Kelly McLachlan

Kelly McLachlan
Life As It Is...

Thursday, 29 October 2015

How To Integrate

Image result for brit flag spanish flag
We hear it all the time...

"Foreigners coming here and not wanting to learn the language, take our jobs, open their own businesses, employ their own, etc etc.  I noticed the change a few years back on a trip to the Homeland.  My little town was now Polish.  Most of the main street was now Polish greengrocers, Polish shops, and even a Polish pub.  I was like something from London.  Walk through certain parts of town and there you have it.  A little bit of Arabic, or Italian, or Chinese, or indeed anything!

Think about how the Spanish must have felt when the Brits came over in their droves a few years back.  All the urbanisaciones bought up by foreigners.  New houses, pubs and restaurants popping up all over the place.  There are as many as 800,000 British expats in Spain.  Most are retired.

So, how do we integrate?

Learning the language may seem a little too obvious, but believe it or not, not everybody in the world speaks English.  When I first arrived here, one of the first things I learned to say was "¿Hablas ingles?" to which I was usually sneered at.  I heard "You come to my country, you speak my language".  Fair enough.  Some hire tutors.  Mine  did things the traditional way.  Slapped a textbook down and said "VERBOS".  That's enough to strike fear into any expat's heart.  But we weren't taught what to say when we need to sort out paperwork.  There's LOTS of paperwork.  For everything.  Like everywhere.  But when you don't know where you're going, who to talk to or what to say, it becomes a bit of a struggle.  True?  What we need is conversational Spanish.  How good does it feel to be able to hold a half decent conversation at the school gate?  Even if it's about the weather?  Or last night's match?  Or what you did at the weekend? In Spanish?

Nowadays it's much easier, we just go online and log on to our Spanish courses or download an app.  But then, we didn't have the internet or a computer.  We went to the internet cafe to sent the occasional email to friends back home.  Just old fashioned mobile phones that cost a fortune to call home on.  Or send a text.

The kids now study English at school.  There are English academies popping up everywhere.  It's a different world now to what it was 12 years ago.  But then I lived on a mostly Brit ubrbanisaion.  The only people who spoke Spanish were the locals who had been there for years, running their little businesses and working the few shops and only supermarket there.  I worked with British bosses and colleagues and served a Mainly English speaking clientèle.  And those who couldn't speak it, at least tried.  And we found out that the best way to learn Spanish is by talking to people.  Don't be shy.  That's my downfall.  I'm scared I'll say the wrong thing.  But I'll go ahead and say it anyway, and be corrected.  And that's how you learn.  If your self esteem is super low and you feel the need to go hire an interpreter to go to the Town Hall, or the the bank, or to the TGSS, then so be it.  But once you can go and do it yourself the imagine the boost in self confidence!  And saving money on translators!  Better still!

Moving away from the Urb helped tremendously with the language barrier.  Living in a town with only maybe half a dozen other native English speakers has done us a massive favour.  My kids are only native English speakers in their respective schools and the little one is a superstar in her English class  Big one, unfortunately think she knows it all so doesn't really pay attention.  But as I found when I was studying to become an English teacher, English is COMPLICATED.  You don't really think of it as difficult, but it is.  So BIG thumbs up to everyone studying our beautiful language and all the lovely students I've had the pleasure of meeting and teaching so far.  I think it's fantastic that so many people are learning English now, but that is NOT an excuse to stop practising your Spanish!  Even if you're asked to speak in English, only agree to help each other practice.  Before you know it, you may have even made a friend.

Find a local 'intercambio'.  These are great for meeting people and chatting.  They usually take place in a cafe or bar and folks come along to chat and help each other with their respective language. Great idea.  Brings in customers too.  Everyone's a winner.  Pick up the local perodico (newspaper) and try to make out the headlines and adverts.  Pick words out of the passage.  Watch Spanish TV.  Why not?  The weather girls speak very quickly but after a while you'll start picking up words and again by reading the headlines on the news broadcast.

Have a day away from fellow Brits.  I know it might be hard to see beyond the urb walls but there's a whole country out there, and it's beautiful.  I'm not saying abandon local businesses but don't be afraid to venture into the nearest Spanish speaking town and try a tapa instead of a Sunday roast.  Order a Spanish beer.  Think of it as an adventure.  Try out your Spanish skills and ask directions to the campo if you're feeling really adventurous!

