I made it through day 3 of my jump rope journey and challenge I given myself to jump for 30 consecutive days. I’m happier with the format of these posts now, which I will try and keep to 3 minutes or less. It’s amazing how quickly I have improved, which I think is down to the shorter rope. I’m even dreaming about jump rope now!
A video came up in my YouTube feed (now it knows my new obsession) and there’s such a thing as a weighted rope – I had no idea! This is definitely something for the future as I progress and build strength in my shoulders.
I plan to take my rope out and about to keep my posts a bit more interesting. I am sure that watching me jump will get boring very quickly, so I will combine cycling with jump rope and some scenery.
I am using the beaded rope above from DOPE ROPES Use mydiscount code FIFTYSISTER at the checkout.
If you are reading this thinking that you’d like to have a go – then just do it! It’s not easy, but it’s very rewarding. I did feel faint today because I need to reorganise my workout to fit with fasting eating pattern. I only eat breakfast and lunch, so I will need to jump rope when I have the most energy. I get out of breath, but that’s to be expected. I take breaks, but get back up and keep going. My target is to take fewer breaks and to keep momentum once I start so that I get into a rhythm.
Thanks for stopping by today. Have a beautiful day!
I’m on day 2 of my jump rope journey, to see if I can tone up and build core strength through skipping/jump rope. Skipping (as we call it in the UK) was my major pastime at home and in the playground/school yard. Nothing as posh as a proper jump rope, just a length of green rope left over from my father’s water-ski line.
It’s not going to be easy!
I was going to make this video really short, however, I don’t want to make this challenge look easier than it is, because it’s bloody tough! I see young women bouncing all over social media with their jump ropes, like they came out of the womb clutching the jump rope handles, but at 54, it’s pushing me outside of my comfort zone, not to mention trying my patience and giving my heart a much needed work out.
Below are the ropes I am using from Dope Ropes, click here to visit their store use discount code FIFTYSISTER on the Dope Ropes website. Today I tried the beaded rope (the one on the right), which was a completely different experience. Dope Ropes got in touch with me to suggest shortening the rope (I was thrilled they made the effort to contact me) however, I feel I still don’t have the correct length of rope, so I’m reluctant to make the cut. Maybe this is something I should have researched before I started this challenge…?!
Will it be a day, a week, or even a year?
I’m committed to this challenge for 30 days, then I will assess whether I want to continue for another 11 months. It will be interesting to see what I can achieve as a woman in my mid fifties, who hasn’t skipped since maybe the age of 12. I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m determined to tone up and increase my level of fitness, which has diminished slightly since moving to Portugal. I am already thinking about how I can keep going in the heat of summer – I may need to move indoors to stay cool. I will worry about that if I make it that far.
Nobody wants a soggy gusset.
I am OK in the pelvic floor strength department at the moment, but that can change at any time…all the fun of ageing! I will order some washable pads (like the ones below) which I will throw in the washing machine along with my exercise kit after each workout. These pads create less waste, save you money and catch any spillage, to save you jumping with a soggy gusset. I use a yoga mat for my jump rope workout to cushion my feet from the impact on the terracotta tiles.
Stay tuned in for my jump rope journey. If I can do it, anyone can.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a beautiful day.
When people come to my home, the first thing they notice is that I don’t have a TV. ‘What do you do instead of watch TV?’ will be the immediate question on seeing the sofa pointing at the view, instead of a TV on the wall. Well, what don’t I do would be easier to answer. You see, I have a fear of missing out – ‘FOMO’ I feel that if I waste time watching TV, I’m potentially missing out on something better. If you thought you had a week to live, would you spend any time watching TV? I suspect not.
The problem I have is, that I have too many projects on the go at the same time, and any spare time is spent trying to figure out how I can squeeze more projects into my waking hours. I’m in the process of sorting my life out and developing a plan to have more structured days and a routine (I hate routine!) so that I can maintain and improve my fitness, as well as provide value to you the reader with interesting content.
You can use code FIFTYSISTER to get discount on the Dope Ropes website – click here or click one of the images above.
I’m prioritising my fitness so I decided today that jump rope/skipping is back in my daily fitness routine. I’m starting from scratch with just 5 minutes skipping today (it’s harder than I remember). Follow my progress to see if I can make it to 10 minutes…or more!
Things I’m currently working on.
Building my home and designing every aspect of the interior, exterior finishes, landscaping and of course I’m managing the budget.
I make videos for YouTube for my construction project, which haven’t achieved the number of views I was expecting, so I need to research how to use YouTube more effectively to ensure people searching for new house construction, can find my video.
