What another wonderful Monday Morning it is, that beautiful gentle breeze that brushes your face and instantly makes you feel cooler is just SO welcoming …..and no rain! How amazing it is that we need and pray for rain and other countries are doing just the opposite of that and praying for the rain to go, if only the weather behaved itself, how perfect life would be, but i guess then we would have nothing to complain about. Once again the week has flown by and here we are again, another week. It has been a real mix of things this week and i have thoroughly enjoyed it all. We did something that we rarely do here, although people may find that hard to believe, and we spent the day on the beach! We have a friend who loves the beach and rarely gets to go so we set up a day last Wednesday. What a joy it was, we hired sunbeds and an umbrella and we were set with books to read, although they did not get taken out of the bag because we were talking and laughing so much, in fact at one point the lifeguard came over and told us it was expressly forbidden to have so much fun on the beach!!!!! Interesting enough, i wanted to hire a cabana, remembering back to years ago when they had them and with the renovation had brought them back. It transpires that they had introduced the umbrellas instead because the cabanas were causing people to suffer with heatstroke because the breeze kept the cabanas airless inside, makes sense i guess! Anyway, it was a fabulous day, we ate pizza and paddled, it was too rough to swim, and watched the surfers having huge fun. The lifeguards do an amazing job there, and several times had to use the whistle or actually swim out to groups of people wandering too far out or lone swimmers miles out and just a dot on the horizon, all were kept safe and it was wonderful to watch these young men limbering up, keeping their muscles rippling and in tiptop condition, i would have enjoyed being saved by one of them I think! There is also something very invigorating about the beach which makes you feel good to be alive, maybe we should do it more often. i was also inspired by a young man collecting litter, i asked him if he was a volunteer and he told us that it was a community service…he was 20 years old and had been on drugs and was an alcoholic….he had realised that he had no hope and put himself into a rehab centre where he had been drug and alcohol free for 6 weeks woohoo! the sad thing was that as we chatted it transpired that it was his dad who had got him hooked in the first place…………i am sure he will do well though and will transform his life, i was impressed! Then we had friends round for dinner, i made spaghetti cake, a great recipe if you have vegetarian friends and there is another version if they eat meat, it is a Jamie Oliver recipe and always goes down well, not difficult to make either which helps! a great aspect of living here is that you can almost always eat outside which is so nice. We have a friend who is a diver, she came with equipment to teach us to dive, or rather to teach us to dive properly so we do not get scared at the sound of our own breathing in our ears, somehow we ran out of time and will make another attempt soon. Saturday started with getting up at silly o’ clock and being at the corner of 6 and N Palmway by 6:45 ready for the Women for Women Run…no, I did not run, I was helping to keep the group running the right way! It was lovely, the sun was just up and the runners set off pretty much on time, reaching our base at around 7:15, they came and came, all shapes and sizes, all ages and all had fun……..some males ran which was nice, dads with daughters, husbands with wives….a great turnout and very well organised as usual! The Art Rocks at The Armoury, a very creative and colourful art marketplace full of artists and their wares, Would have bought so many things if i lived here full time, as it was I limited myself and had a great time.By 4:30 we were at a friend’s party and enjoying the company of a very diverse mix of people, always the best mix, and celebrating a wonderful 96 year olds birthday. what a lady she is, such a zest for life, still travelling, still drinking vodka martinis, still holding very interesting conversations, still remembering dates and times and names……suddenly getting older does not seem that bad, a huge inspiration! Lastly we ended up watching a film (cannot tell you which one, because it was for inspiration for the raft race, and i know that rivals read this blog!) and making furious notes on costuming and storylines, it is going to be SPECTACULAR! What a week………. In England the weather has taken a slight turn for the worse for a few days, so i keep it quiet about the wonderful weather we have at the moment in case people get too envious…i am sure it will pick up again though before the end of the week. in fact, the rain came n handy not so long ago when they filmed the new Cadbury advert where i live, you can see why when you watch the ad. Here’s to another week of fun, friends, food and general frivolity….as this last photo shows, we never have to grow up!…..i forgot to mention our fabulous Thursday Night Bike Ride...it was wonderful as we ended up at Diana and Glenn’s and christened their new pool, life does not get much better than that! Chris Gostling is the guest Blogger on Monday’s and reports on the fabulous life of a bi-costal international resident.