fiftysisterblog

  • The insane benefits of fasting and food you need to stop eating.

    I watched this on YouTube last night, the insane benefits of fasting & foods you need to stop eating. It’s quite long at 1hr 47minutes but I guarantee it’s a good use of your time.

    https://youtu.be/Yg6UhhV_K1s

    Watch the video to the end, or listen to it as it’s just doctors chatting, no graphics or anything visual to miss. It’s also available as a podcast.

    Check out my JUMP30 challenge by clicking here.

    Testing out those insane benefits of fasting for myself.

    Today is my first 24 hour fast. Since last November I have decreased my food intake substantially. Switching from three meals per day to two. I lost 14lbs and now my weight has plateaued at 10stone 4lbs – 144lbs and I know I have more blubber to shed. It’s time to take the next step and only eat once per day. It’s not forever, only until I get as lean as I’d like to be. I’m eating one meal per day at least five days per week for one month to check out the effects on my body.

    Never stop trying!

    I sleep seven hours per night, I drink lots of water, I eat plant based whole food and I try to control my stress levels. Last year was tough for me, watching what was being reported on the news, but seeing a totally different view via livestreaming on other platforms. I couldn’t understand what the hell was going on. I had to step away from all social media to find a peaceful place and my true self again.

    I like motivating other women to enjoy ageing, and sharing videos and information that I find helpful.

    I will post more about fasting soon so stay tuned.

    Thanks for stopping by…have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

  • Just lucky?

    I guess I’m just lucky…..? I get a lot of comments and direct messages telling me how lucky I am that I am not overweight. The truth is I have been in battle with my weight my whole life. I have found the correct balance of calories in, exercise and levels of meds for my underactive thyroid, to finally be within an ideal weight range and feel good.

    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7073482821108616453?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7075739995122796038

    Times have changed

    I know that times have changed and to be plus size is to be celebrated. What a difference that would have made, to how I felt about my body growing up…but, how we move and nourish our bodies will show more as we age. It seems everyone accepts that to be old, means to be overweight. Maybe that’s true, but I want to be fit and mobile for as long as possible. Keeping my weight in check and giving my body every vitamin and mineral it needs to continue to flourish is paramount.

    Just lucky or good genes?

    ‘You have good genes’ people say. That’s an interesting comment when they haven’t seen my family members ahead of me in the ageing process. My grandma was overweight but very active. She loved fatty roast lamb, cheese and butter. She lived into her 80’s and was active until she suffered a stroke. My mother is active, always making something or in the garden. She’s carrying some extra weight (sorry Mum!) and I wouldn’t describe her as slim or fit. Nobody in my family, except one cousin exercises regularly. He’s 56 and still completes in Iron Man challenges. I guess he’s lucky too 😉

    Sugar Daddy

    My husband is slim, but is addicted to sugar. I bore myself nagging him most days to stop eating white flour foods, laden with fat and sugar. I stop for a few days, as I am sick of my own voice, but I care enough about him to continue nagging him.

    Hypoparathyroidism

    I have an underactive thyroid, and even though I tried starving myself to keep my weight down, it made zero impact on the scales. I know that other meds such as steroids have an effect on our energy and size. Ensure you eat natural unprocessed foods like fruit, veg, nuts, seeds and beans, keep your health in check and seek medical advice if you are lacking energy or gaining weight without reason.

    Be fat, be thin, be lazy, be fit, it’s our choice, but I don’t think genetics has much to do with it. What we eat and how much we move is what determines how ‘lucky’ we are. I have used myfitnesspal a lot to keep a check on my weight and to detemine how many calories and the amount of exercise I need to maintain my weight. It’s a very useful free tool.

    To get in touch click here. Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

  • Pet portrait

    Custom Pet Portrait

    I do love a good custom pet portrait! I wanted to create an adorable and more interesting way of capturing my dog’s personality. So I played around on my computer for a few weeks and created a colourful snazzy and fun style of pet portrait. As I don’t have a TV, I spend my evenings doing lots of different creative things and learning new skills. One of those new skills is bright and beautiful funky pet portraits.

    pet portrait
    Stanley the Cairn Terrier.

    All I need is a good clear photo, the name of your dog and what colour background colour you prefer. I charge £30 per portrait, which will be delivered to you via digital print file, size 6000 x 6000 pixels. Large enough to print out as a high quality poster. Lead time is currently running at one week. Please get in touch if you are interested. I donate 10% from each portrait to an animal charity.  