That's what it adventure.  We shop in local Spanish supermarkets, instead of heading miles out to the nearest Iceland.  I read the perodico, look at my kids' homework, and help out with making nik naks for the kids at the school, go to teachers meetings and volunteer to help with English classes at the infant school.  The kids all say "Good morning" (yes, in English!) on the way up to school now.  It's great.  Great that there are more people than ever signing up for English classes and great that they want to practise but please don't use that as an excuse to be a little lazy with the Spanish.  If we ALL made more of an effort to support each other, I think we'd all be happier.

I'm sure they'll be more to come on this subject!
Do YOU have any thoughts or tips?
Let me know

Kelly x

Saturday, 10 October 2015

#WorldMentalHealthDay: My Opinion

Ok, so it's World Mental Health Day, it's been trending all day on Twitter, so I thought I'd just add my tuppence worth.  I know this may sound a little mean, but I'm sure that most of the "retweeters"have no idea what it's like to suffer from this dreadful invisible illness.

They're the lucky ones.

It's fantastic that they're all jumping on the bandwagon and raising awareness, but how many of them have actually suffered from or lost somebody close to depression?  Do they actually offer comfort to sufferers?   Some may work with the ill, and I have nothing but praise for these folks.  They're doing a great job.  Every last one.

Yes, depression has affected loved ones.  Personally, I'm not going to spill my guts here, but I will say that it's hard with no support.

What if you're suffering and there's no one to turn to?  What if you can't afford that call to the Samaritans?  What if there's no family or friends?  Then what?  What if you're in denial?

Depression is a horrible, dark, scary lonely place.  I drapes itself round you like an ugly dark cloak and sometimes it's hard to break free.  Some people never do, and it leads to heartbreaking consequences for all involved.

"Surround yourself with people who make you feel better"
"Do something that makes you happy"

Sometimes, just sometimes, you may want to be alone and the things that make you happy just don't work.  It's just a huge, empty void of darkness.

"Go and talk to your doctor if you feel that bad"
"Snap out of it"
"There are so many people in the world who are much worse off than you"

Comments like this do NOT help.  We've all heard them, right?  A mug of tea, hug and a sympathetic ear help.

What if you don't want to go to the doctor because you feel you'll be wasting their time?  Sometimes, you're made to feel guilty for feeling so bad.  What's the difference between "having a bad day" and depression?   Do anti depressants actually help?  Or is it all in your head?  Well, yes, it is, in a way, it's classed a "mental illness" and it covers a whole spectrum of symptoms. So many questions.  We can Google it as much as we like but we'll never understand it's full complexity.

Some days it IS hard to get out of bed and go about your daily routine, but get through the day and congratulate yourself for surviving it.

Help IS out there.  Nobody should feel totally alone.  But sadly, some do.  I follow blog of a lady who is depressed, and the stuff she writes is straight from the depths of her soul.  Just sharing what's inside your head, to me, is a HUGE step forward.  Writing stuff down, getting it "out there".  The first step is always the most difficult to make, and all those people out there who have admitted they need help are amazing.  Those who are on the long, hard road to recovery...better still.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  For some, yes.  And that is the hardest battle to overcome.  To find that light and have something to strive for.

I know that "things will get better" seem like empty words.  But they're kind words.  And sometimes, that's all we need to make our day a little better.  A little more manageable.

So please be kind, you never know the personal battle somebody may be fighting.

Let me know your thoughts, it shouldn't be swept under the carpet and ignored.  Every day should be #WorldMentalHealthDay

Until next time...

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Spanish Life - Getting On With It

Have you ever tried to apply for benefits in Spain?  Me neither.  But, fingers crossed our experience may be able to help others in the same situation as us.

We have never claimed a penny (or centimo, if you prefer) from the Spanish government.  And now with the work situation the way it is, we have no choice, like many, many others.

We have a list as long as the street of bills to pay, schoolbooks to buy, etc and let me tell you it is NOT an easy life as an expat here in Spain.  It can be daunting when you don't have a clue where to go or who to talk to, but I'm sure we'll get there in the end.

