Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Walking the Essex way

I am having withdrawal symptoms, this week we have not managed a walk as yet, looking forward to Thursday hopefully I will have may walk, I feel so alive afterwards!  Full of energy....
Nothing like a good walk to recharge the batteries. Paula was telling me that on Christmas day there is a forecast for a hard frost, and she asked me if I wanted to have walk so I said yes of course.

At the end of the year I'll be going to the Homeland for a couple of months and one of the things that i'll miss will be the snow and the frosty mornings will miss our walks, that Paula and I so enjoy and of course sharing our pictures with FB friends...

Remember a time when Paula and I walked to watery lane that's the blue bell woods so beautiful, and we took the path through the woods and followed the canal and we couldn't find a way out so it took us ages to get home, on that day that walk took us nearly five hours by the time I got home hubby was getting ready for a search party...
Its quite funny the scrapes that Paula gets me into, if I complain she says just imagine that we are having an adventure.

We have a friend that lives in Maldon and sometimes Paula and I go there to share in our friends walk around Heybridge Basin, its lovely walking along the canal with all the boats and the sea birds above....Other times she comes to us to share in our walks...


Once again I find myself awake far to early, and the memories start kicking around in my head, like the time when hubby comes home from work and tells me that the factory is going to close down, and he starts talking about moving back to the old homeland, but I am not keen on the idea so for day's if not weeks, that's all he talks about and we argue non stop until one day tired of all the arguing I give  in, I don't really want to go back but to stop the arguments I agree although against my will to sell up and move.

Once hubby gets an idea its very hard to persuade him otherwise, it all come about the year before when our friends  moved back to Madeira and now that he was going to loose his job he thought it was the better option, so we sell up and the day arrives to emigrate but this time its to the homeland, because that's how it felt as if I was emigrating.

Of course hubby did not come we us he was suppose to follow at a later  date so we arrive in Madeira and move in with Mum until we move into our own home. Never forgot the girls faces when we went to see our home to be, the house had been closed for quite some time, and when we walked in there was cockroaches inside, the girls look at me and say we don't want to live here, but we had no choice and live there we did.

For the next few day's I cleaned scrubbed and disinfected every single corner of that house so by the time we moved in there was no cockroaches insight or so I thought, until one day after we had moved in we were in the lounge when I looked up and saw a roach on the ceiling so I grab the spray and give it a good spray
not knowing that it was going to fly so I scream and run for the front door with the girls screaming behind me.

After that I had to learn not to make a fuss otherwise the girls would not settle, the thing about cockroaches is they like the heat, so there was nothing for it we had to share lol....
So sprays were bought and before going to bed I used to spray outside around the doors and that kept them out thank goodness......    

Thursday, 17 December 2015


Its getting close to Christmas so am busy baking cookies mum's recipe, everyone  loves them....Remember when Mum came here for a holiday so that she could spend some time with her grand-children and at Christmas time she baked broas de mel (((black treacle cookies))) They loved them, and they always refereed to them as Vavo's Biscuits although now they are Tia Ana's in theory.

Few years later on one of Mum's  many visits I asked her for the recipe and she told me of the top of her head I wrote it down and have been making them every Christmas, it has become a tradition.
I always start baking on the first week of December for two weeks the house smells of cinnamon, ginger and freshly baked cookies.... it smells and feels like Christmas should, it takes me back to my childhood  when Mum used to bake them....

All the cookies are baked and its time to box them up, and post to my family here in England since I am the only one that has kept the tradition going, my nieces and nephews are all grown up but they still love them and so do their children, my friends love them also, so they to get some at Christmas.

Now am going to be very busy baking the cakes although I won't be posting them thank goodness,  since I am only baking them just for us, hubby makes me smile, when I go in the kitchen he asks so what are you doing now, and I smile back because he always says the same thing((( what not more biscuits)))  he say's that I am mad, for doing all this baking and then spend the time boxing and going down to the post office. But to me that's what Christmas is all about the giving sharing just like when we were children back home.