    Bespoke pet portrait by FiftySister
    Faith the Hungarian Vizsla

    Above is Stanley the Cairn Terrier and Faith the Hungarian Vizsla. Drop me a line to get in touch by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by today, have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

  • Zero to one thousand jumps!

    So how am I progressing on my 30 day, zero to one thousand jumps challenge? The first few days were really tough. I immediately regretted saying my target was 1000 jumps within 30 days. I thought I was fitter than I really was. Sure, I can walk for miles, but the terrain here is very flat. Completely different from the steep hills of south Devon in the UK.

    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7072332300754668805?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7069503273820587526

    Gotta keep going!

    After day two, I called my son and told him there was no way I could reach 1000, it was impossible. He told me to just keep going. To begin with, the idea of skipping a set of 100 without stopping seemed like an unreachable goal, but within one week I was doing sets of 100 and my recovery breaks were getting shorter and shorter.

    Dope Ropes with FiftySister
    Use discount code FIFTYSISTER on Dope Ropes website. This is my preferred jump rope from DOPE ROPES for speed.

    Work in progress.

    I am still not completely happy with the length of my rope. The issue I have is, that my husband and son (who is here on vacation) both use the rope, and they are much taller than me. Maybe I will have to buy them one each, so I can keep my rope at the correct length for me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvswRmPI7_E
    This is one of my favourite jump rope workout music videos on YouTube.

    Day Eighteen

    Today is day eighteen, and I’ve just completed another 1000 jumps. I’ve timed my jumps per minute and I’m averaging 130. So, let’s say 2 skips/jumps per second. If I can jump rope for 10 minutes, I’m going to be around the 1200 mark. Ten minutes of exercise is not a lot. But if I do it every day, in the morning and the evening, its 20 minutes of cardio I wasn’t doing before. I am going to finish the month on one set of 1000 jumps per day. Then I will work on doing it twice per day, and then even work up to 15 minutes twice per day.

    Jump 30 progress
    Jump 30 progress

    Jumping makes me smile.

    Finally, I have found an exercise that I really enjoy. It doesn’t need any special equipment – apart from a rope and a good pair of sneakers…oh and of course a sports bra. There are lots of benefits to skipping click here to read them.

    A big thank you.

    I am so happy I started this zero to one thousand jumps challenge. I’ve made lots of lovely new connections on social media. To all the amazing women around the world who are joining with this challenge, ‘thank you’.  It was my mission to inspire other women to start moving, pick up their ropes (hidden in closets) and start getting fit again. It really is never too late.

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    Downloadable guide for zero to one thousand jumps coming soon.

    Lots of people have asked so I have set to work writing ebooks/guides. I am in the process of writing some downloadable guides for ;fasting, a plant based diet, and getting started with jump rope. I will let you know once they are ready to purchase.

    Available in lots of colours from my online store. Click here to view.

    New FiftySister athletic range – great for my zero to one thousand jumps.

    I’ve been designing leggings and cycling shorts – which are perfect for jump rope and uploading them to my online store. I’m going to order some for myself, but which colour to choose…? I want them all.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

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  • Humans are strange creatures

    I often think about the way society treats (in particular) ageing women. Humans are strange creatures, we all want to live a long life but nobody looks forward to getting old. click the link to follow me on: TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/fiftysister

    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7073067948264393990?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7069503273820587526

    Why the change in video style?

    I wanted to try something new today as I find choosing a music track for a video quite time consuming and frustrating.

    I really enjoy writing, but not everyone knows about my words or my blog. I thought I’d combine my love of making short videos, with my love of writing and so here’s my first attempt, I hope you like it.

    Makeup for today.

    Today’s cruelty free makeup;

    • Foundation is Amazonian Clay, colour =light medium sand – from Tarte Cosmetics.
    • Highlighter, blue eyeshadow and coral coloured blush from Revolution Pro Palette.
    • Mascara, bronzer, grey eyebrow pencil and liquid lipstick is ‘Dash” from MUA Cosmetics.
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    Humans are strange creatures, but I know I’m not alone in my way of thinking, to be truly grateful to be gaining wrinkles and ageing everyday. If this happens to be a popular format, I will make more.

    It didn’t take long!

