The Long Haul To Sun Peaks And A Book Dilemma

The Long Haul To Sun Peaks And A Book Dilemma

Our annual snowboarding trip had arrived and after looking initially for a week in Europe, then comparing prices to our favourite destination, Canada, we found that for a little more, we could have 10 days, two for one lift passes, which is worth around £400, and snowboarding in one of the best destinations in the world, (in our opinion, who, by the way, hasn’t been to that many snowboarding destinations, so has no real authority to comment).  No brainer, Canada it is, again, 4th year running, you only live once right?.

IMG_7205Honestly, travel gets better every year due to technology advancing rapidly.  We checked in online 24 hours before travelling, including having printed our own boarding passes, with seats already allocated, sent to our phones.  For us, it started with a 3 hour drive to London Heathrow where parking was booked online and consisted of a very easy process from the moment we pulled up, to 20 minutes later being inside Heathrow standing at a self service machine where we were putting in our flight details and printing out our bag tags, then walking up to where we say, “goodbye, please be there a million miles aways at the other end of the journey,” to our bags and realising we hadn’t queued for anything yet.

Security was next, where there was ‘some’ queuing, but to be honest as you zig zag round all the strategically placed tape and bollards, we didn’t stop moving.  We soon got to the security area where shoes come off, belts off, coats off, everything out of bags and put in trays ready to be scanned?  No, none of that anymore, just coats off and bags with contents left in, on a tray and through the scanner they go while you walk through the human scanners and hope you don’t beep.  I’ve never got through security so quick and easily! Eh Voila, we were in the main hub of departures looking for somewhere to have lunch.

I honestly think Heathrow is a fabulous airport, there are so many choices of places to eat, and it’s like being in a large shopping mall.  You think you have hours to wait before boarding your plane, but that time soon goes.

My book dilemma

A good lunch, a few items from duty free purchased and my favourite thing to do in a departure lounge…losing some time in the book shop, choosing that holiday book, or in my case, three!IMG_7308

I had decided to have a change to my normal genre.  I normally love and have recently read two Tudor based novels The Kings Curse and Three Sisters, Three Queens both by Phillipa Gregory, which have been excellent, but I seriously need a break from the dark Tudor days and well, they were brutal in those days, weren’t they?  I’d normally then reach for a gripping thriller or Continue reading “The Long Haul To Sun Peaks And A Book Dilemma”

Exploring Kirroughtree Forest

Exploring Kirroughtree Forest

IMG_9008Back in November 2019, we decided to take Polly, our camper van and do some touring of Scotland, initially around the Dumfries area, then we’d see where Polly would take us.  We were also on the hunt for, not only some great walking, but some good mountain biking trails.

Our first Brit Stop seemed to be just a car park off the beaten track in Caerlaverock, near Dumfries.  It was late and very dark so we didn’t really know what our surroundings were.  Little did we know that we’d stumbled upon a beautiful nature reserve.  I wrote about this here, where I also explain what Brit Stops are.

From there we were heading towards Newton Stewart, then north toward Galloway Forest, in search of a mountain biking trail we’d heard of at Kirroughtree.

After only a few hours driving and of course the enjoyment of Scotlands beautiful

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The start of our forest walk, whilst above me was the end of the mountain biking trail.

scenery we found ourselves pulling up at Kirroughtree Forest Visitor Centre.  A quick tour around the centre familiarised us with what was on offer and we were excited.  There were various walks around the forest and what looked like a great mountain biking course, in fact it was one of the 7 Stanes courses, which in the mountain biking world are well sought after as they are award winning trails, eight to be precise, dotted around south Scotland and you don’t have to be an expert to ride them as they have varying skill levels within each trail.  Jon was happy, I was happy and the dogs were so excited as they were first on the list to enjoy a big long walk and explore in the forest.

We set off walking one of the harder trails of the forest and it didn’t take us long before we were walking in what seemed to be an enchanted magical mysterious forest, as everything was covered in moss.  It was so very still, quite eerie, and stunning in a strange kind of way.  It was a fantasy story waiting to be written, my mind was running wild with fairies and goblin’s. Continue reading “Exploring Kirroughtree Forest”

#WordlessWednesday – Wood Carving Mysteries

#WordlessWednesday – Wood Carving Mysteries

Wordless Wednesday – Let your photo’s do the talking!

You can make up your own story for this fella.