 My little Granddaughter also loves them. Jennifer and Mia have been asking for them, but I have made them wait until now although they have tested them so am sure the wait has been worth...
Broas de mel

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Walking the Essex Way

Paula and I been walking round our beautiful  countryside for nearly twenty years, come rain or shine within reason of course, if its pouring we tend not to.
My goodness remember a time we were walking round this field, and it was blowing a gale we were laughing it felt so exhilarating to be out there in the elements, but after a wile of walking and being buffeted by the wind I shout to Paula I have had enough I want to go home now.

Another time and this is early summer walking along an overgrown area  as we were walking through, being stung by nettles scratched by brambles and I say Paula don't think we should go this way, and she says just think of this as an adventure its quite funny when I think about it now.

So we roam the countryside and at times come home with apples that we find in forgotten orchards Damsons, cherries, and of course blackberries, then a lot of time is spent in the kitchen preserving all of this goodness from our wild larder. Its amazing how much food is out there going to waste.

We, Paula and I share our photos on face book and in our village we have a page called Silver End appreciation society, when we put our pictures up the comments start pouring in where is this, and where is that, I must Say Paula and I don't always keep to the footpaths although we try not to stray to far from the allowed path.

No wonder they call Essex Constable country, its so beautiful the lakes the meadows.
We always go on our walks very early in the morning when everything is fresh and crisp, in the summer I know you probably think we are mad but we meet up at six in the morning or soon after, and this time of the year we meet at seven thirty just before eight anyway, when it starts getting light. Am writing this wile waiting to go on another walk...


Sunday, 13 December 2015


Christmas over and the new year brings more of the same hubby working two jobs and I doing my  job of two evenings a week, in the day time my new friend Carole got together for a coffee and a chat, sometimes we used to pack a hamper and take the children to the park sometimes to the seaside it was lovely to have someone that liked to have a good laugh.

Carole was like me always giggling anything used to set us of, like the time when we were working on barn packing the sweet corn the girls were playing and Erica tripped over Mia and went flying in such a way, it looked so funny that she started laughing and that set me off too I still cringe now remembering the looks of the other women, but it did look so funny.

One day some friends came visiting with the news that they were selling up and moving back to the homeland so hubby started twitching, I think he would love to go to but I wasn't keen on the idea I loved my life here I had made friends and felt that my life was here I really felt at home here....
Going to Madeira was lovely and I really liked going there for holiday and that was it holiday.....

Life was very good the girls were healthy and at school and I still did seasonal work, I think I tried most seasonal jobs apple picking grape, strawberries  but only lasted a week my back gave up lol
 Then the following Christmas back to the turkey plucking, well one cannot be choosy even though that was one of my least favorite  jobs I went back after all the girls needed their Christmas presents.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Walking the Essex way

One of the most exciting things in my life this days are my lovely granddaughter, and my walks with my friend Paula.

We used to work together.... its quite funny looking back, I was off sick recovering from an operation when Paula started working at Tyco and she kept hearing my name from a co-worker and she says that he kept saying that things would be better when I got back that he missed me, and she was getting worried about meeting this so wonderful person ha! ha! (((her words not mine)))

So the day arrives and I am back at work and there I met Paula, everyone was talking but Paula was very quiet and waiting to see if I was that brilliant, like my admirer said I was she says hello I am Paula I live in Silver End Robert says that you live there to, I say yes that's where I live and carried on working she went very quiet... she say's later that she thought I wasn't very friendly.

Of course when she got to know me better she knew that I was okay really. It just takes me a little time to get to know how the land lies and then I can be a friend for life, and that's what Paula and I became very good friends,

We used to laugh so much because you see my admirer the very innocent Robert did everything for me, like getting whatever i needed all I had to do was call him and say Roberto can you get me this and Roberto can you get me that and he used to go get it with great pleasure and Paula used to say he fancy's you Ana, I enjoyed the attention after all I was twenty years older than him lol.....

