Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wednesday 27th February 2019....all set!!!

A crazy busy but productive day...


Started out by helping my friend Sara take some heavy boxes to her storage unit...


Next it was off to meet the lady who is subbing for me for my English class next Monday and Wednesday...even though I am gone almost two weeks I actually only miss two classes...Pascale is a French Canadian woman with a lovely accent....I just gave her some ideas about the class and told her how much fun the students were..I think they will enjoy her!!!


Then off to poker where they will be glad to see the back  of me....my biggest win so far 300 pesos...


I cancelled my gym session at 4.30pm..just too busy!!


I went over and said goodbye to Gracie....she has a few things planned whilst I am gone and I know we shall miss each other!!


Finally my English class..three students showed and we had a great class non stop talking..I showed them maps of where I was going...a great class ending with them getting chocolate!!


So now home I have Little Bluey in the garage and she is all packed..not really taking too much stuff..all I need tomorrow is my food and drinks...and will leave whenever I wake up..no rush.


I have already been told that I am having dinner with Gail and Larry tomorrow evening and I look forward to that.


Planning I hope to have Internet so should be able to post about my day...


Stay tuned!!


Yashi Kochi!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tuesday 26th February 2019...road trip continued!!!

the next part of the road trip is easy from Nogales to Tucson to visit my wonderful friend of nearly twenty years Linda!!






I have a nice small self contained apartment booked on Airbnb about ten minutes from Linda’s apartment and I am staying four nights..it will be lovely to visit with her again and do some hiking!!


Saturday I leave Tucson and drive to Silver City where I am staying overnight so I can visit the Gila Bend cliff dwellings.






Sunday I drive to Columbus New Mexico which is right on the border on the way there going to hike the City of Rocks State park and hopefully get to Columbus and my Airbnb place with enough time to walk over the border and get my visa and car permit.






The next day start my two drive back to San Miguel on a route new to me through the mountains!!


As I mentioned a lot of driving which I don’t mind but not a bad trip...great friends...ocean and beach walks....hiking in the mountains....a cliff dwelling...and a State Park!!


Stay tuned!!!


Yashi Kochi!!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Monday 25th February 2019...road trip part Two!!!

So for the second leg of the road trip...I leave my friends on Sunday morning and it will be a two day drive to Nogales in Arizona where I have a Motel 6 room booked Monday night!!!






It has been many years since I have driven this route so I shall enjoy the adventure and of course not knowing where I am staying Sunday evening is also adventurous .....but one thing I will tell you is that I will not drive after dusk!!!


Stay tuned!!


Yashi Kochi!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday 24th February 2019......road trip!!!

Going to tell you about my upcoming road trip which starts Thursday morning!!


As I am on a tourist visa I have to leave the country, with my car, every 180 days so I am combining this  with visits to see some very dear friends of over 25 years!!!


This is my route to the new entrance to the by pass of Guadalajara......





I have not done the new by pass but hear it is very easy way to get around the huge city, which I always used to get lost in when I was driving Ramona!!!


The next map is the route to my destination Rincon de Guayabitos..about one hour north of Puerto Vallarta.






My wonderful friends Gail and Larry spend their winters there and every year I go visit them.....I have other great friends in that town, Arlene and Doug and they have invited me to stay with them, which is very kind.....the five of us have been friends for a long time and I am always treated so well!!


I should arrive late Thursday afternoon and stay until Sunday morning.....I know Doug has arranged for me to have a game of tennis with one his friends, I shall enjoy that.....the rest of the time visiting, catching up, some beach walking and swimming!!!


Have to get my paperwork in order and do some more planning!!!


Stay tuned!!


Yashi Kochi!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Saturday 23 February 2019....Maggie...

Well Saturday morning means a great doubles match on the courts and today did not disappoint......it seems every day the weather is the same......


I went to the organic market afterwards and then home for lunch.


You remember reading back in October Gracie was driving home from the next big town when she stopped at the side of the road and this dog was in the ditch...skin and bones with a bad right leg and fleas and starving.......well she brought the dog home, we called her Maggie and she was taken to the vet and gradually became a great and healthy dog BUT having three dogs was just too much and Maggie was getting bigger so we started to look for a home for her and the doggie God’s we’re looking down because we met Robert who was looking for a companion for his one year old big dog.


