Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age

Subtropical Autumn


Coming back to this blog is like opening up a house which has been locked up for a season.  This year it’s badly in need of renovation and upgrading. The metaphorical cobwebs are thick with metaphorical dust, after weeks and weeks of neglect. What has delighted and surprised me is how people still read it, even though there is nothing new. That gives me a kick. It’s something kind of permanent that I’ve created. Something other than my kids, of course. Good feeling.

Autumn is always when I begin to stir, as if  my brain has been hibernating for the summer. Why Fall and not Spring? My best  guess  is that, although I was brought up in the country, with three or four acres of land on which to act out my fantasies, I don’t remember Spring being so awesome. I just don’t. There was a cycle to the crops my grandfather planted, and, yes, I tended to count the years by the plantings and harvestings, but mostly I was just glad Spring meant I could get outdoors more!

Autumn, however, was crisp and fresh and new. It meant going back to a school which hummed of  newly varnished desks and new books, the  potential of new kids,  the exploring to find out what had changed, and a promise to sate my curiosity. One of my favorite lines in any movie is Tom Hanks telling Meg Ryan that he would send her “a bouquet of sharpened pencils.”

Autumn here, in a sub-tropical archipelgo, barely exists, of course. You have to go in search of it, up into the mountains, where there are trees whose leaves turn, and where those eerie mists do glide through the forests. Perhaps it is simply the apparent infinity of this year’s heat which is getting to me, but the restlessness which always comes over me at this time of year is powerful this time, probably because it is more an evolution  than a new sensation.

Firstly, a renovation of the blog is afoot. It will be, hopefully, more modern, more fun and easier to navigate in the techie sense…….for me, that’s fun and HARD to make happen at the same time! But I need challenges, and it’s so good to learn new things! That’s why it has been so slow of late, because what’s happening is in the background, and won’t be obvious for a little while. Basically, it’s an evolution, or perhaps a gestation.

So far as content goes I will give away two things for now  one is  that there is going to be far more emphasis on age. I’ve reached screaming stage with the perceptions and misconceptions about life over 60, and you can expect more ranting, more inspiration and more concentration on that from now on. The sub-title of the blog, in fact, is going to change from “Life on a Small Island” to “Celebrating Life and Island Travel after 60” – or something like that, I’m not sure yet.

Secondly, an examination of my  state of mind makes me realize that it is the lack of travel in my life which is largely to blame….. now there’s a surprise!  And what is to blame for lack of travel? Two things lack of money and a faithful, old dog. I set out on the path to simplifying life oh, ten years ago now, not, necessarily, from a huge desire to shed possessions because I was quite content with many of them, but from necessity. It’s been an ongoing process. There is very little left to shed now, which, in turn means there is no money to travel. My optimism, my intention to look around me in the spirit of it being “the journey, and not the destination” is, it seems, petering out, and I am fairly desperate for change.

I wracked my brain, lost sleep, dreamed, traveled millions of miles vicariously, until I found a solution, not only to being able to travel but to not leaving behind Trixy. The answer, I figure is to shake the commitments to rent, utilities and telephones (which are, basically, the only ones left after the ten years), because I can’t afford to both travel and maintain a base here. Duh – how many travel blogs have I read over the years with that kind of advice? Still, we all have our own needs, and rushing into being a nomad at 60+ isn’t the same as approaching it at 20.  Having loosed those commitments I should be able to travel the islands with Trixy. I’ll begin with the Canarian archipelago; after that, the plan is the rest of Macronesia for starters, and then, to quote Tennyson “….my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset…”

The embryo plan is to stay as long as I like wherever I choose, but long enough to get to know a place….unless I truly hate it! I know there will be complications, but hecky thump nothing ventured, nothing gained, Carpe Diem and all that.

So this is the dawn of a new day, a new path, a new adventure. I’m scared. I’m excited. I’m very happy about it all. I’m not off tomorrow. There are preparations to make,  enjoyments to be shared, and commitments to complete first, but I am getting into gear, and you will soon see the changes here.


Author: IslandMomma

Exploring island life and the freedoms of Third Age: Challenging myself every day: writing, traveling, snapping pix, running & teaching ESL

22 thoughts on “Subtropical Autumn

  1. Wow! after waiting to hear your news that’s all I can say for now, and once more WOW.

  2. Similar road; familiar story. Not enough money to travel and maintain a home. Aged dog. Traveled with the dog for almost two years and will get her back soon. (she spent a year with “daddy.”) Recently, my sister asked if I’d move into a very nice and small house that’s been vacant for years on her property. Voila–home base. I’ll be staying put for a few months and taking back the dog. BUT I’m planning the next long trip. And feeling very blessed. Looking forward to your ongoing tale. Keep blogging!