Anyway going back to the walks and how Paula and I started walking the Essex way.
After coming back from a weekend away visiting my sister and her family in Poole (((Dorset)))
I arrive at work excited how I had enjoyed that weekend and that we had this brilliant walk in the Jurassic coast and how I would love to do more walking but had no one to walk with, and Paula say's I like walking to and that's how our walking history started.

Saturday, 5 December 2015


Now that we had two children it wasn't so easy walking up market hill I did try a couple of times but decided that it was too much like hard work not enough space for the shopping.

So on Saturday's Hubby took us shopping that was not one  his favourite things to do specially with a toddler and a new-born since I was the one doing that before, so he decides that I have to learn to drive and that was it he never did any shopping again...

So glad that he made me learn to drive.... so had driving lessons hubby took me out a few times, still remember the shouting when I did something wrong ((( lol))).... I had the car during the day, because he worked close to home he only needed a push bike to get to work,  I had the car at my disposal in the day time because in the evenings he went to his evening job.

Hubby never did any shopping again, that was my job as well as taking the girls for swimming lessons ballet and anything that involved taking two not so quiet children out, I suppose because he worked two jobs he wasn't willing to help so I did it all and let him make all the decisions, so when it came a time that I wanted to do things my way or buy something he always queried, why I did this or that and even when I went back to work and earned my own money he still told  me what to do it was so annoying....

Now I have two girls at school.... and I still did field work this time it was grape picking that was a muddy affair, but still fun and earned me a few pounds to buy Christmas presents for the girls, and would you believe it I even done Turkey plucking in December must say that wasn't one of my favourites jobs but I went back the following day and everyday until it was over by the end of that job my fingers were raw....

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


A week ago Hubby and I went visiting my sister Connie and her family in Dorset love the walks but being winter we did not go on a long walk which was a shame...
Instead after Sunday lunch brother in-law took us to Upton house for a stroll, been there before it has lovely gardens and quite a large park so we did have a nice walk and some nice pictures too....


Life goes on with the second baby on the way, this time I am taking better care of myself, with the first baby I had put on to much weight so this time I was going to make sure I did not get to look such a porker.

And the day arrives water breaks its eleven at night and on my own again, the same scenario phone Hubby at work wait for him to arrive and panting with contractions  get packed in the car and off to the hospital this time it only took three hours of labour  and another little girl was born weighing six pounds one once we named her Miacarla, she was such a good baby always thought that she was sleeping to much, nothing like her sister she never slept enough.

So now I had two children and Hubby worked to keep us three girls...... Money was tight so on the nights that he was home, I found myself a part time job in a hotel down the road from us working as a barmaid two evenings a week, that's where I met and become really good friends with Carol Sparks
she was such a character full of fun.

We started meeting up for coffee at each others house she had a little girl Erica, and while we chatted our children played in the garden.... One day she said Ana do you want to go apple picking they are asking for apple pickers at the orchards down the road so off we go and get ourselves a job picking apples it was hard work but we had quite a laugh too.

While we worked our children run up and down playing, and being middle of September sometimes it rained so we used to come home all muddy but the children loved it they used to jump in the puddles
and sing mud mud glorious mud.... One day when we arrived at the orchards Carol said to me I don't know how but I forgot that we are going away for a weeks holiday so next week I won't be able to come.

The following week I arrive and Mr Hastings he was the foreman, we used to call him Sargent Major because he used to shout at the top of his voice at us when we were chattering to much, he asked me where Mrs sparks was, and I replayed that she had gone on a weeks holiday so he says tell her not to bother coming back, when I told Carol what he said she was speechless but I could see his point.

 So next season we find ourselves another picking job this time it was sweet corn but because we had children we did not go on the fields our jobs was in the barns packing them in boxes, we were allowed to take home the under developed ones never ate so much sweet corn, gave them to family and froze some too.....

So September arrives and off I go apple picking again, this time on my own having lost my side kick Carol and minus Jennifer she had started school at Saint Francis in Maldon so after dropping her at school off I go to work with Miacarla when it rained I used to put up hubby's golf umbrella wedged be twin the apple trees and she used to play with her cindy dolls quite happily.....