not being dis respectful to the actors but I did not find it at all funny…sorry!!!

Town was so busy with lots of activities in the main square…it was a great day!!!

8am this morning found me at the meeting place for the Sunday morning hike group and again Pierre, Kerrie and Jean Paul went off on our own and after 20 minute drive found us at the start of our morning hike

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It was an uphill climb for the first couple of hours but wonderful views!!!

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We still have to go over this hill…..

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This horse came galloping by us it was wonderful to see and hear!!

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We had no idea where these boys were heading…

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Kerrie, Pierre and JP

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We had hoped to get to the cross but we were one canyon short maybe next time

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This man was tending these cows and what is so significant about him for me is his shirt!!!

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I have worn similar shirts hundreds of times it is a soccer Referee’s soccer shirt…small world.

So about 6 hours and about 17 miles later we were back at the car after what we all said was a fantastic hike!!!!!

I then went to see my friend Rita and we had a visit I cannot tell you what the visit was about for a couple of days something I am doing and will share with you.

Caron sent me this great photo of Mum and two daughters!!!!

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Left to right…Pauline, Ashley’s Mum, her sister Caron and proud Mum my friend Stella…great family shot!!!

….hope you all had a great weekend!!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday 26th September 2014….Friday so it is Pearson day!!!

You should know what that means by now…I live by design a very full and busy life so Friday is my day to myself, no appointments, nothing except hiking and relaxing and apart from the folks I pass by which are very few the occasional Buenos dias and I speak to no one else all day……and today was no exception.

Hung around a bit this morning did some chores and reading and then packed up and walked from the house another unusual event not riding Little Blackie for a day!!!!

I needed my waterfall fix and decided to do a hike that I love and which I did a month ago when the rains had been in full swing and all the streams and lakes were so high…..

The X is where I am heading…

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So come along for the hike make sure you have lots of water and we are going climbing!!!!

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Finally reached the cros!!!

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Trust me there was a very tiny lady on the other side of this burro

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I love this shot below it is taken from the suspension bridge

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Saw some eco tourists!!!!

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Just to show that this kid has got some guts read below my blog when I toured the Copper Canyon!!!!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Thursday 7th April 2011….Day 3

Another good sleep and cereal for breakfast and another packed lunch and I got a ride with the same driver as yesterday to the town where the train stopped',  Divisadero and made my way to the new Tram cable car and Zip line.  I opted for the whole package the zip line into the canyon and the cable car back up…cost was 600 pesos…do I look ready??

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This is the longest zip line in Latin America

copper canyon 058and the Z is where I am zipping to!!!!

After a signing a waiver, big joke, I was given the customary instructions and away I went to the first platform

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You want me to go all the way over there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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There was my main guide, Marco and 2Tama Raramui guys Sammy and Martin and there were all vital parts of this experience….so I was strapped in and just for the briefest of seconds I thought what the heck am I doing!!!!!  and AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Marco offered to take my camera and he took all these photos at one point he took a short video which is really good so if anyone knows how to get the video clip from my Picasa album through Live writer on to this blog please let me know or how to get it into a yahoo e mail!!

The rush was fantastic, the views heavenly and I was not frightened at all I was told I was reaching speeds of up to 80 km

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This was the next surprise as well as the 7 zip line stations there are two long suspension

bridges!!!!

Larry wish you were here…remember the Kettle Valley?????

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Well still in one piece!!

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Yes is where I still have to zip to!!!!

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The above is the hotel with every room a canyon view…for 200 dollars a night I think I will stay with my little Casa M!!!!

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Sammy and I posing!!!

copper canyon 077This was the big zip and we took it in tandem and this is where I have the video clip, it is really cool!!!

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Sammy and Martin at the end…the last zip line Marco told me I reached over 90 km…..it was the most wonderful and breath taking thing I think I have done and for sure one for the memory banks!!!!!

I then took the cable care back to the starting point 3 km away..

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That day is one I shall not forget.

Time for lunch now at my favorite spot ..I find solace and peace here and it is beautiful even with the waterfall no where near as fast and flowing!!!!

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Went to the summit

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On the way home not Camino yellow arrows but arrows just the same!!

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It was a great hike!!!! Hope you enjoyed coming along!!

Just a quiet evening at home before the next two days which are going to be really busy…

You cannot really tell from this shot but as I was on the couch saw this fellow trying to get some water out of the hummingbird feeders he had a lovely orange plume!!!!

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Yashi Kochi!!!!