Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Before leaving for Spain in May 2023

 Good morning, dear Blogger friends. At last I have gathered the many photos of our Spain trip and am starting to post.


Originally (when I still had two good legs and intact knees), it was my intention to travel to Bloemfontein, where my son, Angus, DIL Amanda and my three grandchildren live. Amanda's mom, Ceilia, my travel companion, was staying in the Granny flat adjacent to Angus' house. Being unable to drive myself to the Free State, a dear Weigh-Less member, who has a daughter boarding at school in Bethlehem (two hours short of Bloemfontein, by road) offered to take me that far. Angus collected me in Bethlehem, and we traveled the last two and a half hours to Bloemfontein.

On arrival, we had a reunion, especially with my SIL (as Angus' MIL is known in the Afrikaans culture) whom I'd not seen since she was widowed in October 2021. It was on the eve of her husband's memorial service, those year ago, that Celia suggested she and I do an overseas trip together. At the time I could not imagine how I would be able to afford such a luxury and also how I could take time off from my four jobs here in the Central Drakensberg. 

As mentioned in a post a while ago, my sister Rose and BIL, Pete, gifted me with the price of an air ticket to Spain  as a 70th birthday gift. And providentially, I was able to pay for all the preparatory red tape (I posted about the Schengen Visa earlier too) and my travel between Bloemfontein and Johannesburg and the return. I also, with the help of my wonderful Valley friends, was able to hand my various projects and responsibilities over to them for the three weeks I was absent from home. 

On Saturday 6th May, Amanda called to me where I was sharing the Granny flat with the other granny that she had turned on the TV and the Coronation was being viewed. My Afrikaans-born daughter-in-law is a British Royalist as fervently as I am. 

During the morning, I also had a visit from a Weigh-Less member who had lost 25kg ONLINE with me. I had arranged to meet with her and award her with a hard copy of certificate and menu plan in a neat file (called a filo).

Me with the successful Weigh-Less member. See the many weight loss stickers on the reverse of her filo. They are in the shape of a headstone. The symbol is you bury your fat with Weigh-Less,  never to exhume it again.
Five months later this member has lost ANOTHER 6kg. Her doctor has given her a clean bill of health, He told her he has never known her to be so healthy
This is what she looked like before losing weight on Weigh-Less! 
What is especially obvious when members lose weight the healthy Weigh-Less way, is the transformation from frump to a newfound elegance and confidence! 

Later that morning while watching the pomp and ceremony of the coronation of King Charles III; I continued with exercises I'd been doing at home, to ensure my knee would not give me problems on the long flight.  Amanda happened to walk into the lounge while I was thus engaged and did a double take. Apparently, it's NOT normal to be able to lift your leg above your head (especially not for a vintage lady!). 


No-one ever told me. 

Amanda summarily snapped me in action.

Following my physiotherapists' exercises while watching
 the coronation in May 2023
The next morning, Sunday, Celia and I loaded the children into her car and went off to church. Angus and Amanda, who are involved in the worship music and the rear projection. 

Celia driving us to church

Ce'st moi
Abby, Liam and Joel
After church we all met at Amanda's sister and BIL, Ilse and Leonard's home for lunch

Looking at this photo later, I was struck by the thought that I knew Amanda when she was Abby's age (ten years old) and Ilse was Joel's age, 13. Today they are each married to wonderful men (one being my son, Angus - the bearded guy next to me) and they have teenage children of their own. 

Then it was home to Angus and Amanda's house to load our suitcases and be taken to the airport. 
Ready for the off in Bloemfontein

Our international connection on KLM was from Johannesburg (OR Tambo) airport to Malaga Spain with a six hour layover at Schiphol airport. (We'd land in the Netherlands the next morning)  
Celia source the wheelchair!
Boarding passes obtained. Celia had a transparent travel wallet. She had both our passports, air tickets and other identification with her for the entire trip. What a star! 

Waiting in the boarding lounge in Johannesburg 

When we were due to board the plane, I was wheeled out first by an official with Celia walking alongside me.  We were allowed on the plane ahead of the other passengers. What a treat! 

No matter the age, starting out on a holiday trip is EXCITING! 

And here we go!
To be continued...


  1. You are MUCH more flexible than I am. I am looking forward to seeing more of your trip.

  2. this is exciting just reading about it, i can only imagine the excitement of actually visiting Spain. what a wonderful 3 weeks you had. friends, family and travel. what could be better

  3. A wonderful beginning, looking forward to seeing more of your trip.


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