WHY YOU SHOULD SAY NO TO THE FLU VACCINE

I’ve never had a flu jab in my life, and I never will. But does my decision make me a potential burden to the NHS, if I succumb to the flu through my own negligence, and consequently need to see a Doctor, or even worse, be hospitalised. Frankly, I’ll take my chances on that one, but here are just a few reasons why you should say no to the flu vaccine.

Here are the scenes at my local surgery at around 11.00 am last Sunday,  where people were queuing to have an injection to prevent something that will probably not happen.

There they stood confirming their support to the NHS, and on exiting, almost courageously fist pumping their bravery, albeit with a slightly sore arm.

 

People queueing for a flu jab

The Flu Jab rush.

By the law of averages, I’d hazard a guess that within the queue, there may have been more than one person who might describe themselves as allergic to pollen as it gives them a runny nose, perhaps one or two who couldn’t eat dairy as it upsets their stomach, some who wouldn’t touch shellfish as just looking at a prawn makes them feel sick. Yet, whilst all of these people won’t go near these perfectly natural things, they were still happy to offer their body up to be injected with some of the following chemicals.

  • Formaldehyde
  • Aluminium
  • Aborted Fetal DNA
  • Fetal Bovine DNA

I think you’ll agree it’s a heady mix, and the above is only the tip of the iceberg.  However every year when the banner goes up outside the local surgery, offering free flu jabs, people put blind faith in what they are told and can’t wait to be first in the queue.

Doctors recommend that people get flu jabs to boost their immune system and prevent getting them flu. However, flu vaccines have been shown to be highly ineffective and toxic for humans.

Such reassuring ingredients

AND WHAT ABOUT SHEDDING?

Viral shedding means that those who are vaccinated breathe out more influenza virus and spread it more than the unvaccinated. So when your surgery offers the vaccine by telling you “the vaccine protects you and those around you,” it is simply not true.

What they are actually doing is ‘selling’ the vaccine to you, which generates vast income for the giant pharmaceutical companies.

Viral shedding also means that those who are vaccinated are spreading more virus into the air around them just by breathing compared to those who have not had the vaccine that same year and/or the flu vaccine from the previous year.

The implication is that those who are vaccinated are a greater risk to the vulnerable, such as cancer patients, the elderly and the very young, AND that the unvaccinated spread the disease LESS and protect others better!

I know which side I’d rather be on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DESIGNING A BEDROOM FOR YOUR GRANDCHILDREN

childs bed with a teddy bear.

Create a special bedroom for your Grandchildren

If your grandchildren frequently stay with you at your home, then designing a bedroom to meet their specific needs is a good choice. Your grandkids will be able to enjoy a home-from-home experience and a space that feels like it’s ‘theirs,’ and you’re provided with the perfect opportunity to indulge a love of interior design as you seek to create a wonderful space.

You will soon discover that designing a bedroom for your grandchildren is very different from creating a bedroom for your children. As a grandparent, you don’t need to worry too much about educational elements, or hunt down boring storage ottomans to hold their entire toy collection: you can create a room that is functional, yes, but also beautiful and fun. To aid you in this quest, below, I’ve gathered together a few ideas that you might want to try.

 

#1 – Go all-in on a theme

 

If a child is going to be sleeping in a room every night, themes can be rather limiting and can begin to get old relatively quickly. However, if your grandkids only stay over occasionally, themes retain their charm for far longer and can look absolutely spectacular for as long as they are in place.

If you’re going to go for a theme, commit to it wholeheartedly, and put it first and foremost when you consider anything about the room. This includes obvious elements such as artwork and decor, but also essential furniture options; you should be able to browse a kids wardrobe collection or find storage furniture options that perfectly align with your intended theme.

 

#2 – A DIY mural

 

Murals are a great choice for a child’s bedroom, but can be made all the more personal if you let your grandkids get involved in actually creating the finished art themselves. Sure, it might not have the most professional finish in the world, but that’s part of the charm.

In addition to the above, one of the great benefits of creating a DIY mural is that you can choose to do anything. This is particularly useful if you’re working to a theme, as you won’t be restricted by the choices available in store. There’s plenty of inspirational ideas available for DIY murals online, or you could take a more freestyle approach if you’re feeling adventurous.

 

#3 – Fun novelty lighting

 

The modern world is full of novelty lighting, so you should have no shortage of options to choose from. Lighting can bring a room to life, and can help to create a fun, relaxed atmosphere that your grandkids will love.

In terms of what novelty lighting you should choose, the only limit is your imagination. If you’d like to achieve an educational element, you could opt for lighting that produces a replica of the night sky. Alternatively, keep things light and go for the standard fairy lights – they’re a classic for a reason.

