Thursday, 3 April 2014


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Hair like any other part of the body of a woman tends to age with time and more so when it has had years of abuse from harsh dyes and blonde streaks. It tends to get coarser, dryer and frizzier and lose all its shine. So what can one do about it?

Well I am a woman of 61 years of age that has gone through all the phases through styling tongs, blonde streaks, harsh dyes to excessive use of the hair dryer at the hottest heat!!! 

The day I realized that I had come to a point in my life when I had to do something about it was when my horse tried to eat some of my hair because he quite innocently thought that my hair looked just like dry hay!

So what did I do and what can you do? Well I will just tell you what I tried to do and maybe it might help you as well.

For a start when us women saw our first white hairs we thought that the best way to disguise these was by going blonde and while it is correct that the line between white hairs and blonde hairs is harder to see than the line between white hairs and brown hairs it has to be remembered that the lighter the dye the harsher the effect on the hair.

Any blonde dye has a lot more hydrogen peroxide (in other words bleach) than any of the other darker colors and when your hair has gone through many years of having it dyed using so much hydrogen peroxide there is no way that it can still maintain its healthy shine and silkiness.

So my advice, and you needn't follow it if you don't want to, but if you want to give your hair a new lease of life I don't think it would hurt you to follow this little piece of advice which is the following:

Forget the idea about being blonde and forget the idea that blonde hair makes you look younger. It maybe worked okay when you were not that old, but when you get just that little bit older like nearing 60, being blonde actually ages you more and makes your face look washed out.

Opt for a very light brown shade, with a tint of amber, which will reflect warmth towards your face and be a dye that is much less harsh on your hair. If you can't bear the idea of not having streaks any more, come to a compromise and just opt for one streak on either side of your face in a honey color. When you think of it, steaks are meant to highlight your face so you don't need a whole lot of streaks around the rest of your head that only dry your hair more but do nothing to highlight your face as they are not near your face!

Just in changing to these darker colors from your usual blonde dye you are already resting your hair from the harsh ingredients that are included in blonde dyes, namely hydrogen peroxide. And you can go even one step further which is to choose dyes that do not contain any hydrogen peroxide at all.

Once you have changed the way you dye your hair, the next step is to try and replenish all the moisture and sheen that has been lost over the years.

On a day that it is raining outside, maybe a Sunday, when you don't plan on leaving your house for anything, decide to give your hair a little boost. Grab a large jar of mayonnaise, an old towel and lean over your bath tub. This is a bit of a messy job but you have the plus that the mayonnaise will also moisturize your hands and make them feel softer.

Pour the jar of mayonnaise all over your hair and massage it well in, especially at the ends. Comb your hair, while still bending your head over the bath tub, so that all the strands are well impregnated with the mayonnaise. 

Now wrap your hair up in a turban with the towel and just relax a few hours. You can watch a good film on the TV, read a book or whatever you like to do when you want to relax. Just let the oil within the mayonnaise really soak into your hair for a good few hours, the longer the better.

When the time is up, shampoo your hair at least twice to make sure you get rid of any residue of oil and then use a good conditioner and finish off with applying some argan oil.

Make sure to dry your hair with a hair dryer on a medium setting rather than the hottest setting using a rounded brush and I can guarantee that you will see a difference. It won't be a fantastic difference because this needs to be done once a week but I am sure that after about four Sundays of doing this you will see a real difference in the texture of your hair.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


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I thought that I would share my experience with any of you horse owners out there that have had difficulty lunging a new horse that simply doesn't want to work and considers lunging to be work!!!

Our horse was completely wild when we got him a year ago and wouldn't even accept a head collar let alone come to you. He was 8 years old and had been castrated only two years prior which meant that he still had a lot of stallion like behaviors which made things even more complicated. He was very clever or maybe streetwise is a better word and he made it quite clear to us that he had been doing his own thing for 8 years and so why did he have to listen to any human now.

My husband had had a stroke last year and buying this horse was my idea of a good kind of therapy for him (and me) as bringing on a horse is always quite a challenge and as we have both always been with horses throughout our lives we more or less know the basics!!!

Unfortunately we also realised quite soon that this horse had been hit or beaten, I can't really say which as we were not present when it happened and our horse can't tell us the details but he told us enough by showing us that he was terrified of the whip.

So with this whole picture of how the horse was we decided that there was no rush at all to ride him but more just take our time in getting him to trust and respect us, two very important things when it comes to bonding with a horse.