    Already I’ve received messages and comments telling me I look 64 or more. Why does it matter how old I look? Is it meant as an insult? I don’t think it’s an insult at all. We have been programmed through social media and movies etc, to believe that the images we see are women in real life. I don’t use a filter, and I wish I could upload a video which plays at the same quality as I upload it. Both Instagram Reels and TikTok downgrade the quality which appears to blur my skin somewhat. I find that really frustrating

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful day!

    Gail x

    If you want to get in touch click here.

  • T shirts are coming back!

    Happy to tell you that my full range of designs of t shirts (and more!) are coming back online. Sadly, I had to change suppliers for my T shirts as UK shipments incur a huge import tax for European buyers. For example, in Portugal, there’s a +20% import tax, +23% VAT. My customers were very unhappy as you can imagine and asked me for a solution.

    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7071227977199127813?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7069503273820587526

    It’s such a pity, but rather than continue to brood over it I have started working with another print on demand supplier. All that work lost, but I can’t give up, it’s not in my nature (annoying sometimes!). The upside is that I am able to offer more products such as phone cases, cushions, mugs and lots lots more. Every cloud has a silver lining so they say.

    This design is called ‘Lovesick’ and it’s my absolute fave!

    I joined TikTok to see what all the fuss was about. I posted a few videos, got freaked out by the number of followers and comments within such a short period of time, so started deleting my videos and removing followers. ‘Crazy woman!’ I hear you cry. I guess I panicked at the thought of more communication from another platform. After cutting myself off from all social media for a while, coupled with the fact I don’t have or watch TV, I found myself at a loose end when I wanted to take a break from thinking too much. That’s where TikTok came back on the scene.

    My son told me not to download it, he told me not to start scrolling, but it’s so difficult because it’s so addictive. TikTok learns what your interests are at lightning speed, so it knows how to keep you hooked. I set a limit to how much time I spend on there and have to be strict with it, because before you know it, its 1 o’clock in the morning, and I’m still sat in the same position I was, 2 hours ago.

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    Anyway, take a look at TikTok, there’s plenty of older women on there. I like that the caption space is limited so I am not able to waffle on with my writing there. It’s for short videos, that’s it. I’ve found some great tips and content that I wouldn’t find on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook. Far too much censoring on those platforms for my liking.

    I will post videos on TikTok, some of those videos on Instagram, photos on Instagram and all of it on my blog. So, if you are tired of looking for my content, my blog is where you will find it in one place.

    This t shirt is one of my husband’s favourites of mine. He loves the combo of the pink kiss with the green t shirt. You can buy it on my store, (available in lots of colours) along with many other merch with the same design. It’s just me here at FiftySister HQ. Trying to make this blog pay for itself in one way or another. I want to design more, also why I have a poster store with my digital art (ginandbird.com) but I need to re-stock my T shirt store first. Closing down the store with the other company was so easy. Two clicks and poof! It was gone….so many hours down the drain!

    I have a discount code for the whole of March, use code MARCH22 at the checkout for 10% off.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

  • Life after 50

    Life after 50

    Curious about life after 50? I started FiftySister for myself primarily, somewhere to write down my thoughts about ageing and life after 50. Creating content for this blog and social media channels is a lot of effort, but I really enjoy writing and taking photos for other women. After all, that’s where I started my journey, spending time online, seeking out new ideas and inspiration to make the most of my life after 50. Being over 50 isn’t all Tena lady and support pants, there’s a lot more on offer to women of every age, in fact, it seems that age is no limit at all to some women.

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    Ask the Doctor

    I’ve told this story before but if you are new here its’ definitely worth reading on… I met a doctor who looked after senior patients, he was in his 70’s himself. I asked him “What’s the number one thing you have learned from working with elderly patients?” He didn’t hesitate with his response. ‘People who thought they were old, acted old and expected to get sick. They didn’t take care of their health or exercise. They had resigned themselves to illness and early death and therefore decided there’s no point limiting their intake of food or alcohol,  they’d spend all day watching TV, eating crap without limits. Those who didn’t think about the number on the scoreboard (their age) continued to live their life as though it would never end. They took care of their health by limiting alcohol, exercising daily and eating lots of the good stuff, like colourful fruit and veggies’. “Did it make a difference to their final years or health?” I asked. With a hearty laugh, he boomed ‘Of course! The ones who looked after their bodies for the long term, lived longer and weren’t so sick. They didn’t expect or want to be sick, so when they showed signs of illness, they took action immediately’.