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© 2017 – 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-lovingthefiftysomething.com

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Me with Crazy Rose (left) and our beautiful, (late, but always remembered) Jenna 💕

If you fancy keeping in touch and following Loving The Fifty Something, here’s where you can find me…

I’m here on Instagram

here on Twitter

or here on Face Book

and here on Pinterest

You can also press the Follow button at the top right of this page to keep up with this blog

I’d love for us to stay in touch 🙂

 

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Millie our ‘Funny’ Puggly

 

* There are affiliate links attached to this blog, which means if you click on a link, it may take you to a shopping platform and at no extra cost to you, if you purchase something, I may gain a few pennies, which helps to keep this blog running and keeps the cuppa’s flowing 🙂

I and my pooches appreciate the support 🌸

Have a great day! 😍

 

What Is A Brit Stopper?

What Is A Brit Stopper?

“What is a Brit Stopper?” we asked, while chatting to a couple who had parked their camper van in the car park of a pub.  We were staying in a nearby campsite at the time and had visited the pub for a meal.  “You just buy the annual Brit Stop’s book and all the places you can park are listed, it’s great!” they said.

As soon as I could, I got on the Brit Stops website and ordered our book, £28 I believe it was, which is around what you’d pay for one nights stay at a campsite.  Don’t get me wrong, campsites are brilliant with the facilities they offer and security, but sometimes, especially while travelling in a camper van, all you need is a safe parking space, knowing you’re not going to get moved on.  That’s exactly what Brit Stops’ is all about.  They’re businesses such as pubs, restaurants, shops, farms, vineyards etc offering you the use of a parking space on their land for the evening.IMG_6389

Some Brit Stops offer facilities, such as being able to fill up with water or get rid of grey water, toilet waste or rubbish, but sometimes its just a welcome parking spot.  All very helpful and it’s manners to maybe have a few pints of their best beer, or tantalise your tastebuds with what they have on offer from their menus or take a peek in their shop.

With Polly the camper van packed up, the Brit Stops book in hand and route, more or less sorted, we were heading north toward Scotland! Continue reading “What Is A Brit Stopper?”

Amazing Over 50’s – Donna Connolly

Amazing Over 50’s – Donna Connolly

Once again, I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:

Amazing over 50’s

I am inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride and open arms.

This month I’m happy to introduce Donna Connolly as my next guest on the Amazing Over 50’s’ series.  Donna writes a blog, Retirement Reflections, which I love to follow as she is always busy doing something fabulous!

Welcome Donna, to Loving The Fifty Something and the ‘Amazing over 50’s’ series

Do you remember what turning 50 meant to you and how you feel now in relation?

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Absolutely. My husband and I were living in Beijing, China, at the time. He arranged a large party at a local Mexican Restaurant. It was an awesome night. (I still have the banner from that evening.) As I lived and worked in Beijing from my early forties until my mid-fifties, I viewed my 50th as just another birthday (with a really great party). The most significant age for me was 57 when my husband and I retired and moved to Vancouver Island. That took a huge leap of faith. Although I loved my work life, and our time overseas, I am incredibly grateful for this chapter.

How do you stay fit and healthy?   

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I am far from being an athlete, but I love being active. My husband and I live in a relatively small town, surrounded by stunning hiking trails. This gives us the opportunity to walk daily both for transportation and for pleasure. We have also completed four Camino Trails — three in Spain and our most recent one in Italy.  It is so true that once the Camino gets into your blood, it does not easily let go. You can read about our Camino adventures here and here.

In addition to the above, my husband and I try to eat a healthy diet, maintain a balanced lifestyle, surround ourselves with positive people, and explore new things.  Currently, I am taking a course on Natural Medicine at Elder College, (part of Vancouver Island University).  It’s a great reminder to:

– Stay Active,
– Be Social,
– Contribute,
– Have a sense of wonder,
– Eat fresh, unprocessed food.
It also emphasises that you can’t outrun your fork!!

I loved reading about you and your husband walking the 400 km on the Camino trail in Italy, you described it all so well, and the photo’s are stunning.

What are the things that you feel most proud of after turning 50?

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I am grateful that I had a fulfilling career that I loved, a family who I adore and a husband who makes me smile every single day. I am thankful for being able to retire young, to live on an island that is often (correctly) referred to as paradise, and to be able to fill my days with people whom I admire and passions that inspire me.

Are there other messages and advice that you would like to give others who are considering retirement?

