I Can’t Really Say I’ve Been To Barcelona!

With all the best intentions I had planned to blog while I was away. That didn’t happen and here I am, counting the days from my last update to today. 8 days.

I was already coming down with something when I landed in Lisbon and all the self-medication didn’t help. A trip to the airport for a wild weekend in Barcelona with friends turned into a trip to the hospital to get some medical attention. I slept for the next 2 days and eventually landed in Barcelona on the day my innovation week was due to start.

As a result I can’t really say that I have been to Barcelona, one of the cities I’ve long wanted to visit. I have passed through it in the back of a taxi on the way to the mountain resort I stayed at with my colleagues.

I did manage a 4 hour walking tour of a minuscule part of the city with colleagues when I had some free time a few days later. I saw the outside of the Sagrada Familia, the Arc de Triomf and had a quick walk around the Plaza Catalunya.

3 intrepid walkers ©2016 Regina Martins
3 intrepid walkers
©2016 Regina Martins

That was all, sadly. No Picasso museum. No Parc Guel. No Gaudi house 🙁

My team did win the regatta though. The beach party was great. Swimming in the warm Mediterranean was memorable.

I took some photos and I now have a mental picture of the city, so that when I do go back, I will know how to get around.

That’s it for today. More tomorrow.



Lego Pieces

A South African Portuguese girl went looking for a supermarket to buy snacks in Spain. She went with two friends, a Swiss Canadian and an Italian boy. They all work for a German company, and happened to be driving a Japanese car that had a navigation system that spoke to them in French.

This is not a joke.

Enjoy the lego piece on the featured photo…

WordPress daily prompt: Joke


My First 7 Jobs

There’s a twitter hashtag doing the rounds of late – #lastsevenjobs. Well, there’s also one #firstsevenjobs.

Now if you’ve only had 7 jobs in your whole entire life, so far, then it’s easy. If you’ve had more then it’s a bit trickier on account of having to decide which one perspective paints the more intelligent (replace word with appropriate adjective) picture of yourself.

My #firstsevenjobs were:

  1. Clothing store sales lady – I wasn’t terribly good at this. I dreaded approaching people and asking “Hi, can I help you?” Needless to say I didn’t do this for very long.
  2. Appointment maker for insurance salesman – I didn’t enjoy this one at all; I think I successfully got appointments for 10% of the people I called.
  3. Cashier at a clothing store – I enjoyed this one and I was good at it! I was the fastest and most accurate cashier. My till regularly took the most earnings and balanced every time. I was eventually moved to the main cash desk and loved the busyness.
  4. Floor manager of the same clothing store – I felt rather important here, it was a promotion you see. I carried the all important key to override transactions and stuff at the tills and got called to deal with unhappy customers. It was boring though! Standing around waiting to be called to sort out some issue was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to go back to being a cashier.
  5. Call centre agent selling life insurance to the 55 to 75 year old market – Oh I didn’t like this one at all. I hated selling! I hated selling insurance! I hated selling insurance to the 55 to 75 year old market! I felt so bad taking their money. I didn’t feel it was ethical at all.
  6. Call centre bureau team leader – I loved this one! I got to manage people, my first sniff at this and enjoyed it tremendously.
  7. Quote provider to cement distributors – brrrrr! I didn’t like this one, it was boring administrative work and I left after 1 month! Cement wasn’t exciting at all.

Jobs 1 to 4 were part time ones when I was a student. The other 3 were my stepping stones into the permanent job market. They were jobs and I was happy to have them. I still lived at home with my folks and didn’t earn a lot.

They all taught me something about what I wanted. None of them were too small or unimportant. My salaries, small as they were, were well earned.

They didn’t buy me luxuries and I’m grateful for them all.

WordPress daily prompt: Luxury.


Memo August 7th, 2016

Hi everyone!

I’m going to be traveling again today and will in all likelihood not get to blog tonight, nor visit your blogs.

I’m making my way from Lisbon to Barcelona to meet up with my colleagues from around the world for our annual international coach camp.

I was supposed to fly to Barcelona on Friday and postponed it because what I thought was a mild cold turned out to be a bit more serious. A trip to the airport turned into a trip to the hospital for some treatment. There was an element of the unknown because I’m not in my home country.

Back home in South Africa it’s a quick trip to the doctor who has my medical file and my medical insurance details. Here, in Portugal it’s different. I don’t know any doctors and getting medical help works differently here with the NHS type of service.


In any event, I got well attended to at a private hospital. I’m on meds, and after sleeping the whole of Friday and most of yesterday I’m feeling a lot better.

So, no wild weekend in Barcelona. But my health is more important.

Until then, then.



WordPress Weekly Photo: Morning

It’s a well documented fact that mornings are my least favourite time of the day. This early in the morning I’m optimising for sleep. Yet when I do get up early, I feel good. Getting to the getting up part is another thing…

As a result I don’t have lovely morningy type pics. I can however show you a pic of a bowl of mielie meal, drizzled with maple syrup Che made for me, complete with the letter “R” written in cinnamon.

The South African mielie meal porridge (maize porridge) ©2016 Regina Martins
The South African mielie meal porridge (maize porridge)
©2016 Regina Martins

Entered in this WordPress weekly photo challenge, the theme is Morning.