    These are the Doctor’s words, not mine. This conversation happened on my 50th birthday. Those words have stayed with me to this day.

    What are you worth?

    What are women over 50 worth to companies who market on social media? To many companies, our demographic is strangely worth less than that of younger women. Which is surprising, as we have time to shop and money to spend. Recently a hair care company contacted me, asking me if I would make videos and posts for them in return for a free bottle of shampoo. My response – “Do you think I can pay my electric bill with shampoo?”  – ‘What?’ – was the reply of the hair care company. “Well, you are asking me to perform like a monkey for a banana or a handful of nuts.  My work is worth more than a banana, so unless energy companies start accepting bananas or shampoo instead of money, I am going to happily decline your ungenerous offer”. From my own experience, if I work for free, that’s what a non fee paying customer’s value of my time is. Nothing. Zero. Not even a banana.

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    There’s no magic pill.

    I’m worth more than that. Even though I’m quite partial to a banana. I value my time, so I will never work again for free.  I also value my time on earth and I know there’s no magic pill. I take care of myself by eating lots of plants, nuts, seeds, beans and fruit. I exercise daily, I don’t drink alcohol very often (2 glasses of wine or cider per week) and I spend as much time as possible with my dogs and in nature. I could still get sick of course, but I am doing everything within my power to make that less inevitable. In my head (and heart) I’m still 18. My face isn’t playing along, but I’m completely happy with my wrinkles, age spots and creases. I’ve enjoyed many days outside hiking, swimming and lazing in the sunshine. Laughter lines are to be celebrated. Those happy moments are written on my face for all to see. I hope I get many more belly laughs and lines before I return to, and become part of, mother earth again.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day!

    Gail x

    To get in touch click here.

  • Best way to start the day.
    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7070592228741156101?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7069503273820587526

    This is the best way to start the day. I’m a morning person and it drives my husband crazy. I babble on at a hundred miles an hour and he just stares into his porridge willing me to STFU!

    I thought I’d share with you my morning routine to make you smile. I’m wearing ‘Lovesick’ by Kat von D bought from from Amazon below.

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    I’ve started making videos again. I really enjoy the creativity of putting it all together. I do everything myself. I learned how to make videos for YouTube, Reels and TikToks from zero complete newbie. I researched taking photos with an iPhone, shooting video, adding sound effects and transitions to building my website. The best way to learn skills is using YouTube. I’ve really enjoyed the process and finally I feel like I have something that looks professional an appealing.

    TikTok videos can be added to my website very easily, so I post on there first and then re-post on Instagram. Instagram doesn’t like you doing this, as TikTok is a competitor with their logo on the video. So I download the TikTok video, edit to remove the audio, rename the file and then upload to Instagram, and add the music again. A bit of a fiddle but I think it helps prevent reels made on TikTok from being hidden.

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

    To get in touch click here

    #mymorning #morning #morningmotivation #morningvibes #midlifeblogger #silverhair #silversisters #mylife #mylifestyle #jumprope #getfitordietrying #lifeafter50 #midlife #crueltyfreebeauty #veganwoman #getoutofbed #morningperson #veganwomen #veganlife #seniorinspire #matureskin #maturebeauty #middleage

  • Skipping or Jump rope top 10 benefits.

    Skipping or Jump Rope TOP 10 benefits

    I’m discovering that there are many benefits of jump rope skipping from mental health and losing weight to reducing the chances of illness and injury. You can find out more about my JUMP 30 challenge by clicking here. Jumping rope is a great calorie-burner too and most importantly improves cardiovascular health. I’ve outlined the top 10 benefits of skipping rope below.

    Jump rope or skipping?

    In the USA they call it jump rope, in the UK we call it skipping. I’ve combined the wording to jump rope skipping so that everyone can find my page via Google. Let’s go with my top 10 benefits of jump rope skipping!

    1. Increases concentration and gives your internal number counter a work out

    Counting steps whilst coordinating all of your body parts is quite a work out for your brain. Skipping rope can calm your mind as you are distracted from everything else. Intense concentration, full body moving and bouncing in general will create a clear space for your mind. It’s made me very happy and I hope I can continue for the rest of my life.

    2. Jump rope skipping will get your heart pumping to improve heart health

    Jump rope skipping is the best cardio exercise as it rapidly increases your heart rate. I struggled the first three days, but quickly gained stamina with my rest periods becoming shorter as my recovery time got quicker. Jumping can significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke, especially coupled with a wholefood plant based diet.

