Siesta time

Well, yet again I’ve been rubbish with this blogging malarkey. Realised I haven’t made a post in 6 months. My plan was to keep everyone up to date with my adventure, but in all honestly not much has happened. Everyone thinks you move to Spain and you lead this amazing holiday lifestyle.

Which it would be very nice if I could go to the beach every day and parties every night, but unfortunately it is just business as usual. My day still consists of running my web design company from 9-5 and then jumping into the poker grind at 7pm for 4 or 5 nights a week. I still have to go out and do my food shopping, go into town to the bank and do all the things you have to do back in the UK, only difference is it is hotter here (and the service is poorer… believe it or not).

I left off on my last blog with people coming to visit. I had an amazing couple of weeks with Jilly, Math, Cha and my parents. It was very tiring having so many visitors in such a short space of time, and spent too much on going out and eating, but it was amazing to show everyone my little Spanish town, I think everyone had a good time.

After everyone left and I recovered it started to turn to winter… which means everyone leaves this little town. I thought Blackpool was bad for seasonal traffic, but this is definitely more extreme. In summer it’s bustling with holiday makers, people partying, fiesta’s going on every week. In the winter you can sometimes walk the main streets at weekends and not see a single person. Most of the restaurants are closed and the only nightclub in town also closes its doors.

To be honest, it’s now coming to the end of February and I’m a little bored… I’m starting to miss the big city hustle and bustle. You don’t appreciate how good it is to get a McDonalds at 3am or even to catch a local bus. Whereas Moraira is one of the most beautiful little places I have been, I don’t think it is really for my age group long term and maybe it will be a place I would like to come to retire.

This year my plan is to move nearer a big city (Alicante, Valencia, Barcelona), which it will be nearer to the airports (reducing costs to come travel for poker more again) and to the casino (need to definitely polish up my live game).

Mid last year, poker wasn’t going so well. I got into a hole with Bankroll Supply (which hasn’t really happened in the last 4 years of playing with them). It was a time also that I really was depending on the money which really increases the pressure on trying to make a profit every month. I think I have been quite lucky as I have played poker over 10 years and it has been the first time I have been in this situation. Mainly because I have always refused to ever make poker my sole income. Although I’m not the most organised person with my finances, I know I couldn’t deal with the full time pressure of not having a more secure income to pay my rent, bills and food.

Psychologically the downswing really got in my head. I don’t know about a lot of you poker players out there that are at least semi-dependant on a poker income, but sometimes I have a dream that one day I might wake up and have literally completely forget everything I know about the game and not be able to win any more. Well this downswing I actually convinced myself that had happened. It was like I had forgotten even my A-game and just couldn’t find my way to a final table no matter what I did.

Overall I think it could have been a lot worse, I definitely could have lost more than I did. I was a good girl and dropped stakes, went to the softer games I know I can beat and took more time away from playing as I started to hate it. I always promised myself if I didn’t win at the game I wouldn’t bother playing any more…. What’s the point!

I would never claim to be a particularly good poker player, however one thing I know is that my bankroll management and discipline has made me through over 10 years of winning, and I do believe that those qualities are if not more important than an actual knowledge of how to play.

At the end of the day we all mainly play poker for one thing (apart from those weirdoes that actually enjoy it) we play to be able to make a long term profit from the game. I have seen it hundreds of times in poker, these so called hot shots binking a tidy sum that could make life a lot easier for a while, to then be picking up chips off the floor for their dinner the following week as they start to think they are indestructible in the higher stakes.

I will agree though, one downside to my admittedly slightly over-disciplined-ness, is that I have probably missed out on some bigger shots and banked my profit rather than played higher buyins, taken deals and chops instead of going for the win.

However looking back at my main aim, to make a long term profit, the decisions and restrictions I have placed on myself have achieved that goal.