My hubby is off work at the moment, we're waiting for word from the hospital to have his hernia removed.  He had two before, but the silly hospital only took one away.  Now the other one has woken up and realised it's lonely, so hubby has to go to the Mutua once a month to be assessed while we're awaiting that all important call from the hospital.  As well as this he's at the doctor's every week for a 'baja' (sicknote?)  So that part of it we have sorted. We make a weekly appointment and off he goes.  But sick pay doesn't pay the rent.  And, of course all the time he's signed off he can't work.  So he's been in front of the telly ALL summer.  Flick, flick, flick....

I'm told that the 'crisis' is almost over and fingers crossed things will get better for everyone here who's struggling, now we need to wait for a piece of paper (always need lots of those...) the 'certificado de empresa' and see where we go from there...

"Poco a poco", eh?

Sunday, 20 September 2015


Blast from the Past!

My mum recently found this, on the back it has "Marriott 2002".  I think I remember that night.  Vaguely.  I was working for a booking agency back in the day and I think in this photo I am wearing the famous "DISCO DIVA" T shirt.  It was definitely taken in London, I know that much.  There was a dinner and disco for agency staff at one of the Marriott Hotels.  We may have visited a few more hotels on that particular trip.  We went on trips like this quite regularly.  Well, I went on trips like this quite regularly, with my mate.  Some were organised by the company, and sometimes we just went because we wanted to and because we loved it.  Bed and Breakfast in central London for 25 pounds!  Yes, I know!  And we're not talking shabby little backstreet hostels, either!  

"Yeah, we've got a train to catch!  See ya Monday!"

It's not what you know, eh?  In a job like that you get talking to the lovely folks in reservations and promise them that you will personally recommend the hotel to your substantial database of clients, so free upgrades, breakfasts thrown in, use of the gym and spa...if it paid a bit more I may have enjoyed it.  Most of the time I was listening to the radio keeping an ear out for new tunes to buy.  Yes, buy, I had no idea about downloading back then.  Vinyl all the way for this bedroom DJ.  Oh, yeah.

Ok, we went to London as often as we could for the weekend, blagging "agency rates" at most of the hotels in the capital.  This was an excuse to go clubbing.  We'd buy the DJ, Ministry, and whatever other clubbing magazines were about back then and scoured the listings for London.  If Tiesto or Armin Van Buuren were in town, we were usually there.  It was a great excuse to leave work early on a Friday with our little holdalls.  And I always took my little blue stereo with a couple of CDs to play while we got ready to go out.  The atmosphere was always AMAZING in London,  Everywhere we went, there didn't seem to be any attitude in any of the 'big' clubs.  We went to Heaven, Ministry of Sound, The Cross, Turnmills (sadly no longer there, I recently found out).  There was something special about being amongst that many people, all feeling the love, man.  And leaving after an amazing night to dawn breaking as we walked back to the hotel, or maybe even straight to the train station if we hadn't bothered to book a hotel for the night.   

Anyway, back to the Marriott.  Beautiful hotels, beautiful food.  I think there were lots of companies there, similar to ours.

After the dinner, the disco kicked off and I remember the music being naff.  As I have always appreciated my tunes I was quick to let the DJ know that I didn't really like his style, let's say.  There were people of all ages there, so I think he could have played more of a variety.  So I requested "the biggest tune in his box" and he gave me a shout out and played...

Dancing Queen.  

Are you sure?  

I was DISCO DIVA,  I certainly wasn't going to be seen throwing shapes to Abba, thank you very much.  

Not quite what I had in mind, so I found my way to the bar and found myself saying "another vodka, barman!" quite a lot.  

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Different yet the Same?

As a parent we all want what's best for our kids, right?  We try to teach them to be tolerant of others at all times, right?

Take the other day, for example, we were in the local Burger King when my daughter spotted a kid not much older than her, on a scooter, with a false leg.  Not a flesh coloured one either.  A metal one.  She thought it was fascinating, and couldn't stop staring.  The boy carried on scooting past us not seeming to care.  Which is good, you are what you are, right?  I told her not to keep staring as this is considered rude.

