April becomes September..

So I posted before before Christmas that I had planned to walk from Leon to Santiago. I couldn’t wait to heal up after my broken wrist, so I booked my flights and bought any other gear that I needed. There was much anticipation which is usually the case when I think about returning to Spain. I had decided on April as a good time as it’s not too warm and it’s not that busy at that time of the year.

Unfortunately, due to a number of reasons, I felt it would be better to postpone and cut short my Camino. I have a number of things that I need to give my attention to over the next 3-4 months and unfortunately, a trip to Spain isn’t high on that list. So I am putting it aside until September 4th when I fly to Madrid and catch a bus to Astorga. I have made a booking in Hotel Gaudi which I am looking forward to. The next morning I hope to march on to who knows where! I had to grin and bear the charge for changing flights but that’s a small sacrifice! I look forward to the Leon hills, the Cruz de Ferro, the Bierzo valley and of course, the climb to O Cebreiro!

 

2013 becomes 2014

So this is my first post since Christmas, and no better time to write since I am back to work tomorrow. I am expecting a busy day tomorrow after the high winds over the Christmas period. I hope you all had a happy and peaceful holiday and are looking forward to 2014. I managed to get through 2013 without breaking anything, or being convicted of anything (joking, of course). 

I am looking forward to 2014 as I do with every year, but I have chosen not to make goals or resolutions. Over the last number of years, I have made two or three loose resolutions with the hope that I achieve any of them. I never do. I’m not a goal driven person, but I can understand why people make them. 

The one idea I have, and this is a challenge, is to reduce my reliance on social media. I know a lot of people on twitter, and facebook, but very few I have met in person. I’m not trying to withdraw myself from them, but I want to go about meeting people in another way. I could tweet and post all day, 7 days a week, and it wouldn’t be fair on myself. So that is a resolution I have made for myself. I wonder how it will go..I shall keep you updated.

It is also close to 5 months before I pick up my backpack and head back to Spain for another few days. I had originally planned on leaving it for a year or two, but I think about Spain every day, it is close to an addiction. So I fly to Biarritz on May 28th, and start on May 29th from St Jean Pied de Port. I will walk for 10 days, so I reckon I will get to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. I have no idea. I will get a bus back to Bilbao and fly back to Dublin after that. I just need to buy new shoes as the ones I own are coming close to the end of their lives.

So tomorrow I am back to work, and I am expecting it to be busy. I have had a very long break so I can’t complain. Oh, and I bought myself a new laptop..well I was forced to do so. The one I own crashed on me and I was unable to recover any of my files. Not happy with that. But this one is pretty sleek, and I kind of went over my means, but there is no harm in spoiling myself once in a while.

 

The other side of the coin…

I think it’s time to park the Camino to one side and get on with my so called life. It has been a week since I touched down in Dublin and 8 days since I said goodbye to my Camino buds. They are pretty close to Santiago at this stage, under the 50km mark, and you don’t know what I’d do to be walking under the arch into the Praza do Obradoiro.

I have decided on next year however. The plan is to walk from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago. 30 days. 800km. I have well and truly caught the Camino bug. Next year will be my 4th year in a row being in Northern Spain. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.

But that’s next year and that’s why I am parking the bus now. I have a lot of other things to concentrate on and dreaming of a return to the Camino is not one of them.

Priorities…

I have four things going on at the moment..each in my mind at one point of the day. The thing is, I don’t know what is priority. Maybe you guys can help:

Firstly, I have had a mortgage approved (go me!) and have started to browse some local properties. Some interest me, most don’t…but I have given this a considerable amount of time. I hope to have this wrapped up before February or March.

Secondly, I have been given a transfer to another section within my company. This is a whole new ball game for me and is a challenge, but with time, I should be comfortable with it.

Next, I have signed up for a resit of my life assurance exam in January..two months away..and I just can’t fail this again. But at the same time, I can’t get complacent like I usually get.

And finally, I am planning a return to the Camino de Santiago in May 2013. Another 300km and would like to use this as a reward for achieving all the above. This is taking most of my time though!

Some one said to me to concentrate on one..get it sorted and when it has been finished or out of the way, then I should work on the next goal. That’s a good way to be, because at the moment I am juggling all of the above and not giving any the time they deserve.

