Tag: Over 50

It is a Joy to wear it – Plus Size fashion delight!

I love clothes.  From the days of dressing my Barbie dolls in scraps of fabric,  to the era of online shopping, fashion has fascinated me..

I am fabulously plus sized, and am delighted to find that more and more gorgeousplus size fashion ranges are  available allowing me to wear clothes that I love.

Decluttering

I have recently moved which set off a huge bout of decluttering and purging.  As I unpacked my clothes I applied the Marie Kondo principle of handling each item and asking if it striked joy.  It might sound silly but as I handled each item of clothing I realised that there were memories entwined in the fabric.

I recycled a lot.  Many bags of clothes went to the charity shop and clothes banks.  Dresses that were linked to work I can no longer do found new homes.  Items  that never made me feel good found new homes.  There were also some items discarded that have been worn to a thread because I loved them.

A wardrobe that delights me

I now have a wardrobe that makes me truly happy.  I can see everything I have – and it is all sorted into sections.  My accessories are clearly displayed sparking new combinations.

It is wonderful to see all my clothes hanging up and getting dressed is such fun.  By thinning out my wardrobe and only keeping things that I love to wear, I can dressed in minutes and feel fabulous.

A little plus size fashion retail therapy

I popped onto Oxendales to pay my account one evening and decided to have a little look on the sale.  Joe Browns available from Oxendales and Simply Be has been a long time favourite.  Quirky prints and individual style delight me.  I was  delighted to find a fabulous dress with a huge discount!

When the dress arrived I was simply overjoyed.  It fitted so well, but most importantly it made me feel joyful and fabulous.  I wore my dress to town styled with a soft gold Michael Kors shopper (a gift from my sister).

It must strike Joy

Not everything in my wardrobe is special. I have my basics, my comfy jerseys for wearing at home and piles of leggings.  But the special place in my wardrobe is for my special dresses.  I can honestly say though that everything i have now strikes joy!  I have promised myself that anything new that comes into my wardrobe will meet the same criteria.

Thanks for reading and sharing the joy of my new dress.

Kerry xx

 

Tenerife – it creeps into your heart until you don’t want to leave

Everyone has different expectations of a holiday and of course different budgets too.

We were so excited to be visiting Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife.  Endless hours had been spent on YouTube looking at travel videos.  I was very curious to experience ‘black’ sand!

The holiday didn’t get off to the finest start.  Despite being excited, the trip was long.  A four and a half hour flight, plus a couple of hours drive and of course airport waiting time all added up.  It meant that we arrived late in the evening a little tired and grumpy if I am completely honest.

Travelling with a budget airline on a short trip is fine, but absolutely no frills on a longer flight is a little more challenging.   The holiday had started and were eager to get going as we had a 90 minute transfer from the airport to our destination at the north of the island.

Something went wrong and we found ourselves waiting for more than an hour.  Eventually a small group was loaded into a mini bus that was not road worthy and we set off.  This was not the way I was expecting to start my holiday.

We travel budget style

We are on a budget and more than happy to compromise on luxuries for the chance of some sun on our bones.  Resorts wouldn’t necessarily be our choice either as we enjoy walking and soaking up the local culture.

Our hotel, Travador, was in the older part of Puerto de la Cruz, and despite the website reporting a big upgrade it was a little tired.  We eventually realised that it was the public rooms that had been upgraded and that the rooms were in progress.  Never mind, it was clean (a biggy for me) and the location was absolutely perfect.

Walking our way around Puerto de la Cruz

Both my partner and I suffer from arthritis, and one of the reasons we travel is to take advantage of the dry heat which makes such a huge difference on our pain and inflammation.  There are days at home where I struggle to walk.  In Tenerife I was walking 10 0000 steps a day (with my trusty stick Stan), but walking nevertheless.

On our first morning we started exploring the town, which in a weird way reminded me of South Africa.  The beautiful gardens which were part of the city scape incorporated Bougainvillea one of my favourite childhood flowers as well as many other trees and flowers.  I took hundreds of photos that first morning.  The heat on my back and the paw paw (papaya) and guavas outside the shops were enticing.

Location is really key – especially if you want to be able to walk everywhere.  After treating ourselves to coffee in an outdoor café we found our way to the beach only a 10 minute walk from our hotel and it was at this point that I started to fall in love.

It is odd looking at black sand, because it’s different to what your head says it should be.  The combination from an artist’s eye however is breath-taking.  The sea reflects an exquisite turquoise shade as it brushes across the sand.  I took loads of photos and can’t wait to get into the studio to try to recapture this amazing colour combination.

A beer and a beer shandy were just what we needed after our long walk and we simply sat back and enjoyed the magnificent view.  These positions at the beachside café became a daily indulgence.  Sometimes we indulged further tasting the local cuisine or a naughty ice cream.

There is something about the sea that calms and relaxes me completely.  I can look at it, walk along the shore line dipping my toes into the waves or simply close my eyes and take in the smell of the salty waves and sun on the sand.  I did a fair bit of the above in Puerto de la Cruz.

Musings from my journal

I journal every day.  It is part of my routine and certainly something that helps me in so many ways.  When we are on holiday, journaling time has to be planned for.  Most days this took place in a little café a stone’s throw from our hotel where I could order a pot of tea and a pastry for the princely sum of 2 Euro.

During the holiday I came up with these seven realisations/lessons that I learnt from my week in Puerto de la Cruz.

