EXPLORING THE WORLD OF WINE – GETTING MORE OUT OF EACH GLASS

You may enjoy a good glass of wine and find that it helps you to relax after a long day at work.  However, if you aren’t able to truly look into the wine you are drinking or pull out particular flavours  then there is high chance that you are not enjoying it as much as you could be. But there some easy ways to improve your wine drinking experience.

Let your Glass of Wine Sit

When you pour a glass of wine, don’t taste it right way. Instead, you need to let it sit for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes. I like to do this because it really opens up the flavour and aroma, which both change over time.

I do this with nearly every wine that I can because it offers a completely different experience with every bottle opened. Try it, see if you agree.

 

Wine glass being filled with red wine.

Know your Wine

 

Use the correct Glass

I would never consider drinking Oddbins champagne out of anything other than a champagne flute. For that reason, I think that it is important to make sure that you drink your wine out of the correct glass.

This is because the shape of the glass changes how the wine smells and tastes. It is well worth investing in some quality wine glasses as it will completely change your tasting experience. Some flavours will jump out over others and it will also make you feel as though you are focusing on the specific wine you have.

 

Two wine glasses with white wine

Exploring the World of Wine

 

 Write Things Down

I have to admit that I had never really thought about doing this until I started to learn more about wine, but writing things down is crucial. If you have a nice bottle of wine then although you are sure you will recall the label and the name, there is a high chance that you will have forgotten it all the moment you try to buy it again.

This is completely normal, but if you write things down then you can avoid all of this. Jot down the price of the wine, the brand, the flavours and the shop where you purchased it.

Of course, it is important to know that sometimes you won’t be able to taste the same flavours because not every bottle of wine tastes the same however this is a great way for you to see how the flavours can change and even how your own palette changes as you drink the wine.

Of course, the above tips are super fun when you try wine with friends!

MY AUTUMN BUCKET LIST

I know I usually write about more controversial topics, so I thought for a change, I’d follow my friend Sue’s suggestion at https://suefoster.info/ and write something a bit more chilled out, such as my Autumn Bucket List.

Whilst I love the Mr Blue Sky days of summer, the sun on my back and the associated need for many refreshing ice cold Gin and Tonic’s, I really look forward to the Autumn, I think as a season it’s the best one of the year.

So what do I love about Autumn, in no particular order

PACK AWAY VEST TOPS AND CHUCK AWAY FLIP FLOPS

a blue flowery flip flop

Flip Flops are the work of the summer devil.

Every year I buy far too many strappy tops, in far too many colours, but being a creature of habit, I usually only wear the black and white ones. So it’s a relief as Autumn approaches to be able to pack away the rarely worn colourful tops to free up some drawer space. But not the black and white ones, because as every girl knows, under her cosy woolly jumper lies a well washed strappy top masquerading as a vest!

And don’t get me started on flip flops. How is it that some women can rock a flip flop like it’s a comfort shoe from Hotter, whilst even though the toe post didn’t hurt in the shop, and I stupidly think that this is THE pair that are going to be the exception to the excruciating toe post pain, they never, ever are. It’s a fact, I hate flip flops.

 

IT GETS DARKER EARLIER

Street lamps on at dusk in Autumn

Dark and Moody Autumn Dusk

Yes, it’s true, unlike most people, I love it when the clocks go back in October. The nights draw in and the sky gets moody and dark much earlier.  Once we are back indoors after our dog walk, around 4.00pm, I like the ‘that’s it’ moment when we don’t have to venture out again. We can just cosy up on the sofa, for some late afternoon TV, without feeling that we ‘should be’ cremating some chicken wings on the BBQ and sitting outside in the remains of the day. (And what a great film that was)

SOUP

A bowl of soup in Autumn

Autumn Comfort Food

Autumn means that we can kiss a fond farewell to the wilting bags of forgotten salad leaves that lurk in everyone’s fridge throughout the summer. Was there every a vegetable that had such a short shelf life as watercress. You buy it one day, all perky and fresh, 24 hours later, it’s turned into liquid green slime.  Soup is my much preferred ‘replacement meal’!

Warm, filling and comforting, is there anything better than a bowl of home made soup, and it’s so easy to make.  As luck would have it, I can make a not too shabby bowl of soup out of virtually anything lurking in my fridge, as long as it’s not watercress.

DOG WALKS: COLOURFUL TREES AND CRUNCHY LEAVES

Tree lined road in Autumn

Autumn means bare trees and crunchy leaves.