We took both the dogs to the park and they ran and ran and played and Robert said he would take Maggie and that is where she went and still lives....this is not a rags to riches story this is truly from the gutter to the penthouse.....the home is a million dollar affair!!!


Robert contacted Gracie and asked if she could come to the house this afternoon for six hours and babysit the dogs and of course she said YES!!!


So I went over this afternoon and Maggie was all over me...it was lovely to see her again...she has gotten bigger and is still such a loving dog....we took her and Blaze for a walk and they get along so well together......











What a fun time!!!!!


Yashi Kochi!!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday 22nd February 2019...green fingers!!

I spent almost four hours trimming, pruning, cutting and sweeping in Gracie’s yard today.....I enjoy this kind of work it takes no skill


I should have taken before and after photos....but I was told it looks really good!

My reward was to be treated to Pizza at a new restaurant...we both agreed it was the best pizza in town!!!!!





Now home relaxing before a busy weekend...

Be safe and happy out there!!

Yashi Kochi!!


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Thursday 21st February 2019.....birthday!!

I won’t bore you with the.....great tennis this morning under incredible skies and warm sunshine.....instead....


Jump forward to my English class tonight.....


First of all I had printed copies of this article..





The most decorated US WWI veteran from Texas was actually a Mexican immigrant.


On April 26, 1896, in Chihuahua, Mexico, Marcelino Serna was born into a very poor family.  He left home at the age of twenty, and crossed the border into the United States, traveling to El Paso, Texas to find a job and improve his life.


Since he didn’t speak English, he had to take low-paying jobs and was soon working in Denver, Colorado on a sugar beet farm.

When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, Serna was in Denver working with a group of men who were picked up by federal officers checking the draft status of potential soldiers.  To prevent his deportation to Mexico, Serna volunteered to join the Army.

Once he completed his basic training, he was sent overseas.  He was posted to the 355th Infantry of the 89th Division Company B.  Eventually the military discovered that not only could he not speak English, but he wasn’t a US citizen.


He declined the discharge he was offered and continued to fight for the United States.

During the war, he fought in battles such as the Lucey Sector and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  In the battle of Saint-Michael, his unit came under heavy fire from a machine gun.  Twelve of his unit died, so he volunteered to scout ahead before they lost anyone else.


He was able to advance by himself until he got close enough to the machine gun position to toss four grenades inside.  The blast killed six of the fourteen soldiers, and Serna captured the rest.


Two weeks later, during the Meuse-Argonne offensive, he once again volunteered to scout alone.  He spotted a German sniper and was able to follow him back to a German trench.  He was armed with an Enfield rifle, grenades, and a pistol.  He was able to convince the German soldiers, they were being attacked by a large force and they soon surrendered.

He had killed twenty-six enemy soldiers in the short battle, and he took twenty-four prisoners.

Just four days before the armistice agreement, Marcelino Serna was hit by sniper fire in both his legs and ended up in a French army hospital. For his outstanding service, he received the Distinguished Service Cross, which is the second highest American combat medal.  He also received many other American, French, and Italian medals for his service and bravery.   He was one of the most highly-decorated soldiers in Texas history.


He returned to El Paso in May of 1919 after his discharge; eventually, he landed a job with Fort Bliss.   He married, and in 1924 he finally became a US citizen.


We all took turns to read a paragraph and talk about it and then we talked about the current situation with migrants...most of my students have at least one family member living in the US.


To finish the class I had ordered and brought a small birthday cake for Adal......only problem he did not show for class tonight!!






Strangely enough someone had decorated the class room they must have had a special meeting during the day...






Anyway what were we supposed to do with the cake???






Yes we ate it!!!!! And it was really good a 🥕 cake...and can you believe the cost.....70 pesos!!


It was another great class!!!


Hard to believe this time next Thursday I shall be at the beach again!!!


Yashi Kochi!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wednesday 20th February 2019....relaxing day!!