There's a black girl in her class at school.  She's picked on non stop by certain classmates, her mother is always at the school having words with the teachers and told me that (thankfully) my daughter wasn't one of the culprits.  I taught her better, I like to think.  This girl is one of her friends.  But she has asked me in the past; 

"Why is her skin a different colour to mine?"
"Why is she always getting into trouble for sticking up for herself?"

I told her that this particular girl will probably grow up to be another Beyonce and the haters will be kicking themselves.  People who suffer at the hands of others often remember those who are nice to them in their dark hours.

Then there's my husband's friend with the missing finger.  She spotted that before I did!  We all have our little quirks and differences, that's what I'm trying to say.  I just take people at 'face value' myself, if you are nice to me, then I will be nice back.  I don't care if you're black, white, yellow, brown, pink or purple.  It's your attitude towards others that counts.  

I don't understand bullies.  What's the point?  If you're a bad person Karma will eventually come knocking on your door to have a word.  

I reminded my kid that she has a scar on her head from her operation as a toddler but you can barely see that because her hairline hides it pretty well, and if she doesn't mention it, no one would even know it's there.  But that's what makes her unique.  She doesn't have to explain herself to anyone if she chooses not to do.  Every scar tells a story, and this scar is hers.  If she wants to tell it to her friends she can, but nobody gives her any nonsense about it.

See?  We all have our little quirks and differences and one minute I'm telling her that we're all "different" in our own special way, but at the same time we're "all the same".  

No wonder she's confused!

"We all bleed the same colour" is what I've settled on saying now, and I hope my girls will grow up to be tolerant and understanding to all.

Thursday, 27 August 2015



Some people's lives evolve around it.  My  husband loves the telly and so do my girls.  Me?  Well, I don't have much of choice, it's a "man thing" to hog the remote all day and all night.

My poor hubby has been off work ALL summer.  (Yes he is genuinely sick, he goes to see the assessor who declares him unfit to work).  He flicks through the telly day and night.  Even though we live in Spain we pick up a selected few UK channels through a small dish on the roof of the apartment block.

Our day usually goes something like this:

Sky News
History Channel - Pawn Stars
Fox - CSI / CSI New York or some other CSI
Horror Channel - Star Trek
Calle 13 - Law & Order SVU
Sports, he likes to watch (if there is any on) i.e Golf, Tennis, Football,  Cricket, Snooker, Darts, Athletics...and if it's not on the telly you can bet it'll be on the radio!  Thanks to good old 5 Live!

Me?  Well, I used to enjoy watching the soaps.  EastEnders was my favourite, but now I don't watch it.  (And I'm a big Danny Dyer fan!)  Or Emmerdale, or Corrie.   Out of everything on the above list, I watch CSI and SVU.  When the Brit Awards are on I have a look just to see how old I feel when I realise I have never heard of the winners or just shake my head at the performances.  Occasionally there may me a movie on worth watching, but they're all repeats as well.  Of course.  And I always flick straight through the True Movies channels.  I have no idea who the Kadashians are and I have only sat through about 10 minutes of an episode of TOWIE.  I never watch Strictly, I caught a very brief glimpse when hubby dashed out for half an hour when we were on holiday in Scotland last autumn and that was it, X Factor, well, I used to watch it religiously.  It was my essential Saturday night viewing while hubs was working. Not any more!  I have only seen about half an episode of The Voice as well.  I have never seen Goerdie Shore, Made in Chelsea or anything along these lines so I have a bit of a confused look on my face when any of the stars of these programmes pop up in the OK magazine feed, because I honestly have no idea who these people are!

As for the girls, well, they're tuned into cartoons all day.  How lucky are they?  When I was a kid it was Saturday morning cartoons and maybe a couple of hours after school during the week.  No YouTube in my day!  Blue Peter and Grange Hill back then...and Going Live! on a Saturday morning...I remember Howerd's Way and the Antiques Roadshow on a Sunday night and that was a sure fire way to let me  know that it was nearly Monday and SCHOOL.

Image result for i'm a celebrity 2015

One thing I do watch, and will be watching is I'm A Calebrity...Get Me Out of Here! just because I like to pull disgusted faces at the things these people are made to eat, eeewwwwww.