Dog walks are much more enjoyable in the Autumn.  No worries about the pavements being too hot for tender paws, and mad dogs and Englishmen being out in the mid day sun.  The countryside is a riot of colour as the leaves fall off the trees and dogs have a great time crunching and sniffing their way through them.

On a blowy day it’s amusing to see even the most macho of big dogs, being surprised by a very scary leaf suddenly falling from the sky.  Walks are brisk and invigorating, putting colour in your cheeks thus saving on the blusher.

There are far more things I don’t like about Winter,…  ( can I get away with wearing black leggings and Uggs AGAIN this year? ) Spring… ( Easter seems to come a few weeks after Boxing Day) and Summer…. (I love the heat, but as older people say ‘ it’s a different kind of heat’ in the UK) , but Autumn?  Autumn is different. What’s not to like!

For more A is for Autumn Bucket Listers head over to https://www.arosetintedworld.co.uk/autumn-bucket-list/

What is your favourite season of the year?

 

IS IT TIME TO STOP TAKING THE TABLETS

I’ll admit it, I’m lucky, I’m in my mid 60’s and I haven’t taken a single prescription tablet for the last 5 years, and I’ve done all I can to avoid the Doctor. If you are currently pill popping, is it time to stop taking the tablets?

Stethescope

Avoid the Doctor!

But is it really down to luck, or more about my refusal to go to the Doctors with some of the same symptoms that might make other people my age get their surgery on speed dial for an appointment as soon as possible.

I’m not saying for one minute that I’m never ill, but if I’m in pain or feeling uncomfortable,  I just take a pain killer and wait for it to go away, and clearly for the past 5 years at least, that’s exactly what ‘it’ has done!  (more…)

MATURE MEN SHOULD JUST STOP TALKING

Yesterday, I nearly went and got myself a date…….but whilst from the outside my would be new gentleman friend was quite acceptable, once he started on his epic story, he went on and on, and it quickly became a no likey from me. That’s why mature men should just stop talking.

Stick men showing one of them talking

Mature men should just stop talking

There I was stood on a chilly September morning, flogging my crap again at the local weekly car boot sale when a mature gentleman kindly pointed out to me that one of my items was displayed the wrong way round.

He seemed a nice genuine man, silver hair, with an impressive logo on his body warmer, and if I’m not mistaken a splash of Dior Eau de Savage wafted my way. We chatted about the pro’s and con’s of bifocal’s, and how popular Onyx had been in the 70’s. Not exactly mind blowing conversation, but don’t say I didn’t try.

I’m quite a regular there as I’m trying my best to declutter my life because as lifestyle ‘gurus’ say,  minimalistic is the new way to be cosy and less stressed.  I’m not convinced.  (more…)

MY FIRST HOLIDAY ALONE

(GUEST POST FROM ONE OF MY LOVELY FRIENDS)

If you find yourself living alone either through choice or circumstance, going on holiday by yourself can be a daunting thing to overcome. However, taking small steps, enabled me to finally enjoy my first holiday alone – with complete strangers!

My husband and I were seasoned travellers and enjoyed many holidays overseas. But sadly after some 56 years together, my husband passed away, and as a still ‘young at heart’ woman in my 70’s it took me some time to come to terms with the fact that life goes on, albeit a different kind of life.

I decided to set myself goals to help me move on and to occupy my days. After successfully overcoming a few hurdles I began to think of holidays, and wondered if I could ever go away on my own.  I discussed this with my family and fairly soon after, my son and his wife invited me to join them on a cruise, giving me something else to work towards.

Whilst I obviously wasn’t completely on my own on the cruise as I had the ‘safety net’ of my son and his wife, unlike on previous holidays with my husband, I wasn’t one half of a couple anymore, but I really did enjoy it. (more…)

GOING SOLO in SPAIN

Word has it in the media that more and more ladies of a certain age are living alone in the UK, either through choice or circumstance. But from my personal experience of Spain related Face Book pages, more and more mature ladies are now either thinking about going solo in Spain or are already there!

Regardless of your circumstances a woman of any age can live so much more cheaply in Spain.  If you are lucky enough to be financially secure, your money will definitely last longer, but even if you are less affluent, the money you do have, will go further!  It’s a win win way of life.

ACCOMMODATION

Go Solo in the Sun

When you’ve narrowed down the area that you think will suit you best, the best advice is to rent a property first. You need time to get to know your surroundings and what interesting places there are to visit nearby. Remember you mustn’t view it through a tourist eyes, you aren’t planning a 2 week holiday. This is it!