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    3. Jump rope skipping improves eye, hand, foot coordination

    The first few days I was totally uncoordinated and felt like giving up, but within four days I improved significantly. Jump rope skipping improves your coordination as there’s a lot to think about such as footwork, counting, arm rotations, all at the same time!

    4. Increases stamina, improves energy levels and decreases fatigue

    The more you sit around on the couch, the less you want to do anything. Equally, the more you jump rope, the more active you will become. Someone once told me that the biggest killer is the couch, I’ll add to that the TV. Switch off the TV and reduce couch time and replace it with jump rope skipping. The more regularly you exercise the more your stamina will increase. Consistent jump rope skipping practice will make you want to bounce daily and can completely banish fatigue.

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    5: Increases joint flexibility and muscle tone

    I have strong legs from hiking, but my arms and shoulders were lacking in any kind of workout and it showed. I didn’t like the marshmallow texture of my upper arms, but I didn’t fancy going to the gym or lifting weights. Jump rope skipping works out shoulders and arms and I’m excited about the possibility of having lovely toned shoulders. Jumping makes your mind focused, gives your body good posture, makes you calm and flexible.

    6. Improve heart health, lung capacity and pulmonary function

    It’s important to give your heart a good workout, but don’t go crazy to begin with, take it slowly with lots of breaks between sets of one hundred. Skipping rope improves blood circulation and breathing, and over time can improve your lung capacity.

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    7. Boosts mental health 

    The past two years have been tough on everyone. Skipping has given me a new challenge to focus on and has significantly reduced my anxiety. Exercise can increase blood circulation to your body and brain and I cannot recommend it enough for anyone suffering with mental health.

    8. Jump rope skipping tones up your wobbly bits!

    Skipping reduces belly fat and this is well documented on YouTube. I was blown away with all of the body transformations. You will see lots of Jump rope body transformation videos from all over the world, men and women of all shapes and sizes seeing an improvement in belly tone. I am excited about this!  I am hoping to tone up my jelly belly a little. My goal isn’t to lose weight as I’ve been working on my ideal weight for the past few months, I just want to build muscle and carry less fat. HIIT – High-intensity interval training exercise can help reduce belly fat without having to go on extreme diets and will of course, strengthen your abdominal muscles.

    How many calories burn in jump rope / skipping? Skipping rope is a full body exercise and can burn approximately 10 – 20 calories per minute. It will strengthen your legs, tone your butt, belly, shoulders and arms. On average, you can burn 200 calories in 10 minutes sessions each day. It is more strenuous than hiking. When I lived in Devon, I hiked up to 34,000 steps per day, on an average day around 22,000 steps. Jump rope has quickly improved my stamina and takes a lot less time than walking 10,000 steps.

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    9. Jump rope skipping strengthens your bones

    From all of the research that I’ve done, I know that skipping rope will give strength to your bones and increase bone density, therefore reducing the chances of osteoporosis. I always bounce and land on both feet to avoid strain on my knees or hips joints.

    10. Improves Your Balance

    A skipping rope workout session takes a great deal of balance and coordination. Jumping daily with your rope will help you improving balance and coordination. As we age this is so important to prevent mis-placed feet which leads to tumbles, falls and broken bones, and we don’t want that.

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    Bonus jump rope skipping benefits!

    11. Improves posture

    Keep your head up and look to the horizon when you jump, your whole body should be aligned. Keep your back straight, knees slightly bent, don’t bounce on your heels (they should be off the floor), arms symmetrical both sides. To begin with you may jump too high until your brain learns the ideal bounce height. Once you get into the rhythm, you will only jump a small distance whilst the rope whips under your feet.

    12. Makes your body tingle and gives an all over glow.

    I feel amazing after a jump rope session with a lovely post-workout glow. I’m excited every day to start skipping. My whole body has been jiggled around and it likes it!

    Click here to get in contact me.

    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7069859478425947397?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7069503273820587526
  • Day 3 jump rope journey

    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!

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    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.

    https://youtu.be/DOx2SLXtG94

    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 my discount 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!

    Gail x

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  • Day 2 Jump Rope Journey

    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.

    https://youtu.be/mP7IL3rfN9o

    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.

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    There’s hope with a Dope Rope

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

    Gail x

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  • FOMO – The fear of missing out

    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.