It was a quiet kind a day..relaxed this morning and then went to poker..what can I say???  Won again this time 100 pesos!!


Next straight to the gym for my session with Aaron... a good hard session!!


Tonight was different as the English teachers who normally teach the class on Thursday asked me if I could change and they do my class tonight and I do the class for them tomorrow....


So instead of teaching I went to the local play readers event at St.Pauls church....the play was...









It was very intense and well acted and played to a full house.....


Yashi Kochi!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday 19th February 2019..stepping back into the past!!

Always something going off in sunny Mexico...after two hours of tennis this morning my buddy Gregg had asked me to help him with a project and of course I said I would.


Gregg volunteers with a local organization that is similar to the Habitat for Humanity, building small homes for low income families.


An American lady who lives here had so kindly donated a small motor home to the organization and it is being modified so a local woman who was born with no arms can live in it on her property in the campo.....I have not met this woman but heard her story how she works  in a glass factory and is highly functional!!!


Gregg wanted the motor home driven from one location where it had been stored to a different location about ten miles away and he knew about years of driving Rv’s and asked if I would drive the motor home to the new site!!


I must say it was really good to be behind the wheel again and I enjoyed the drive!!!






Relaxed this afternoon watching a live soccer game from England!!


Late afternoon and evening was spent at Bo’s Casa for are usually game of Mexican train!!


As I said always something going off....


Yashi Kochi!!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Monday 18th February 2019.....a great class!

Another incredible lovely sunny day here in Mexico!!!


Had a great English class tonight...I invited our new friends Janice and Dave, who are visiting here for a week to come to class.


We all sat at a round table and just talked and I invited Janice to tell them about The Five Love Language Test.

Only two students were in attendance!!






I had printed off a questionnaire and they answered the questions and talked about their reasons....it really was a great time and thanks Janice and Dave for being a part of it.


Afterwards we went up to Gracies classroom, she teaches level two, stayed until the end of class and then we went out for dinner!!


A really good day!!


Yashi Kochi!!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday 17th February 2019...the Tennis Slam!!

Today was the Tennis Valentine Slam day!!


It takes a bit of organization but I enjoy that part and at 1pm today 12 players met at the courts.........the numbers were perfect 6 women and men.....so I gave each lady a number from one to six and lined up the men and the teams were formed by a lady taking the man in line!!!!!.I was fortunate to be paired up with my  new friend and great player , Danna!!!


The rules, which I make and enforce, were that only red and white clothing could be worn...most complied although there were a few items of clothing that had to be removed!!!!   And of course a fine paid!!!


Singing was allowed on the courts only if the word LOVE was in the song!!

Throwing of rackets and other abuse would be met with heavy fines!!


So the rules are that each team play a 5 set game and we record the number of games won..we play each team and at the end the total number of games decides the top two teams.


Those teams then play off in the grand final!!!!


Everything went really well it was hot and we ran out of time to play the final match of the top two teams.....happy to say that Danna and I came second!!


Congratulations to Anne and Javier they received  the most games!!!!


I had spent a great deal of money on amazing prizes, really...you believe that??


Everyone got a prize and I am sad to tell you that I collected absolutely nothing for my travel fund!!!!!


It was a great afternoon, the temps were around 85 degrees...lots of fun and very enjoyable!!!!








Yashi Kochi!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Saturday 16th February 2019.....tourist day!!!

Quite a busy day but first on the courts for a really good two hours of fast and great tennis...


Then it was quickly home to get showered and changed and off to Gracie’s...Janice and Dave are friends of Gracie’s sister and they are visiting town for the first time from there home in Orlando.


We met in Centro and did a small walk about the local market then we drove them to many places in and out of town including a very nice lunch in the country at a restaurant called Nirvana......


It was a very pleasant afternoon and evening and I enjoy seeing some of the sights through other people’s eyes and just reminds me of a great town I live in!!


Big tennis tournament tomorrow so stay tuned!!!


Yashi Kochi!!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday 15th February 2019.......down time!!!

This was a throw back to the old Pearson Friday’s.........did very little, really saw no one and just relaxed and took a break from my busy(by choice) lifestyle!!!


