Thinking Back

Blue skies in La Conner February 4, 2014
Looking at the year 2014 in my iPhoto application, I realize how many places that I have visited and how often the sun has shone on me this year. Whenever the skies or my mood is grey, I forget the bright times that I enjoy. The Pacific Northwest was at its best in February when Maman and I had a short getaway to Washington State.
green in early February
Janet and I travelled to London together in March. The daffodils were blooming and people were sitting on the grass in Regent's Park.
This was only March 7. There were already ducklings.
I have travelled in Europe in early spring because my travel buddy still works. This year Janet has a family wedding and so will not be joining me in Oaxaca.
Besides blue skies, I love blue historic markers.
I find that the years of my life are passing so quickly. This is my third year of retirement and I have blogged for nearly two years. After 2 years of blogging, I still have no real direction in my blog. I'm not a wardrobe development blog or a food blog or a literary blog or a travel blog. Those are some of my interests but my writing as my life seems to lack a clear focus.
I love window-gazing in Paris. April Fool's chocolates!
I am drawn to explore family relationships and history. I found family in Shetland and I am looking forward to visiting again. In two years, I hope to visit Ireland, the birthplace of my grandmother.
Whalsay is the birthplace of my grandfather.
 After Shetland, I walked the Southwest Coastal Path in Cornwall. Physical activity is an important part of my life but I find that I need "time to smell the flowers".
The bluebells were blooming in May.
The coastal path meanders for many miles. One never knows where the path may lead.

I have travelled from the north to the south of Britain.
I always spend the summer at home because Monsieur and I enjoy the blue skies and warm temperatures.
sea and sky
We enjoy the gardens in our apartment complex. Volunteers create special places to enjoy.
Come November, I am ready to look for more blue. This year, it was the Southern Caribbean and Tucson.

at sea
Most of my journeys are solo. Friends and family join me for a bit of time and I shared my stateroom on the cruise with a friend. Summer time and desert time are spent with Monsieur who loves the desert.
the reading spot
We walk, tour the countryside and read a lot. 
the reader
Although the day has been grey and wet, I walked today with a freshly retired (December 31) friend. In my warm coat with my Shetland hat and gloves, I felt cozy despite the drizzle. As I went to buy some vegetables, I saw a man sitting on the pavement outside the market. Perspective….How does an articulate man of my age end up here? There are so many cracks in our mental health system. I dropped off a sandwich on my way home.

It is important for me to remember and to express gratitude for the comfortable and privileged life that I lead.


  1. A year end reflection does inspire gratitude. A lot of living is done during the course of 365 days. I like to think of my blog as a "slice of life" - a little of this and a little of that. An online journal that I share with friends.
    The sunshine has been gorgeous for the past week, but now the rain has once again moved in. I found myself most UNenergetic today and just wanted to curl up in front of the fire and do a lot of nothing.
    Happy New Year, Madame Là-bas! Bonne Année!

    1. Yes, it is quite amazing to look at those days that have passed so quickly. Those clear, cold days are my favourite but I am trying to spend a little time outside every day. I can get quite lethargic:reading, puttering and exploring Netflix. When I am so comfortable inside, it is easy to forget that there are homeless and unfortunate people nearby. Bonne Année.

  2. Yours has been a rich year of many adventures -- I don't think it's terribly important to label your blog or to fit it into a niche. I enjoy its chronicling of your retirement years with all their meandering and peregrinations. Happy 2015! Bonne Année!

    1. The retirement years for those of us who married, raised children and worked outside the home are an opportunity to explore ourselves more fully. It is almost like being a teenager: we're between being a worker and an elderly person. I'm glad that you enjoy my meanderings. Life will keep changing especially as we become the elder generation. Bonne Année and wishes for a peaceful year.

  3. What a picturesque recap of your year. Your willingness to share your travels and your trials is what keeps it interesting. I am drawn to blogs written by women of a certain age and as a retiree I like to see how others manage and spend their time.
    It is difficult to see the homeless and people down on their a society I think we have forgotten some of the basic kindnesses. Your gesture would be much appreciated.
    Best wishes for a healthy and happy new year.

    1. I enjoy visiting with "blog friends" sharing travel, wardrobe, health or just plain day to day life. Since I have been retired, I seldom buy a magazine because "real life" is more interesting.
      When a dear one of mine was diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder, I took a course at the hospital to better understand it. It is so sad that there are people with an illness who live on the streets often through choice. You have a wonderful year coming up with your trip and a special birthday. Happy 2015!

  4. I like that your blog is about whatever you choose at the time. It is often inspiring and always interesting, and I love piggybacking on your travel because you notice the important things. All the best in 2015.


  5. I look forward to your "retirement" posts and enjoy the variety of subjects that you are willing to share with us. Happy 2015 travels. Theresa

  6. Retirement is a whole new life for many of us. There are so many opportunities and experiences to be had that it is fun to share and to read about other people's choices.

  7. Happy travels to Oaxaca! It sounds like you are making the most of your retirement!


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