    Use code FIFTYSISTER on Dope Ropes website for discount. Click here

    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

    How my jump rope session ended. Questioning my breakfast choice of a big bowl of porridge. Note to self, it’s already too hot for leggings!

  • An afternoon stroll around Vila Real de Santo António

    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 & Ginger on the hunt for coffee and cake

    Look up!

    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.
    Vila Real San Antonio
    Shaun, Gin & Bird with the lovely mosaic I nearly missed.
    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 hello@fiftysister.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.
    Grande hotel Vila Real San Antonio
    Grande Hotel Guadiana
    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

    Another one of my digital art pieces
    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.
    Before the boulder hopping first aid crisis
    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. Have a beautiful week! Gail x
  • Winter in Algarve

    Enjoying winter in Algarve with a stroll and dunk on Praia do Barril, Santa Luzia.

    A warm up in the sunshine after my unexpected dunking.

    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.

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    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!

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    Bird, a little puzzled and curious as to why I threw all my clothes on the beach before making a dash for the ocean.

    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.

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    … 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.

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    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.

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    Beautiful Ginger, she loves the sun almost as much as rolling on dead fish.
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    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.

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    Stunning sunsets

    Stunning sunsets this week, no special effects just mother nature showing us her beauty.

    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 hello@fiftysister.com with questions or topic suggestions. I hope you have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

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  • Do you want to look younger?
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    I don’t want to appear younger than my years. It’s perfectly OK that I look my age.

    I know the beauty industry tries to convince us that we need to look at least 10 years younger than our true biological age, but why? I’ve received messages telling me I look ten years younger, and also 10 or more years older, it really doesn’t matter how old I look, its how old I feel, and I feel the same as I did when I was 18. I eat a varied whole food plant based diet, exercise daily, limit my time on social media and I spend lots of time in nature. It takes effort to feel good, sadly there’s no magic pill. I feel full of energy and ready to take on any challenge. More on this another day, I write less on Instagram posts as the limit on the number of words is too challenging for me!

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    I took this shot on arriving home from the construction site. My hair was covered in dust and was happily doing it’s own thing. I wandered into the bathroom and picked up the scissors. You see, my hair is falling out. … It’s normal. I have an under active thyroid and it causes my hair to wave goodbye to my scalp by the handful. Sometimes more than others. It’s OK, it’s only hair. 10 minutes of snipping and I have a shorter style.

    It doesn’t matter if I look 54, 64 or even more. I just hope I look healthy and happy, as that’s my only wish.

    Have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

    #older #wiser #hypothyroid #itsonlyhair #silverhair #silversister

  • Bring in the big cats

    This week there was a major change to the landscaping behind the house, so we needed to bring in the big cats to make the earth move. The land, which is a mix of 50% limestone and 50% top soil will be excavated and moved to the front of the property.

    https://youtu.be/zOsGJkV8iz8
    Episode 4 – the big cats making the earth move for us

    In my YouTuve video I give you a full 360 degree tour and also explain a couple of compromises I’ve had to deal with. Don’t forget to hit the like button on YouTube if you enjoyed the video, subscribe if you want to keep up to date with my build and hit the bell icon to be notified when I post more content on there.

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    The first time we’ve viewed the house from this angle.

    We had a small digger onsite for a couple of days, but it wasn’t up to the job of moving so much earth once we decided that we could no longer afford the concrete wall we’d planned for the north of the property. In this episode I will give you this week’s update and show you the new landscape features. I am going to visit site again tomorrow to discuss the drop away of land in front of the infinity pool and take a look at what the big cat team have been up to.

    Big cats bringing us some hammer time!

    Building the road for the concrete trucks to access the east wing.

    Most of the stone behind the house is limestone, but we hit a new patch of granite so we needed the huge mechanised hammer to break a new access to the higher land to the north. The hammer costs more money per day- wear and tear on the machinery plus the operator probably needs therapy after spending the day being on the end of the world’s largest and loudest hammer. I will take some video tomorrow if he’s still drilling away so you can see just how impressive this piece of kit is. You can check out my last blog post here and episode 3 on YouTube here

    Totally wearing the wrong clothes for this very long unplanned visit!
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    We hadn’t intended to spend so much time onsite for this visit, it was supposed to be an office meeting plus a drive by of the site. Needless to say after a couple of hours onsite my hair was full of dust and my jeans looked like I’d been playing 5 a side football.