    • Isn’t it a small world! It amazes me that you found this post! I am so happy to know that it’s possible…..there are times when I wonder if I will turn into a bag lady! Isn’t it also amazing how good things come (like you being offered that house!) when you are positive about things. I definitely believe in the law of attraction. If not because it is some mystical, spiritual thing (and it may be) but because once we have awakened out senses to the possibilities the antennae are out, and we pick up the offers and the signals life sends us. Love your “feeling very blessed.” comment. Many thanks for reading and for the much appreciated comment.

  3. You go girl, and may the very best of luck go with you. Look forward to seeing where life takes you xx

  4. People are often surprised that Spring is not my favorite season — especially sunny, cool, breezy days. Hmmm, not sure if I should really admit that. 🙂 Anyway, good luck with the new direction of your blog. I’m hoping to implement some new ideas, too, but don’t have a specific direction figured out yet. Love that Tennyson quote. Can’t wait to hear more about your plans. Whatever, I’ll be following along with you!

    • Perhaps it’s conditioning to some extent – that the new school year begins in Autumn, which is something we have in common, Europe and the US, but I do know that the climate is only a part of it!

      I don’t know if you know “Ulysses” but it has been my favorite poem forever, although I don’t name Tennyson as my favorite poet overall. It is so full of longing for and love of travel. It set off all sorts of bells in my head when I first read it in school. Here’s another part you’ll like: “For always roaming with a hungry heart
      Much have I seen and known; cities of men
      And manners, climates, councils, governments,
      Myself not least……..”

      Thanks for the support, Cathy!

  5. Have read your blog for last two years and really enjoy it. I thought something was afoot when you hadn’t posted for a while and your prior posts hinted you were growing tired of the heat and dust this summer but am glad you are staying in the Canaries initially before venturing further afield. Look forward to reading what happens next. Am in Tenerife for a week before Xmas so hope the weather is good so I can do some guided mountain biking and also get some much needed sun.

    • Wow, thank you so much, Gerry. It always kind of surprises me when people say they read the blog. I know it sounds a bit silly, but it’s really nice to know, so thank you both for reading and for commenting. As you probably know, the weather is unpredictable at time of year, but the chances are very good that it will be good…..better than in an English summer, for instance! Where are you staying?

  6. That all sounds fantastic! New blog name, new adventures. Perfect. Living in a tourist area here, Autumn is when all the locals start apperaring after working hard all summer. Reverse hibernation! Time for a bit of “me” time. Hope you enjoy yours.

  7. Looking forward to hearing more ranting, but conversely hoping you have less reason to do so.

  8. Sounds exciting! Can’t wait to read about your adventures.

  9. Hey – good to have you back, Linda 🙂 I´ve missed you.

    Fantastic plans afoot – first of all with the blog and then the travels. It´s always good to have a new challenge. Life is too short not to.

    Don´t forget about Couchsurfing and Housesitting and if you ever get over to La Axarquía, east of Málaga, you are always welcome here 🙂

  10. That’s so kind, thank you!……don’t think I might not end up on your doorstep one day! You are SO right about life being too short! The problem with both Couchsurfing and Housesitting is Trixy, sad to say, but I am hoping to get creative in how to get around that one way or another. I usually tend to the “there is always a way” point of view, so am a bit disgusted with myself for not going for it before!

  11. Now I can catch my breath and say a bit more. Your faithful companion who all your readers have fallen for will make an intersting Boswell and could haved a blog of her own – along the lines of – you’ll never guess what she’s up to now. I truly wish you all the best in your new plans and realize they have been bubbling or should we say simmering for awhile and the recipe is still being refined and tested. good luck in your travels and all your readers know you will find the best in any place you find yourself and that we will read about them eventually.

  12. Best of luck with what sounds like a new chapter of life. I started following your blog (yes, we are out there reading it!!) through an interest in Tenerife. I’m Irish, and have visited Tenerife every winter for the last 6 years – we totally fell for the place on our first visit. So many hikes yet to do, so many little corners still to explore, the sunshine, the flora, the sea, the mountains, the people – it’s got it all. So while I eagerly await reports from your travels from the other Canary Islands and then further afield, can you also throw in the odd ‘Tenerife re-visited’ section? And even if you don’t, I will still follow the blog – you have such a down-to-earth writing style that when the e-mail pops in with your latest post, it feels a bit like getting a letter from a friend you haven’t heard from in a while.

    • Firstly, many, many thanks for following, and especially for commenting and the extremely nice things you said! It’s really great to get feedback, especially just now when I am wondering if I spend money on improving the blog are there enough people reading it :=) Especial thanks for commenting on the style, because it’s something, I think, many bloggers struggle with – the balance between the personal and the urge to write.

      Secondly, I am so happy to hear from someone who doesn’t immediately think, “Roasting on the beach by day and late, late nights in bars” when they think, “Tenerife.” I see you’re an artist so I think that means even more. It means you have a trained eye for beauty and the rest of us aren’t just imagining it!

      I will be returning to Tenerife for the year ahead at least, for many, complicated reasons, and the earliest I will get away is January, so I will be trying to get out and about a lot before then!

      Thanks again.

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