I did manage to do a pay it forward....somebody was asking on the civil list forum for a tennis racket to give to a local girl who wanted to start playing tennis...I have a spare so I went and gave it.....felt really good and I must be sure to tell my students next Wednesday!!


Booked Little Bluey in for a service as I leave on the 13 day road trip at the end of this month...I need to leave the country with my car in order to re enter with a new visa and permit!!!


More about the journey next week it will be a lot of driving, which I don’t mind...seeing great friends along the way and also some new hiking places that I have not seen before!!


This Sunday is another one of my tennis slams...This one is a Valentines Day slam....I organize about three of these a year..they are a lot of fun and a chance to enjoy ourselves on the courts....of course there are strict rules that I do enforce...


Valentines slam ...so only red or white clothing allowed!!

Anyone not conforming will pay a fine and have the article of clothing removed at centre court!!


Singing on the court...only songs containing the word love is allowed...again a fine for non compliance!!


Racket abuse and swearing.....fines will be handed out..


All the fine money goes to my travel fund....in previous slams I have managed to raise exactly zero pesos!!!


We have twelve players six women and six men...we draw for a partner and then play each other with the winners being the ones with most games won.


There are amazing prizes, well maybe not.....it is a great fun afternoon!!






Still snowing in Nanaimo........


Have a great safe weekend!!!


Yashi Kochi!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Thursday 14th February 2019...a special day!!!

I posted this post below in 2009 and I just could not write a better tribute so here it is again and as true now as it was then.



floewers I would like to take this opportunity to say hello and to wish a very happy Valentines Day to all the women in my life. I know that sounds like a Willie Nelson song and  I don’t mean it that way. There have been many women who have played and still play a significant role in my life, I don’t want to name names but you know who you are and I thank you all for being there for me. So to these special ladies have a wonderful day  and blessings to you. 
Another reason this is such an important day in my life is that this is the day that my Mum passed away in 1995.mum2 Here we are in Bermuda you only have to check out the side burns and the crazy shirt to know this was the fabulous seventies. 
This one was taken in England on my first day as a Bobby, probably 1968.mum 1
Mum and Dad had been in Portugal for 7 weeks and arrived home about 11.30pm in the evening and all was well they had a great holiday and they went to bed. They slept in separate bedrooms because of my Mum’s snoring, so as usual Dad kissed her good night and went to his room. In the morning he went into her room to find her gone, she had died in her sleep. No illness, no lingering health defects, just a weak heart, she was 75 years old. 
She was the most remarkable woman I have ever met in my whole life and I am so proud and happy she was my Mum. I never heard her say a disparaging remark about anyone, she never lost her temper and had a kind word for everyone. Mum was always there for me even though we spent nearly 25 years several thousand miles away from each other. She was the only person who ever called me by my full name and when she did I knew I was in trouble and that I had better stop hanging a licking on my older brother!!! 
Many years since you have been gone and Mum I love you still and miss you and wish you could have taken that ride in Ramona. 

Yashi Kochi!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wednesday 13th February 2019......the usual Wednesday!!

This morning I just relaxed doing a few odd jobs around the house and then went to the grocery store!!

1pm saw me at poker and again I sound like a broken record but another win this time 85 pesos!!!

Quickly from there to the gym and a great session..Aaron makes sure I work hard....a quick change and then to my English class..three students showed up and I had printed off copies of this article for them...


Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the history of this centuries-old holiday, from ancient Roman rituals to the customs of Victorian England.

The Legend of St. Valentine

The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is covered in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient ritual?


The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to celebrate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf . The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.


Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.


Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

 

In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (more cards are sent at Christmas). Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.


We each took turns reading a paragraph and then talking about it.....they enjoyed the history lesson.


I got them to sit around me as I had brought in my IPad and I showed them my photos of the beachbtrip and explained what we did..they were very interested in that...a great class!


 Are home and watched a recorded soccer game from England and had tea and maybe one or two cookies!!!


Yashi Kochi!!. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tuesday 12th February 2019..straight back into the swing of things..

With tennis this morning always a good way to start the day.