  1. It really doesn’t matter what you look like.  On the beach I saw woman (and men) of every shape, size and age all wearing bikinis and other skimpy swimwear.  They were happy and sunning themselves and not beating themselves up about what they looked like.  I made a pact to give up tangling with my sarong and simply relax and enjoy.
  2. I love the coffee culture. People watching is such fun and there is nothing nicer than whiling away an hour over a delicious café con leche and perhaps a sneaky pastry.  Costing less than 2 euro – including the nibble, I can afford to indulge.
  3. My IBS is better on holiday. I realise this is a bit TMI (too much information) but it is really relevant to me.  IBS is part of my life and a side effect of fibromyalgia and other conditions not to mention the many pills that I have to pop.  I think it could be all the walking (see point 4) or simply being truly relaxed and keeping hydrated.  It could be lack of stress.  I just know that somehow I would like to hang onto this advantage when I get home.
  4. Walking! Instead of dancing all night I could walk all day.  I walk fairly slowly and use my trusty stick much of the time, but I really enjoy it.  We walked on the beach, along the paved walkways which stretch across Puerto de la Cruz and wound our way through quirky back streets.  Yes, my feet got sore, and I got tired, but it felt so good to be moving with the sun on my back and a few breaks along the way to enjoy the atmosphere.
  5. My joints – the bane of my life with arthritis are much, much better in a dry heat. It is amazing to rely less and less on pain relief over the week, and of course to be able to move more.  The sad side of this is that within 48 hours of being back in Ireland, these positive effects are gone.  (Never mind I can book another budget holiday).
  6. You can travel on very little money. Both my partner and I are on a very limited budget.  Holidays are only possible if we budget carefully before hand and afterwards.  We invest a lot of time into digging out the best deals possible.  We are fairly flexible with dates which means that we can avail of the best offers possible.  This holiday was booked through Love Holidays and was paid off on an instalment plan.  We don’t mind the lack of luxuries, but do love the warm air and the sense of excitement that travel brings.
  1. Be adventurous! In everything.  We had a giggle every morning when we came down for breakfast because it wasn’t what we are used to.  Peas, carrots, and one morning pizza.  There were some really yummy cakes and pastries too.  Everyone is different and every culture that you visit has different cuisine.  Try things – you might not like them, but then again you might be back for more.

Highlights and low notes

As with any journey there are particular highlights.  One of mine was the night we treated ourselves to dinner at a little restaurant and were in turn treated to a feast of flamenco dancing.  I am very much an off the beaten track person, and would prefer to try smaller eateries.  One of the best meals of the trip was a shared plate of the local Canarian potatoes (wrinkly potatoes) – basically salted boiled new potatoes with two mojo sauces eaten at the beachside café.

On a low note, it took us 27 hours to get home.  A technical fault on a Ryanair flight had us diverted to a different airport and drinking tea at 4am in an airport hours from our car.  It wasn’t easy and it definitely meant that we arrived home tired, rather than relaxed.

Thank you for reading about my travels.

Kerry xx

Dating in your 50s – Part 2

 

Getting ready for a date when you are 50 plus gave me some challenges.

a-guide-to-dating-in-your-50s-part-2When you are over 50 chances are that you are not as happy with your body as you were in your twenties.  Things have sagged, bagged and expanded, not necessarily in that order.

I thought I would share a little story about getting ready for a particular date.  Spoiler alert – it was a one-off date.

Don’t despair though for every date that doesn’t pan out – you are one step closer to one that does.

The date …

I rushed home from work, threw myself into the shower and washed my hair.  I have this idea in my head that my hair and my cleavage are my best assets so all date outfits and arrangements start with that!

After pouring myself into my date bra – push them up and make them proud, I started on the make-up.  I love make-up it always makes me feel a little bit prettier.  Tonight’s date was with a man whom I had been corresponding with for a few weeks.  He seemed well read and intelligent.

I made a snap decision – I was going to wear contact lenses.  I very rarely do for reasons that will be revealed but I guess I was feeling a bit insecure and thought that the make-up might shine brighter when not hidden behind metal frames.

Breathe.  I was nervous and had to drive a half an hour to the meeting point at a random pub that seemed to be half way for both of us.  I grabbed my phone as I needed to keep an eye on work emails and realised that I couldn’t read my phone with my contacts in.  Like many of us over 50s I wear varifocals.  The contacts were only my distance prescription.

Time was ticking as I panicked over a solution.  Luckily I lived in the middle of the town and flew down to the chemist as it was closing asking for granny glasses (over the counter reading specs). I grabbed a pair that matched my coat and went to pay.  I glanced down at my phone. It was now twice the size and curved.  I had grabbed a pair that was far stronger than I needed.  The kind assistants made the swap and I was off on my date.

It was an awful drive.  The heavens opened and visibility was bad.  I didn’t know where I was going which didn’t help at all.

(Just an aside – after this date I made a decision that I wouldn’t travel – if they wanted to meet me – they could find their way to a place I could walk to!)

I finally made it into the pub and all I wanted was a nice calming drink but of course I had to drive back.  Blinking to keep the contact lenses in place I was at least glad that he had arrived first.

We didn’t gel.  I employed all my conversational skills over a soft drink and excellent fish and chips (chosen because it was what he chose and I couldn’t read the menu without the granny glasses).  It was simply hard work.

Dating in your 50s is hard work

At this point my next conversational gambit was delivered and landed like a lead balloon.  “I think there is a reason that dating normally happens in your 20s or 30s.  It takes a lot of energy and can be hard work.”

Perhaps I didn’t mean it so directly but I still stand by that sentiment.  It is hard work, but ultimately it is worth it.  I have met some amazing friends and some more than friends.

Suffice to say that date ended pretty quickly after that and I drove home, removed the lenses from my scratchy eyes and settled down to a nice cup of tea.

I waited a couple of days before diving into the dating pool again.

If you would like to read my previous dating post have a peek here

Thanks for reading and please come back for more dating in your 50s advice and adventures.

Kerry x

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