    Check back next week for another update. You can send me message via the contact page by clicking here.

    Have a beautiful day!

    Gail x

  • Episode 3 of building our new minimalist house build in Algarve

    Welcome to episode 3 of building our new minimalist home in Algarve.

    Our dream is to build a minimalist, industrial style, single story home, nestled in the mountains of Loulé, Algarve, facing the Atlantic coast. A low maintenance home and garden, with free power and water, needing no extra input from mains services once complete. Add to that a kitchen garden and edible plants in the landscaping and we can work towards self-sufficiency in the future. I’m loving every minute of the process and excited to see the build progress each week. https://youtu.be/FiuQ2JZBuAc This week we have a bit of a lull in construction whilst we move earth and rock around site in preparation for the east wing which is the ruin we have incorporated into the design. The ruin was a smallholding with goats many years ago, and most recently (we can see it hasn’t been used for at least 20 years), it had been used as a hillside small laundry/washhouse. Today I share; some of the designs which inspired me, a stroll around the land from east to west, our design and the new minimalist lifestyle which we have embraced to let go, free ourselves of possessions and provide us with more freedom. Subscribe on YouTube to be notified when I post new videos. The team are onsite 6 days per week, pushing to finish the concrete and steel for us as they have lots of other jobs waiting! You will find my blog here: fiftysister.com/blog with my most recent post for the house build here: https://fiftysister.com/change-of-use/ Have a beautiful day. Gail #algarve #portugal #loulé #aplaceinthesun #dreamhome Music: www.bensound.com
  • Change of use

    Change of use of the en-suite bedrooms.

    Lots of time to think over the past week due to the slight delay with the ruin demolition, so I’ve come up with a change of use for 3 of the bedrooms. I shall explain…
    Saturday 5th February, getting ready for the footings for the ruin.

    Through the years

    We started this build process 5 years ago after selling our large family home in the UK. We had hoped that the whole process would be complete within 2 years, even with delays (wishful thinking!). Well, we certainly didn’t factor in the painfully long length of time that Loulé planning would take to approve both our planning application and the construction licence, plus a pandemic stopped everything in it’s tracks, but here we are 5 years later with the concrete structure taking shape nicely.
    Just after we bought the land in 2017, Shaun standing in the pool.

    Just the two of us.

    Our intention initially was to build a home for our family of three, me, my husband and our son, (who works in the maritime industry and – at the time- was spending long periods away at sea). However, after spending some time in Portugal, our son decided it wasn’t for him, even though he loves the weather, the people and life in general here. What’s missing for him is an abundance of young people… Where are they? Well, they have left to find better paid and more varied work than is available in the south of Portugal. Head north and you will see more young people out and about in the evening – which is surprisingly a rare sight in Algarve.
    This is the original design submitted to planning with 5 en-suite bedrooms. Scroll down for the updated use of surplus bedrooms as scribbled/edited by me (very badly!).

    Memories of muddy pups and soggy socks

    So…. then there was just the two of us to live in the house with the prospect of regular visits from our son. I’m not going to bore you with all the toing and froing but we were selling the project, then we weren’t, then we were….well you get the idea. We moved back to the UK in November 2019 to renovate a small cottage we owned there, and spend some time figuring out what we wanted to do. Lots of rain and mud and more rain, soggy dogs and drenched clothing reminded us why we left in the first place. Then the pandemic hit, lockdowns, travel bans, you know how it was. We were stuck there for a while but decided to make the most of it and renovate our cottage. We finished the renovation and listed the house January 2020 which sold within a week or so. Fast forward a few weeks and we were on our way back to Portugal to finish this project once and for all.
    Cacela Velha – one of our favourite beaches.

    All in my head

    My husband sees this as an investment, he doesn’t have any emotional connection to it at all, he just sees profit. For me, I have invested a lot of time and effort designing the layout of the house and have considered every detail of the build and finished project over and over in my head. I’ve spent hours in my imagination, opening doors, looking at light switches, placing artwork and trying out different options for exterior flooring finishes. I can see it finished and enjoy spending time in this home in my head. I didn’t think this was unusual until I mentioned it to my husband, who informs me this is not normal to be able to walk around a virtual house in my head. Maybe it’s my magical power – does anyone else have this ability?
    I finally found a round bath to buy in Portugal – it has potential

