New Year, New Plans
Happy New Year my friends!
Like a bear in hibernation I’ve been away and in that time one year passed and another has came our way. I can’t quite explain where all the time went. A bit like a dream it passed in a fog interrupted by meals and family time, kittens that now rule our lives and sunrises that transformed the earth into crimson dyes and orange flares.
It’s been a warm winter (far too warm in fact) so we’ve been basking in the mild weather and brilliant sun.
Certainly all the pets have loved it, and although this unusual weather does worry me for the future I can’t deny we have too. From the fiery colors of fall, the blanket of leaves that now cover the ground to the bare landscape that gets painted daily by the winter sun it’s been a time of change and thoughts of changes to come. And in between things have happened, and plans too.
Such are the ponderings that I plan to share with you today.
Our Kitties Are Growing Up
Our little kittens are not so little anymore.
They’re fully leash-trained now and have been exploring the big, wide world outside like the little adventure travelers they will undoubtedly become. As such they’ve discovered the joys of long grass that sways in the wind, grasshoppers that spring out like play-snacks from hidden dens and all kinds of buzzy, movey things that can be chased around to no end. It’s supremely exciting and sometimes so over-stimulating that all they can do is sit wild-eyed and frozen trying to take it all in.
They’ve also been continuing their education in the ways of hoomans including playing dominos, watching football and generally just laying about. We take all these things seriously, you know…
But that’s not the only big development they’ve had.
Our crazy springtime-like weather has been so believable that one of them (little Dante) went into heat, an event that rarely happens before 6 months of age and never (so my vet assured me) happens in winter.
Now I’ve personally never seen a cat in heat, and having had the pleasure I must admit it’s not an experience I will ever want to go through again. The female hormones that infused my little furbaby transmorgrified her from a cute, sweet, chillaxed kitten into a raving sex-crazed tiger.
There was the overly-affectionate part (not so bad), the frenzied need to escape and seek a mate (a bit scary, but manageable) and then the worst of it all, an incessant ear-piercing meow that sounded much like a racoon being strangled 24/7. A sexy-call (so I gather) that could easily travel several km through heavy traffic.
For 5 days straight we gritted our teeth during the day, slept with earplugs at night and then only got about a week of breather-time before the whole thing started again (Fun fact: once a cat goes into heat, she keeps going through heat cycles every few weeks until she either mates or the breeding season ends….in October!!!). Our agony finally ended this week when the vet did the internal chop-chop, the first appointment I could get after Christmas.
Oh sweet mother-of-peace, even my tinnitus was a relief after that!
Now our cute little kittens are back to being cute again. They hate the cones of shame, but they sleep sweetly, cuddle up to Polly in bed and always have to have at least one paw on each other, the dog or me.
Awwww…it melts my heart.
I’m Out Walking Again
This spring-time enlightenment has triggered more than our dear kittens, and has relit a desire that’s been smoldering in me since last year.
It’s easy to guess of course, for those who read this blog regularly. An adventure that so impressed me I couldn’t help but repeat it, an experience so profound I simply had to do it again. Either that or I’m just a sucker for self-suffering (and travel amnesia makes it seem so much better than it was)??
Yup I’m doing another Camino folks, another long-distance trek, albeit this time in a slightly different way.
It all started around 6 months ago when I casually discussed the idea with Kate while we were camping together in the Pyrénées. I wanted to go back on the Camino, but I wanted to do an “easier” one and explore some new ground. I was toying with the idea of the Portuguese Camino*, walking from either Lisbon (longer) or Porto (shorter) to Santiago de Compostela. Not only would it give me the chance to explore a country I’d never yet seen, but it’s supposedly a much more chillaxed (in other words, less hilly) trail than the Frances.
“Why don’t we go together?” I threw out impulsively, not really thinking she’d agree
A little while later I discussed it with another friend Linda who (so it happens) was already thinking along the same lines. She wanted to do another long hike (she’s already done two: the Camino Frances and the Via Francigena), but Steven (her husband) suffers from plantars fasciitis and didn’t want to do another, plus she didn’t want to go alone. So we tossed the idea about….then she discussed it with one more friend…then another one and bada-bing-bada-boom a few months later there we were: 5 gals ready to go**
I guess this means it’s really happening now???
So here we are again. One year on and I’ve started to get my lazy butt back out there, clicking through the km, getting ready for another long-distance hike. It’ll only be ~280km this time, a mere 15 or so days, a baby trek compared to the one I did last year. But it’ll be new ground with new peeps, both of which I’m super excited about. The extra bonus? I’ve got all my gear sorted already so all I need to do is get ready and go.
The adventure starts end of March. Stay tuned….
*Note1/ At some point I’ll be doing an in-depth post on the Camino Portuguese route. In the meantime this post from Stingy Nomads is an awesome resource to read.
**Note2/ You can see ALL the info on everyone who is going on this adventure in Linda’s post from today on their blog
I’m Sensing Changes Ahead
A New Year always seems to turn a page somehow, even though it’s really just a construct in our minds.
And this year seems particularly so for me.
Betwixt the lights of the Christmas tree, fires in the open hearth and walks outside, my mind has been intensely occupied by the now. These last months there’s been a deep shift in my soul and I’ve started to question where my life will go.
Perhaps you’ve sensed it in my writing? I wouldn’t be surprised if you have.
I’ve been writing this blog for almost 13 years now, an incredibly rich, abundant 13 years, and I’ve loved every minute of sharing that adventure. But I also feel the need for a new direction is at hand. I honestly, truly don’t know what that means yet, but I do know I that won’t be blogging weekly anymore. For now I must go inwards, away from these external things of man, to re-find my inner-Nina-fire and see where it leads me.
It may be just a short break before the adventure takes me and I get that overwhelming urge to write again. But my dear readers it may also take a little while. At this point I just don’t know.
So I guess my message is this: be patient with me, I am with you and I do feel I will be here again. In the meantime may the joys of nature take you, and I’ll see again you soon my friends.