The Last Man Turns The Lights Off…

It was only a matter of time before I seccumbed to writing again. It’s been so long that the page itself has slipped my mind. I have come up with so many different excuses not to write and it even got to the stage where I was about to delete the page. There was no real need for that though. I’ve managed to peek in and say hello to whoever is viewing this.
My last few weeks have been good on the whole. Work has picked up mainly due to the bad weather here in this fair isle. The “recession” never holds people back from travelling to relax in the sun. And with new business aproaching, it appears that we will have a busy summer. As you may have seen in previous posts, I have sat an insurance exam back in February. The results are out and I’m pleased to say I have passed. The next exam is October 2009. Roll on! Won’t be long before I have a few letters after my name!
I have spent the last few weekends either in Croke Park or watching Manchester United close in on the double! The Heineken cup semi final was played two weeks ago and now Croke Park is back to hosting GAA for the summer! The first match back is June 7th, between Dublin v Meath. It should be a good game but either way, there will be a full house at headquarters. The business end of the season is usually the start of July right up to the end of August. Let us see what the future holds. Another thing of note is that Croke Park will host a Dublin hurling match against Antrim. It should be interesting to see what kind of a crowd come along for that.
I have been devouring new music in the last month. I don’t know where to begin really. I have been listening to a bit of everything from The Radio Dept, Air France, Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, Styrofoam, The Crystal Method. If you threw these names at me a few years ago I would gasp and asked if you were joking! But my music taste has taken a sharp turn…for the better I think. Previously I wouldn’t listen to any music if there wasn’t a guitar in it..I think I have gotten over that though! I am loving the Doves album, it is on repeat at the moment.
There is not much else to write about to be honest. Ireland has local and european elections to look forward to in the next few weeks. This should be fun. People who generally would never vote are deciding to this time around. I guess they are looking for some kind of change. They may get it but we will wait and see. Personally I have always voted for the present government but things may change! Until later, ciao!

Saturday and all that’s in it!

I’ve just arrived in from a busy day in Croke Park at the Ireland v France game. Not really sure how Ireland played as I’m not really that much of a rugby fan but I’ve come away with a little more French than before. “Official match programme..6 euro” is what I normally scream in the best north Dublin accent going, but today, as the french were passing, I tried to brush up on my Leaving Certificate French with “Le programme officialle – – 6 euros!”. Much to the bemusement of some of the French who still couldn’t understand me. I must brush up.

After the snows of last week, there were doubts that the game could go ahead but it went ahead on time @5pm. Cue the rudimentary tasks of counting money and and it’s time for me to leave the ground and head home. I never mind working there and always watch the Dubs or the Irish soccer team play but I’m out of Croke Park as quick as I can when it comes to Rugby. Some may totally disagree with what I do but it might be an idea to ask some rugby fans if they followed the Dubs or Tyrone along the Championship road. It’s a matter of taste really.. Next up is the Ireland v Georgia international on this Wednesday but I am unsure if I can get there on time with work. It’s a tough ask to get to Drumcondra from Sandymount in half hour..after a tough day at the office too :).

There is not much more for me to say about the day other than following up on my previous post. I have downloaded a trial version of Ecto, a nice little desktop tool for blogging. It looks really good and an easy on the eye interface. This piece of software has a 21 day life span and then I have the option of buying the real deal after that, so if all goes well I will buy it. I will let you know. I had great difficulty in setting up the blog settings as I’m a complete amatuer and after much searching I got it working!

Now to watch Match of the Day and laugh at Chelsea’s season falling apart. Ciao!

33 years young!

So today I turned 33…….yep! I’m becoming more of a thirty something every year. Times flies when you’re having fun eh? I have to say I still feel 25, even though it’s very hard to remember back that far! Anyway….I started off the day in the office and after cashing out on a few cakes and general goodies for the guys (it’s a tradition that whoever celebrates must buy the goodies), I got started on what was a very slack day…mainly due to the economic climate but I’ll leave that for another time!

The guys in the office also got talking about Prime Time Investigates on RTE last night. Basically, the show tapped into consumers’ frustration at not receiving good customer service, and how various companies deal with dissatisfied customers. The company I work for specifically deals with customers / consumers and I guess we are aware of the high level of expectations that customers wish to receive but it was almost laughable at the levels of bad service some companies provide. And from the few conversations I had with customers today, it seemed the programme made them more aware of what kind of service they should be receiving. 

So I got home just after 6, had a bite to eat and dived into watching a dvd, my solitary birthday gift :). I’m so glad it was The best of the Panel. Easily the best programme on RTE. I’m off work now until next Monday..yesssss!