If you are going solo in Spain you need to ensure you feel safe and secure and not too isolated. The fantasy of a little finca stuck in the middle of nowhere may seem appealing when you are looking to escape the grumpy ex, or some painful memories, but the reality of it may not be quite what you imagined! Choose wisely.

A six month rental to start say in February, would give you a good indication of the weather you are likely to get in high summer in the area that you have chosen.  It can differ quite dramatically depending on if you choose the South or North Coast of Spain.

Rental costs can also vary a lot. The inland hilltop villages will give amazing value for money, with a small house often costing around 400e per month, whilst in more popular expat area’s along the coast, you might be looking at 600/700e per month for an apartment with roughly the same floor space

Either way, in the UK, you would be extremely lucky to get a good quality 1 bedroom flat in a not very nice area for the same price, and in some cases the equivalent would only buy you a room in a house share.  By joining some of the Spain related Facebook pages you can often find private rentals or look on sites like  https://www.idealista.com/en/  or https://www.eyeonspain.com/rental-property-spain-long.aspx

FOOD AND DRINK

Sun and Sangria

No matter what diet you follow, all the basic food that you might buy in the UK is available in Spain. Every major town which has an expat community, has a Lidl or an Aldi and very often an Iceland as well. Unless you want to be stuck on a mountain top completely on your own, you will find what you need quite close by. All these shop are cheap as chips in the UK, so they are even better value for money in Spain.

The weekly markets which are in every town and village, offer fresh, mainly organic produce, brought in straight from the stall holders farm or small holding.  Imagine buying a big sack of oranges for the price you’d usually have to pay for a paper bag full.  Just get yourself a juicer and enjoy your own home made orange juice every morning.  Think of the money you’ll save.

If wine is your weakness, fill up a container at your local market, it’s extremely drinkable, and extremely cheap. Red, White or Rose’ they’ve got the lot.

Wine on tap in the markets.

EATING OUT

Anyone going solo in Spain should never think twice about eating alone in a bar or restaurant. Nobody takes a blind bit of notice. But how uncomfortable does it feel doing the same thing in the UK.  If you are like me, I sit in a corner, and try to be invisible, bolt down my food and get out of the place as quick as possible.

It’s different in Spain. A woman can go to a bar in the morning with her book or laptop, sit in the sunshine and enjoy her coffee and croissant.  She can then move onto 3 course menu del dia for lunch, and a few glasses of a good Rioja just because she can, followed by more coffee or even a medicinal brandy.

Menu del Dia

Café culture is the name of the game and I’ve frequented many bars, for many days, completely on my own and always felt comfortable.  In the UK, if I stayed in a Toby Carvery all day, I’d get some knowing looks, and probably a counsellors card dropped on my table!

MAKING NEW FRIENDS

In todays online world, you can make new friends in Spain even before you leave the UK.  One of the nicest online communities I have ever come across is a Facebook group called Ladies of Spain.  There are over      members dotted across popular towns and villages in Spain, and wherever you want to lay your hat, I’m quite certain there will be someone in this group who will be reasonably close by.   There are the ever popular U3A groups too, as well as choirs, and keep fit classes.

If you are on your own, just going regularly to the same café, and sitting outside, you will begin to make acquaintances who will become friends.

In a town in Northern Spain I was once looking for accommodation for myself and my partner at the time.  I had seen this very English looking lady many times in the same café, and began to say Hello to her.  One day she happened to be on her own and I got chatting to her. By the end of our first coffee together, she had offered me her brand new furnished 2 bedroom apartment, for 400e per month, where I ended up living for 2 years, and we then met up regularly for lunch and shopping trips.

But really, isn’t the whole point of going solo in Spain to change your way of life. It’s so much nicer to embrace the new culture, integrate with local Spanish people and adopt their way of life, rather than merely continue the one you left behind.

Would you like to make a move to Spain?  Are you already going solo over there.

 

 

WHY PET INSURANCE IS MY TOP PRIORITY

 

My boy Buddy!

After he’d been a bit under the weather for a few days, I instinctively knew there was something wrong with my dog Buddy. There were of course more indelicate clues. He was constantly being sick from one end and the other end wasn’t ‘as normal’ either.

My usual tried and tested  healing remedy of chicken and rice wasn’t doing the trick, so off we went to the vet to get him sorted out, safe in the knowledge that my Pet Insurance would cover the cost of any treatment and medication.

I was expecting a phone call at around 4.00pm to arrange collection and presumed I’d be coming home with my dog and the usual expensive box of Antibiotics.