I managed to turn it back around this year and have got back off to a great start. I managed to win a satellite for a live event but decided to cash it in due to travel expenses. That generally goes against one of my rules; I always believe if you win a seat you should play…. You never know if that could be your big bink.

I’m on the fence about going to Vegas this year; I want to focus on moving house around that time so might be too much hassle. I’ve started to save money just in case. I miss Vegas sooooooo much <3

I’ve also forgot to mention my trip back to the UK (stupid poker rant) over Xmas and New Year. It was really crazy to go back; it felt like a different life. I think I must have got used to the very chilled out and relaxed atmosphere in Spain. I look back now and wondered how I managed doing all that I do as well as the social life I had, going out with friends, going to Dusk Till Dawn.

I do miss things a lot back home and wish I could bring all my friends and some of my old lifestyle here in the nice weather.

I got to hang out at Cha’s which always makes it feel like Xmas. Blackpool is always a fun time, and I have some of the funniest amazing best friends.

I then rented a car and drove to Nottingham to see all that crew, played a tournament in Dusk Till Dawn… I think that was the strangest to go back to. Got to catch up with Alex (Otter) and Rachel, Danny and Poppy among others.

Then it was on to London for New Year with Jilly, thankfully we had a nice quiet time as Jilly had to work a lot. I was exhausted by this point. Then drive back to Blackpool to get the flight back.

I got back on Claudio’s birthday, so went for some cake with the family. I still haven’t learned to speak to them all in Spanish yet so I just sit and smile a lot. (Scary crazy English girl alert)

Things are good at the moment and feeling really happy, looking forward to this year and where it is going to take me….let’s see in the next blog….


Spanish Summer

Well I haven’t posted in a while, been too much going on this year and a lot has happened.

My situation has changed slightly; I now live in a little villa on my own which is nice and peaceful. We had to move out of our last villa as the landlady sold the house at which point Charlie left Spain back to the UK.

Everything went a little crazy with my life, which seems to always be the case. I fell in love (which is NOT like me) and hopefully fall out of love soon and picked up a broken heart along the way. I’m sure some of you are aware it is not a fun thing to have to go through. But I guess it is something that everyone should have happen at least once in their life, as it’s quite an important experience to deal with and learn from.

This year I see more than ever that when people cause problems and bring upset and pain to your life, they are better forgotten and quickly expelled of. I have spent too long reflecting on things rather than just living life and creating better moments and memories with people that deserve to share them with you.

I have needed my friends more than ever, but even though they are far away they are still always there for me when needed and I am very thankful for some of the special people I have met along my travels.

So warning to fellow female friends planning on coming to Spain, don’t fall for the fake Spanish charm!

I have met a great friend here that has helped me a lot this summer. Claudio, a 24 yr old Argentinian boy, he is the most beautiful boy I have ever seen and a more beautiful heart to go with it. I would marry this boy he was 10 years older (or I was 10 years younger)

I got another year older a few weeks ago, which is always depressing, however he made my birthday very special. I got cake, balloons, bubbles, presents, ice cream and he bought me a swimming pool. What more could I want!!!!

We also spent the day kayaking just off our local beach. We packed a picnic and stopped at the nearby caves for a spot of dinner.

There is a lot going on this summer, fiestas every week in the surrounding towns. The Spanish have some crazy traditions which I have been getting involved in. It’s quite an eye opener the community spirit. Everyone helps in various ways to raise money for their town’s celebrations. And boy do they know how to party!!! They spend fortunes on just having a good time… my kind of place.

Spanish Summer

Click image for slideshow

There is always bands and music on at nights, I have been to see the bull fights (although not really a fight, they just tease the bulls a little… it’s only the people that get hurt), I have been to the chicken runs, and the fireworks and the shows they put on with the magnificent costumes, the street parties with free cake. You can always find something going on.

One thing now that I’m really starting to get frustrated with is learning the language. There are various things that I keep having to get other people to do for me, which being an independent person, I like to do for myself.

