Monday, 18 January 2016

And now we are five

Our friends Chris and Marta (and Banksy their cat) have
Eulogia Lucy in Bolivia 
now joined us here at Camping Casteillets in St Jean Pla de Corts. Our neighbouring pitches mean it's no longer quite as tranquil here of an evening, but we're having a lot of fun. So far Dave and I have taken our 'guests' on three of our favourite walks - around the Plan d'Eau lakes, on the Chemin de Vives, and to Fort de Bellegarde. Today's walk was the Fort de Bellegarde one and we were all glad of our waterproof coats from part-way as rain arrived. We took advantage of the burned-out barracks for picnic lunch shelter and still enjoyed our walk although the views weren't as extensive as on our the previous circuit because mist descended. The rain up there was practically sleet too so getting back to snug caravans was lovely. We are hoping to also explore more of the Le Racou to Collioure coast path and perhaps even to cycle all the way to Argeles Sur Mer before our paths divert again in a week or so.

In other news, I was surprised and pleased to be told this
Rusudan in Georgia 
week that I am one of the 3000 most influential SumOfUs members in the UK. Me! It's great to know that readers are responding to my petition sharing here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. I am sure there will be lots more to sign in 2016 and if you want to draw my attention to a petition that's important to you, feel welcome to put its link in any post's Comments.

I am delighted to have won a book bundle from Penguin in their Think Smarter prize draw. I don't know what the books will be yet, but Think Smarter is a regular email newsletter that "includes the latest features, essays and extracts from a roster of smart thinkers, unrivalled for their expertise in science, sociology, philosophy, business and general curiosity" so I am sure I will find them interesting and educational reading.

More free books have come my way as preparatory
Turana in Azerbaijan 
reading for the virtual Historical Fiction Festival over at Endeavour Press. I chose five titles from their emailed list and all five arrived as downloads within hours. Did you sign up for your ticket yet? There's really free books!

Finally, yesterday was another exciting Kiva Repayments Day and, due to a couple of existing loans being unexpectedly paid back early I was able to make four new loans, three of which are in new-to-me countries so I have now made 121 loans to women in 52 different countries. January's loans went to Eulogia Lucy in Bolivia for her mobile food stall, Rusudan in Georgia for her restaurant, Irma in Paraguay for her shoe shop, and Turana in Azerbaijan for the planting of fruit trees. (I didn't notice until writing this post that all four women are wearing blue!) I love loaning on Kiva! Why not join me?

Irma in Paraguay 

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