El Paso, Texas

View over El Paso towards the border with Mexico

View over El Paso towards the border with Mexico

After being so sick this year, I was desperate to take a little late summer trip to a quiet town. Houston and surrounds has been blisteringly hot this year, so I wanted to go somewhere cooler but not cold. I swear I have lizard DNA; bask in the heat, hibernate into a death like state in the cold. There were still enough United Airlines points to go somewhere domestically so I decided to head to El Paso.

Y’alls know how big Texas is but El Paso is so far away from Houston (675 miles) that it is in another time zone. As I approached the city, I looked out in fascination at the mountains and river valley wondering whether I was looking at Mexico, New Mexico or El Paso, Texas. It was so beautiful – bright sunshine, arid landscape and mountains. My fellow passenger and I were astonished at how quiet the roads were, even in the middle of the city. Bliss…

My friend Lisa lives in El Paso. This is her blog title with a red link ‘Life of an El Paso Woman’ . I can’t remember when we connected but she kindly asked me if I would participate in her Saturday interview after my book, ‘Letters from Cairo’ was published on Kindle. It is so strange how connected we can become with fellow bloggers, invested not just in their opinions but the lives that they choose to share with us. I am happy to share far too much and then am embarrassed when a local friend reads my personal thoughts – go figure!

I got an UBER at the airport and lickety-split, I was at my new hotel. The Hotel Indigo is in a refurbished building – link to the El Paso Times article on the hotel.  It was built in 1963 and refurbished at various times. Teddy has Intercontinental points so I was given a top floor room on the 12th floor (squeaking in delight). I was awestruck as I gazed out the floor to ceiling windows with a view of Texas and Mexico. It was a hip and groovy room; the architects did a great job. All the little touches added up to a fantastic whole.

Each room was adorned with succulent plants

Each room was adorned with succulent plants

Curiously, on my first evening, I ate at the funky 5th floor roof-top bar where I met two architects. (I know that doesn’t make sense – the building was angled and some of the rooms had a view of the 5th floor bar). It was alongside the cute little pool which was lit up in different colors as darkness fell. The bar was underneath a roof but open on two sides, letting a cool north Texas breeze in. Temperatures were comfortable for me – a dry 95 degrees by midday.

Hotel Indigo rooftop pool

Hotel Indigo rooftop pool

The wonderful Electricity sign glowed with an array of colors at night, as did the pool.  Every little detail was perfect from the pink chairs, to the copper wall detail with wood and glass.

Looking into the bar from rooftop

Looking into the bar from rooftop

Back to the architects; they had the privilege to be working on one of the many older buildings that are being refurbished. Downtown seemed to be reviving but you could see that El Paso was once a very rich city. It is directly across the Rio Grande River from Cuidad Juarez in Mexico. This was once an open, busy crossing until the cartels made Juarez one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico. There is a highly guarded fence between countries with a very high presence of border control. El Paso is home to the biggest military base in Texas, Fort Bliss, so there are many reasons to keep El Paso as safe as possible. For many years it was the safest city of its size and, in general, our Texan border towns are safer – see this article in the Texas Tribune

Highly guarded fence between El Paso and Juarez

Highly guarded fence between El Paso and Juarez

One look at El Paso and I was ready to move there. More posts to follow.

Kerry in the City!

Before my sad week, I was traveling again and went to the wonderful city of El Paso, Texas. I met up with Lisa, a friend and fellow blogger, and it was so much fun! Lisa looks lovely in our selfie but I look like I was sniffing some cocaine (just Prosecco). 😄 I have a couple more posts from Salt Lake City and then we are off to El Paso, an amazing place. BTW, Lisa was so sweet, kind and generous. It was such a pleasure to meet in person.

Life of an El Paso Woman

Hi everyone! Happy Saturday! I hope your weekend is off to a great start! One of the best parts of blogging is meeting fellow bloggers, especially in person! I won’t lie, I also enjoy the free stuff and the pocket change that allows me to indulge at times. This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow blogger and friend Kerry Duncan from Postcards from Kerry. Please check out/follow her blog if you aren’t already. Kerry blogs about her many travels around the U.S. and worldwide. She recently wrote the Kindle book, “Letters from Cairo.” The book is available for $4.49 on Amazon.com “Letters from Cairo” is about Kerry’s experience living in Egypt a few years ago. In case you missed it, you can check out my Saturday Evening Interview with Kerry here.

Kerry was staying at the beautiful Hotel Indigo in downtown El Paso for a few days…

View original post 120 more words

The interview

k interview suit

This was the best I could do with a hastily taken photograph that wasn’t sharp but I hope you get the picture. I have not been blogging much recently and the reason why was I submitted my resume to an events company and they asked me to interview. My dear friend had just gifted me a gorgeous Michael Kors dress that fitted beautifully. It had a high neck and long sleeves – perfect for an interview but I had no jacket. I decided to go to my favorite thrift store and found a jacket that was brand new, with the tickets on, ($200) for $10 – what a find! The company offered me the job (which may vary) on the spot but mostly I will be meeting VIPs at the airport and making sure they get safely to their destination.