I write for Wherever Magazine and also blog as often as possible on here – I’m aiming for posting daily.
I have started making wall hangings again from rope and shells I’ve collected from the beach.
I’m creating digital art of interesting places I’ve photographed around eastern Algarve, which I’m loading onto an online gallery where people can buy posters. I’ve made sales already!
I’m also creating a collection of NFT’s which I hope to mint/publish within the next couple of months.
My T shirt store ships my designs all over the world, but I am struggling to keep up with the maintenance of this store to be honest.
I paint abstract art on canvas with acrylics. I sold all my paintings when I left the UK. I now need to create more for my new home.
My Instagram had gone on the back burner earlier in the year, because I don’t like how it’s developing into part of the Metaverse, even so, I enjoy connecting with likeminded women all over the world through this platform. I said I didn’t want to enter the Metaverse, but I’ve realised I am already in it. The secret to not being swallowed whole by virtual reality, is to ensure you check out of your online world often, and reconnect with nature, animals and possibly some real humans 😉
FOMO or ADHD?
Two people have recently asked me if I have ADHD, as I’m involved in so many projects. I know I suffer with FOMO, ADHD……well I’m not so sure. My husband said recently, that he’s never met anyone else who has such a broad range of knowledge on diverse subjects. There’s a theme in the conversations. Is there something wrong with me? Am I weird? Do I care? – Not at all. But just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should. I decided to sit myself down and give myself a good talking to. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and stressed for the past six months or so, not because of moving countries or building our home, but because of what’s going on in the world. I can’t make sense of it – mainly how people are treating each other. It really hurts my heart and mind. So I fill my time and head with new projects to distract myself, but I get carried away until I don’t know which direction to turn.
It’s time for me to focus and ask myself a few questions
What gives me the most joy?
What would I be prepared to commit to on a full time basis?
What is my best skill?
Which project generates the most income?
What activity gives me the most freedom to work where I want, when I want?
What will be my legacy/how would I want to be remembered?
What I am most knowledgeable about?
What skills could I pass on to other people?
….and so the list went on….
Lets get started with my answers;
What gives me the most joy? I enjoy receiving messages from women, who say that my words have enriched their life and enabled them to relax about and even enjoy the ageing process. Women who’ve been inspired to start exercising, eating more fruit and veggies and making a little more effort with their appearance. Women who’ve decided to fulfil their lifelong dreams, making major changes and letting go. My mission is to give women the skills, permission and power to enjoy ageing. I want them to cherish every wrinkle, embrace their silver sparkles and appreciate how blessed they are to be growing old.
What would I be prepared to commit to on a full time basis? Blogging and vlogging. Writing is easy because it just flows, but I enjoy shooting and editing videos.
What is my best skill? Communicating with people. Explaining things in plain English and being able to talk about any subject. I can use words to connect with people and they feel the emotion in my writing and humour.
Which project generates the most income? My blog and my freelance writing is regular income, my additional income is from videos I make for product manufacturers such as cruelty free cosmetic companies, which pays more, but is sporadic and not guaranteed.
What activity gives me the most freedom to work where I want, when I want? Well they all do that, but I can write notes whilst I am out walking, making my porridge, in the car (as a passenger!) or waiting around on the building site. I don’t have to sit at a computer all day, and thats something I am very grateful for. Putting it all together on the website takes the most time, but I enjoy working on that in the evening, making it look slick and adding all the different media content.
What will be my legacy/how would I want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as a woman who encouraged, supported and championed other women (and men!) to embrace who they are, and to be the best they can be, no matter their age.
What I am most knowledgeable about? This is tricky as I will tell you I am good at everything! But, I’ve spent years learning about the technical and creative elements to blogging. Creating content is my thing.
What value do I provide to other people? I know from reading my emails that I connect with people of every age and nationality. However, women over 40 are going through the same challenges that I have been through. Ageing is never ending…oh, well except from death of course, but some women can’t cope with the ageing process and are fighting to hold back the years. Ageing is awesome, I truly mean that, so I can take the stress out of ageing. Then there’s becoming an empty nester, down sizing, going grey, weight maintenance, self-care, dealing with stress and juggling too many things that 40+ women are dealing with. This is my space and I like it.
Streamlining my work life.
I am going to slim down my T shirt store to just offer positive ageing and silver sister T’s. It’s all too much work and I don’t have the time or the budget to grow that business further.
My digital art I will do on demand. If you want a portrait of your dog, a drawing of your house etc, drop me a line and I will see if I can squeeze it in. I love doing it, but I cannot focus on it full time as then it would become a chore.