I have showed the kids some of things I used to watch when I was a kid.  My favourites were Bugs Bunny, Fraggle Rock, RentAGhost, She-Ra, Jem on a Saturday morning, DangerMouse, Trap Door, Snoopy, Duckula, Dogtanian, Cities of Gold, WizBit, the list goes on...and they approve of some of these!

Our channels show the same old movies, we don't have NetFlix or anything fancy like that, and if the weather is bad (which sometimes it can be) we lose the signal and predict that there is a storm on the way.  We're sometimes right.

The Pink Panther...yes I used to watch this.  Mostly because he's pink

Thank you for the click! 

Friday, 21 August 2015

Photo Friday

So I've spotted on Twitter that it's here's my contribution

A few Costa Blanca sunsets.  


Thursday, 20 August 2015

How To Spot an Ex-Pat at 10 Paces


They're on their own planet, aren't they?

I thought I'd post a little light-hearted look at ex-pat life here on the Costa.  I wonder how many can relate?

Here's how to spot one:

  • They can be found hanging out at Ex-pat cafes and restaurants - usually ordering an English Breakfast or a Sunday Roast
  • They usually carry English print newspapers and chat about UKTV
  • When entering a renowned Ex-pat area you count how many UK registered cars seen
  • They speak SLOWLY and LOUDLY thinking Spaniards understand
  • They prefer a good old cup of PG Tips to a Spanish infusion
  • They ALWAYS complain about the weather...too hot, cold, wet, etc.
  • They hang out in packs...where there's one, you can be sure there are more nearby!
  • They like their own 'areas' with their bars, restaurants, etc. 
  • A day out is to another British urbanisation...
  • or Benidorm.
  • ...For lunch of a jacket potato with cheese and beans
  • OR fish n chips, if possible
  • They shop in Iceland..."that's why mums on the Costa go to..."
  • White socks and sandals optional (that's the men!)
  • Bum bag optional (at the market)

Similar to tourists, but work here.  (Unless retired, of course).

I hope you enjoyed this post!  I'll be back soon x

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

My Online Life

My name is Kelly and I am a weboholic.  There.  I said it.
I do spend a lot of time online.  Am I an internet addict?
How much time is 'average' for a user?  Excuse me, I'll just go Google that...
Eight hours 41 minutes, that's how long the average user spends online.  Thank you, Google.  
Do I spend eight hours online? That seems to be an awful long time.  But, I suppose, if I'm not Facebooking, Instagramming, Pinteresting, Googling, Blogging, Tweeting or checking my Emails, I'm probably sleeping.  
I don't post on Facebook daily, but I do like to be nosey, like everyone, right? 
I know my name must show up as 'online' for most of the day, I'm usually job hunting or reading the papers. 
I say I'm not really a reader but that's not strictly true.  I just don't read paper books.  I read lots, yes, online.  Articles, blogs, newspapers, magazines, I catch up with family at home via Skype and WhatsApp and make my own playlists on Spotify.  (This generation's mix tapes).  Keeps me busy and out of trouble.    If I could get paid for it as well, that would be just perfect.
How did I cope before we 'went WiFi?' 
Well, at first of course, there was the humble Email address.  My friends and I often trotted down to the Internet Café to check our emails and maybe go into a chat room.  AOL Messenger, I think it was in those days. 
Then Facebook came along and changed everything.  I didn't have a computer or internet access at home so I seldom went online to check and had a handful friends anyway.  It's amazing that I can now chat to friends from all different phases of my life and whom live all over the world. 
And since the arrival of the Smartphone, I don't even have to log into a computer to check my emails!  I know, I'm getting on a bit, but I'm still cool, thank you! Apart from if I lose connection, then I may lose my temper.

I mean, let's face it, the telly's rubbish, eh?  I don't even watch EastEnders any more, and I am a BIG Danny Dyer fan.  But I guess, if I'm desperate, there's always YouTube...

Speaking of YouTube, I have been a bit nostalgic of late and I've showed my kids some of the shows I used to watch when I was small.  Fraggle Rock, She-Ra, Garfield, Snoopy, the list goes on and on.

I don't do shopping online, though, or online banking.  My nan of almost 90 does!  And, I gave up Candy Crush ages ago.  Don't have time anymore.

