It’s a Small (Steem) World

Last week when I arrived in Lanzarote for my family vacation, I discovered that sea lover and water sports enthusiast @surfermarly lives here, one of the Canary Islands. I got in touch with her via Discord and we organised a mini Steem meetup at my hotel resort. @surfermarly lives an hour north from here and drove down to see me today to chat and share a drink or two.

I have long maintained that the universe has some kind of plan in play. The meetings and coincidences that have occurred during my Steem life continue to amaze me: not only does Marly live on this island, but her home is actually where we spent our vacation last year! We may well have walked past each other and not known.

I saw Marly in Lisbon at last year’s Steemfest, but didn’t get around to chatting with her, unfortunately. At that time I was still new to the platform and a bit starry eyed at all the ‘Steem famous’ personalities there, and I considered Marly a Steem veteran,having joined in 2016.

Today’s mini meetup was an intimate occasion and we talked about our backgrounds and lives over drinks. The subject soon drew to Steem and Steemit. Dodging a ball, as we had inadvertently sat next to the pool while a water polo game was in session, we spoke about the current state of Steem, its direction,and the communities built up around it. We both agreed there is so much potential here but things could be better managed, particularly for newcomers to the platform.

Moving a safe distance away from flying polo balls, we made our way to another bar and sat with another drink as I learned that @surfermarly, water sport fanatic, actually used to be scared of water. Yes, truly.

The two hours flew by and before I knew it, Marly had to return to the family business. We both remarked how weird it is to meet people from Steem, already having a connection with them as though we’d been friends for years. Marly is such a cool and awesome lady, and it was an absolute pleasure to meet and share a few drinks and conversation.

Thank you so much for travelling down south to spend a few hours chatting. Good times.

Humbled and Touched.

Today was my second day in Lanzarote on our annual family vacation. Several years ago while in Greece I took to snorkeling and spent as much time as I could in the sea. I visited a local shop here and just had to get myself a new mask and snorkel. Suitably equipped, I ventured out into the secluded spot between these sea walls.

The water is very calm here and is teaming with fish. We have started taking bread to the beach for the kids to feed them, much to their delight. Mask adjusted, straps tightened, and with the snorkel in mouth, I entered the sea. Eventually, I explored ever deeper and saw bigger and more exotic fish. My son was keen to try my mask and I am currently trying to teach him how to snorkel after buying him his own set. He’s not quite convinced he can float yet.

While walking back down the beach today for another snorkeling session, I caught sight of an elderly couple. The lady was pushing her husband in a wheelchair down the path to the edge of the beach. Once there, she produced a zimmer frame and helped the old fella stand up. Next, she fitted a lifejacket around his chest and slowly they ambled onto the sand and down the beach towards the shore.

As I neared them I asked if I could help. The gentleman was very wobbly on his legs and his wife struggled to hold him up. With thick German accents, they both refused aid. I asked if they were sure I received a thank you, followed by a firm no. Fair enough, I respect their pride. Still, just in case, I stayed near the shore, watching while trying to appear like I wasn’t watching. Nonetheless, they made it and, still supported by his wife and walking frame, the gentleman shuffled into the sea. Soon enough he was up to his waist and he let go of his frame, leaned back and floated in the sea. His wife returned his walking frame to the shore before joining him.

The look upon his face really touched me as his on land mobility issues disappeared. Using his hands and arms he swam slowly around, enjoying the freedom. Then his wife looked at him and her stern German features melted into a smile with such a look of love for her husband. I am not ashamed to admit that as I put my face mask on, my eyes were somewhat moist.

Thankfully my health is not too bad at the moment, but there are times with my Multiple Sclerosis that I have trouble walking. After spending a total of around two hours today swimming, I suspect I will be on my cane tomorrow, as my legs are protesting tonight. I would like to think that if I am ever in such a bad condition, or even eventually in a wheelchair, that the love of my life will be there to assist me to return to the sea from time to time. It’s so freeing and liberating to float on the surface with your head underwater, watching the sea life swimming around and beneath you. I never want to reach a point in my life that I can’t continue and, no doubt with help, I plan to be snorkeling well into my own old age.

Lanzarote Vlog #1

A quick vlog recorded at the beach in Lanzarote during my family vacation. I talk about the value of downtime and making time for the family, while focused so much on Steem.