I can’t let go of the NFT project, as I spent a lot of time researching this and it’s a challenge I want and need to complete. I am going to put it somewhere in my free mind space, to think about rather than taking any action the moment.
A BIG thank you.
So here I am, where I am meant to be. I’d like to thank my friend Rowena, CEO and editor of ‘Wherever’ magazine for encouraging me to write. She is a professional writer and has worked with the biggest brands and publications for many years. To be honest, I was a bit embarrassed when she first asked me to write a column for her. I told her “I’m not technically a good writer, I haven’t been trained and I know I make lots of grammatical errors”. She told me I am a good writer, because ‘people like reading my words. It’s that simple’.
I have lost my FOMO (fear of missing out) and can now focus on making this blog the best it can be. Stay tuned for regular content and guest appearances from some of my 50+ online friends and collaborators.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a beautiful day. Gail x
An afternoon stroll around Vila Real de Santo António
We were undecided whether we should head over to Spain for the afternoon, or to the last Portuguese town before the border – Vila Real de Santo António. We were almost at the border when we realised that my passport wasn’t in the car, so decided it was probably safer to stay this side of the river and take a stroll around the town and check out the most easterly beach in Algarve.
Shaun always sees things I don’t, or maybe he points things out to me and I don’t bother doing the same for him..? He noticed a beautiful mosaic above a shop which I would certainly have missed. Maybe it’s because I’m short, or maybe it’s because I’m so focused on keeping the dogs walking to heel that I don’t spot some of the more interesting stuff higher up.
I really enjoy turning my photos into digital art. I’ve sold some of my work to local restaurants and hotels, and now I’m working on a few commissions of private houses. If you would like me to create an original piece for your home – or of your home, drop me a line email@example.com
Everyone in their Sunday best, or were they?
One of the first things we noticed was how well dressed everyone appeared in Vila Real de Santo António, maybe they had been to church? On hearing them chatting we realised that most of the visitors there were Spanish. I don’t want to be derogatory about Portuguese people, because they really are the most welcoming, friendly easy going people I’ve ever met, but their dress code is super casual. The Spanish on the other hand, are seen wearing designer sunglasses, expensive shoes, crisp white pressed shirts and all round less casual clothing. I’m not the first person to notice this, as a few of my friends have said exactly the same thing. On the streets of most Algarvian towns and villages, practical clothing is the number one choice, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
Take a stroll along the river on the Avenida da República
We started by taking a stroll along Avenida da República. The city front facing the Guadiana river. It’s a really beautiful part of Vila Real de Santo António (VRSA) and where some very fine architecture like the Grande Hotel Guadiana is located. Vila Real de Santo António’s harbour is along the riverside, where you can embark for river cruises, the short ferry ride to Spain and boat trips to the Atlantic beaches. Follow the calçada payment south to the mouth of the river and border with Spain. Shaun and I wondered how difficult it would be to swim the border as it’s not that far. Depending on the tide, we think it would be an easy 10 minute crossing.
There are lots of restaurants selling fresh fish stews, cafés with a huge selection of cakes and snacks and a good variety of shops. We strolled to the end of the walkway, where the surroundings became a bit questionable, with people living in shacks made from old boat parts and women selling very preloved clothing from an old well worn, weather beaten leather sofa. Now I am sure I’ve just put you off visiting this place, but it really was a small part of the town, filled with old boats and crumbling buildings.
Marquis of Pombal Square - Praça Marquês de Pombal
Opposite the harbour on Avenida da República is Praça do Marquês de Pombal. A beautiful perfect town square or praça which was designed to be the commercial and civic centre of the city. Lots of market stalls to choose from selling everything you can think of. Wander in every direction and you will find cafes, bars and small restaurants filled with locals and visitors.
Praia da Ponta da Areia
We headed to the last beach of eastern Algarve which is Praia da Ponta da Areia, where the Guadiana meets the Atlantic. Drive via Farolinho de Vila Real de Santo António. Take a right halfway down the road and follow the signs to Caramelo Beach Club. There’s plenty of parking spaces and boardwalks straight to the beach. You can also access the beach via Caminho dos Três Pauzinhos which is a 15-minute hike through a beautiful pine forest – Mata Nacional das Dunas de Vila Real de Santo António. Keep an eye out for chameleons, which come down from the trees to lay their eggs in the sandy soil. Everything is closed in the winter, so make sure you take a drink with you as it’s a reasonably long walk to the cafes in Monte Gordo further west on the beach.