I have been doing lessons every single day for at least an hour but still don’t feel much improvement. The mistake I made was just slowly plodding through the Rosetta Stone software, which in itself is fantastic, however is a very slow process and the main thing I was missing was fast conversational listening. So I have downloaded some ones to listen to when I’m playing poker. Synergy Spanish is a very good one.

The biggest hindrance is the fact I’m still too scared to get stuck into speaking it. The problems are always:

  • They don’t understand what you say
  • They understand and answer back too fast which I can’t understand
  • You have said it so bad they answer you back in English

I also still haven’t got Spanish TV sorted, which then I can leave on in the background and just listen to the flow of the language and the pronunciation.

Once I learn Spanish my social circles will also expand, as the English people here, I’m sure the UK government have expedited them overseas for various reasons. I would rather talk to my plant.

I’m starting to miss the poker scene a little back in the UK. Initially I was glad to be away from it, think I needed a break from that environment. It can be unhealthy being exposed for extended periods of time.

I’ve only been to the casino in Alicante once since moving to Spain. It’s an hour drive and €14 in toll roads. But I’m thinking of going next week for a €50 freezeout. See what the craic is.

Online is still going good. Will be heading to the Battle of Malta in September and now looking at the Caribbean Poker tour, preferably Punta Cana for November.

I’m starting to build my PLO8 group back up with Bankroll Supply. I have got a few good players now so hopefully that will continue to go well over the next few months.

Not sure when I’m heading back to the UK for a visit. But missing all my friends so much now as it has been so long since I have seen some of them and so much has happened.

Rachel and Danny are pregnant again, which is the best thing in the whole world. Little Poppy is just the cutest thing ever and they seem so happy.

Alex is on a mission and setting up a new business, which knowing her will probably take over the world.

Jilly and Math are hopefully coming over to see me in September as well as my parents. So got a busy year coming up and who knows what the next one will bring or where I will be.

Take care of yourselves and each other xox

Insurance Claim….?

Ah man, I’m just too damn lazy to move house. I keep looking at my mountains of stuff and I just feel like starting a bonfire in my garden.

I finally took the majority of my clothes to the hospice today, it just showed the essence of good karma as I bought a nice handbag for £1.50 and also nearly bagged a date with a charming gentleman with dreadlocks that swooped in and offered to help me bring the bags from my car.

I start packing up some of my DVD’s when I stop for a facebook check, as you do every 5 minutes, and find a very intriguing message. Charlie:  “Heading to Amsterdam, wanna join and plan our trip”…. I mean how do you turn that down?….really!!!!

So now the plan is, go to Amsterdam, to plan our Holiday to Spain, which is to organise the move there. Life is pretty good!!!

Busy times coming up, planning on visiting Blackpool to see all my friends back home, down to Portsmouth with some other friends. Can’t seem to sit still for five minutes.

Had the weekend in Stoke for the Genting Poker Series event. Brilliant weekend, I love catching up with everyone, the Bankroll Supply lot are all mint. Poker didn’t quite go my way but made up for it with Vodka redbulls at the bar till 4am two nights running. Was definitely ready for home by the Sunday, I’m too old for that shit.

Actually got sad that I wouldn’t see everyone for ages, so I think I have decided I might fly back over for the Sheffield one in November. It will cost about £100 for flights and same for hotel. Have to see how things go.

Had a birthday few weeks back. Also leaving party for two of my friends, Cherry gone off to Thailand teaching English, and Liz gone to Newcastle to teach at a new school. Been missing them already and wish them well in their adventures.  <3

Ugh just in between all this NEED TO SORT STUFF!!!!

I just wish I could click my fingers and all my belongings would be in a house in Spain. It really does suck having to sell almost everything.

Keep telling myself that it’s all stuff that I don’t even use anymore, CDs I don’t listen to, books I don’t read. Just clutter that I keep lugging from house to house that sits and collects dust.

I’m tempted to drop the lot off to a charity, super charge my good karma into a new start.