Then to the grocery store and home and cooked a chicken casserole whilst watching live soccer from England!!

Tonight was are regular Mexican train night with Lisa and Bo.....

So it seems the beach was days away!!!

Nasty weather in Nanaimo..


I like this idea..

 And finally my friend Leah took this photo..


Hope you had a great day.....

Yashi Kochi!!!






Monday, February 11, 2019

Monday 11th February 2019...home again!!

Well hello again after the beach trip..the Internet was very slow so here I am going to try to fill you in on the trip which was relaxing and wonderful...


It was a good drive down here it took seven hours which included three stops for the dogs.....after getting past the big industrial city of Ceylia the views change to lovely mountains and great Lakes!!!












We found the Airbnb easily enough and our room is on the first floor with a small kitchen and it is very nice.







...a view to the back is pretty





And we are only a short one block walk away to the beach..which is where we headed for the dogs to get their first glimpse.....





We walked along this bay and to be by the ocean again was special for me!!






The village is very laid back with very few tourists and no traffic almost like  going back  thirty years in time....


All the restaurants are dog friendly and we went out for dinner which was just OK!!


Friday morning I had the dogs on the beach for their morning walk by 7.30am and already it was getting warm....


Gracie made a nice breakfast and around 11 am we drove down to a lovely beach where we stayed for a couple of hours, reading, swimming and walking the dogs!!!






Explored the village checking out different places and then at 5pm we went here..





To participate in the turtle release program..whilst waiting there was entertainment!!!















Gracie getting the babies ready..





And then the walk to the ocean..





Happy to report both of Gracie’s made it safely and swam away...


We then went to the number one rated restaurant in the village and had a really lovely inexpensive meal!!


Although it is hot the room is cooled by two big fans or the ocean breezes out on the patio!!


A lovely day!!


Saturday morning I was picked up at the hostel by the company where I had booked to go on a kayak trip to the local lagoon...





Great fun for me to be back in a kayak and some amazing birds!!!










Then it was time to meet a local legend, the iguana whisperer....we got off the kayaks and he took us up to his camp and got a big bucket of cut up papaya and started banging the bucket and calling out and soon enough they came ....









Never quite seen anything like this before and of course I just had to try...






The lagoon was very peaceful only another couple and the guide Omar was extremely knowledgeable..a good outing!!


Gracie had stayed behind and she took the dogs to the beach....


We relaxed in the afternoon and then I took the dogs on a long beach walk before we went out to dinner.....the restaurants are not busy and we dined right by the ocean a good cheap fish dinner!!












So now Sunday our last day...and a great one.


I asked Gracie if she wanted to see another little part of Mexico and we drove about thirty minutes to the big city of Zihuatanejo..we found the beach where I had stayed in Ramona many years ago called Playa de Ropa...we started to walk on the beach but we both realized it was not our scene..too many tourists and we were stopped saying no dogs allowed.......it was a pretty bay though.






We then went a little further south another twenty minutes to the little magical beach town of BARRA de Potosi!!!


We loved this place..the lagoon comes right down into the ocean and you can float from the lagoon into the ocean....wonderful.






The dogs both had there first swim...Einstein could not wait to get out!!!















We took a really long beach walk..this was the hottest day and the ocean was cool to the feel!!


Then had a snack at one of the ocean side restaurants before coming back home.


If was not enough Einstein and I did our long beach walk again in the afternoon before we relaxed and then back to the favourite restaurant we went to the other night and another perfect meal.






The only sad thing about the whole trip is that I lost so badly at cards yet again and now owe Gracie three dinners...law of averages say I should win once in a while but I guess Albert Einstein was indeed wrong!!


Monday and time to head home....all packed up and another good drive home just under seven hours....


Well it was a great time and the main reason was that Gracie could have her dogs at the beach and the place we stayed was so perfect for that....


Now back to our lives in beautiful SMA!!!!


Yashi Kochi!!!

Friday 25 th November 2022…a chuckle!!

 The World Cup soccer game between USA and England not worth mentioning a stale 0 - 0 draw…so here is a chuckle for you!! I have been in man...