2009 Round Up

As we draw closer to the end of 2009 our thoughts turn to the past year and WOW what a year it has been.  It all began with a party and the celebration of my 40th birthday, most enjoyable and lovely to spend with so many friends and family members, thank you.  How apt that at the point of ‘life beginning when your 40’ we then spent 9 months travelling Latin America and finding out more about life. A huge change in lifestyle, budget and thought processes.  Leaving the UK and our families and friends, especially Gemma and Kirstie to taste more of what the world has to offer is a big leap and not one that too many would dare.

The leap worked for us and highlights of our travels have to include; Flying around Christo in a helicopter and Carnival, Rio.  Discovering Argentina in March with its culture and magnificent natural beauty spots of Iguazu Falls, the gigantic glacier of Puerto Moreno and the lake district of Bariloche, a cross between Canada and Switzerland – all educational and revealing.  We liked Argentina so much we spent 3 months there and thoroughly recommend the country to anyone thinking of visiting South America.

Exploring the vastness of the rest of S. A,  Toby eventually wound down from work, as he’s known it for the past 20 years of his life and started relaxing into a more chilled and steady pace.  It was also a fantastic opportunity to meet new friends along the way who were also experiencing lifestyle changes and expanding their minds.  Duncan and Dorothy in their 60’s were  a great inspiration, living on a sail boat and travelling to wherever they fancied in the world, something they had both been doing for the past 15 years already!

July, our visit to Peru and the amazing Machu Picchu was another milestone for us in 2009.  A truly special place and spectacular sight.  It was here that we both decided to change our travelling plans and settle in Ibiza one year early!

September and our return to the UK briefly for Gemma and Stew’s wedding.  A fantastic day and a special moment – my eldest daughter married already, next it will be grandchildren!  It was lovely spending time with family and friends, just like we’d never been away.

October and with the cold weather drawing in we flee to the warmth of Ibiza, our new home.  Having arranged car and home in one very quick week we settle into new home life, enjoying the weather, beaches and countryside and yet another change of lifestyle!

The end of 2009 already and our first guest – Toby’s brother Francis, his visit overlapped with ours to London so we swapped places and left Francis to fend for himself.  Little did we know that he would be fending off the rain as it poured in on him through the roof as he lay sleeping, sorry!  Our brief visit back to the UK  mid December exposed us to some seriously cold weather and snow! It was great to be looked after by Sheila and Alan, as always, catch up with friends and we spent a fab day in London eating, shopping, theatrering and eating again for Kirstie’s birthday.  Sorry to those we couldn’t get to visit, better luck next time.

Returning back home we discovered they’d been masses of rain and a small tornado that had hit the island destroying our terrace table (as well as the leaking water through the roof) so we conveniently missed the whole thing!  Having spent a few days in London in the snow, all wrapped up, christmas decorations and lights everywhere we felt it was time to put our own festive tinsel up.  Toby went out into the forest to select a gratis tree whilst I strung our homemade decorations and made a fairy for the top.

As we approach the end of the first decade of the 2000’s my thoughts project to 2010 and another new year and this time a new decade… what will 2010 have in store for us?

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.  Seasons greetings and love to you where ever you are in the world.

Belinda and Toby. x


I went for a short drive late this afternoon and Belinda stayed at home.  I ended up at Cala Nova beach, hoping to maybe see the sunset, but at this time of year you have to be on the other side of the island, so had  a lovely walk on the beach and then something caught my eye – wow it was the ‘full moon rising’ (feel a song coming on!) over the island of Tagomago (which we here is for sale!)

Full moon rising!

wow, BIG moon!

It was amazing to see the moon coming up like this and such a lovely feeling!

So thought I would head back home then as it was getting dark and also a bit chilly, then as I got to the top of a small hill- wow again the sunset on the other side of the island- what a site!

amazing sunset

The colours were amazing, so deep, so rich, so clean, so clear.

You know what was so nice, was that I actually had the time to go and see the moon rise and the sunset.  Only just over a year ago I was working long and hard hours (some would not agree) and never had the time to stop and admire such lovely sites!

so clear

Yes I am leading a very different life now, no long hours working, but also no luxury life style that went hand in hand, so its a budget every week and a tight one as well, takes some adjusting to but we both manage very well and live within our means.

another amazing sunset over Ibiza

So would I change anything now- maybe go back to the luxury life style ……………………………..

…………..absolutely NO, I am so much happier and feel free to dedicate my energy to our next project, what is the next project, well take a look at http://www.IbizaReiki.com this is one of the projects we are working on at the moment!

Full moon rising!

Life on Ibiza

“So what is it like living on Ibiza?” friends and family are asking.  Well we love it but that doesn’t really explain anything does it.  Ok, I’ll try and expand a little.  We live on a small budget at the moment while we are working most days on various internet projects, compared to our extravagant lifestyle in England this is chalk and cheese.  But actually we like it!  We prefer our simple lifestyle in exchange for freedom and time, afterall there isn’t really that much to spend money on at the moment here in the low season of winter.  There are a few supermarkets on the Island but nothing like the choice and range you get back in blighty, so actually we naturally spend less on food – no convenience foods or specialised humus here, in fact no humus at all!  Also no shopping malls remember and for me that means there are only a few clothes shops that are suited to my taste and they are scattered far and wide across the Island, so not much chance of a mad shopping spree here.