Enjoy, and excuse the hat. I’m on vacation.

Family Vacation in Lanzarote

Yesterday the Muxxy family set out for our annual vacation. Destination: Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Our taxi took us to the airport a few hours before we were due to board. The flight was mostly fine, except as we descended to land, my daughter’s ears didn’t adjust to the change of altitude, so many tears of pain were shed. A flight attendant brought her a cup of something to sniff. It smeeled like teatree oil and it eventually did the trick.

We landed at around 8.30 pm and had a half hour wait for our luggage before we caught a coach to our resort. We were the 4th stop so it wasn’t a terribly long ride. We booked into the hotel by about 9.30 and sorted our apartment before heading for a late evening snack. We are all inclusive so we can eat and drink as much as we like. There is a lot of choice and the children can try many different things they wouldn’t usually eat. Of course, us adults can consume as much holiday alcohol as we wish. We’re not big drinkers but it’s nice to be able to help ourselves when the mood takes us.

Going back to our new home for the next 11 days we sorted the beds out, refreshed ourselves and settled the kids in for the night. Waking up in the morning I was keen to check out the view as we have an upstairs apartment with a balcony. I wasn’t disappointed.

We went for breakfast at the terrace restaurant. We have a choice of 8 different places to eat at this complex, all inclusive. The food is excellent.

I am currently sat on the beach, posting this on my phone through the WordPress app, using @steempress-io’s excellent plugin.

The kids have a spade each and a float and are having a whale of the time. This beach is exclusive to our resort thanks to the sea walls, the water is very calm with only gentle waves, ideal for children. They’re also having fun watching the many fish in this lagoon.

I discovered yesterday that @surfermarly is on this island and got in touch with her. We plan to meet up some time next weekend for a little drink or two and a mini Steem meetup. I’m very much looking forward to it.

Well, that’s enough for now. I have some relaxing and family time to catch up with.

Thanks to the @thewritersblock crew for taking care of business while I am away. Thanks also to the rest of the @noblewitness team, including @anarcho-andrei, @rhondak and @sircork.

Say Hi To Nugget. Muxxy’s Family Grows.

Several weeks ago, before my trip to Toronto, a family friend was looking for a new home for a 4 foot tropical freshwater fish tank, complete with fish. She was moving to a smaller property and wouldn’t have the room. Ms Muxx agreed and we went to pick it up. Upon arriving we discovered that she also had cats, one of which had not long had kittens. They were adorable and we instantly fell in love with a little curious and friendly ginger Tom. He has a ginger sister, a black brother and two sisters, and a gorgeous tortoiseshell sister. The kittens were born July 31st.

We already have a black cat called Mr Willis – or Baron Von Wilheim the Third, to give his full name. He’s getting on and is around 10 years old.

Our daughter Pixie loves animals, much like the rest of us, and we knew she would love a new kitten, so we agreed to foster him. He wouldn’t be ready to leave his mum for a few more weeks, which fit in perfectly with my Canada trip.

While I was away my other half bought a litter tray, feeding bowl, collar, and bed for him. A few days after I returned home we went to pick him up. The lady we had him from was quite tearful when we left with him, as he was the most outgoing and playful of the litter.

We introduced the kitten to Bella, our Lhasa Apso. She has had two litters and instantly took to the new kitty like he was her own. He terrorizes her by trying to feed from her, but mostly they play together well. This is surprising as Bella has never really played, even when she was a pup.

Kim has a mild cat allergy, but very much enjoys her kitty cuddles. We asked the children to choose a name and the only one they agreed upon was Garfield. We felt it didn’t suit him and for a few days he was called Simba. Then, one day when I was hunting for little nuggets in his litter tray, the name Nugget leapt out. He’s sort of coloured like a chicken nugget and it suits him. We mostly call him Nuggy.

He is funny, playful, loves his belly tickled and is very tolerant of my daughter carrying him round like a baby. He settled in amazingly quickly and we love how the dog has taken to him.

Today we leave for our annual family vacation. Both my son and daughter were upset that we’re having to leave him, and shed a few tears. My step daughter is staying at the house to look after our menagerie.

We’ll all miss our little Nugget.