Without my internet I may just stop breathing.  Try to take it away at your peril...!

I'd love to stay all night chatting, but I have paperwork to preview and tunes to download.  So, if you'll excuse me...

This pic was taken on a mobile phone, edited with Apps and uploaded to the web.  It's all clever stuff, eh?

I love my online life.


Monday, 27 July 2015


Life As It Is: RIPPED OFF: People.   You are being RIPPED OFF.   Being " ripped off " is one of life's annoyances, to be polite and it happens to ev...


People.  You are being RIPPED OFF.  

Being "ripped off" is one of life's annoyances, to be polite and it happens to everybody at some point in their day.  If it doesn't happen to you today, then be on your guard tomorrow.  Everybody is out to rip everyone else off.  Everywhere.  Every single day.  I don't know about you, but it winds me up something shocking.  Conmen (and women).  I'll give a few examples...

We'll start with taxi drivers.  Over in my old stomping ground in good ol' Blighty, a taxi driver was blatantly trying to rip off a couple of foreign students by charging almost 50 pounds for a ten minute journey when the cost should have been about 8 pounds. 

Similarly, in the capital a man was caught trying to charge tourists a whopping 206 pounds for a one mile journey up Oxford Street on his rickshaw.  And THAT was at a discounted price!  Oh, I had to chuckle.  It was only when he was challenged by passers by and police he eventually accepted 40 pounds.

I  read there is to be a taxi strike here in Spain.  At the airport.  In August.  Oh, dear.  Drivers are not happy because all the foreign unlicensed cabbies are taking their business.  Unlicensed taxis are everywhere, but be honest, it's usually a friend of a friend who won't charge you an extortionate price to take you ten minutes down the road to your apartment.  Spanish taxis are not cheap.  Ok, an cab from the airport to our place is 20 euros.  It doesn't come cheaper.  If you're lucky you might save yourself a fiver if you go with the friend of a friend.  When I was over in England recently I could travel anywhere within the town's limits and not pay more then a fiver with one cab firm.  Not bad when there are kids involved and it's actually quite possibly cheaper than taking the bus.

Another rip off merchant is the supermarket.  Yes, the BIG supermarkets both in the UK and in Spain seem to think it's ok to sell something dirt cheap one week and then hike the price right up a few days later.  A pack of 4 Fruit Shoots 1 pound.  A couple of days later 2.46!  How do they justify that?  The only ones over this way whose price seem to stay consistent are the "cheap" supermarkets Lidl and Aldi.  More and more people are shopping in these places because they don't claim to be the best.  They're cheap and they're honest about it.  Thret don't claim to be the best.  They just say they're 'as good as'.

Theme parks.  Where do they get their crazy ideas for prices from?  You have to be super rich to be able to afford a family day out at Thorpe Park!  They charge almost 230 pounds on the gate for a family of four.  That's before you buy food, drink, pay to park your car...and then you spend the day standing in a queue!  Yay!  What fun!  Compare that to a family ticket for four at Terra Mitica in Benidorm for 129 euros.  Bit cheaper.

It might actually be cheaper to take your kids out of school during term time (yes, that's with the fine) and jet off to the sun for a couple of days.  Holiday firms and flights, MORE rip off merchants.  WHY can they get away with charging prices during 'peak' times that have been plucked out of thin air?  Why does nobody say anything about it?  If they are, why are there not enough people saying anything about it?  Because we don't want to be seen as rude, perhaps?  I understand these people have to make a living.  But is is REALLY necessary to send prices into the stratosphere?  Just because it's "peak" season?   Airlines:  Does it REALLY cost 40 euros in fuel for EVERY bag in the hold?  

Always negotiate at the market.  Home or abroad.  That's half the fun.  They start with a price you laugh at, then after walking away and having the stall holder practically chase you, and then they say "Ok, how much you pay?"  (if their English skills are good enough)You tell them, and you may or may not walk happily away with your purchase. 

I know I am getting older.  (Probably grumpier, too) I know prices rise.  But come on now, these prices are ridiculous, and you know it, all you Fat Cats out there, rubbing your hands together in glee, laughing at the folks who work hard to line your pockets.  I'm sure YOU can afford school holidays during the allocated times and to pay for a legitimate taxi from the airport, eh?  I think ordinary people are treated unfairly most of the time and need to find a voice to speak.  