(more…)

HOW TO DO YOUR FIRST CAR BOOT SALE

Where does it all come from, that stuff called clutter?  Those clothes that are too small clothes, the too high unworn shoes, the piles of unread books, the CD’s of the one hit wonders.

We’ve all got it, and most of us don’t want it. Here is HOW TO get rid of it and make some easy money at the same time, yes it’s time to do your first car boot sale.

Car boot sale booty

BE PREPARED

  • Nobody will buy a beer stained t shirt, or muddy shoes. Wash the clothes you are selling, and clean those shoes. Wipe over any household items, make them look attractive. They maybe second hand, but when you are in competition with hundreds of other sellers, you need make your stall stand out above the rest.

 

  • Sort your clean items and bag or box them up into separate piles, shoes and bags, clothes, household items, and books.  It will make it easier and quicker to unpack your items at the car boot sale when you arrive and get selling fast.

TAKE EVERYTHING YOU NEED

  • Take a flask or cold drink and and something to eat, you don’t want to be giving your profits back to the catering trucks!

 

  • Get there bright and early, no later than 6.30. Take a pasting or camping table, that will give you plenty of selling space, some old blankets to put on the ground, a dress rail is also handy. Don’t forget to recyle those carrier bags from under the kitchen sink, and take hangers plenty of loose change.

 

  • Try to park so that you give yourself the biggest space, but also so you can leave easily if the weather closes in. Spread yourself out as much as you can! You’ve paid good money for your pitch so make the most of it.

BE REALISTIC

  • Be realistic, you are selling at a car boot sale, not a High Street shop. People expect to barter, so always price your items to take that into consideration.  I always ask a maximum of £4.00 for a pair of shoes in good condition, but I’ll usually accept £3.00, the same for clothes that are hanging on a dress rail.  I usually lay T shirts and tops out on a blanket and sell them for just a £1.00.  It depends on your motives for selling your stuff. If it’s to make some quick, extra money, then be strict with your pricing, if it’s to get rid of clutter, then you can be more flexible

 

  • When you are ready to go home, pack your stuff away carefully in the same order it was when you left home, it makes life so much easier if you want to do it all over again!

It really is a quick, easy way to earn some extra money, and also to make more space in your wardrobe and home in general.  On a nice sunny day, people wander up and down, they stop and have a chat with you, and if you decide to become a regular car boot seller, you’ll soon get to recognise the regulars.

Are you a regular car boot seller or buyer, or have you yet to do your first car boot sale?

Other ways to make some easy money from your unwanted items : http://www.girlonapension.com/7-top-tips-for-a-new-ebay-seller/

 

LOSING YOUR LIBIDO

 

Apparently, after much money has been wasted on trials and studies on libido, the conclusion has been reached, the verdict delivered. Viagra does not work for women.  You don’t say! 

What a pity the same scientists hadn’t just asked women, they could have reached the same conclusion, for half the cost in half the time. Yes, we are told Viagra will make no difference to our sex drive and of course, it’s true; we’ve known it all along.

Unlike men, a little blue pill will not make us be magically up for it. It won’t put our sex drive into forward gear, relight our fire, or float our boat.

We know that the desire for sex starts in a women’s brain and works its magic downwards, whilst rumour has it that in men it starts downwards and pretty much stays there.

Luckily for those men whose equipment no longer rises to the occasion, purchase of a quick ‘kick start’ is easy via the Internet, without leaving the comfort of their own home.   Viagra pic H60

For a more personal approach, a visit to a sympathetic male doctor will have the desired effect and before you can say ‘make mine a stiff one’ they’ll soon sidle out of the pharmacy with a cure, boxed and wrapped in a plain paper bag.

Does this mean there is no quick fix solution for the ladies? What really is the truth about women’s loss of libido? How odd that it seems to just disappear. (more…)

DON’T LET YOUR FUNNY LITTLE WAYS SPOIL YOUR GIRLY HOLIDAY!

Let’s face it, going on holiday with a mate can be a bit risky, especially when you’ve known each other on and off for the best part of 35 odd years, and are well aware of each others ‘funny’ little ways. But don’t let your funny little ways spoil your girly holiday.

It’s one thing gossiping over the occasional coffee and sharing lunch in the UK, but quite a different matter sharing a small space with someone for a whole week in another country.

Will you still be friends at the end of it all, or, as soon as you arrive home will you be unfriending their ‘face’ before you unpack your case? (more…)