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So often, I have heard people struggling with the concept of retirement because of fears of boredom. Then when they do retire, they wonder how they ever had time to work! I have been retired for four years and cannot imagine being bored. Instead, I constantly find myself trying to juggle my calendar to fit in everything that I want to do. Retirement today offers so many incredible opportunities. The choices can be endless.

You and your husband certainly seem to be living the ‘Retirement Dream’.  

Thank you so much for being another inspiring ‘Amazing over 50’s’ guest.

More about Donna

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Donna lived in Beijing, China for fourteen years, where she worked as a Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing.  Leaving international life behind, she and her husband retired to Vancouver Island, Canada, in June 2015. To document this transition, I initiated ‘Retirement Reflections.’

Comments are one of her favourite aspects of blogging.  You can connect with her there, or on any of the social media links below.

 

 

Facebook
Twitter
Linked In
Pinterest
Flipboard
Instagram

Donna’s Blog: Retirement Reflections

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Are there any ‘Mid-lifers’ out there who are enjoying life over 50?  Are you happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or any achievements since turning 50?  Do you embrace this time of your life with pride and open arms?

If so, then please contact me Here and maybe you’ll be featured in this series of

❤️ ‘Amazing Over 50’s’ ❤️

 

© 2017 – 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-lovingthefiftysomething.com

*********************************************

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Me with Crazy Rose (left) and our beautiful, (late, but always remembered) Jenna 💕

If you fancy keeping in touch and following Loving The Fifty Something, here’s where you can find me…

I’m here on Instagram

here on Twitter

or here on Face Book

and here on Pinterest

You can also press the Follow button at the top right of this page to keep up with this blog

I’d love for us to stay in touch 🙂

 

IMG_9154
Millie our ‘Funny’ Puggly

 

* There are affiliate links attached to this blog, which means if you click on a link, it may take you to a shopping platform and at no extra cost to you, if you purchase something, I may gain a few pennies, which helps to keep this blog running, keeps the cuppa’s flowing and the dog treats flying through the air every time I publish a post 🙂 I and my pooches appreciate the support 😉

Have a great day! 😍

 

 

 

 

Amazing Over 50’s – Jon and Jo

Amazing Over 50’s – Jon and Jo

Once again I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:

Amazing over 50’s

I am inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride and open arms.

This month I’m happy to introduce my first ‘amazing over 50’s’ couple, Jon and Jo. Together they write a fabulous blog, which I personally love reading, called JWalking.  A few years ago they made an interesting and brave life decision, which has taken them all over the world.

Welcome to Loving The Fifty Something and the ‘Amazing over 50’s’ series 

I’ll hand you straight over to Jon and Jo…

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Hi, we’re Jon and Jo a fifty-something couple originally from Kent but currently on a little adventure that takes us all over the place. Just over four years ago we quit our jobs, sold our house, and gave away all of our possessions in order to wander off and see what life had in store for us. We’d brought our three wonderful sons up in Maidstone, Kent and absolutely loved being Mum and Dad to them but when they left home we suddenly felt that there may be more to life for us rather than just tread water waiting for retirement. Our home had become just a house and we’d never been possessions orientated so we just decided to let go of everything and go. What was the worst that could happen? Continue reading “Amazing Over 50’s – Jon and Jo”

Cruising UK Canals and Avoiding High Waters

Cruising UK Canals and Avoiding High Waters
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All packed up and ready to go!

During July we, (myself, Jon, our two dogs and two cats) set off again, on our annual cruise from our mooring in South Yorkshire, in our home on the water.  Last year, we travelled up to York and loved every minute of it.  This time, we said we’d like to explore other areas of the canal system, but with Jon’s work primarily being around the York area this summer we decided to head up to that magnificent city again, and why not?

The whole journey is fabulous from the South Yorkshire navigation to the Aire and Calder River, onto the beautiful Selby canal, braving the rapid Ouse river toward Naburn and then a sedate trip into York.

There’s always so much more to explore there too, especially as I’m a bit of a history lover so York again?  Absolutely!  Who knows, we may just head up further along another stunning stretch of water, the Ripon canal which leads to the heart of Ripon, if time allows, well that was the plan…

As we set off on a glorious, late afternoon one Friday, our first mooring wasn’t too far away. Continue reading “Cruising UK Canals and Avoiding High Waters”

Amazing Over 50’s – Darlene Foster

Amazing Over 50’s – Darlene Foster

Once again I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:

Amazing over 50’s

I am inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride and open arms.