We were having a super afternoon, relaxing whilst watching the huge swell hit the rocky breakwater when…… Bird ran off to take a poop on the beach. Shaun was doing his best to keep his eye on the prize, geomapping the poop’s location by scanning the beach for rocks and other memorable landmarks, when eek! He slipped between two boulders and ripped his big toe in half (maybe not quite that bad but he was stunned and a bit traumatised by all the blood) and scraped lots of skin off his shin. I made my way there as quickly and carefully as possible but he had lost the ability to speak. Realising conversation was the last thing on his mind, I made a dash to scoop the poop and wait it out on the beach until he had recovered from his tumble.
He hobbled back to the car and we drove home in silence. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after being married for almost 35 years, it’s when to shut the hell up. After putting his chair in the late afternoon sun and applying a bottle of beer to his mouth, he slowly regained the ability to speak and asked what was for supper. He won’t be playing tennis for a week or so, but a bit of daily first aid should fix him up until his nail grows back and his skin heals.
It cut our afternoon short so we will be back again soon with more info on this area and no doubt some more photos. Check back soon for new posts or subscribe to my mailing list by clicking here. I will send out an email once a month to keep you up to date.
Enjoying winter in Algarve with a stroll and dunk on Praia do Barril, Santa Luzia.
It’s been a wonderful winter in Algarve. Very little rain or cloud to block the glorious winter sun. I watched a few videos of the storm in the UK yesterday and was reminded of the many wet and windy days in Devon last winter. It’s almost one year since we packed up the car and headed back to Algarve and I don’t think we’ve had more than 7 days of rain in that whole year. I know that there’s more to life than just the weather, but waking up to sunshine pouring through the bedroom window puts a smile on my face before I’ve even opened my eyes.
Today we had some lovely vegan pancakes for breakfast with maple syrup and cinnamon, a huge pot of Jasmin tea and a compulsory double espresso before we headed out to the beach. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I posted a cheeky photo of me naked on the beach this week (scroll down to view). All rather unplanned, but I want to see more natural ageing bodies in my feed so I feel I need to contribute to the cause. I’d like to say that I always stroll along the beach completely naked (it is a designated naturist beach), but I simply don’t feel the need to cast away my clothes. Last year I was stung 6 times by wasps over the course of the summer, the thought of getting stung on any of my lady bits is enough to make my eyes water. Personally I think most people look better clothed. Having said that, I don’t have a problem with nudity, and the double standard of the male vs female nipple is beyond my comprehension. Free all the nipples!
Sparkles and a dunking.
I decided to take a dip today and was enjoying the view of the sun dancing on the ocean beyond my toes as I floated in the Atlantic, when I noticed a rather large wave heading my way. In those few seconds I was trying to calculate whether the wave would break before me, or if I had the option to simply ride over the wave and continue my wallowing. Mid calculation, I realised it was time to grab my sunglasses and jump as high as I could to avoid the wave that was about to break ON MY HEAD.
… I managed to hold onto my sunglasses but lost my cap as I tumbled in the wave. I popped up just in time to see the next one coming so made the decision to dive through it rather than try to avoid it. Shaun was on the beach approaching the shoreline, wondering whether I would appear laughing or gasping for air after my slamming from the wave. I gave him a thumbs up to indicate I didn’t need saving and scouted around for my hat, whilst making a swift exit from the sudden swell. There was a bit of a rip current, so I swam parallel to the beach until I was safely out of it, enabling me to easily return to shore. Bikini off, my lovely hooded towel poncho on, and it was time to soak up some sun in the dunes.
It’s a dog’s life.
Ginger and Bird love the beach. As soon as they see me packing my backpack with my swim stuff they run to the car to jump in. We have collapsible crates in the back of the car which they snuggle in to and get comfy for the 5 minute car ride to the boardwalk by the beach. We used these crates when we drove from the UK to Portugal and I can highly recommend them for anyone wanting comfort for their dogs, with the convenience of easy storage when not in use.
Bird loves to swim in the shallows looking for fish, Ginger on the other hand, likes to run along the high tide line of flotsam and jetsam to find disgusting things to either eat or roll in. She almost died twice from eating washed up palm oil on the beach in Devon about 7 years ago. Now she prefers dead birds and rotting fish, the smellier the better. There’s a risk she could eat palm oil again, so I could put a muzzle on her, but that would prevent her from enjoying her game of chasing Bird with sticks and fetching the ball. I do worry so keep an eye on everything she munches on.
This week we’ve had the most amazing sunsets, one of the best things about winter in Algarve. As my friend Sarah once said, you need clouds to make a good sunset. I guess the same can be said about a good life. We need a few dark days to appreciate the good ones.
I hope you like this new format. Drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or topic suggestions. I hope you have a beautiful day.