John and Belinda on the craggy cliff

Eating out is very limited in the winter, which suits our pocket at the moment, lots of home cooked meals and cakes – yum, yum.  And our passion for travel is being satisfied by our daily discovery trips.  We pick a different location each day to visit around the middle of the day when the sun is at its warmest and the light at its best;  We have trekked through forest to the craggy coast, north of Sant Agnes, courtesy of our dear friend John.  Hiked to a lovely rocky outcrop and 17th century lookout tower at the end of Salinas beach.  Ambled around Dalt Vila, the old town of Ibiza at siesta time.  And shared one of the best paella’s at Cala Llenya flea market.

First paella of the year!!!

We have rekindled friendships with old friends and made new friends very quickly.  There is an easy and relaxed living vibe in the air, people are open and friendly not guarded and unwelcoming.  The weather helps as the sun is shining most days and we’re still not wearing coats yet!  But thats not to say there’s a distinct lack of problems here, far from it, Ibiza seems to attract people with issues but then again where doesn’t?

We are missing family and friends from the UK but as we both come from displaced families we are used to it and visits are treasured even more, we are looking forward to our first visitor in 10 days – Frances, Toby’s brother.  And at least we both have more time to spend with loved ones now when they visit.  So yes, a little taster of how we are getting on over here.  As Christmas hasn’t hit the Island yet we have been pardoned the media furor that has been forced upon most of you reading this, which is nice.  But that reprieve will soon be broken as we plan for a trip to the south of England in 2 weeks… bring on the madness!

p.s  you will all be glad to know that it is tipping it down here as I write this, think you’ve sent some of your rain this way!  Well you can jolly well have it back!

Trawling through the rubbish – has it come to that already?

One of our favourite spontaneous pastimes is spotting something interesting lurking discarded by the rubbish bins.  It could be anything; an old rickerty wicker chair, moth eaten clothes, rusty childrens bikes, but to name a few of the items we discovered and left for other foregers.  Our own treasure finds have included a modern oil painting, a large 30’s mirror decorated with ornate brown glass, numerous pictures, a 30’s trolly table and a spiral Ikea type bookshelf!  All free just waiting to be picked up and claimed by new owners to give them another chance of life.

I could open a shop!

This unusual but interesting hobby was passed on to us by a fellow island rubbish trawler, thanks Ana!  We also found a bag full of 30 or so vintage ties all designer label’s; Christian Dior, Valentino etc but the most unusual thing about the discovey was the fact that they were all black!  Maybe the cast offs of a local undertaker or a smartly dressed business man with a penchant for black ties?  After pondering what to do with them – leave them or take them?  We took them, not for us but for a gift, for a new friend who owns Lottie Bogotti vintage shop in San Carlos.  OK they were a little musty smelling and the one Toby chose to keep for himself did have stains on the front but a quick wipe over with warm soapy water and hey presto like new again.  Toby just needs an occasion to wear it…

toby short hair
Toby 12 months ago!

OK, so the biggest comment I have had from anyone is how different I look, many people laugh at the change and many people say I look better for it.  So I thought I would put it to the vote and ask if the public (you) prefer me 12 months ago or now?

I think its amazing how just growing hair can make such a difference to life, I have been asked by many members of the public if I am someone famous, some suggestions flattering, others not so but all are interesting! Does that mean that famous people are lazy and have long hair!?

So why the hair growth, well at first I must admit it was pure laziness growing the beard, when travelling it is difficult to shave, but then it just became a way of life.  Until one day Gemma sent me an e-mail in total disgust at the hair growth and this made me find a mirror and take a look, and yes Gemma was correct it had got out of hand!  So to the barbers and down to a grade 3 with the clippers and thats the way its been since then with the facial hair.

toby long hair

Toby & Belinda 12 months on...

The hair on my head, well it went through that “in between” stage and I thought well I could always go and get it cut at a barbers in Peru, Ecuador etc. but seeing the local hair cuts I just kept putting it off and now 12 months on here I am with long hair.

Ibiza seems to suit it so at the moment I am staying with it, but how long will it grow…………………………………..

We have a home!

Yes, we have a home! Albeit temporary. IMG_8926


Our upper floor apartment

We have found a lovely apartment in a large country house in San Carlos, with a pool (not that we will ever use it as its too cold and we will have found permanent accommodation by the summer!).

In fact Toby used to spend time up here when he was little, having pool parties, (it was known as Andies Pool back then)! So he really does feel like he’s back home!


too cold for us



Can you spot Toby in the same pool 35 odd years ago!?

We’ve been in a week now and are settling in very well.  Our local is Bar Annita, some of you may recognise it as our wedding weekend tapas meal venue!  San Carlos village has been having a fiesta all week; dancing, music, classic bikes, cars and a horse show on the green!


Classic car day!- and Belinda!


No dogs allowed but horses ok!

All exciting stuff going on here, it is the busiest week of the year, we even have fireworks tonight! But not until 12 midnight and on a school night too…

Halloween in Ibiza, well what shall we do?  We were very kindly invited to Bambuddha Grove for there infamous Halloween shindig by Hannah who runs a lovely shop in San Carlos called Loti Bigotti which sells vintage clothing amongst other things.  So off we went in our new car “Terry” and these are the pictures of the night, no more words are needed I think! Click on the right side of the this page for even more pics…….


Guess what we went as...?


nice tongue!


half man, half .............


nice bum!