This month I’m happy to introduce Darlene Foster as my seventeenth guest.  Darlene is an author and blogger.

Welcome to Loving The Fifty Something, Darlene

Can I ask you to tell us a little about yourself  

Of course you can, but you might be sorry. I’ll try to keep it to the Readers Digest version. I was brought up on a prairie ranch in Continue reading “Amazing Over 50’s – Darlene Foster”

We Made It To York!

We Made It To York!

Last Summer we took our first big cruise from South Yorkshire to York in our floating home.  By car it would take around an hour to get to York from where we have our permanent mooring in South Yorkshire, but on our canal boat last summer, we enjoyed a leisurely week or so of cruising, with a few exciting moments and experiences along the way, a truly enjoyable cruise along, approximately 19 miles of the industrial South Yorkshire Navigation, 6 miles of the very straight, yet interesting New Junction Canal with it’s, quite different swing and lift Bridges, then 9 miles of the Aire and Calder Navigation with it’s stretching views over the English countryside.  We then met the tranquility of the Selby Canal, with it’s 5 miles of Continue reading “We Made It To York!”

Amazing Over 50’s – P J Skinner

Amazing Over 50’s – P J Skinner

 

Once again I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:

Amazing over 50’s

I am inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride and open arms.

This month I’m happy to introduce P J Skinner as my fourteenth guest.  PJ is an exploration geologist who has travelled worldwide, she is also an author and blogger.

Continue reading “Amazing Over 50’s – P J Skinner”

Amazing over 50’s – Geoff Le Pard

Amazing over 50’s – Geoff Le Pard

Once again I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:

Amazing over 50’s

I’m inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride.

This month I am very happy to introduce the first male guest to this series.

A big welcome to Geoff Le Pard as my thirteenth guest. Geoff is an established author and blogger who I had the pleasure of meeting last year at the Annual Bloggers Bash as he was one of the many smiley faces who welcomed me, (with an unusual blue beard, I might add).

Continue reading “Amazing over 50’s – Geoff Le Pard”

How Arriving In Fernie Became An Education – La Niña Who?

How Arriving In Fernie Became An Education – La Niña Who?

 

Ever heard of a Polar Vortex, El Niño or La Niña?  They’re words I’ve heard of, but until now, not really known the meaning of.

View from the top of ‘The Bear’ chair lift

As we landed in Canada on our snowboarding holiday, we expected more snow.  We came here last year and the snow was incredible, it was the powdery snow skiers and snowboarders dream of and apparently here in Fernie, it was pretty much nailed on to be the same every year, because on average they get up to 37 feet of snow falling every year. Continue reading “How Arriving In Fernie Became An Education – La Niña Who?”

No Excuses – Lets Just Do It!

No Excuses – Lets Just Do It!

 

I learnt how to snowboard in my early forties.  One of the main reasons for me was because both my sons were learning to snowboard at that time and they were naturals, making it look so easy.  They took to it like a duck to water and as I watched them from the viewing area of the indoor ski centre, strap on their boards and slide down the slope with grace, ease and without fear I wanted to be out there with them, it was something we could do together.  Oh the holidays we could have, I was quite excited at the thought.  I remember approaching Jon with the idea knowing he wouldn’t hesitate because he’d be up for the challenge and Oh yeahContinue reading “No Excuses – Lets Just Do It!”

#WordlessWednesday – Back On The Boards

#WordlessWednesday – Back On The Boards

It’s that time of year again when myself and my better half start looking forward to getting back on our boards and tripping off to find snow up in the mountains somewhere.  These are just a few photographs of last years trip to Fernie, Canada and the stunning scenery which took my breath away.

IMG_0036 2 Continue reading “#WordlessWednesday – Back On The Boards”

Amazing over 50’s – Debbie Harris

Amazing over 50’s – Debbie Harris

Once again I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:

Amazing over 50’s

I’m inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride.

This month I introduce Debbie Harris as my ninth guest to this series.

Debbie is the author of one of my favourite blogs ‘Debs World’ and describes herself as an Australian midlife, travel, adventure and lifestyle blogger.  I had the pleasure of meeting Debbie in May of this year at the Annual Bloggers Bash where she won Runner Up in the ‘Hidden Gem’ Award!  I have to say the main thing you notice about Debbie when you meet her, is her amazing and contagious happy smile!

Continue reading “Amazing over 50’s – Debbie Harris”