Great news! We have found a home for the pups, both together. I have them for another ten days and then life can return to normal and poor Roly can once again feel secure in his own home. He is a bit better with them when they are in the garden, which is happening more regularly as the days go by, and actually attempts to play with them, but they find him a bit intimidating when he is bouncing around. They will probably get it all sorted out just as they leave for their new home. I realised today that the pups have discovered the doggy delight of horse poo – I shan’t be wanting any more kisses from them then!
A decision has been made for my second Camino de Santiago. I will walk the Portuguese route, from Lisbon, a shorter distance than the Camino Frances, at 615 km. I shall be embarking on this adventure on my own, walking solo on a much quieter route. I feel rather ‘trepidatious’ about this, but I feel the need to the push the boundaries of my comfort zone and so after much deliberation and advice from those who are familiar with the Caminho Portuguese, I am planning to set off at the end of April, after Easter.
Other new year plans include setting time limits for completing various garden projects – many terrace walls to be built and replanting to be done. Our land is very steeply sloping and over the years I have built many retaining stone walls (using mud to hold them together) and although they have, surprisingly, stood the test of time, they were never really deep enough to be very useful for planting, so I made a start on rebuilding them this past autumn, but ran out of steam before Christmas. I need to finish what I have started and then tackle the next section. I love the work once I get going, but I do find it hard to get going!
More imminent is the self imposed alcohol ban, commencing today (2nd January – we were invited to a party yesterday so didn’t want to start on the first day of the year). I would like to keep this up at least until my next visit to the UK – only three weeks away so not too onerous a commitment.
And I want to get back into the alternate day fasting style of dieting that we have been doing very half-heatedly for a considerable time. Otherwise known as the 5:2 diet, it requires a very low intake of calories two days a week and normal eating the rest of the time.
Women are allowed 500 calories and men 600. David joins in, which makes it a bit easier. It does work well if we stick to it, and it is supposed to be very healthy – good for the vital organs. When we are really keen we diet for three days a week. I kept off my camino weight loss for many months, but it has certainly begun to creep back on and I want to stop it in its tracks before I get back to where I started.
And of course I shall have to step up my walking regime that has fallen by the wayside over the last few months. I shall start building up my distances again. There is not so much choice of places to stay on the Portuguese route and the distance between stages is greater than on the Frances, so many days at the beginning of the walk will be between 30-35 km.
We have had a fabulous start to the year, I walked with a friend yesterday morning in glorious sunshine and then enjoyed an afternoon party on the terrace under blue skies, with stunning sea views. We are terribly spoilt here on the side of our mountain.
I wish everyone who reads this a healthy and happy year in 2014, and if it can also be prosperous, then all the better!