Mud Mud Glorious Mud!

So, just as something totally different, we went to Mar Menor today to the mud sea. What is it? Well, it’s a lagoon next to the sea one side being a huge sea like expanse which is only 7 metres deep at its deepest point (mostly waist high near the shore) and the other side is much saltier and smaller lagoon which is host to some very specific bacteria that makes the water immensely warm and produce this muddy sludge which is reported to be very good for your skin.

How does it work? Well you rock up to the beach and use one of the many piers to head out and proceed to rub what looks (and smells) like the nasty black stuff at the bottom of tropical aquariums all over your body until you look like this:

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Then you lounge around looking like a miner in a bikini until its dry and you wallow back in the stinky hot waters to clean it all off!

What you are left with is very soft skin and an eldest daughter who is in charge of the camera as the whole process is far too embarrassing for her to indulge in (oh I’m going to have so much fun as she gets older being the massively embarrassing mum!).

The best thing is the Spanish haven’t cashed in on this brilliant experience and the area is freely open to all!

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Sharpening the Axe

It’s been a week since my last (and very emotional) day at the school. And it’s taken me quite some time to recover.

We’ve been in Valencia now for just under a week and I’m just reaching the point of letting go. Last night was a pivotal point in my mental state as I donned my swimsuit, put on music and walked into the pool and fell (purposefully) into the deep water where I floated with a real sense of peace. Today I noticed other things too:

For the first time in over three years I’ve read (and finished) a book for pleasure. Not for book club, or on a recommendation, or for reference. It was utter pap that was reviewed by Heat and I loved every page.

I can sit quietly for more than 10 minutes without panic rising in me like lava. I’ve finally stopped fidgeting all the time.

I’m singing around the house and couldn’t care less who hears me. I also threw all caution to the wind today and bought an itsy bikini and actually wore it (It’ll look better once I’ve toned up, but that won’t happen in a week!).

I can hold more than a glass of wine without feeling wobbley. In fact, I can drink several glasses of fizz and feel perfectly in control!

I have colour in my face without any make-up. And not just a tan, but colour which has taken away the bags from under my eyes.

I’m eating like a normal person – over the last few days I have weaned myself off of the comforting carbs that have helped me balloon over the past few years. I’m not calorie counting, but eating fresh vegetables, either raw or grilled with few starchy additions. And I’ve had very few moments where I’ve been racked with hunger (or had massive mood swings) despite the drastically reduced calories.

I’ve made the right decision. For me, for my family, and for my health.

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Only Mad Dogs & Englishmen

Eventually I will get round to writing a proper blog post. I’ve been meaning to for days, but there’s always something else to do, like swim in the pool or read my book, or yell at the kids when they splash water on me…

However, I have realised that I am picking up the language. We have been to a market, out for dinner and even talked to locals (including asking if people have maps and where we were! Oops). And using the things I learnt before we arrived, I’m combining the new words I’m learning and actually being understood (even if I am recognised as English as soon as I speak!).

One thing I will say though is that I am thoroughly unimpressed with the ex-pat community here. Valencia is a beautiful region and I am loving all the new sights, sounds and smells, but my goodness what is wrong with the English here? They’ve built whole plazas which only contain British (northern) style food, Irish pubs and created a stubborn attitude not to use the native language (suffice to say, we are avoiding those areas where we can).

I will do a proper ‘how amazing is it here’ blog soon, but the sun is calling and I have an argument with a map planned!

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