We spent the first six months just letting him get used to us. Every day we would spend the afternoon with him, obviously taking a few carrots so that he started to want to come to us for his treats. Then he would follow us around the paddock every now and then and especially when we fixed a fence or cleaned out his water trough he just had to come and investigate to see what we were doing. We realised that when we gave him his evening feed of alfalfa he would be very relaxed while eating and so this is when we started to be able to groom him. At first he would move away a little but soon he stayed perfectly still and eventually I was able to put a head collar on him. 

I have also been able to stroke him lightly with the handle of the whip which took quite a long time for him to accept and although he still is not too happy about it he will stay quite still while I do it.

During these six months we have taught him to back up, lift each leg just by lightly tapping the leg we want, accept the saddle, girth, bitless bridle and me slumped over his back but as of yet I still haven't swung my right leg over. I'm 61 years old now and I have to go much more cautiously than when I was 16 as I don't think my bones are as rubbery any more!!!

He neighs whenever we arrive at the paddock and I think he has gotten to be fond of us and trusts us but I think the respect part still needs to be worked on a bit more. All this is quite an improvement from when we got him but now when we tried to get to the next stage of lunging is when we came across his stubborn streak. 

Some people told us that if your horse doesn't want to lunge well then don't lunge him but I have always felt that lunging is quite important as it's where you can start to get more respect out of your horse. You are making his feet move where you want them to and if he obeys then he is at last beginning to listen to you and respect you plus the fact that our horse is not being ridden yet and so lunging is a way of keeping him in trim and muscled up rather than fat and flabby.

He would face you directly square on and of course if you tried to move the lunging whip close to his rear in order for him to move forward he would pull right back, rip the rope from your hands and go galloping off. 

Each time we calmly walked to where he was, picked up the rope and brought him back to try again and again without making any fuss or getting annoyed with him. But in the end we found that the best way of dealing with this was to have the two of us lunging him.

My husband stands in the middle of the paddock holding the lunging rein and I follow the rear of our horse at a reasonable distance with the lunging whip held low to the ground so as not to appear menacing. Whenever the horse stops to face my husband I just move in a little closer behind his rear so as to make him move off again. 

We have been doing this for the last week and today was the first day that he just plodded around dutifully and didn't stop to face my husband. We even managed to get him to do four laps at the trot and when we ask him to stop I just drop the whip to the ground and we both go up to him and make a big fuss of him. He then gets taken to his reward which is a lovely grassy field where we let him munch away to his heart's content for an hour.

I think or hope that we will soon get to the stage where he just treats his 15 minutes of lunging as part of his daily routine and will realise that if he doesn't protest and go running off it will all be over much quicker and he will also get to his grass much quicker as well!!!

Monday, 24 March 2014

ADOLFO SUAREZ DIES the man who no longer remembered that he had once been the Prime Minister of Spain

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The charismatic Adolfo Suarez Gonzalez, 1st Duke of Suarez born in Avila, Spain on 25 September 1932 has died in Madrid on 23 March 2014.

During years as Prime Minister

He was one of the most honorable and honest politicians that Spain has ever had and will always be remembered as the Prime Minister that transitioned Spain into a democracy after having endured nearly four decades of dictatorship under Franco.

He was put in power by King Juan Carlos of Spain in 1976, who was his great friend right till the end but then in 1981 he voluntarily stepped down and it was during the 90's when the first signs of Alzheimer began to set in. By 2003 the disease was so advanced that Suarez no longer remembered that he had once been Prime Minister of Spain.

King Juan Carlos puts his arm around his friend during one of his visits

During the early stages of his illness, which he knew he had, he tried to make light of his forgetfulness so as not to upset his family but during the last ten years of his life he no longer remembered anything or anyone and could no longer talk. He was however always very happy and responsive to signs of affection from friends and family and especially from his grandchildren. He was cared for constantly and lovingly by all his family but above all by his daughter Laura.

He was a real family man who loved his 5 children and adored his wife Amparo Illana and it was to be a big blow to him when in 2001 he lost his wife to cancer and then in 2004 his daughter Marian as well, although by the time of his daughter's death he was no longer aware of much. 

One of his last photos
He is to have a state funeral in Spain and the remains of his wife Amparo have been moved from their original burial ground so as to be placed beside Adolfo Suarez in the Cathedral of Avila.

As one of the tributes to him the Spanish government has announced that the main airport of Madrid currently known as Madrid Barajas Airport is to be changed to the name of 'Adolfo Suarez Airport'.

Friday, 7 March 2014


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One of the most annoying things is to have the clasp of your bra pinching your back all day long.