My first weekend was chaotic – two major events were in town, flights were delayed by weather and the road conditions were terrible. I discovered that night driving with a new lens is difficult. I can see much better but there are flashing halos everywhere. To my utter surprise I like my new job and hope they like me. In the midst of all this my husband launched our new website on Friday and we have our first customer! I will focus on that in the next post but once again thank you to two friends, one who recommended me for the job and the other for the gorgeous dress. Not only that, they were supportive and loving in the midst of my angst.

Epically Awesome – that’s me!

epically awesome award

I have been nominated for an Epically Awesome Award. If it was in Scotland it would be the Pure, Dead, Brilliant Award. Anyway, lets get on with it before my head gets any bigger… 🙂

1. You are awesome; tell us why.
Surely it’s obvious – just look at my blog! I rarely feel awesome but I do appreciate that my writing affects people. In real life, I try very hard to be a good person with a peculiar mix of tactlessness and compassion. I think it works.

2. You are my friend; tell us about other friends.
I have so many friends and am lucky to have them. I have friends from childhood, college, work, neighbors and groups. It is so important to keep in touch with people if you want to maintain friendships (and Facebook doesn’t do it for me). Blogging has opened up a whole new world of friends who I share my deepest secrets with although it is a public forum. It’s a conundrum.

3. Be creative, but it’s ok if you are having trouble with this one/ There are no direct questions to answer; let yourself run wild!
minion ibis
Nature in its simplicity and grandeur warms my heart and makes me glad to be alive. My photographs of critters fill me with joy because I was lucky enough to share some private time with them and then share their beauty with the world. Gracias little Ibis.

4. Now notify your nominees and thank the blogger who nominated you.
Thank you to Callum at Student in Snowdonia for nominating me. Callum has a beautiful blog with very nostalgic photographs of North Wales. My husband and I spent our first two married years there and we weren’t much older than Callum.

My nominees are

Southern Georgia Bunny because her mom and my mum must have been spiritual sisters – awesomely weird and hilarious.

Hot Mess Memoirs because she made me laugh out loud at her story of an 80 year old pervert.

Samara’s Muses because, like me, she talks to weird people at airports and writes with poignancy.

On the Road Cooking because Pan cooks the most amazing food on a tiny wee oven in a truck!

Carmen from Escapades because she is taking midterms and yet still has an esthetically fabulous blog.

Feliz Navidad!

lighting of the tree

We were lucky enough to be in San Jose del Cabo for their annual lighting of the tree in the main plaza outside the Mission. It was a local event, not aimed at tourists, and we felt humbled to share their tradition. The main theme this year was disability and there was a tear jerking rendition of songs by deaf children in sign language. We were watching the proud parents and noticed that they did jazz hands instead of clapping. There were children with various conditions including cerebral palsy.

sign language

After the main event everyone squeezed into the little mission church, with some standing outside, for a short service with hymns echoing across the plaza on this beautiful starlit evening. It was not a rich town but clearly closely bonded. What a lovely experience for us to have the privilege of sharing with a warm, friendly community.

Below is a photo of the nativity scene that brought back some lovely memories of my childhood at our local Catholic Church. My only comment, and it is not meant to be blasphemous, but do you think the donkey was used previously in a Shrek production? 🙂

nativity scene

For Victo Doloro – Halloween costume

policewoman and taquito

This is one of my favorite costumes for Halloween. It is ridiculously sexy and silly but I loved wearing it with my great friend who was some kind of Mexican taquita? Sometimes we were very imaginative and one year went as Portia and Ellen when they got married (no-one got it…) I was very naughty and showed it to a policeman who had a crush on me at work. He was speechless and blushed – gosh it was hilarious!.

This wonderful post provoked this random anecdote –
https://doctorly.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/dress-up/

Blue

Blue
This is a lovely shot of the William ‘Bill’ Clark presidential wetlands in Little Rock, Arkansas. http://www.littlerock.org/citymanager/billclark.aspx

The real reason for posting it is because it is an inside joke between myself and one of my followers. One of the many aspects of WordPress blogging that I have loved is getting to know new friends from all over the world who really know more about me than most of friends, relatives and acquaintances because I reveal my soul in these posts. I am struggling to catch up on travelogues and new anecdotes with some strange malaise. The last few weeks have just been too exciting for someone who struggles with their mental health and I just have to relax, chill out and catch up with reading. As some nationalities say, “I am out on a raft”. The equivalent Irish phrase would be “I am away with the fairies” 🙂

Să fii cuminte! I know you are all going to Google Translate…