 

In conclusion

Designing a bedroom for your grandchildren is a great choice if you’re a fan of interior design, as it gives you the ability to indulge and put fun and style at the forefront of your thoughts.

HEALTH INSURANCE BUYING GUIDE

International medical insurance plans are growing in popularity, as more and more people are realising the benefits associated with these policies. Nonetheless, there are so many different options to choose from when it comes to buying the right health insurance policy for you. Keeping that in mind, read on to discover how to select the right plan…

 

 

Drawing of a family within a heart.

Protect Your Family.

The first thing you need to do is identify what you actually want from your health insurance plan. There are various questions you need to ask yourself in order to determine this, such as…

 

  • What are your plans for the future? What countries do you intend on visiting or moving to?
  • What policy features do you consider to be essentials?
  • Do you have any pre-existing conditions or is there a history of a certain illness in your family?
  • What is your budget?
  • How often do you think you will need treatment? Are you fit and healthy?
  • Do you have any other type of insurance policies?

 

By asking yourself these questions you will give yourself a good basis for determining what you actually need from your international health insurance policy.

 Once you have done this you then need to determine what level of cover you require. You will find that most insurance providers have several different levels for you to choose from. These range from basic coverage to comprehensive cover levels. The latter will cover everything from optical cover, to dental care, to maternity cover. Nonetheless, they will also be more expensive and so it is all about getting the balance right.

Aside from this, you may have access to extra modules and various different policy options. Perhaps you only want a standard level of cover yet you would like to tailor your plan slightly. In some instances, you may be able to do this. In addition to this, you will have to think about the network of hospitals the plan is going to give you access to, as well as how much deductible you want to pay. In terms of the network of hospitals and healthcare practices, you may already have certain places in mind. For example, let’s say you are a patient at Bhandal Dental Practice, why would you want to go anywhere else? Make sure your chosen places are included, and if not, ask if they can be added on.

Last but not least, the only thing left to do is find the right health global medical insurance plan for you. Take a look on the Internet and assess your options carefully. Compare quotes but never simply go for the cheapest. Make sure the insurance provider is reputable and has good feedback in the industry. They should also provide extensive information and communication should be easy and effective.

Hopefully, you now feel more prepared to find the perfect insurance plan for you. Follow the advice that has been provided above and you can’t go wrong!

 

 

NIFTY WAYS TO BE THRIFTY AND PROFITABLE AT SIXTY

I know that it’s hard to manage your money. Believe me. And it doesn’t necessarily get easier as the years go by. But you can ensure that you have a happier future if you do more to protect your finances in the present day.

Think about your retirement and even university tuition for your children. Both of those things cost money, unfortunately. But before you start living an excessively frugal life just to restrict your spending, you might want to think about ways in which you could make smarter financial decisions. These are some nifty ways to be thrifty and profitable at sixty.

a man buying books at a book stall

Finding ways to be thrifty – selling the books you’ve read.

 

 Sell some of your belongings.

The first way to improve your personal finances is to start selling things of value that you no longer want or need. Most people have valuable things sitting around in their home that have been long forgotten. I know mine does. Your house is probably no different. You should get involved with a local car boot sale or perhaps even put together your own.

Other people might see great value in things that you no longer need. You could make a lot of money from your old belongings, and you’ll be decluttering your house at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.

 

Learn how to invest your money.

Ever made any investments? Well, you should. I know it sounds like a risk on the surface, but it’s smarter to increase your wealth than to leave it sitting in your bank account. If you invest your money well then you could open up new streams of income on top of your existing monthly wage. For instance, buying and leasing properties is a good way to bring in a regular source of income. You might also want to consider learning about CFDs (a contract for difference) to make smarter trading decisions. With the right tools, you can keep track of price fluctuations in global markets. It’s important to do your research and use all the resources at your disposal if you want to make intelligent investment moves.

Wallet with money near a computer.

There are many to make extra money via your computer.

 

Tidy up your monthly expenditures.

One of the smartest ways to be thrifty is to simply tidy up your monthly expenditures. You might waste more money on basic expenses than you realise. Start off by making a budget. You should check this budget regularly to keep tracking of your income and outgoings. But the point is that you need to keep an eye on the amount of money you set aside for essentials. Take a look at possible areas of your life in which you could save money.

For instance, you might be able to save money on energy by getting thicker glazing for your windows or insulating the roof in your attic. If you can trap heat in your house then you won’t need to use so much energy to keep it warm. You could also save money on your phone bills or car insurance by looking for cheaper quotes on comparison websites. If you find a better deal with another provider then you’ve got an opportunity to haggle with your existing provider for an even cheaper price. Once you start cutting down your monthly expenditures, you’ll have more money to set aside for your savings.

 

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!

 

This is a collaborative post.

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.