    Investment vs dream

    We designed the house with five en-suite bedrooms to maximise the profit. However, we are just two people, why would we need so many bedrooms? This past week it hit me that we could actually be living in this house by the end of this year. I guess I didn’t think too much about the reality of moving in, as lots of people including my architect and engineer told me it would be sold before we finish it. The reason being, there are lots of people with more money than me who will pay top dollar for a unique and NEW home. There are some people who only buy new. I have already declined a very nice offer, but what would I buy instead? Ultimately of course, everything has a price and I may not be able to decline crazy offers if they come my way, but for now, I am going ahead to finish it for us as our dream home rather than with only re-sale in mind.
    I’ve been playing around with the layout and this is my very amateur artist’s impression of the rooms. It was a lot of fun though and it does the job!

    All change!

    This brings me to the changes I’ve made this week to the function of the rooms. Instead of 5 bedrooms, we will have 2 master bedrooms, an office, a chillout/music lounge and a spa room.
    This is a very similar idea for our spa bathroom.

    Very ‘la-di-da’ Spa

    What do I mean by ‘a spa room’ I hear you ask? The family bathroom on the east side will be designed as home spa bathroom. I’m going to spend a lot of time designing this room which will have a circular tub, next to glass doors opening out onto a small terrace with an outdoor shower. The bedroom next to this will support the use of the pool. I shall explain…. The spa room (which can easily revert back to its original use as a bedroom) will have towels, bath robes, spare swimsuits, toiletries etc and act as a changing room for visitors using our pool. It will also be where I practice yoga and meditate. I will use it for home beauty treatments and my own personal salon – a sort of beauty room. So basically, I have claimed this room for myself, a quiet, tranquil space for me, but with the added use for visitors using the pool.
    The far left is the covered stairway next to the en-suite chillout room.

    Chillout

    At the other end of the house on the west side, we will have a music/chillout room. A place where we can go and lounge on a huge day-bed to escape the summer heat, without worrying about a damp swimsuit or wet hair. Somewhere to listen to music in comfort, surrounded by comfy cushions and throws. This could also double as a spare bed if a tipsy visitor decides to stay over. My husband wanted this as an office, but it’s a waste of a room with an amazing ocean view, just to have a desk and an office chair, so he’s been shuffled eastwards next to the spa room. I don’t need an office as I’m happy to work anywhere, however I’ve made a claim on the space in the basement/garage with panoramic views of the ocean, to use as a studio / workshop for all my art projects and silversmithing. https://youtu.be/NJTBSg8KLYk

    More big changes this week.

    This week we have the transformation of the ruin going ahead, so I will be back with another video before the end of the week. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube (click here) and tap the little bell icon to be notified when I post something new. Thanks for stopping by! Have a beautiful week. Gail https://youtu.be/VvX69w0m2EY
  • Peneda Gerês National Park – Portugal

    Breathe in the lush green scenery in Peneda Gerês

    Made from granite and perched on the highest point in the village, the espigueiros do Soajo are used to store grain away from vermin and water.

    https://youtu.be/8638o81o90I

    Join us on our trip to explore Peneda Gerês National Park in northern Portugal – Spain. Then on to Soajo mountain village with amazing stone Espigueiros, hiking and wild swimming. We drove from Algarve in the south of Portugal to enjoy some cooler temperatures, hiking and swimming with our two Hungarian Vizsla in the North of Portugal. We visited Gerês, Peneda Gerês National Park, entered into Galicia Spain, and then a few days in Soajo.

     

    Gin & Bird enjoyed swimming in the rivers and running through the lush green grass.

    We only intended to use Soajo as a base, but we fell in love with the peace and tranquility of the granite mountain village. I’ve included a tour of our rental property, which I highly recommend.

     

    Filmed in July 2021, I completely forgot to share this video on my blog. It brings back such happy memories and I can’t wait to visit again this year.

    Definitely recommend!

  • Armona Island

    Memories of my birthday trip to Armona Island last year

    https://youtu.be/FzJtmufzK98

    I’ve just realised that I never shared this video from last July.

    Ilha da Armona/Armona Island, Algarve, Portugal – a short boat ride from Olhão. If you are visiting Olhão on the mainland, is it worth a visit? It can be reached by ferry for a couple of euros, but we decided to take a water taxi to reach the island in just a few minutes. Come with me for a scenic tour of the beaches and lagoons.

    It’s definitely worth the effort to visit. I will be going back as soon as the bars are open again. I can hear the cocktails calling my name.