Powder puff
Powder puff with strap

So a quick, easy and cheap solution is to buy a few of those old fashioned powder puffs, the ones that have a strap across them like in the photo.

They cost about 25 cents each, are round discs of foam covered in a velvet material usually in a pale pink or beige colour. This feels lovely and soft against your skin and maintains the metal parts of the bra clasp well away from your skin.

Slip the powder puff onto the bra clasp, fasten your bra and then just make sure to slide the powder puff exactly over the area of the clasp, obviously with the strap of the powder puff towards you and the velvet disc near your skin.

One can sometimes find special devices for solving this problem in lingerie shops but they are very hard to come by while powder puffs can be found in nearly every single make-up store.

Unless you are wearing a see-through top no one can tell you are using these powder puffs and they make such a difference to your every day life not to have to feel a bra clasp digging into you all the time!!!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


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Am so excited that I just had to share my experience. Over the past few months I have been hearing a lot about hula hooping and how celebrities like Beyonce, Grace Jones and Kelly Osborne use it in their fitness regime and even Michelle Obama, so I thought I would look into this a bit more as I'm not too good at exercising but hula hooping sounds more like fun than hard work.

Well I found out that by simply hula hooping for ten minutes each day you can give your body and especially your mid section (tummy, waist, hip area) a real workout that will tone and tighten all your muscles in that area and lead to a reduction in centimetres. 

You can do this while listening to your favourite music and you can do 5 minutes in the morning and another 5 minutes later on in the day. So many people don't exercise because they can never find the time but what is five minutes? It's really about the length of one long song or two short ones!

I got on the Internet and found that many people claimed to have lost as much as 5 centimetres around their waists after only two weeks of hula hooping and also some weight loss. So that was it, I wanted to do this.

At first I bought myself a cheap hula hoop from a toy shop which was quite small and light and even after four days of persisting there was no way of keeping the thing up, so I went back onto the Internet to try and find out the reason for my failure.

Well it seems that for beginners the main key to success with hula hooping is that the hoop has to be firstly large, and secondly it has to weigh a bit, not too much but around 3 pounds. 

When you stand a hula hoop on the ground in front of you it should reach the middle of your abdominal area. Having a hoop of this size and weight will make a whole world of difference and you will eventually be able to hula hoop successfully with it. 

The next problem I came across was that it is not that easy to find them unless you buy them on line and I wasn't too keen on that as I had already ordered one on line and when it arrived it was not what I thought it was going to be like as so often happens! 

So in the end I just went to our local plumbing shop and bought 3 metres of 3/4 irrigation tube and a union. If you ask for tubing meant for high pressure water it will come with that extra weight that you want.

Stand the tubing on the ground in front of you and overlap the two end bits pushing down or pulling up until the hoop reaches your mid abdominal area and then just mark with white chalk where you have to cut. A small little saw will do the job of cutting the excess tubing off. 

Next heat one end of the tubing with a hair dryer for about a minute in order to soften the tubing a little and then insert half of the union firmly in. Now heat the other end of the tubing also for a minute and simply insert the other half of the union and you now have a fully functional hula hoop.

It is now up to you to try and get the hang of it. It doesn't take that long to master and there are lots of YouTube videos which can show you how to get started. 

I have been doing it for one month, only ten minutes each day and have lost an incredible whole 5 centimetres from around my waist and 3 off my hips. I can now get into skirts and trousers that I haven't been able to get in for ages and am no longer wearing baggy blouses to camouflage all the spare tyres that I used to have round my tummy area!

I actually look forward to doing it every day and more now that I have proof that it works. I must say though that I did get a little bruising the first few days around my waist area and this might happen to quite a few people. 

My best advice is to give it a rest for a day or two and then when you start again, start with a minute a day slowly increasing each day until you reach ten minutes. Your muscles will soon tone and tighten up and then you won't ever bruise again.

Thursday, 13 February 2014


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It's been a long time since I last wrote here but an awful lot has happened in 2013 and not much of it good although with the unlucky number 13 in it I should have guessed that I, along with quite a few others I know, would be in for a rough ride.

My husband had two strokes which has left him invalid for work and without an income to help with the home expenses and so I have had to work twice as hard at the transcriptions that I do online to try and bring in some extra money. I am his driver as he no longer drives and so apart from getting on with my usual everyday chores such as shopping, laundry, cooking etc, I also have to make time to take him to places where he wants to go but which is usually the doctor's clinic.

He has been left with a left arm that is rather clumsy and a mind that doesn't function as it used to. At the beginning he would forget to turn off lights, not close taps, not close the front door of the house, couldn't use a mobile and much less the computer and probably had the mind of a nine year old. 