I also think it's shocking that conmen (and women) seem to get away with it...


Are you??

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Life As It Is: The Differences Between UK and Spanish Seagulls

Life As It Is: The Differences Between UK and Spanish Seagulls: Seagulls They're a part of the furniture in every seaside town.  But they have been in the news recently, it's almost like pe...

The Differences Between UK and Spanish Seagulls


They're a part of the furniture in every seaside town.  But they have been in the news recently, it's almost like people have only just found their voice to speak up.  Seaside dwellers in the UK always complain under their breath because, well, the gulls are a protected species.  

Coming from a seaside town myself I have grown up with the gulls so it never really bothered me.  But I think I would be bothered if one stole my chip or pecked my child.  I've heard stories about crazy gulls who dive bomb innocent people at all times of the day and night back up our old way!

Let's get a couple of things straight.  It's nesting season.  These are wild animals protecting their young.  They nest in chimneys etc because they are not afraid of heights.  They like cliffs.  But the cliffs are slowly falling into the sea.  Every time I speak to family back in the Homeland I can hear the gulls in the background, and my mother told me they start at 1am and don't stop.  Nuisance.  That's the word she uses.

I returned for a visit back in the spring and I noticed the gulls squawking at stupid o' clock, but if you visit a seaside town it is to be expected, right?  But it didn't bother me.  I also noticed that there was  rubbish on the streets.  Not just litter.  Rubbish bags.  The bins are collected once a fortnight, and then they complain about scavenging birds?

The gulls on the costa, however, are different.  Maybe they're more chilled out and have the 'mañana' lifestyle, I don't really hear them until the fishing boats come in.  Then I don't take much notice.  I'm more than used to it by now.

Should they be culled?  Should they be shot?

Barcelona has the answer for pigeons.  Put them on the Pill? Perhaps council of seaside towns in the UK could consider something similar for the gulls?  Actually  Maybe not a good idea, how would you put contraceptive in their feed when they eat fresh fish?  And sprinkling it onto rubbish bags that they break into wouldn't be practical either.

The gulls and all the other pests have as much of a right to be here as we have.  Someone suggested taking their eggs?  That'll cheer them right up, eh?  Unfortunately, I don't have the solution or any practical ideas, but I'm waiting to hear if someone comes up with something as genius as the Barcelona pigeon plan!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Trying Something New...

Well, here we are again.  This is me fiddling about with my page.  I have been asked to create one, and here it is...for now.  I may decide to change it, I may not.  

I have been following other bloggers on Twitter and a lot of them are about beauty reviews, etc.  Well, that's not me, I'm afraid.  I just tell it how it is, you may agree with my random ramblings, you may not.

It's been busy down this way lately!  The kids have broken up from school and I have found a little part time job, teaching English at one of the local schools at "Summer Camp".  I really enjoy it!  I also have a ton of housework to catch up on, a column to write, classes to plan, and a mountain of paperwork to sort out.  Oh, and I'd like to edit my novel and hopefully have it published.

You can read more at 

I've always enjoyed writing, and now I've got my writing head back on, watch out world!!

Trying Something New

Well, here we are again.  I've been looking at blogs on Twitter, and I must admit they looked a lot better than my rather poor effort.  As you can tell, this is all still quite new to me, and everyone I'm following has reviews of this beauty product and I'm not really like that.  I'll just tell you about things that go on in daily life, and sharing my opinions.  You may like them, you may not, but that's how I see it.  Hence "Life as it Is".

I've been playing around with the design and layout, I'm sure it'll change a few more times before I finally settle on one I like.

At the moment, life is actually pretty hectic!  The kids have all broken up from school, I've found a little part time job locally teaching English for Summer Camp, I have an article to write, I have a mountain of paperwork to sort out, a pile of ironing to work my way through and eventually a book to edit.  I will get round to Christmas, maybe?

So, in the meantime I will look forward to sharing my random thoughts which you can choose to agree with, or otherwise.

My monthly column is in

Have a read and a chuckle about Life as it is...