Luckily it has been nine months since his strokes and his mind is slowly getting better but he is still constantly frightened of getting another stroke and so consequently the reason for such frequent visits to the doctor's clinic as whenever he gets a headache he starts to panic and thinks he might be getting another stroke. One night he was so worried that he called the ambulance out at 3 o'clock in the morning only to find out once they had taken him to the hospital that he was having an anxiety attack.

I still love my husband a lot but obviously our relationship has changed a lot. He is no longer the one who takes care of me but instead it is me who has to do everything and think for the both of us.

I have to admit that in the first few months I was not only frightened but also very sad at having lost the lovely relationship that I had with my husband when we were such a fun loving couple and very social and active. Now we don't go out much any more, mostly because of the economic situation but also because he no longer has the same energy that he used to. I was sad and felt that I had lost the man that I married but then I realized that this could have happened to me in just the same way as it happened to him and I would hope that he would also look after me in the way that I am looking after him.

Relationships are constantly going through changes and so ours has changed as well. I now just have to concentrate on the virtues that still remain in my husband which are that he is a good, kind and loving man and has never ever raised his voice to me. I have to be thankful of that when there are so many women in the world that are abusively treated by their husbands and remember how badly I was treated by my first husband. So at the end of the day during the first two weeks of 2014 I have told myself that my lot is not that bad, it could have been worse and I shall just continue to try and help my husband to improve, relax and to know that life is still worth living.

Whereas before we used to socialize a lot, we now enjoy the countryside and going for long walks, cooking a lovely meal at home, lighting a nice warm fire in the sitting room with fallen twigs and branches that we collect during our walks and trying to appreciate today when we are both alive and in no pain.

I imagine that there are quite a number of other people out there that have gone through a similar experience and so I hope that they are trying to be positive about the whole situation as well. I always think to myself that this could just as easily have happened to me and I would hope that my husband would look after and care for me as I do now for him.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

To sleep with your partner or not to sleep with your partner, that is the question!!!

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One supposes that when you are in love with your partner, boyfriend, husband or whatever you want to call them that you would want to spend all the hours of the day with them and most importantly that at night you could snuggle up to them and feel their warmth and presence throughout all the night. Well that is lovely and romantic and a desire that many of us have but the problem arises when sleeping with your partner deprives you of your sleep and leaves you feeling grumpy during all the waking hours!!! What is that going to do to your relationship? Well nothing good. You are going to feel grumpy, resentful and statt taking it out on your partner who you actually love. The problem is that when you don't sleep well you start seeing your partner as the one who is to blame.

There are many different reasons why your sleeping habits may not be compatible, there is snoring, which as statistics go is probably the number one factor. Then there are different temperature preferences - one may prefer an open window in winter with a fan or air conditioning in summer while the other likes a closed room with heating on at full blast in winter and can't tolerate air conditioning. One may like the TV on in order to go to sleep and the other likes complete silence and darkness in order to sleep. And so the story goes on. We are all different and while many couples are able to come to a mutual and harmonious agreement regarding their sleeping conditions, for those who cannot what does that mean? Do they have to divorce or separate? Well no if they really love each other.

Many, and I'm talking about a least a hundred years ago,when space was not at such a premium, couples had their own bedroom and either the husband or the wife would pay a visit to the other's bedroom when the desire for intimacy was felt and afterwards would return to their own comfortable quarters. There is nothing that says that if you sleep in different bedrooms that you no longer love each other or that you no longer have a good relationship. In fact quite the contrary. If you are both getting a good night's sleep and are both feeling good it will encourage you more to want to be with each other at other times of the day. After all, the majority of people make love in the afternoon and not late at night and on top of this it is not usually the bedroom where the act takes place.

If sleeping in different bedrooms allows your relationship to continue, allows you both to feel good in the morning having slept well and have no resentment towards the other for being deprived of sleep, I would say that it can only be a positive thing.

I have slept apart from my husband for the last five years. He had a terrible snoring problem. I ordered some headphones with a radio connected, I had him wear some awful contraption in his mouth that was supposed to suppress snoring but it didn't and finally I wore ear plugs but unfortunately none of these solutions worked. So what was I to do? Finish the relationship? No thank you. He is a wonderful man and I love being with him but I just can't sleep with him. 

When I thought about it, I thought it's not the end of the world really. There must be thousands of couples who sleep apart and if they have a good night's sleep I am sure they are going to get on with each other much better than a couple who sleep together and but neither sleep well!!!